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The Matthew Jurman Interview

After arriving in Suwon over the winter transfer window it has been a tough start to his Asian adventure for Matthew Jurman. The Australian centre-back marked his debut for the team in a game against Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande, and soon followed that up with an appearance anchoring the defence against current ACL champions, Jeonbuk. Despite Suwon not yet registering a victory in domestic competition, Jurman has produced a number of assured and authoriative performances and appears to be settling well into his new life in Korea. 
(Photo courtesy of www.bluewings.kr)

Although he has a very busy training schedule, the Aussie was able to sit down with our regular Suwon columnist, Scott Whitelock, and answer a few questions.

SW: Hi Matt. Nice to meet you. Let's just jump right in here. How did the move to Suwon come about? Was there prolonged interest or was it a fast moving transfer?

MJ: There was interest for a little while and then just before January it all happened pretty quickly, it was a tough decision in terms of my team Sydney FC being undefeated and at the top but it was a good move to a big club for me and leaving the club while being first was difficult, but I really want to take my game to the next level here.

SW: Did you know much about Suwon or Korea before your move out here? And what has been the most surprising thing for you?

MJ: I know Suwon and have played here before in the champions league for Sydney FC. I always remembered them being a good team and having great fans!

SW: How has your move been and have you had chance to fully acclmimatise yet?

MJ: As it's the first time I've played overseas everything is new to me. But I'm adapting more and more every day. And have really enjoyed being a Suwon player so far!

SW: Have you taken in any of the local delicacies and places of interest yet?

MJ: Not really apart from Korean BBQ and seeing Kimchi every day I've started to quite like it now.

SW: Is there anything in particular that you are missing from back home?

MJ: Obviously missing all the important people in my life, my pets and the Sydney lifestyle but I'm enjoying Korea and finding new things to do here.

SW: How was pre-season? Was it any different to an ordinary pre-season in Australia?

MJ: Pre-season in Spain was my second coming straight from Australia where we did almost 3 months but it was different in terms of the amount of double sessions we did and had many games but the squads are bigger here so was rotated around.

SW: How would you describe yourself as a player?

MJ: I think I'm a passionate player I play every game to win and give my all for my club. I hate losing and drawing for that matter. Defensively I play my best when I'm aggressive. I win my headers and try to keep the ball as much as I can but also starting attacks for the team by playing forward balls.

SW: Has it been difficult integrating into the team? Has anybody in particular taken you under their wing? 

MJ: It was always going to be difficult playing in a non English country, but I'm adapting well and fitted in pretty well so far I think. All the boys have helped me at different times but also our translator helps out a lot to make sure if we need anything.

SW: Out of interest, how is the Kleague viewed back in Australia? We all know that China is where the big money action is but is the Kleague viewed that way too?

MJ: Kleague is looked at as a tough league, never easy playing against the Koreans in the Champions League I wouldn't say it's looked at in terms of money the same as China because you hear about their foreign players on massive money and humongous transfers.

SW: Did you know much about the league before you moved here and what in particular enticed you to sign for Suwon? 

MJ: Yes, I keep tabs on many leagues around the world and this was one I was interested in with so many Aussies playing here before and doing well. I had other teams try to sign me over the past few years but Suwon felt right for me and a massive club in Korea to take my game to the next level.

SW:  Recently, Suwon have preferred playing with 3 CBs. Is this a formation you've ever played in and how are you finding it thus far?

MJ: I've never played in a back 3 to be honest, but I must adapt to playing this way if the coach plans on us playing this formation. I'm getting used to it more with extra games under my belt.

SW: Have you been in touch with any of the other Australians playing in Korea? Particularly Bruce Dijite and Adrian Leijer who are already in the city playing for Suwon FC? What advice have they given you?

MJ: Yes, I've spoken to both of them during my time here and will hopefully get around to catching up with them. They are great guys and are doing well with Suwon FC. They have told me if I need anything to let them know.

SW: What can Suwon fans look forward to seeing from you this season?

MJ: I'll win my 1 v 1 battles and try and keep the ball to start some attacks. Hopefully I can score a few goals too. They will see passion and aggression.

SW: What are your aspirations with the club? Do you think this team has the potential to win silverware this season?

MJ: I do think we have a good team, once we start getting used to each other and getting confidence I think we'll be tough to beat. My aspirations are simple win the Kleague, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

SW: What is the most important thing you have learned since you have been with the club?

MJ: To work hard, adapt quick and most of all respect everyone especially everyone older then you.

SW: The Suwon supporters are renowned in Korea for their unique and raucous support. Is that something you're aware of and do you have any message you would like to give to the supporters?

MJ: I'm aware of the great support the Suwon fans give their team every game whether it's home or away. I will give my maximum to help this club get back where they belong fighting for the Kleague and Champions League trophies so please support me and the team through the good and bad times.

SW: And now some fun ones, Who is the most skillful player in the squad?

MJ: I'd probably say Yeom Ki-hun or the Brazilian boys.

SW: Who is the fittest player in the squad?

MJ: I would say Koh Seung-beom or Jang Ho-ik. Those two can run all day.

SW: Who is the joker of the pack?

MJ: No real single joker. All the lads are good and enjoy a laugh even if I don't know what the joke is sometimes.

SW: Which of the Korean lads speak the best English?

MJ: I would say Cho Won-hee, Lee Jung-soo or Koh Seung-beom are pretty good.

A special thank you to Matthew Jurman for taking the time to chat. To keep up with the Aussie throughout his first season in Korea, you can follow him on Twitter @mjurman5

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