Kim Pan-gon (Korean김판곤; Hanja金判坤, born 1 May 1969) is a South Korean football manager who is the current manager of the Malaysia national football team.

Kim Pan-gon
Kim managing Hong Kong in 2012
Personal information
Full name Kim Pan-gon
Date of birth (1969-05-01) 1 May 1969 (age 54)[1]
Place of birth Jinju, South Korea
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Winger
Team information
Current team
Malaysia (manager)
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Honam University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1996 Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 58 (5)
1997 Jeonbuk Hyundai Dinos 2 (0)
2000–2002 Double Flower 67 (19)
2002–2004 Buler Rangers 21 (3)
Total 148 (27)
Managerial career
2002–2004 Buler Rangers
2005–2008 Busan IPark (assistant)
2008–2010 South China
2009 Hong Kong U23
2009–2010 Hong Kong
2011 Gyeongnam FC (assistant)
2012–2013 Hong Kong U23
2012–2017 Hong Kong
2022– Malaysia
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Hong Kong (as manager)
East Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 2009 Hong Kong Team
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Early life Edit

Kim was born into a family of peasants in Jinju, a small town in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. He was the youngest of five children and his family used to set up stalls to sell food 5 kilometers outside of Jinju every Friday. Kim loved football, but the junior high school he attended did not have a team of its own. In order to play football in high school, he enrolled in Changshin High School in Masan, a one-hour drive from his hometown, and Honam University, a famous non-traditional football school.[2]

Club career Edit

Kim attracted Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i manager Cha Bum-kun's attention during his university years and started his professional career at Ulsan in 1992. However, he didn't show memorable performance and moreover he had to undergo seven surgeries due to a shin injury in his third year.[3][4] He transferred to another K League club Jeonbuk Hyundai Dinos in 1997, but eventually he couldn't overcome the aftereffect of his injury, stopping playing in South Korea since that year.

Kim became a high school coach for a while after his retirement, but he left for Hong Kong to return to the pitch. In 2000, he joined Instant-Dict (renamed Double Flower the next year) and started to play in Hong Kong First Division League. He contributed to a Hong Kong FA Cup title while playing for Instant-Dict. He moved to Buler Rangers in 2002 and played as a player-coach for two years.[5]

Managerial career Edit

Busan IPark Edit

Kim returned to South Korea in 2004 and obtained the AFC Professional Football Coaching Diploma, Asia's highest-level coaching license. At that time, only five other South Koreans held the same qualification.[6][7] In 2005, he became Busan IPark's assistant coach under manager Ian Porterfield.

During four years at Busan, Kim helped his team as caretaker manager whenever they had urgent situations.[8] He won Busan's first victory of the 2006 season in his second match as Busan's manager on 8 April 2006 after predecessor Porterfield failed to get a victory in 21 consecutive matches,[9] and achieved four consecutive victories in that month. This sudden change was called the "Pan-gon's Magic" by Korean media.[10] He returned as the assistant coach when André Egli became a replacement for Porterfield in July. However, Egli abruptly announced his resignation while attending field training in the United States in June 2007, and Kim once again managed Busan as caretaker manager for the remainder of the season. Busan quickly recruited Park Sung-hwa as their new manager in July, but Park left for the South Korean Olympic team after just 17 days.[11]

South China and Hong Kong Edit

Kim became the manager of Hong Kong First Division League club South China in November 2008. Under Kim, South China won the 2009 Lunar New Year Cup after defeating league all-star team and Sparta Prague.[8] After contributing to South China's league title in the 2008–09 season, he started to manage Hong Kong national teams at the same time. Kim and South China also won 2–0 over Tottenham Hotspur in a pre-season friendly, and advanced to the semi-finals in the 2009 AFC Cup.[7] He finished his best year by leading Hong Kong national under-23 team to an East Asian Games title.[7]

On 11 December 2010, after a 3–4 defeat to Kitchee, Kim Pan-gon resigned from the post of South China team manager, citing health reasons that required him to recuperate back in South Korea.[12]

Gyeongnam FC Edit

On 26 November 2010, Kim was transferred position from manager to physical fitness consultant of South China, and he will return to South Korea later to serve as a tactical consultant for K League side Gyeongnam FC. Kim told the media that due to minor heart and liver problems, it is not suitable for him to be the manager of South China. It is convenient to stay in South Korea for medical treatment.[13] Earlier, he was invited by Gyeongnam to be the manager, but Kim only agreed to serve as a tactical consultant, and his family would continue to stay in Hong Kong.[14] However, due to the health of his wife living in Hong Kong, he returned to Hong Kong after one season.[citation needed]

