The fourth round (Round of 16) of the Hana OneQ FA Cup 2023 between Seongnam FC and Pohang Steelers at Tancheon Sports Complex on April 24 was highly anticipated from the moment it was drawn. This was due to the presence of a number of second-generation footballers on both teams who have shaped an era of Korean soccer.
Not only does Pohang have a coach-player relationship between Kim Ki-dong and his son, Junho, but they also have Seongnam coach Lee Ki-hyung’s son, Ho-jae. Seongnam has Jae-won, the son of Indonesia national team coach Shin Tae-yong. All three are two points shy of being labeled as the team’s aces, but they are the next generation of steadily growing, “more tomorrow” resources.
In a one-game tournament where a loss means elimination, the benches of both teams were bold. Pohang started Lee Ho-jae and Kim Jun-ho, while Seongnam started Shin Jae-won and took aim at each other. After 90 minutes, it was a mixed bag. Pohang won 3-0, with Lee Ho-jae shining the brightest as he became an “illegitimate son” with his multi-goal performance.
The atmosphere in the press room where the official post-match interviews were held was a little strange. Coach Kim consoled Lee by saying, “It’s unfortunate (to lose) from the opponent’s point of view, but on the other hand, don’t you think you’re lucky because you lost with your son’s goal?” Lee stuttered, “I was happy for my son’s performance, but…” and then said, “Whether you win or lose, your emotions will be complex.”
However, the ‘father-son match’ that Lee was uncomfortable with is likely to become more common in the future. There are many sons of soccer players in the K League these days. FC Seoul has Tae-seok, the son of Yongin Football Center general manager Lee Eul-yong, and goalkeeper (GK) Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce), who is competing in the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, is the son of Incheon United GK coach Kim Yi-seop.
Unsurprisingly, dad coaches are usually stingy with praise. They are more likely to recognize flaws than good skills. As a child who walks the hard road together, they become more cold and strict. It was just before the ‘father-son derby’ that the coach sent his son an encouraging text.안전놀이터
Of course, parents all over the world feel the same way. In their hearts, they silently encourage and support. He said, “My son must have been bothered more (by his father’s presence) and had to be watched a lot. Now that he’s in the pros, I don’t think he has to think about it anymore.” “Soccer is all about individual ability. I want him to be confident and do well.” “During my son’s school years, I couldn’t even say ‘take care’ to the coaches. It was really uncomfortable,” he said, adding, “(Jun-ho) lacks a lot and needs to grow more, but if the current soccer 2s show good results, it can give hope to others.”
On that day, Lee Ho-jae was as fiery as the MZ generation, scoring goals and expressing himself. “My mom would have supported him more. I want to do better and earn my dad’s recognition. I’m nervous about these games, but I feel more confident. When I saw my dad’s back after the match, I had mixed feelings. If there are winners, there are also losers. Even if Seongnam gets promoted and we meet again, I will score a goal and play a winning game,” he said encouragingly.