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2019 Season Preview: Daegu FC

2019 Season Preview: Daegu FC K League 1
Daegu FC will be welcoming 2019 K League 1 football to a brand-new stadium, namely DGB Daegu Bank Park, following such a dramatic 2018 season which saw the Sky Blues lift the Korea FA Cup trophy for the first time in the their history. With less than two weeks away from the opener, Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung takes this opportunity to look ahead to the new campaign.

Last Season

W14 D16 L10 seventh place
FA Cup Champions

What Happened?

The Sky Blues had their worst start ever to a campaign, but finished off on high note when they ended up lifting Korea FA Cup trophy and finished seventh in the table. The first half of the campaign did not go according to plan, though. Due to abysmal performances, fitness issues, injuries, and poor discipline, Daegu ended up entering the summer break after bagging only one win from the first 14 rounds. However, they successfully bounced back with stunning performances with some savvy signings and intensive training. Just a few games after the break, Daegu escaped from the drop zone and never looked in danger of relegation.

In addition to the strong mid-table position in the league, Andre’s side made unheralded history in Korea FA Cup and secured a place in Asian Champions League for the next year by defeating Ulsan 5-1 on aggregate in a two-legged final. No one would have expected Daegu to lift the cup, but there was no better way to end the season than with silverware.

2018 Season Review: here

Notable Moves

Judging by their winter transfer business, the Sky Blues mainly focused on keeping their existing talent in addition to adding a few new signings who are underrated or not that well-known. When it comes to the defence, which was the biggest weakness last year, Daegu have brought in a few players with potential like Jeong Tae-wook from Jeju United and Go Tae-gyu from Yongin University. Both are still very young but have the potential to become solid defenders. Also, Song Gi-woong from Gimhae City and Kim June-yeop from Bucheon FC have joined to bolster their flanks after diligent wingback Jung Woo-jae left for Jeju United.

Up front, Daegu replaced Ze Roberto with Dário Júnior from Neftchi Baku in Azerbaijan Premier League. The replacement, former Seongnam FC player Júnior, looks very similar to Ze Roberto in terms of his way of playing, but is believed to give more dynamism and options to the team.

In goal, with Korea international Jo Hyeon-woo still remaining in the squad, former Gyeongnam goalkeeper Lee June-hee joined the Sky Blues to back up him as the second choice. Finally, in order to make up for the lack of experience on the continental competition, former Suwon coach Lee Byung-geun has joined Andre’s backroom staff.


Key Player

Cesinha


Every K League fan must be aware how important Cesinha is for Daegu at this stage after his extraordinary footprints in K League and FA Cup last year. It is the fourth season he has had in Korea since 2016 and he keeps making such phenomenal progress year by year. Ahead of this season, despite irresistible offers from anonymous Chinese clubs, he has signed a new contract with the Sky Blues.

Young Player to Watch

Kim Dae-won


The 1997 year-born player has now become a key asset in Andre’s side after breaking into the first team in last summer. Kim scored three goals and got five assists from 23 appearances in the league, not to mention his three decisive goals on the way to becoming FA Cup Champions. During preseason, he spent time with the Korea U22 team as well as with Daegu FC. Even though he was out of the team for nearly a month, he was named in the starting XI as soon as he returned from the international duties.

Biggest Question

Can Daegu get steady form of runs from the beginning?

For the last two years Daegu FC have been in K League 1, they have not had a fine start to their campaign and struggled a lot until the summer break. Fortunately, they somehow managed to improve their positions in the table with contrastingly brilliant performances, but if they were consistent, they could have finished even higher up and as ACL spot contenders. Particularly, with their existing talent remaining with squad ahead of this season, it will be interesting to see whether they can hit the ground running.

How will ACL football have impact on Daegu’s action in K League?

Daegu will have a busier schedule for the first three months of the season because of ACL participation in Group F with two-times Asian Champions Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN), Melbourne Victory (AUS), and Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN). Unfortunately, geographic inconvenience even makes the situation worse, resulting in Andre’s lads having a tough, long, and tedious journeys on the road. Therefore, ACL football certainly will add more pressure and will throw up potential obstacles that the Sky Blues will have to handle properly.

Reason to Watch

The 2019 season will be very meaningful to the club and its fans for a couple of reasons; AFC Champions League, and the new stadium which is officially named DGB Daegu Bank Park. After the end to the 2014 season, when the current club President Cho Gwang-rae was in charge, a reshuffle and one or two reforms started to occur.

At that time, no one would have expected ACL football to take place in a brand new stadium in the near future in response to Cho's bold statements, which claimed that he would make Daegu FC much stronger like giants Jeonbuk. However, under his regime, the club have made a lot of progress in such a narrow time frame and we have already witnessed that was right about ACL. Ahead of this season, he addressed that he would target to getting into top six in the league as well as advancing to the knockout stages in ACL. 



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