Aug 3, 2010
Indonesian side Persiba Balikpapan have brought in two Korean players on trial as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2010/11 season, following on from the success of their current Korean midfield star Kim Yong-hee.
The Borneo-based side are currently running the rule over ex-Yesan FC players Kim Tae-hyung and Yoo Young-woo with a view to the youngsters joining former K-League star Kim in their push for AFC Champions League football. 21 year-old Kim Tae-hyung spent a year and a half with Yesan before being released without having played a single minute of National League football but Yoo, 25, was an integral part of Yesan’s first team during the first stage of the 2010 season starting ten of their fourteen league matches and netting three times.
Under Indonesian league rules teams are permitted to sign three non-Asian foreign players and two Asian players to make up their quota of imports, and Persiba manager Jamal Al Rashid hinted that his club are considering sticking with just the two non-Asian imports on their books, Croatian defender Mijo Dadic and Argentine midfielder Roberto Pugliara, and using the third slot for a third Asian player. After noticing the effect the signing of Kim Yong-hee had on the team, Jamal is convinced that Asian players have the ability to have the same impact as the African or Latin American imports usually favoured by Indonesian clubs, and he has turned his attentions to signing compatriots of his current Korean star.
31 year-old Kim Yong-hee joined Persiba in March this year and made fourteen appearances at the tail end of the 2009/10 Indonesian league season. The distinctively bald-headed hard-tackling midfielder began his professional career in 2001 with Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and collected three championship medals in his spell with the club. He signed for Busan I’cons in 2004 where he won a Korean FA Cup medal before spending two years with military side Gwangju and moved on to Jeonbuk in 2008, making over 100 appearances in his eight years in the K-League. At the beginning of 2009 he stepped down to the National League to join Gangneung City for the first stage of the season before moving on to Incheon Korail for the second half of the year.
The 2010/11 Indonesia Super League season is scheduled to kick off in October.