This time, the close-knit best friends came together as one in the V-League team, not the national team.
Since the 14th, Heungkuk Life Insurance has set up a camp at the training ground of its Japanese sister club, JT Marvelous, and is warming up the off-season with overseas training for the first time in five years. On the first day, we had a practice match with Victorina Himeji, and then from the 16th, we started a practice match with JT Marvelous.
The club explained the plan for the season, saying, “Through this training camp, we will play as many practice games as possible and complete an offensive triangle centered around Kim Yeon-kyung.”
This season, Heungkuk Life Insurance not only retained Kim Yeon-kyung but also strengthened its strength. This is because veteran middle blocker Kim Su-ji returned to his former team, Heungkuk Life Insurance, after six seasons through free agency this season.
This is the first time the two have played on one team other than the national team. Kim Su-ji played for Heungkuk Life Insurance from the 2013-14 season to the 2016-17 season, but Kim Yeon-kyung advanced to the overseas league before that, so they never met each other.
Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Su-ji attended elementary, middle, and high school together and spent about 25 years together. The two graduated from Ansan Seo Elementary School, Wongok Middle School, and Suwon Hanil Jeonsan Girls’ High School together.
The two people, who know their friend better than anyone else, cited their dependence on each other as their greatest strength. Kim Yeon-kyung expressed her thoughts through the club, saying, “I joined around the end of July and have been with the team for about a month and a half. I am looking forward to this season as I have a friend I can rely on.”
Kim Soo-ji also agreed, saying, “I’m still working on my body, but I can easily get advice on this. The best part is having someone to rely on.”
The two people have different tendencies. Kim Yeon-kyung’s personality is hot-headed, while Kim Su-ji is known to be laid-back and calm. They complemented each other’s different personalities, and they became best friends for over 20 years.
Kim Yeon-kyung opened up somewhat honestly(?), saying, “Before (when moving somewhere), I was always the last one, but now that (Kim) Suzy is here, I’m really happy that I’m not the last one.”
When Kim Su-ji continued saying, “I have to get in because (the car) will start now,” Kim Yeon-kyung responded, “(Kim Su-ji) is a bit slow in her actions, so no matter where she goes, it takes too long.” Kim Su-ji immediately replied, “But I still get on on time,” making her laugh.
Both of them experienced countless worries at the crossroads of remaining in the team, either retiring or becoming a free agent this season. Each time, we shared our thoughts and shared our burdens. Now that I am in my mid-30s, I have entered the ranks of veteran athletes.
Kim Yeon-kyung, who became a hot topic in the previous season by revealing her concerns about retirement, confessed, “When we meet, we share a lot of concerns about the future with each other,” and Kim Su-ji said, “We are also older, so we try to experience various things when we have the opportunity during the off-season. “He said.
Kim Yeon-kyung (right), who served as an advisor to the Korean women’s volleyball team, is talking with Joo-ah Lee (No. 2) ⓒMHN Sports Reporter Ji-sook Lee
I was also able to hear brief thoughts about the national team, which is currently experiencing difficulties due to a generational change. With ace Kim Yeon-kyung and veteran Kim Su-ji, who were a big part of the team’s strength, retiring from the national team, the national team made up of young players is struggling on the international stage. Currently, the women’s volleyball team has departed for Łódź, Poland for the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers.메이저놀이터
Kim Su-ji expressed her cautious thoughts, saying, “The current players are all in good physical condition, but since they play volleyball based on results, they tend to miss details. However, it is also experience, so if we accumulate it, we will someday produce good results.”
Kim Yeon-kyung, who retired but contributed as an advisor to the national team, also voiced her voice in this regard.
He said, “Of course, I don’t feel good, and it doesn’t feel like it’s anyone else’s business, and since we are also part of volleyball, there is always a feeling of regret,” and “I think it is true that there is always a feeling of regret, such as in the management part. (But) we have to go through this.” “I think it is such a process, and it is a time when all volleyball players should feel it and work together to change,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, Heungkuk Life Insurance plans to play another practice game with JT Marvelous on the 19th and return to Korea on the 20th.