World soccer is the era of tall goalkeepers. Goalkeepers with excellent reflexes, motor skills, and even the ability to control the ball with their feet are recognized as world-class at 190 cm. Korea is also in the same trend. Kim Seung-kyu (187cm), Jo Hyun-woo (189cm), and Song Bum-keun (194cm), who have been consistently selected for the recent A national team, and even Koo Seong-yoon (195cm) and Kim Dong-jun (189cm) who competed with them do not lag behind the world’s standards.
It is not easy to defend the front of the battlefield with a height of 180 cm in an era where players of even larger and larger sizes display tremendous agility. Jorge Campos (170cm), Fabien Barthez (180cm), and Iker Casillas (182cm) overcame the difficulties and went on to become world-class, leaving dark traces, but they are not frequent.
Goalkeeper Shin Song-hoon,토스카지노 born in 2002, is one of the mutants that appeared in Korean football in that sense. As a goalkeeper, he has been consistently noticed since his youth phase. He further developed his skills through the Golden Age, which was the main strategy of the Korea Football Association, and stepped on the national team by age from under 14 years old. After passing through the Gwangju FC youth system, he leaped to the starting lineup from the second half of his first year of high school, and in his second year, he became the main player in winning the K-League Junior Championship and the King of Kings.
Shin Song-hoon’s brightest moment was the FIFA U17 World Cup held in Brazil in 2019. He continued to save every game and contributed to the advancement of the under-17 national team led by coach Kim Jeong-soo to the world quarterfinals. Through this tournament, Shin Song-hun clearly announced his strengths. In addition to the ability to save from his quick reaction, he was able to participate in a high-level build-up and was bold in handling the ball in the air.
After graduating from high school in 2021, Shin Song-hoon, who received the priority nomination from Gwangju FC, entered the professional stage with his classmate, Um Ji-seong. But his adult stage, especially the pro wall, was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. In front of him were seniors who were highly recognized for their competitiveness in the K-League, such as Yoon Bo-sang and Yoon Pyeong-guk. In the first year of the 2021 season, he didn’t even have a chance to play in practice games. After his team’s relegation was confirmed, he made his professional debut in the final game of the season. The situation did not change much until the middle of the 2022 season. This is because newcomer Kim Kyung-min showed the best performance in K-League 2. In the end, Shin Song-hoon applied for the enlistment of Sangmu, and fortunately passed, and came to the army at an early age.
“My first year as a pro was just a waiting period. Still, it was the most important period for me to silently do everything I had to do and not let go of my hopes. Last year, too, it was difficult because I didn’t play in the game, but enlisting as Sangmu during the season became a turning point. A new opportunity. I had a lot of good thoughts to get a good catch, and I tried to keep the sense of the game through training diligently and image training.”
“I am grateful that coach Sung Han-soo continued to give me opportunities this year. Honestly, I know that it is not an easy choice. There are some things I have to endure by putting in a goalkeeper with a small height. I am still working hard to repay the continued trust in me. This season In the beginning, it was not easy to follow the flow and pace of the game with my experience in the game having diminished significantly after becoming a pro. I think I got the timing to highlight it.”
This season, Shin Song-hoon has played in 9 games and scored 9 runs. 3 scoreless matches. He took the lead in the competition with Moon Kyung-geon, who showed competitiveness in Japan and Korea. If Hyun-moo Kang, who is about to return, joins, the competition for the position of manager Kim Cheon will become more intense, but Shin Song-hun has increased his confidence by breaking the wall of the competition for the first time in the pro. Even within his team, Shin Song-hoon’s athletic greed, effort, and concentration are highly praised.
When the topic of height came up, Shin Song-hun smiled strangely. He said, “It’s been a while since I measured it. I think it’s around 180…” When he was young, there was a time when he tried to make his height even a little taller by examining his growth plate, but now that he is an adult, his interest is not in his height. Because he hears so much about that part, he tends to be less conscious.
