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2017 Season Preview: Daegu FC

After spending three years in the Challenge, Daegu FC will return to Classic with high confidence. They are sweating at training to survive keen competition, but will they survive at the end of this season? Will Mr.Cho's dream come true in the end?
(Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/withKLEAGUE)

Last Season

19W-13D-8L, 2nd place, Promoted to Classic

What Happened

Daegu began the 2016 season with high morale and confidence, grinding our teeth due to the last slip at the final hurdle in 2015. We kept our pace at 1st place until the last days of summer. During the summer, our performance was getting poor and manager Lee young-jin stepped down from his job as he felt too burdened. Nevertheless, a successor, a senior coach, Son Hyun-joon took over and picked up the pieces with a promotion ticket at the end of last season. 2017 will be his first full season as a manager.

Notable Moves

Eder (FW) out to Jeonbuk
With Paulo and Alex out of contracts, the exit of Eder was quite shocking not only to us, but also to Jeonbuk fans. His 16 goals from 76 appearances during the last 2 years at Daegu was not as impressive as Johnathan, but I would say he was decent enough to make our team better given his dual nationality. Daegu needs to fill his absence and are rumored to sign another Brazilian with an Asian passport soon.

Kim Sun-min (MF) from Daejeon
When his transfer was confirmed, Daegu fans were pleased with it. He is able to create more chances for us in the midfield area.  Unfortunately, he has been injured and the timing of when he could join training sessions is still uncertain. Until he is back on the pitch, we have to come up with another combination of midfielders.

Kim Kyung-joon (FW) from Yeongnam University
The former striker of Yeongnam University, Kim Kyung-joon joined Daegu FC this year. He is one of the most talented players in U-League and could be a dark horse. During the pre-season camp in Kunming, China, it was not surprising that he was a top scorer for us with 4 goals. This despite the fact that the more experienced forwards and Brazilians played together. Our expectation for him is a bit high and he could be given some time to play as a joker.


Honestly, supporters are not truly happy with the joining of Junior and Leo. Their performance in video clips (filmed during the friendly matches) doesn’t seem very good nor agile. Of course, our expectation of foreign players has been high since the huge success of Johnathan. Apart from him, foreigner's performances don't seem good enough to satisfy fans’ wishes. So what we genuinely need is to fit them into the squad and maximize their ability on the pitch.

Key Player

Cesinha (MF) : Last year, he did very well with 11 goals from 36 appearances. In addition, he sealed promotion to the Classic with an astonishing goal against Daejeon in the final round. Now he has become entirely a Daegu lad with a three year contract. Strangely, he is the only foreign player in the team who was dedicated to promotion and will experienced Classic. So now he has to take care of other friends and has to feel more burdened as an ace.

Cho Hyun-woo (GK) : No one could deny he was the best goal keeper in the Challenge last year. He joined us in 2013 and this will already be his 5th season at the professional level. The last two years must be unforgettable for him as he was called up for the Korean National Team and was selected the best goal keeper in two consecutive years in the K League Awards. Besides, he obviously contributed to Daegu’s promotion with only 35 goals conceded from 39 appearances. Unfortunately it is believed that he will be missing a few games this season due to an ankle injury suffered while playing against Henan Jianye.

Reason to Watch

It’s been three years since we played at the superior level. After the fall to Challenge the number of spectators decreased rapidly and it shamefully hit the lowest level at less than 1,000. Hopefully returning to Classic will bring more huge crowds to the stadium.

I think the ship of Mr. Cho has been sailing according to his plans so far with our football stadium renovations. As he said in his inaugural address, he always wants to make local people happier with higher level football, not just advertisements or sweet baits like huge prizes. We all clearly remember his big success in Gyeongnam FC and this makes us look at the bright side and look forward to seeing his brand of football.

Biggest Question

Can We Survive K League Classic?

To be explicit, our biggest aim of this season is survival. No one looks easy to beat. To make it worse, another promoted team, Gangwon, usually considered a high possibility of relegation, has massively collected great players to be competitive. However, we made a decision to make our team one. It would be very interesting to see how well this works out, comparing it to Gangwon’s strategy.

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