Shillong (Meghalaya): Shillong Lajong Football Club signed six foreign players ahead of the I-League 2017-18 Season. The addition of the new players are expected to help strengthen the young Lajong squad as they bring with them many years of experience playing in top professional leagues.
The Reds are determined to put their best foot forward for the forthcoming season by assembling a fine squad with a great selection of foreigners coupled with the best youngsters graduating from the Academy.
For the new I-league season, the number of foreign players allowed to be fielded by each team in the starting eleven has been increased to five and teams can register up to 6 foreigners. After acquiring the signatures of these foreign players, Lajong has completed their International signings formalities for the upcoming season.
The first foreign signing is Centre forward, Abdoulaye Koffi from Ivory Coast. He has made impressive stints at Grand Hotel FC in 2008-11 season (Egypt II Division), El Sharqia Dokhan in 2012-14 season (Egypt II Division), Saham SC in 2014-15 season (Oman Professional League), Al-Suwaiq in 2015-16 season (Oman Professional League) and Al-Khaleej in 2016-17 season (Saudi Professional League).
The 25 year old was the top scorer of the Egyptian Second Division for Grand Hotel FC scoring 26 goals from 44 appearances during the 2010-11 season. Koffi was the second top goal scorer in the Oman Professional League for Al-Suwaiq in the 2015-16 season striking 23 goals from 32 game appearances.
Laurence Doe from Liberia is Lajong’s second foreign recruit. The 30 year old Centre Back is a former Equatorial Guinea International having played 21 games in total and scored 2 goals. He has played for clubs like Platinas in 2012-13 season (Greece Super League), Apollon Smyrnis in 2013 (Football League Greece), Enppi in 2014-15 season (Egyptian Premier League), Deportivo Mengomo in 2015 (Equatorial Guinea) and Quintar del Rey in 2016-17 (Tercera Division). The right footed defender has won major titles in Mali, Equatorial Guinea & Oman.
The third foreign player to join the Shillong Lajong ranks is Daniel Odafin from Nigeria. The 28 year old defensive midfielder was involved with Clubs like Al-Hala in 2007-08 season (Bahraini Premier League), Tishreen in 2008-09 season (Syrian Premier League), Al-Jazeera in 2009-10 season (Syrian Premier League), Hutteen in 2010-11 season (Syrian Premier League), Shabab Al-Sahel in 2011-14 season (Lebanese Premier League), Al Zawraa in 2014 (Iraqi Premier League), Al Nahda in 2015 (Oman Professional League & played AFC Cup), Shabab Al Sahel in 2015-16 season (Lebanese Premier League) and Al-Nabi Sheat in 2016-17 season (Lebanese Premier League).
Daniel Odafin has also won the best midfielder award in the 2013-14 season for Shabab Al-Sahel (Lebanese Premier League) and also were runners up in the FA Cup and Super Cup during the same season.
The Reds have also secured the signature of Saihou CH Jagne, who is a dual citizen of Sweden and Gambia. The 30 year old striker last played for Fateh Hyderabad and scored 4 goals in the last 5 games that Fateh played in I-League second division. He has gone to have stints in Väsby United in 2007, AIK in 2008-10 season and also won the Swedish League in 2009 with AIK including the Swedish Cup & Swedish Super Cup. Between 2010 to 2015, he has been associated with various clubs in Sweden, Finland and Norway. His last club before moving to India was HamKam FC in Norway during the 2016-17 Season.
Saihou Jagne has represented the Sweden U-17 team and Gambia Senior Team (World Cup Qualifiers, last game 2016).
The fifth foreign entry is attacking midfielder from Yemen, Aiman Salah Al-Hagri. Aiman is a versatile and skilful player who can play up top or attack from the wings. The 24 year old moved away from Yemen in 2011 to Bahrain, and then plied his trade in Oman and Saudi Arabia between 2013 to 2016. He is also a very important member of the Yemen National Football Team having made 19 appearances for his country so far.
The sixth foreign contingent added to Lajong’s youthful squad is Central Defender, Oh Juho from the Republic of Korea. The 25 year old has played in Korean leagues since 2008 and has also played for National Police Commissary FC, a top level of Cambodian League in 2016. At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Oh Juho has also represented the U-18 and U-23 National Teams.
Shillong Lajong FC Managing Director, Mr. Larsing Ming Sawyan said, “We are happy to have completed the formalities of signing our 6 foreigners for the upcoming I-League. Unlike previous years, this year we have decided to exhaust our entire quota of foreign players that a club can register to compliment a young and dynamic squad that is loaded with immense potential.”
“We look forward to an exciting brand of football this season and hope to put up a strong challenge for the I-League. Our Fans are going to witness the unveiling of the next generation of Lajong players which in my personal opinion will be the best that we have produced so far.”