It was mentioned as a zero (0) candidate for relegation. I was filled with sighs of worry. The lid was opened in anxiety. However, Gwangju FC is in 3rd place with 13 wins, 9 draws, 8 losses, and 48 points in ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’, which has played up to 30 rounds.
Gwangju confirmed the truth of the ‘round ball’ with its skills. In June, 메이저놀이터 they defeated Pohang Steelers (4-2) and Jeonbuk Hyundai (2-0, home), and this month, they defeated Ulsan Hyundai (2-0) and FC Seoul (1-0, away) in order. While taking the points against all teams this season, they are undefeated in 10 consecutive games (5 wins, 5 draws), including the last 3 wins in a row.
In particular, they added value by scoring 3 points in 10 games against Seoul, who had not won in 9 games (2 draws, 7 losses). With this momentum, it is also worth aiming for a spot in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) 2 in the 2024-2025 season.
Director Lee Jeong-hyo (48) has an absolute stake in the amazing drama that Gwangju is creating every round. Gwangju has a long way to go in all aspects, including the name value of its players, which is not high, the training infrastructure that is far below expectations, and the team’s history. Nevertheless, last season when Coach Lee took charge, he succeeded in direct promotion to first place in K-League 2, and is soaring high this season as well. Director Lee is also satisfied, saying, “I’m also curious to see how far we will go.”
It is very difficult to raise a team that is far behind in objective power to the top in a regular league, not a short-term tournament. It was literally supported by ‘bloody effort.’ Director Lee often stays up all night. He reviews the last game, finds what went well and what needs to be improved upon, analyzes the next opponent, organizes it, and shares it with the team, and the week goes by quickly.
If games are played every three days, rotations must be considered, and in the meantime, customized strategies must be added to the existing team tactics. During this process, rigorous training takes place, and if you do not pass it, you will not have a chance to practice. Coach Lee’s iron rule that he does not compromise is, “Whether you are a member of the national team or a member of the second team, you can only play if you confirm your competitiveness from a zero base.”
This is not all. In Coach Lee’s opinion, the most important job of a leader is to wake up the players. It’s not just about improving your skills. The role is to bring out potential and nurture dreams. He was recently reading Simon Sinek’s book ‘Why Do I Do This?’ and introduced himself as a ‘guide’. Coach Lee said, “I am a player with small dreams. However, I want to help our players dream big. I want to be treated well and guided to the big stage. “That’s why I live like this, being pitiful and using evil.” Gwangju, which has grown without stopping under the guidance of the ‘Dreaming Man’, is fully qualified to have blue dreams.