Brazilian forward Marclei Santos has completed his move from Indonesia’s Mitra Kukar to Thai League 1 outfit Chonburi.
The 28-year-old was the second highest scorer in the Indonesia Liga 1 this past season, netting 24 times to finish only behind 37-goal Sylvano Comvalius, who will also be playing in Thailand next year after joining Suphanburi from Bali United.
And while Marclei would definitely have been welcome had he decided to spend another year at the Aji Imbut Stadium, he has found it impossible to turn down an offer from Thailand.
His move to Chonburi was announced on the club’s official website on Monday and the pressure will be on him and Ghanaian striker Prince Amponsah to fire their side to success in 2018.
The Sharks, traditionally one of Thai football’s biggest clubs, are coming off a disappointing season that saw them finish 33 points behind champions Buriram United in 7th, which ultimately led to the departure of Therdsak Chaiman as coach.
A key factor behind them falling below expectations was a lack of firepower up front, as they scored just 59 goals to be the lowest-scoring team in the top half of the table.
Hoje venho agradecer ao grande mitra kukar pela oportunidade de fazer parte desse time maravilhoso e de uma torcida incrível que me acolheu de braços abertos desde a minha chegada ! Quero agradecer em especial a os jogadores que fazem com que o mitra seja uma familia e a toda comissão técnica juntamente com os diretores ! E dizer que pra mim é uma honra entrar na historia do clube como maior artilheiro estrangeiro a marcar por essa equipe em uma liga e que ficará registrado para sempre em minha memória e no meu coração !! Espero que esse clube cresça cada dia mais e que seja muito feliz … Espero um dia poder voltar a vestir essa camisa … Agora buscarei novos desafios para minha carreira e minha vida e espero que o ano de 2018 seja tão maravilhoso como o 2017 . Abraço a todos ? Today I come to thank the great Kukar Mitra for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful team and an incredible crowd that welcomed me with open arms since my arrival! I especially want to thank the players who make the miter a family and the whole technical team together with the directors! And to say that it is an honor for me to enter the history of the club as the greatest foreign top scorer to score for this team in a league and that will be registered forever in my memory and in my heart !! I hope that this club grows more and more and that it is very happy … I hope one day to return to put on this shirt … Now I will look for new challenges for my career and my life and I hope that the year 2018 is as wonderful as the 2017. I hug you all … ?
Renan Marques led the way with 27 goals while Amponsah and Nurul Sriyankem, who recently left the club to join Port, notched 12 and eight of their own, but the next highest scorers were Fode Diakite, Thiago Chuna and Worachit Kanitsribampen on three apiece.
Chonburi are yet to appoint a replacement for Therdsak, although Japanese Takashi Sekizuka, a former Japan Under-23 coach with club experience at Kawasaki Frontale, Jubilo Iwata and JEF United Chiba, has had his name thrown into the hat.
Chonburi are apparently interested in former Kawasaki Frontale and Japan U23 coach, Takashi Sekizuka as the new manager. pic.twitter.com/WAlDxLTNXw
— chonburi_fc (@chonburi_fc) November 28, 2017
Since their sole Thai League 1 title in 2007, Chonburi have finished as runners-up on five occasions but have spent the past three years outside the top three, as teams like Bangkok United, Chiangrai United and Bangkok Glass have all overtaken them as the main threats to Buriram and Muangthong United.
Photo credit: Chonburi FC