The appointment of a new manager for the Kia Tigers, which received more attention than the news of the spring camp in February, has begun to count down. Kia, which has been carrying out last-minute work to select its coach for the Lunar New Year holidays, will now face a week of fate with virtually only the decision of its superiors.꽁머니
The KIA team started its first spring camp without its head coach Jin Gap-yong. The team is now working on appointing a new coach to fill the vacancy of Kim Jong-kook, the former coach who terminated his contract on charges of bribery. There will be no major problems at the first Canberra spring camp, which focuses on technical training rather than actual games. However, the coach needs to have a presence at the second Okinawa spring camp, where players will compete.
“The first spring camp is a training program that was already created during the strategic planning seminar, and it seems that it will be possible to proceed without any major problems,” KIA general manager Shim Jae-hak said. “However, it is true that the presence of a coach is necessary in the second spring camp. I think the appointment of a coach will be carried out in consideration of that.”
KIA Canberra Spring Camp without a head coach. Photo = KIA Tigers
First, Kia selected around 10 first candidates. Shim Jae-hak, head of the team, personnel management level, and CEO Choi Joon-young discussed the candidate list from time to time. And the final candidates for coaches have been narrowed down ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. There is also a possibility that a video interview will take place because it is a holiday season.
One of the conditions for appointing a new KIA head coach is a leader who can achieve good results while moving in line with the team’s direction. No matter how good a team’s long-term plans and season manuals are, it is meaningless if the field does not reflect them properly. After all, the key is how well the team understands the manuals and how it can actively communicate with the front desk while respecting each other.
Above all, there is a lot of criticism over the new head coach of KIA. With outside figures such as former coach Lee Jong-beom, former coach Kim Won-hyung, and former coach Lee Dong-wook on the rise, the possibility of internal promotion such as batting coach Lee Bum-ho cannot be ruled out.
Of course, the appointment of a coach is ultimately decided by the team leader and the parent group. If a new coach is decided right after the Lunar New Year holiday this week, he can join the Australian spring camp in Canberra as soon as possible.
“If appointment is decided right after the Lunar New Year holiday, the team will be able to take the helm at the Australian spring camp immediately,” said an official from Kia. “It would be better if the team works with the team in Canberra, Australia, and moves to the Okinawa spring camp in Japan.”
After the Lunar New Year’s holiday, the team has also reached the final stage of selecting a coach. The team only has to decide on the result of the interview. “Even during the Lunar New Year holidays, no one was able to rest and we continued the process of selecting a coach. We wanted to speed up as much as possible. Now we only have to make a decision,” a Kia official said on Feb. 12.
If the appointment is finally announced this week, the new coach may immediately leave for the Canberra Spring Camp in Australia. The atmosphere of the local spring camp squad is not as bad as expected. This is evident from the facial expressions of the players at the team’s yutnori competition, which was held during the Lunar New Year holiday at the suggestion of Shim Jae-hak, the general manager. The news of the Tigers’ Official this week is expected to draw all attention to who will be the face of the new coach who will take charge of Kia, which aims to win now in the 2024 season.