Seoul recently appointed and announced Kim Ki-dong, who led the Pohang Steelers as the 15th head coach. Naturally, Kim’s future is another matter of interest.
After making his professional debut in 2003 in South Jeolla Province, he joined Seoul in 2007 and wore a dark red uniform until 2015, except for one season (2011) in which he played in China and Japan. In Seoul alone, he played 270 games (220 league games, 35 ACL games, 15 FA Cup games) and shared his team’s heyday, including two league wins (2010.2012) and one FA Cup victory (2015). In addition, after retiring from Daejeon in 2017, he returned to Seoul the following year to serve as a coach for the youth team Osan High School (U-18), and joined the first-team coaching staff from 2020.
After Ahn resigned in August to take responsibility for his poor performance, he took the helm as an acting coach. He led 11 matches in the league, recording four wins, four draws and three losses. As a result, Seoul remained in the Final B league for four consecutive years and failed to achieve its goal. However, critics say that it has partially proved the possibility of “manager Kim Jin-kyu” being successful.
In fact, not only many soccer players who have seen Kim for a long time, but also officials from the club’s secretariat agree that he has the ability to manage the team early on. This is because he is a character with “brother’s leadership” and “charisma,” which are rare these days, regardless of his career as a club and national team player. Even when he was a coach, Kim was well received for motivating players based on his communication without hesitation with players. It was also his own way of communicating that strikers, such as Ilyulchenko and Ji Dong-won, who were not used in the first half of the year, gained a chance to play in the second half under Kim.
His charisma that he has built since he was a player is also recognized by MZ agents who have strong personality. He does not spare a bitter remark to the right place when he thinks that he is not right as a professional. Even though he failed to join the Final B team at the end of the season, he decided to stay in the first division early on, and when there were concerns that he would lose motivation for the remaining games, he expressed his conviction, saying, “Does a professional need motivation? He is doing what he likes while earning a lot of money.”
Of course, his lack of experience at major competition spots was noticeable as the head of a big club. For this reason, he said “60 points” after finishing the season.
Nevertheless, many people are positive about Kim’s future as he has matured as a leader after receiving P-level licensing training in the second half of the year. Seoul also hopes to accompany Kim in appointing Kim Ki-dong as its new coach. Reportedly, Seoul is considering taking the helm of Osan High School as well as remaining in the main league team.