On the 16th, official training for the women’s volleyball team was held at the Jincheon National Training Center in Chungcheongbuk-do. When the 16 players warmed up hard, Kim Yeon-kyung (35, Heungkuk Life Insurance) walked back and forth between the players, talking to her and laughing. He wore the Taegeuk logo, but his role in the national team is not a player, but an advisor. Kim Yeon-kyung laughed, saying, “It feels new. It’s always good to wear clothes with the Taegeukgi engraved on it.”
Kim Yeon-kyung 스포츠토토is the best star player representing Korean volleyball. He led the myth of the semifinals at two Olympics, London in 2012 and Tokyo in 2021. Kim Yeon-kyung retired from the national team after the Tokyo Olympics.
Cesar Hernandez, coach of the Korean women’s volleyball team, wanted Kim Yeon-kyung to play a pivotal role in the national team, so he suggested an advisor, and Kim Yeon-kyung accepted. Kim Yeon-kyung said, “(Players) sometimes call me sister, but they call me advisor, advisor, etc. There are many players who are very comfortable.”
Kim Yeon-kyung, who has been helping the team train since last month, is with the national team 1-2 days a week. Kim Yeon-kyung laughed, saying, “There are a lot of foreign staff, so they act as bridges with domestic staff. On the international stage, we present opinions and directions on how to become better, and talk a lot in many ways. My role is nagging.”
There are times when coach Cesar leaves domestic convocation training due to his team’s schedule. Newly joined coach Han Yu-mi is also beginning her career as a coach through this national team, so Kim Yeon-kyung, who has a lot of experience in international competitions, plays a significant role.
Captain Park Jung-ah (Pepper Savings Bank) hinted, “Yeon-kyung hits the ball and gives a lot of information about foreign players. She is a great help.” Coach Han Yu-mi also said, “Adviser Kim Yeon-kyung gives a lot of advice on global trends and training methods for foreign coaches.”
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “It’s my first time playing an advisor role, but it’s not easy. I feel that I’m the best and most comfortable when I’m a player. I learn a lot through this role.” When asked, “Don’t you want to play as a national team player again?”, he explained, “I hear that a lot. I only think about ‘how can I help the national team and my juniors more'”.
The national team is greatly aware of the vacancy left by ‘player Kim Yeon-kyung’. For the first time since the launch of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in 2018, it had the stigma of losing and drawing no points in last year’s competition. Kim Yeon-kyung cheered for his juniors, saying, “A lot of young players have joined, and the team atmosphere has improved. The players are also preparing hard with a sense of responsibility to post better results than last year.”
Photo = Yonhap News
Kim Yeon-kyung will also be with the Turkiye field training leaving next week. She is also scheduled to accompany the VNL week 1 schedule. To that extent, she is sincere about the ‘Taegeuk mark and the national team’. He said, “If volleyball can develop further, I would like to help.”
Kim Yeon-kyung signed a one-year FA (free agent) contract with Heungkuk Life Insurance a month ago for a total of 775 million won. During the 2022-23 season, he contemplated retiring as a player, but decided to play for another year after Heungkuk Life Insurance failed to win the combined championship. He said, “Many people around me are worried about serving as an advisor while playing as a player.