Daejeon Hana bolsters defense, signing veteran defender Hong Jeong-woon, who has played in 163 games

Professional soccer team Daejeon Hana Citizen has succeeded in strengthening its defense.

Daejeon Hana Citizen announced on July 7 that it has signed veteran defender Hong Jeong-woon, who holds a record of 163 career K League appearances.

Hong Jeong-woon, a native of Busan Jungangjoong and Busan Gaeseong High School, played as a flanking midfielder and striker until his high school days. After entering Myeongji University, he changed his position to central defense. Initially, he was hampered by injuries and slumps, but he gradually established himself as a central defender and gained attention. In 2015, his third year at the university, he was named to Shin Tae-yong’s squad for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He was consistently called up to the U23 national team and participated in the 2016 Gwangju Summer Universiade, where he helped South Korea win a silver medal.

After joining Daegu FC as a free agent in 2016, Hong made his presence felt in 20 league games in his debut season. In 2018, he fully established himself as one of Daegu’s key defenders with seven offensive points (five goals and two assists) in 35 appearances. He also started both the first and second leg of the FA Cup final between Daegu and Ulsan, conceding just one goal and helping Daegu lift the first trophy in the club’s history.

Hong went on to make 102 league appearances in five years between 2019 and 2023. In 2020, he was named the youngest captain in the club’s history, showing strong leadership. Hong’s strengths are his delivery and man-to-man defense, backed by his 6-foot-2 frame.

Daejeon played scorching attacking soccer last season, finishing third in the league with 56 points. However, their defense exposed their insecurities and they conceded the second-most goals in the league (58).

“We need to stabilize our defense to achieve higher goals in the 2024 season,” said Daejeon. “With the addition of veteran central defender Hong Jung-woon, we will not only strengthen our defense, but also have more flexibility in our defensive tactics.”

“After my professional debut, I spent seven years in Daegu. Moving to Daejeon is a new challenge for me as well. There is definitely pressure, but I am looking forward to the new challenge. I will do my best to secure Daejeon’s back line and help the team reach the Asian Champions League.”

Meanwhile, Daejeon, which has been holding its first training camp in Geoje since the 3rd of this month, will leave for its second overseas training camp in Hanoi, Vietnam on the 10th of this month to prepare for the season in earnest.

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