Ex-Geylang striker Mark Hartmann signs with Ubon UMT in Thailand

Philippines international striker Mark Hartmann has joined Ubon UMT United in the Thai League (T1) where he will play under former England International defender Gary Stevens.

Southampton-born Hartmann arrives in Thailand following a year in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), where he played for Sarawak and then Penang in the 2017 season. Both clubs were relegated by the end of the year.

His time in the MSL followed an impressive spell at Geylang International in the S.League as he scored eight goals in 11 league games.

Hartmann had been playing in the Philippines for five years, including three years at Global-Cebu, before he began his travels around Southeast Asia.

Ubon fans will hope that he can settle in northeast Thailand at a club that came 10th in 2017, their first season in the top tier.

The 25-year-old brings significant international experience to the team, having won 25 caps for the Azkals.

He will be hoping to stake a claim for a starting spot in the Philippines AFF Suzuki Cup squad, having featured in only two substitute appearance in the 2016 edition.

Hartmann will also have an eye on the 2019 AFC Asian Cup should the Azkals seal qualification by taking at least a point from the final qualifier at home to Tajikistan on Mar. 27.

There have been many changes to the Ubon team that made a strong impression in their inaugural T1 campaign.

Captain, centre-back, second top scorer and general talisman Victor Cardozo has joined Chiang Rai United after three years at the club which saw him help the club on their journey from the third tier to the top tier.

Last year's top scorer Bajram Nebihi has also moved on, the Kosovar-German joining the Port FC revolution.

The head coach who took them through the divisions, Scott Cooper, has also opted for a new challenge as he takes the reigns at Police Tero in Bangkok.

Stevens certainly has his work cut out as he rebuilds a team, whose standout achievement in 2017 was winning home and away against Muang Thong United.

The use of Ubon's ASEAN quota to sign Hartmann is one piece of the jigsaw as the club looks to consolidate its position in T1.