Korean import on Song
We go one-on-one with dynamic playmaker and crowd favourite Jin-Hyung Song.
When the Newcastle Jets were awarded an 85th minute penalty against North Queensland Fury in round 14, youthful Korean midfielder Jin-Hyung Song was overruled by experienced Englishman Michael Bridges in the friendly debate as to who would take the spot kick.
However, with Bridges substituted due to an unfortunate injury recurrence in the Jets- clash with Adelaide United last Friday night, and Newcastle awarded an 80th minute chance from 12-yards following a Reds handball in the box, Song had no doubt it was his time to shine.
Converting confidently to seal a 2-nil win away from home, Song says he-s more than happy to accept the pressure of the penalty any time Bridges is not on the park.
“I was happy to take it (because) Bridgey wasn-t there,” an affable Song told NewcastleJets.com.au on Tuesday morning. “I just put my hand up and said ‘I-ll take the penalty- everyone didn-t want.”
The finish marked two goals from two games for Song at Hindmarsh Stadium this campaign - taking his season tally to three - but despite enjoying good form in the South Australian capital Song assures he-s working hard to hit the back of the net in every game he plays.
Testament to this fact is the crafty midfielders- obvious work ethic and conscientious attitude to improve his finishing and overall play.
Following an intense hour long session at a humid Ray Watt Oval, Song is one of the last Jets players to leave the training ground, opting instead to stay behind to work on free kicks and converting crosses.
“I always try to score a goal, not only against Adelaide, all the time,” said Song. “I want to score lots of goals for Newcastle.”
While Song has been a fan favourite at EnergyAustralia Stadium since his arrival at the Jets in 2008, four seasons at K-League giant FC Seoul and National U/20 honours mean his progress is keenly observed by many in his homeland.
While disappointed ankle surgery meant he only got to display his wares for 45 minutes during the Jets- entire Asian Champions League campaign, Song says his injury worries have largely passed, and expectations are growing.
“It-s fine at the moment but normally after the game it-s a bit sore,” said Song. “It-s getting better though, game after game.”
“(The Korean fans) are expecting me to get to Europe.”
While a move to the continent would enhance Song-s chances in making his full International debut in the future, he believes his countrymen have a tough ask to progress to the knockout stages at next year-s FIFA World Cup from a group also containing Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.
“Hopefully we can progress,” said Song. “It-s going to be very hard. We have played against Argentina in the World Cup before and it-s going to be tough.”
While it-s unlikely Song will force his way into coach Huh Jung-Moo-s squad for the trip to South Africa, Brazil 2014 will see Song in his mid-twenties and possibly at the peak of his career.
At this stage Jets fans may recall fondly some of Song-s earliest moments enjoyed in the gold jersey of Newcastle, not least the consummately taken spot kick he delivered to help launch the team into the Hyundai A-League top six.