Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC) and Kim Hye-ri (Hyundai Steel) were named the best players of the year in the WK League of women’s unemployment soccer.

Ji-so-yeon and Kim Hye-ri received the WK League Midfielder and Defender awards, respectively, at the 2023 Korean Women’s Football Association Awards Ceremony held at the Olympic Parktel in Songpa-gu, Seoul on Thursday.

The KFWF held the WK League year-end awards for the first time last year, and this year expanded the event to include the best teams from the elementary, middle, high school and university divisions.

South Korean women’s soccer “living legend” Ji So-yeon was named the league’s top midfielder, repeating her win from last year.

This season, Ji led Suwon FC to a third-place finish in the WK League regular season and a playoff win over Hwacheon KSPO to reach the championship for the first time in four years. While they fell short of winning the championship as they were stopped by Incheon Hyundai Steel, Ji had a multi-goal outburst in the first leg of the championship final.

The midfielder also earned an assist award for her six assists this season.

“There were many players who were better than me, so I feel sorry for them,” he said in his midfield award speech, and “I’m still angry when I think about the loss in the second round of the championship. Next year, let’s have more teams stand up to Hyundai Steel,” she said, expressing her desire to win.

Captain Kim Hye-ri, who played a key role in helping Hyundai Steel win its 11th consecutive title, received the Defender Award for the first time.

“I am grateful to my coaches for guiding me to grow well so that I could receive such a great award. I didn’t do it alone, but with my coaches and players,” she said, adding, “I will continue to play well without losing my focus.”

Suwon FC’s Moon Mi-ra, who scored 12 goals to become the league’s top scorer for the second year in a row, was also named the league’s best offensive player, while 39-year-old veteran Kim Jung-mi, who was in goal for the champions, Hyundai Steel, repeated as goalkeeper of the year.

“I am honored to receive such a great award. I’m grateful to my teammates, coaches, and the club.” Kim, who also revealed that she is getting married, vowed to be a player who “will always improve and not settle for the present.”

The Rookie of the Year award went to Chun Garam (KSPO), while Kim Eun-sook, who coached Hyundai Steel to its 11th consecutive title, won the Coach of the Year award.

Chun said, “I will learn with a low attitude and grow into a player with high values,” while Kim Eun-sook said, “As other teams are trying to compete with us, we will continue to challenge and defend ourselves.”

The Referee of the Year award went to referee Cha Min-ji.

Widok University was named the best team in the university division, Pohang Women’s Electronics High School and Gwangyang Women’s High School in the high school division, Ulsan Hyundai Cheongwoonjung in the secondary division, and Namgang Cho and Sangdae Cho in the elementary division.

In addition, referee Jeong Jeong-young, who is retiring after becoming the first WK League referee to officiate 100 games, and KSPO head Choi Jae-man received plaques of recognition, while Koo Bon-seok of the Ulsan Sports Support Division and Kim Ho-jung of Korean Ginseng, the league’s sponsor, received plaques of appreciation. 파워볼

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