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scouting

Gyeongnam FC: Five Key Signings

Gyeongnam FC go into the 2020 campaign with great optimism after adding to their very strong squad in the winter with some key acquisitions moving south.  Gyeongnam columnist James Edrupt picks out five key signings the Reds have made that he believes will make the difference in their promotion push back into K League 1.

Nick Ansell 

Center-back, 26 years old, 185cm/81kgs.




Cultured Australian defender Nick Ansell moved to Gyeongnam from fellow K League 2 opposition Jeonnam Dragons' where he made fifteen appearances last campaign.  He endured a frustrating time last season as injuries (broken rib/calf) hampered his progression in his first venture into Korean professional football.   When he did start for Jeonnam he looked very calm on the ball and the timing of his challenges was impeccable.  Predominately a center-back who can also fill in on the right-hand side of defense if needed, he will need to hit the ground running as the Reds conceded 61 goals last season.  He will be hoping to drum up a good partnership with towering center-back Lee Kwang-seon to plug the leaky defense of last campaign.

Hwang Il-su 


Winger, 32 years old, 173cm/71kgs.



Experienced pacey winger Hwang Il-su will provide a great outlet for the Reds' in wide areas this season.  Signed from neighbors Ulsan Hyundai, he was a real coup for the club pipping a few other K League sides to his signature.  Nick-named the "Duracell battery" by Ulsan columnist Daniel Croydon due to his durability and energy.  A player who is never afraid to run at his defender and beat his man, he will get chalk on his boots and he will be a nightmare for any opposition full-back marking him.  He will be a huge voice in the dressing room as well as his experience at this level will be invaluable to the younger players in the squad.  If he can drum up a good relationship with striker Uroš Đerić, then Hwang can see his assist numbers easily reach double digits.

Baek Sung-dong  


Attacking Midfielder, 28 years old, 171cm/67kgs.

(Image via Gyeongnam FC's Facebook Page)

Diminutive play-maker Baek Sung-dong arrived from K League 2 side Suwon FC where he played all but one game for the Gyeonggi-do outfit last season.  He was a rare bright spark for them in a disappointing season.  The team, in general, were inconsistent all campaign and they finished in eighth, eight points behind Bucheon 1995 in the final play-off position.  A player who is always very busy in the middle of the park, he has the capability of scoring from range and has a knack of finding a killer pass in tight situations in and around the penalty box.  At a great age at 28, where players are just coming into their prime, in pre-season for Gyeongnam, he has been performing outstandingly well, reaping praise from everyone involved with the club.  He has the capabilities to be one of the league's most exciting players to watch and he will be in with a shout of winning the K League 2 MVP award.

Jang Hyeok-jin. 


Central Midfielder, 30 years old 178cm/71kgs.


(Image via Gyeongnam FC's Facebook Page)

One of Gyeongnam's first purchases in the winter was Jang Hyuk-jin, signed from Ansan Greeners.  A player whose stats last year spoke for itself.  In an improving Greeners side for most of the campaign, he managed 5 goals and 12 assists and was the main focal point in everything good that they did in an attacking sense.  With energetic players around him in the Gyeongnam side, he should have numerous runners ahead of the play-maker to make things tick for the Reds this season.  He has been having a great pre-season and has been in the thick of the action in the majority of the games he has featured in.  Everyone at the club is expecting big things from Jang this campaign.

Negueba  

Right/Left Winger, 27 years old, 173cm/63kgs.


The Brazilian returns to the Reds after his season last year ended prematurely after only two months when he suffered a ruptured ACL to put an end to his campaign in late April.  He returned to Brazil to recover and signed again with the club midway through the winter break to bolster Gyeongnam's midfield. A skillful winger who can play on either flank and a player who really gives 100 percent every game, he would run through a brick wall for his team-mates.  He is a real fan favorite, who loves a "wow" moment for the home faithful.  He came back to the club in late December not fully recovered from the injury.  So he continued his rehabilitation on Korean shores and should be available for selection when the season finally gets under away.

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