With the Philippine Azkals’ AFC Asian Cup participation coming to a close, the offseason cycle of player transactions come into full throttle starting with Ceres Negros confirming their new players ahead of the 2019 Philippine Premier League and AFC seasons.
Four players who will provide the much needed reinforcements in key areas of the pitch are Miguel Tanton, Dennis Villanueva, Dylan De Bruycker and Angelo Marasigan. The information has just been made official by the Bacolod-based club via its social media posts in the morning of January 21, 2019.
Miguel Tanton, a defensive midfielder who can crank it up on the offensive end if needed as a playmaker and set-piece taker, joins the Busmen from Kaya FC Iloilo. His addition could be a major coup, maybe even the biggest this year, for the Panaad fortress due to his proven leadership qualities [he has been Kaya’s captain] and commanding presence as a combative player.
Dennis Villanueva, who plays in defence as of late, but is also a capable midfielder joins from recently Davao Aguilas. His footballing background is considered as on of his biggest strengths as he was honed in the Italian footballing system with SS Lazio’s youth team and playing league football in Italy before getting playing stints locally with Global Cebu and Davao Aguilas.
Angelo Marasigan, meanwhile, joins in from Global Cebu and is a player who can take multiple roles from the right flank but mainly as a winger. The 26-year-old comes in the squad as a possible reinforcement in the right flank with star right winger Patrick Reichelt already with Malaysian Super League club Melaka United.
As for the most promising acquisition for this year, it’s most probably Dylan De Bruycker who arrives, along with Dennis Villanueva, from Davao Aguilas. The 21-year-old midfield talent has been a part of the Azkals’ junior program since mid-2017 and has developed his football skills with Club Brugge’s youth setup in Belgium. With his playmaking ability, whether in the middle of the park or the right flank, he can fill the void left by Patrick Reichelt and ahead of the inevitable move of central midfielder Manuel Ott out of Ceres [initial rumors – yet to be confirmed – point that he is set to join fellow Azkal Amin Nazari with Thai League 1 club Ratchaburi Mitr Phol].
Ceres-Negros are scheduled to have a preseason friendly with Kaya FC Iloilo on January 29, 2019 in Taguig before formally kicking off their season with an AFC Champions League preliminary qualifiers fixture against Yangon United on February 5, 2019 to be held in Panaad Park and Stadium.
Photo credit: Ceres-Negros FC Facebook Page