Coming off a successful season in which his club lifted two major trophies in domestic football, Pohang Steelers’ head coach Hwang Sun-hong said Tuesday he’s braced for “a new challenge.”
In 2013, the Steelers captured the K League Classic championship and also won the FA Cup, becoming the first South Korean club to win those titles in the same year. They did so without the service of foreign players, and the historic season earned Hwang, a former star striker, his first K League Classic Coach of the Year honors.
With the team scheduled to depart for Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to open the training camp and move to Antalya, Turkey, a week later, Hwang said he was already concerned about his team for the new season.
Of its free agents, Pohang has only managed to re-sign the goalkeeper Shin Hwa-yong, while midfielders Hwang Jin-sung and forwards Park Sung-ho and Noh Byeong-jun remain unsigned.
Another player, defensive back Kim Hyung-il, is nearing a transfer to a Chinese club.
“At this rate, I don’t think we will have a better squad than last year,” the coach said. “I think this year will present a new challenge. We will have to get ready the best we can at the training camp.”
Hwang said while he feels the pressure to repeat last year’s success, he will try not to dwell on wins and losses. (Yonhap News)