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scouting

Transfer Profile: Park Won-jae



Along with the signings of Jung Jo-gook and Lim Dong-hyuk, Jeju United also brought in another defensive piece in Park Won-jae, who spent last season playing for Seongnam FC.  As a consequence, he played for Nam Ki-il, which could make him a good fit with the islanders going into the 2020 campaign.  KLU's Branko Belan takes a closer look at one of the newest additions to the squad.
(Image courtesy of Jeju United)

Park Won-jae is one of the newest additions to the Jeju United football club after spending the latter half of last season at Seongnam FC.  The 25 year old Pohang native began the year with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, but did not receive any opportunities to play under Jose Morais, and was sent out on loan to the Magpies in the summer, where Nam Ki-il got a lot more use out of him.

Looking For a Chance to Play


In fact, he was not even named in the squad while at Jeonbuk, but the move to Tancheon afforded him the opportunity to showcase his talent much more than the previous two seasons.  He played on a fairly regular basis, and Nam obviously saw enough from him to bring him along to the island where he could be in for even more playing time depending on who stays and who goes during the transfer window.

He is listed as a left back but was used primarily as a midfielder on the right side last season.  He is capable of playing both fullback positions as well.  There is a good inclination that Nam will use him in a similar role this season.  He scored one goal last season, in his second appearance for Seongnam just after joining the club, and it was the winner in a match where he played the full ninety minutes.  He is capable to play as shown by the fact that Nam was willing to use him and should put more faith in him this year as well.

Another sign that he will get most of his playing time in the midfield is that Jeju already has options at the fullback positions, namely Jung Woo-jae, who came over from Daegu FC last year, and spent part of the season recovering from ACL surgery before returning in early spring, only to get injured again at the end of May in a home loss to Incheon United which kept him out for another spell of time, but he was rarely used when he was healthy.  The former Sky Blue should see more game action this season, meaning that Park will likely be used further up the pitch.

A Relative Unknown

It's no secret that Jeonbuk has been the perennial powerhouse in Korean football for a number of years now, thanks in large part to what they managed to achieve under the stewardship of Choi Kang-hee before he decided to take his coaching career in a different direction and look for another challenge in China.

As such, players such as Park were often completely overlooked because competition for spots and playing time in the team were scarce at best with all the talent the club had at its disposal.

Playing in a more low-key environment last season gave him some time to develop his game and get some minutes into his legs at the same time, so his level of preparation for the new season should be elevated in comparison to recent years.

The fact that he is still fairly young is a bonus both for him and for Jeju.  He hasn't been worn down with extended minutes in the past two years and his familiarity with the manager is sure to be a plus as he looks to contend possibly for a starting eleven place depending on the composition of the squad when the regular season kicks off in March.

Good Things Ahead?


He is optimistic about the move to Jeju, as he sees it as a chance to get consistent playing time and develop his skills further.

"I thanked the manager because I had many more opportunities to play last season when I was at Seongnam.  I will continue to work in order to repay the faith he put in me [going back to last season]."

Nam is also aware that having some familiarity with the incoming players can have a positive impact on what Jeju wants to achieve this season.

"I have already had experience with Jung Jo-gook and Park Won-jae.  I think it will be much easier to achieve synergy among the players quickly because there is already some familiarity there," the manager concluded.


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