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A Cylon in the Ranks

AS Uijeongbu 07 recorded a 3-1 win over Steeple Sinderby Wanderers in a GL fixture Wednesday morning (621329331) that created a buzz amongst many of the club’s fans. It wasn’t the opponent or the scoreline that was generating interest though, but rather the unexpected appearance of a new player wearing the local Uijeongbu green.

Young-Chae Kim (399723793) arrived in north Gyeonggi province following early morning (5:00am!) transfer negotiations and a 56억 Won fee paid to fellow K-League side and championship rival FCFC Ulsan. This same club has been a thorn in the side of Au7 recently in both the Korea Cup and K-League with a series of ‘fortunate’ wins when the odds were not in their favor. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of for an underdog — or nightmares if you’re a fan of the losing side, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Questions were immediately raised over the manager’s decision to pay so much for an out-of-form player that was being discarded by a team lower in the standings; with several aging players in the squad surely another area was more deserving of attention than bringing in yet another midfielder. After all, wasn’t the club already training homegrown talents Dae-Seon Choi and Hae-Jong Kim to become the core of a rejuvenated midfield for future seasons?

While it’s unfortunate that Au7 is helping to fund FCFC Ulsan’s next transfer, Kim is expected to serve as a utility player until his form recovers enough for him to feature in league fixtures. The Golden League is expected to serve as an ideal environment to see how the 28 year old performs as AS Uijeongbu 07 has rejoined the ‘race for gold’ and a fourth consecutive GL title.

All well and good, but there’s an additional reason behind the interest in the player. There were other midfielders on the transfer market with skills similar to Kim’s but the detail that caught paquebot’s interest, and ultimately resulted in the transfer, is that Kim is a former youth academy player from Songbuk Cylons (788305).

Led by the Australian ProfKaos, Songbuk Cylons was an early inspiration for Au7 in Hattrick and was one of the very first teams to adopt a kit design by paquebot. Fans across the country were saddened when news came that ProfKaos’ side had gone ownerless and then bot weeks later; the chance to preserve some small memory of the former Hanguk giant was an appealing draw and sparked the interest that eventually resulted in Kim joining AS Uijeongbu 07. Whether or not this will turn out to be a wise decision remains to be seen, but staff at the club are excited to have the opportunity to work with a player from such a storied background. Let’s hope he lives up to expectations!

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Kinclaven Second Fiddle to Song

Friday afternoon’s clash between Kinclaven and AS Uijeongbu 07 for top spot in the HTU Managers federation ladder featured a little bit of everything in a match that required extra time to decide.

A quick goal for Uijeongbu delighted the away fans but the team conceded twice to find themselves on the back foot midway through the second half. Fortunately, Gim-chi Kim scored his second of the night to put the two sides level again and it was 宋 (Song) 紹正 (Shaozheng) who scored a brace in extra time to award Au7 the win to preserve the club’s status as best in the federation.

Derek ‘Dorky’ Urquhart was deservedly voted MOTM for Kinclaven and local pundits also recognized the impact the 28 year old Scottish player had on proceedings. Urquhart was unlucky to miss two golden opportunities in front of goal but no sign of his nasty personality or temperamental nature was visible despite things not going his way on the pitch; he remained a true professional throughout the full 120 minutes. It’s a shame that not everyone in Kinclaven colors shares the same philosophy.

Jimmy MacShannachan & Garry Goodburn: Terrible

It came as a shock to many to see that Kinclaven coach Matthias Mader was encouraging his players to dive and, apart from the two goals and Urquhart’s near misses, their only noteworthy achievement was being cautioned by the referee for unsporting behavior. Jimmy MacShannachan and Garry Goodburn were the perfect example of the Korean expression ‘Hollywood action’ to the point one might assume that they were trying out for a part in the next war blockbuster. Is that the state of Scottish football these days — that diving and poor sportsmanship are the main tools a team uses to achieve victory? Honestly, we expected better from a team competing in Division II.

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French Class

Between experienced managers, highly-skilled players, and demanding fans there’s not much room for mistakes at the top of the footballing pyramid. AS Uijeongbu 07 may have been knocked out of the Korea Cup on Wednesday but there was no time to wallow in disappointment — the club is still fighting for the K-League title and also received notice this afternoon that Scottish side Kinclaven have decided to take advantage of the club’s weakened state to challenge Au7 for first place in the HTUM federation ladder.

With the ladder match on Friday and a K-League fixture against the league leaders on Sunday, staff at AS Uijeongbu recognized the need to act quickly to secure the services of a replacement keeper able to cover for the injured Eran Maman. Club manager paquebot spent most of the evening following his side’s cup defeat going through the transfer list and eventually picked out seven names as potential targets.

AS Uijeongbu 07 met some resistance from an unlikely source, however, when a quick bid on French stopper Nicholas Bigot put Au7 in an unexpected battle with Danish side Vi flæsker jer for the 27 year old’s signature. A third manager later joined the fray and Vi flæsker jer dropped out before the bidding ended, leaving Au7 as the side that finally got the young talent to put pen to paper.

The club has high hopes for Bigot and his first appearance for Uijeongbu is expected to be in the ladder match against Kinclaven. Can the Frenchman lead his new team to victory, perhaps with a bit of added panache as well? Find out Friday at 12:46.

Nicolas Bigot and his Citroën DS