The Woori Card, a men’s professional volleyball team with a “rebuilding-level” roster, has named 2004-born Han Tae-joon (19) as its starting setter for the 2023-2024 season.
It’s off to a great start.
Woori won its first match of the season against Samsung Fire 3-1 in straight sets on the 15th, followed by a 3-0 sweep of Hyundai Capital on the 18th.
Expectations for Han Tae-joon were even higher.
“I’m not even 20 years old yet,” he said after the match, “but my seniors tell me that they’re all professionals, so I try to be confident on the court. But my older brothers share the burden.”
The Cards have a 55.75 percent attack success rate in two games.
New foreign striker Matei Kok (registered name Matei) had an attack success rate of 62.50 percent (56 points).
Han said, “Matei and I didn’t really get along until two days before the start of the regular season. However, we trained together constantly in the offseason, and the three of us, including coach Shin Young-cheol, talked frequently, so we are gradually getting in sync,” he said, adding, “I’m trying to give Matei the ball he wants.”
Coach Shin also emphasizes the importance of fastballs to Han Tae-joon for a variety of offenses.
“The coach talks about fastballs 30 times a day,” Han laughed, adding, “There are times during the match when my fastballs don’t match up with the middle blocker. It’s stressful, but I think it’s a process of getting better.”스포츠토토
Woori Card’s 51.61% success rate on fastballs is not yet satisfactory.
“Han Tae-joon needs more experience to make sophisticated tosses such as fastballs,” Shin said, adding, “Tae-joon trains really hard. He is growing well, so his performance will get better and better.”
Han joined the Woori Card with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2022-2023 rookie draft. He chose to play professionally right out of high school, making him younger than his draft peers.
After spending a lot of time on the training floor and in the warm-up area last season, Han seized the opportunity to make the leap to starting setter sooner than he expected.
“I started from the first game of the season,” says Han. Even I doubted, ‘Is this right,’ but the coach gave me a chance and my brothers encouraged me,” he said confidently, adding, “Playing ‘our own cards’ boldly and performing well is the way to get rewarded.”
Setter is a position where ‘experience’ is important.
Han Tae-joon is gaining experience faster than his peers.
“After this season, he will be a much better setter than he is now,” said Shin Young-cheol, a former setter himself.