In Pohang, “Jaehee Time” and Jung Jaehee’s “Booster” don’t turn off right now


A player who is kind to fans and has a reputation for being sincere among his colleagues and industry officials even had venom. Jung Jae-hee (30), the “Youngilman Booster” of the Pohang Steelers, is leading the “K League 1 score leader” by overcoming the hamstring injury that plagued him terribly.

Sports Korea met Jung Jae-hee at the club house of the Pohang club located in Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do, and heard about the secret to suffering from injuries last season and performing well early this season.

Before Jung Jae-hee came to Pohang, there was a game that shocked the reporter. It was the second match between Daegu FC and the Jeonnam Dragons in the FA Cup (currently the Korea Cup) finals of the 2021 season. At that time, Chung’s team Jeonnam was at a disadvantage because it was 0-1 away to Daegu in the first match at home. However, Jung played full-time, scored one goal and one assist, and led his team to come-from-behind victory in this match, which was his first match since his discharge from military service in Gimcheon Sangmu. He moved to Pohang after decorating his last match in Jeollanam-do.

“After being discharged from military service, I returned to Jeollanam-do and was in the middle of playing with new players. I took a break for about a month and started training, so I didn’t feel well either. As I made a lot of mistakes during training, (Park) Chan-yong said, ‘What are you doing? Go back to Sangmu’ (laughs). I was in a situation where I gained a lot of confidence after winning the K League 2 title in Gimcheon, but my performance was not good, so I thought I would not cause inconvenience to my team when I played. However, after stepping on the lawn, I gained confidence again, and I was able to produce good results.”

Jung Jae-hee’s “Solver Instinct,” which is strong at important moments, has been flashing since the beginning of this year, his third season in Pohang. He is leading the scoring with seven goals in eight games until the 10th round of the K League 1, and all four of his previous goals were scored in the second half of extra time (3 minutes in the second half of Gwangju vs. 2 minutes in the second half of Gwangju vs. 2 minutes in the second half of Jeju vs. 7 minutes in the second half of Daejeon vs. 2 minutes in the second half of Daejeon vs. 3 minutes in the second half of Seoul), and the first three of them are the winning goals. As Jung Jae-hee scores so many theater goals, even the new word “Jae-hee Time” was born among Pohang fans.

“I don’t think much about it when I go into the playground as a substitute. I don’t even think about ‘I must score a goal’. There’s not much time left, so I’m going to run for now, but the ball luckily came to my feet. I’m getting so much help from (Lee) Ho-jae that I’m called “Ho Jae-hee,” but he asked me to give him an assist at the match against Gimcheon on the 20th of last month. Honestly, I wanted to give the ball to Ho-jae that day, but I couldn’t find his position well (laughs). I think I’m the type to help each other, so I’ll continue to work well together.”

Jung Jae-hee is spending the early 2024 season, which is brighter than anyone else, but the last 2023 season was a “nightmare” for him. He had no choice but to lose most of the season with tears in his hamstring injury, which came to him four times. It was a happy and very disappointing year as a player in that Pohang won second place in the K League 1 and the FA Cup last year.

“In the sixth round of last season, I tore my hamstring more than 15 centimeters. I rehabilitated quickly and was about to return in July, when I tore it again. In the end, I had to watch most of the games from outside, suffering four hamstring injuries in 2023 alone. I was happy that my team members performed well and were happy, but it was sad that I could not join them. I also thought a lot about whether I would be able to do well when I returned, or whether I would be able to go back to my previous physical condition when I kept getting hurt.”

Jung Jae-hee’s sincerity and will shone once again in preparation for this season.

“Before the opening of this season, we prepared more than usual and delayed the return date on purpose. During winter training as well, we tried to slowly pull ourselves up and avoid getting hurt as much as possible. We also stopped eating flour, fried food, carbonated drinks, and chocolate. When I go to a restaurant with my colleagues, they just stare at me when they eat fried food or chicken, but they endure it by eating lean meat and rice.”

Jeong Jae-hee is experiencing Kim Ki-dong, who won the FA Cup, and Park Tae-ha, who is currently leading the league. What is Jeong’s view on the two coaches, who are legendary and former and incumbent in the club. 먹튀검증

“Coach Park Tae-ha is very calm. There are not many demands from me at the moment, but I think he did not want to put too much pressure on me from the beginning. Coach Kim Ki-dong is relatively playful. However, both of them only make points when they need to make changes during training or games, and it’s amazing that they all fit. It’s even nice that he explained it in an easy-to-understand way.”

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