Pohang moves quickly to appoint Park Tae-Ha as technical chairman

The Pohang Steelers will appoint Park Tae-ha, the technical director of the Korean Football Association, as their next head coach.

Pohang head coach Kim Ki-dong is nearing the end of his negotiations with FC Seoul, according to a source familiar with the transfer market. Pohang, which has been scrambling to find a new coach, has virtually finalized Park Tae-ha.

Kim Ki-dong took over as Pohang’s head coach in April 2019 and has done well with his mercenary style and flexibility. Since Kim’s arrival, Pohang has finished in the top half of the league with the exception of a ninth-place finish in the 2021 season, when they were runners-up in the Asian Champions League (ACL).

It was called “maneuvering magic. In particular, he actively used young players and changed positions at the right time, even when the main players kept leaving the team.

And this season, they reached their ‘peak’. Pohang finished second in the league on a low budget and won the FA Cup for the first time in 10 years. On top of that, they went 5-1 in the ACL group stage and advanced to the round of 16 early.

Naturally, Kim’s value skyrocketed, and many Chinese clubs were interested in him.

Pohang also had to act quickly on Kim’s move. They chose Park Tae-ha. Park had been with Pohang for 10 years, starting with Pohang Steel during his playing days. He played his entire career in Pohang.

He started coaching after his retirement and was the coach of Pohang from 2005 to 2007. From 2015 to 2018, he was the head coach of Yanbian Fooder (China). Last season, Pohang’s captain Kim Seung-dae was one of his players.

Since 2020, he has been working as an administrator, serving as the head of the Korean Football Association’s competition committee, but he has chosen to return to coaching. This will be his first time as a head coach in the K League.

On top of that, Pohang will be playing in the ACL round of 16 next February. Park’s shoulders are heavy as Pohang had its best year ever last season.

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