The importance of veterans is seen in Lee Jong-ho and Kim Young-kwang.
Skilled and experienced veterans are always needed on a football team. In the flow of generational change, veterans are often left out, and if there is no veteran to take center stage, the team itself may be shaken. Beyond keeping the team centered, it helps with growth, transfers experience, and further motivates the team itself.
Seongnam FC’s Lee Jong-ho and Kim Young-kwang are like that. Lee Jong-ho made a brilliant debut during his time with the Jeonnam Dragons, being called Gwangyang Rooney. He is also a member of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medal team. He played for top K League 1 clubs, including Jeonbuk Hyundai and Ulsan Hyundai, and spent time overseas at V-Baren Nagasaki. He returned to Jeonnam and also lifted the FA Cup trophy, and has been playing for Seongnam since 2022.
Kim Young-kwang is a K-League legend. He was born in 1983 and is 40 years old. Most players of the same age have retired or are pursuing leadership roles. Kim Young-kwang is still active. He attended Gwangyang Steel High School and Hallyeo University before making his professional debut with Jeonnam Dragons in 2002. He was consistently selected for the national team for each age group and received attention as the ‘second Kim Byeong-ji’. He played in 78 games for Jeonnam and transferred to Ulsan Hyundai in 2007, where he showed off his skills.
Afterwards, Kim Young-kwang, who joined Seongnam in the 2020 season after playing at Gyeongnam FC and Seoul E-Land, played in 105 games for Seongnam and recorded a total of 500 and 600 appearances with Seongnam. Kim Young-kwang, who shows the appearance of a veteran who brings the team together and leads each game, has established himself as an example for players by constantly communicating with fans. This season, Choi Pil-soo splits the game and showed a solid performance although his playing time was reduced. He was not a complete starter this season. His playing time was reduced as he split appearances with Choi Pil-soo, but he still showed his competitiveness every time he appeared. After playing consistently, he achieved the great feat of playing 600 games.
Lee Jong-ho serves as a mentor to younger strikers. It is known that Seongnam is teaming up Lee Jong-ho with young players such as Lee Jun-sang and Park Ji-won at the club level. This is because players with little experience and skills at the developing stage are expected to grow further by communicating with Jong-ho Lee. Jong-ho Lee knows his role exactly. He encourages young players by talking to them both on and off the training pitch.
Park Ji-won, who has shown good form recently, said about his recent improvement in performance after the Chungnam Asan game, “I thought a lot about soccer. My roommates (Kwon) Soon-hyung and (Lee) Jong-ho talked a lot and the other brothers gave me a lot of advice. “They do it for you. This is why it’s easier when you exercise or play a game,” he said.
Doing something for the team rather than yourself stands out. This season, Lee Jong-ho scored 7 goals and 3 assists, achieving 10 attack points. When a goal is scored, instead of a flashy celebration, a celebration is held to rally the team or honor other players. It was like that in the last game against Gimcheon Sangmu, and it showed the same thing this time against Asan, South Chungcheong.
At the time of the Gimcheon match, Lee Jong-ho said, “I thought that if I scored a goal this time, I needed to catch the whole team rather than celebrate. There have been many games where we tied or lost even after scoring the first goal. Then, the team lost strength. We missed opportunities to win. “I wanted to emphasize the importance of the first goal, which was a really disappointing method. So rather than celebrating, I thought about the process of scoring the goal, how to play while protecting this goal, and how to attack the opponent even more,” he explained. Lee Jong-ho’s mature side was seen.
Kim Young-kwang is the team’s role model. Coach Lee Ki-hyung and Seongnam club officials always say of Kim Young-kwang, “He is the player who works the hardest in training.” He is famous for not sacrificing himself just because of his age, but for training at the same intensity as players his son’s age. This is why Kim Young-kwang is able to play as a starting player in the pros at this age, no matter how special his position is as a goalkeeper.
It is a motivation for his juniors. The Seongnam team, which was disappointed by losing in the 600th game against Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, promised to show a different side in the game against Asan, Chungnam, where a commemorative event was held. The result was a 2-0 win. Kim Young-kwang blocked all six effective shots, contributing to the scoreless victory. In an interview with Mixed Zone, Kim Young-kwang said, “When the juniors entered the game, they said they wanted to win because it was a game to commemorate the 600th game. They were clearly motivated. Lee Jong-ho also scored a goal, celebrated, and the defenders tried to block it. With this strength, they came together as one and won. “I am very grateful to my juniors,” he said.메이저사이트
Seongnam’s performance is clearly not good. It is in 9th place, far from the playoff zone. The ups and downs are severe and each game leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, the veterans are solidifying themselves and becoming role models, laying the foundation for another leap forward. Lee Jong-ho and Kim Young-kwang are demonstrating the importance of veterans.