“The goal is to win. We’ll do it no matter what.”
Hwaseong FC head coach Kang Chul smiled. Hwaseong FC is the “absolute favorite” of the K3 League this season. They are undefeated since the start of the season. They have 11 wins and five draws in 16 games. They lead the table with 38 points. There is a 10-point gap between them and second-place FC Mokpo (28 points). “I actually didn’t think we would be this good,” Kang said. I thank the players after every game. I prepare, but at the end of the day, it’s the players who are the main characters on the field. It’s because they prepared well that we got the result. That’s why I always tell them they worked hard,” he laughed.
The Martian Run is even more remarkable when you look at the statistics. They have scored the most goals and conceded the fewest. While scoring the most goals (25), they have conceded just seven. They are the only team in the league with single-digit conceded goals. “I played with coach Hwang Sun-hong (now head coach of the U-23 national team) at Pohang Steelers, FC Seoul, and Daejeon Hana Citizen, and I mainly played defense. We focused on defense because we need to concede fewer goals to perform well. This part is working well,” he laughed. 토토사이트
Kang took over the reins of Hwaseong last season, replacing Kim Hak-chul. He had been an assistant coach at Daejeon, but this was his first time as a full-time head coach. Although he was unable to select the right players due to poor timing, he was able to produce results with the existing players. He led the team from 12th place the previous year to 6th place and won the Gyeonggi Sports Championship. Kang, who made his mark on the team by selecting players, is showing off a more mature leadership style this season. “Last year, we had a lot of senior players. Last year, I couldn’t pick many players because I was selected late, but this year, I brought in the players I wanted. The juniors under me are following suit because they are working hard. We’re not losing, so the players are feeling good.” The addition of two foreign players, Luan and Cao, is also a big boost.
For Kang, who has only played in the top tier of the K League, the inferior K3 League was unfamiliar. “I’ve only coached corporate teams. This is my first time coaching a civic team, so I had a lot to think about, but my most important calling is to teach the players. I focus on training and living with the players,” he said. “There is a big difference between the K3 League and the K League 1. Especially the physical condition is important. Depending on your physical condition on the day, your performance will be completely different. Just because you have good players doesn’t mean you will perform well. “That’s why the mindset of the players is more important. I often tell my players that they don’t need to look at the manager or the coach, they just need to be passionate and do their best, and the results will follow. When I was coaching, I was quite rigid, but when I become a coach, I have to look at the whole picture, so I become more cognitively autonomous.”
This year, the goal was to win. “I set the goal of winning the championship from the beginning. I’m sure other coaches do the same.