Friday, November 30, 2012


Play Off Goal Fest. Not!

Indonesia Premier League Play Off Results

Bontang v PSLS 1-0
PSIR v Bontang 0-1

1 - Bontang 2 2 0 0 2-0 6
2 - PSLS 2 1 0 1 1-1 3
3 - PSIR 2 0 0 2 0-2 0

After Persebul withdrew at the last moment the format was changed and all three clubs will go into the IPL next season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Indonesia Spring Surprise Win

Yesterday was another fun filled few hours in the ASEAN Cup in KL. In the first game Indonesia defeated Singapore 1-0 in a result that suprised many but shouldn't have.

For a while now Singapore's issue has been one of consistency. They were impressive putting hosts and champions Malaysia to the sword in the opening game but against Indonesia couldn't find the same fluidity. They had a player red carded and saw Andik Vermansyah score from long range at the end with a speculative free kick.

First half Indonesia were their usual clueless self but second half on came Andik and they started to impose themselves.

After the game Lions coach Raddy Avramovic said that had his team got a penalty he felt they should have got and had Duric's header been a couple of inches lower then Singapore would have won. To which I reply that I had been born with no balls I would not have started this here pile of literary tosh.

Anyway Indonesia had a goal disallowed and if Okta had timed his run better, don't laugh, then blah blah blah.

Second up Malaysia overcame a few scares before defeating Laos 4-1.

1 - Indonesia 2 1 1 0 3-2 4
2 - Singapore 2 1 0 1 3-1 3
3 - Malaysia 2 1 0 1 4-4 3
4 - Laos 2 0 1 1 3-6 1

Saturday sees Malaysia play Indonesia at the Bukit Jalil Stadium while Singapore meet Laos at the Shah Alam in what is likely to be a sparse crowd!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


'They Said Bad Words' Whine Singapore Fans

Singapore. Singapore fans have been left feeling angry and hurt after being labelled "dogs" by Malaysian spectators during their weekend AFF Suzuki Cup win, a report said on Wednesday.

Video posted on YouTube shows thousands of Malaysian fans chanting "Singapore itu anjing" (Singapore are dogs) during Sunday's group game in Kuala Lumpur, when Singapore beat the defending Southeast Asian champions 3-0.

Singapore's New Paper, describing the chant as "vile," said footage of the incident had been viewed nearly 200,000 times online.

"Frankly, we are angry and hurt. But we were the minority... there were just about 1,000 of us there," one fan told the newspaper.

Another said: "You had more than half the stadium calling us dogs. How else would we feel?

"The chants started even before the Singapore team went onto the pitch to warm up."

Tensions are often high at matches between the Asian neighbors, whose regional teams play each other in the Malaysian Cup.

"They can't even beat 'dogs' in soccer, so what does that make them?" commented one Facebook user, according to the New Paper.

COMMENT - oh please. Remember it was Singaporeans who slapped a few Vietnamese when they met four years ago in Singapore. Now they are whining after the Malaysian fans said bad words. Better these guys never go to an EPL game. 

UPDATE - now we have Indonesians complaining of being attacked at Bukit Jalil Stadium. Story here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


New Stadium For Persija?

Jakarta will being construction of a “world-class” football stadium for the capital’s Persija football club next year, Governor Joko Widodo said on Monday. 

The Rp 1.05 trillion ($109 million) stadium will be constructed in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, and is expected to near completion in 2014. The football club has been without its own stadium since its old Mentang location was demolished six years ago. 

“We’ll begin preparations for the construction next year, and expect to complete it in two years. It will be a world-class stadium,” Joko said at the City Hall on Monday.

The complex will be constructed on a 6.6 hectare plot of land and is planned to include a part and a man-made lake, Joko said. The construction costs will be spread across the 2013 and 2014 city budgets. 

“The stadium will be able to accommodate 50,000 people. We expect it to be an icon of Jakarta,” Joko said.

