2016 had been a decent year for the Dragons as they ended the season in 5th place in the league and had made it to the Quarter-finals of the FA Cup, narrowly losing out to eventual runners-up Seoul on penalties. While there weren’t any crazily lofty expectations of prising the title away from their Jeolla-do neighbours it’s safe to say that most Dragons fans were not exactly looking ahead to the 2017 season in fear.
The summer transfer window of 2016 had seen Mislav Orsic leave for China and he was always going to be big boots to fill such was his ability to pull the strings for Jeonnam. In the close season they brought in Hungarian striker Robert Feczesin to hopefully forge a partnership with Jair up front in an attempt to minimize the impact of the aforementioned departing Orsic. They would bag 26 goals between them with Jair especially proving to be the best striker in the league outside of the top four teams. The 2017 campaign would be a strange one for Jeonnam fans as the team would lurch from the sublime to the downright awful all through the season, there would be highs as they would find their shooting boots and whip teams 5-0 only to lose the next two or three on the bounce. Their season would be full of many a false dawn and you wonder just where they would have ended up if they hadn’t had the goal scoring feats of Jair to call upon.
Below KLeagueUnited founder Ryan Walters (@rRyanWalters) gives us his assessment of the Jeonnam Dragons’ ‘Class of 2017’.