Shillong Lajong makes six new impressive foreign signings for the upcoming I-League

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Shillong Lajong FC made their first foreign announcement today at noon, and followed it by the second one at 1 pm IST. The third singing announcement came an hour. This continued until 5 pm till six overseas signings were announced.

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.

The first foreign signing is Centre forward, Abdoulaye Koffi from Ivory Coast. 25-year old Abdoulaye began his professional career in Egypt in 2008 with Hurghada-based Grand Hotel FC. In his two-year spell at the Hurghada-based club, he scored 26 goals in 44 appearances. In 2011, he moved to another Egyptian Second Division club, El Sharqia Dokhan FC. In his three-year spell at the club, he scored 17 goals in 35 appearances.

In August 2014, he moved to Oman and on 27 August 2014 he signed a one-year contract with Saham SC of Oman Professional League. On January 6, 2015, he signed a six-month contract with another Oman Professional League club, Al-Suwaiq Club.After his eye catching performance in Oman Professional League, he caught the eye of various clubs in the region and as a result moved to Saudi Arabia on 22 January 2016 where he moved on loan to Saudi Professional League side, Al-Khaleej on loan from Omani outfit, Al-Suwaiq Club.

The 30-year-old Centre Back Laurence Doe from Liberia is Lajong’s second foreign recruit. Lawrence played for various clubs in Mali at the junior levels like Stade Malien, Djoliba Athletic Club and AS Sigui where he won the Malien League in 2002 with Stade Malien and Malien Cup with Djoliba Athletic Club in 2003.Lawrence began his professional career with Renacimiento FC in 2005. He played in forty-eight league matches for the Equatoguinean club. He won the Equatoguinean League with the club in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, he moved to Spain, where he played for several clubs in the lower leagues, the highest ranked being Águilas CF in the Segunda División B.

After spending a long three-seasons spell in Spain, he moved to Oman where he signed a contract with first-division club Bahla Club. In 2011, he came back to Oman and signed a contract with Oman Elite League club Al-Shabab Club and helped the club to win the 2011–12 Oman Elite League. He also spent a brief spell in Greece with Platanias scoring two goals in seven league matches and Apollon Smyrni where he played for the club in two matches. In the same season, he moved to Saudi Arabia where he signed a contract with Al Raed of the Saudi Professional League for whom he scored one goal in one match. Just after one game for Al-Raed, on 30 July 2013 he came back to Oman and signed a contract with one of his former clubs, Al-Shabab Club. He scored one league goal in twenty five league matches for the Oman Professional League club in the 2013–14 Oman Professional League.

The third foreign player to join the Shillong Lajong ranks is Nigerian defensive midfielder Daniel Odafin. In 2007, he began his professional footballing career in the Middle East and more accurately Bahrain where he signed a one-year contract with Bahraini Premier League club, Al-Hala SC. In 2008, he moved to Western Asia and more accurately to Syria where he signed a one-year contract with Tishreen SC. He made 18 appearances for the Latakia-based club in the 2008–09 Syrian Premier League. In 2009, he moved to Al-Hasakah where he signed a one-year contract with another Syrian Premier League club, Al-Jazeera SC Hasakah. He scored 1 goal in 20 appearances in the 2009–10 Syrian Premier League.

In 2011, he moved to Lebanon where he signed a long term contract with Shabab Al-Sahel. In 2014, he moved to Iraq where he signed a short term contract with Iraqi Premier League club, Al-Zawra’a SC. He made 6 appearances for the Karkh-based club in the 2014–15 Iraqi Premier League. On 26 January 2015, he signed a six-month contract with 2013–14 Oman Professional League winners, Al-Nahda Club.In September 2014, he moved back to Lebanon and more accurately to Beirut where he signed a one-year contract with his former club, Shabab Al-Sahel. He made his first appearance in the 2015–16 Lebanese Premier League on 18 October 2015 in a 1-1 draw against Nejmeh SC.

The 4th signing for the highlanders is Swedish-Gambian striker Saihou Jagne.

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 signing is attacking midfielder from Yemen, Aiman Salah Al-Hagri. The fifth foreign signing 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.

“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.” said Shillong Lajong FC Managing Director, Mr. Larsing Ming Sawyan after signing these players.