Jeju coach promises undies boogie

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Jeju coach promises undies boogie

It may be too excessive for a victory ceremony, but apparently Jeju United head coach Jo Sung-hwan is really desperate to win the Korean pro football title.

Jo, who is in his fifth season with Jeju, said Monday he will dye his hair orange and dance in orange underwear if his club wins the K League 1 title this season. Orange is the primary color for Jeju.

“I will not repeat mistakes that we made last season,” Jo told a media event in Jeju. “We really want to have fun with fans this season.”

Jo has been a man of his word when it comes to performing special ceremonies. In 2005, he vowed to dye his hair orange if the home attendance for Jeju’s match on Children’s Day exceeded 20,000, and he kept the promise after 20,013 fans visited Jeju World Cup Stadium.

In 2016, he promised to wear orange underwear if Jeju qualified for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League. That year, Jeju finished third in the K League 1, and Jo showed up wearing orange underwear in their final league match.

“You know I’ve kept promises on previous occasions,” he said. “If we win the league title, I’ll dye my hair orange and dance in orange underwear in front of fans. I want to keep that promise.”

Since taking the helm in 2015, Jo’s Jeju have not fallen below sixth place in the top-flight competition. His team finished sixth in 2015 and moved up to third place the following year. Jeju then finished runners-up in 2017 but dropped to fifth place last year.

“This season, our objective is to become the team that scores the most goals and concedes the fewest goals in the league,” he said. “If this is met, I believe we’ll win the league.”

Last year, Jeju scored and surrendered 42 goals in 38 matches. Jo’s side were the league’s second-best team on defense, but they also had the league’s third-worst offense.

For this season, Jeju lost young players like Jin Seong-uk, Ryu Seung-woo and Lee Chan-dong to military football club Sangju Sangmu due to their mandatory military service, but the team boosted their midfield with the signing of Costa Rican Elias Aguilar, last year’s runner-up in assists, and playmaker Yun Il-rok on loan from Yokohama Marinos.

Jeju will open their 2019 K League 1 season against Incheon United on Saturday. Jo said his side are especially determined to play an exciting game in front of home fans.

“We want our average home attendance to be at least 6,000,” he said. “With our hard work, we’ll prove that our goals are achievable.”

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