Stallion Laguna Head Coach, Ernest Nierras, made known in the afternoon of January 31, the list of players who will comprise the upcoming season’s squad.
Familiar names remain with the addition of solid reinforcements as Azkals goalkeeper Patrick Deyto probably the biggest coup for Stallion which may have finally got its final piece of the puzzle from a defensive standpoint [although Deyto’s debut could be at a much later date as he is still on the road to full recovery and fitness after undergoing a corrective surgery of his injured right middle finger].
Homegrown stars and mainstays such as Jesus Melliza, Fitch Arboleda, team captain Ruben Doctora, Nathan Alquiros and Matthew Nierras are once again expected to banner and lead by example in their respective roles for the new campaign.
Meanwhile, foreign player Abou Sy who has been a revelation for the squad in the previous season [proving initial doubters wrong after an underwhelming start], will once again provide the much needed space, creativity and opportunities from the midfield or [on some occasions] the forward line.
However, it is a fact that a significant number of quality players also headed the exit doors with battling, yet creative, midfielder from Switzerland Carlo Polli probably the biggest name to depart, along with solid defender Ko Kyung-joon, forward Yannick Tuason, and midfield sensation Paolo Bugas who make up four of a total of nine players who either opted to move on or are deemed surplus to requirements.
According to Coach Ernest, midfielder Polli went back to his home country after securing a contract to play for a Swiss club.
This void is where new signings such as Andoni Suescum, OJ and Ian Clarino, Joshua Kim and Kim Deonghyeon [to name a few] need to shine in order to not just fill the gaps vacated, but maybe even surpass the achievements of the players they are replacing.
As of this writing, it is still unconfirmed if the Binan-based club have already committed or will be on-board to compete in the Philippine Premier League, but it seems that the organization’s stable already set up and ready to mount some serious challenge for the upcoming season with a good mix of tried-and-tested homegrown talents and promising foreign-player acquisitions.
Photo credits: Mark Anthony Malcampo