Gwangju FC, which was on the rise toward advancing to the Final A, gained wings. Dramatically resolved the situation where training had to be replaced with indoor training when it rained due to training infrastructure problems. With the quick and full support of Gwangju Metropolitan City Mayor Kang Ki-jeong, the owner of the club, Gwangju, facing head-to-head with the city and the Sports Association, seized the opportunity not only to solve the training ground problem in the second half, but also to prepare long-term infrastructure. 스포츠토토
On the 9th, the Gwangju club held a meeting with city officials, sports association officials, and facility management staff. Head coach Lee Jung-hyo, captain Ahn Young-gyu, and front desk staff also attended on behalf of the club. The meeting was prepared under the direction of Mayor Ki-Jeong Kang, as criticism of the recent training ground problem in Gwangju and unfortunate voices from the inside continued.
Gwangju is using three training grounds during the season. It is the natural grass of the Gwangju World Cup Stadium, which is empty after the construction of the exclusive stadium, and the natural grass and artificial grass of the Gwangju Soccer Center, which opened in 2020 on the site of the former Yeomju Archery Field. However, the 2nd side of the Gwangju Football Center site has been pointed out for drainage problems since the time of construction, and when it rains, it cannot be used properly. In summer, even necrosis of grass occurred, causing eye disease of players.
As the number of rainy days increased in July, Gwangju could not properly digest training. I had no choice but to cycle indoors and do weight training. I couldn’t even dream of training twice a day for non-main players because Team A, where the main players belong, couldn’t train properly. Director Lee Jung-hyo expressed frustration with the training infrastructure problem, saying, “There is a limit to growing the team.” Jeong Ho-yeon, a key player, also expressed his opinion at the press conference, saying, “I hope you sprinkle enough water on the grass during training.”
After taking office, Mayor Kang Ki-jeong, who has shown continued interest in Gwangju FC and has been constantly looking for the stadium, responded to these voices. He recently requested quick improvement and support from the Sports Promotion Division, the department in charge, and the body yukhoe, which is in charge of managing sports facilities in Gwangju City. Then, on the 9th, a meeting was held to come up with a solution.
At this meeting, manager Lee Jeong-hyo and the club requested that the Gwangju-only stadium be used together with the World Cup Stadium in the second half, and it was approved. Instead, the club also accepted the opinion of the practitioner who is managing the facility. Since we have to focus on grass growth in the morning, we decided to train in the afternoon. It was concluded that if the person in charge had to leave work because the training was running late, the club staff would clean up after work. Jeong Ho-yeon’s request to sprinkle enough water on the grass before training was also accepted.
A solution to the Gwangju Soccer Center problem was also presented. The city and the Sports Association announced plans to completely replace the grass at the soccer center with a budget of 3 billion won. Currently, a legal dispute with the constructor has been announced, but as the use of the soccer center is urgent, the budget is secured and the construction is carried out, and then the direction of claiming the right to indemnity is taken. Construction is expected to begin in September and be completed in the first half of next year. The first side of artificial turf is also planned to be replaced with natural grass and the second side with natural grass.
Manager Lee Jung-hyo asked for reinforcement of the soccer center infrastructure if the budget was spent. It was a request to provide a space where players can take a shower at the soccer center and do light weight training before training without having to return to their lodgings in the exclusive stadium after training. Although administrative procedures such as changing the use and checking the building-to-land ratio are necessary, the city government promised to actively accept director Lee Jeong-hyo’s opinion.
The city promised active support for Gwangju FC, which has been making a sensation since the first year of K-League 1 return and making Gwangju known. Then there is another gift that came out. Grass replacement at Gwangju soccer stadium. It has been 20 years since the grass was built for the Gwangju Soccer Stadium, which was converted into a dedicated stadium by installing main seats and variable seats in the auxiliary stadium of the Gwangju World Cup Stadium. As the age of the grass has grown, the difficulty of growing the grass has increased due to the accumulation of sediment. It was also agreed that this part would soon be budgeted for and replaced with the approval of the city council. When replacing the grass, the focus was on the fact that Gwangju cannot use the home stadium for a while, but it is absolutely necessary for the next 10 to 20 years.
Coach Lee Jung-hyo expressed his joy, saying, “With the active interest of the owner, Mayor Kang Ki-jeong, and the cooperation of all involved, a conclusion that can brighten the future of Gwangju FC has been drawn.” He continued, “CEO Roh Il is also a hidden contributor. He spared no support so that the athletes could exercise in a better environment and conditions.” After taking office last year, CEO Noh Roh-il changed the operating principle of nearby away games (Jeonbuk, Jeonnam), where the team traveled on the same day, to travel the day before.
“I won’t say I’m sick for a while,” said coach Lee Jung-hyo with a smile. “Now, I’ll only think about repaying the interest and support of the players and myself. I prove the justification for receiving support with better results and game content, and that’s another club. We will create a virtuous cycle that leads to the development of infrastructure and the environment.” Gwangju, which has recently won consecutive victories against Suwon FC and Daejeon Hana Citizen and is ranked 5th in the K-League 1, will travel to Pohang on the 13th.