Kim Jeong-soo, former coach of the Korea Football Association, who coached him as the coach of the under-17 national team, said that paying attention to Shin Song-hoon’s height would rather be a bad way to find out his true value.
“They talk about that a lot. You have to get rid of prejudices to see the player’s true skill and value. Shin Song-hoon is that kind of player. Above all, the player himself doesn’t get discouraged by such gazes. Ever since he was young, his philosophy, goals, and efforts were clear. I have developed my skills through research that makes use of my strengths.”
Goalkeeper coach Seo Dong-myeong, who has been watching Shin Song-hun since his Golden Age days, also praised Shin Song-hun when he was a national team leader. Coach Seo Dong-myeong, who brought the tall goalkeeper era to Korean soccer with his 194cm height, always praised Shin Song-hoon for his growth, effort and seriousness rather than prejudice against his height.
Recently, the team facing Gimcheon shows a common strategy in set-piece situations such as corner kicks and free kicks. Try to attack by putting the ball close to the near post or in front of the goal line. The players plan to gather in large numbers near the goal gate, hinder Shin Song-hun’s movements, and then use strikers or defenders around 190cm tall to score goals. It is to judge that height is Shin Song-hoon’s weakness. Rather, Shin Song-hun smiled at such a situation.
“I am confident that I am a goalkeeper who is strong in the air. I think it’s an opportunity to change the perception that that goalkeeper is short but has a strong aerial ball.”
“I do a lot of research on how to respond to my condition that cannot be changed. I pay a lot of attention to the power side of weight training. Basically, I shouldn’t be pushed in the air or in various competition situations. I can use my hands. .Somehow, I am higher than others. I am trying to use my weaknesses that others think of me as strengths.
According to coach Kim Jeong-soo, Shin Song-hun is a player who can play a big role outside the goal. He is serious about football and a player who has concerns about the team. So, he saw it as a material that had a positive impact on the team and had greater potential for future development.
“I coached a lot of young players, but these days I don’t see a sense of assertiveness. It’s not just a matter of leadership or charisma. Few players have deep thoughts and dedication to thinking about the team. Shin Song-hoon has been calm and thoughtful since he was young. He is a player who leads the team in a good direction, and the manager who coaches him will definitely see that.”
In December of this year, Shin Song-hoon will be discharged. In the 2024 season, he will have to compete again outside the fence of the military. He’s made a major leap in breaking prejudice this season, but he has more to show for that prejudice to be turned into praise. His original team, Gwangju, and the national team by age that he missed due to Corona 19 (※ Shin Song-hoon’s generation players did not have a chance to participate in the World Cup under the age of 20) are the next goals he prepares.
“I think it’s still a long way until I reach my full potential. The situation where I’m playing one game after another is precious. Rather, I hope this time is long. My competitiveness will increase only when my performance continues to improve, and when I go back to Gwangju, the team’s good players will improve.” I think I can compete with. I’m going to cherish every minute and every second of the opportunity the team is giving me.”
“Next year’s Paris Olympics is the last national team for each age group that I can challenge. The Olympic generation is one year older than me. I try to focus only on the reality I am facing.”
Shin Song-hun also has a model of hope. There are Kim Yeong-gwang, Shin Hwa-yong, Kwon Sun-tae, Yoon Bo-sang, and more closely, Lee Kwang-yeon. All of them were between 180cm and 184cm tall, competing for positions with goalkeepers who were 5cm to 10cm taller than them, and competing for the ball with field players who were taller than them in front of the goal. Shin Song-hoon wants to absorb all of their strengths and create a new role model as a 180cm goalkeeper. If that happens, the current prejudice will be nothing more than a growth plate that stimulated him positively.
“I watch a lot of videos of seniors with similar conditions to me. There was a time when I thought that senior was like that, but why can’t I do that? I think it’s fortunate that those seniors are there. Since you came, I will follow suit and show you my own strengths.”