Gangwon FC striker Kim Dae-won is heading to Gimcheon Sangmu for military service at the end of this season, but he is determined to leave the club with good memories, saying, “I have a great desire to leave the fans with good memories.”
Kim Dae-won opened the scoring in the first 20 minutes of Gangwon’s 1-1 draw with Daejeon Hanatis in the 32nd round of the Hana One Q K League 2023 at Gangneung Sports Complex on March 1.
Kim Dae-won, who played as a left-sided midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation, won a ball contest with Joo Se-jong near the right side of the penalty arc circle in the first 20 minutes of the match, with Gangwon trailing 0-1, to gain possession. He didn’t hesitate to take a bold mid-range shot as he found himself in shooting space.
The ball left Kim Dae-won’s feet and went straight into the left corner of the goal. Goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun, who has recently been recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in K League 1 for his dazzling saves, stretched his hands as hard as he could, but it was too much for him. In doing so, he earned his third consecutive attacking point.
Kim Dae-won continued to be active on the flanks and energized the attack, especially on this day, when he ran a game based on quick counterattacks, where he would look for openings on the flanks and when the pass was connected, he would quickly break into the Daejeon defense to create threatening chances. However, he was unable to capitalize on the extra attacking point and was substituted late in the game.
In fact, Kim Dae-won was one of the standout performers in the K League 1 up until last season. In fact, he was the only player to join the “10 (goals)-10 (assists) club” with 12 goals and 13 assists, which earned him the Best Eleven Midfielder award. He was also nominated for Most Valuable Player (MVP).
This season, however, Kim Dae-won fell into a severe slump. In addition to his inability to make an impact in the face of intense opposition pressure, he hasn’t been able to build on the “breakout”캡틴토토 season that saw him finish sixth last season. In fact, he was silent for four consecutive games after the start of the K League One season, and it wasn’t until the fifth round against Suwon Samsung (1-1 draw) that he recorded his first offensive point with an assist. He remained silent after that until he scored his first goal in the 16th round against Jeju United (2-2 draw).
However, since Yoon Jung-hwan’s midseason appointment in mid-June, Kim has regained his sharpness. With more time to focus on attacking from the flanks and fewer defenses to contend with due to the addition of skilled foreign strikers, he has created several threatening moments with his speed and individual skills that allow him to easily beat a defender or two.
“I honestly don’t know what has changed much, but personally, I don’t want to be relegated anyway, and I think that’s what drives me to go one step further on the pitch,” Kim Dae-won said, explaining how he was able to regain his old form.
“In the summer, we had a lot of foreign players on the offensive side of the ball, and I thought they all had the ability, so if we can play together and have good chemistry, we can get good results. As time went by, the foreign players naturally merged into the team, and it seems to be a positive aspect of our recent play,” he added.
Kim Dae-won, who has played 100 K League 1 games for Gangwon, was accepted into the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps in June. He will join Gimcheon Sangmu for military service in December. Given the length of his contract, this will likely be his last season in a Gangwon jersey, which makes him even more determined to keep the club, which is currently in the relegation zone, afloat.
“I don’t even remember when I played 100 games for Gangwon, so I feel like it came out of nowhere. “I feel quite honored,” he said. “Recently, I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘When a player leaves, it’s over, but the club and fans stay.’ Ever since my enlistment was confirmed, I’ve been playing with that in mind. I want to leave the fans of Gangwon with good memories as much as possible,” he said, promising the fans to stay.