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Dejan Damjanović - A typical K League pre-season

 


First arriving on the Korean peninsula in 2007 to sign for Incheon United, Dejan Damjanović has endured many a pre-season regime in his time preparing for action at four K League clubs. Now heading to Hong Kong's Asian Champions League competitors Kitchee, we caught up with Dejan to get his thoughts on pre-seasons gone by. Patreon subscribers can watch the full interview by clicking the link at the bottom of this article.

K League United: How did you find pre-season training in South Korea? Did you notice any changes from 2007 to 2020?

Dejan Damjanović: I must say, pre-seasons are always really strong in Korea. You need to be physically ready and run a lot so pre-season generally was always tough. I must say if you want to play in Korea you need to change your mind and focus on yourself and your body because otherwise it’s impossible to follow the rhythm of K League football.

Dejan acknowledging the fans at FC Seoul in 2017

KLU: Do players normally look forward to pre-season?

Dejan: To be clear, nobody likes pre-season. In my case, I will be 40 this year and actually I was missing training this winter. I know it’s going to be hard but I know it’s 10-15 days of hard work, then recovery and then after that you can enjoy the whole season. I think all professional footballers feel the same way about pre-season. It’s hard but everyone wants to start training and after a couple of weeks it’s done. Once the ball comes out you’re going to be happy. 

Dejan with 'father figure' Choi Yong-soo in 2016

KLU: Which K League manager worked you the hardest?

Dejan: The toughest pre-season I can remember was under Şenol Güneş at FC Seoul in 2008. We ran a lot. I had a really good relationship with Choi Yong-soo. He knew that he will train his players hard for five days but then that if he gives a couple of days rest then nobody will complain on Monday. The players understood this too. It’s very important even in pre-season to control the squad in the best way.

K2 Champ KLU Patreon subscribers can watch Dejan's full video interview, where he discusses pre-season and more here. Alternatively, you can listen to the audio here.


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