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2019 Season Review: FC Anyang


FC Anyang finished their seventh season with their highest ever finish, a very respectable third place. This season saw the christening of the new home stands and an entertaining style of football that improved on the field and off the field performances. Anyang can look back on this season with very fond memories. Time to have a look back on what went right and what could be changed for next season. 

What Went Well


FC Anyang had a remarkable season, they finished third in the K League 2, unfortunately losing out in a very tightly contested one-nil loss to playoff experienced Busan I'Park. Despite the end to the season it can still be judged as being immensely successful. Filled with lots of great memories such as; the 7-1 win over title winners Gwangju, a 4-1 victory over previous title winners Asan Mugungwha and even a cup upset with a 1-0 victory over Jeonbuk Hyundai away from home.

This season truly captivated the fans. The start to the season was difficult with eleven away games in a row before the opening of the new stands. However, the first game of the season at home saw an incredible 11,098 people attend. Which carried on throughout the season as fans were drawn to Anyang's high scoring team. With the likes of Cho Kyu-sung, Palacios and Alex leading the team, Anyang set new goal-scoring records and provided hope throughout the season, that even if they didn't win they would put up an enjoyable fight.

What Didn't Go Well

This season was mainly successful, so it's quite difficult to identify the points that didn't quite go well. However, there were some issues defensively. For instance, within the first seven games of the season Anyang found themselves still without a clean sheet. This was patched up with the managers choice of Yang Dong-won as the first choice keeper and some defensive tweaks, although this didn't impact significantly, a bit of a faster start would have taken the pressure off the final few games.

Also, some issues with foreign signings this season as only two of Anyang's foreign players really played a role in the first-team squad, but I'll talk about this more in detail later on.

Young Player of the Year



This player could have easily had an argument for MVP of the team, but since he's only 21 years old, I can use this as a chance to discuss his remarkable season. Although Anyang used youth really well, no one comes close to Cho Kyu-sung's impact this year. The 21 year came out of nowhere to become one of the best strikers in the K League 2, he scored 14 league goals, which is only one goal shy of Anyang's record league goalscorer!

Cho Kyu-sung was so impressive this season it got him a call up to the South Korean U22 National team, and a lot of media attention and unfortunately for Anyang fans, other clubs attentions. His movement on and off the ball is sensational and his work rate was so good that he would often cover the most km's of any player in matches. I can honestly say, in my opinion, he is the best young player in the league. Which is supported by his inclusion in the best eleven of the season at the K League awards. Anyang affectionately call him 'The Sniper' and I truly hope he stays another season and proves not to be just a one-season wonder. 


Team MVP


There are a lot of players to mention who all played vital roles in this seasons performances. Kim Sang-won was incredible with his creative and forward-thinking style, Lee Jeong-bin who just completely revitalized Anyang when they really needed it with his passing ability. Yang Dong-won who really was sensational in goal, Cho Kyu-sung who I've already talked about, but also Alex, who scored 13 goals and got 5 assists and was a game-winner on many an occasion.

However, there is truly only one player who could be picked as MVP for Anyang. This man was the most hard-working, skillful, consistent, entertaining and most importantly he was very problematic for every team who faced us this year and that is Manuel Emilio Palacios Murillo. The Colombian was incredible in every sense of the word. He scored 10 goals and 6 assists, but the statistics don't do him justice. He would have over 20 secondary assists if that was tracked, and his movement and constant pressure just terrorized teams into making mistakes.

Palacios never underperformed, even if he was carrying an injury, which he often was, you would never have noticed with his work rate. I was lucky enough to watch him live many times this season and every time he picked up the ball, you truly believed a chance was possible, which doesn't happen with most players. Palacios was Anyang's MVP and I'm very proud he plays for Anyang.

Most Disappointing Player

The most disappointing player this season would undoubtedly be Mykola Kovtalyuk, the prolific target man from Ukraine, failed to really impress at Anyang. Whilst eleven appearances and three goals is in no means a bad return, the fact he left almost four months into his contract at Anyang proves the off-field difficulties he faced.

Kovtalyuk clearly has talent, in the games he did play his movement was quite good and he was unlucky with a few shots that rattled the crossbar or post. However, he did at times seem quite disconnected and quiet on the pitch, which I assume was down to his feelings of homesickness. The transfer has to go down as a massive mistake by the Anyang scouting team, but hopefully, they'll use this for the future and consider more the social aspects of a foreign player playing in South Korea.

Most Important Decision of the Off Season

There are quite a few important decisions this offseason for Anyang to make, as I alluded to Cho Kyu-sung, has got a lot of attention around him. It will be paramount that he is taken care of and made to feel comfortable at Anyang. While he still is under contract if a big club comes with a substantial offer. Anyang need to have the belief that promotion could be won next season with his continued performances. We need to keep 'The Sniper' at all costs.

Fortunately, the board have already resigned Palacios for next season, but Alex is still yet to be confirmed, he's only 30 years old and offering quite a lot to the team so if possible he should be kept.
The biggest decision for Anyang is whether they can purchase Lee Jeong-bin from Incheon, he would cost quite a lot of money, but he's proved himself capable and with prospects of promotion next season he could be tempted to leave his parent club. If we can't get him back on a loan or permanent deal then the front office need to utilise the two foreign import slots more efficiently this season and recruit someone to replace his creativity.


It's been a wonderful season for Anyang and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have wrote about this magical season, thank you to KLeagueUnited for allowing me to form a close connection with a great club and some lovely memories. - Paul 



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