Young-jae Lee (28, Sangmu Kim) draws a big picture after being discharged. He wants to be recognized as a top midfielder in the K-League with the goal of participating in the World Cup in North and Central America in four years. If a good opportunity comes, he will try to go abroad as well.
Lee Young-jae started his professional career in 2015 with Ulsan Hyundai. He competed for the starting lineup in Ulsan, but it was not easy, and he took on a new challenge at Gyeongnam FC, which led the K-League blast during his time as coach Kim Jong-bu. He even recorded an attacking point in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL), but he was not guaranteed a certain playing time.
After he joined Gangwon FC, he gradually showed his advantage. He contributed to advancing to the Final Round A with his sharp passing and bold shooting, and he caught the eye of coach Paulo Bento and joined the national team for the first time in his personal career. Even after joining Suwon FC in 2021, he earned MVP and attack points step by step.
After playing for Suwon FC for a year, he plays for Gimcheon Sangmu as a soldier. When asked about life in the barracks to Lee Young-jae, who attended the ‘2023 K-League Winter Training Media Camp’ held at the Songjeong Hotel, he smiled and said, “I am concentrating on soccer comfortably.”
There were cases where managing directors, such as Cho Kyu-seong and Oh Hyun-kyu, made up for their shortcomings and advanced to the next level. Lee Young-jae also asked the secret, “I didn’t believe it at first. It’s an environment where I can only exercise. Personally, I like it. I’m the type who doesn’t change much in weight, so it was stressful, but I gained 4 kg here. I don’t have time to use my phone. It’s limited, so players share good exercise methods with each other,” he said.
I was also able to grow football-wise. Lee Young-jae said, “I had a lot of ups and downs before I joined the military. However, I learned that I could continue a season consistently in Sangmu. I only thought about football and trained in the military, so the ups and downs were reduced. The environmental factor was a big factor. Personally, I became more mature. “he explained. Manager Seong Han-soo, managing director of Kimcheon, planned to “give new recruits a period of adaptation, and give seniors time to play in the beginning.” However, Lee Young-jae said, “I don’t want to enjoy such benefits. I want to prepare thoroughly and show my skills. At first, I may be given an opportunity, but I want to show that it is not natural. I do not want to let the fans know that I am playing because I am a senior.” .
If he is discharged soon, he will return to Suwon FC. Suwon FC reinforced solid midfielders such as Yun Bitgaram this season. When you return to your parent team, you have to compete fiercely for the starting position.
However, Lee Young-jae said, “I am confident even going back to Suwon FC. Yoon Bit-garam is far ahead of me in terms of career and football, but personally, it is a good motivation. Every time I was complacent, there were many bad situations. Although I was discharged in June, I The first half is very important to me. I will not lose myself and maintain good performance.”
There were a lot of things I felt when I saw Kwon Chang-hoon, my fellow managing director, play in the World Cup. Lee Young-jae said, “People around me tell me that I am in my prime age. Seeing Kwon Chang-hoon at the World Cup, I got a lot of motivation. Watching my fellow players compete in the World Cup, I wanted to hold on to a dream that I felt far away. Now, when the national team coach changes, I think it’s an opportunity. I can. I want to be selected more than during Bento’s days and become an elite member of the national team.” 안전놀이터
He wanted to go back to Suwon FC and become one of the best midfielders in Korea, and go beyond the 30-30 club to the 40-40 club. Later, with the goal of winning the World Cup, there was also a desire to challenge overseas if a good opportunity came. After Lee Young-jae’s discharge, his goal was clearer than anyone else’s.
“It is a lie to say that there is no goal to advance overseas. If a good opportunity comes, I have a desire to challenge overseas. If I had been consistently selected for the national team and proved my performance like Kwon Chang-hoon, I would have had many opportunities. I think. If there is a good opportunity after I am discharged, I really want to go abroad. It is one of the biggest goals in my football life.”