Heungkuk Life Insurance won three runner-ups, paying attention to its off-season moves

Kim Yeon-koung (aged 36, Heungkuk Life Insurance), the reigning volleyball empress, postponed her retirement to win the title. After returning to Korea, however, she finished runner-up only three times, putting up with regret.

In the 2005-2006 season, Kim joined Heungkuk Life Insurance as the No. 1 player overall in the rookie draft. Since her debut season, she has swept various awards including scoring award, attack award, sub award, regular league MVP (best player), championship game MVP, and rookie award. Since then, she has conquered the V-League including two consecutive wins in the 2006-2007 season and the championship game in the 2008-2009 season, before advancing to overseas leagues including Japan, Turkiye and China to establish herself as a world-class player.

However, it started to get twisted during the 2020-2021 season when she returned to Heungkuk Life Insurance. Amid controversy over school violence between Lee Jae-young and Lee Da-young’s twin sisters at the time, the team was hampered by GS Caltex in the championship match and ended up in second place. Kim Yeon-koung, who returned to Heungkuk Life after leaving for the Chinese league for a while, finished first in the regular league in the 2022-2023 season, but bowed her head in the championship match against the third-place Korea Expressway Corporation, the first reverse sweep defeat in history.

Kim, who was agonizing over retirement at the time, decided to extend her current career in order to win the championship. Having become the first FA (free agent) after the end of the season, she continued her challenge to win the title by staying at Heungkuk Life Insurance. She signed a contract with a total of 775 million won (722,000 U.S. dollars), which is the upper limit for women’s compensation (475 million dollars) per year and 300 million won (322,000 dollars) per year.

As Hyundai Engineering & Construction lost No. 1 place in this season’s regular season, Kim’s victory was in vain. Kim’s last victory was in the 2006-2007 season. In the end, she had to risk her life and death to win the championship title for the first time in 15 years since the 2008-2009 season before advancing to the Japanese stage.

Heungkuk Life Insurance succeeded in advancing to the championship finals after a bloody battle with third-place Jeong Kwan-jang through the third round in the three-game playoff. However, in the championship finals, it failed to win the title by kneeling down to Hyundai Engineering & Construction after three games. As it played in the championship finals just two days after PO, it couldn’t overcome its physical disadvantage.

After the end of the season, attention is being paid to Kim Yeon-koung’s future again. Usually, the FA contract is three years, but Kim Yeon-koung signed a one-year contract. In other words, Kim Yeon-koung has been released as an FA again.

Both staying and transfer possibilities are open. Kim, who became a free agent after last season, said she was considering selecting a team that can achieve the unified title. At the time, it was known that Hyundai Engineering & Construction was actively courting Kim.

However, Kim chose to show affection for her former team. Heungkuk Life Insurance promised, “We will continue to do our best to present the trophy to our fans as a prestigious club through full support.” In the meantime, she added middle blocker Kim Soo-ji from the FA market and renewed her contract with Libero Do Soo-bin.

Nevertheless, Heungkuk Life was frustrated again on the verge of winning the championship. It had been fiercely competing with Hyundai Engineering & Construction throughout this season, but it was painful to see Yelena, a foreign player who was responsible for the team’s most points last season, leave the team due to an unexpected slump. Willow’s performance as a substitute was below expectations.

In fact, it was a failure to reinforce its power ahead of this season. Kim Yeon-koung did not have the winning power she had hoped for.

For Heungkuk Life Insurance, it is imperative to accompany Kim Yeon-koung to try again to win the next season. For that to happen, it is necessary to strengthen Kim Yeon-koung’s power to win the last championship before her retirement.

The women’s FA market, which will take place on next Monday, is drawing keen attention. A large number of top Korean players are now becoming FA players. Among them, Korean national team strikers Kang So-hwi (GS Caltex) and Lee So-young (Director Chung) are notable. Attention is also focusing on the destinations of outside heaters Jung Ji-yoon and middle blocker Na Hyun-soo, who led Hyundai E&C to the combined championship.

The crackdown on house rabbits should not be neglected. In Heungkuk Life Insurance, outside heater Kim Mi-yeon and middle blocker Lee Ju-ah will qualify as FA. Women’s teams can negotiate with FA targets until 6 p.m. on the 17th.

Since then, each team will start recruiting Asian quarterbacks and foreign players. Heungkuk Life Insurance must bring in a certain player who can lead the team to win the championship. It remains to be seen whether it will be able to challenge for the championship again with Kim Yeon-koung through solid reinforcement of its power in the next season.

BY: 토토사이트

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