Seok Hyun-jun asks to be loaned from Ajax

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Seok Hyun-jun asks to be loaned from Ajax

AMSTERDAM - After an uneventful season in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax forward Seok Hyun-jun is looking to be loaned to another Dutch club so he can get more playing time.

Seok’s agent is said to have met with Ajax manager Frank De Boer on Jan. 21 and received a positive response to the request.

Several top-league Dutch clubs have shown strong interest in Seok. FC Groningen’s manager Pieter Huistra, who managed Seok with Ajax’s second team, is one of them.

Seok is looking to hone his skills with first-team experience on another club.

“I want to prove myself with another club and would like to return to Ajax and help them win a title,” said Seok.

The 20-year-old drew a lot of interest in Korea after signing with the storied Ajax squad in October 2009.

His elation did not last long, however, and Seok didn’t see all that much time with the main Ajax club, playing only 72 minutes in five matches.

But with AFC Ajax’s second team, he fared much better, scoring eight goals and adding two assists in nine matches.

Despite a promising start to his career, his role on the team diminished.

Since Frank De Boer replaced Martin Jol as manager, Seok mostly failed to meet expectations.

“I’m at an age when I can take on new challenges and learn from those experiences,” said an optimistic Seok. “If I learn to overcome obstacles, it will be a big help.”

Seok’s troubles started early last year. The forward did not get enough rest to recuperate from the previous season and struggled in the early going, getting him assigned to the second team.

After Jol resigned as manager of Ajax on Dec. 6, incoming manager De Boer placed more emphasis on giving opportunities to players who had developed through the Ajax youth system.

The new manager was quick to offer advice to Seok.

“Our manager told me that I need to improve my speed in order to become a good forward,” said Seok.

“I was told to step with the outer part of my soles before placing full weight on my feet. I’ve been running and walking a certain way for the past 17 years - so it’s not easy, but I’m working hard on it,” he added.

Shingal High School, Seok’s alma mater, started a training camp near the Dutch capital on Jan. 16 and played in a friendly match against FC Groningen’s youth team on Monday.

With Seok looking on from the sidelines, Shingal High School won 5-1.

“I was a bit down recently, but seeing players from my alma mater play made me realize that I need to work harder to pave the way for them,” said Seok.


By Choi Won-chang [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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