Lee Go-eun (28, 170cm), who played an active role as the main setter of Pepper Savings Bank, returned to her parent team, Korea Expressway Corporation. It is a curious point in that he returned after one season after transferring to free agent (FA).
On the 26th, the Korea Expressway Corporation announced that “Lee Go-eun was nominated as a compensation player for Park Jung-ah (30)’s FA transfer.” He explained, “I received a list of protected players from Pepper Savings Bank and chose it after much consideration.”
Park Jung-ah is the main player who led the road construction championship championship in the 2022-2023 season. However, on the 17th, he signed an FA contract with Pepper Savings Bank for a total of 2.325 billion won over three years and left the road construction. Kim Yeon-kyung, the ‘Volleyball Empress’ who remained at Heungkuk Life Insurance, received the highest treatment of 775 million won, the upper limit of the women’s reward. From the perspective of the Korea Expressway Corporation, Park Jung-ah’s departure is bound to be fatal.
According to this transfer, Pepper Savings Bank has to pay compensation of 860 million won, which is 200% of the previous season’s annual salary of 430 million won for Park Jung-ah, who belongs to Group A (annual salary of 100 million won or more), and one compensation player to the Korea Expressway Corporation. did. The Korea Expressway Corporation was able to nominate one player other than the protected player set by Pepper Savings Bank, but this transfer was made because Pepper Savings Bank did not tie Lee Go-eun as a protected player.
Lee Go-eun, who obtained FA qualification after the 2021-2022 season, left the road construction with an annual salary of 330 million won and built a new nest at Pepper Savings Bank. He played as the main setter for Pepper Savings Bank all season, appearing in 33 games and finishing 4th in sets (10.057 per set).
Although Lee Go-eun left, there are not enough setters left at Pepper Savings Bank, with three setters: Bak-rang (20, 178 cm), Lee Hyun (22, 174 cm), and Gusol (22, 181 cm). However, it is questionable that they let Lee go-eun so easily even though they brought Lee Go-eun with the highest annual salary among female setters last year. Currently, the number one female setter’s annual salary is KGC Ginseng Corporation Yeom Hye-seon (3.2 billion won, 350 million won), who signed an FA contract this time.
There are a total of three setters in Korea Expressway Corporation, including Lee Yoon-jeong (26), who won the championship match this season, backup Ahn Ye-rim (22), and rookie Jeong So-yul (19). It is known that Pepper Savings Bank excluded Lee Go-eun from the list of protected players after deciding that the Korea Expressway Corporation did not need to reinforce the setter position. However, contrary to expectations, the Korea Expressway Corporation nominated Lee Go-eun as Park Jung-ah’s compensation player, and it seems that he was quite embarrassed. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
It is similar to the transfer case of setter Noh Jae-wook (31, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance), which was concluded in the men’s division in the 2018-2019 season. At the time, when Hyundai Capital recruited outside heater Jeon Kwang-in as a free agent, KEPCO designated Noh Jae-wook as a compensation player. Hyundai Capital also did not tie Noh Jae-wook, who was the main setter, as a protection player. However, Noh Jae-wook failed to take a seat at KEPCO and transferred to Woori Card that year, and in the 2020-2021 season, he moved his enemy to Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance through a trade.
Pepper Savings Bank spent a lot of money and brought in Park Jung-ah, the best outside hitter in Korea, but failed to capture the main setter Lee Go-eun. Park Park (78 sets), who played the most sets in the team after Lee Go-eun (122 sets) this season, is expected to lead the team next season. It would not be a big problem if Park Park-rang develops beyond expectations and leads the team, but for now, the fact that he lost his main setter can only seem fatal.
Founded in 2021, Pepper Savings Bank recently finished its second season. As it is the youngest club, it reduced the high wall of the professional and stayed at the bottom for two consecutive seasons. In this FA market, he opened his wallet widely, but showed a lack of experience, such as missing Lee Go-eun. It remains to be seen whether he can spend the next season well without the main setter.