Japanese midfielder joins Rhinos

Safa deputy president Datuk Lawrence Gimbang welcomes Japanese midfielder Keisuke Ogawa (fourth right) who signed a six-month contract with Sabah FA today.

KOTA KINABALU: Japanese midfielder Keisuke Ogawa became the Rhinos’ latest foreign recruit.

The 31-year-old will be joined by Serbian forward Rodoljub Paunovic, who is making a return to the state senior football squad.

Sabah Football Association (Safa) deputy president Datuk Lawrence Gimbang said both have been offered six-month contracts.

“Keisuke has done enough during the recent trials to earn a place in the state squad.

“We are confident that Keisuke, along with Paunovic who we have re-signed after recommendation from head coach Jelius Ating, will further strengthen the Rhinos to face the remainder of the Premier League campaign,” he said here today.

Ogawa and Paunovic, who scored six goals in nine league appearances for Sabah in 2017, replaced South Korean duo Lee Gil Hoon and Heo Jaenyeong who parted ways with Sabah after their contract ended on May 17.

The existing foreign imports in the squad  are ex-Zambian defender Francis Kasonde and Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos.

Sabah upcoming league match is against UKM FC at the Likas Stdium on June 2.

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