Lee Kang-jo ends 20 year association with Sangmu

Lee Kang-jo ends 20 year association with Sangmu

Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix have confirmed that long-serving manager Lee Kang-jo will step down as boss of the team after this Saturday’s match against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, bringing down the curtain on twenty years in charge of the military football club.

Former national team midfielder Lee, who saw his side lose 1-0 to Gangwon on his 55th birthday today, took charge of the military men back in June 1990 and oversaw their participation in a host of amateur club football competitions prior to the club selecting Gwangju as a home base and regaining membership of the K-League in 2003.

Lee began his playing career with Gangneung Commercial High School and Korea University before entering the professional ranks with Yukong Elephants in 1983. He earned 38 caps for the Korean national team, the highlight of which saw him pick up gold at the 1978 Asian Games football tournament in Thailand when South Korea were joint winners with North Korea.

Upon his retirement from the playing side of the game in 1985 he took up a position on the coaching staff with Yukong, but left at the end of 1986 to become manager of his former high school football team from 1987. He spent three years in charge there before joining up with the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps and taking charge of the military football side in June 1990.

Lee’s most successful season in charge of Gwangju Sangmu came in 2004 when the team finished an impressive eighth in the then thirteen member club K-League and also reached the quarter-finals of the Korean FA Cup. Sangmu made an impressive start to the season in 2009 and led the standings at the halfway point of the season, however a run of just one point from their final fifteen matches saw the team slip down to eleventh overall.

Gwangju travel to face Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma at the Tancheon stadium this Saturday afternoon in what will be Lee’s final match in charge of the club. The game will also see the likes of Choi Sung-guk, Choi Won-kwon and Kim Tae-min make their final appearances for Sangmu before ending their two year military service stint and returning to their parent clubs. A total of twenty two players will end their military service obligation on October 30th.

468 ad

Leave a comment

Warning : No racism, no insults, no spamming and no trolling. Infringement of any of those rules will result in a permanent IP ban. Thank you.