Grilled International's latest failure to promote had head coach Roar Olaisen
scratching his head, but not for long as he recruited experienced Ukrainian custodian Vadym Gorozhankin
for S$3.2 million. Gorozhankin had spent his entire professional career in Liechtenstein with Real Vaduz, who are also after upgrades of their own.
Gorozhankin's stock had fallen slightly after a chronic back injury resurfaced in a friendly against former Irish cupwinners Irish coffee, but Olaisen was more than happy to overlook that minor detail, given the attractive valuation. International had also been rumoured to have been sniffing about Agostino Mazzer, Anwar Ahmadouk and Wen Fangmin, and were supposedly very close to signing Englishman Kris Knight.
It would be Vadym who would get the final nod, and he will pull on the Number One jersey, with its former owner Saswata Shah
more than ready to move to Number Forty-One. "Goro's a top addition to the team." the founding goalkeeper graciously said. "And there's nothing I would like more, than success for the club."
Then again, Shah had long gotten used to a reserve role, which made 25 year-old Portuguese regular Querubim Santos Couto
the most affected by Vadym's arrival. Olaisen acknowledged that Couto would necessarily be second choice behind the newcomer, and urged him to take it in his stride.
"This shouldn't be seen as an impeachment of what Querubim has done for us, but simply as an additional plus for all of us. There will be games enough to share, especially in the cups. Vadym offers new dimensions in terms of his distribution and dead-ball know-how, and I think all our keepers could do well to learn from each other."