K League clubs emerge from COVID-19 to head overseas for training camps

Slowly but surely, Korean football clubs will poke their heads out of the COVID-19 tunnel and travel overseas to set up offseason training camps in January.

With travel restrictions having been in place during the pandemic for the past two winters, clubs in the K League all trained at home to gear up for new seasons. They set up shop in the southern regions of the country, such as Busan, Namhae, Geoje and the resort island of Jeju.

It will be a much different story this winter, as 18 out of 25 teams in the two divisions of the K League are scheduled to fly out of the country for camps. 스포츠토토

Of the dozen K League 1 teams, only Suwon Samsung Bluewings will stay home. Six out of 13 teams in the K League 2 will set up camps in Korea.

Among the 18 teams going overseas, 15 will travel to Thailand, which had long been a popular destination for K League teams. FC Seoul will spend the first phase of their camp in Thailand before moving over to Japan.

Of the other four, Pohang Steelers will train in Vietnam and Daegu FC will do so in Japan.

Ulsan Hyundai FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the two best teams in 2022 expected to duke it out for the title again in 2023, will have their training camps in Portugal and Spain, respectively.

Ulsan, who ended a 17-year title drought in 2022, will also participate in a friendly tournament called the Atlantic Cup in February.

The tournament, founded in 2011, has always featured European clubs, mostly those from leagues that don’t operate in winter months. Ulsan will become the first Asian team to play in this competition, and they will be up against the B team of the Premier League side Brentford, and two teams from the top Danish league, FC Midtjylland and Lyngby BK.

Teams from Norway and Sweden will also be part of the eight-team event.

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