Kim Joo-chan said, “Thank you and sorry for the fans… I have no regrets about this love.”

Kim Joo-chan, a promising midfielder who played for Suwon Samsung this season, shared his mixed feelings about relegation.

The Hana OneQ K League 2023 Grand Award Ceremony was held at Lotte Hotel World in Songpa-gu, Seoul on Thursday. Nominees for the Best Coach, Most Valuable Player (MVP), Young Player, and Best 11 categories were presented at the ceremony.레모나토토

Kim Joo-chan was in attendance as a nominee for the K League 1 Young Player. The striker has been a ray of light for Suwon, who have struggled this season, scoring five goals in the league alone (six in all competitions) to lead the team to a last-place finish. Even though Suwon was relegated, the 2004-born prospect performing the ‘My Love Suwon’ ceremony was a great consolation for Suwon fans.

Kim expressed his apologies and gratitude to the fans who gave him so much love. “The first thing I want to say to the fans is thank you and apologize,” he said at a press conference with players and managers before the awards ceremony. “I’m really grateful because they supported us every time, even when the team was in a bad situation, and they kept saying, ‘There is no regret in this love,’ even in difficult times. With that strength, our players played well, but I’m really sorry that we couldn’t produce good results compared to your support,” he said.

Kim remained motionless on the pitch for a long time after the team’s draw with Gangwon FC on Feb. 2, which confirmed their relegation. The experience of seeing your team relegated in your debut season is hard to bear, especially for a young player.

“I think I hit a bruise because I was thinking, ‘Why am I here?’ I think I was just avoiding reality. I didn’t want to accept it,” he said, revealing that he wanted to deny the reality of his demotion.

After the relegation, Kim said he received a lot of support from people around him, but he also received some bad messages from fans of other teams. “I received a lot of texts mixed with consolation, but I also received a lot of bad messages from other teams,” Kim said, adding that he was able to learn a lot and grow to the next level.

In his debut season, Kim made 25 appearances in the league and was praised for his dribbling runs, even against first-team defenders. While he didn’t win the award, the fact that he was nominated for Young Player of the Year on a relegated team is a testament to the quality of his play this season.

“I wanted to do what I wanted to do regardless of whether I was good or bad, and I knew what to do when I had the ball and what to do when I didn’t have the ball, so I did what I wanted to do and the results were good,” Kim explained.

“I think attitude is the most important thing in training, so I tried to bring the training attitude that the coach wanted. Lee Byung-geun, Kim Byung-soo, and Yeom Ki-hoon all wanted a very active training attitude, and even if it was difficult, I overcame myself and practiced every day. I think that’s why I was able to play more games and get results.”

Throughout the interview, Kim repeatedly expressed his positive attitude and gratitude for what he has accomplished in his first year as a professional. This was especially true for Kim, who was a fan in the stands cheering on Suwon just a few years ago.

When asked about the change of venue from the stands to the stadium and how it felt to be booed and jeered by fans, Kim said, “As everyone knows, it was very painful. I thought I would just be happy when I entered the pro ranks, but I had to deal with a lot of real-life problems, so my heart hurt the most. Still, I think we caused the boos from the fans, so I’m sorry as a member of the team.”

Despite the harsh year for the young player, Kim revealed that his love for Suwon hasn’t changed. When asked cautiously if he had any regrets about this love, he said, “No regrets,” and added, “I received a lot of grateful support, so I couldn’t bring the results to them, but it was a grateful year. I’m grateful that I was able to learn a lot, I’m grateful that I was able to do what I did to hit the bottom and go up, and I’m grateful that I personally achieved this and got a lot of playing opportunities and came to the K League Awards ceremony.” He expressed his affection for the fans, saying that their love helped him grow a lot.

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