|PPCFC's 3 new faces, LtoR: Newton Katanha, Rafael Oliveira, Jeong Ho Kim - click to enlarge|
1. Zimbabwe-born Newton Ben Katanha, aged 30, joins Crown with an excellent reputation, having represented his country as a Zimabawe international on 12 occasions, scoring six goals, and spent 13 years as a professional in Europe. After starting in Zimbabwe's premier league, he spent time in Austria (with SV Austria Salzburg and BSV Bad Bleiberg), Germany (Arminia Bielefeld), two years in Malaysia with MPPJ Selangor, before returning to Europe, in Russia (PFC Spartak Nalchik) and then the past seven years with three clubs in Switzerland, FC Schaffhausen, Wettswil-Bonstetton and FC Winterthur.
2. The 2nd new arrival is Rafael Souza de Oliveira, aged 25. Rafael is Brazilian and played in his country's premier league with Fluminense RJ and Atletico MG and a season on loan with Democrata GV, before heading over to play in the Vietnam Premier League in 2009, first with The Cong and then Navibank Saigon. After recovering from injury he spent 1.5 years with Than Quang Ninh, before half a season back in Brazil with America FC and now joining Crown.
3. The third of today's trio is Jeong Ho Kim, a 22-year old South Korean who has successfully completed a month-long trial period with Crown. As a schoolboy he was a star striker for his school in Busan, earning a scholarship at the prestigious Kwangoon University and training spells overseas. His University playing career was cut short with a serious ankle injury and he's now looking to return to playing regular football.
The 3 new faces join Odion Obadin and George Bisan as the club's foreign contingent for the new season. Welshman Liam Hutchinson, who joined the club two months ago after spells in Welsh and Australian football, has left the club for personal reasons. Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber said of his new signings: "I am very excited. This is a new situation for me to have 5 good foreign players and it gives me a good selection headache. I'm relieved to have gone through a long process of exploring the market for foreign faces, but happy that we waited for the right players and I think we have 5 very strong players that will provide a competitive environment in training and help to make us a real contender for the championship this season."