In Korean soccer, there have always been tall strikers who represent an era. Kim Jae-han, the main striker of the Korean national soccer team in the 1970s, Woo Sung-yong, the K-League representative striker, and even Kim Shin-wook. Based on their overwhelming height of 190 cm, they have been shining Korean soccer by taking advantage of their superiority in air supply.

Gwangju FC, which was promoted to the K-League 1 this year, is also growing rapidly as a next-generation large striker to succeed them. Heo Yul (22), who is entering his 4th year as a professional this year, is the main character. Heo Yul, who was one of the main players who led Gwangju to win the K League 2 last year, is pouring out thick sweat to achieve a higher level than this season.

Heo Yul, who we met on the 8th at the Parev Hotel in Seogwipo, Jeju, where the second field training in Gwangju was held, said, “Until July, the number of attack points was good and the performance was good, but it fell a lot in the second half. At the same time, as his playing time decreased, his confidence was also broken and it was difficult,” he said. “It was the first time he played full-time after his professional debut. His stamina and tactics were lacking a lot,” he recalled last season.

Heo Yul’s profile on the club’s website states that he is 193 cm tall. However, Heo Yul said that it would need to be revised again. He said, “When I measured it in 2021, it was already 194 cm. Looking at what was the same last year, I don’t think it will be bigger now,” he said with a shy smile.

Heo Yul is a native of Gwangju, born and raised in Gwangju. During his time at Kumho High School, a youth team affiliated with Gwangju, he drew attention for his tremendous scoring power. When he was in his third year of high school, he led the team to victory in the 2019 National High School King of Kings Championship and was named MVP. Due to his performance, he was selected for the U-19 national team after the season.

People who see tall strikers inevitably have a preconceived notion that they are only good at fighting in the air. However, the reason Heo Yul is really getting attention is that he is as good in his foot technique and speed as he is in the air ball fight. It is the result of watching and analyzing the video diligently in order to play like Elling Hollan 먹튀검증of Manchester City (hereinafter referred to as Man City), which he likes. Hollan is also 194 cm tall, like Heo Yul, but his foot skills are also splendid.

Huh Yul said, “Personally, Hollan’s play is very helpful. The coach holds meetings, even for a short time, about 6 days a week, and at that time, he always shows a video of Man City’s game. He said the coach is trying to play like Manchester City and we train similarly.” “Hollan has so many good examples. He added that while in Dortmund (Germany) he often scored goals by running long distances and receiving the ball from behind the opponent, in Man City he was in the middle half space and entered the final area and scored goals there.”

Huh Yul confessed that he had to fight against the prejudice around him saying ‘You can’t do it’ since high school. It was luck that he met director Lee Jung-hyo. Coach Lee told Huh Yul that he would focus on playing with technique rather than aerial combat using height. Huh Yul also liked this director. He said, “Ever since I was young, I received more criticism than praise. I heard people say, ‘You can’t become a professional’.” From elementary school to high school, I only focused on aerial ball fights, but the coach broke that mold. I like this kind of play better,” he emphasized.

Huh Yul recorded 10 attack points with 6 goals and 4 assists last year. He intends to play with even better goals this year. This is because Gwangju can become competitive in the K-League 1 and increase its own value. The fact that Oh Hyeon-kyu (Celtic), who is the same age as him, advanced to Europe is also a great motivation. Huh Yul said, “I think I can get a better offer if I do a little more. So it becomes an opportunity to work hard,” he said. “Last year, we raised double-digit attack points. I want to score double digits this year.”

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