Home United striker Stipe Plazibat completes move to Bangkok Glass
Home United forward Stipe Plazibat has finally completed a move to Thai League (T1) side Bangkok Glass on a one-year contract.
The 28-year-old Croatian enjoyed a stunning 2017 season on a personal level, with 37 goals and 14 assists in all competitions for the Protectors.
His efforts saw him nominated for the S.League Player of the Year award, although he was pipped to the crown by Kento Nagasaki from champions Albirex Niigata (S).
Plazibat played a starring role in Home's excellent AFC Cup run, scoring a last-gasp free kick against Philippines' Global-Cebu FC to send them into the AFC Cup ASEAN zonal final. He scored a total of 10 goals in the region's second-tier club competition.
In 2016, he netted 16 goals in all competitions for Hougang United.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Plazibat was thrilled at the prospect of playing in one of Asia's top leagues before the move was finalised on Friday.
"It was an incredible year with Home United and I am very happy that I was part of this club," he said. "Credit goes to my teammates, the coaching staff and also the management team. Because of them, I was able to show my best football and earn a transfer to such a big club in the region."
Bangkok Glass have laid a statement of intent after a disappointing 2017 campaign in which they finished fifth out of 18 teams -- a massive 30 points behind champions Buriram United.
A week ago, they secured the signing of another former Home forward in the form of Frederic Mendy. The 29-year-old Guinea-Bissau international scored 13 goals in Korea's K-League over the past two seasons and also found the net in the AFC Champions League while representing Jeju United in 2017.
Mendy and Plazibat replace the outgoing duo of Jhasmani Campos and Ariel Rodriguez, who underperformed in 2017.
Bolivian international Campos scored just 10 goals, 28 fewer than league top scorer Dragan Boskovic from Bangkok United, while Costa Rican attacker Rodriguez netted just six times.
The Glass Rabbits have filled up four out of their five import slots for the 2018 season, retaining Australian defender Matt Smith and Spanish midfielder Daniel Garcia.
Former Home midfielder J. Surachai is Bangkok Glass team manager.
Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT