Sunderland Echo

Ji: I want to prove myself – then return to Wearside


Ji Dong-Won is determined to prove himself at Mainz, retire and return to the Stadium of Light.

The former Sunderland striker signed for Mainz last summer and, despite making only four appearance­s – all of which came after the enforced break due to coronaviru­s – there is hope that the German side have got to the bottom of theSouthKo­rean’sinjurywoe­s.

And that means the forward’s focus is simply on what he can affect on the field – and finally fulfilling the potential that placed him on Sunderland’s radar in the summer of 2011.

“I have to do more,” says Ji. “I’ve not done enough to play or to score the goals, so I have to do more.

“I’m still only 29, so I have to do more. More, more, more.

“I haven’t played so much, but I’m ready to settle down,” he continued.

“The players, the city, the team – I’m comfortabl­e here.”

“Last year I played four games, mainly substituti­ng, so this season I hope is much better than last season.

“My knee is fit and is back to 100 per cent. I can do my best and do more for my team.”

While Ji is hopeful a brighter future is on the horizon on a personal level, so too is he optimistic his former club can return to their former glory – and he wants to be there to see it.

He said: “I know now they play in League One. I couldn’t believe that this club isn’t playing Premier League, and I hope they win promotion again because I want to see them back in the Premier League.

“When I retire from my football career, then I want to visit Sunderland one more time.

“I want to see the stadium again,feelthatat­mospherean­d just look again.”

 ??  ?? Ji Dong-Won during his spell on Wearside.
Ji Dong-Won during his spell on Wearside.

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