Even though he was in his 30s, Son Hyeon-jong had no intention of stopping his efforts. He still wanted to improve and be a helpful player.
During the days of LIG Insurance and KB Insurance, Son Hyeon-jong was the main striker leading the team. Fans who remember Son Hyeon-jong in the days when he led KB Insurance with Lee Kang-won (now Woori Card) as a duo of local giants regretted that he could not play more often than before after transferring to Korean Air. However, Son Hyeon-jong was not disappointed and continued to improve his body and skills.
This 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Men’s Club Volleyball Championship was a great opportunity for Son Hyeon-jong. This is because the main apogee Lincoln Williams did not accompany him, and coach Tommy Tilikayinen said he would give opportunities to many players. And finally, Son Hyeon-jong started as an aposit in the upper round Group E match against Bayanghongor (Mongolia) held on the 19th (hereafter local time). He performed well, recording 10 points and an attack success rate of 53%.
After the game, I was able to talk with Son Hyeon-jong at the accommodation. Son Hyeon-jong said, “It was a game where players who had not played well so far were given a chance. I think I also had a good experience. I am fortunate that the results are good, and I am in a good mood.” Regarding his performance, he said, “I had a big heart that I could have done a little better. It’s a pity that I couldn’t help (Jung) Jinhyeok much. It wasn’t bad, but I could have done better.”
I asked Son Hyeon-jong if there was a difference he felt when comparing the days of KB Insurance and now. He smiled calmly and said, “There doesn’t seem to be a big difference in physical condition or skills. But Korean Air is the best team, and I am playing with the best players here. I just think that I couldn’t play because I was lacking.” In addition, Son Hyeon-jong said, “The time at KB Insurance is a good memory for me, but I am not soaked in the thoughts of that time. I am just doing my best in the present position,” revealing a professional appearance.
Whether he is an amateur or a pro, Son Hyeon-jong plays both outside heater and apogee. In the game against Bayanghongor, he came out with an apogee, but Son Hyeon-jong, who revealed that he usually trains hard for receiving, said, “First of all, what the team wants from me is the most important thing. If the team says they use me as an apposite, I will prepare as an apposite, and if they use me as an outside heater, I will prepare as an outside heater. I think it’s important to prepare to show your skills wherever you go,” he said about his position.
Son Hyeon-jong also revealed his thoughts on the interview with Dmitry Mushalsky (Suntory Sunbirds, Russia), who became a hot topic for his candid remarks after winning the Korean Air War. He said, “It is the player’s personal position and thoughts. In fact, we weren’t even fully equipped. I don’t know if he said it knowingly, but honestly, I didn’t feel good. If we had 100% of our strength, I think we would have been able to beat Suntory.”
Unfortunately, there was also a personal bad relationship between Son Hyeon-jong and Mushalski. Before the tournament, Son Hyeon-jong mentioned Song Min-geun’s interview, “(Son) Hyeon-jong and I are roommates, but we are suffering together from the sound of children running upstairs,” and asked if he was okay now. I moved the room,” he replied humorously. Son Hyeon-jong said, “It turned out that the person living upstairs at the time was Mushalski. The footsteps were the sound of Mushalski’s children running around,” he told a funny (?) behind-the-scenes story.스포츠토토
Not only noise between floors, but also food was another hardship for Son Hyeon-jong. “Local food doesn’t fit well (laughs). The flavor and seasoning are so different from Korean food. Son Hyeon-jong, who expressed his grievance, saying, “First of all, the rice looks different,” he said, “When I go to Korea, I want to eat kimchi stew first. I told her wife that I want to eat kimchi stew first thing when I go home,” he said with a bright smile.
Finally, he asked Son Hyeon-jong what kind of player he would like to be on a team called Korean Air. He said, “I want to become a player who can play my role at any time and in any position. We can do more than we do now. If I become a better player through hard work, and if our team becomes a better team, I am satisfied with that,” he said with a firm commitment.
Son Hyeon-jong, who has become a veteran in the team, but his passion for volleyball and his dedication to the team are as hot and upright as any other young player. Even today, he is working hard to shine in his place.