Australians at heart of K League opener

Anna Harrington
Adam Taggart is poised to lead the attack for Suwon Samsung Bluewings when the K League kicks off

When the K League returns to action on Friday, two Australians will be among those showcasing their wares to the football world.

South Korea's top tier will become the first major league to be played since the coronavirus pandemic brought the world game to a grinding halt.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings, who have Australians Adam Taggart and Terry Antonis on their books, will kick off the season against defending K League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Socceroos striker Taggart established himself as one of the competition's brightest stars in his brilliant first season with Suwon.

Taggart scored 20 goals in 33 league appearances - including scoring on debut - and registered a hat-trick and three braces on his way to claiming the golden boot, becoming the first Australian to do so.

The 26-year-old's form was rewarded with a Socceroos call-up and he scored in World Cup qualifiers against Taiwan and Jordan.

Former Melbourne Victory playmaker and capped Socceroos midfielder Antonis joined Taggart at Suwon in July 2019.

Another three Australians are set to feature in the K League across the weekend.

Defender Jason Davidson is poised to line up for Ulsan Hyundai when they host Sangju Sangmu on Saturday.

The 2015 Asian Cup winner joined Ulsan off the back of a standout season with 2018-19 A-League premiers Perth Glory.

Former Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers defensive midfielder Rashid Mahazi joined Incheon United last July and is set to face Daegu FC.

Socceroos-capped midfielder Brandon O'Neill, who starred at Sydney FC, will commence his maiden campaign for Pohang Steelers against Busan IPark on Sunday.

The K League season has been reduced to 27 rounds from its original 38, after the start was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The competition will be broadcast by Optus in Australia, after the streaming service secured the rights, while the season opener will be broadcast worldwide on the K League's official Twitter and YouTube accounts.

AUSTRALIANS AT K LEAGUE CLUBS

* Suwon Bluewings - Adam Taggart, Terry Antonis

* Pohang Steelers - Brandon O'Neill

* Ulsan Hyundai - Jason Davidson

* Incheon United - Rashid Mahazi