It’s a great change. Incheon United’s ‘living witness’ Kim Do-hyeok (31) is the expression he feels most recently.
Incheon has a strong image of remaining in the lower ranks in the original K-League 1, barely or dramatically. That’s why the nickname attached is ‘King of Survival’. Now that is a thing of the past. Currently, Incheon is the best dark horse in the K League 1. It started with winning a ticket to the Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) by finishing 4th in the regular league메이저놀이터last year. In the winter transfer market, talented players such as Shin Jin-ho, Zerso, and Mpoku were recruited. Looking at the lineup alone, it is at the top of the K-League 1 level.
Kim Do-hyeok, who joined Incheon in 2014 and played 203 games in total, is a person who feels these changes more than anyone else. Kim Do-hyeok, a one-club man from Incheon, is obviously unfamiliar with the super-hwa lineup like this season.
Kim Do-hyeok, whom we met at the Changwon training camp in Gyeongsangnam-do on the 14th, said, “Originally, when I was doing winter training, I was worried. He wished he had delayed the opening. I’m not worried at all this year. Rather, I think it would be nice if it opened sooner rather than later,” he said. “This is my first experience. Excited and looking forward to it. Even if he struggles in the beginning, I am confident that he will become stronger as time passes.”
Just a few years ago, Incheon was one of the poor citizens’ clubs. There have even been times when players suffered from unpaid wages. Kim Do-hyeok also suffered this pain. He said, “In the past, there was a time when I was paid once every three months because I was in arrears. He even took out a loan because he had no money to put into savings. When he was in the army, he was teased because he belonged to Incheon,” he laughed, “so I tell my colleagues that the team has really improved. Thanks to CEO Jeon Dong-soo, the team has definitely changed. We have to do well to keep this good team going. In the end, it is up to the player,” he said, talking about the change in the team.
Incheon joining the ACL is like a miracle to Kim Do-hyeok. He said, “One of the bucket lists in my football life was going to the ACL in Incheon. After finishing runners-up in the FA Cup in 2015, I remember being frustrated thinking I would never get another chance. Waiting for this day to come I feel the remaining worth without leaving Incheon. I won’t just let this opportunity pass. I want to get good results in the ACL,” he said.
The goal is also different from Incheon in the past. Incheon’s goal this season is to finish third in the K-League 1 or win the FA Cup. Kim Do-hyeok said, “If you look at the squad, you might be able to finish third. I want to be a team that competes against Jeonbuk Hyundai and Ulsan Hyundai. I think it’s possible enough. First of all, we need to have a better season than last year. Could we lift something at the end of the season? It is a citizen team, but I want to surprise the K-League.”
Kim Do-hyeok, who always does his best in his position in silence, said, “I will challenge and compete in any position. Motivated by looking at his colleagues. Every player has something to learn. In the future, Incheon will become stronger and become a team that other players envy. I got a sense of pride. I will work harder to create a happier team.”