Joel Epalle to prove his worth to the Crocs

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Sarawak has confirmed that 34 year old Joël Dieudonné Martin Epalle Newaka a.k.a Joel Epalle (pic) is in Kuching for trials to fill in the empty foreign striker slot left empty by Vedran Muratovic.

Joel has 31 international caps for Cameroon and has scored over 44 goals for his past clubs which include German Bundesliga team VfL Bochum and Greek league Panathinaikos.

His last international game was in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in which he was instrumental in helping Cameroon clinch second place.

His best scoring streak was with dissolved Iraklis Thessaloniki F.C. which played in the Greece Super League, in whicle Joel scored 25 goals in 54 appearances.

Despite his record clearly showing a low goal to appearance rate ratio, Joel is said to be popular with fans in his previous clubs due to his high work-rate on field, and his trademark back-flip celebration of his goals.

Past records also reveal that he has a high shooting rate, with shots on goal at an average 12 every season for his past teams. He also creates chances with about 5 assist made in every season.  Statistics on his performance also show that Joel is not prone to be yellow carded, and has a low rate of fouls on the field.

He is is 1.74m tall, and is well built, making him dangerous when it comes to set pieces.

Joel is said to be currently training with the Sarawak squad and shall be playing his first game when Sarawak take on Malaysia in a friendly this Saturday. The Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) however denied that they will immediately sign Joel to replace Vedran saying that they are still keen in monitoring his progress with the team to ensure he is the right striker for the Crocs.

The friendly game against Malaysia is rumoured to be the last game for Vedran Muratovic and Kalle Sone, as it is confirmed that they will not feature in Sarawak’s future plans anymore.

Photo of Joel Epalle from oleole.com.