K-League Archive

3

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!

4

Aloha

Friday night was an exciting one for fans of AS Uijeongbu 07. Not only did stalwart midfielder Ki-Tak Kim receive his 18th cap for the Hanguk NT, he was joined for the first time by homegrown talent Chang-Ho ‘Aloha’ Kim. Having two midfielders play for the local national team at the same time is honor enough for any club, but Au7’s midfield duo added to that by both scoring in their match against Al Yaman.

Aloha

Chang-Ho wasn’t done there, as he also scored Sunday morning in his side’s 4-0 thrashing of second-placed Alphaville. Au7 are now five points clear at the top of the K-League following their highest HatStats record to date, 494. Tamal Tope scored twice in the match to lead the top scorer list with six goals this season. Not bad for a wingback!

5

Lim, &tc.

The start of the new season had been a relatively quiet one for fans of AS Uijeongbu 07. No new signings, no outgoing players, a mild hint of ginkgo trees still lingering in the air. Nobody had been as surprised as coach Jong-Jin Lim, who had fully expected to be shown the door in the lead-up to the new season.

The club’s first competitive match of Season 57 had been a comfortable 0-10 romp against dashine in the Korea Cup, Gu Xianjing scoring another hattrick to send the fans into rapturous bliss. Four days later came the league opener against Jinzerg, which ended in a 0-3 away mauling of last season’s champions. Coach Lim had thought the cup match would be his last in charge of the club, so to have the chance to embarrass the Jinzerg players and send their manager into a fit of depression was a fitting way to go out.

However, Lim was also responsible for organizing the 0-5 defeat of Heart of the Giant in Round 2 of the Korea Cup. The thought after the match was that maybe he wasn’t going to be replaced after all. Relief turned to distress for Lim the following morning though when he found a crisp white sheet of paper on his desk with three simple words:

« See me — paquebot »

That wasn’t a good sign. With snowflakes twinkling in the sky around him Lim trudged across the club grounds to the manager’s office. The brief meeting that followed was beyond anything he could have imagined. Lim was indeed asked to step down as head coach of the club but was then immediately installed as Player Union Representative. His replacement was to be Bum Shin. In an odd twist, however, Bum Shin was requested to lead the Hanguk U20 side even before taking charge of his first match for Au7. As a result, Jong-Jin Lim would be retained as a ‘coaching aide’ in addition to his standard duties as Player Union Representative. It seems Lim’s fears of losing his head were justified — but instead of death he’s been granted two positions at the club, like the mythical hydra.

 photo Jong-Jin Lim Hail Hydra

We hope Lim isn't the other kind of Hydra.

3

Le Cauchemar

Jong-Jin Lim knew that he had a problem. After losing in the semi-finals of the Korea Cup the club had paid 19 billion Won for three new players in the expectation that it would see Au7 return to first in the K-League standings and back in the HT Masters. While Au7 had been top for a week, a 3-0 loss to Jinzerg in the following round put the side back where they were before the massive outlay of funds. Lim understood that both the fans and management had expected more than second at the end of the season. It had been his job to deliver and he had failed. Moreover, it was clear that he was not an irreplaceable part of the club.

His confidence rattled, Lim had spent more and more time over the past weeks devoted to examining the club’s finances, roster strength, and future training. Shahzad Baig and Aybars Uysal had been sold, maybe a voluntary retirement or two over the season break would also help reduce expenditures? Hyungwu Park hadn’t been seeing much playing time … but then the club would be stretched thin in the cup, putting more players at risk of an injury from playing twice in the same week.

Being head coach wasn’t the exciting, glamorous job he thought it would be. Lim had no idea how Aleksidze, Han, and Liu made it seem so easy. It wasn’t. He’d recently begun having ghastly dreams about how his career might end at the club; funny how they never mentioned anything about that when handing out coaching badges. One day soon he expected to receive ‘the letter’ from manager paquebot. Lim dreaded that day. He loved the club, wanted it to succeed. But if the best way for AS Uijeongbu 07 to succeed was without him …

 photo hyungwuginkgosgreen_zpsf6cd618e.png

«Don't forget to show my head to the people. It's worth the trouble.»

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3

100+

Gu Xianjing – proof, if any was needed, that Brunei really is ‘The Kingdom of Unexpected Treasure’ – recorded 99 competitive goals for Au7 through the end of Round 1 in Season 56. The Bruneian forward didn’t feature in his side’s midweek cup match, so the league fixture against FCStorm was his next opportunity to reach the magical 100.

One goal would have been enough. Instead, Gu went on a rampage and scored all three goals in the 0-3 victory over rivals FCStorm. Gu was also denied a fourth following an impressive save from the Seoul side’s keeper, who also prevented Chang-Ho Kim from scoring in the second half. So dominant was Gu that in addition to his contributions in attack he also helped hold the midfield and restricted the opponents to zero chances in their own stadium.

The one-man goal-scoring exhibition keeps Au7 near the top of the K-League, currently in second but tied with Songbuk Cylons on points, goal difference, and goals scored. What’s next for Gu, then? Reaching 100 hattricks or 200 competitive goals seem out of the question given his age, but following preliminary talks with the new Brunei NT boss we may yet see Gu play for the Wasps. And if that’s the case, we would love to see him score on the international stage.