Gimpo FC has secured a spot in the K League Two (K League 2) Playoffs (PO) just two years after its founding.
Gimpo came from behind to win 2-1 at home against Jeonnam in the 36th round of the 2023 Hana OneQ K League 2 at Gimpo Solter Soccer Stadium on Nov. 22, thanks to a goal from Kim Yi-seok in the 42nd minute after the score was tied 1-1.
With the win, Gimpo improved to 16 wins, 11 draws, and 6 losses (59 points), punching their ticket to the K League 2 PO regardless of the outcome of their remaining three matches.
Gimpo’s path to the K League 2 PO in such a short time can be summarized in two ways. The first is the “hungry spirit” of the players. Gimpo doesn’t have any star players. Of the 18 players on the roster, only Jang Yun-ho (27), a midfielder from Jeonbuk, is worth mentioning. Most of the players were at a plateau in their football careers, unable to fulfill their potential in their previous teams.
However, after moving to Gimpo last year, Jang has blossomed into a gorgeous flower under the guidance of coach Jeong Ji-woon. The driving force is “hunger. “When we started, we couldn’t dream of stars considering the team’s financial status. We had to pick players with hunger and desire. In fact, the training days must have been hard for them. But they did what the coach asked,” he recalls.
Players who are close to gemstones are being transformed into gems by the ‘Total Soccer’ of Ko Jung-woon. “It’s tough at our level, but I kept emphasizing this since last year, and the players changed. I emphasize defense as well as scoring. We do a lot of running from the front line pressing. I emphasize teamwork, not individuals.” 메이저놀이터
Goh’s total soccer has paid off in the form of securing the K League 2 POs after two years. Still, Ko was humble. “Even though we made it to the POs in such a short time, I’m still not good enough. I’m especially blessed to have players like these. The players’ eagerness was the same, and I tried to control the psychological part well, so I think the synergy worked. It’s not so much about my abilities as it is that players who didn’t bloom in other teams came to our team and got better and better,” he said.
He continued, “I didn’t think this far at first. The big dream is to be in the K League 1, but we need to have a foothold to stay there. Rather than being greedy, we need to play well in the remaining three games and show that we can move up to second place. Our next opponent is Gimcheon Commerce. If we can overcome this team, we will be able to challenge the K League 1 with confidence.”