Dibba Al Fujairah have bolstered their defence ahead of the new Arabian Gulf League season with the acquisition of South Korean defender Heo Jae-won.
The 31-year-old centre-half was a free agent after leaving Qatar’s Al Khor who finished a distant 10th in the Qatar Stars League last season.
The length of the contract has not been revealed but the Fishermen posted a picture of him signing the deal on their Twitter account on Saturday while he was flanked by club chairman Ahmed Saeed Abdullah Dhanhan and secretary general Rashid bin Mohd Aboud.
It is hoped Heo will shore up a defence that shipped 46 goals last season, leaving the Fishermen with the league’s sixth worst record – although they were largely impressive, securing survival in their first season following promotion.
Heo played 10 games for the Knights this year having previously played for Suwon Bluewings, Jeju United and Daegu FC in his homeland. His arrival is a bright spot in an otherwise confusing few weeks for Dibba fans.
After announcing they had extended Theo Bucker’s contract on June 12, the veteran coach was then unveiled as Emirates Club’s new boss 10 days later.
New Hatta Club signing Mahmoud Hassan, meanwhile, has insisted the AGL’s new arrivals will not disappoint on their return to the elite after a nine-year hiatus.
The defender is one of a flurry of new arrivals at the Tornado, who were promoted back to the top flight for the first time since 2007/08 – the final season the league was contested on an amateur basis.
“The team faces a big challenge next season, but I am keen to achieve the aspirations of the club and will fight with the team in order to survive,” said Hassan. “I received some offers and there were negotiations for renewal with Emirates, but I opted to join Hatta and I am sure we will not disappoint the fans.”
Hassan was the second Falcons player swooped on by Hatta after Mohammed Malallah made the surprise move following a campaign in which he scored six goals in 23 appearances – making him the fourth-highest scoring Emirati in the AGL last term.
The 27-year-old is fellow Dutchman Rutten’s maiden signing after the former PSV, Feyenoord and FC Twente boss replaced Brazilian Caio Junior at the end of the Arabian Gulf League season.
Boymans agreed a three-year deal with the Hawks earlier this month, but was pictured on Twitter Friday putting pen to paper with the side that finished fifth in the AGL last season.
A statement on the official Utrecht website on Friday confirmed the move.
Technical manager Erik ten Hag said: “With the departure of Ruud we lose scoring ability. Besides a guarantee of goals, we are going to miss the energy he tapped into our team and the constant threat to the opponent. Nevertheless, we have contributed to his desire to take this opportunity.
“We thank Ruud for his efforts and wish him every success and enjoyment to at his new club.”
It is hoped the marksman will add much-needed firepower to a Hawks side that suffered a chronic lack of goals last season. Despite finishing fifth, Shabab netted just 34 times in 26 AGL games. Only relegated Al Shaab (22), Sharjah and Dibba Al Fujairah (both 32) scored less goals than Shabab.
Bar an injury-disrupted two seasons at Utrecht, Boymans has proved largely lethal during the last three years. At previous club AZ Alkmaar he netted three goals in seven appearances on loan at NEC in the 2013/14 season before adding an eye-catching 27 goals in 36 appearances for Willem II during the same campaign.
A switch to Utrecht yielded 19 goals in 24 league matches in the last two campaigns with Boymans only fit to start just 15 times in the Eredivise during that period. Boymans could also be joined at Shabab by another Utrecht player, Nacer Barazite, with reports suggesting he is also in talks with the club.
As part of its commitment to serving the footballing community and its supporters, the Pro League Committee is welcoming fans’ ideas for improvement by establishing a designated email address to encourage the submission of new initiatives from members of the public.
The [email protected] (‘twasel’ meaning ‘contact us/reach out to us’ in Emirati Arabic) email address has been set up in order for fans to be able to submit their proposals with the aim of developing the Arabian Gulf League, fostering a spirit of togetherness in working to continue improving what the League has to offer.
The Executive Office of the Pro League Committee decided on the new scheme at its first meeting on June 10, assigning the task of overseeing the ideas submissions to executive office member Mohammed Ahmed Al Hammadi, who will review all submitted proposals received via the email address and recommend the best for adoption by the Pro League Committee.
“Through this initiative we aim to involve the public in assisting to develop our League by sharing their ideas with us from their unique perspective as fans,” Al Hammadi said.
“Supporters are an integral part of football and we must work together in order to best serve them.
“All proposals received via the designated email address will be taken into consideration and reviewed thoroughly.”
As part of the scheme, the creator of the chosen proposal will be invited to join the PLC and work as project manager on the implementation of his or her successful idea.