Joko first revealed his plan to build the stadium for Persija last month, but was unsure whether the plan could be implemented as early as next year.

Persija’s old stadium in Menteng, Central Jakarta, was demolished six years ago. Menteng Park now lies in the lot that once held the football stadium.

SOURCE Jakarta Globe 


Singapore Tame Champions

I don't think many people were expecting this!

Malaysia have come into the AFF Cup on the back of a poor run of results but were expected to turn things around in the competition proper but never got going against a very committed and hard working Singapore signed who signalled their intent from the first minute.

Coach Raddy Avramovic sprung a surprise by opting for Shahril Ishak up top leaving Aleksander Duric and Fazrul Nawaz on the bench. It was a move that paid off with Shahril in fine form alone, netting twice and setting the tempo with his hard work.

The hosts boast four of the best attacking players in the region in S Kunalan, Safiq Rahim, Safee Sali and Norshahrul yet they struggled to get going against a Lions team who pressed high up the field to deprive the quartet of service.

At the back Baihaki Khaizan and Daniel Bennett stood supreme. Baihaki had the best game I had seen from him for a long time, he looked fully committed and focused. And Bennett? He is the Raffles of Singapore football. I don't mean Stamford but a fictional gentleman thief, the embodiment of elegance with the minimum of effort.

With Singapore players falling to the ground increasingly in the second half, earning the opprobrium of the home support, Bennett was stealing seconds and yards with no one noticing.

A poor start for Malaysia for sure. But to describe them as being in a 'pathetic state' as this scribe does seems as bit far fetched. In the context of the AFF Cup it was not a good start, ok almost humiliating for the champions on home turf, but let's not do Singapore a disservice here. They had done their homework and they worked bloody hard on the field. They deserved what they got.

On the night Rajagopal couldn't adapt to what was lined up in front of him. He's got a couple of days to fix that on the training field ahead of their game with Laos mid week before they play Indonesia at the weekend. But don't forget two years ago they lost their opening game in Jakarta 5-1 against Indonesia and went on to win the trophy.

Singapore will savour a famous victory and their small band of travelling fans will have enjoyed their overnight trip home. They play Indonesia on Wednesday and a result against them will secure their place in the semi finals. 

MALAYSIA: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Mohamad Fadhli Mohd Shas, Mohd Bunyamin Umar, Mohd Azmi Muslim (Mahalli Jasuli), Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, Safiq Rahim (captain), Amar Rohidan (Azamuddin Mohd Akil), Mohd Khyrill Muhymeen Zambri (Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor), S. Kunalan, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali.
SINGAPORE: Mohamad Izwan Mahbud, Mohamad Shaiful Esah Nain (Muhammad Irwan Shah), Baihakki Khaizan, Mustafic Fahrudin, Daniel Mark Bennett, Shahdan Sulaiman, Shi Jiayi, Hariss Harun, Mohd Shahril Ishak (captain)(Aleksandar Duric), Muhammad Safuwan Baharudin, Mohammad Khairul Amri Kamal.


Lack Of Concentration Costs Laos

Laos were just moments away from a famous victory at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Twice they led against Indonesia, twice the Indonesians clawed themselves back into the game.

The Laotians have been here before. Back in 2010 they led Thailand 2-0 and were on course for a massive upset in Jakarta before the Thais pulled themselves back in to the game.

Indonesia can be thankful. They got out of jail in this one. After the game their coach, Nil Maizer, praised his players commitment. Maybe they were committed in much the same way that early cavemen were committed to staying alive in the prehistoric swamp amid so many foes. But there was no finesse, no style, no elegance.

Truth be told Indonesia looked less like an international team and more like a Sunday afternoon team playing  on the park in the fog back in England. There were the odd moments of inspiration from Andik Vermansyah but beyond that there was little to get excited about and you just knew when the ref came out for the second half with the match ball wearing an oxygen mask expectations were low all round.

