Kwak Seung-seok is an outside hitter for Korean Air who is a great defender as well as a receiver. He is a key player for the team with his strong serve and front-to-back attack.
During the 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Men’s Club Championship, which concluded today in Manama, Bahrain, Kwak led the juniors as captain. Han, who has worn the captain’s armband since the 2015-2016 season, was sidelined for the tournament to rehabilitate from a knee injury.
Kwak wore the captain’s jersey with a clear underbar on the No. 9 and communicated more closely with the players during the tournament. He didn’t play much. He was mostly used as a substitute in the back three positions and started the final game. This showed how much Kwak Seung-seok brings stability to the team. His volleyball sense, which is among the best in the country in terms of receiving and defensive positioning, was also on display once again.
After the tournament, Kwak Seung-seok said, “As a captain, I definitely have a lot to take care of. I had to look at the team atmosphere and act as a communication channel between the coaching staff and the players.”
When asked if he plans to captain the team next season, Kwak Seung-seok smiled and said, “(Han’s) brother probably won’t,” adding, “When I heard that my brother wasn’t going to accompany me to this tournament, I thought, ‘Oh, it’s going to be Kwak Seung-seok’s system now,’ but I think my brother will probably continue to be the captain next season.” He smiled again.
Kwak Seung-seok was disappointed with his seventh-place finish at the tournament. He was particularly encouraged by an interview with Japan’s Dmitry Muschalsky, who won the tournament. After the victory over Korean Air on the 18th, Mushalsky talked about how he felt about Korean Air’s teammates at the net, saying that they were the 9th-11th best team in the Japanese league 먹튀검증.
“We didn’t come out with our full strength,” Kwak Seung-seok said, “but listening to that interview made me feel bad because I felt like they were disrespecting Korean volleyball. Other players from other teams in Korea also contacted me and expressed similar reactions. We want to come out with our full strength again,” he said.
“If we come back to this tournament next year with our full strength, we can at least reach the final,” he added.
For Kwak Seung-seok, the tournament was definitely a disappointment. While he cherished his time as captain, encouraging the juniors, he couldn’t hide his desire to compete in the main squad. That’s why he’s looking forward to next year’s Asian Club Championship.