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Ismaily sign African trio Banahene, Anobaah and Ngwoke
Brazilian Heron Ricardo Ferreira, Ismaily’s coach, recently announced that the team intends to sign a new player to replace their top-scorer John Antwi, who recently finalised his move to Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab for $2.2 million.
Following the departures of their other two foreign players – Kelechi Osunwa and Alex Maranhão (both released) – the Ismailia-based have announced the signings of strikers Banahene (Ghana) and Kenneth Ngwoke (Nigeria) on their official website.
Banahene, 26, has joined for two and a half years whilst Kenneth has signed for 4 years from Northern Cypriot top division side Yenicami Aäÿdelen SK.
The 26-year-old Ghanaian forward played for Saudi Arabian outfits Al-Orouba before completing his move to team as a free agent.
Banahene previously played for Israeli team Hapoel Petah Tikva FC, a matter that chairman Mohamed Abou El-Soud commented on when questioned: “Yes, he did play in Israel, however, his last team was based in Saudi Arabia.”
Abou El-Soud added: “We do not have a problem with the teams he played for as long as his skills are a good fit for the team.”
The chairman did not seem worried about Banahene’s lack of success in Saudi Arabia, however, having only scored once in two appearances, as per transfermarkt.
Nigerian striker Kenneth Ngwoke, the other of the two confirmed signings, had a remarkable season with his ex-team Yenicami Aäÿdelen SK, having scored 17 goals in 12 matches in the first round of the league. The 22-year-old striker was netted an incredible nine goals in two games earlier in the season, an impressive statistic that may compensate for the departure of the Egyptian Premier League and Ismaily’s top-scorer Antwi, should he be able to replicate that sort of form for his new club.
In addition to these two signings, 25-year-old Theophilus Anobaah has also reportedly signed a deal, following the Ghanaian attacking midfielder’s release from Petrojet. Anobaah has yet to be announced on the club’s official website, but chairman Mohamed Abou El-Soud confirmed that ‘3 new foreign players’ have joined the Dervishes.
The moves were facilitated after the departures of Kelechi Osunwa and Alex Maranhão who have been released; the latter demanding $40,000 to leave ‘peacefully’. Maranhão, who initially signed for $100,000, requested half of his financial dues as compensation for his terminated contract. $10,000 was paid with talks ongoing for the remainder of his payout.
Surprisingly, Ismaily’s officials have been able to pen these new deals despite reportedly being banned from the winter transfer window by the Players Affairs Committee.