Suwon Bluewings - The Facts
We take a look at Suwon Bluewings and what they can bring to the table against the Mariners.
Central Coast Mariners commence its 2013 AFC Champions League campaign against K-League Classic outfit Suwon Bluewings in Gosford on Wednesday night. Kick-off is 7pm. With that in mind we bring you these facts about Suwon.
The Club Winners of the last two editions of both the Asian Club Championship and the Asian Super Cup in 2001 and 2002, Korean side Suwon Samsung Bluewings have yet to enjoy similar success in the AFC Champions League, a competition in which they will make their fifth appearance this season.
They enjoyed their best performance in the AFC Champions League in 2011 when they reached the semi-finals for the first time but bowed out after an acrimonious 2-1 aggregate defeat by eventual winners Al Sadd of Qatar.
Formed in 1995, Suwon have enjoyed plenty of success in the past 18 years, winning four K-League titles and three Korean FA Cups in addition to their continental titles. They missed out on the AFC Champions League last year after they finished fourth in the K-League and lost the Korean FA Cup final in 2011. They were fourth again last year but qualified for the continental competition after FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers also finished third in the league.
Suwon Bluewings wear blue and white.
The Coach With Yoon Sung-hyo stepping down as coach after the 2012 campaign, Suwon Bluewings moved quickly to install playing legend and former assistant coach Seo Jung-won as their new boss.
The 42-year-old was a star winger in the Bluewings side that won Asian Club Championships in 2001 and 2002 and also played for clubs in France and Austria as well as representing his country at two World Cups before he retired in 2007. A former assistant coach of the Korean U23 national team, Seo has promised and aggressive and entertaining brand of football by his side in his first head-coaching role.
Seo played and scored against the Socceroos in 1990 and 1993. In 1990, the likes of Paul Wade, Andy Bernal, Alex Tobin and Kimon Taliadoros played against Seo, while in 1993 players including former Central Coast Mariners Tony Vidmar and Damien Mori faced the now Bluewings mentor.
The Star Players 14. Jong Tae-se - Striker Born in Japan to Korean parents, Jong Tae-se (or Chong Tese as he is known in Japan) made his professional debut for Kawasaki Frontale in 2006 and became one of the J.League-s top strikers as Frontale finished runners-up in the league three times and reached the AFC Champions League quarter-finals in 2007 and 2009.
The bustling striker, whose physical prowess presents a major threat to opposing defences both on the ground and in the air, helped DPR Korea to reach the FIFA World Cup finals in 2010 before he left for Germany for spells at VfL Bochum and FC Koln.
Tae-se signed a three-year contract with Suwon in January, with the Bluewings reportedly paying Koln €300,000 to acquire his services. Tae-se has scored 15 goals in 28 games for DPRK.
10. Dzenan Radonicic - Striker Montenegrin Dzenan Radonicic has played in South Korea since 2004, excluding a brief loan spell at Japan-s Ventforet Kofu in ‘07/08. Radonicic won the AFC Champions League and Korean FA Cup with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2010 and 2011 respectively. He averaged a goal approximately every three games in his spells with Incheon United and Seongnam, and has so far scored 11 goals in 24 appearances for Suwon with whom he signed in December 2011. Wants to become the first naturalised player to represent the Taeguk Warriors.
11. Stevica Ristic “Stevo” - Attacking midfielder Macedonian international Stevica Ristic is an attacking midfielder-cum-striker who possesses a prolific goalscoring record at each club he has played for. “Stevo” won the K-League player of the season in 2007, before being loaned in a swap deal to Pohang Steelers in 2008. With Pohang he won the AFC Champions League in 2009. Played part of the 2010 season with Uzbek giants Bunyodkor before moving to the Russian Premier Legaue with Amkar Perm. Has been back in Korea scoring consistently for Suwon since 2011.
23. Eddy Bosnar - Central Defender Australian Eddy Bosnar has spent the past five years playing in Asia - first in Japan and now in K-League Classic. Played under Graham Arnold at Northern Spirit in the National Soccer League. Left Australia in 2000 for Dinamo Zagreb and has played abroad since.
1. Jung Sung-ryong - Goalkeeper After he succeeded Lee Woon-jae as Korea Republic national goalkeeper, Jung Sung-ryong went on replace the veteran as the first-choice at Suwon after he joined the Bluewings from Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2011.
Jung began his career at Pohang Steelers and won the K-League title there in 2007 before he joined Seongnam the following year. The 28-year-old played every minute of Seongnam-s victorious 2010 AFC Champions League campaign and kept goal for his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar. He also helped Suwon to reach the ACL semi-finals in 2011.
6. Lee Jong-min - Right side utility Having started his professional career at Suwon in 2002, Lee Jong-min rejoined the Bluewings in January after nine years away from the ‘Big Bird- Stadium during which he won the K-League title at Ulsan Hyundai and FC Seoul and also appeared in an AFC Champions League semi-final for Ulsan in 2006.
The 29-year-old, who can operate as a right-back or a right winger, has represented his country at U20, U23 and senior level and is expected to fill the void left by Korea Republic international right -back Oh Beom-seok, who has left the club in order to complete his compulsory military service.
13. Seo Jung-min - Attacking midfielder / winger After helping Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors to reach the AFC Champions League final and to win the K-League championship in 2011, Seo Jung-jin was signed by Suwon in the off-season and became a regular member of the starting line-up for the Bluewings during the 2012 season
The 23-year-old, who has represented Korea Republic at U20, U23 and senior level, is a talented and industrious attacker who can be deployed on the wing or as an attacking midfielder