City's midfielder talks exclusively to CF11
Despite its detractors, the men’s football tournament at this summer’s Olympics undoubtedly caught the interest of a nation. Craig Bellamy – impressing as Team GB’s undoubted player of the competition – ensured Cardiff City supporters would take an interest in the home nations’ progress. But it was arguably the involvement of another country in the competition that really caught our attention.
in their ranks. The snippets we saw of the midfielder over the four weeks were impressive – that virtuoso strike in his country’s 2-1 group stage victory over Switzerland giving us a taste of what to expect in the 2012/13 Championship.Kim Bo-KyungThat country was, of course, South Korea – competing as they were with Cardiff City’s newest import
CF11.Bo-Kyung made his home debut against Burnley last month, impressing in our 4-0 win. Last week he started against Hull City, going on to collect the Watches of Switzerland Fans’ Man of the Match award for his trickery and tenacious work-ethic. Ahead of Saturday's game with Middlesbrough, he gave his first exclusive interview to
CF11: It was a great win last Saturday against Hull, Bo-Kyung. You must have been delighted, especially with your Fans’ Man of the Match award too?
KBK:I was very happy last Saturday and it was nice to be voted as man of the match too as it was only my third start and second at Cardiff City Stadium. I feel part of a strong squad here and I feel like I’ve been accepted by my team-mates and our fans now. I must credit the rest of the team and the management staff for helping me since I’ve been in Wales. They’ve really helped me settle in here and play good football in the Championship.
CF11: Cardiff City fans have taken you to their hearts. That must be a good feeling?
KBK:Of course. When I first played at Millwall they were asking me to do the Ayatollah, but I wasn’t sure what they wanted me to do! So I asked the other players what it meant and I understand its importance to Cardiff City supporters now. Next time they asked me to do it I knew what I was supposed to do and I’m really happy to do it. Them asking me to do the Ayatollah – something very special to them – means that they like me, which must mean I’m pleasing them on the pitch.
CF11: It must have taken a little time for you to settle to a new way of life here in Cardiff. Do you feel more at home now after experiencing Wales for a few months?
KBK:It took a little time for me to settle but not long. As I said, I have to thank my team-mates for helping in that way. Before I arrived, I thought it could be really tough to get used to life in a new country, but it really didn’t take too long for me to feel comfortable and happy. My English is improving and I haven’t found it hard to adapt to the culture. So far things have gone very well.
CF11: How have you found the physical side of Championship football? It seems to be something that you are comfortable with and relish.
KBK:I enjoy it. Each time I train or play, I try to work hard on every aspect of my game, including the physical side. I want to contribute as much as I can to our side in every way. I’m ambitious and want to prove to everyone that I’m worth having at Cardiff City. I know that the division is tough, but I’m happy with that.
CF11: Prior to signing for Cardiff City you spent time over in the UK for the London Olympics. Do you feel that being here for that time with your South Korean team-mates helped you adjust in the long run?
KBK:It was very helpful. I played against Japan here at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in the Olympic Bronze Medal match which gave me an insight into British football and the passion of British football fans. It was useful to play on British soil too, to get used to the feel of it. I felt what the atmosphere was like in front of a lot of supporters and I had a taste of what I could expect as a Cardiff City player before I moved permanently to Wales later in the summer.
CF11: What has the reaction to you playing in the English leagues been like back home? Are fans closely following your progress over here?
KBK:From what I’ve heard, a lot of people are following Cardiff City’s results and my progress for the Club. There aren’t many South Korean players playing here in the UK, so for me to be one of the few is important for them. They want me to succeed and for Cardiff City to succeed, which will be good for South Korean football in general. They are very supportive of me.
CF11: A group of Japanese supporters from your former Club, Cerezo Osaka, visited Cardiff City Stadium recently after learning of your move. How much does it mean to you to know that supporters think so highly of you?
KBK:Yes, I had heard of that, it’s very nice to know. We have a lot of great players at Cardiff City who the supporters love, so it’s nice to know that I have some of those too. To hear that they made the effort to visit my new Club after having travelled all the way from Japan makes me very happy.
CF11: Craig Noone tells us that he owes all his ‘Gangnam Style’ dance moves to you! We saw the two of you perform it at Bolton the other week – what can we expect when you score your first goal?
KBK:(Smiles) I think Nooney said to you in last week’s programme that I taught him all the moves to Gangam Style, but it was his idea to do it in the first place! He’s done that dance now and it was good, but I won’t do it when I score for Cardiff City as it’s already been done. I will have a celebration of my own when I score my first Cardiff City goal which will be a surprise – I’m not saying what it will be until it happens!