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‘KIA New Captain’ Na Sung-beom “I’m grateful to the players for following my lead”

“The mood could have sagged, but I’m grateful for the players who responded well”

The Kia Tigers concluded their first spring training camp in Canberra, Australia, on Tuesday and will travel to Okinawa for the second camp. After the first camp, Na Sung-beom expressed his satisfaction, saying, “The club gave me a lot of attention, so I trained without any shortage.”

The KIA spring camp, held at Narabunda Ballpark in Canberra, Australia, was held on a three-day training and one-day rest schedule, focusing on physical fitness and technical training. The team also held its own practice game on the 18th to prepare for the practice game at the Okinawa camp.

The team also practiced to prepare for the new regulations that will be introduced in the KBO this season, including the introduction of a pitch clock and an increase in base size.

Na Sung-beom was named the new captain of KIA this season. He was tasked with leading the team through the turmoil that followed the firing of former coach Kim Jong-guk just before the start of camp. Na signed a six-year, 15 billion won ($15 million) contract as a free agent ahead of the 2022 season. Last year, he was slowed by a calf injury that delayed his start until June, but he still put up a monster .365 batting average with 81 hits and 18 home runs in 58 games.

“On the first day of camp, I told the players to have fun and have a bright atmosphere. As the captain, I thought it was necessary to energize the players because the atmosphere could easily sag,” he said. “I told them to think about what we need to do without worrying about anything else, and I’m grateful that they followed through.”

“I was very happy with the weather at the camp, which was very suitable for training, and the players were very focused and focused in a good environment. We had a schedule of three days of training and one day of rest, and we spent our time efficiently by focusing on training on the training days and resting on the rest days.” “The club also took care of our meals and sleeping arrangements, so there was no shortage in terms of living conditions.”

Spring camp is the first task of the year. The importance of this is huge, as it can affect the early season standings, starting with the season opener. “I think spring camp is the beginning and part of the season,” says Na Sung-beom. “It’s important to get off to a good start, so I’ve been training individually since before camp to get my body ready to go straight into training,” he said. “I’ve been training hard since the start of camp to build my physical foundation for the full season. Last year, I played less due to injury, but this year I hope to prepare well in camp and play a lot of games.”

In particular, the training part of the camp played a big role. From the players’ physical condition to nutrition management, they focused on important management outside of baseball. Na Sung-beom also expressed his gratitude. “The training department promised to take care of the players with ‘the best service’ before the camp, and they did,” he said, adding, “They took care of the players not only in terms of physical condition and training, but also in terms of nutrition management.” He also thanked the power analysis team for “holding a briefing session on the new rules this season, and organizing the information into materials so that the players could familiarize themselves with it.”

In conclusion, Na expressed his intention to do his best in the rest of the second camp. “We’re going to play practice games and try to improve our physical condition for the upcoming season. I’m going to tell the players to take their training a little more seriously because it’s all about practice, and we have a lot of new players, including foreign pitchers, so we’re going to pay attention to the chemistry between the players.” “Our goal this season is to win, of course. We will do our best to prepare for the rest of the camp so that we can play fall baseball in Gwangju this year.”

On the other hand, KIA appointed Lee Bum-ho as its new head coach on the 13th. Lee signed a two-year contract for a total of 900 million won, including a 300 million won down payment and 300 million won in annual salary.

After his appointment, Lee said, “I’m worried that I suddenly took over the managerial position in a difficult situation, but I will take on a heavy responsibility and build the team step by step.” “I will be a leader who communicates with the players in a friendly manner and creates a stage for them to play their baseball to their heart’s content on the field,” he said.

“I am well aware of what the club and fans expect from me. As the manager of the KIA Tigers, I am not a novice manager, and I will definitely lead the team to the top within the term entrusted to me.”

At the time, the KIA club said, “He has a good overall understanding of the team, having served as the team’s futures manager and first-team batting coach,” and added, “With his leadership and excellent communication skills that can encompass the entire team, we believe he is the best candidate to quickly turn around the current team atmosphere.”

After returning to Korea on the 21st, the team will depart for Okinawa on the 22nd, where they will play a total of six exhibition games.

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