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K League United Monthly Awards - April

Football Radar's Alex Lee is back with his Player, Young Player, and Manager of the Month for April after watching every match of the K1 season thus far. 


Player of the Month - Kim Jin-hyuk (Daegu FC)

April’s Player of the Month award was difficult to decide as there were various players with outstanding performances. After narrowing down the candidates, the award went to Daegu’s Kim Jin-hyuk. The 25-year-old (striker-turned-) defender-turned-striker came into the team for the prolific forward Edgar who was injured while having a stellar start to the season. Many Daegu fans were worried by their star striker being ruled out, but Kim filled his shoes superbly. In April, he collected four goals and one assist in just four appearances, ending up with the highest goals-assists total for the month in the league. His goals came against Incheon, Seongnam and Pohang, which secured points for Daegu to continue their excellent run. With Kim now joining the army, Sangju will be hoping that his scoring form does not get lost in military training.

Shortlist
Aleksandar Pešić (FC Seoul)
Júnior Negrão (Ulsan Hyundai FC)

Young Player of the Month - Takahiro Kunimoto (Gyeongnam FC)

On the contrary, deciding April’s Young Player of the Month was straightforward. Japanese midfielder Kunimoto has developed from being a special talent last year, to becoming the key player at Gyeongnam. Shifting between winger and central midfield, the roaming playmaker has been the heartbeat of the team who kept them alive through their rollercoaster season. Although Gyeongnam’s results were poor in April, Kunimoto’s performances were a joy to watch and it was clear that the team were relying on him more than they were on big-name players like Negueba and Jordan Mutch. Even at the age of 21, he is currently one of the best midfielders in the league.

Shortlist
Song Bum-keun (Jeonbuk Hyundai)
Cho Young-wook (FC Seoul)

Manager of the Month - José Morais (Jeonbuk Hyundai)

Despite having a slow start, José Morais’s Jeonbuk swiftly climbed to the top of the table with four consecutive wins. Their overall performance has not been top-tier as they still look vulnerable, but they have managed to score more goals than any other team in the league as Morais continues to utilise various attacking options in the squad. The manager also deserves credit for keeping the team together after their gloomy 3-3 draw against Gyeongnam where they surrendered a three-goal lead in the last ten minutes. Jeonbuk’s 97th-minute winner against FC Seoul showed their desire to win games which was missing earlier in the season. Morais’s challenge now will be to maintain this winning mentality for the long season ahead in the title race.

Shortlist
André (Daegu FC)
Nam Ki-il (Seongnam FC)

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