It was certainly not an unfounded choice. However, in professional sports where results are important, Hyundai E&C’s choice that failed to produce results ended up being the wrong choice.
In the 2nd leg of the Dodram 2022-2023 V-League Women’s Playoffs against Korea Expressway Corporation held at the Gimcheon Indoor Gymnasium on the 25th, they lost with a set score of 0-3 (23-25, 22-25, 17-25), Hyundai E&C’s this time The season ended with a final 3rd place report card. This is an unacceptable result for Hyundai E&C, which had 15 consecutive victories after the opening and showed off the majesty of the first round comparable to last season.
There was a choice that played a decisive role in enabling Hyundai E&C to reach this result. This is what pushed the lineup focused on the main players throughout the season. Of course, at the time of the decision, it was a well-founded choice. However, it is necessary to look back on the choice now in that it did not lead to a positive result in the end, and that the aftermath of the choice was directly or indirectly revealed in the second game of the playoffs. That way, you can prepare more constructively for the next season.
Director Kang Seong-hyung did not make any major changes to the starting list except for cases where there were external variables such as injuries or Corona 19. In a way, it was a natural choice. This is because he led the ‘Invincible Armada’ last season with Plan A, which he has been refining since taking over as manager, and continued his winning streak this season as well. It must have been the judgment that there was no need to lay hands on a team that was going well. Or, after quickly confirming the first place with good momentum, they may have decided that it is not too late to appoint candidates for the so-called ‘garbage game’ to be held and enter into physical strength arrangements.
However, this choice did not work well in the end. It may be a bit harsh on Coach Kang to attribute the fact that the number of injured players among the key players is the result of sticking to Plan A. However, it was definitely a problem that there was no player to use in a situation where a player was needed, especially in a situation where an outside heater was desperately needed.
The representative player who revealed the problem of this situation was Chung Si-young. Jeong Si-young made an impressive performance in the Suncheon Dodram Cup held ahead of the season, but coach Kang asked if it was possible to use outside heaters excluding Hwang Min-kyung, Go Ye-rim, and Jeong Ji-yoon ahead of the Heungkuk Life Insurance match in the first round, “Chung Si-young is also ready. There are also new players. However, if it goes that far, I think the team is already in a very difficult situation.” It was at the beginning of the season, so it was an understandable remark. It was a common sense decision not to appoint an unprepared candidate in a situation where the existing players are still holding up well.
Afterwards, coach Kang said in an interview after the 3rd round Pepper Savings Bank match in which Si-young Chung was replaced, “I haven’t been able to put in much in the meantime because of anxiety about receiving, but in the future, when I think I need the offensive power of Si-young Chung, I will try to use it boldly.” revealed plans for recruitment. For Hyundai E&C fans, it was a story full of expectations that Chung Si-young would finally be able to relieve the burden of existing outside heaters.
However, Chung Si-young only played 7 matches and 11 sets afterwards. There were only two sets from the start. The opportunity to start the season for the first time was not obtained until the 5th round of the Korea Expressway Corporation match, in which Hwang Min-kyung and Go Ye-rim were both injured. Since Yasmin Bedardt left due to a back injury, there were many moments where offense was needed, but coach Kang was hesitant to use it boldly.
And in an interview ahead of the second game of the playoffs that day, coach Kang asked about the possibility of Si-young Chung’s quick input, saying, “Of course it can be put in. However, if it goes all the way to Si-young Jeong’s input, it will be a very difficult situation.” It was almost the same as the story I had before the Heungkuk Life Insurance match in the first round. The problem is that, unlike that time, Hyundai E&C was desperately in need of an outside heater due to the injury of Go Ye-rim and the sluggishness of Jung Ji-yoon. In the end, on this day, even if Jung Ji-yoon’s receive was shaken and Go Ye-rim’s knee hurt, Hyundai E&C could not remove the two players. 메이저놀이터
Of course, there is also a part that is unreasonable to drive this to 100% of director Kang’s responsibility. Chung Si-young may not have been able to prove his potential and ability to compete in the end of the 6th round. However, even if it was not Chung Si-young, Hyundai E&C also had young outside heater resources such as Lee Hyun-ji and Seo Ga-eun. It was the same that these two players did not get a chance to play. He only played 10 sets in 7 matches. It is true that it is regrettable what it would have been like if even one of the three players had been actively given a chance and prepared as a player they could trust and use.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s ending of this season was too shabby for the finish of the first round, which once commanded the league. However, Hyundai E&C and coach Kang should not leave this experience as a scar. In order to digest long-term races, you should use them as good nourishment to realize how to prepare for and compete in the season. Coach Kang also revealed that he was aware of the problem in an interview after the game, saying, “I thought I should prepare better for the injury variable while playing a long season.”
Coach Kang’s ability to sharpen and polish Plan A and his ability to harmonize with the team has already been sufficiently verified over the course of two seasons. The same is true of the individual skills of Hyundai E&C players. Now, it has become more important how to make the costly tuition of failing to advance to the championship finals paid this season worth the next season.