It was Laos who played the more purposeful football. They moved the ball well and were looking for, and often finding, space while Indonesia were content to hoof and hope.

People talk about Indonesia's potential, about them being the Brazil of South East Asia. They are far from that. The promise of 2010 when they lost in the AFF Cup Final to Malaysia has long gone, to be replaced by an organisational mess off the field and a mess on it.

The dismissal of keeper Endra Prasetya in the first half summed up where we are right now. Indonesia came into this competition with just two keepers after Syamsider moved to Mitra Kukar and the team selectors could  not find a replacement.

Yep, I'll rephrase that. In a country with two leagues and, last season, 30 top flight clubs, they could not find one more goal keeper to take with them. Not Ferry Rotinsulu, I Made Wirwawan nor Megia Kurnia. Because players from the Indonesia Super League were prevented from going!

That's right. At ASEAN's showpiece Indonesia were forced to go into the tournament with their hands tied behind their back. Just like they had to when they played Bahrain in the World Cup Qualifier and lost 10-0.

Petty politiciking trumps football good sense.

Raphael Maitimo, a last minute addition to the squad, equalised just before half time, and Vendry Mofu was there to convert when the Laos keeper spilled the ball to save Indonesia's blushes but things don't get any easier.

On Wednesday they play a Singapore team who looked impressive sweeping aside hosts and champions Malaysia!

Friday, November 23, 2012


The Group Of Fear

Indonesia go into their opening game at the AFF Cup with the infantile bickering dividing players and clubs and leaving arguably their better players behind.

It is indeed an unfamiliar squad. Bambang Pamungkas and Elie Aiboy will be familiar names to many; they should be, both have been round long enough. And Irfan Bachdim along with Oktavianus Maniani made an impact two years ago but beyond that many will struggle with the players wearing the merah putih when they line up against Laos on Sunday.

While Irfan has matured on the field, thankfully he seems to have decided to concentrate on being a footballer and not an air headed celebrity, Okta is still the same. He plays with all the urgency and direction of a Duracell Bunny though admittedly the floppy eared ones tend to have more end product.

Don't worry, The players will also struggle. They drew 0-0 against a young Cameroon team filled with players looking for clubs here. They struggled to beat Timor Leste 1-0 before that. Two goalless draws against Vietnam, home and away, look quite good as does a 5-0 win away to Brunei but need to be put in context. This is a team that struggles to find the net.

They have looked like strangers, not a team and the only silver lining ahead is the fact their rivals have been less than impressive as well. One win in five games?

Malaysia were held 1-1 by Bangladesh earlier this week. That follows a similar result against Hong Kong, also at home, and a 2-0 defeat away to Thailand and defeat away to Vietnam. No wins in their last four games!

Malaysia of course are the champions and the hosts. Their first game is on Sunday against bitter rivals, must find a synonym for that collocation, Singapore. And the Lions seem to be going into the tournament at least on a run of form. They thumped Pakistan this week 4-0. That followed a narrow defeat away to the Philippines, 1-0, and another defeat against a Japanese club side in Japan.

They also beat India 2-0 at home on an awful pitch. Two wins in four is better than Malaysia and Indonesia can look back on.

Then we have Laos. They are the whipping boys. They should be. Aren't they? But wait a minute. I saw them come very close to beating Thailand two years back, the Thais clawing back a 2-0 deficit. And in the age groups Laos have been performing much better, claiming some big scalps along the way.

But their form is as patchy as the other members of the group. Forget their game against Krabi, I already have, they have one draw and three defeats on their last four games, conceding four in each of their last two games along the way.

People talk about the group of death so much it has become as much a part of previews as inane interviews with players who say they want to win (of course they wanna bloody win, doh!) this group smacks of fear. Based on current form any of the four could go through as easily as go out.

Malaysia will have a home crowd and experience behind them but that recent poor form will be gnawing at Rajagopal over the next few hours. Singapore have experience and young players coming through but much will depend, as always, on Aleksander Duric.

