‘Save the team in crisis’ ‘Captain’ Choi Young-jun, who returned after 7 months, “Let’s act more calmly”

A strong supporter has returned to Jeju United, which is in crisis. ‘Captain’ Choi Young-jun (31) broke the long gap of seven months and took the field. He returned at the end of the season and delivered a message to the team: “It is time to think more calmly and focus.”

Choi Young-jun, who left Jeonbuk Hyundai last year and joined Jeju, played an active role as the team’s key defensive midfielder. He boasted of his lively activity and defensive skills, to the point where he was called the ‘Eun Golo Kante (France) of the K League’. Ahead of this season, he even wore the captain’s armband. He has already played in the captaincy position at Gyeongnam FC, Pohang Steelers, and Jeonbuk, and was also recognized for his leadership in Jeju.

However, ‘captain’ Choi Young-jun disappeared after the opening game of the 2023 season. He collapsed due to an unexpected injury during the home game against Suwon FC. He collapsed on the ground due to a cruciate ligament injury. He suffered the worst injury in his career in the opening game.

Jeju suffered from difficulties from the start, as the plan at the beginning of the season went awry. In his first five matches, he had only 2 draws and 3 losses, and it was not until the 6th round that he sounded a victory. Continuing the momentum, they rose to 3rd place in the league at one point, and it looked like they would keep their promise from before the season that ‘Hyundai will break the two powers’. However, due to the slump that started in the summer and the decline in scoring ability, they gradually fell behind in the ranking competition. As of the end of the 30th round, the ranking is 9th (9 wins, 8 draws, 13 losses, 35 points). In order to advance to Final A, they were put in a position where they had to win all three remaining games and watch the results of competing teams.

When Jeju was in crisis, Youngjun Choi made his comeback after 7 months. He was substituted in the second half of the 30th round of Hana One Q K League 1 2023 against Incheon United held on the 16th and played for about 17 minutes. Although the team lost 1-2 due to Incheon Hernández’s fantastic goal, they found a small consolation in the return of their reliable captain.

Choi Young-jun, who completed his return match, said in a phone interview with this paper on the 19th, “It was a short time, but there were no major problems with his body. “He was better than I thought,” he said. Choi Young-jun, who has already started to return little by little since last July, added, “I have a little pain, but there is no problem with running.” 

Regarding the timing of his return, he said, “I recently told the coach, ‘I can play now.’ “The coach was also weighing the timing of his return,” he said. “The coach told me, ‘The most important thing is not to get hurt again,’ and I also told him that I wanted to play a role that was helpful to the team, so I was able to have a return match.” I looked back. 

This injury was the biggest injury in Choi Young-jun’s career. He also said, “I thought about taking a break and changing his playing style. I am a very cold-hearted and realistic person. There were concerns that the performance would not be as good as before. But when I came back, my habits didn’t change,” he said. “I’ll keep running and think about it.” “The most important thing is the stability of the team,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the period when Choi Young-jun was away, Jeju players often said, ‘We hope for the captain’s return.’ In particular, the same was true for Lee Chang-min and Ahn Hyeon-beom, who are also key Jeju players. However, the two players left the team due to enlistment and transfer, respectively. Choi Young-jun said, “Realistically speaking, the two players missing would have had a bigger impact than me,” but added, “However, new players joined in the summer. “Rather than making excuses for the players, it is right for the remaining players to do well,” he added.

He continued, “I am not a ‘game changer,’ but I will ultimately find something that will be helpful to the team.” To the players, “Now is the time to think more calmly and focus rather than encouraging them by saying, ‘It’ll be okay.’ “Whether it is Final A or Final B, the entire team must find a way to win,” he repeatedly emphasized.온라인바카라

Lastly, Choi Youngjun repeatedly expressed his gratitude to the fans who waited. He said, “I am so sorry for not being able to help you so far. “As I returned late, I will run more and do as much as I can to the end,” he promised.

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