Amid competition, we are coming together more closely as a team.
Korean Air has been in the midst of field training in Japan since the 9th to prepare for the 2022-2023 season. Korean Air, which achieved the feat of winning the combined championship for three consecutive seasons from the 2020-2021 season to last season, is aiming for an unprecedented ‘fourth consecutive winning’ in the V-League.
Six players selected for the Asian Games national team were missing from the training camp in Japan. In addition to setter Han, outside heaters Jeong Ji-seok and Jeong Han-yong, middle blockers Kim Gyu-min and Kim Min-jae, and opposition spiker Lim Dong-hyuk were absent. After the end of last season, including the Asian Club Championship and the youngest KOVO Cup last month. Due to the age group and selection to the national team, Korean Air has never trained with the ‘best’, but among them, there are players who have taken the ‘opportunity’.
Representative examples are outside heaters Jun Lee and Mark Espejo. Lee Jun consistently stepped on the court from club championships to cup competitions. After joining Korean Air in the 2021-2022 season, he only played in 15 games and 28 sets over two seasons, and while Jeong Ji-seok and Jeong Han-yong are away, he is forming a duo with Kwak Seung-seok. Lee Jun said, “Rather than shining, I want to become a player who takes on difficult tasks and consistently performs well.”
Espejo is also showing off his presence during this training camp. Korean Air coach Tommy Tilly Kainen selected him for the Asia Quarter based on his strengths in defense and fundamentals, but his offensive ability was also not far behind. In the first practice game against the Great Bears during the training camp, Espejo took the place of Lincoln Williams, a foreign player whose knee was not in good condition. He scored 16 points, the most in the team, and had an attack success rate of 40%.토토사이트
This applies not only to the wings but also to the center. With the absence of starting middle blockers Kim Gyu-min and Kim Min-jae, Lee Soo-hwang and Cho Jae-young were given a chance. Although they have not been able to secure enough playing time, they are showing their presence through field training.
There is a scent of ‘one team’ amidst ‘competition’. Currently, 13 people have participated in the field training, but they are coming together more closely. Lee Jun said, “When I enter the game, my biggest goal is to help the team win.” Espejo also said, “Volleyball is a team sport. “If the coach hires me, I will do my best, and even if not, I will try to fit the team,” he said, expressing his determination to come together as a team.
Director Tommy focuses on ‘experience’. He said, “I feel like I’m growing by meeting a team that can push us, which doesn’t happen in Korea,” and added, “There are many key players on our team,” and emphasized ‘friendly competition.’ When Korean Air won three consecutive games, there was good harmony between the starters and backups. This off-season, they are also focusing on that aspect in order to achieve a ‘4th consecutive win’.