“Sejinya did it instead of Sejinya!”
Daegu FC fans were enthusiastic about 19-year-old midfielder Park Se-jin “Sejinya” Park’s debut goal against Gwangju.
In the Hana 1 Q K League 1 2023 Gwangju expedition held at the Gwangju Soccer Stadium on the 13th, Park Se-jin took over Hong Cheol’s pass in the 19th minute of the second half and shook the net with a quick and calm right-footed shot. Daegu coach Choi Won-kwon raised his arms and smiled brightly like the sun. Veteran seniors such as Hong Chul and Lee Yong-rae, and older brothers such as Ko Jae-hyeon and Hwang Jae-won gathered to congratulate the promising junior’s debut goal. In the 33rd minute of the second half, Ko Jae-hyeon even scored a key goal, and Daegu won 2-0. On the 16th of last month, in the 7th round, the score of 0-3 in the 7th round was followed up to 3-3, but the pain of being defeated 3-4 was shamefully avenged. Immediately after the thrilling victory, in his first interview as a pro, Park Se-jin even came up with a unique ‘correct answer’ that shook the fan’s heart, saying, “I will work harder to become a ‘son of Daegu’.”
Young Gun Ko Jae-hyeon, born in 1999, and Hwang Jae-won, born in 2002, celebrate the debut goal of Park Se-jin, born in 2004. Photo courtesy of Daegu FC
Born in Busan in 2004, Park Se-jin started playing soccer at the age of 8. He learned the basics of soccer at Daegu President Cho Kwang-rae’s Jinju Soccer Club, and immediately after graduating from Sahajung-Taesung High School in Busan, he wore a Daegu FC uniform. Although they have never had national team careers by age, President Cho and Daegu coach Choi Won-kwon, who are famous for their bright eyes, recognized their talents like jewels at a glance. I started to trust Park Se-jin, who faithfully carried out winter training, from his first season. He made his first start in the home game against Jeju on March 4 (1-1 draw) and played 60 minutes, and after the match against Incheon on April 1 (0-0 draw), he acted as a joker in the second half and served as a game changer. When Park Se-jin entered, the air changed. In the home game against Gwangju, which was trailing 0-3 on the 16th of last month, Park Se-jin assisted Ko Jae-hyeon’s recovery goal 2 minutes after being put in in the 17th minute of the second half, sparking a 3-3 chase with his first attack point. As he said, “I will use him as a starter in the second round,” coach Choi put forward Park Se-jin as the starter one after another against Pohang on the 9th (1-1 draw) and Gwangju on the 13th. Park Se-jin, ‘Young Gun’, took off from the crisis where key players such as Sejingya, Edgar, Keita, and Hong Jeong-woon were injured due to injuries.
Comparing Sejingya, the “King of Daegu,” fans gave Park Sejin a novel nickname, “Sejinya (Sejin+Sejingya).” Coach Choi praised him, “Sejini is creative and has the ability to solve the game. In terms of kicking skills and techniques, he is almost on the same level as Sejinya.” He evaluated, “If Sejingya is good at ‘getting it right’, this friend, like Modric, is a smart player who handles the ball well even though he is not a fast player.” “Young players grow through mistakes.
On this day, coach Choi said about the tactic of using Park Se-jin as one-top in the second half, “There is difficulty in the build-up when switching from defense to attack, but I expected Se-jin to hold on in the middle. I thought that a big chance could come if I beat people.” He explained, “Sejin is young, but his play is not young. He is a professional on the pitch. He is a player who does not get swept away by the atmosphere and plays on his own, both at home and away.” Coach Choi, who has experienced many young players, picked ‘personality’ and ‘attitude’ as the most important virtues as much as his skills. “Sejin is a player who plays more diligently than anyone else, even if he plays as a substitute and goes to the second team the next day. He shows a humble attitude to improve and an effort to make up for his shortcomings. I expect him to improve further through a game like today.” said.
Photo courtesy of Daegu FC
When asked how he felt about his debut goal, Park Se-jin laughed, saying, “The moment the goal went in, I couldn’t think of anything and my mind went blank.” remembered “I am confident, but I am always nervous and nervous when I go to the game. Regarding Daegu’s ‘one-top’ tactic that day, Park Se-jin laughed, saying, “It was the first one-top since high school.” In Daegu, he usually stands as a central midfielder, but in high school he played as an attacking midfielder. It is an all-weather offensive resource that can stand on both one-top and zero-top. When asked about his strength, he cited “keeping ability”. He said, “When the ball comes in, I am confident that I can connect it without taking it away well.” When asked what kind of player he wants to be, he said, “Hwang In-beom and Lee Kang-in are my role models.”
The characteristics of Daegu’s football are in line with ‘cartoon football’ during the days of President Cho Kwang-rae’s national team coaching tower. After tying up the opponent with extreme defense, at the moment of a counterattack, a storm rushes at the speed of light to pierce the opponent’s net with a ‘one-shot one-kill’ gear. Absolute stamina is required for the ultimate ‘fun’ soccer, where you have to go up and down the ground for 90 minutes, block it like a steel pipe, and stab it nonstop. Park Se-jin also confessed, “It was very difficult at first.” “An important characteristic of Daegu football is that defense must be supported. I worked hard on individual exercises to improve my physical strength.” The part that Park Se-jin cared about the most for adapting to the professional stage was ‘ball keeping’. “Never lose the ball. If you lose the ball, you will be intimidated, so the first touch is always considered the most important,” he said. As the youngest member of the team, he also feels the love of his older brothers. “The hyungs really congratulated me on my debut goal. I feel that I am loved by this team.
Park Se-jin, who was a high school student until last year and is “unfinished,” is happy and excited to play with seniors from the national university in every game. He has a 21-year age difference with Lee Keun-ho, born in 1985, and a 14-year age difference with Hong Cheol, born in 1990. “It’s an honor. It’s amazing to be in step with the national team members. I can’t believe that the brothers I used to watch on TV in high school are by my side,” he laughed. When asked about his dream, he clearly said, “My dream is to go to Taegeuk Mark, the national team.”메이저놀이터
In 13 rounds, he achieved his goal early this season. He added, “In the first season, 10 appearances, 1 goal was the goal”. He played 10 games until the game against Gwangju that day, scoring 1 goal and 1 assist. I set a new goal of “5-7 attack points”. He said, “I want to score a goal in front of the Daepak home fans, and I want to win the next match and win a streak.” At the time when peers born between 2003 and 2004 challenge Kim Eun-joong for the Under-20 World Cup, another flower bud burst in the K-League Daegu. Daegu’s ‘Sejinya’ smiled, saying, “I wanted to go to the Under-20 World Cup as well, but today he scored his debut goal, so everything is fine.”