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scouting

"Daejeon can win promotion this year:" Club legend Kim Eun-jung

Daejeon Hana Citizen legend Kim Eun-jung interview K League 2 playoffs
Daejeon Citizen legend Kim Eun-jung believes his former team can win promotion this year and believes current boss Lee Min-sung is the man to lead the team forward.

It is well and truly the business end of the things with just a handful of matches to go in the 2021 Hana 1Q K League 2 season. Daejeon Hana Citizen occupy one of the playoff places and do so with a comfortable cushion over the chasing pack. A second playoff campaign in as many years beckons for the Purples. 

Kim Eun-jung, who was on Daejeon's books for both the club's only two previous trophy triumphs - the 2001 FA Cup win and the 2014 K League Challenge title - believes that the Purples can return to the to flight this year. 

"There aren’t many matches left now but I think the team is doing well and I think there's a chance of getting promoted. I’ll support the team as best I can so that Daejeon can win promotion to K League 1 this year."

Daejeon's current boss Lee Min-sung is someone who Kim Eun-jung has worked with and been a teammate of in the past, including more recently in Kim's current coaching role with the Korea U23s. "Sharp", as he is known to the Daejeon faithful, believes that Lee can be the man to guide the Purples back to the promised land of K League 1.

"I have known Lee Min-sung since about 2005 when we were at FC Seoul together, so for about 16 years. He has always been like a brother to me. In terms of football, we have always been a good fit for each other so when I became a coach for the national team setup, he helped me and I learned a lot from him. 

"Of course, I was sorry that I was unable to join him at Daejeon but he's doing well and so that puts my mind at ease. There aren't many games left now but the team atmosphere is good and they can win promotion, I think. He'll always have my support and I think we will see Daejeon in K League 1 next year."

Kim Eun-jung (left) and Lee Min-sung (right) in 2018 while scouting at a Bucheon match
Kim Eun-jung went on to play for a number of clubs in between leaving Daejeon in 2003 and returning in 2014, including FC Seoul, Pohang Steelers, and Gangwon FC, but remains synonymous with the Purple Arena side. As is current Korean international midfielder Hwang In-beom, despite not playing for Daejeon since their 2018 playoff push. But Kim isn't sure who the next "Son of Daejeon" will be.

"At the moment, there isn't anyone who catches my eye. But if the young players at the club can work hard then I think there will be some good players in the future."

Kim Eun-jun became a legend of Daejeon Citizen by scoring the winning goal that sealed the club's first-ever piece of silverware, the 2001 Korean FA Cup. He will be speaking to K League United for an exclusive interview ahead of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Purples' cup success. Stay tuned...

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