“I learn a lot from (the late) Young-jun.”
Pohang Steelers forward Kang Hyun-je made his debut against Ulsan Hyundai in the 36th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Munsoo Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea, on Wednesday. He scored his debut goal in the 31st minute off a pass from Yoon Jae-woon. However, Pohang conceded three goals in the second half and lost 2-3.
Despite the loss, it was a memorable day for Kang Hyun-je. After the game, Kang Hyun-je said, “I was nervous because it was my debut, but my brothers told me a lot about it, and the second-stringers were all my age. I’m personally satisfied, even though the result was disappointing.” “Jae-woon put the goal at my feet. We need to buy food. I think I was a little lucky,” he reflected.
Kang Hyun-je, who said, “I heard (about the start) two days ago,” added, “Honestly, I didn’t think about it (starting) at all after (the late) Young-joon got injured. The coach called me aside and told me, so I was nervous from then on. I didn’t sleep well. I was excited and nervous,” he said. “Before the game, my brothers told me, ‘Don’t be nervous. The coach also said, ‘Don’t worry about making mistakes.’ After the game, everyone congratulated me and said they were sorry we didn’t win. The coach just said we did a good job, but I’d give us a 7 out of 10 because we scored, and I think we could have scored a couple more.” 보스토토 도메인
Kang also played as a frontline striker in college. On this day, he played as an attacking midfielder. The attacking midfield is where Go Young-joon, Kim Seung-dae, and Kim Jong-woo can play. Kang showed enough promise to be coached by Kim during the winter training camp, but opportunities have been few and far between. It’s a competitive position. “I’m more comfortable as an attacking midfielder than a striker,” he said, “but if the coach asks me to play, I have to do it.” “I’ve had injuries, and my form hasn’t been that good since I’ve been back. I thought to myself, ‘Let’s not be impatient,’ and ‘It’s my first year anyway,’ so I tried to continue to prepare well,” he said.
With Go Young-joon out, Kang Hyun-je could get more playing time. Pohang has two matches left in the league and the Asian Champions League (ACL) group stage. “Young-joon is a competitor, but he helped me adapt to the team. I’m learning a lot from him. Even today, he sent me a message saying, ‘Play hard and play with your head in the game.’ He’s a good competitor, but I’m still very far behind. I’m trying to catch up.”