“I didn’t even look back because it was Kiwoom”… Defensive Specialist Returns After 7 Years

“I didn’t even look back because it was Kiwoom Heroes.”

Coach Chae Jong-guk (48) returned to the Heroes after 7 years. After leaving the team at the end of the 2016 season as defensive coach for Nexen (now Kiwoom) Futures, he went through Hanwha Eagles, kt Wiz, and coach Bu Kyung-go. From the 2023 season, he will take over as the first team defensive coach and guide the squad.

Coach Chae told Spotify News, “I’m back after 7 years, but nothing has changed from before. Since it is a club with a strong image of fostering, the systems have not changed.” “Kiwoom was a team I wanted to come back to from before. Compared to other teams, the system is systematically well equipped. I was a high school coach, but because it was Kiwoom, I chose it without looking back.”

As much as they returned to a familiar team, 메이저놀이터 there were many close faces. Many of the coaching staff, including first-team coach Hong Won-ki, played with Coach Chae. The synergy effect of the coaching staff can also be expected.

Coach Chae said, “Director Hong Won-ki, hitting coach Kang Byung-sik, assistant hitting coach Oh Yun, operation and running coach Park Jae-sang, and battery coach Park Do-hyun were all together as players. We haven’t met face to face yet, but everyone is close. I was contacted, and my juniors welcomed me well,” he smiled.

In the long-awaited return to Kiwoom, coach Chae cited stabilizing the defense as the first task. Last season, Kiwoom tied for third in the league with 118 defensive errors. In particular, in important games such as the postseason, there were frequent cases where the team gave up victories due to defensive anxiety. Coach Chae expressed his intention to focus on the basics to resolve the defensive anxiety.

Coach Chae said, “Last season, the players’ abilities were good, but as a result, the team made many mistakes. He thought that he was out of the basics rather than lacking in skills. This year, I think there will be a synergistic effect if we refine the basic aspects of each individual rather than the defensive strategy.”

“It is difficult for other teams to adapt to the Gocheok Sky Dome ground. The length of the artificial grass is much shorter than that of the batting court. Mostly, the first bounce of the (opponent batter) hits the artificial turf and accelerates. We are considering those things (for the defensive situation),” he added.

Coach Chae could not hide his excitement after returning to Heroes, which he had shown attachment to. “He started his first leadership career at Heroes. When I come back, I feel refreshed. I feel comfortable because I know my position and team system so well. In terms of age, he is right below the director. We are the same coach, but we are trying to set an example.”