Ki-hoon Yeom, the acting head coach of professional soccer’s K League 1 Suwon Samsung, was left speechless by the shocking relegation of his 14-year club.
Suwon drew 0-0 with Gangwon FC at home in the 38th and final round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Sunday to finish bottom of the table and confirm their relegation to the K League 2 (2nd Division).
Suwon, one of the most popular clubs in the K League and a four-time league champion, suffered the humiliation of falling to the second tier for the first time in 28 years since its founding in 1995.
South Korean international winger Yeom Ki-hoon has been playing for Suwon since 2010. He is one of Suwon fans’ favorite footballers.
He started the season as a player-coach and took over as acting head coach after Kim Byung-soo was fired in September.
After failing to complete the rebound of his beloved Suwon, acting coach Yi Ki-hoon entered the press conference with red, bloodshot eyes.
He repeatedly said “I’m sorry” and couldn’t look straight ahead.
“I think it’s because I wasn’t good enough (to play too defensively). The players did their best in it,” he said, hanging his head.
Suwon has been very lethargic this season.
The team has changed coaches three times due to poor performance.
At the end of the season, the squad was reportedly in disarray. There were rumors in the soccer world that some of the star players’ deviant behavior was clouding the team’s atmosphere.
When asked to name the biggest reason for the relegation, acting head coach Yeom Ki-hoon replied, “I think there were too many changes in the players. I think they were very confused, and I think that made a big difference to the team (as a whole).”
He also mentioned the dwindling investment from the parent company.
“There’s a big difference in the squad compared to when I first came to Suwon. “The current players have done a good enough job, but I wish we had some big-name players, some better players, in the team,” he said.
When it was pointed out that Suwon’s overall budget is above the middle of the pack, Yeom Ki-hoon said, “That’s true. Whether it’s player acquisition or any other problem, I think there are parts that should have been spent at the right time and in the right place,” he said.
However, he added, “With investment, the team becomes stronger by harmonizing the existing players and the players brought in from outside.” “Suwon in the past and Suwon now are very different. The first is investment,” he reiterated.
Acting head coach Yeom Ki-hoon has no plans to play again. This year was his retirement season.
However, his 14-year career ended in a “nightmare” as Suwon experienced relegation.
“I’ve always had a big desire to be a coach, and I’ll have to talk to the (Suwon) club about it, but whether it’s Suwon or somewhere else, I’ll live the life of a coach,” said Yeom Ki-hoon.
“It was my choice to continue playing for Suwon, and I tried my best not to leave any regrets in that choice,” he said. “Although I am retiring in such a bad situation, I will continue to support Suwon from afar so that they can do well in the future.” 안전놀이터