When asked to describe 2019, coach Jung Jeong-yong, 50, said, “It was an unforgettable year where hard work has paid off offering new challenges.” Under his coaching, South Korea’s under 20 football team became the first men’s team from the country to finish runner-up at a FIFA tournament.
Lacking star players in the team except Lee Kang-in, 18, experts said they would not be able to make it to the the round of 16. Jung, who has exceeded every expectation, has garnered various awards including the Korea Sports Award for Best Leader and AFC Men’s Coach of the Year. He will also coach a professional football club for the first time next year. He was appointed by Seoul E-Land FC on November 28 after years of focusing on nurturing young talent.
Chung’s goal is to promote Seoul E-land to K League 1 within three years utilizing his so-called “uncle leadership” and to have a Seoul derby with FC Seoul. Seoul E-Land has never been promoted to K League 1 since its debut in K League 2 in 2015 and has been bottom of the league for two years in a row. “FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo laughed when I said my aim is to promote the team to the first division,” said Jung. “So I said we need to have a Seoul derby by promoting us to the first division, not by demoting FC Seoul.”
Jung promised he would dance if Team Korea won the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which he could not deliver. When asked if he was willing to dance if his FC becomes promoted, the coach said, “I can do more than dance for that.”
Yun-Cheol Jeong firstname.lastname@example.org