He made his mark with 24 goals in 35 appearances in a Lion City Sailors shirt in 2022, and now Kim Shin-wook is off to write the next chapter of his football career. 

Shin-wook reached a mutual agreement to part ways with the Sailors, and will depart the club with good memories of the club and of Singapore football. 

With more than 100 goals in K League 1 and two Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League titles – with Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – the 1.98m Shin-wook was the fourth-highest scorer in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) last season with 21 goals – including four hat-tricks. 

“Wookie” memorably struck a stunning acrobatic volley on his Sailors debut in a 2-1 win over Albirex Niigata (S) in the 2022 AIA Community Shield, inspiring the Sailors to its first Community Shield win in its history. 

Having played for some of Asia’s biggest teams, the 34-year-old was grateful for the opportunity to play for the ambitious Sailors and will look back with fond memories, especially of the strong backing he received from the Sailors’ fervent fans. 

The Crew had dedicated a song – sung to the tune of all-time classic Que Sera Sera – to him, and there was a special moment in last August’s 9-4 win over Hougang United when Shin-wook obliged the fans with his trademark celebration on the sidelines after being subbed off following one of his four 2022 hat-tricks. 

I’m grateful to all of you for your fantastic support in the stadiums, and to my teammates, and staff at the club for all their help during my time with the Sailors.

“It has been an honour to play for all of you this past year as a Sailor. I feel it is the right time for me to explore new opportunities to continue challenging myself,” he elaborated. 

The former South Korean international was keen to reiterate that the Sailors will have one more supporter as it embarks on the 2023 season.  

I have enjoyed my time as a Sailor and I wish the team nothing but the best in the season ahead,” said Shin-wook. 

“I will be continuing to support Sailors as always.”

Hariss Harun lauded the positive effect Shin-wook had on the Sailors across the 2022 season.

“He was a consummate professional, a good presence in the dressing room, and a fighter out on the pitch,” said the Sailors and Singapore captain.

“We wish him the best in the next chapter of his career, and we’ll be following him closely too.”

Gamsahamnida and all the best, Wookie!