Women’s professional volleyball Heungkuk Life Insurance eventually embraced the ‘Volleyball Empress’ again. What vision would you present?
FA (free agent) Choi Dae-eo Kim Yeon-kyung remained with the original team Heungkuk Life Insurance. On the afternoon of the 16th, he signed for a total of 775 million won (annual salary of 475 million won, an option of 300 million won) for one year. Kim Yeon-kyung is contemplating the timing of her retirement. This is the reason for the one-year contract. The possibility of transferring to another team is greatly reduced. Heungkuk Life Insurance is expected to remain as a franchise player.
Initially, the possibility of Heungkuk Life Insurance remaining seemed low. First of all, there was a big conflict between the two sides over whether or not to qualify for FA a decade ago. Even after returning to the V-League in the 2020-21 season, there are many bad memories. This season, the circumstances of the club’s high-ranking officials’ excess of power were also captured. For that reason, there was a great expectation that Kim Yeon-kyung would leave Heungkuk Life Insurance. It was also the wish of Kim Yeon-kyung, not a fan of Heungkuk Life Insurance.
But he couldn’t help but consider the realistic part. The reason why Kim Yeon-kyung is extending his career as a player is clear. This is because even after ranking first in the regular league in the 2022-23 season, he suffered 3 losses (2 wins) in the championship match against Korea Expressway Corporation and ended up in second place. After winning the women’s MVP (best player) award at the V-League awards ceremony on the 10th, he said, “I will choose a team that can win.”
He is close with Yang Hyo-jin, and a transfer to Hyundai E&C, which has a solid history, was likely. However, when considering the salary cap and option cap, it was difficult to give Kim Yeon-kyung the upper limit on compensation (775 million won). It was a team with a lot of high-payers due to the thick team depth. Kim Yeon-kyung tried to endure the pay cut, but even with this choice, she was worried because she could not guarantee how public opinion would be formed.
The biggest reason for the decision to stay at Heungkuk Life Insurance was the persuasion of coach Marcello Abondanza. He said that he was persuaded by various directions conveyed by coach Abondanza, such as the club’s press release and plans for the next season through the club’s video channel.
Avon Danza’s plan must have included the front’s willingness to invest. There is already a rumor that Heungkuk Life Insurance is promoting the recruitment of a national-level middle blocker and setter.
Heungkuk Life Insurance rarely used the central attack in the championship match against Expressway Corporation. I only relied on Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena. This was also a problem. However, coach Abondanza is not a leader who plays volleyball like that. In the end, it can be seen that the time spent breathing with the setters and middle blockers was short, and he could not melt his volleyball properly. Of course, the player’s disposition or skill would also have an effect.
In that sense, interest is gathering in the next player Heungkuk Life Insurance will recruit. It is true that there are clear positions that need to be supplemented. In the FA market this time, there are only a lot of A-class players, and the prospect that there will be many transfers is dominant. Heungkuk Life Insurance renewed the contract with Kim Yeon-kyung, but only with reinforcements can Kim Yeon-kyung hope for the integrated championship. 먹튀검증