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The Myanmar-based club Shan United have added central defender Patrick Kanyuka to their roster from Limerick ahead of the start this weekend of the 2016 Myanmar National League season.
Kayuka has previous experience in Asia, having played for Thai club Roi Et United for two seasons, before appearing on trial for Limerick in their friendly against MK Dons in July 2015. The Congolese defender later signed on for the SuperBlues and made his debut in Limerick’s first league win of the season when they beat Sligo Rovers 3-2 in August.
His next game didn’t go as well personally, as he picked up a red card against Bohemians, although Limerick still won the match 4-3. He went on to make another nine league appearances from a possible eleven games as Limerick went on a surging run.
Their late season rally was aided by the signings of Freddy Hall, Sean Kelly and Kanyuka himself, which saw the club pick up seven wins and two draws from the last twelve games as they surpassed expectations and finished eleventh in the final table of the season.
However, the great escape ended in the play-offs with Finn Harps prevailing as winners in extratime of the second leg. This latest move sees Kanyuka, who played in both playoff matches, line out in his fifth country having previously played in Romania for both CFR Cluj and Unirea Alba Iulia.
He also has vast experience in the English leagues, starting out playing in the Championship for QPR, making twelve appearances over the course of four seasons. A move to League One side Swindon Town followed in January 2008 where he made twenty league appearances over the next season-and-a-half before moving to League Two Northampton Town. After three league appearances, Patrick left for Cluj in January 2010.
On his return from Romania in January 2011, he joined League Two side Lincoln City, playing in six league games before moving once more, this time to Conference side Tamworth. While there, he played against Everton in the third round of the 2011/12 FA Cup in addition to making thirteen league appearances. Spells at non-league Staines Town and Maidenhead preceded his Thai adventure.
Kanyuka has been on trial with Shan United since December, with the Shan state club changing its name this year from Kanbawza FC. Last year, the club boasted former Rep. of Ireland international Caleb Folan in its frontline as they finished fifth in the Myanmar National League. While Folan has moved on, they now have former Guinea international striker Aly Camara leading the line.