After recent revelations regarding the complexion of the impending 2018 Metfone C-League season were announced, clubs have been reinforcing their squads ahead of the March 3 opening day.
While the traditional big teams like Phnom Penh Crown and Boeung Ket have already announced a slew of departures and some fresh signings, newly promoted Visakha FC and Soltilo Angkor have also taken the opportunity to sign up out-of-contract talent.
Visakha was yesterday speculated as being the destination of Boeung Ket full-back and national team regular Rous Samoeun, who was out of contract with the current C-League champs.
Samoeun, 23, has been a defensive mainstay at Boeung Ket and in his time has helped the club to two C-League titles. His departure came as a shock to many of the club’s loyal fans.
Visakha is led by former Cambodian superstar striker Hok Sochetra who, after leading the club to promotion last season and a place in the top tier of Cambodian football, said his grand visions for the club would depend on staying in the top league.
They have already secured the services of four North Korean players – Choe Myong-ho, Kim Kyong-hon, Ri Hyok-chol and Jang Song-hyok – who were instrumental in leading Ministry of National Defense to last season’s play-off final.
In a surprise move, Visakha have also brought in former Crown goalkeeper Keo Sokseila.
The club also have an eye on former Crown defender Ngoy Srin, who has parted ways with NagaWorld at the end of his contract.
Srin, 23 and capped 11 times by the national team, appeared for Visakha during Saturday’s friendly warm-up win over Asia Europe United at the AEU Sport Park.
For fellow promoted side Soltilo Angkor, the lure of the C-League has helped them add some much-needed top league experience.
Cambodian striker Kornai Ansari, and defenders Ly Phyrunn, Chan Veasna and Seng Kosen, have all agreed to switch to the Keisuke Honda-backed club from fellow C-leaguers Western FC.
The club also agreed terms with their first foreign acquisition; Japanese midfielder Unno Tomoyuki, formerly of Thai clubs Yasothon FC, Thai Honda, Phangnga FC and Phayao FC.
Ministry of National Defense coach Tep Long Rachana has already marked out the league newcomers as ones to watch.
“For the 2018 season, with the expanded league and the introduction of Visakha and Soltilo
Angkor it will be very exciting,” said the coach.
“These newly emerging teams are worrying [for me] as they are [building] a team around some outstanding players,” he added.