‘Building a new dynasty’ in the reconstruction of a famous family… Ulsan Hyundai’s first K-League loss since its founding! The front desk is also number one
Now, beyond rebuilding a famous family, we have laid the foundation for ‘building a dynasty.’ Ulsan Hyundai achieved the feat of winning the K-League 1 twice in a row for the first time since its founding, ushering in a new ‘era of top 1’ in professional soccer in the 2020s.
Ulsan, led by coach Hong Myung-bo, won 2-0 in the home game against Daegu FC in the 35th round (Final A 2nd leg) of ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’ held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on the 29th. Ulsan, who reached the high point of 70 points (21 wins, 7 draws, 7 losses), widened the point gap with second place Pohang Steelers (60 points) to 10, confirming their early victory in K League 1 regardless of the results of the remaining 3 games in the league.짱구카지노
Ulsan, which won the K-League championship for the first time in 17 years under coach Hong last year, was the first team to win two consecutive games since its founding and the fourth star in total (1996, 2005, 2022, 2023). In particular, in addition to winning the Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL) in 2020, they have won the league twice and the ACL once in the past four seasons, establishing themselves as the strongest team in the K League in name and reality.
◇Hong Myung-bo-pyo’s risk management is the key to 2 consecutive wins
Coach Hong’s risk management was the most powerful driving force in Ulsan achieving 2 consecutive wins. Ulsan, which suffered from the stigma of being a ‘business club’ despite the presence of many star players and was criticized for lacking team spirit, suffered from the runner-up jinx until 2020, allowing a come-from-behind win against Jeonbuk Hyundai.
However, after coach Hong took over in 2021, they were reborn as a strong ‘one team’ and lifted the championship trophy last year for the first time in 17 years. The ‘fruit of winning’ raised the trust between the coaches and players to the next level and created stronger team roots. Here, Director Hong demonstrated the leadership of ‘no knowledge, no knowledge.’
Ulsan had an unrivaled lead in the beginning with two six-game winning streaks and one five-game winning streak, but last June, a key player left a racist comment on social media (SNS) and faced strong repercussions. In addition, the team had to spend a chaotic second half of the year due to the absence of key defensive midfielder Park Yong-woo (Al Ain), who transferred to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) league. After August, they stagnated with only 2 wins (5 draws, 2 losses) until the A-match break in October.
Coach Hong, who understands the psychology of players, did not hesitate. Although he maintained his leading position, he corrected the sense of responsibility at the leadership level through a change in the captaincy. Park Yong-woo’s absence was also pushed forward by trusting in existing agents instead of recruiting new players. Recently, Lee Chung-yong, who is excellent at build-up, was transformed into a central midfielder and saw results.
Even during international matches, players were given freedom, such as holding barbecue parties, rather than putting pressure on them. In the end, they lost 0-1 against Gwangju FC in the first match of Final A on the 21st, but their performance improved significantly, and three days later, they succeeded in turning the atmosphere around by playing in the Asian Champions League group stage (3-1 win) against Johor (Malaysia).
In addition, ‘Hyundai’s rival’ Jeonbuk performed poorly throughout the season, and ‘East Coast rival’ Pohang also went undefeated (4 draws and 1 loss) in the last 5 games, so Ulsan had an early opportunity to win the game against Daegu. In the game on this day, the team struggled against the opponent’s five-back throughout the first half, but Kim Min-hyuk and Jang Si-young, who were substituted by coach Hong in the second half, scored consecutive shots to show off the team’s victory. Director Hong’s ability to become a managerial leader and his magical mercenary skills once again shined.
In addition, Joo Min-gyu, who returned to his home team after playing in Jeju, played his part as the leading scorer with 15 goals, and new faces also blended in easily with Hong Myung-bo, contributing greatly to the victory.
◇The front desk is also number one…
Ulsan’s dynasty-building is not only expressed through performance and results, breaking the limits of local clubs and entering the era of 300,000 spectators . The front office also entered the era of first place. Ulsan, which has almost monopolized the ‘Fan Friendly Club Award’ for three years through the success of its own documentary ‘Blue Wave’, which was produced by opening the players’ locker room, and the expansion of fans to the metropolitan area, drew 300,000 spectators (18,933) in the Daegu match. Entrance and cumulative number exceeded 300,406). It was the largest number of spectators in a season since the paid attendance was counted in 2018 and the largest number of spectators in the history of the club.
This season, Ulsan generated ticket revenue of about 200 million won per game based on the per-person ticket price, with an average attendance of close to 20,000. In addition, it received F&B business rights from the Facilities Management Corporation and is generating sales of over 60 million won per game. It is evaluated as a new history that overcomes the limitations of local K-League clubs. With its renowned performance and attractions, fans wearing Ulsan’s blue uniform flocked from all over the country, turning it into a ‘nationwide club.’
Coach Hong said, “The person responsible for the second consecutive loss is not me, but the player. And he is proud of the growing number of fans not only in the metropolitan area but also at Munsu Stadium. “It seems like a lot of energy is coming into this place,” he said with great emotion. Veteran Lee Cheong-yong, who won the league MVP last year, gave the credit to his teammates, saying, “Despite unexpected circumstances during the season, not only the senior players, but also the young players, coaches, and staff came together and were able to win two games in a row.”
Ulsan, which broke the limitations of local teams by opening the era of 300,000 spectators, envisions a higher dream.