On April the 14th 2014 a new club in Seoul, South Korea was announced. The club is owned by the super famous E-Land group hence their name. The E-Land group owns everything from department stores, hotels, restaurants and cafes. The club’s main stadium is the Seoul Olympic Stadium located in Jamsil, Songa District. The stadium was the main stadium for the 1988 Summer Olympics. Also in 2014 the club appointed former Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie as head coach until 2017. In 2014, Martin Rennie was given a task to create a new club from scratch. It was on 7th of February 2015 Seoul-Eland FC announced their emblem and new uniforms. Kudos to their marketing department, as Seoul E-Land FC gained immediate attention through their eye catching leopard pattern uniforms. Many fans flocked and purchased their new kits.
29th of March 2015 also my birthday was Seoul E-Land FC’s first home match. They versed Anyang FC, final score was 1-1. First draw for the newly founded club.
**Seoul E-Land FC’s first home match against Anyang FC. Photo credits Steve Price.
Martin Rennie was appointed head coach of Seoul E-Land FC in 2014. He was the former coach to Vancouver Whitecaps in the Major League Soccer. The coach is well-known to Koreans because retired left back Lee Young-Pyo played with the Canadian side from 2011 to 2013. Rennie coached the team then. Rennie’s appointment is also fresh for the K-League. He is the second foreign coach to manage a new team, following Werner Lorant who led Incheon United in 2004.
Seoul E-Land has some great players from Tarabai Santos, Joo Min-Kyu, Cho Won-Hee, Kim Jae-Sung, Bobby etc. But their most famous player has to be Joo Min-Kyu, coach Rennie discovered Joo Min-Kyu when he was watching him play at his former club Goyang Hi-FC. Back then Joo played as a central defensive midfielder and was on a expiring contract. Coach Rennie signed him and he was asked to change his position from a CDM to a striker. Best decision Joo made, soon he was one of the most famous players in K-League Challenge. He ended up being K-League Challenge’s second top scorer with 23 goals and was included in 2015 K-League Challenge’s Best 11. Two other Seoul E-Land FC players were also included in the Best 11 them being Cho Won-Hee and Kim Jae-Sung.
Seoul E-Land FC finished the K-League Challenge in fourth place, they done pretty well for a newly formed club. They also reached K-League Classic’s promotional play offs but were knocked out in the first round to Suwon FC. Seoul E-Land FC did really well in the first half of the season but did poorly towards the end of the season. I think they were burnt out. I expect to see much from Seoul E-Land FC next season, every K-League fans wants to see a Seoul derby soon. Also a recent interview by Joo Min-Kyu said he will give it his all to help Seoul E-Land FC get promoted to Kleague Classic.
There’s some evidence the team is committed to thinking outside the box and do football & club management different than other run of the mill k league clubs out there