One-club man. In professional sports, it usually refers to an athlete who has played for only one team.
Examples include Korean Air setter Han, who has been with Korean Air for about 16 years; apogee spiker Seo Jae-duk, who has been the face of Korea Electric Power for 12 years; Kim Yeon-kyung, who has been with Heungkuk Life for about 18 years; and Kim Hee-jin, who has played for IBK for 12 years.
Woori Card, on the other hand, has been known to make “new farms” every year since Shin Young-cheol took over. No one club man As of the 23-24 season, the longest-serving player on the roster is middle blocker Choi Seok-ki, who came over before the start of the 19-20 season. He just completed his fourth year in the 22-23 season. If he stays until next year without transferring, he will be the team’s only player with five years or more.
Woori Card executed a one-for-one trade with OK Financial Group on Nov. 26 in exchange for outside hitters Song Hee-chae and Song Myung-geun. This comes a day after the team announced the Han Sung-jung-Hwang Seung-bin trade with KB Insurance.
“We made the trade to strengthen the positions we need in preparation for the 23-24 season,” head coach Shin Young-cheol said in a statement. “We are grateful to the players for their dedication to the team so far, and we hope they will continue to play well and stay injury-free in their new teams.”
Shin was hired by the team for the 2018-19 season. At the time, the Woori Card hadn’t played spring volleyball in more than a decade. Shin’s frequent “team overhauls” began then. Starting with a one-for-one trade of outside hitter Choi Hong-seok for setter Noh Jae-wook (then of KEPCO), a series of big and small trades followed.
Noh was also sent to Samsung Fire in a mega-trade about two years after joining the team. In the 20-21 season, Samsung Fire traded Ryu Yun-sik, Song Hee-chae, and Lee Ho-gun to Woori Card for Hwang Kyung-min, Noh Jae-wook, and Kim Kwang-kook. There was a lot of backlash from fans at the time for giving up Noh Jae-wook, who made a good contribution to the team, and Hwang Kyung-min, who won the rookie of the year award.
The ‘trade farming’ continued. In the middle of the 21-22 season, Han Sung-jung was sent to KB Insurance in a one-for-one trade for Kim Jae-hwi. In the 22-23 season, they sent Ryu Yun-sik and Lee Ho-gun back to Samsung Fire and Ha Seung-woo and Jang Ji-won to KEPCO. Outside hitter Kim Ji-han and libero Oh Jae-sung also joined the team via trade during this time.
However, the most shocking transfer was a separate one. It was the departure of one of the team’s pillars, Na Kyung-bok.
Na joined the Woori Card as a first-round pick in the 2015-16 season and has been with the team for eight years. He was actually the last franchise player to leave 먹튀검증 the team, as setter Ha Seung-woo was traded to KEPCO in the 2016-17 season. However, after the 22-23 season, Na earned his second free agency and headed to KB Insurance with a total of 800 million won in salary.
In addition, veteran outside hitter Song Hee-chae was traded for Song Myung-geun (formerly of OK Financial Group) in a one-for-one deal.
Almost all of the current players joined the team in the 2020s or later. Only middle blocker Choi Seok-ki was signed ahead of the 19-20 season after finishing the 18-19 season, while Jang Jun-ho (middle blocker) and Kim Kwang-il (setter) joined in the 20-21 season.
Players who joined the team in 2021 include Kim Dong-min (outside hitter) and Kim Jae-hwi (middle blocker), who were traded for Han Sung-jung in December.
Lee Kang-woong (outside hitter), Kim Wan-jong, Lee Sang-hyun (middle blocker), and Kim Young-jun (libero) joined the team for the 21-22 season. Then, for the 22-23 season, Oh Jae-sung (libero), Jung Sung-kyu, Kim Ji-han (outside hitter), Park Jun-hyuk (middle blocker), Han Tae-joon (setter), and Hwang Jun-tae (libero) joined the team.
In addition, before the 23-24 season, Han Sung-jung was traded back to Woori Card after one year and five months. Woori Card gave up their starting setter Hwang Seung-bin in exchange for the player they sent back. Middle blocker Park Jin-woo also returned to his home team as compensation for Na Kyung-bok.
With the addition of outside hitter Issei Otake (Japan), who was brought in as part of the first Asian quota system in professional volleyball, and Matej Kok (Slovenia), the only “new face” among the seven clubs, the new version of Shin’s team is even more difficult to predict.
If Choi Seok-gi ends up making a trade, we won’t have a single player from the 2010s on our roster.
Meanwhile, the 2023-24 V-League will kick off its regular season on October 14. Prior to that, the men’s and women’s professional volleyball cups will be held from August 5 to 13 at the Park Jung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi.