South Korean striker Hwang Ui-jo, 31, and FC Seoul have parted ways – and it’s been a long time coming. Hwang signed with English Premier League (EPL) side Nottingham ahead of the 2022-2023 season. He was sent on loan to Nottingham’s sister club Olympiakos in Greece. I didn’t get a proper chance.
I had to play. Hwang set out to find a new team. There was a catch. Under FIFA rules, he could only move to a league that operates on the spring and fall calendar. Seoul coach Ahn Iksu “Master” reached out to him. Hwang joined Seoul in February with Ahn holding his hand. It was a short-term, five-month contract until June 30.
In a Seoul jersey, Hwang has been a force on and off the field. He has started 16 of Seoul’s 17 league games this season. He has three goals and two assists as a top striker. While he hasn’t reached the “one goal per game” that Ahn demanded before the start of the season, he’s been leading the team in creating offensive chances through link-ups.
He is also fulfilling his role as a ‘mentor’ off the field. After the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 match against Incheon United on July 7, Ahn said, “(Hwang Ui-jo) is the best in my eyes. He is a striker who represents Korea. He plays a big role in the development of Seoul. His every word is an example to the younger players. He’s a good mentor. It’s encouraging to see him score goals as well.” Hwang Ui-jo said, “I don’t say much because there are many experienced older players on the team. However, I do tell the younger players, ‘Be a little more greedy. They can go higher. I hope they can show their skills and challenge themselves at a higher level.”
Hwang Ui-jo and his Seoul teammates are running towards the finish line. Shortly after the Incheon game, Hwang said, “We have two games left. Before I came to Seoul, I said, ‘I’ll play 19 games, not including the FA Cup,’ but I have two games left.”
He’s playing harder than anyone else. Hwang scored his third goal of the season against Incheon that day. It was an invaluable equalizer with the team down 0-1. Seoul held on for a 1-1 draw. The ‘illusion goal’ was scored in front of the A team coaching staff. “It was frustrating (not scoring), but I was more focused on the team’s victory,” said Hwang Eui-jo. Now that I’ve scored a goal, I’ll do well in the next game. As a striker, you need to be more confident and shoot more to score goals. You have to challenge yourself and work hard,” he laughed. 안전놀이터
Farewell time is approaching. For now, Hwang is determined to focus on the Seoul game. He is determined to give his best until the end and lead Seoul to greater heights. “I don’t know (about the future). I’m in constant communication with my agent. My contract (with Seoul) ends on the 30th, so we’ll have to talk and decide after that,” he said. “I think we need to get into the habit of winning so we can get stronger and go higher. After the game against the Pohang Steelers, it’s an A match. After that, we play Suwon Samsung. I will have to prepare well individually, but I will definitely win so that Seoul can stay in a good position.” Seoul will face Pohang at home on Nov. 11. Hwang Eui-jo will try to score for the second consecutive game.