Winning, re-signing… still not satisfied with the road works director, Kim Jong-min
He’s won, he’s renewed his contract. But Kim Jong-min, 48,메이저놀이터 is still looking to the top this season.
Kim Jong-min and his team won the championship last season, beating Heungkuk Sinsung 3 games to 2 in the final. It was the first time they won three games in a row after losing two. It was his second title since taking over the team in 2016.
But let’s be honest, this season is not going to be easy. Ju Po Park left as a free agent, and Jung Dae-young was also transferred. Foreign players have also been replaced. “As a coach, the goal is always the highest,” said Kim Jong-min, who is currently training at Torei Arena in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. “I want the players to show a lot of competitive spirit because I hate losing the most.”
Roadworks players give coach Kim Jong-min a hug after reaching the top of the league last season. Yonhap News1
The club still has faith in Kim. On March 22, he signed a three-year contract with the Korea Expressway Corporation. He didn’t disclose the specific amount of money, but it’s the best deal he’s ever received. If she completes her contract and leads the team until 2026, she will be the first woman to lead the team for 10 years. “It’s not that I feel good, but I’m thinking about how to build this team,” Kim said.
There are also concerns. “I lived in Gimcheon for a long time, and I thought about whether it was right, but I chose to re-sign because the club needs me, and I know the team and the players well,” Kim said. “There is talk of ‘the same old volleyball,’ but I think it’s a coach’s job to build a team that can win. I will continue to work on maximizing our team’s strengths and minimizing our weaknesses.”
It will be the first time in five years that the team has traveled to Japan. “The players always train in the same environment, so I thought it was essential for them to train in a different environment,” said Kim Jong-min. “I want them to see and feel the sophistication and skill of the Japanese players. You don’t get better just by repeating training, you have to feel and succeed, and I think ‘seeing’ is important for that.”
The Road Corporation has filled the void by recruiting new players. Outside hitter Ko Eui-jeong (23), middle blocker Choi Ga-eun (22), and setter Park Eun-ji (19) are among the younger players. Coach Kim said, “Go has only been with the team for a few days, so there will be some difficulties. Practice matches are important to minimize that and find her strengths,” Kim said. Regarding Park Eun-ji, Kim said, “She seems to have an introverted personality. She is a young player and an expected setter. I hope she talks more and stays cheerful.”
Regarding foreign player Vanya Vukiric, he said, “She exceeded my expectations. She is positive, quick to integrate and willing to learn. He hasn’t been in Korea for long, but he is very adaptable.” “He’s a young player and hasn’t played many professional matches, so I think training and practice matches are very important. There is still a little bit of overlap, but it’s a matter of settling down in the training process.”
“I think we’ve gotten a little younger, and we’re missing (Park) Jung-ah and (Jung) Dae-young, but I don’t think our team is that weak or that strong,” Kim said, adding, “In the end, it’s all about how the players do what I want them to do. There will be a tough training process. If I lower my goals, the players are weaker. As a coach, the goal is always the highest.”