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2020 Season Preview: FC Anyang

FC Anyang begin their 2020 K League 2 campaign with a home opener verses Jeonnam Dragons. FC Anyang are a team changed after the successes of last season, but with a new team comes new surprises. Will FC Anyang be able to repeat their playoff position of last season? 

Last Season

15W-10D-11L, 3rd

What Happened?

FC Anyang had an incredible 2018/19 season, under the management of Kim Hyung-yeol. They finished at their all time highest position of third in the league. Anyang also broke their all time goal scoring record in a season with 63 goals scored. Also, their single game record with a 7-1 smashing of now promoted Gwangju FC. All of this culminated in a season of very entertaining football to watch, which came at the perfect time as the new stadium stands were built. The atmosphere at home was incredible and a joy for old fans and new fans a like.

Whilst they still finished quite far off teams like Gwangju and Busan, they did have a very successful season. They progressed further than they ever have before in the FA Cup, with an away victory of Jeonbuk being a personal highlight. Last season will always be remembered fondly by fans as the season that brought excitement and hope to a fan base that has never experienced such heights before under the FC Anyang name.

Notable Moves

It's no secret that FC Anyang have lost a lot of players from the successful, attacking centric team of last year. With the likes of Kim Sang-won, Cho Gyu-seong and Palacios all leaving the club for teams in the first division. With others like Alex, Kim Won-min and Ryu Eon-jae also leaving the club after their contracts expired.

However, despite the departure of valuable players, Anyang have recruited new talent reasonably well so far. With the likes of Nilson joining from Bucheon, Kwon Jin-yeong a great center back from promoted Busan and the unknown talent that is Khurshid Giyosov from the Uzbekistan league. Whilst some fans are worried the amount of players that have left will affect the performances this year, remember that all those players who have left, were originally brought in by manager Kim Hyung-yeol. So if he could bring in this talent once, he has the chance to do it again, especially with the amount of money from the sale of Cho Gyu-seong.

Key Player 

Lee Jeong-bin showing off his strength in a match against Ansan Greeners

Lee Jeong-bin, brought in permanently from Incheon United after his successful loan spell last year, is truly a special talent. He's got an abundance of flair, with an eye for a goal as well. He fits perfectly within the Anyang counter attacking style, and looks like he really enjoys having all the ambitions of the fans on his shoulders. Another huge benefit for Lee Jeong-bin is his ability to adapt to the players around him. Last season he was on the left side of a midfield pairing that was ever changing, yet he still maintained the same consistent performances that was a major influence for Anyang's successful season.

Young Player to Watch

Mang Sung-ung

The 22 year old commanding midfielder appeared 26 times for Anyang last season, he was also a part of the successful Korea U23 side which won the AFC U23 Championship. He is primarily used as a defensive midfielder at Anyang, but with the transfer of Nilson from Bucheon, expect his position to be changed to that of his international role. With the possibilities of an advanced role being likely, expectations are for the young midfielder to add goals and assists to his list of growing abilities.

It's clear that Mang Sung-ung could develop into one of the best midfielders in the K League 2, and with a whole season learning from Nilson and Lee Jeong-bin, he could start to prove all the plaudits correct. He's been rewarded with a new squad number (8) to reflect his now first team status, and I've got complete faith in him having an excellent season.

Biggest Question 

Can Anyang replace the star talent that they've lost? 

Anyang fans are very anxious to witness their new team in action, with at least seven of the average starting eleven players leaving the club. Anyang fans are desperate to know whether they've been replaced adequately. The arrival of Nilson has helped to relieve worries, but the departure of Kim Won-min, who was an original member of the first ever FC Anyang team, has left a bit of a whole within the fan base. Of course the Anyang fans will always be loyal and support the team, but if Anyang start the season poorly, questions might be asked as to why certain players were allowed to leave. Especially Palacios who was given a new contract very recently.

Reason to Watch 

There are lots of reasons to watch Anyang this coming season, but the most important reason is the fans. The fan base is growing in numbers year on year, and the family like atmosphere is still a core ethos of what makes FC Anyang so special. Whether you're at the Anyang stadium in the new stands with the confetti cannon, or at an away game being given free dumplings and beer. FC Anyang will always make the experience of a game day special.

This season might not have the attacking moments of last season, but it's bound to have moments of magic and a lot of surprises. No one can really predict how well this season will go, but I can guarantee they will be well supported and entertaining nonetheless.

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