Pohang Steelers’ run is fueled by ‘captain’ Kim Seung-dae’s dedication.
스포츠토토 Pohang has pulled ahead in the race for second place. It hasn’t lost ground, but is actually gaining ground on the third and fourth spots. After 27 games, Pohang has 49 points, which puts them well ahead of third-place Jeonbuk Hyundai (41 points) and fourth-place FC Seoul (39 points).
There are many reasons for Pohang’s run, but one of them is the dedication and contributions of Kim Seung-dae. Since returning to Pohang last season, Kim hasn’t really shown his true colors. He didn’t get much playing time after his stints with Jeonbuk Hyundai and Gangwon FC. However, coach Kim Ki-dong waited patiently for him. Kim used the right carrot and stick to bring him back to life.
And this season, Kim has definitely made a difference. At the beginning of the season, he didn’t get many opportunities to start. Nagging injuries also followed him, but after flanker Jung Jae-hee went down with an injury, he naturally got more playing time. With more playing time, Kim has gradually come into his own, and his fitness hasn’t been a problem either. He has three goals and seven assists in 26 games this season.
Kim Seung-dae (left). Courtesy | Korea Football Association
Kim is also on the verge of reaching a milestone. He’s on track to join the 50 (goals)-50 (assists) club, which he’s been working toward since winter training. Kim has 46 goals and 47 assists in his K League career. He hoped to reach 50 goals and 50 assists on the 50th anniversary of the club. At his current pace, he should be able to achieve it this season.
In addition to his numbers, Kim is one of the most active players on the team. Along with midfielder Oberdan, he’s always one of the most active players. He’s a striker, but he also plays a lot of defense. Especially recently, Kim’s signature “line breaking” has been revitalized. When he’s in the center of the second line instead of on the flanks, his sprinting frequency increases significantly.
Kim Seung-dae is the ‘captain’ of the team. A former Pohang Youth player, he has a great love for the team. With Shin Shin-ho (Incheon United) leaving the team and veteran Shin Kwang-hoon out for an extended period due to injury, his shoulders have become even heavier. Moreover, the internal assessment is that Kim is doing a good job of building a bridge between the coaching staff and the players. Coach Kim is also full of praise for Seung-dae. He said, “(Kim) Seung-dae is leading the players well, not only with his performance but also as a captain. I think the team is in a good position because he is doing so well.”