Kaya FC-Iloilo beefed up its roster for the upcoming campaign in the preliminary round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League with the addition of local standouts Janjan Melliza and Fitch Arboleda.
Melliza and Arboleda both transferred from Stallion Laguna FC to Kaya FC in the offseason. Both were key players for Stallion Laguna FC in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
Melliza, a native of La Paz, Iloilo City, finally returns home after starting his playing career with the Green Archers United and then Stallion Laguna FC.
Arboleda, on the other hand, leaves the club that he has played for since 2012.
Melliza will boost Kaya FC’s attack, joining the likes of Jovin Bedic, Eric Giganto, Daizo Horikoshi, Dylan De Bruycker and Kenshiro Daniels.
Arboleda joins the midfield along with Marwin Angeles, Arnel Amiya and Masanari Omura.
Defenders Carlyle Mitchell, Simone Rota, Audie Menzi and Camelo Tacusalme, and goalkeepers Louie Casas and Zach Banzon are also returning to the club this season.
Forward Emmanuel Osei, Mike Menzi, Jalsor Soriano and Chy Villaseñor are the players that have departed from the club. Jason Panhay also won’t return as he has decided to retire from professional football.
Kaya FC will be fighting for a slot in the AFC Champions League, wherein the club will be up against Australia’s Brisbane Roar in a one-match elimination.
If successful, Kaya FC will move on to the Play-off round against China’s Shanghai Port, wherein the winner moves on to the Group Stage and joins Thailand’s BG Pathum United, Vietnam’s Viettel FC and reigning AFC Champions League titleholder Ulsan Hyundai FC. (EKA)