Southeast Asia Europe

Egy, Witan to Continue Careers in Slovakia

Following the bankruptcy and subsequent forced relegation of Slovak top-flight side FK Senica, uncertainties began to linger regarding the future of the club’s Indonesian stars, Egy Maulana Vikri and Witan Sulaeman. These uncertainties began to grew more and more following the conclusion of Witan’s contract with parent club Lechia Gdansk, and the two were linked with a sensational return to Indonesian football. However, both Egy and Witan have decided to remain in Europe to further their careers, with the duo joining two different clubs in the Slovak Super Liga.

Egy was unveiled on Monday as the newest signing of FC ViOn Zlate Moravce, who finished 11th in last season’s Slovak Super Liga. The club, who were perennial mid-table finishers in the Slovak top-flight, were supposed to be relegated out of the league at the conclusion of last season, however the failures of both Senica and SKF Sered’ in obtaining top-flight licenses for next season meant that Zlate Moravce were reprieved by the skin of their teeth.

At his new club, Egy will be playing alongside former Senica teammates Giannis Niarchos and Matus Chropovsky, with the duo jumping ship to Zlate Moravce earlier following the severe financial crisis experienced by their former club.

Prior to Egy’s arrival, Zlate Moravce are still struggling in this season’s Slovak Super Liga, with the club currently dead last in the league with a mere two points from four games so far.

Shortly after Egy’s arrival at Zlate Moravce, news broke out that Witan had joined another Slovak Super Liga club, this time in the form of 2-time league winners AS Trencin. A much more successful club compared to the minnows of Zlate Moravce, Trencin finished 7th in last season’s Slovak Super Liga, missing out on the UEFA Europa Conference League after losing to 4th placed DAC Dunajska Streda in the play-offs.

A club with some pedigree in European competitions, Trencin also has two Slovak Cup titles to their name that goes with their two league titles and had played in continental competitions as recently as 2018/19 season, where they missed out on the UEFA Europa League group stages after losing to AEK Lanarca in the play-off round.

Trencin had also built themselves a reputation as a launching pad for players to further their careers in Europe’s bigger clubs, with former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, former Besiktas and Sydney FC man Filip Holosko, and Aston Villa duo Wesley and Leon Bailey having played for the club earlier in their careers.

Egy and Witan’s decision to remain in Slovakia meant that Southeast Asian football remains well-represented in Europe this season, with Vietnamese sensation Nguyen Quang Hai joining Ligue 2 side Pau FC, Indonesia’s very own Elkan Baggott receiving a loan move to EFL League Two side Gillingham, and Thai youngsters Thanawat Suengchittawon and Jude Soonsup-Bell staying at Leicester City and Chelsea respectively.