Sunday, January 28, 2007

Transfers galore in FYR Macedonia

There has been a frenzy of transfer activity involving the top four clubs in the Prva Liga as they prepare to start the second half of the season.

Four contenders
With just six points separating the four frontrunners, each club has made changes to its squad in the hope of finding the formula that will provide the decisive advantage. Currently, FK Rabotnicki and FK Makedonija GP Skopje have 37 points from their 18 matches with FK Vardar three points behind and FK Pobeda in fourth position.

Brazilian trio
The most frantic dealings occurred at Vardar where several players joined but an incredible 12 players departed. The Skopje side signed Burhan Emrulahu from FK Shkendija 79 and goalkeeper Pece Korunovski from FK Pelister, while the biggest intrigue surrounds Vardar's capture of three Brazilian stars - Carlos Filho, Claudio Franca and Daniel Da Silva.

Striker departs
Weighed against those incomings, the loss of prolific goalscorer Riste Naumov to Cypriot outfit AC Omonia and talented Under-21 international forward Ivan Trickovski, who became a free agent, were major blows to Vardar's hopes. Also quitting the club were Vladimir Despotovski, for Belgian team KVC Westerlo, and young star Vladmir Medić, who has inked a deal with rivals Rabotnicki.

Makedonija disrupted
Makedonija have also been disrupted after their leading marksman Filip Ivanovski switched to Polish side Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski, where he will appear alongside Macedonian colleagues Vlade Lazarevski and Pance Kumbev. The striker said: "I've come to a club with big ambitions and hope my goals will help my new team." Ivanovski's replacement at Makedonija is FK Napredok frontman Aleksandar Stojanovski.

Champions bolstered
Champions Rabotnicki added two players to their squad as they look to regain the title. Bojan Kraljević has arrived from Montenegro's FK Zeta and former FK Radnicki Niš player Nemanja Milosavljevic also signed up. But forward Ardijan Nuhiju left for KS Dinamo Tirana and midfielder Zekerija Ramadan went to PFC Belasitsa Petrich, while striker Zoran Miserdovski and Cameroonian Armand Dubois Jankep were released.

Double capture
Pobeda, meanwhile, snapped up two players from FK Baskimi - Ilir Elmazovski and Dimitar Kapinkovski - and lured Bosnian Bojan Golubović from FK Leotar, though those singings were tempered by the news that U21 international defender Vance Sikov transferred to Greek giants Olympiacos CFP. Elsewhere the chase for the league's top scorer, Boban Jancevski, is hotting up after the 18-goal starlet left Baskimi as a free agent.

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