Pohang Steelers have no worries about the ‘under 22 (U-22) card’ until this year. This is because there is a 22-year-old Koh Young-joon from Pohang Youth Seonggol.
He is a player on a different level from other teams’ U-22 cards. It is not a resource that is replaced after running for 15 minutes with ‘crying and eating mustard’ because of the U-22 compulsory participation regulations. During the 90 minutes, Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong trusted and used as a starting second striker. Coach Kim showed his faith, saying, “Youngjun doesn’t play because of the 22-year-old rule. He’s competitive enough even if it’s not the rule.” 안전놀이터
This is the season when the renewal of ‘career high’ is certain. He recorded 6 goals and 4 assists in 37 games in the 2022 season, but reported 4 goals in 8 games this season. In the match against Gwangju on the 8th (2-0 win), he scored the winning goal in the second half of the 0-0 match. In particular, on the 22nd, he scored a multi-goal in the season’s first ‘East Coast Derby (2-2 draw)’ against Ulsan Hyundai. Koh Young-Jun, who was bullying the opposing defender at the forefront of the day, received Shim Sang-Min’s elaborate pass in the 13th minute of the first half and calmly shook the net with a left-footed shot from the left side of the penalty box. In the ninth minute of the second half when the score was 1-0, he received a pass from Zeca and scored a goal with a powerful right-footed mid-range shot.
There is another leader who smiles at Ko Young-jun’s great success. It is coach Hwang Seon-hong who will lead the 2024 Paris Olympics and 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games national team. Since taking office in mid-September 2021, coach Hwang has been steadily selecting Koh Young-jun for the under-23 (U-23) national team since 2022. Ko Young-joon also stood out in a friendly competition held in Doha, Qatar during the A match in March.
In fact, there are not many players who can be properly called starting players in the U-23 national team, except for Young-Jun Ko, Young-Wook Cho (Sangmu Kim Cheon), Jae-Hyeon Ko (Daegu), Ho-Yeon Jung (Gwangju), and Sang-Min Lee (Seongnam). For this reason, the proportion of Go Young-jun in Hwang Seon-hong-ho is increasing. In particular, if Koh Young-joon receives a special exemption for military service after winning a gold medal in the Asian Games five months later, Pohang will be able to ease the burden of leaving the striker for military service.
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