“I wouldn’t call it impatience, but I didn’t go to Europe without thinking about that situation.”
Kwon Hyuk-kyu plays for Celtic in Scotland. He left Busan I-Park in the K League 2 at the end of July to join Celtic, where he is starting a new soccer life, but it hasn’t been easy. Unlike his teammates Oh Hyun-gyu and Yang Hyun-joon, he hasn’t been able to capitalize on his opportunities.
To make matters worse, he was left out of the recently announced roster for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League. The team’s captain, Conor McGregor, is still struggling to compete for a starting spot.
But Kwon is not discouraged. He chose to go to Europe because he believes that competition is a given.
“It’s not that I’m impatient because I can’t play, but I didn’t leave Europe without thinking about this situation,” Kwon said after the third qualifying match against Myanmar at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Asian Cup 2024 at the Changwon Football Center. I thought about it a lot. There are a lot of really good players in the same position. I will overcome it through good competition,” he said encouragingly.
“There are a lot of good players in Korea, but there are a lot of players in the team that I can learn from, including their captain, Conor McGregor. They have a lot of humanity. I’m not playing right now, but I’m not worried. I’ll learn and grow a lot and hopefully get a starting spot in the future.”
Unlike Kwon, Oh Hyun-gyu, who has been playing for Celtic since last season, and Yang Hyun-joon, who arrived in the summer transfer window along with Kwon, are finding their feet at Celtic. For Kwon, the presence of these two players is only reassuring.
“There are other Koreans on the team besides me,” he says, “and that gives me a lot of motivation. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have pressure, but I’ll do my best to make sure that all three of us can play well and show good form and good synergy.”
Obviously, there is a difference in the level between K League 2 and the Scottish League. Kwon Hyuk-kyu also said, “I came to Europe after playing in the K League 2. The intensity of the pressure and the roughness are definitely different,” he said, “But I’m proud that my shortcomings are being fixed little by little. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can grow at the end of the season, and every day is a good opportunity for me,” he smiled.
After playing in Europe, Hwang added to the team’s strength and helped them qualify for the U23 Asian Cup. 바카라사이트
“We lost the first leg to Qatar and won the second leg 1-0. I’m sure the fans were very disappointed. But it’s good to win the last game with a big score,” he said. “I think we were a little distracted in the first game. In the third game, I was jet-lagged, so I felt good and played well. However, I’m thinking about going back to Europe right away (laughs), so I guess this is something I’ll have to overcome in the future.”
“Since I’ve been in Korea, I’ve been watching and learning from Ki Sung-yong and Jung Woo-young, as well as Rodney and my teammate McGregor. I am determined to become a reliable defensive midfielder for Korea and to live up to the expectations of the fans.”