World-class outside hitter Kim Yeon-kyung (35) and master Marcello Abondanza (53, Italy) met at Heungkuk Life Insurance in the Korean Professional Volleyball V-League.
On the 19th, Kim Yeon-kyung, who watched the Heungkuk Life Insurance game from the stands at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, said coach Abondanza, “I was surprised, and I received a lot of calls from players and coaches playing in Europe.” It is not easy to recruit a leader, but I am grateful that the front desk completed the recruitment of the manager smoothly.”
On this day, Heungkuk Life Insurance announced, “I signed a contract with former Turkish Airlines coach Abondanza until the 2024-2025 season. I will lead the team after completing paperwork such as visas.”
Coach Abondanza met with the Heungkuk Life Insurance team on the 18th and 19th, and watched the Heungkuk Life Insurance and GS Caltex match from the stands on the 19th.
Heungkuk Life Insurance defeated GS Caltex with a set score of 3-1 (22-25 25-18 25-17 25-23).
Kim Yeon-kyung actively participated in the defense, but scored 21 points with a high attack success rate of 55.56%.
Coach Abondanza cheered for the performance of Kim Yeon-kyung, who still has the world’s best skills.
The two played together as a manager and player at Fenerbahce from the 2013-2014 season to the 2016-2017 season.
For coach Abondanza, who is unfamiliar with the Korean stage, Kim Yeon-kyung’s presence is of great help outside of the game.
Kim Yeon-kyung laughed, saying, “I met the coach for the first time in about 4 years, and we had a lot of conversations that made my ears bleed.” I will play a good role in the middle so that he can adapt.”
After Heungkuk Life Insurance sacked coach Kwon Soon-chan on January 2, he played the game as an “acting manager system” for about 50 days.
The club suffered from internal troubles, but the players who united around Kim Yeon-kyung beat Hyundai E&C and rose to first place.
With this victory, the gap between Heungkuk Life Insurance (66 points, 22 wins, 7 losses) and Hyundai E&C (62 points, 21 wins, 8 losses) in second place widened to 4 points.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “Of course, I care about Hyundai E&C. My goal is to finish the remaining 7 regular league games well and keep first place.”
For the team’s leader, Kim Yeon-kyung, the appointment of head coach Abondanza is a great source of strength.
Coach Abondanza started his career as a volleyball leader in the Italian league in 1996, served as coach of the Italian national team, coach of the Bulgarian, Canadian, and Greek national teams, and led world-class club teams such as Azerbaijan Lavita Baku, Turkiye Fenerbahce, and Italy Zanetti Bergamo. .
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “Players from other countries were also surprised by the news that Abondanza had been appointed as the V-League command tower. He said, “I was also impressed by the V-League, and it is very interesting for Abondanza to lead a Korean team.”
The V-League left a strong first impression on Abondanza.
The V-League game he watched for the first time was packed with full spectators, and the fans cheered passionately.
Kim Yeon-kyung said, “I was surprised by the fever of Korean volleyball coach Abondanza. We have high expectations for the coach and the coach for Korean volleyball.” 안전놀이터
Kim Yeon-kyung and coach Abondanza’s’V-League Accompaniment’ may be very short, with 7 regular league games in 2022-2023 and a few postseason games.
Kim Yeon-kyung recently confessed, “I’m thinking about the timing of retirement.”
At the end of this season, Kim Yeon-kyung, who has qualified as a free agent (FA), is also considering a plan to end his active career without exercising his FA rights.
Kim Yeon-kyung laughed, saying, “Director Abondanza didn’t ask me to stay.”