K-League defender and Chatham Cup winner among East Coast Bays signings

An experienced defender from South Korea’s K-League and a former Chatham Cup winner are among the new season signings for Lotto NRFL Championship side East Coast Bays.

Leo (Taeho) Kim (33) can play as full back or central defender and arrives after a career with South Korean clubs Jonnam Dragons, Anyang FC, and Incheon United.

He’ll play alongside another former K-League player, centre back Daewook Kim (35), who also played for Anyang FC, who will play his fifth season for Bays.

Another incoming defender/midfielder is Moses Akimana (23) who returns to New Zealand after five years playing and studying at Purdue University Fort Wayne, in Indiana.

Main photo: Moses Akimana … five years in the United States. Photo: Purdue University.

During that time, he’s been back to New Zealand for short stints with North Shore United and Albany United.

Akimana’s former clubs include Auckland City, Waitakere United and Birkenhead United with whom he won a Chatham Cup winner’s medal in 2016.

Forward Dylan Stansfield (28) returns to the Bays squad after taking a break last year.

He’s played national league football for Canterbury United, Waitakere United and WaiBOP United, but has spent most of his senior career at Bays.

His return will help compensate for the loss of forwards Jason McKeown (33), to Northern Rovers, and last season’s top scorer Keegan Kelly (17), who has joined Western Springs.

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Bays’ 2022 Player of the Year Callum Simmonds returns after playing every minute of every match last term, while Michael Gaze is back for his sixth season at Bay City Park.

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Nick Gaze (17) is back for his second season at this level, while James Edgeler (17) continues his progress with the Bays first team, for whom he made 19 appearances last year.

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