“Choi decided to hang up his boots after a meeting with club CEO Kim Byung-ji on Thursday,” said multiple sources familiar with the K League Two transfer market.
“Choi’s successor is a three-way battle. Yoon Jeong-hwan, former head coach of Ulsan Hyundai, Kim Do-hoon, and Yongin Football Center Director Lee Eul-yong are on the list.”
The reason for Choi’s dismissal is clear. ‘Poor performance’. This season, Gangwon is currently 11th out of 12 teams (W2 D6 L10 D12) after 18 games in the K League 1. If this performance continues until the end of the season, Gangwon will have to play a promotion playoff (PO) for the second place in the K League 2. It could be a repeat of the ‘nightmare’ of two years ago. The club needed to shake things up and opted for shock therapy by sacking Choi.
In fact, Choi was trying to overhaul the 스포츠토토 team during the two-week A-Match. After the team’s 1-2 home loss to Jeonbuk on November 11, Choi said, “The players will be just as tired as I am. We didn’t get the results we wanted because we were tired and not focused. We’ll work on what went wrong during the break and come back with a different look.”
Choi’s focus was on improving the team’s scoring. Gangwon is at the bottom of the table in team scoring (11 goals). That’s five fewer than Suwon Samsung, who are at the bottom of the table. They are in a serious scoring drought. “We are in desperate need of a forward,” said Choi, who added, “We are very unbalanced. We will definitely reinforce during the break.” But there was no more time to rebound.
Choi, who made his managerial debut on April 26, 2011, as acting head coach of FC Seoul, later shed the acting tag and rose to prominence, winning 102 games, drawing 51 and losing 45 in 198 matches by 2016, a winning percentage of more than 50 percent.
After a stint in the Chinese League, Choi returned to the K-League in 2018 and worked his magic in 2021 when he became Gangwon’s ninth head coach, rescuing the club from relegation with a dramatic win in the promotion PO, much to the delight of Gangwon fans.
Last season, he proved his leadership skills once again as the club reached the Final A.