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HTUA XI

The gala event that is the HTU Awards celebrated its eleventh edition during the off-season, with a number of exceptionally talented players from among the fed’s teams receiving nominations. Two nominees from Au7 were presented with awards for Season 56 — Tamal Tope for Best Wingback and Gu Xianjing for Best Forward and MVP.

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Congratulations to both players for this tremendous honor. In addition, we would like to offer Hojris a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for taking the time to organize and publicize the awards ceremony for yet another season. The federation is brighter because of your efforts!

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Checking in with Kiên Thắng Trường

Kiên Thắng Trường had once been the best forward at AS Uijeongbu 07 and an automatic starter for each league fixture. The passage of time had meant a change in fortune for the Vietnamese striker as new purchases had pushed him to a secondary role that mostly involved friendly matches and the occasional cup fixture.

Professional setbacks were compounded by mounting injury worries. A friendly match scheduled against Vietnamese side Saigon Geeks in week 14 was expected to be a festive occasion; an opportunity for the 29 year old to play in his native Việt Nam once more, to visit relatives in Saigon, and to enjoy the milder weather of Southeast Asia. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry though, and there was little for Kiên Thắng Trường to celebrate during the fixture. Not only did he fail to score but he also received a +2 injury in the final four minutes of the match. Quite the underwhelming performance for his highly-expected return home.

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Kiên Thắng Trường returned to match fitness just in time for the final week of fixtures in the season. He netted once in a home match against Cameroonian side ‘Lions’ but found himself back on the injury list in his very next game, away against Canadian side North Kilttown, after picking up a +4 injury in the first half. Not much luck then for Kiên Thắng Trường. One wonders if he’ll get the chance to participate in his side’s cup run this season given his recent injury troubles.

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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 …

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

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Día de Muertos y Zombis

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Turkish Top Gun

Guclu Puser S44 Korea Cup Top Scorer

Despite frustrations over failing to maintain first place in the K-League following a 0-3 win this afternoon there was one positive bit of news for the club. A letter from the Hanguk Football Association – arriving several weeks late – officially recognized veteran striker Güçlü Püser as the Korea Cup top scorer for local season 44.

Püser scored eleven times during his side’s cup run this season, beating out teammate Kiên Thắng Trường to the top honors as the Vietnamese forward finished joint-second with eight goals. From his six appearances in the cup this season Güçlü Püser scored in five and recorded a hattrick on three separate occasions — a respectable return from the 34 year old.

The goal-scoring rampage has continued in Au7’s friendly matches, with Püser scoring five more in three international fixtures so far. We can only hope he continues getting better with age!