Ulsan HD freshmen Hwang Seok-ho, Ko Seung-beom and Shim Sang-min have set their sights on winning a third consecutive K League 1 title and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL).
On July 7, Ulsan held a media camp press conference for the 2024 K League Winter Training Camp at Hotel Hyundai by Lahan in Ulsan to introduce the new players. Hwang Seok-ho, who has played with head coach Hong Myung-bo, league-leading midfielder Go Seung-beom, 카지노사이트 and Ulsan native Shim Sang-min were in attendance.
Hwang Seok-ho is one of Hong’s protégés. While at Daegu University, he earned a spot on Hong’s Olympic team after his performance at the 2011 Summer Universiade in Shenzhen. He then joined the London 2012 Olympic team, where he played full-time at center back and won a bronze medal. Although he has never played in the K League, he will bring a new energy to the defense based on his experience with Hong.
The top K League midfielder has spent eight seasons with Suwon Samsung, with the exception of a one-season loan spell to Daegu FC, and has established himself as a de facto one-club man. He was a key member of Suwon’s FA Cup triumph in 2019 and was named the tournament’s MVP, establishing himself as an undisputed ace. He was a regular starter in 32 league games last season, but was unable to prevent the club’s relegation to the second division, and this winter he took on a new challenge in an Ulsan jersey.
Born and raised in Ulsan, Shim played for east coast rivals Pohang Steelers until last season. After playing for Pohang since 2019, Shim joined the club to serve in the military, where he captained the club in the 2021 season, leading them to promotion to the K League 1. After returning to Pohang, he played 21 games last season, helping Pohang finish second in the league and win the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup, and will return to his hometown after 18 years in an Ulsan jersey this year.
“I am Hwang Seok-ho, a rookie player in the K League,” Hwang introduced at the press conference, “I will play as many games as possible without injury and give pleasure to the fans so that the Ulsan HD soccer team can win the third consecutive game after losing two in a row.”
“I didn’t talk to the coach about it, but I decided to move to Ulsan because I played in Japan for a long time and I wanted to show that I can play in the K League,” he said, adding, “I wanted to show the fans and my children that I can play in Korea.”
He isn’t too worried about the fact that he didn’t have enough defensive organization during the winter training camp. “Defensive organization is the most important thing,” Hwang said, “but we have a few games left. “I’ve been working with the younger players, and we talked a lot about how defense is not a solo effort, but an organizational effort, so we worked together to center and help the younger players. I think if we can keep it together in training, we’ll be fine until the game.”
“I only watched the first half, but I could see that the players were tired from the tight schedule. The atmosphere of the stadium was like home (in Jordan), so I think it was harder than Jordan in terms of physical condition.”
As for Hong’s style of coaching, he said there hasn’t been much of a change from his time with the age-group national team. Hwang said, “I was younger then, so I was less focused and the coach would yell at me a lot, but now I’m older and the players are more focused as the years go by. I’ve also learned things through many teams, so he doesn’t yell at me too much, just gives me advice,” he said.
“I’ve just joined Ulsan HD, and I’m excited to join a great team that has won two consecutive championships,” said Go Seung-beom. “I’m determined to prepare well and help them win a third consecutive championship, which is worthy of a team that has won two consecutive championships.”
“The biggest thing I’ve noticed since joining Ulsan is that the focus in training is definitely different. The quality of our play during training was also different. I thought this was the training of a winning team,” he reflected.
“As everyone knows, my strength is to be active and involved. I will play a lot to help Ulsan in any way I can, but I think it’s important to integrate well first.” “I want to be a player who is good at playing more efficiently because quality can be more important than playing a lot,” he said.
“I thought the atmosphere would be stiff because there were a lot of famous and well-known players, but surprisingly, they talked to me first and approached me,” he said, adding that he didn’t have much trouble adjusting to the team.
As for the Asian Cup results, he said, “I saw the results in the morning, so I don’t think I can evaluate anything. It must have been hard to prepare for the tournament, but I would like to say thank you for your hard work.”
“I’m Sim Sang-min, back home,” he introduced himself. “I’ve lost three league games in a row, and I want to win the ACL,” he said. I really want to win the title,” he said, vowing to fight for the top spot in Asia.
“When I played against Ulsan in Pohang, I struggled a lot as a defender because Ulsan is an aggressive team. Even though we are now teammates, everyone recognizes Won Sang’s speed, so it was hard,” he said, adding, “I feel like I’ve already adapted to the feeling of being back home. I’m comfortable with my brothers and there are a lot of players I was familiar with, so it was easy to adapt,” he said.
He said his family was also happy. “I’ve been traveling a lot since I was a kid, so my mom was very happy just to be here. My dad was very worried. He was worried that there would be a lot of competition since we were the No. 1 team. Since I came to the No. 1 team and since I came home, I have a strong sense of responsibility and want to do well,” he said, adding that he wants to succeed in Ulsan.