(Čelákovice) Unique, exotic and attractive. These are the attributes, that the three weeks long participation of South Korean jokgu players in Czech futnet leagues deseves. During their visit, that took place in the end of April and beginning of May they played six extraleague matches and six matches in second league. They weren’t only an attracive show fot the fans, but they aleso showed their good futnet quality.

If we want to be specific, for example Jeong Won Deok (otherwise brilliant jokgu player and member of South Korean national representation in sepaktakraw) with his vigorous and effective acrobatic offensive would be an useful member in most of the extraleague teams. And if we overlook the offense against the competition rules, when funcionaries from Čelákovice did’t pay attention on limited count of fluctuants (F), which will besides costs them appreciable number of points, then the results of Korean engagement are very good! The question is how better could the three of Korean player get, if they have more time for adaptation on futnet with two drops.

Korean players themselves have for the the visit of Czech Republic only a praiseworthy words. ,,I would like to thank for the invitation and for the fact, that despite all the complications, we made it to Czech Republic. I was touched by the friendly and kindly way Spartak players took care of us. Everything was arranged and we didn’t miss anything. I think that if jokgu and futnet make some agreement in the future, everybody will give us an applause for our project ,Working together,“ says the trainer KI HONG, who answered a few questions, together with his players.

If we say Czech futnet extraleague, what comes on your mind now?

KI HONG: For our journey to the Czech Republic we choose our best jokgu players , but even for them, it weren’t easy to get used to the different style of game. But after some time our game got better. I also found out, that even though futnet is a net-game, players often suffer from injuries.I noticed that during the matches and also during showing futnet in  elementary schools. I think that futnet is harder sport then jogku – futnet has heavier ball and lower net. By my opinion, it must be very hard for children, who want to start with it.

2017 korex 02What surprised you on the league?

KI HONG: It’s not like it surpised me, but I really saw the differece between jokgu, that is played through a tournament system and futnet, that has a long-term competition. The tournaments are more focused on players, while long-term competition is more attractive for fans. If we want jokgu to become more popular, we must combine both of the game styles. Because of that, we are planning the tournament system competition from March to November and in the other months we want to make a league.

Can some game elements from futnet help you in you national sport?

KI HONG: I’m sure some of the game elements can. Unlike in futnet, every player has his exact position in jokgu, so he is passer or smechcer and so on. In this course we have a lot to learn from futnet. A futnet player must manage all the positions, so he is more flexible. But I also think futnet can learn something form jokgu. In jokgu players have one more drop, which by my opinion would really hepl the technique in futnet.

Which rival did make the best impression on you?

JEONG WON DEOK: I will always remembr the game against Holice. Beceause it was our first match here and we played it day after we arrived, we weren’t used to futnet and ready for it yet and we literally thwarted the game….

SON YEONSEOK: Most of all, i liked Jan Vanke, captain of the Karlovy Vary team. I already knew him from the World Championshop, but I firstly played against him here.

JUNG YONGCHUL: I was most impressed by Richard Makara. Although he is a bit older than the other players, he is still as good as the young ones.

Can you compare the fan atmosphere for exaple in Čelákovice and on some jokgu tournaments?

KI HONG: The atmosphere in Čelákovice and also in the others league matches in Czech republic is much better than in jokgu. I’m sure it’s because futnet league is the long-term competition and it more connects the team and its fans . In Čelákovice, fans are really enjoying the game.

How popular jokgu is in Korea, compared to the other sports? For example – belongs it in the 10 most popular ones? Are there any television broadcasts?

KI HONG: Jokgu definitely has a strong position in Korea. Everyone knows it and a lot of people play it. But as I said, it tis more focused on players than on fans, so it’s not as popular as the other sports. Last television broadcast was in 2010.

Jogku and futnet are quite similar sports. Are your excursion in Czech Republic a promise of closer contact of both associations? Will your cooperation with Čelákovice continue?

KI HONG: Our cooperation with Čelákovice will definitely continue. We are thinking not just about comming back to Czech Republic, but also about inviting Čelákovice team to us in South Korea.

2017 korex 03In Czech Republic, you didn’t spend all your time on court. What did you like the most?

KI HONG: We all loved the fresh air and the beautiful nature here. We were also really happy to meet a lot of nice and good people.

Aren’t you sad, that you weren’t home to vote your president?

KI HONG: As a citizen of Korea, it is my duty to vote. But for me, as a man interested in jokgu, the expedition to Czech Republic was more important. I can vote our president again after four years, but this opportunity was unique.

Will your repeat your visit again? For example in the next season…

KI HONG: If we are going to be invited again and there will be no limitations, we would surely love to come back. We would be really happy to be part of Czech Futnet league again, and to come with some old and also some new players.

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