‘Lee Go-eun’s Comeback’ Expressway Corporation, Pepper who lost the main setter

V-League Women’s Division completed all nominations for compensation players, the final stage of the FA market.

On the 26th, the Korea Expressway Corporation High Pass team announced through the club’s official SNS that it had named Lee Go-eun setter as a compensation player for outside hitter Park Jung-ah, who signed a FA contract and transferred to Pepper Savings Bank AI Peppers. Lee Go-eun, who obtained FA qualification at the end of the 2021-2022 season, signed an FA contract with Pepper Savings Bank for a total of 990 million won over three years in March 2022, but returned to the road construction after a year as he was named Park Jung-ah’s compensation player. I did it. 

Meanwhile, Hyundai E&C스포츠토토 Hillstate, which sent Hwang Min-gyeong to IBK Industrial Bank Altos, nominated IBK’s outside heater Kim Joo-hyang as a compensation player. Kim Joo-hyang, who wore the IBK uniform as a reward player for FA Go Ye-rim in 2019, made a comeback as a member of Hwang Min-kyung’s reward player for the first time in four years. IBK, which sent Kim Soo-ji to Heungkuk Life Insurance Pink Spiders, nominated Lim Hye-rim, a middle blocker prospect who was nominated second overall in the 2022 rookie draft.

Compensation player-appointed free agents who also target the opponent’s weaknesses

are divided into groups A, B, and C according to the annual salary of the previous season. % and 1 compensation player excluding 5 protected players, or 300% of the previous season’s annual salary must be paid as a transfer fee. This can be determined by the original club that gave away the FA, but most clubs choose to appoint compensation players rather than receiving only compensation money to minimize power loss due to FA transfer.

It is common for compensation players to fill in the weak points of the team or to bring in the best players from the teams that recruited free agents. A typical example is GS Caltex KIXX, which nominated Oh Ji-young (Pepper Savings Bank) as a national libero as a compensation player for Lee So-young, who transferred to KGC Ginseng Corporation in 2021. GS Caltex had young liberos like Han Ha-hye and Han Su-jin, but they strengthened their back defense and receiving line by recruiting experienced libero Oh Ji-young.

However, there have been occasional compensation player nominations with the intention of weakening the power of the team that recruited the free agent. In 2010, Samsung Fire & Marine Blue Fangs in the men’s division recruited Park Chul-woo, an apogee spiker who was a ‘preliminary son-in-law’ and the biggest FA player who is dating the daughter of director Shin Chi-yong. In response, the Hyundai Capital Skywalkers designated Choi Tae-woong, the main setter who led the invincible era of Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (Hyundai Capital Manager), as a compensation player, aiming to weaken the power of the rival team.

However, as a result, Hyundai Capital’s operation was not successful. Kwang-woo Yoo (Korean Air Jumbos), a promising setter who struggled with an ankle injury after joining Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, continued the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance dynasty by showing off perfect compatibility with foreign players such as Gavin Schmidt and Leonardo Leyva Martinez. On the other hand, setter Choi Tae-woong, who wore a Hyundai Capital uniform, could not show his presence as much as he did during his days at Samsung Fire Insurance, as his position overlapped with setter Kwon Young-min (coach of KEPCO Big Storm).

In the women’s division, Nam Ji-yeon Libero was nominated as a compensation player for free agent Kim Su-ji, who transferred from Heungkuk Life Insurance to IBK in 2017. However, Heungkuk Life Insurance had already recruited ‘Crazy Digg’ Kim Hae-ran Libero in the FA market, and Nam Ji-yeon Libero’s nomination as a compensation player was ‘overlapping investment’. In the end, Heungkuk Life Insurance, which used Nam Ji-yeon libero as a substitute defender, fell from winning the regular league in the 2016-2017 season to the bottom in the 2017-2018 season.

Pepper lost the main setter, middle blocker empty potter

Highway Corporation, which succeeded in a reverse sweep against Heungkuk Life Insurance in the championship match and won the second championship in its career, after the season ended, Park Jung-ah, “Clutch Park”, transferred to Pepper Savings Bank and Jeong Dae-young to GS Caltex in the FA market. However, since Jung Dae-young was a ‘B group free agent’ with a net annual salary of 85 million won excluding options, the only club that the Korea Expressway Corporation could recruit a compensation player for was Pepper Savings Bank, which became Park Jung-ah’s new team.

Pepper Savings Bank showed remarkable growth through the 2022-2023 season, with middle blocker Choi Ga-eun ranking 10th in blocking (0.54 per set). In addition to Choi Ga-eun, there is also Seo Chae-won, a promising player born in 2003 who spent her first season as a full-time starter, and Ha Hye-jin, who is rehabilitating after shoulder ligament surgery in October 2022. The potential of Yeom Er-Hung, the tallest prospect at 195cm, is also difficult to gauge. However, it was impossible for Pepper Savings Bank, which signed four players in the free agent market, to include all middle blocker resources in the list of protected players.

However, the road construction company’s choice was not to reinforce the middle blocker without Jeong Dae-young, but rather to recruit Lee Go-eun, a setter who left the road construction a year ago. The Korea Expressway Corporation has setter Lee Yun-jeong, who led the team to victory in the championship in the 2022-2023 season, and setter Ahn Ye-rim, born in 2001 with a good height of 181 cm. Therefore, Pepper Savings Bank, which judged that the Korea Expressway Corporation could not appoint Lee Go-eun, made the mistake of excluding Go-eun, who had invested nearly 1 billion won a year ago, from the list of protected players.

In the end, Pepper Savings Bank lost its clear main setter, who was active as a full-time main setter in the 2022-2023 season and was responsible for a 65.83% set share. Pepper Savings Bank still has setter resources such as Park Sarang, Lee Hyeon, and Gusol, but Lee Hyun setter mainly serves as a one-point server in the 2022-2023 season, with a set share of only 1.64%, and Park Sarang and Gusol also do not have full-time starting experience on the professional stage. As a result, Pepper Savings Bank went back to the days when the setter was its greatest weakness before hiring Lee Go-eun.

It is too early to rejoice at the Korea Expressway Corporation, which brought back an experienced setter named Lee Go-eun. This is because the Korea Expressway Corporation has yet to completely fill the void left by Jeong Dae-young by bringing in setter Lee Go-eun instead of promising middle blockers. Of course, there is a way to slowly change generations while giving opportunities to prospective players such as Lee Ye-dam and Lim Ju-eun, but the middle blocker reinforcement is essential for the road construction company, which has become the ‘defending champion’, to maintain its strong power in the next season.

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