Barely three weeks have passed since the 2017 Philippines Football League final, but Ceres-Negros and Global Cebu have been in the thick of the transfer window.
Ceres earlier announced that it would release six players from its imposing lineup after the inaugural PFL season ended. These players were Iain Ramsay, Roland Muller, Fernando Rodriguez, Kota Kawase, Joshua Grommen, and Luke Woodland.
The newly crowned Philippine champions wasted no time in replacing these with the addition of JPV-Marikina duo Takumi Uesato and Sean Kane. Uesato, a forward, provided 16 goals for JPV last season while Kane will shore up the Busmen’s backline.
Kane told the club’s official website, “I’m very pleased to have signed with Ceres. It’s a great club and a great environment for me to continue to grow as a player.
“There’s no question Ceres has the best fans in the Philippines, I can’t wait to be part of it!”
While Ceres have already confirmed Uesato and Kane, the club formally announced the signing of Spanish goalkeeper Toni Doblas last January 5, 2017. The 37-year-old Spaniard racked up 95 La Liga appearances for Real Betis and even spent a season for Napoli where he played twice in Serie A. Doblas’ medals include the 2005 Copa del Rey and 2014 Coppa Italia.
International sports agency firm Proneo Sports first confirmed Doblas’ move to Ceres in a tweet ast January 3, 2018. Doblas will step in for the now departed Muller and compete with veteran goalies Ed Sacapano and Louie Casas.
The biggest news, though, is definitely Ceres’ signing of Amani Aguinaldo. Global announced on its Facebook page that Aguinaldo has secured his release from the club while Inquirer’s Cedelf Tupas reported that the said player is off to the Busmen. The former FEU Tamaraw is injured and will see action again in the middle of 2018
Aside from Aguinaldo, the PFL and 2017 Singapore Cup finalists Global have also lost two top class forwards. Misagh Bahadoran and Hikaru Minegishi have left the club to compete in other leagues within South East Asia.
Aseanfootball.org reported that Bahadoran is off to Malaysia Super League club Perak The Bos Gaurus Football Club while Minegishi while Thai League 1 side Pattaya United Football Club announced Minegeshi’s signing a few weeks ago.
Minegishi commented to Pattaya’s Facebook page, “Entering (into) this contract is a new challenge for me in my professional career and I’m very excited to be playing in the Thai League where there’s a wealth of skilled in-form players.
“I will therefore put in the work to quickly adapt to the team’s system of play in order to help propel my new club to greater heights next year”
The transfers of Bahadoran and Minegishi shall help their respective clubs fill in their ASEAN player quota adopted by the top divisions of Malaysia and Thailand for their 2018 seasons. The new rule states that clubs from these leagues must have three foreign players, one Asian player and one ASEAN player.
To partially make up for their losses, Global formally announced on January 5, 2017 the signing of former Ateneo Blue Eagle and Davao Aguilas player Jordan Jarvis. Jarvis is expected to strengthen a backline that currently includes Marco Casambre and stalwart Jerry Barbaso.