‘Amazing’ BTS, ‘Unsurprising’ Suwon
While the ‘Meetan Boys’ from Suwon Samsung Youth are growing rapidly, the team is unable to carry on its old reputation.
Suwon signed a U-18 youth team agreement with Maetan High School in 2008 to lay the foundation for a new youth system. It was in 2013 when head coach Seo Jeong-won took office that he began to focus on nurturing youth players in earnest. Starting with Kwon Chang-hoon, Kim Kun-hee, Yoo Joo-an, Jeon Jin-woo (before renaming Jeon Se-jin), Kim Tae-hwan, Oh Hyun-gyu, Kang Hyun-mook, and Jeong Sang-bin stood out.
Three of them have entered the European stage. The first runner is midfielder Kwon Chang-hoon, born in 1994. After the 2016 season, Kwon Chang-hoon moved to Dijon, France. His transfer fee is 1.5 million euros (approximately 2 billion won). At the time, rich Asian clubs such as China and the Middle East sent huge love calls, but Suwon made a deal with Dijon to help the player’s will to advance to Europe.
The second is normal bin. Striker Jeong Sang-bin, born in 2002, played 28 K-League games in the 2021 season, scoring 6 goals and 2 assists. That year, he was called by coach Paulo Bento and was also selected for the Korean national soccer team, reporting his debut goal in his A-match debut.
Jeong Sang-bin transferred to Wolverhampton in the English Premier League (EPL) in January 2022. But right away he couldn’t wear the Wolverhampton jersey. This is because it is difficult for non-EU nationals to obtain a work visa in the UK. Jeong Sang-bin moved on loan to Grasshopper of the Swiss Super League and is currently playing in Switzerland.
The third is Hyungyu Oh. On the 25th, Oh Hyun-kyu moved to Celtic, a prestigious team in Scotland. His contract period is 5 years, his uniform number is 19, the transfer fee is said to be around 4 billion won, and his annual salary is 700 million won. Angers Posteglu Celtic manager said, “Oh Hyun-kyu is the type of striker I really like. He will be of great help to Celtic.”
Like this, Maetango, which Suwon has concentrated on growing for more than 10 years, is highly praised as a Korean soccer youth restaurant. The slogan, “Ooo-me (winner is always good anyway),” was born naturally. It’s an amazing achievement.
It is a general phenomenon that if the youth is strong, the first team is also strong. If so, will Suwon be evaluated as the best team in the K-League? To be blunt, Suwon has long since lost its elated ‘Real Suwon’ color in the 2000s. Passive investments have also been going on for a long time. 먹튀검증
Suwon’s average ranking in the K-League 1 in the last 5 seasons was only 7.6th. Out of the 12 teams, they were below average more often than not. In particular, the 2022 season faced a relegation crisis. In the promotion playoffs, after an extra bloody battle with FC Anyang, they managed to remain in the first division thanks to Oh Hyun-kyu’s theater goal in the 120th minute. The end of Suwon’s season was ‘Phew~ I lived and died’. It is a picture that could not have been imagined even 15 years ago.
What’s even more regrettable is that Suwon has been hovering in the lower ranks for several years, but there are not many comments saying it’s “surprising.” Now it has become a natural phenomenon.
An official who has been working at the K-League site for more than 20 years said, “Now, people are not shocked even if Suwon falls into the lower division (Final B). That’s how much I got used to Suwon’s sluggishness,” he said. “The youth team’s performance should be applauded, but it’s a pity that the professional team’s results are not coming out.”
Suwon’s 2023 season K-League opening match opponent is Gwangju FC, a promoted team. There is about a month left before the opening match. Can Suwon, who is currently training in Jeju, show an overwhelming performance against a promoted team?
Oh Hyeon-gyu, the third European from Maetango, said, “The Suwon brothers are preparing well for the opening game. Please support me a lot” and left for Celtic.