After reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Kim Jun-hong made his league debut for Gimcheon Sangmu. After a year and two months in the K League, he hopes to improve on his current form.
Kim Jun-hong was in goal for Gimcheon in their Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 Round 22 home match against Chungnam Asan FC at Gimcheon Sports Complex on 19 May at 7.30pm. It was his first appearance in a K League match in 430 days after making his debut for Jeonbuk Hyundai last season against Gangwon FC on 15 May.
At the U-20 World Cup, which concluded last month, Kim Jun-hong was the last line of defence for Kim Eun-jong-ho’s side as they reached the quarter-finals. He was named in the starting line-up for every game except the third group game against Gambia, when he was suspended for accumulating cautions, and anchored the defence with a string of saves in each match.
After the tournament, he returned to Jeong Jeong-yong’s Gimcheon, where he and team-mate Lee Young-joon were highly touted. However, with Gimcheon boasting a stellar goalkeeping corps of Shin Song-hoon, Kang Hyun-moo and Moon Moon-geon, Kim did not get much playing time. His only appearance this season was in the second round of the FA Cup against Daejeon Korail in March.
Jung Jung-yong, who has said that he intends to give his U-20 World Cup stars a chance in the future, called up Kim Jun-hong after Lee Young-joon in the last game. Speaking ahead of the match against Chungnam Asan, Chung said, “It’s right to give them a chance. He hasn’t had a chance to play, but I think he’ll do a good job today,” he said.메이저놀이터
The youngster lived up to his expectations and performed steadily at the back. According to B-Pro Eleven, the official supplementary data provider of the K League, Kim made three catches, five successful goal kicks (100 per cent success rate), one aerial ball handling (100 per cent success rate), two clearances and four ball wins. Despite conceding multiple goals, Kim was not responsible for either of them.
Speaking to the media after the game, Kim said, “We conceded in the last minute and it kept us on our toes until the end of the game. I’m really happy that we were able to get the win after a tough game,” he said of his league debut for Gimcheon.
“I want to give myself 50 points because I conceded two goals today, and I want to make the other 50 points into something I can improve on,” he said of his first league match with Gimcheon.
After the U-20 World Cup, fan and media interest in Kim exploded. From promising goalkeeper to star, the level of interest in him has never been higher. As the tournament came to an end and young players had to compete for their positions, Kim received some valuable advice from Chung, who had experienced the U-20 World Cup before him.
“Coach Jung also travelled to the U-20 World Cup four years ago,” he said, adding, “He gave me some advice and told me that it’s more important to do well after the tournament than it is to do well when you get there, so I decided to do better in Gimcheon.” He vowed to improve.
Photo = Korea Football Association, KFA