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‘Sick Finger’ Han Seok-hee “My goal is to play 30 games… I’ll give you a gift of good performance” 

 Han Seok-hee (27), who suffered from an injury, takes on the challenge to spread his wings again at Cheonan City FC.

Han Seok-hee, who dominated the college stage during Honam University, showed his potential by scoring 4 goals from his debut season in 2019. He played a big role at the end of the season in the following year, raising expectations for the future.

But a series of injuries got in the way. Han Seok-hee was on the operating table in 2021 due to a cruciate ligament injury, and could not play a single game. In 2022, the aftermath of his injury carried over. He sought a way out by renting Jeonnam, but again suffered an injury and only played 3 games.

In the end, Han Seok-hee left Suwon Samsung, which he had been fond of before this season. He is now dreaming of a new start wearing the Cheonan uniform that took his first steps on the K League 2 stage.

What is his physical condition now? On the morning of the 8th, Han Seok-hee, whom I met at Barev Hotel in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, said, “We are at the stage of running toward 100%.” He said, “During the first training, I slowly pulled it up. I took a lot of rest last year because I had a bruise on my bone in Jeonnam. I returned late. I focused on following the training program with as little pain as possible.” Yes. It’s not 100% yet, but it seems to have risen to about 80%. The team pays a lot of attention. I also did physical training with the coach personally.”

The mindset was different from before. Han Seok-hee said, “I paid more attention to this year’s winter training than before. The team was very considerate. The physical coach paid a lot of attention,” he said. It will come naturally,” he added.

Han Seok-hee, born in 1996, has reached the age where he can play the role of a middle leg in the team. As there are more young players in Cheonan, Han Suk-hee is also in a position to take care of his juniors. He said, “There are players who have been seniors in college and then become youngest again. They teach us what to do and what not to do, just the basics. Whether on or off the field, the roles of senior players and young players are definitely different.” explained.

He also said that he is learning a lot from veteran Kim Chang-soo, who joined as a playing coach. When the story of Kim Chang-soo came up, Han Seok-hee said, “(Yeom) Ki-hoon feels like watching hyung. It was a little difficult at first, but it’s not difficult now because he first talked to me well and joked around with me.” He is a senior with a lot to learn from, so I want to follow him.”

Director Park Nam-yeol, who held a press conference earlier, emphasized aggressive soccer and build-up. Unlike other teams that use a lot of counterattacks after the player’s defense, he declared that he would be aggressive from the beginning through forward pressure. If so, what kind of play did he order from Han Seok-hee?

He said, “(The coach) wants everyone to move together in the defense area. Also, in the attack area, he wants me to show my ability, so I’m trying to do what I’m good at.” Penetrate into the back space and score. I’m also thinking about shooting using instant speed.”

Next, Han Suk-hee said, “Certainly, the coach doesn’t like plays that involve a lot of dribbling. He doesn’t like plays that drag the ball in midfield.” He emphasizes team play first. Actually, I also dribble a lot, so it was a little difficult at first.”

Han Seok-hee experienced a little bit of the second division in Jeonnam last season. How did he feel about the second division? Han Seok-hee said, “It’s definitely more difficult than part 1. The tempo is much faster. It doesn’t measure. Unlike part 1, there is no search battle, and the pressure is fast as soon as it starts.” “I haven’t lost my confidence.

Cheonan calls Busan home in the opening game. When the story of Busan came up, he said, “I talked to (Lee) Han-do hyung and (Kim) Sang-joon on the phone yesterday. Both of them got along well when they were in Suwon. They told me it wouldn’t be easy.” There are a lot of players, so it would be nice to meet them. Also, there are many people from Suwon in Bucheon 스포츠토토. I think it would be fun to play with Bucheon.”

This season, Cheonan completely reorganized their squad. In addition to Han Seok-hee, Shin Won-ho, Kim Joo-hwan, Damir ‘from Suwon’, and Motta and Hodouf ‘from Brazil’ were newly acquired, and Chao-yeon and Kim Min-jun were also brought on loan. Kim Chang-soo, a former fullback of the national team, joined as a playing coach.

As there are many new students, there must have been many difficulties. Han Seok-hee said, “It was difficult to keep pace at first because everyone is new to each other,” but “Now, I have settled down to a certain extent. That’s why I’m looking forward to it more. I expect (Yoon) Yong-ho to assist a lot. He is a pass master. He smiled, saying, “I’m looking forward to it. He’s like Luka Modric because he’s good at kicking the ball.”

Also, Han Seok-hee said, “There are four players of my age in the team. Yong-ho from Suwon, (Lee) Gwang-jun, and Kim Hyun-joong from Pohang. I didn’t have any friends in Suwon, but it’s nice to have many friends.”

What is Han Suk-hee’s dream this season? When asked about his goal, he said, “The goal I want most is to play 30 games without injury. I have never played a full season as a pro. I want to play as many times as possible by managing it well. Next is the team ranking, and then personal attack points.” He said, “Even in Suwon, I always said that I would raise a few attack points before the season, but it didn’t work out. So this time, I won’t say anything, I’ll just think about it inside. I’ll do as many as I can.”

Lastly, Han Seok-hee left a greeting to the fans, saying that he would present a good performance. He said, “When I was in Suwon, the fans were looking forward to it, but there were many times when I couldn’t play because of the injury. The best gift that can be given is good performance. If you come to the stadium a lot, I want to show you a good image and communicate while scoring goals.”

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