BUSAN, South Korea – The magnificent Busan Transportation Corporation Football Club return to the hallowed turf of the Gudeok Stadium for their opening home game of the 2012 season against Yongin City Football Club on Friday, March 16th. Kick off is 7 p.m. and entrance is FREE.
The Transport finished fourth in last season's campaign, and will be looking to put their playoff blip behind them against the 2011 season's 11th place team.
The BTC have had a productive off-season making several promising signings:
Yoon Tae-hyun seems a good signing with 8 goals for Gimhae last season from 23 appearances (2 of which were as a sub).
Kim Jong-hoon was a regular starter in defence for Gimhae, picking up 3 yellows and 1 red card in the season. He's also ex-IPark and Gyeongnam, so let's hope he has a point to prove.
Oh Chul-suk scored 3 from 14 starts for Yongin, but is a whopping 188cm, so with any luck be causing a few awkward moments in the opposition penalty boxes. Two years prior to that, he was actually at the mighty BTC on loan, scoring 8 goals in 22 appearances.
Kang Min-sang scored 6 goals from midfield in 22 appearances (2 as sub) for Cheonan City.
And lastly, Kim Yeon-kyo scored 5 goals from midfield in 21 appearances (1 as sub), again for Cheonan.
*** New folks ***
Welcome! Busan Transport are a semi-professional team who play in the National League, the second tier of Korean football. They play smart football and have a never-say-die attitude which often results in some great entertainment. Entrance for all of their games are FREE, and you are welcome to bring in as much food and alcohol as you can carry. The club have made our expat following very welcome, appointing one of our crew as "Club Ambassador" with his own cardboard cut-out, as well as lifts home on the team bus from away games, and even dinner with the team on the way! We have a core of regulars who like to make some noise with the aid of megaphones, vuvuzelas and drums, not to mention the special assistance from the drunk businessmen with their boxes full of soju!
They play in the Gudeok Stadium, one of the venues for the 1988 Olympics and the spiritual home of football in Busan. With a beautiful backdrop of the Gyeongnam mountains to the east, it is THE place to watch football in the city. Directions to stadium are as follows:
Take Line 1 to Dongdaesin (stop 108). Come out of Exit 2, follow the direction of the staircase and walk up the street for about 5 min. "You can't miss it". If you are peckish, on the walk up from the station, just before you reach the junction in front of the stadium, you will find a local fried chicken restaurant, with very friendly staff who are well versed in waeguk supporters popping in for a pre-match feed/take away. At the junction, turn right to find a GS25, who are suitably welcoming as you stock up on booze to take into the game.
Pictures courtesy of the BTC Facebook Page