Kim Yeon-kyung of Heungkuk Pink Spiders receives a JT Marvelous uniform from the teamí»s public relations director Tanaka Yasuki at a signing ceremony in Seoul, Monday. The Pink Spiders and Marvelous agreed on a two-year loan contract for Kim worth more than $300,000. / Yonhap
By Yoon Chul
Powerful South Korean left attacker Kim Yeon-koung of the Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders has agreed to cross the East Sea to join JT Marvelous in Japan's V Premier League.
The Pink Spiders and JT Marvelous agreed on a two-year loan agreement for the player with the possibility of a one-year extension negotiated after the first season.
It is the first time that a Korean female volleyball player has signed on to play abroad since the Korean Volleyball Federation (KOVO) V-League was founded in 2005.
``We had been discussing a move for her since last year. We didn't think about Italy, but we contacted three other Japanese teams, including Toray Arrows, last season's champion,'' the Pink Spiders official Kim Hyun-do said at press conference.
``JT Marvelous failed to find good import players last season, so it was the most active team seeking to sign Kim. In addition, the Marvelous promised that it will support her bid to play for Korea's national team.
``Though we can't announce her annual salary, the deal is worth more than $300,000,'' added the official.
``To be honest, I am nervous because it's the first time that I'll be playing abroad, but I will try to play well for Japanese fans,'' the left attacker said.
The JT Marvelous was runner up in 2006-2007 season and ranked ninth out of 10 teams last season.
Last season, the 1.92-meter left attacker led her team to third place during the regular season and helped the Pink Spiders win the champion series.
T fourth-year professional volleyballer ranked among import attackers, and placed in the top 5 in a number of categories.
Kim placed fourth in total attacks with 670 and was second with a 47.09 hitting percentage.
The Pink Spiders attacker also ranked second with a service ace percentage of 0.37.
``Kim will provide us with a more powerful strength in attack. We hope her power will help us move up in the standings,'' JT Marvelous manager Takeda Yuji said.