“That dream (to return and play for Daejeon Hana Citizen) hasn’t changed.”
Daejeon Citizen was a club synonymous with incidents. Plagued by draughts and a dysfunctional front office, they had a tough time.
Surprisingly, they produced some of the biggest names in Korean football, including Lee Kwan-woo, Kim Eun-joong, and Choi Eun-sung. At the end of the citizen’s club, Hwang In-beom (Olympiacos) earned the title of “Son of Daejeon” and showed growth before leaving for Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada).
After a long period of time, Daejeon became a corporate club that was acquired by Hana Financial Group and recreated. Last year, the team won promotion from the K League 2 (second division) through the promotion playoffs.
The 16th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023, held at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on the 4th, was attended by the club’s owner, Hana Financial Group Chairman Ham Young-ju, and Daejeon Mayor Lee Jang-woo.스포츠토토
There were also many events. Actor Lee Do-hyun, who left an impression with his performance in the drama “The Glory,” appeared as the starter and hit the crossbar and kicked it back.
Hwang In-beom appeared in a good mood. He received a plaque of merit. Hwang In-beom also donated money to Daejeon City through the Hometown Love Donation Scheme.
When he met with the press during the game, he said, “This team is special to me. Even when I was in Russia and Greece, I watched their matches. When I look at the fans on the screen, I see many fans from my childhood,” he laughed.
Recalling his time at the Citizen Club, Hwang In-beom said, “It’s great to see people who had a hard time during the dark times cheering with so much energy and smiling.” He expressed his admiration for the fans’ unwavering love for Daejeon.
Hwang’s thoughts were echoed in the match. Just two minutes into the game, Massa shook the defence with a decisive shot. More than 1,000 Incheon away fans also picked up the momentum, creating a festive atmosphere despite the seriousness of the duel.
With Daejeon playing an aggressive game, Incheon looked for quick counter-attacks and it worked. All of their goals, including the penalty kick, came on the counter-attack.
In the past, Daejeon’s crowd culture would have been bad with harsh language, but as a corporate club, the atmosphere has changed 180 degrees. Even when they conceded, the applause continued. There were shouts for a goal, but no criticism of the performance. The last-minute boos were directed at Incheon and the referee, but they were part and parcel of the game.
After the 1-3 defeat, the players circled the pitch and everyone clapped and cheered them on. It was a mature and enthusiastic spectator culture in Daejeon that showed why Hwang In-beom said he would definitely come back to play for Daejeon when he finishes his European career.