It’s 2023 and it’s the year of the rabbit for all Koreans but for a certain, rather small, section of the country it’s the year of deja vu as Seongnam FC fans find themselves staring into the K-League 2 abyss rather than the K-League 1 paradise of the last two years. Unlike like back in 2016 when Gangwon consigned the magpies to relegation, this time around the fans have swapped a level of realistic apathy for the downright shock and disbelief that accompanied the tears on both that cold “steeley” Pohang afternoon when they dropped into the playoffs and the jarringly freezing day when Gangwon relegated them.
And so it is that instead of trips to Incheon, Jeonju and Ulsan, the YF Boys must prepare for the less salubrious jaunts to Anyang, to Bucheon and wherever their proverbial jinx team of Seoul E-Land decide to play. It may not be as decadent as walking through the doors of Seoul World Cup Stadium, it may not be as symbolic as hoisting a chicken aloft in the away end at Bluewings and indeed it might not even fill the away bus home with as much pride as the unexpected win in Ulsan, but we will be there for every game, for every goal and every save.
There’s a raft of new faces and some incredibly old ones, there’s a new manager, some new foreigners and a new captain as Kim Min-hyeok finally got the move his form deserved. Shim Dong-woon is the man entrusted with the armband, himself being relatively new at the club having joined last summer. He was one of the few shining lights during the dark second half of the season and probably deserves the job of leading the team home.
2023 is the beginning of the journey home to K1, do you really want to miss it? Join myself and the rest of the Seongnam fans as we bid for promotion. It’s a journey that you really don’t want to miss.