One of the most in-form teams this season is Gangwon FC.

강원 돌풍 이끄는 신의 한수 '센터백 변신' 이기혁 "한 골 막는 재미가 있더라"[인터뷰]

One of the most in-form teams this season is Gangwon FC.

They have been praised for their neat buildup from the back, beautiful passing, and aggressive play. Unfortunately, their good form hasn’t translated into wins, as they recorded a 3-0 victory over Daegu FC in the fifth round, followed by back-to-back wins over Jeonbuk Hyundai. At the center of Daljin Gangwon’s defense is “freshman center back” Lee Ki-hyuk (24).

His natural position is in the center midfield. His technical skills and kicking ability have earned him a call-up to the national team under Paulo Bento. Gangwon head coach Yoon Jung-hwan, who signed him from Jeju this winter, moved him to center-back after ‘core defender’ Kim Young-bin went down with an injury. “My only experience was playing one game as a three-back in Jeju last year,” says Lee. 바카라사이트 The coach told me that Young-bin got injured during the winter and that I should play left center back because I’m left-footed. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me if I could just take care of the defensive part,” he said.

It paid off: Lee has started all six of Gangwon’s matches at center back, and he’s been a revelation.

He is the focal point of Gangwon’s buildup and the center of their defense. “I’m getting more and more used to this position,” says Lee. I watch Man City games to check the center back’s movements, and in training, coach Choi Hyo-jin, who used to be a defender, helps me a lot. I personally receive a lot of balls, and I’m having fun trying to score goals. I think my vision is wider because I’m playing from below,” he said.

Of course, as a non-professional center back, there are many challenges. Especially fighting with foreign players is the hardest. “Foreign strikers who play in the K League are taller and stronger,” says Lee. I think it’s difficult to block aerial balls from crosses. Positioning is also a bit difficult. I’m learning a lot from my brothers. “It’s fun to attack, but it’s also fun to stop a goal as a defender,” he said, adding, “Youngbin gives me a lot of feedback after the game. The coach hasn’t told me yet if I’ll go back to midfield when Youngbin comes back, but I think it’s good to continue playing in this position,” he laughed.

Despite being recognized as talented enough to be named to the national team, Lee was a volatile player, changing teams every year between Suwon FC, Jeju, and Gangwon. “I think I changed teams a lot because I wasn’t recognized,” he says. 사설 토토사이트 “I’m playing good soccer at Gangwon, so I want to keep playing this style for a long time,” he said. “Personally, I’m aiming to play more than 30 games. The team’s goal is to be in the Final A and eventually qualify for the Asian Champions League,” he added.



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