Return to Hong Kong Edit

Kim suddenly appeared in Hong Kong on 5 October 2011, claiming to the media that his health has recovered and he has applied last week to the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) to be the new Hong Kong national team coach. He also confirmed that his contract with Gyeongnam FC still has one year to run, but he will be released if he is appointed by the HKFA.[15]

Kim was appointed as National Academy coach by the HKFA on 22 December 2011. He was wholly responsible for the identification, development and coaching of all players aged 18 and below.[16] He took up the position of acting manager of Hong Kong national football team in November 2012 following the resignation of former manager Ernie Merrick. Afterwards, the HKFA confirmed Kim as the permanent manager of the Hong Kong national football team on 28 May 2013. He signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the HKFA.[17]

According to Kim, most of the Hong Kongese players do not have an environment where they can comfortably focus on football, where most of the players are semi-professionals. Kim took this into consideration and used the short time as efficiently as possible. The focus was on physical strength and organization. Hong Kong players worked together through strengthening training for about two to three days a week.[18] Kim led the Hong Kong under-23 team to the knockout stage of the 2014 Asian Games after earning 7 points in the group stage, but they were eliminated by eventual champions South Korea in the round of 16. In December 2015, HKFA announced that they will renew Kim's contract until June 2018.[19] During the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Hong Kong's two 0–0 draws with China not only attracted new fans to support the Hong Kong team but also increased Kim's popularity.[2]

However, Kim was gradually criticised by failing to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and recruiting too many foreign players.[2] During the match against North Korea, some fans held up the "Kim Out" slogan and asked Kim to resign due to bad performances in the Asian Cup qualification.[20] "Kim Out" slogans flooded social media as well, criticising Kim's conservative tactics and failure to play offensive football, making it difficult for Hong Kong to easily win. Hong Kong fans also criticised that after Kim took the office, the number of naturalised players in the team increased greatly, making it difficult for local youth to find opportunities to fight for places in the starting lineup. Some naturalised players of the team were fairly old, such as centre-back Festus Baise from Nigeria and midfielder Itaparica from Brazil, who were both well over 37 years old at the time.[21] Kim replied to the fans regarding the influx of naturalised player on an interview in December 2019, saying "Hong Kong is an international city, everyone wants to be a Hong Konger and everyone wants to fight for the citizens of Hong Kong. Why aren't they [naturalised players] welcomed?".[22]

In December 2017, Kim resigned as Hong Kong coach to become technical director of the Korean Football Association.[23]

Korea Football Association Edit

On 26 December 2017, Kim was appointed as Korea Football Association (KFA)'s vice-president and head of reinforcement committee. He planned long-term project to change the future of South Korean football like when he managed Hong Kong national team.[24] He put emphasis on sports science and made football science team in the KFA to approach to players' treatment, recovery and weight training scientifically.[25] After setting the direction of Korean football towards "proactive football",[26] he employed Paulo Bento as national team's manager in person, and honestly disclosed his hiring process to the press.[27]

Malaysia Edit

On 21 January 2022, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) announced that they had hired Kim as the new national team head coach.[28] He resigned as the technical director of the Korean Football Association and took a flight to Malaysia in mid-February with four coaching staff, comprising analysis and fitness officers, assistant coaches, and technical trainers.[29] Kim was offered a two-year contract that runs until 2024 and would be extended if FAM is satisfied with the performance of the national squad in the future.[30]

On 15 June 2022, he managed to help the Malayan Tigers qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after 42 years since the last time the Malaysian national football team qualified for the prestigious tournament with merit.

Before the opening of the 2022 AFF Championship, Kim selected 41 players for preliminary squad for the competition, but Tunku Ismail Idris, the crown prince of Johor and the owner of Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim, refused to release his key players.[31] The AFF Championship was not essential tournament approved by FIFA, and clubs did not need to send players mandatorily.[32] Therefore, Kim called up new players including naturalised players,[32] and focused on testing new players whether they were worthy of national players or not.[33] However, the players advanced to the semi-finals as group runners-up after earning three victories with good performances in the Group B, where they competed with Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore and Laos. Their possibility was continued to the semi-final first leg where they defeated defending champions Thailand 1–0, but the first-leg win was followed by a 3–0 loss.[33]

Personal life Edit

Kim obtained Hong Kong permanent residency after living there for seven years.[34] His wife, son and daughter currently resides in Hong Kong.[35]

Managerial statistics Edit

As of match played 9 September 2023
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Hong Kong August 2009 March 2010 9 2 2 5 022.22
Hong Kong November 2012 December 2017 33 12 8 13 036.36
Malaysia 21 January 2022 Present 23 15 4 4 065.22
Total 65 29 14 22 044.62

