Monday, September 25, 2017

Underdogs hog transfer limelight

The second transfer window for Myanmar National League 2017 is already halfway through and local clubs have used that opening to bolster their ranks for the second half of football season which began yesterday.

Can Brazilian striker Gustavo save Southern Myanmar? Photo - Southern Myanmar, Shan United’s new forward Korean Han Kyungin. Photo - Shan United, Japanese midfielder Matsumoto Ken is back with Zwekapin United. Photo - Zwekapin United.Can Brazilian striker Gustavo save Southern Myanmar? Photo - Southern Myanmar, Shan United’s new forward Korean Han Kyungin. Photo - Shan United, Japanese midfielder Matsumoto Ken is back with Zwekapin United. Photo - Zwekapin United.

The month-long transfer window, which opened on April 18, expires at midnight on May 17.

This year, top clubs like Yangon United, Yadanarbon FC and Ayeyawady United have remained rather quiet compared to mid-tier and lower ranked clubs who have been making all the noises as they seek out new recruits.

As such, leaders Yangon United haven’t planned any major changes. They will stick with players who served the club well in first half of the season, at the end of which the club led the standings and also remained undefeated.

Likewise, current holders of the MNL Trophy, Yadanarbon FC, are also not contemplating major changes. With just one foreign player in their ranks, they will continue to focus on youth and local players to carry the club through the remaining half of the season.

With Yangon United and Yadanarbon FC relatively quiet, Shan United are hoping to mount a serious challenge. On Monday the club beefed up its offence by signing South Korean striker Han Kyungin, offering him a six-month contract. Han replaces another Korean, Hyunwoo Kim, also a striker, who the club feels has not been able to give his 100 percent because he was lacking in terms of physique and strength.

U Soe Myat Min, head coach of the Taunggyi-based club, said: ‘‘South Korean players have good individual skill and they try hard. But physically they are not strong enough.

‘‘Hyunwoo Kim is a talented player but not sturdy enough. To achieve success in Myanmar National League, you need stronger players.”

Han, 30, is five-foot 11-inch tall. He has played in K-league for Gyeongnam FC and Daejeon Citizen.

‘’Our new striker Han Kyungin is a stronger player and he also has great individual skill. I think he will be a great asset to our team.’’ U Soe Myat Min added.

Middle of the table Zwekapin United, meanwhile, have rung major changes for the remaining half of the season.

They not only recruited new players but also changed their head coach. Six of their local players had to go because their contracts had expired while the club’s former defender Matsumoto Ken was re-hired.

With the club’s head coach U Min Kyi away, its technical director U Soe Moe is the new head coach. The latter was formerly head coach of Zeyar Shwe Myay FC.

Underdogs Southern Myanmar FC have also rung changes. They terminated the contract of Brazilian forward Fernando but brought on another Brazilian striker Gustavo on April 28.

Southern Myanmar’s head coach U Kyaw Min said, ‘‘Our choice of striker for first half of the season was wrong.

Fernando can’t help our team. We got only five goals in 11 games during the period. Our main problem is lack of goals. Our team needs to score to stay away from relegation zone.’’

Gustavo is an old MNL hand. He played for Shan United last season.

‘‘Before joining us Gustavo was playing Indonesia for Presela Lamongan FC. He is a talented player and I think he can help our forwards,’’ U Kyaw Min added.

“I know the situation. If we play as a unit, we can be strong. And we must grab points in home matches so we can climb up the standings,’’ said Gustavo.

TeamGPGDPTS
10 19 20
10 10 22
Yadanarbon
10 6 21
Ayeyawady United
10 5 15
Rakhine United
10 0 14
Magwe FC
10 -2 13
Zwekapin United
10 -4 13
Nay Pyi Taw FC
10 -8 9
10 -6 8
10 -6 7
Chin United
10 -7 7
GFA FC
10 -7 6
Last Updated - 1 April 2017
TeamGPGDPTS
Manaw Myay
22 51 52
GFA
22 21 49
Nay Pyi Taw FC
22 33 48
Mahar United
22 31 48
Myawady FC
22 23 36
Mawyawadi FC
22 1 35
City Stars
22 1 28
University FC
22 -17 23
Dagon FC
22 -11 20
Pong Gan
22 -37 12
United of Thanlyin
22 -47 11
Silver Stars
22 -49 10
Last Updated - 28 August 2016