New Gwangju K-League side confirms team name

New Gwangju K-League side confirms team name

With fifty-one days to go until the club is officially launched to become the sixteenth member of the K-League set-up, club officials confirmed today that the new Gwangju citizen football club will be officially known as Gwangju Rayers after an internet competition to suggest the team name.

The competition, which ran from September 1st to 26th, saw 881 entries and after a great deal of deliberation by club officials they decided to select the entry from Gwangju-based supporter Lee Kyung-ho. The name was chosen to project images of beams of light, a high-tech future and of a fast-growing Gwangju city.

The club have already confirmed the appointment of former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors manager Choi Man-hee as team manager. The 54 year-old, who has also had spells on the coaching staff at Busan I’Park and Suwon Samsung Bluewings as well as leading the South Korean U19 side to victory at the U19 Asian championships in 1990, will be charged with the task of putting together a playing squad to compete in the 2011 K-League. As with Gangwon FC in 2008, Gwangju Rayers will be given special dispensation to draft up to fourteen players in the annual K-League draft on November 9th, and then Choi will seek to utilise the Free Agent market in December to bolster his squad with experienced professionals.

No decision has yet been made on the future of military side Sangmu Phoenix who will be ending their association with the city of Gwangju at the end of the current season. Speculation still links the club with moves to Ansan, Anyang and Cheonan but it is as yet unclear whether Sangmu will even be able to continue playing in the K-League.

Proposed changes to AFC Champions League participation criteria for the 2013 season would require participating nations to have top divisions consisting entirely of clubs that are commercial entities with a playing staff under professional contract to the club. A recent AFC report into the K-League classed Sangmu as the only one of the fifteen sides who fail to meet that criteria, and their continued involvement in the country’s top division would jeopardize the K-League’s AFC Champions League status.

One potential solution under consideration is for Sangmu to participate in the National League, the second tier of football in Korea, however nothing has yet been confirmed by the governing bodies of the league set-up.

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  1. Woongsoo /

    You have no idea how much this kills me on the inside. What a disappointment.

  2. Woongsoo /

    Looks like I spoke to soon…back to ‘FC’ it is (thankfully)!

  3. Rayers?????

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