“I was 192cm when I first registered, but it was 2cm taller.”
Gwangju FC striker Huh Yul (22) said with a smile. It was at the last K-League winter field training media camp held in Jeju. The height of Huh Yul, registered with the Professional Football Federation, was 192 cm when he joined the pro in 2021. However, the new 2 cm has grown, and now he has become a ‘194 cm striker’. It is a profile that connects the genealogy of a ‘tall striker’, which was difficult to find in recent Korean football.
However, he is not a player whose strength is the header using height like other tall strikers. The fact that he became a hot topic among K-League fans last year was also because he was equipped with fast speed and foot skills despite his large height. It was also thanks to the ‘extraordinary talent’ that added speed to height that the expectation of being a ‘large striker’ who will be responsible for the forefront of Korean football in the future is high.
In particular, the meeting with Gwangju coach Lee Jung-hyo (48) was meaningful to Huh Yul. He said, “When I first met the coach, he said that he raised my feet rather than my headers.” He broke that mold. Personally, I prefer to play with my feet rather than headers.”
In fact, Huh Yul last season had a different style from other tall strikers who competed for aerial balls near the penalty box or connected crosses with headers. He often threatened the opponent’s goal with his speed and shooting ability, as well as link-up play with his teammates. Even though he is tall, his unstoppable speed and bold shooting have further increased his potential as he is basically equipped with height and header.
It is in the same context that he picked movement and shooting in an off-the-ball situation, not ‘header’, when asked about his greatest strength. Huh Yul said, “I think my greatest strength is that I create space in a cross situation and then connect it with a low or long cross shot.” I want to become a striker that is difficult for opponent defenders to defend in the area.”
The player who sees and learns the most in terms of style is Manchester City striker Erling Hollan (23). He is similar in height and is a world-class striker with speed, shooting power, and individual skills, so he is close to a ‘role model’ to Heo Yul. He laughed, saying, “I watch a lot of Man City games when I analyze the team’s matches, and Hollan’s movements are very helpful, both tactically and personally.”
3rd year of professional debut. The upcoming new season is an opportunity to show off your ‘extraordinary talent’ in the K-League 1. In the first season of his professional debut, he missed half a season due to injury, and last season, he received relatively less attention as he belonged to the K-League 2 stage. Having accumulated some experience, he will test his competitiveness against top teams in the K-League 1 this season. 스포츠토토
Heo Yul said, “When I debuted, I only played half a season because of surgery, and last year, I spent a full season for the first time since my professional debut.” It was difficult because I lost a lot of confidence. I think I was lacking a bit physically and tactically.” The experience of both the ups and downs last season remained a good lesson for him.
It is his expression of confidence that he set this year’s goal as a ‘double-digit score’. Last season, he recorded four assists for six goals, including five in the league and one in the FA Cup. Huh Yul said, “This year’s goal is to score in double digits. Last year’s goal was also in double digits, but I took comfort with 10 attack points.”
“They are all the same teams, but especially the ‘Hyundai (Ulsan/Jeonbuk)’ teams have a lot of eyes from the fans, so I think they will be able to receive more spotlight than the second division,” he said. I think if you’re a pro, you have to show better performance in big matches.”
This year is especially important to Huh Yul because there are a series of national team competitions by age group. Last year, he was called by head coach Hwang Seon-hong, but recently he has been a bit distant from the U-23 national team. In order to wear the Taegeuk mark for this year’s Asian Games and next year’s Paris Olympics, impressive performance this season is a must.
He said, “There is the Asian Games in Hangzhou this year. I have a desire to compete in the national team again.” I think we can show off,” he said.
“Director Lee Jeong-hyo always tells the players, ‘Even if I fail, I will take responsibility.’ The year is very important, and I think it’s part of the process because there’s the Paris Olympics until next year. I have to work harder and prepare better than the previous season.”