I wanted to grow one step further by playing different soccer in a new environment. The first place that came to mind was Korea, the K-League stage. The place where Ahn Young-hak, a senior who played soccer together since childhood, played. A stage where Ahn Byung-jun played an active role as the best striker. Kim Dae-saeng (28), a third-generation Korean-Japanese, chose to go to Korea without any hesitation. In June of last year, Daesaeng Kim joined the Cheonan City Soccer Team, the predecessor of Cheonan City FC, which belonged to the K3 League at the time, and he set foot on the Korean soil he had hoped for.
Kim Dae-saeng, a Korean-Japanese who is regarded as a foreigner in Japan and viewed as a Japanese in Korea, has Korean nationality. Although he was born and raised in Japan, he has not let go of his Korean name given to him by his parents, and he believes that he has his dreams and future in Korea. “I wanted to come to Korea and play soccer. I decided to try the K League after watching Ahn Byung-jun win the top scorer and MVP in the K-League 2. When I thought I wanted to, the first place that came to my mind was Korea, the K-League.” That was the reason Kim Dae-saeng came to Cheonan.
Daesaeng Kim chose a challenge in Korea instead of a chance to gain attention in Japan. The former team, Japan’s Iwaki FC, started in the lower league and quickly promoted, winning the professional league J3 League last year after 10 years of establishment, and promoted to the J2 League this year. Considering the situation in Japan, where there are many lower leagues compared to Korea, it means that they have been promoted once every 1-2 years. As long as Kim Dae-saeng also contributed to the 2021 JFL (Japan Football League) victory and promotion to the J3 League, if he remained in Japan, he would have a chance to play in the J2 League as the main axis of the team. 메이저놀이터
However, he had a dream that ‘I will also become someone’s role model’. “My goal this season is to play in many games in Cheonan and show an active performance. I want to make great achievements here in Cheonan like the Korean-Japanese players showed in the K-League earlier. “I want to become a player,” was Kim Dae-saeng’s wish.
In order to turn his wish into a reality, Daesaeng Kim is laughing and enjoying the hard training in Chonburi, Thailand, where winter field training is underway. “Last year, I came to Korea in the middle of the season and had difficulties adapting to the Korean culture and team atmosphere. I want to show more of my strengths by working harder. I am having a lot of fun because I became close with my teammates.”
Kim Dae-saeng’s main position is flanker. Among them, he has to compete for the right flank defender position, which he has been in charge of for a long time since Japan. Kim Dae-saeng said, “I have played as a center striker as well as a side striker. Although I am right-footed, I can also defend on the left side.” I have to show my competitiveness. I am confident in my stamina.”
As Cheonan City FC participated in the second division of professional football (K League 2) for the first time this year, Kim Dae-saeng became the 16th Korean-Japanese player to challenge the K League. Starting with Park Gang-jo (Seongnam Ilhwa) in 2000 and Han Ho-gang (Jeonnam Dragons) last year, a total of 15 Korean-Japanese players wore the K-League team uniforms. Will Kim Dae-saeng be able to show successful performances in the K-League like his role models Ahn Young-hak and Ahn Byung-jun? Will he be able to realize his dream of becoming someone’s role model? This is another reason to keep an eye on Cheonan City FC’s new season.