“6 months, I will run with the heart of a rookie.”
Hwang Eui-jo (31), a striker of the national soccer team, who transferred to FC Seoul on a short-term loan, said with determination. On the morning of the 6th, he joined the Seoul team leaving for the secondary battery training in Kagoshima, Japan through Incheon International Airport. Hwang Ui-jo, who had an expression of excitement and tension, arrived at the departure hall earlier than other players and was meeting with a club official.
스포츠토토 The day before, the Seoul club announced a short-term lease contract with Hwang Eui-jo for six months. After leaving Bordeaux (France) in August of last year and moving to Nottingham Forest (England), he transferred on loan to Olympiacos (Greece) with the same owner. He failed to score a single goal in 12 official matches. Olympiacos terminated the lease early, and even if he returned to his original team Nottingham, he would not be able to play in the official game. The International Football Federation (FIFA) allows a player to register with three clubs in a season, but only play official matches with two clubs. However, it is possible to play in places with different league schedules from Europe, which is a Chu-chun festival, and some clubs in Korea, the United States, and Japan, which run a Chun-chu system, have shown interest. Among them, FC Seoul most actively met with Hwang Eui-jo.
Hwang Ui-jo is also a good choice. Since he has already experienced the K-League, he can easily integrate into the league, and coach Ahn Ik-soo, who made his professional debut in Seongnam, is in charge of Seoul. In the end, he decided to return to the K-League after 6 years since 2017. “I thought a lot about the future,” said Hwang Eui-jo, who said, “There were proposals from various places, including the United States, and I thought about it. The advice of Hwang In-beom, who ate rice at Olympiacos, also played a role. Like Hwang Eui-jo, Hwang In-beom played for a short-term loan in Seoul last year and re-entered Europe. Hwang Eui-jo said, “I heard about a team called Seoul from In-beom. He also said that he is motivated just by playing in front of many fans at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.”
Looking at the video Seoul released the day before, director Ahn smiled and kicked playfully when he met Hwang Eui-jo after a long time. Hwang Eui-jo said, “I remembered my rookie days. Everyone knows that the director is a very scary person. However, he always gave good and warm words. He laughed, saying, “I think I will have to run with the mind of a rookie for six months.” He also said, “I have to go to Japan and pull my body up as much as possible. I will do my best to help the team with as many goals as possible.”
Next, Q&A with Hwang Ui-jo
- There were offers from the US and Japan, but Seoul decided to return to the K-League.
I thought a lot about the future. It is true that there were several proposals, including from the United States. I had a lot of trouble. However, coming to Seoul (in the familiar K-League) seemed like an opportunity to go back to Europe and look good.
- In the process of deciding to go to Seoul, Hwang In-beom, a colleague from Olympiacos, must have had a big influence.
(Olympiacos) After he decided to leave the team, he talked a lot. I knew the K-League well because I had experienced it, but it was my first time in Seoul. (What did we talk about?) I heard about playing at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, including the team aspect. They also say that just having a lot of fans motivates them. I want to do my best for the team without disappointing them.
- Director Ahn Ik-soo, who was a teacher in Seongnam, was very happy to see you.
It reminded me of my rookie days. Everyone knows how scary the director is. He gave me a lot of good and warm words. As a football player, there is a lot to learn as a human being. I think I have to run with the heart of a rookie for six months.
- Seoul didn’t score many goals last year. I expect a goal from Hwang Eui-jo this season.
You have to pull yourself up in Japan as much as possible. We have to score a lot of goals so that Seoul can get into a good position.
- What did you exchange with your original team, Nottingham, on the way to Seoul?
(Nottingham) allowed a loan transfer on condition of six months. I don’t know what will happen after that. It’s a condition to return after 6 months. (I haven’t been able to properly train for the pre-season since last summer?) Since I continued team training until recently, there is no major problem. I want to adapt while keeping pace with the players in Seoul, feeling what each other wants and the direction the team wants.
- It seems that the feeling of returning to the K-League is unique.
It’s been 6 years. I think it will be very different from before. There are many teams with good players and many teams with good tactics.
- In Seoul, there are former and current national teammates such as Na Sang-ho and Ki Sung-yong.
The company name (to Seoul) was confirmed and contacted. Sungyong hyung called me before that. He shared what he experienced or felt as a player (in the same situation as me). Receiving a phone call from a senior I admire and talking about this and that helped me to make a decision. (Did Ki Sung-yong ask you to come to Seoul?) (Laughing) He said that he would like to come to Seoul when the opportunity arises. Rather than having to come, it was helpful for me to tell you about my own experience.
- Many fans came to the airport early in the morning.
Thank. Since morning, many fans have come to visit us. Please come to the stadium to support us. I want to let you know that we are a team that plays good football.