Hamrun Spartans announced that Joseph Mbong has been transferred to Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona on loan for one year with an option of a permanent transfer at an already agreed fee. The Spartans would receive a percentage on a future sale at an agreed rate.
In a statement, signed by CEO Marcel Bonnici, the club said that discussions have been going one for a number of weeks and an agreement has now been reached.
A product of Hibernians, Mbong made his Premier League debut for the Paolites in 2014/15. He had a short spell with NK Inter Zapresic in Croatia in the latter part of season 2016/17. Mbong joined Hamrun in summer 2020.
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona are based in Kiryat Shmona, Israel. The club was founded in 2000 by a merger of Hapoel Kiryat Shmona and Maccabi Kiryat Shmona. They won their first promotion to the top division in 2006–07.
The club’s first season in the Premier League saw them finish third and qualify for the UEFA Cup. In 2008/09, the club finished bottom of the Premier League and were relegated to Liga Leumit. However, the following season they won the division and were promoted back to the Premier League.
In season 2011/12, Ironi Kiryat Shmona won the Israeli Premier League and became the 14th Israeli champions. Their championship was the first to be won by a team outside the three major cities – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa – for almost 30 years. The following season, they entered the UEFA Champions League and after being eliminated from the play-off stage, they entered the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Last season, they finished on top the Relegation Pool.