Professional football K League 1 Gwangju FC coach Lee Jung-hyo announced a breakup with the so-called ‘protective football’ that prioritizes defense. Coach Lee made it official by declaring a distinction from Jeju United coach Nam Ki-il, whom he had assisted, and standing alone.
Director Lee is from Nam Ki-il’s division. In 2016, coach Lee joined hands with coach Nam Ki-il, who led Gwangju FC at the time.
Lee, who became the head coach of Nam Ki-il’s division, continued to work with Nam even after Nam took over as Jeju스포츠토토 manager in 2019 after passing through Seongnam FC. In the process, Seongnam and Jeju were promoted to the first division.
Coach Lee was highly regarded as a head coach, but when he first took over as manager of Gwangju FC last year, question marks were attached to his success. The prospect prevailed that he would go through trial and error, as he had no experience in performing the managerial position.
Director Lee successfully shattered this prospect. Gwangju confirmed the K-League 2 championship in the shortest period of time last year with 25 wins, 11 draws and 4 losses. In addition, new records were established, such as the K-League 2 most wins-most points (previous 20 wins, 73 points), K League 2 home most consecutive wins (10 consecutive wins), and wins against all home clubs.
Coach Lee was selected as the Manager of the Month award twice (April and September) for K-League 1st and 2nd division coaches, and received the K-League 2 Grand Prize Manager Award. Recognized for his contributions, coach Lee signed a new contract until next year.
Coach Lee, who took the label of head coach of Nam Ki-il’s division on his own, is moving to get out of the shadow of Nam in earnest in the first division this year.
Coach Lee announced this year’s plan for Gwangju FC at the Hana One Q K-League 2023 Winter Field Training Media Camp held in Seogwipo, Jeju on the 8th. Coach Lee expressed his will to play hot attacking football, saying he would not hesitate to fight back against the strong teams in the first division. At the same time, coach Lee indirectly criticized Nam’s tactics.
When asked to evaluate the first division days with coach Nam, coach Lee replied, “Looking back now, I was promoted twice with coach Nam Ki-il.”
It is pointed out that after coach Nam promoted the team from division 2 to division 1, he changed his tactics and took a defensive approach.
At the same time, he revealed that he would play attacking football in the first division as well. He said, “The direction Gwangju FC will go is set. No matter which team I take on, I will take my color,” he said.
Coach Lee also tried to differentiate himself from coach Nam in terms of communication with the players. Recently, coach Nam has revealed problems in terms of communication with players such as Yoon Bit-garam. Director Lee indirectly pinched this point.
While coach Nam was evaluated as strict and pushy, manager Lee revealed that he was more approachable to his players. Director Lee said, “When I go to the playground, I become a different person for two hours, but other than that, I joke and get along just like a neighborhood brother or uncle.” They tell you to act like you are. That’s why I seem to get along well with the players.”
Coach Lee, who is trying to differentiate himself from coach Nam, whom he assisted, is expected to embark on a full-fledged solo career by winning against Jeju, led by Nam.
The first match between Gwangju and Jeju is scheduled for April 26th. The venue of the match is Gwangju.