Gimcheon Sangmu won 2-0 at home against 37R Gimpo FC in the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at Gimcheon Sports Complex on the 29th. Choi Byung-chan started the game and reached 100 individual K League games.
After the game, Choi said, “I really wanted to reach 100 K League games before the start of this season. Due to my injury at the beginning of the season, I didn’t think it would be possible this year, but I’m really happy that I was able to do it. I will be a player who will try even harder in the future.”
Choi made his professional debut in 2017 at an open trial organized by Seongnam FC while still a student at Hongik University. It was a somewhat unusual way to get into the league, as opposed to the more common methods of managerial scouting and rookie signings. At the time, the competition for the open tryout was 255 to 1, and he was dubbed the Miracle Man.
Despite his somewhat unique path to the pros, Choi has been on a roll ever since. In 2018, his rookie year, he appeared in 19 games for Seongnam and recorded 5G 2AS. His offensive point total in his first year as a pro still stands as a career-high in his sixth year. For his performance, Choi was nominated for the year-end K League Awards. In 2019, his second year with the team, he played 24 games and was a consistent starter.
“I worked very hard as a rookie in 2018,” Choi said. It was an honor to be able to play, so I worked even harder. In the second year, I tried my best to integrate into the K League in a mature way. Also, Seongnam was promoted to K League 1 in 2019, so I think I improved as a player.”
Choi is known not only for his performance but also for his ‘professionalism’. He believes that ‘a professional player is meaningless without fans’ and values all his fans. In particular, an anecdote about a fans’ day event held in Gimcheon earlier this year is noteworthy.
“Earlier this year, the club invited fans to the training center for an open training day,” says Choi. I was very grateful to the fans who came even though the weather was very cold. After the event, I posted my gratitude on my personal blog, but I had no idea that it would become a hot topic. I’m grateful that they saw it in a good light,” he laughed.
“Fans are indispensable for professionals. They are the difference between a professional and an amateur. I’m so grateful for the love they always give me. I will do my best to repay their love.” He added.
In July 2020, with his playing opportunities dwindling, Choi opted to move to K League 2 Bucheon on loan. Half a year later, in 2021, he moved to Bucheon permanently. In June 2022, he joined Gimcheon to fulfill his military service.
He played 17 games for Gimcheon in two seasons. The 2022 and 2023 seasons were also the years in which he played the fewest games (10) since his K League debut. At the beginning of this season, he was constantly missing due to injuries. In the middle of the year, when he did get a chance to play, it was a combination of sending-offs and injuries that left him disappointed. In his first appearance of the season, on July 15 against Gimpo, he received a post-match disciplinary action, and on July 31 against Anyang, he suffered a tear in the top of his eye.
Choi Byung-chan said, “Even after my return, there were situations where I couldn’t play much. It was a difficult time for me physically and mentally, but I worked hard with the idea that if I worked hard, my chance would come one day. I tried to think as positively as possible even in difficult situations, and I always trained with the idea of showing what I had as much as possible.”
Choi’s mind control eventually paid off. On August 26 against Chungnam Asan, his first game back from injury, he scored a mid-range goal. It was his first goal in 1,044 days since October 17, 2020, against Bucheon.
Two months later, on October 22, Choi scored a hat trick against Ansan. It was the first hat trick in his personal K League career and the second for Gimcheon Sangmu. Choi said, “The hat trick was not because I was good, but because my teammates helped me. If I had to give credit to myself, I would say that I am a hard worker. I train like a real player and put in a lot of effort to do well. I think that showed on the pitch.”
Choi Byeong-chan, who plays every game, is a late-stage sergeant with less than 50 days to go before being deployed. Like a late bloomer, Choi Byung-chan is enjoying his final days in the military at their peak. “Being a sergeant hasn’t changed much. I live the same life in the unit. I am grateful that I can always exercise in a good environment. As the clubs are currently fighting for first and second place, I will do my best until the end to help the team win promotion to the K League 1.”
토토사이트Choi’s 100th game will be celebrated on November 26 against Seoul Eland FC.
The Korea Football Association announced on the 30th that the Olympic team led by coach Hwang Seon-hong is scheduled to hold training camp in France from the 13th to the 22nd of next month.
The Olympic team will have a practice match with a local professional team in Le Havre, France, on the 17th (local time), and then have an evaluation match with the French U-21 national team in Le Havre on the 20th.
The Football Association planned domestic and overseas training during the international match period in November so that coach Hwang Seon-hong, who won a gold medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, could transition to full-scale Olympic preparations, and prioritized training and local evaluation matches in France, the host country of the Paris Olympics, as a top priority. .
The French U-21 national team, which will hold an exhibition match locally, is currently comprised of players under the age of 21 (born in 2002). Europe’s U-21 national teams, including France, are participating in the preliminaries for the 2025 UEFA U-21 Championship during the international match period.
The French U-21 team was able to hold an evaluation match as there were no preliminaries scheduled for the November international match period after the away game against Austria on November 17.
Coach Hwang Seon-hong is also considering calling up overseas players of the same age group who are active overseas for this European training camp.