The sound that soccer gives is not limited to the silk game. Jeju United (hereafter referred to as Jeju) and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province (Governor Oh Young-hun) are showing ‘the value of being together’ through the international exchange support project for professional soccer teams in Thai field training.
Currently, all K-League 1 and 2 teams (25 clubs in total, 12 K-League 1 and 13 K-League 2) are in the midst of hardening for the 2023 season. Thailand is the most popular place for field training. Thirteen out of 25 clubs are training in Thailand. One of the most popular is Chiang Mai. The 6 teams (Jeju United, Suwon FC, Incheon United, Seongnam FC, Bucheon FC, Busan I-Park) including the 1st and 2nd divisions gathered together.
The advantages of Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, are its weather and infrastructure. In addition to the mild climate with an annual average of 25 degrees optimized for training, the golf resorts mostly chosen by clubs have dedicated soccer training grounds with high-quality European-style grass, so it is good to focus on soccer. Some places even serve Korean food, so it is easy to manage your diet. However, it is regrettable that the number of sparring opponents in the practice game is limited. Most of them play practice matches with domestic clubs that are not affiliated with the same league or with Thai league 1 and 2 teams near Chiang Mai.
Jeju has alleviated that concern with the full support of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. In 2023, I met the best sparring opponent through the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province International Exchange Support Project. On the 14th and 17th, they faced Chiang Rai United, which is emerging as an emerging powerhouse in Thai League 1, twice. After winning the first league championship in the club’s history in the 2019 season, Chiang Rai has recently established itself as a regular customer in the Asian Champions League. It has met FC Seoul, Jeonbuk Hyundai, and Daegu FC for several years, and is a team familiar to domestic fans as former K-League Kim Ji-min is currently active. It is definitely a higher level team than Chiang Mai United and Chiang Mai FC, both of which belong to the 2nd division home of Chiang Mai.
The result was a 1-1 draw in the first leg and a 2-2 draw in the second leg. Coach Nam Ki-il, who leads Jeju, did not dwell on the result as it was literally a practice stage, and raised the perfection of tactics to the fullest with bold tactical choices and optimal rotation management against Chiang Rai. The performance of the newly recruited Brazilian duo Yuri and Hays was also encouraging. Yuri scored in the first game and scored multiple goals in the second game, and Hayes, who had impressive performances (16 goals and 9 assists) in the K-League 1 and K-League 2 over the past two seasons, 안전놀이터 actively participated in the defense and took advantage of his fellow position. He showed a class that instantly changed the flow of the game with a pass. Director Ki-il Nam expressed satisfaction, saying, “Thanks to the full support of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, we finished a good mock exam. The players seemed to be more focused in the face of Chiang Rai, which had plagued the K-League teams in the ACL.”As coach Nam Ki-il said, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province has been stepping up to support international exchanges for professional soccer teams. Before the exchange project was suspended due to the spread of Corona 19 in 2019, he visited China and Japan in 2016 and 2018, and invited China in 2017. A total of 122 Chinese and Japanese players and executives have made new connections with Jeju over the past three years. Since there are no borders in football, precious memories were made by breathing together and becoming one. Jeju, in particular, has achieved tangible and intangible effects such as cultural exchange and technology and infrastructure sharing through active international exchange. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province has created an opportunity to promote Jeju through professional soccer, contribute to the revitalization of tourism, and even enhance its status as a free international city. The beautiful companionship of Jeju and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province has a ‘good influence’ across borders and presents a good role model for win-win cooperation between the club and local governments.