Heungkuk Life Insurance rose to the throne of the regular league after overcoming the unprecedented situation of upper-level intervention in the game and the replacement of the manager. How did Kim Yeon-kyung, the team’s ace and mental supporter, overcome the ordeal and lift the trophy after 15 years?
Heungkuk Life Insurance won the set score 3-0 in the 6th round of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League Women’s Division IBK Industrial Bank held at Hwaseong Indoor Gymnasium on the 15th, and confirmed 1st place in the regular league regardless of the result of the remaining one game. .
Heungkuk Life Insurance won a direct ticket to the championship match in 4 seasons after the 2018-2019 season when Park Mi-hee was coach. Following the sluggish 6th place last season (10 wins, 23 losses), this season also, until the 4th round, it remained in 2nd place, pushed by Hyundai E&C, which was the ‘absolute first round’, but achieved a thrilling come-from-behind first place with Kim Yeon-kyung’s leadership and harmony of old and new. Kim Yeon-kyung, who had lived abroad for a long time, enjoyed the joy of winning first place in the regular league for the first time in 15 seasons since the 2007-2008 season.
Kim Yeon-kyung, who we met after the game, said, “It was a long season, but it feels so good to be able to finish with a regular league championship. There were many difficult moments, and whenever that happened, I was able to overcome the difficult times by sticking together well with the players. I want to say thank you.”
As Kim Yeon-kyung said, Heungkuk Life had many difficult moments this season. On January 2, when they were chasing the leading Hyundai Engineering & Construction, coach Kwon Soon-chan and general manager Kim Yeo-il faced the bad news of their sudden resignation, and Heungkuk Life Insurance club belatedly announced an official apology and admitted that the top line intervened in the game. In the case of coach Kwon, he said that he was resigning, but he was actually hardened and put down the baton as if he were kicked out. Afterwards, head coach Lee Young-soo left the team메이저놀이터 and coach Kim Dae-gyeong, born in 1987, took over as acting manager and had to deal with the crisis.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “First of all, I would like to thank director Kwon Soon-chan. Our team was in a good situation from the off-season to the beginning of the season. Thanks to the coach, there was such a good result,” he said. “It was more difficult than anyone else during the hardship, but (Kim) Hae-ran endured well, so the players were able to overcome it well without being shaken. I also tried to cheer up after seeing her older sister refer to her.”
Veteran libero Kim Hae-ran, who entered the interview room together, said, “It is true that I was shaken at the time. However, even if something like this happened, I had to do it anyway, so I tried to stay calm and not be shaken.” I am especially grateful to (Kim) Yeonkyung. It must have been very difficult, but he endured well and led the team,” he thanked Kim Yeon-kyung.
The biggest factor that Heungkuk Life Insurance was able to withstand in all kinds of storms was the so-called’Kim Yeon-kyung effect’. Coach Dae-Kyung Kim took over as acting coach and there was great concern about the decline in the rankings, but Yeon-Kyung Kim took the center and prevented the players from swaying. With the psychological care of colleagues as well as the 1st place in attack success rate and the 5th place in scoring, they played a big role in taking the top spot by beating the leader Hyundai E&C.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “Honestly, it would be a lie if I said I had no influence. Of course there is. I had a good influence on the team, and I am very happy with the good results. It’s not easy to produce good results even if you have a good influence. It was possible because all the players did it together,” he laughed awkwardly.
Heungkuk Life Insurance, who has risen to the throne of the regular league, will enter the championship match with the playoff winner on the 29th. If you preoccupy the 3-win heights, you can achieve the combined championship in 4 seasons after the 2018-2019 season.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “It is true that we have an advantage. There is still one game left in the regular season, but we have plenty of time. There is no need to prepare two teams here, you only need to prepare one team.” I hope the teams below will come up after the 3rd game,” he dreamed of becoming a unified champion.