It has been a long time since the joy of the 2022 Qatar World Cup round of 16 became the snow that fell yesterday. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Kim Min-jae (Napoli) are returning to their respective teams to play in the league, while Cho Kyu-seong (Jeonbuk Hyundai), who has scored two goals and rose to stardom, joined his team for winter training.
Professional football is concentrating on training with the goal of opening the league at the end of February. The team that was called early is in mid-December of last year, and the team that was called late is now gathering and starting to sweat.
As the atmosphere was created to live with the novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), the majority of the team chose to go abroad. Last year’s K-League champions Ulsan Hyundai chose Portimão, Portugal, while Jeonbuk Hyundai trains in Barcelona and Marbella, Spain. I try to build up my game stamina by holding so-called ‘pre-season practice matches’ with European teams during the break.
If the leading club heads to Europe, the rest of the clubs chose Thailand, which is convenient for physical training. Chiang Mai (Gangwon FC, Gwangju FC, Jeju United, Incheon United), Hua Hin (FC Seoul), and Chonburi (Daejeon Hana Citizen). There is also Vietnam Hanoi (Pohang Steelers). Daegu FC trains first in Namhae and then heads to Kagoshima (Japan). Only Suwon Samsung in the first division chose Geoje and Jeju Island.
Although he is not good at overseas training, he is also suitable for finding opponents for practice matches while improving his stamina in a good climate. It seems that Suwon was too busy to choose overseas because it went to the promotion playoffs last year. Among the teams in the second division, Gimpo FC, Chungnam Asan, Jeonnam Dragons, Kim Cheon Sangmu, and Ansan Greeners are the teams that ‘cannot’ go overseas.
The selection of domestic training teams is ‘strategic’ or winter training in that Seongnam FC, which was difficult to even gauge the existence of the club, is heading to Chiang Mai, and Cheonan City FC (Chonburi) and Chungbuk Cheongju (Bangkok), which are newly entering the second division, are also going abroad. It seems that they are focusing on ‘efficiency’ due to the management conditions where it is difficult to invest a large amount in
A high-ranking official from the club said, “It is not necessarily efficient to go to overseas training. If you go, you come back and adapt to the time difference, so there is a possibility that the beginning of the league will be twisted.”
However, recently, the economic aspect of field training has been increasingly highlighted worldwide. Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla, which were quenched in Korea last summer, thoroughly took training and economic benefits. Even if the skills of the players, an important part of the content, were world-class, and Son Heung-min, who received national support, was at the center, it is definitely impressive that he made the training period into a structure to make money. The landscape of win-win by holding competitions in the pre-season is walking the path of universalization.
It was also fresh for the players to do personal hobbies. Eric Dyer and Matt Doherty set up a personal itinerary to view art at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Of course, this also contains a thorough commercial device, but it was interesting in that the surroundings were arranged based on the individual taste of the player who likes to see art.
On the other hand, the focus of the K-League teams is precisely on the squad and performance. Athletes train at the training ground, then rest and finish. Local volunteer work is also difficult to come up with. There are cultural sites within a 20-minute drive, so it’s good to take a break and develop ‘humanistic sensibilities’ during training, but only training is the best.
It is true that it is not easy for fans to approach even in domestic training. It is difficult for fans to see the players easily unless it is a specific period. Of course, European clubs are similar, but at least they prepare space and time that does not ignore the cheers and spending of fans. It is also different from the Japanese J-League instilling the perception that it is the best league in Asia by winning hearts with local soccer classes in Southeast Asia.
Some K-League teams are notorious for giving difficulties to officials preparing the training grounds as they are confused before deciding on their training grounds. An official from an off-campus training agency who wished to remain anonymous said, “Of course, clubs will decide on various candidate sites, but it is frustrating from the point of view of arranging. Some clubs cannot even decide on a training site until the end of the league. It would be nice if it was good, but it has to be after the last game is over. ‘Because the manager might change’, ‘Because the manager likes a certain training ground’, 토토 the answers come back. Isn’t it really backward? scolded.
In that respect, the strategy of Ulsan and Jeonbuk to go to Europe deserves applause. Ulsan will check its strength against Mittwillan (Denmark) and Brentford (England), who have experience in the European Football Federation Champions League (UCL). Jeonbuk also has experience competing with Borussia Dortmund (Germany) in the past in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In some cases, if an opposing team or a scout catches the eye, there is even a possibility of a European transfer. Enough to create a structure that makes money.
Choosing Southeast Asia or Korea is not a bad thing. It shows the status of the K-League in Southeast Asia, and it is possible to prepare various profit structure plans such as local sponsor contracts by recruiting foreign quota players. It is necessary to not only increase social network service (SNS) followers, but also to bring in profits. Of course, it is difficult to change overnight, and the practical problem of having a manpower capable of carrying out this change in the secretariat must also be addressed.
The era of just spending the budget sent down by the parent company or local government is over. Regardless of the change of coach or management, when will we see him preparing for the next season, setting a training ground and concentrating on pursuing profits?