There was an ‘unexpected’ move in the K-League transfer market this winter. Veteran midfielder Shin Jin-ho (35) went to Incheon United. Last year, as captain of the Pohang Steelers, he scored 4 goals and 10 assists in 32 games, and was selected as the best 11 of the K-League 1 (Part 1).
Having had such a brilliant season, he made an unexpected choice when he seemed likely to remain in Pohang even after his contract expired. It was natural for director Kim Ki-dong to be surprised when he heard the news of the ‘captain leaving’ during the Vietnam training camp.
Shin Jin-ho, whom we met in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, where the Incheon team set up their second winter training camp, did not make excuses. He said, “I am humanly sorry to the director (Kim Ki-dong). I will meet you and tell you. (During the negotiation process) there was a difference of opinion, and it was decided after careful consideration.”
For what may be his last challenge as a player, Shin Jin-ho chose coach Cho Seong-hwan’s Incheon. The team itself, which develops every year and is about to challenge the first Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League먹튀검증 (ACL), was attractive, but also attracted emotionally. I ate rice with coach Kim Jae-seong in Pohang, and had a good relationship with coach Park Yong-ho as a coach-athlete at FC Seoul.
Lee Myung-joo (33), who was with the university and in Pohang, was also special. The two, who can connect just by looking into their eyes, are not just seniors and juniors. Shin Jin-ho said, “We know each other’s thoughts well and have already read them. No words needed. Of course, soccer is a team sport. ‘Together’ means a lot. We will continue to share ideas with good colleagues as well as ourselves to create synergy.”
Shin Jin-ho has already built a sufficiently successful career. He debuted as a professional in Pohang in 2011 and went through Seoul ~ Sangju Sangmu (currently Gimcheon / military service) ~ Ulsan Hyundai, played again in Pohang for two years, and then moved to Incheon. He also experienced winning the FA Cup (Pohang in 2012) and the ACL (Ulsan in 2020).
There is one thing I am definitely proud of in this process. It is the part that he fought fiercely every season and always challenged to bear the best results. He said, “A player’s destiny is good performance and results. He ran for better results than the given environment. He tried to get close to max. He treated soccer sincerely,” he said, promising, “As always, I will show and prove a more outstanding performance with my own character.”
Shin Jin-ho, who believes that his growth and development is not proportional to his age, revealed one clear will and goal even while wearing an Incheon uniform. A better tomorrow than yesterday, a better season than last year. The various award ceremonies he attended for the first time last year as an awardee rather than a candidate were a great motivation for him. Of course, he didn’t run for the prize, but it was an opportunity to confirm that his direction was not wrong and that he was receiving a lot of love. He said, “I was proud. His priority is to run without regret until he leaves. We need to fill more expectations and higher evaluation indicators. There is no time to be complacent,” he said with a broad smile.