KUCHING: Sarawak coach Robert Alberts revealed last Saturday that they are taking a look at a new import striker to replace the misfiring Vedran Muratovic. The Dutchman made his revelation on his interest of a new striker after watching the Croatian Muratovic play on last Saturday’s match against Singapore Lions XII.
The striker failed to impress the Sarawak coach where his team lost 1-0 on that day. “I admired his hard work on the field but unfortunately this is not the reason why we sign him. We sign him to bolster our attacks and it looks like he is not doing his job,” complained Alberts.
One of the names rumoured to be interested to ply his trade here in Kuching is Joël Dieudonné Martin Epalle Newaka or simply known as Joël Epalle. The long name also coincides with his long illustrious career with top European clubs like VfL Bochum (Germany), FC Baku (Azerbaijan) and Panathinaikos (Greece).
Epalle is capped with Cameroon and was a part of the country’s 2000 Olympic Games and 2002 FIFA World Cup squad. So far, he has gained 31 caps with Cameroon and has scored two goals. His first ever cap for Cameroon was on 26 November 1995, in a match against Gabon where he made his full international debut for his country when he was seventeen years old.
Epalle can play as a right midfielder or a second striker. Starting his career at Union Douala, he was snapped by Greek club Ethnikos Piraeus F.C. who currently plays at the Greek second division. He went on to play for numerous clubs in Greece where his resume includes clubs like Panachaiki, Aris, Panathinaikos, Iraklis followed by stints in Germany and Azerbaijan before returning to his former club Iraklis.
Alberts however refuse to identify any player that he is really interested in but acknowledges that the player will be coming for trials at the State Stadium this week.“Vedran played his last match last Saturday. He is not in plans anymore as I am currently searching for his replacement,” added Alberts.