’19-year-old setter’ Han Tae-joon leads Woori Card to 2 straight wins “Even I doubted it”
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 along,” Han said, adding, “We are trying to give Matei the ball he wants.”
Coach Shin also emphasizes the importance of fastballs to Han Tae-jun for various offenses.
“The coach talks about fast breaks 30 times a day,” Han laughed, adding, “There are times during the game when the middle blocker and the fast break don’t match. It’s stressful, but I think it’s a process of getting better.”
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 Tae-joon joined the Woori Card with the 4th overall pick in the first round of the 2022-2023 rookie draft. He is younger than most of his draft peers as he chose to turn pro right out of high school.
After spending a lot of time on the training floor and in the warm-up zone last season, Han seized the opportunity to make the jump to the 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. 안전놀이터
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.