IBK Industrial Bank chose to accompany Kim Hee-jin, who has been on the team for 12 years, once again. The contract period is 1 year.

On the 20th, Industrial Bank of Korea announced in an official press release that it had signed a new contract with Kim Hee-jin, who had qualified as a free agent (FA), for an annual salary of 350 million won (annual salary of 150 million won, an option of 200 million won). 

Kim Hee-jin joined the new team IBK in the 2010-11 season and did not leave the team for about 12 years. This type of player is usually called a ‘one-club man’, or even a ‘franchise’. Kim Hee-jin participated in the adult national team at the time of his professional debut and wore the Taegeuk mark for more than 10 years.

The performance of Heejin Kim, who has been devoted for a long time, cannot be denied. Other teams, except for Hwang Yeon-joo (Hyundai E&C), have continued the genealogy of native Apogee Spikers. 

However, due to his knee injury, he was pushed from the start to the warm-up zone, and the 2022-23 season did not show any significant performance. 

In the 2021-22 season, Kim Hee-jin also struggled with her knee condition. Nevertheless, he scored 398 accumulated points in 29 appearances, ranking third among domestic players. He couldn’t perform as well as the Apogee Spiker, an outsider from other teams, but he played his role to the fullest. At the time, Kim Hee-jin’s annual salary was 600 million won (450 million won in annual salary, 150 million won in options).

However, due to a deteriorating knee condition this season, he had to leave midway through surgery, and Seo-Young Yuk filled the position. Director Kim Ho-cheol constantly mentioned Kim Hee-jin’s direction through interviews during the season. In the end, in February, the second half of the season, announcing surgery on the right knee meniscus, he entered rehabilitation training for about a year. 

During the free agency period, he often asked about Kim Hee-jin’s current situation, as he could not play in the mid-to-late half or even the end of the next season. The club has replied, “The player did not separately inform the situation about the other team’s offer.”

On the 20th, after Kim Hee-jin’s FA contract was signed, the reporters of this magazine asked the club “whether Hee-jin Kim, who is currently in rehabilitation, can compete in the Cobo Cup.” The club’s answer was, “It’s still in the very early stages of rehabilitation, so we don’t know anything.” It is also undecided about his return to the regular league.

His rehabilitation period, which was officially announced to the media, is one year. He is currently only two months old, and considering this period, it is natural that he will not be able to play in the cup competitions. The rehabilitation period has been drastically reduced, so even if it is calculated as half a year, in fact, it can only be revealed properly after the cup competition is over.

According to the club, there is a high probability that Apogee Spiker will be selected as a mercenary. The options left for Kim Hee-jin are middle blockers and apogee spiker backups. His position has not been decided, and we are not sure of even returning to the regular league let alone the non-season cup competition. In a word, it has become a ‘resource other than electricity’. 

Of course, the club, which is a business that needs to save money, presented Kim Hee-jin with a reduced annual salary in the beginning, and it was found that after coordinating ‘up and down’ with the player, an agreement was reached at 350 million won.

Of course, as a player who has been active as a star player for a long time and even won the franchise title, he would not have wanted to lower his ransom. However, in this process, the key is whether he agreed to what kind of firepower worth 350 million won can be added to the club during this season, when he was not actively involved.

Kim Hee-jin’s ‘knee pain’ has been maximized since 2020. He underwent surgery to remove bone fragments in his right knee and began long-term rehabilitation. It is difficult for athletes who have undergone major surgery and rehabilitation to return to their former abilities unless they undergo extreme self-management. 

If no clear solution is found in this process, the club will reassess the value of the player and then enter into salary negotiations. He can’t avoid a pay cut if he’s past his prime age, or if he’s out of shape due to surgery and can no longer play as a starter.

Hwang Yeon-joo, who is in the same position, is also in her mid-30s along with accumulated injuries, and is unable to show the same skills as before. From the 2019-20 season, he stayed as a mercenary backup in the warm-up zone. The ransom of the native Apogee, which received the highest annual salary, dropped to 100 million won in 2019. Nevertheless, Hwang Yeon-joo showed her veteran fighting spirit by making up for Yasmin’s injury departure this season.  

In addition, KEPCO Park Cheol-woo (middle blocker) also significantly lowered his ransom from 700 million won to 150 million won with this renewal. Aging and decline in skills cannot be avoided at the same time, so if an offer does not come in, there is no choice but to actively accept the value offered by the original team. Despite steady rehabilitation due to his injury, GS Caltex’s Kim Yu-ri, who decided that he could no longer play, announced his retirement.  메이저사이트

Kim Su-ji, who spent six years at IBK, transferred to Heungkuk Life Insurance for an annual salary of 310 million won, a lower amount. In addition, Hwang Min-kyung, who is highly likely to keep his place as a starter throughout the season, moved to IBK after receiving 450 million won and 100 million won more than Kim Hee-jin. 

Kim Hee-jin also lost an annual salary of almost half compared to the previous one, from 600 million won to 350 million won. Of this, 200 million won is an option. 

The option is a confidential matter of each club, and the official annual salary is 150 million won. In a situation where the player himself is unable to show his face in the game, and even if he does, it is difficult to run more than a backup, the key is what he actively appeals to the club. 

If knee rehabilitation and recovery are completely successful, good skills can be produced, and this is guaranteed, the story is different. It becomes a ‘cost-effective investment’ that has nothing to do with star quality and grades. However, in reality this is quite difficult. 

After successfully renewing the contract with Kim Hee-jin, the club mentioned rebuilding its reputation together. However, in a situation where the player’s return point, position, and performance are all uncertain, attention is paid to which option he had in mind, and in which direction he will come back and rebuild the ‘prestigious club dynasty’ together. 

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