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The drama of Lee Jung-taek’s rise from semi-professional to professional defender

Few people know it, but Lee Jung-taek’s season has been dramatic.

He’s been playing since Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do was in the semi-professional K3 League. By his own admission, up until last year, it was a natural progression for him to be in the K3. It was a career that “didn’t get much attention” from high school to college. He started playing soccer in Jeju Island and didn’t receive any offers from professional teams until he graduated from Sangji University. Just as Chungbuk Cheongju was preparing to go pro, he was injured. At the end of last year, he was informed that he would not be able to play with the team and was looking for another K3 League team.

But when a professional defender that Chungbuk Cheongju was trying to sign fell through, Lee was contacted to rejoin the team. Maybe he was lucky to become a professional player at all. He hadn’t expected to play professionally after the way his stay with the team went, and he didn’t stand out in winter training.

However, after being a candidate at the beginning of the season, Lee quickly took over the starting role. By round 27, he had started 19 games and made five substitute appearances. Currently, the Chungbuk Cheongju backline is centered around Lee Hansam, who has a lot of professional experience, and Lee Jung-taek and Lee Min-hyung, who came up from the semi-professional ranks. Lee’s quick feet are invaluable in the Chungbuk Cheongju backline. He can cover a lot of ground, and his ability to catch up to and disrupt opposing attackers is important in the K League 2 environment, where counterattacks are particularly common. He also has the passing ability to contribute in build-up situations.

He worked hard to improve his physical abilities, but more importantly, he developed a professional sense of purpose. He took the advice of Jang Hyuk-jin, who has a lot of professional experience (see part 2 of the interview), to get rid of his semi-professional mindset.

“Everyone has good and bad times. The player who makes fewer mistakes can play at his own pace. That was the mindset I needed to have to become a pro and establish myself. Mentally, it was the same thing. When you have a problem, if you get into your own head and overthink it, it’s hard to get out. It’s hard to get out of my head if I’m overthinking it. I followed that advice and my performance improved. Nowadays, even semi-pro players realize that they can do well in the pros if they change their mentality.”

Lee began to think like a professional, especially in Chungbuk Cheongju’s opening game, where he was not a starter, but drew the largest crowd to date, about 7,000 people. It was more than the club could handle. I realized that I had become a professional, and my desire to play grew. 바카라사이트

The experience of defending against top-notch opposition strikers also meant a lot to Lee. “In the K League, there are outstanding domestic strikers from teams like Gimcheon, not to mention the destructive power of foreign strikers. When I blocked them, I felt that I wasn’t technically good enough, but if I stepped up, my team didn’t lose in the end. I’m in the process of proving every game that I can handle the challenges and turn them into results. I knew it was possible.”

Beyond his own professional success, Cheongju, Chungbuk, is a thriving city.


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