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2021 K League in Interviews: August to September

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Well and truly into the summer months now with the players back from a mid-season, Olympics and ACL-forced break. In August and September, we spoke to Lars Veldwijk, Ryan Edwards, Park In-hyeok, Jonathan Moya and Gimcheon Sangmu manager Kim Tae-wan.


Lars Veldwijk

For what became an annual check-in with Lars Veldwijk, the South African international talks about how Suwon FC team has progressed since he made the switch from Jeonju Castle to Castle Park.

"I joined Suwon when they are in K2 [K League 2]. I was in a moment then struggling with a small injury. So yeah, I finished the season quite well. In K2 we got the promotion. That was the target of the club. So we made it and yeah, we had a little bit of a tough start in K League 1. But the last two to three months we find our way and we find the good combination and the right formation. Now we are a dangerous team in the K1."

Full Interview: here

Ryan Edwards

Arriving in K League in summer 2021 was Australian midfielder Ryan Edwards who joined Busan IPark from English League One outfit Burton Albion. Edwards talked about how the difference in tempo between Scotland, England and Korea.

"I'm happy with how the level is and the tempo and the intensity. I think it suits my style of play. I think, hopefully, the fans can see so far in my performances that I'm a high-intensity type of player and so it's been good. I don't feel like I've had a lot of adapting to do. Of course, I want to help the team more and make more contributions for us to get better results and for me to help the team if I can contribute more assists and goals then, of course, that is good, but I want to help the team as much as possible. So coming from Scotland and England, where the tempo and intensity are high, coming here is a good level of adaptation for me. I guess the most difficult thing, especially in my first game, was the weather. I experienced cold temperatures in England. So to get used to that humidity and heat was probably one of the most challenging things, rather than the intensity of the game."

Full Interview: here

Park In-hyeok

Daejeon Hana Citizen forward Park In-hyeok was named as the club's player of the month for July. He scored his sixth goal of the campaign in a win over FC Anyang and looked on course to set a new personal record but Park was modest in his self-assessment but talked about what he believes his strengths are.

"If I was to give myself a score then maybe 50? That’s because there have been a lot of goals that I should have scored which I didn’t. If in future I could fill that part in then I should be able to give myself another 50 points.

"Personally, I am confident in my ability to jump. To be able to head accurately, it's all about positioning and the point of impact on the head  - those are the most important things. In games, I am trying to focus and concentrate on the ball. To be able to get the timing right in set-piece situations, we have been reviewing mistakes in real-time during training and making a concerted effort to improve on certain things."

Full Interview: here


Jonathan Moya

FC Anyang came ever-so-close to winning promotion to K League 1. Even back in September, the Violets' Costa Rican international striker was confident of his team going all the way.

"I believe I achieved great things in Costa Rica. I was Apertura Champion in 2020 and that led me to play in other leagues and other countries, including Spain and Ukraine. I have always tried to develop the physical and mental sides of my game equally, and right now I’m mentally stronger to help Anyang achieve great things.

I’m very glad how things are going for me here overall and my goals too. I'm the top scorer of my team and second in the league. Of course, I want to score many goals, but the most important thing right now is to help my team win promotion. We are so close to getting promoted, and it would be a great thing in my career to play first division with Anyang and be the top scorer."

Full Interview: here

Kim Tae-wan

Kim Tae-wan did win promotion, however, guiding Gimcheon Sangmu to K League 1 by sealing the K League 2 title. The former Daejeon defender, speaking in September, reiterated that he and his team remained focused on the job at hand. However, he also spoke in detail about the challenges he faces as manager of the army team.

"For me as a manager, this has been a bit of an issue for a long time. But more than just not being able to sign players, not being able to bring in specific players for certain positions is more of a problem. For example, players aren't categorised by their position, just whether they are a defender and not full back or centre back for example, so sometimes players for positions we need aren't selected. It's the same for forward players too and having to use strikers as wingers. If it's not their natural position then the players need time to get used to it. I'm just grateful that the players understand and play well even if they're not in their natural positions."

Full Interview: here

[READ: 2021 K League in Interviews: June to July]

Matthew Binns, Paul Neat, Ryan Walters, Lee Dowon