Honours Edit

Player Edit

Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i


Buler Rangers


Manager Edit

South China

Hong Kong U23


References Edit

  1. ^ "Kim Pan-Gon". Soccerway. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "【Kim Out】由校隊教練到足協要員 金判坤「跳船」回老家成韓國足壇話題" (in Chinese (Taiwan)). UPower. 27 December 2017. Archived from the original on 23 September 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  3. ^ ‘홍콩의 히딩크’ 김판곤 "차범근이 선택한 최초의 선수" (in Korean). TV Report. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  4. ^ [인천AG]16강 맞대결 이광종-김판곤의 22년 인연 (in Korean). Sports Chosun. 23 September 2014. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  5. ^ "亞洲週刊" (in Chinese). Yazhou Zhoukan. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  6. ^ "AFC Professional Football Coaching Diploma Holders" (PDF). AFC. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  7. ^ a b c "特稿:鐵血教練令人佩服 | 蘋果日報 | 體育世界 | 20101212". 7 April 2016. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b 김판곤 감독의 홍콩, 그들의 도전에 박수를 보낸다 (in Korean). Sports-G. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  9. ^ 부산, 새로운 기록은 만들지 않았다 (in Korean). OhmyNews. 8 April 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  10. ^ 무승기록 탈출, 김판곤의 매직은 수원에도 통할까? (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  11. ^ ‘Mr.감독대행’ 김판곤 코치 (in Korean). The Hankyoreh. 7 August 2007. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  12. ^ "南華負傑志 3:4被破金身 金判坤急病走人" (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Apple Daily. 12 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 October 2022.
  13. ^ "金判坤唔撈返祖家教波 - 東方日報" (in Chinese). Oriental Daily News. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  14. ^ "大公網" (in Chinese). Ta Kung Pao. 1 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  15. ^ "忽然回歸遞求職信 金判坤望再教港隊" (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Oriental Daily News. 6 October 2011.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Hong Kong Football Association appoints National Academy Coach". HKFA. 22 December 2011. Archived from the original on 5 October 2022. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  17. ^ "擔正港足主帥 簽約2年半 金判坤鎖定三大目標". Wen Wei Po. 29 May 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  18. ^ 김판곤의 홍콩축구, 약체의 반란 넘어 기적 꿈꾼다 (in Korean). Dong-A Ilbo. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  19. ^ "足總與金判坤續約至2018年6月". (in Chinese). RTHK. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  20. ^ "亞洲盃 Kim Out? 金判坤:完約認真考慮". (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Oriental Daily News. 13 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 November 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  21. ^ "【01觀點】港足成與敗 皆因金判坤?". (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). 9 September 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  22. ^ "【東亞錦標賽.直擊】金判坤離任首受訪 揭被逼走 無悔選將準則". (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). 16 December 2019. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  23. ^ "香港男足主教练金判坤辞职 将任韩足协技术总监". Retrieved 21 January 2022.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "S. Korea selects director to handle nat'l football team coach hirings". Yonhap News Agency. 26 December 2017. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  25. ^ [현장에서] 선수 부상 관리, ‘스포츠 과학’이 정답. (in Korean). KFA. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  26. ^ [서호정] '벤투 모셔온' 김판곤의 눈 "감독 혼자가 아닌 사단의 힘으로 16강 달성" (in Korean). Footballist. 5 December 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  27. ^ "유럽 명장 선임의 벽 높았다"... 김판곤 위원장이 밝힌 과정. (in Korean). 17 August 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  28. ^ Lee, Seng Foo. "Kim Pan-gon named new Harimau Malaya head coach". Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  29. ^ "「Die for Malaysia?」 金判坤執掌馬來西亞國家隊 | 足球周刊 Football Weekly HK". 21 January 2022. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  30. ^ Msar, Syazwan (21 January 2022). "Pan Gon jurulatih baharu Harimau Malaya". Harian Metro. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  31. ^ "TMJ Criticises Kim Pan Gon Over His Inconsiderate Statement". Hyde. 2 December 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  32. ^ a b "Without Johor Darul Ta'zim stars, Malaysia's AFF Championship campaign is one with positives despite semifinal exit". ESPN. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  33. ^ a b "We move forward, don't think too much - Kim Pan Gon". Sinar Daily. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  34. ^ "金判坤 - Latest". The News Lens International Edition. 20 March 2017. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  35. ^ "金 判 坤 申 請 做 港 足 主 帥" (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Sing Tao Daily. 6 October 2011. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012.
  36. ^ "Top Footballers Poll Results Announced". HKFA. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 2 January 2023.

External links Edit