Dads looking at their sons in the K League, “I wish I had done better”…Sons, “Until Dad approves”

The fourth round (round of 16) of the Hana OneQ FA Cup 2023 between Seongnam FC and Pohang Steelers at Tancheon Sports Complex on the 24th was highly anticipated from the moment the draw was made. This is because the two teams have several second-generation footballers who have shaped an era of Korean football.

Not only does Pohang have a coach-player relationship between Kim Ki-dong and his son Junho, but they also have the son of Seongnam coach Lee Ki-hyung, Ho-jae. Seongnam has Jae-won, the son of Indonesia’s national team coach Shin Tae-yong. All three are two per cent short of being categorised as the team’s aces, but they are the next generation of steadily growing, ‘more tomorrow’ resources.메이저사이트

In a one-game tournament where a loss means elimination, the benches of both teams were bold. Pohang took aim at each other by starting Lee Ho-jae and Kim Jun-ho, while Seongnam started Shin Jae-won. After 90 minutes, it was a mixed bag. Pohang ran out 3-0 winners, with Lee Ho-jae shining the brightest as he became the ‘unholy man’ with a multi-goal haul.

The atmosphere in the press room where the official post-match interviews were held was a little strange. Coach Kim offered consolation, saying, “It’s unfortunate (to lose) from the opponent’s point of view, but on the other hand, don’t you think it’s a good thing that you lost with your son’s goal?” Lee stuttered, saying, “I was happy for my son’s performance, but…” and then added, “The emotions will be complicated even if you win or lose.”

However, the ‘father-son battle’ that Lee was uncomfortable with is likely to become more common in the future. There are many sons of footballers in the K League these days. FC Seoul has Tae-seok, the son of Yongin Football Centre general manager Lee Eul-yong, and goalkeeper (GK) Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce), who is competing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023, is the son of Incheon United GK coach Kim Yi-seop.

Unsurprisingly, dad coaches are usually stingy with praise. They are more likely to notice flaws than good skills. As a child who walks the hard road together, they become more cold and strict. It was just before the ‘father-son derby’ that the coach sent his son an encouraging text.

Of course, the hearts of parents in this world are the same. In their hearts, they silently encourage and support. “My son must have been more bothered by his father’s presence and had to be watched a lot. Now that he’s in the pros, I don’t think he has to think about it anymore.” “Football is all about individual ability. I want him to be confident and do well.” “I couldn’t even say ‘take care’ to the coaches during my son’s school days. It was really uncomfortable,” he said, adding, “(Jun-ho) lacks a lot and needs to grow up, but if the second generation of footballers shows good results, it can give hope to others.”

On this day, Lee Ho-jae was as fiery as the MZ generation, scoring goals and expressing himself. “My mum would have supported him more. I want to do better and earn my dad’s recognition. I’m nervous about these games, but I feel more confident. When I saw my dad’s back after the match, I had mixed feelings. There are winners and there are losers. Even if Seongnam gets promoted and we meet again, I will score a goal and play a winning game,” he said encouragingly.

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