The Far East Express: S9 Ep 4 – Surely Not?

Well here it is, the last episode of Season 9! It certainly has been an eventful return home to his native land for Cha Bum-Kun with Gangown FC. However as expected from the great man he has managed to get the team performing way above expectations and at the end of last episode had them sitting in a very unlikely promotion playoff place. Can we defy all expectations and get this team of minnows promoted to a league as big a K League 1? Surely not…

September 2029

September brought with it the confirmed arrivals into our youth system this year. Are there any future Cha Bum-Kun’s on the horizon?

Not a terrible intake, well it was predicted to be a golden generation. However I don’t think you can call 2 potential stars a ‘golden generation’ but definitely a couple in there to keep an eye on for the other guys in this save, depending on how long we stay here for!

Anyway back to the football, and it’s getting towards the business end now. Only 9 games remaining and a promotion play-off place is in sight! We can’t afford any slip ups.

Well we better hope we can afford just the one! League leaders Gyeongnam again beat us by the narrowest of margins despite our good performance, not the first time I have said that this season (1-2). However that good performance was not repeated 2 weeks later as we faced off against this years whipping boys Bucheon 1995, far worse performance but a 1-0 win at the end of it sent me home happy (1-0).

Our final game of the month was a tricky tie away at Anyang, fortunately we put on an incredibly dominant attacking display, however defensive errors gave them hope. We went in at half-time 3-2 up, and that was how it stayed until the end of the match (3-2). You may notice that Park Sung-Jun was in fine form during September with 4 goals in 3 games, which was enough to win him the Player of the Month award.

Let’s take a look to see if that 1 loss has impacted on our promotion play-off hopes at all…

No fortunately for us we’re still just about clinging on to that last play-off place with 6 games to go! Come on lads, we can do this…

October 2029

The month of October starter with some potentially exciting rumours of a takeover.

However they were quickly shutdown by the boards current owners. To be fair the current owners have injected cash when need be but it would be nice if someone could come in and write off that debt so we can at least have a chance of being profitable and sustainable.

On the pitch we had 4 games in this month, the most important of which is an away tie at Seoul E-Land, who are currently level on points with us in the battle for a play-off place.

Some fantastic results in here, but that result away to Seoul E-Land is killer! We started the month with a dodgy performance at home to Suwon FC, needing a later winner from that man Park Sang-Jun to get us over the line (2-1). However we then went to Seoul E-Land and to be honest were just outplayed, the team went in at half-time 1-2 down and that was how it stayed (1-2). That could be the result that ends our play-off hopes.

However we bounced back at home against Daejeon where our superior finishing gave us all 3 points (2-0). The final result of the month was actually very good against league title challengers Gwangju, we all but ended their title hopes, but in turn had they all but ended our play-off hopes?

Unfortunately yes is the answer. Absolutely devastated! The players have performed so well over the season and it would have been amazing if we could have taken part in the play-offs, but it just wasn’t to be. Seoul E-Land had a perfect month and won all of their games, confirming their place in the play-offs in the process. Nothing but pride left to play for now, 5th place finish is confirmed!

November 2029

Just the final 2 games of the season then, I was trying my best to keep the players heads focused on the pitch but I think most of them were a bit down after missing out on the play-offs and they were already on their holidays…

A decent result and performance away at Asan FC, running out 2-1 winners with a comfortable performance. However the final game of the season was just a bit of a free-for-all, it was certainly one for the neutrals put it that way! 2-2 at half-time the players just went to pieces in the second half, conceding 3 goals in 20 minutes to end the season with a whimper. Let’s see how the table finished after the play-offs as well…

A very respectable 5th place finish for us, only 6 points behind Seoul E-Land despite their incredible second half to the season where they won 8 out of their last 9 games to secure 4th place ahead of us.

Unfortunately Gwangju, the team that made it to the final of the play-offs, couldn’t defeat Busanipark of K League 1 to get promoted in the end, so it is just Gyeongnam who go up from our league. However that does mean there will only be one team relegated from K League 1 so when Sad Panda takes over next year I would back him to finish in the play-offs with the squad we’ve built, provided he can keep them together.

End of Season Awards & Review

A very successful season overall compared to where we were expected to finish, and that was reflected in the awards!

To begin with our centre back Shin Tae-Uk came runner up in player of the year after an incredible season at the back.

Our young starlet of the future Hwang Kim (don’t say it too fast) finished with the most assists in K League 2. Proper player this guy is, and I expect him to move for a big fee not long after Panda takes over.

Finally our on-loan star man Park Sung-Jun actually finished with the golden boot! Incredible what he managed to achieve with Hwang Kim servicing him… you know what I mean.

Finally is our season review for anyone who wants to flick through and see the overview of the season in more detail. Overall an incredible season and it defiantly feels like the start of something here, I really hope the others can take Gangwon to the K League 1 and even challenge for the big honours of South Korean football!

What’s Next?

Up next SadPanda333 takes the reigns and leads us into our decennial season on The Far East Express. Will he be able to keep the team together and go for promotion from K League 2? Go over to his blog to see!

Make sure you check out the other content creators on the links below;

OffTheBarFM – Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebarfm – Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWTLmf7GIQMgraZxoanKQXg

SadPanda333 – Blog site: https://www.sadpanda333.co.uk/

FMAdvancedPlaymaker – Blog site: https://fmadvancedplaymaker.co.uk/

Until next time, take care all and see you soon!

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