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Daejeon Citizen: A Look Ahead to the 2016 Season

Daejeon endured a torrid time back in the K League Classic, finishing rock bottom and did so without putting up so much as a fight – certainly not a sustained one.

Despite a late rally Daejeon suffered another relegation. Photo credit: DCFC.co.kr

Their plight was hardly surprising, though - especially to the traveling ‘Daejeonistas’ who made the long journey to Busan on the opening day where alarm bells certainly started to ring.

Busan, who also find themselves in the K League Challenge following a poor season, looked like Real Madrid that spring day compared to Daejeon.

However, the coffin has been buried, post mortem done, and now it is all about the rebirth - a renaissance or a “reDAEssance”, you might say?
 Bad puns aside, Choi Moon Sik now have the unenviable task of stopping the rot at Daejeon and trying to make an instant return to the Classic, as his predecessor did two years ago.

However, the difference between the 2014 K League Challenge winning season and now is, primarily, about the manager.

Choi Moon Sik couldn’t really get any less popular with the fans at Purple Arena. 

His attempts at playing tika-taka football left the citizens of Daejeon bewildered with what their new manager was trying to achieve.

Coach Choi Moon Sik takes training. Photo credit: DCFC.co.kr

An alarming stat was that Daejeon’s pass completion rate was in the top 5 in the whole league, at over 70%.

But, despite having a 70% pass completion rate, Coach Choi couldn’t organise his defense and Daejeon persisted to make errors whilst trying to play their way out of danger.

Coach Choi’s predecessor, Mr Cho Jin Ho, was extremely popular with the players and fans alike.
And, although it is said that Coach Choi is under pressure from the fans, it could be suggested that he is actually quite popular players.

Although this is purely conjecture, the players seem to buy into his philosophy and were persistent with it right up until the bitter end.

Whether his methods will prove to be successful remains to be seen but what is a given is that a positive start to the new campaign is imperative for Coach Choi.

He doesn’t have the luxury of unwavering faith from the stands like his the man before him did.
Nor will he have Adriano, the man who all but win promotion for Daejeon two years ago.

But, he has been able to persuade one of Adriano’s fellow compatriots Wanderson to stick around.
As has seemingly been par for the course in recent years, Daejeon’s scouting policy seems to be somewhat scattergun and players are signed based on their passports – usually any from South America are deemed to be good enough.

Since 2013, the season Daejeon were relegated, Daejeon have had a good number of South Americans on their books, most of them forward players.

However, to be able to talk about how many of them actually made a positive impact wouldn’t take too long.

Wanderson, though, who arrived midway through last season, could be one of those players.

Wanderson returns for a second spell with Citizen. Photo credit: DCFC.co.kr

On arrival is billing was that he was a defender but due to his flair, skill, and downright attacking prowess, he was ushered up field and tasked with the feat of scoring the goals to keep Daejeon up.

In difficult circumstances Wanderson’s ability shone through and there is no doubt that his inclusion in Daejeon’s winter training camp in Tongyeong (full list below) will be seen as a huge boost for the club.

Another name that the Daejeonistas will be happy to see on the Tongyeong training camp list is Hwang In Beom. 

The exciting midfielder was ruled out for the majority of last season with a broken leg but is seemingly on schedule to be available for the start of the new season.

The youngster impressed last term in the short time that he was able to and, following a drop down in leagues, Daejeon’s youngest ever scorer could be given the platform he needs to develop his career quicker to the benefit of the club.

Towards the end of last season, experience midfielder Kim Byung-Suk returned to the club from Ansan Police following the completion of his military service.

The 30 year old will be key for Daejeon this season, particularly if he is deployed similarly to Jeong Seok-Min was during the 2014 season – someone to pull the strings in midfield.

The experience of Kim Byung Suk could be crucial. Photo credit: DCFC.co.kr

Kim Byung Suk shone in a poor Daejeon team three years ago and could well be a candidate to be club captain.

But, in closing, it's Daejeon's fans who need to be pulling the strings by getting behind their team.

Even if they don’t have much time for the man in the hot seat, any negativity from the stands is surely to negatively affect the players.

If the club are to make a positive start then positivity from the stands is needed.

Winter training camp squad:

Goalkeepers: Kim Ji Cheol, Park Ju Won, Lee Beom Soo

Defenders: Kim Dong Gon, Kim Tae Bong, Kim Hae Sik, Kim Hyeong Jin, Park Jae Woo, Byeon Jeong Seok, Jang Jun Young.

Midfielders: Kim Young Jae, Kang Yun Seong, Kim Byeong Suk, Kim Sun Min, Ko Min Hyuk, Lee Dong Soo, Yeom Gwang Bin, Cho Ye Chan, Hwang In Beom.

Forwards: Nam Yun Jae, Park Dae Hoon, Yu Seung Wan, Wanderson, Rim Jun Sik, Jin Dae Seong, Han Eui Gwon.

Daejeon's winter training came in Tongyeong. Photo Credit: DCFC.co.kr

Side note: Defender Alvaro Silva hasn’t been officially announced as being in the squad but has been training with Daejeon during their winter camp.

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