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Transfer Profile: Valentinos Sielis



Jeju United continue to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season with the signing of center back Valentinos Sielis from Gangwon FC.  It's a notable addition as the islanders look to be better in their own half of the pitch, and the towering Cypriot will be a big factor to that end.  KLU's Branko Belan takes a closer look at one of Jeju's potential keys to promotion this coming year.
(Image via Jeju United)

Sielis made nineteen starts for Gangwon FC last season, and was one of their most stable assets when on the pitch.  He brings a wealth of experience with him to the island, having played a fair bit early in his career in his native homeland, which included stints at AEL Limassol and Anorthosis Famagusta.  He joined Gangwon in 2017, and made a total of 63 appearances for the club.

He is regarded as a technically sound player who is strong on the ball and can also push forward into attack.  He has a good left foot and is also touted for his quickness.  While he mainly plays at center back, he can also play on the left side of defense and as a defensive midfielder from time to time.

His Time at Gangwon FC


He was well on his way to becoming a standard eleven player for his now former club when he joined them two years ago, but he sustained a cruciate ligament injury in late April that year which kept him out for the rest of the season.  Returning in 2018, he did indeed take on a lead role in Gangwon's back line, playing a full ninety minutes on twenty-five occasions, confirming his return to full match fitness.

In the last campaign, despite missing a few early matches against Ulsan Hyundai and FC Seoul where he wasn't selected for the squad, he played on a regular basis and was one of the reasons why Gangwon secured a top-half finish.  His standout performance came in perhaps the greatest ever comeback in K League history as Gangwon came back from four goals down to defeat Pohang Steelers 5-4, all goals coming within the final twenty minutes of the match, with Sielis contributing a goal and an assist in the win.

Football at Home

At Anorthosis early in his career, he was used sparingly, as his game was still developing, but once he made his move to Limassol, he was afforded more opportunities as a regular player, becoming a standard eleven fixture a year before his move to Korea.  He also gained experience at the European level, playing in the Europa League both in the qualifying and group stages, and UCL qualifying as well.

International Career

He joined the U-21 national team at the end of 2009 and became a full senior international just over a year later.  He was named Young Player of the Year in 2012.

Most recently, he appeared twice in the UEFA Nations League for Cyprus in a 1-1 away draw against Slovenia in October 2018 and again against Norway at home in a 2-0 loss where he was sent off with a straight red card on 80 minutes.  If he is able to replicate his Gangwon form for Jeju in the new season, coach Ran Ben Shimon may consider him again when they take on Ukraine in a friendly in May.

Regarding his move to Jeju, Sielis is looking forward to a new chapter in his career.

"I am very happy to continue my career in the K League this year.  I think Jeju has a great team.  I will do my best to recover my pride in the second league and return to the first division.  I will prepare well physically and mentally so that I can become a part of the team.  I want to be a player who gives Jeju fans faith," he said.

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