They would normally be favourites. But given their inconsistencies both Indonesia and Laos, with their own demons, still stand a chance.


IPL Play Offs

27/11 Persbul v Bontang, PSLS v PSIR 
29/11 Persbul v PSLS, Bontang v PSIR
01/12 Bontang v PSLS, PSIR v Persbul
Games to be played at Jalak Harupat Stadium, Soreang. First game kicks off 3.30, second at 7pm.
The PSIR v Persbul final game on the Saturday coincides with Indonesia playing Malaysia in the AFF Cup in Kuala Lumpur. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Save The Rams

Following the news of Woodlands Wellington Football Club's possible pull-out from the 2013 S.League season as reported in The New Paper this morning, the Black Sheep would like to call for a supporters' awareness campaign to save our club tonight at Woodlands Stadium. 

Woodlands Wellington has been in existence for 25 years since it was formed in 1988, and the forthcoming 2013 season would be it's 18th season in the top flight of Singapore football. The club is not just any other football club. It is the heart and soul of the Woodlands community, an inspiration for budding young footballers, and a humble source of income for our team of beloved players, backroom staff and their families. If the club were to sit out of the league in 2013, it would be too late for these players and staff members to find another club right now.

We will be meeting at 8pm at the main stadium entrance. Supporters are encouraged to come dressed in Woodlands Wellington tops or any yellow shirt for this cause. We would also like to invite you to bring along any family and friends to join us in this awareness campaign as we tell the club's board, its members and our local communities what our club mean to Woodlands and the tens of thousands of families which call this place home.

This is a very delicate moment. Let us show our support to the club and the players in this moment of crisis. Never Surrender!

SOURCE - Woodlands Wellington Blog

COMMENT - first we have Gombak United pulling out for a year, now this. This is not good news for Singapore football. In fact it is tragic and indicative of a leadership who have swallowed books on management speak yet seem clueless as to how to actually run the game.

Year after year the SLeague is the most exciting league in the region yet no one seems to have a clue how to turn that excitement into bums on seats or cold hard cash. It ain't easy to change a nation's mindset; it just seems no one is trying beyond the daft idea of having the same teams play each other even more often.

Stick your bloody strategic plans cos they ain't working.

Woodlands have a place in Singapore.A few years back they won the Jakarta Casual Fans of the Year Award for daring to be different. For being passionate and mildly abusive. What happened? They were disbanded.

Maybe this is the best option. All football clubs say they are not going to enter for a season. Just have the foreign teams, the uniform sides and Young Lions. See what happens then...

UPDATE - looks like they're going nowhere! Check out this report in a Singapore paper

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Indonesia AFF Cup Squad

GOALKEEPERS: Endra Prasetya (Persebaya IPL), Wahyu Tri Nugroho
DEFENDERS: Nopendi, Wahyu Wijiastanto, Handi Ramdan, Fakhrudin, Valentino Telaubun, Novan Setia Sasongko, Arthur Irawan (Espanyol)
MIDFIELDERS: Elie Aiboy, Taufik, Andik Vermansyah, Vendri Mofu, Cornelis Gedi, Rasyid, Irfan Bachdim (Persema), Oktavianus Maniani, Tonnie Cussel
STRIKERS: M Rahmad, Syamsul Arief, Bambang Pamungkas (Persija), Johny Van Beukering

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Indonesia In 2012

With the AFF Cup just days away I thought it would be interesting, if somewhat depressing, to look back on their year so far.

v Bahrain WCQ (A) 0-10
v Mauritania FR (N) 2-0
v Iraq Kurdistan (N) 1-1
v Palestine B (A) 1-2
v Philippines FR (A) 2-2
v North Korea FR (H) 0-2
v Vietnam FR (H) 0-0
v Brunei FR (A) 5-0
v Vietnam (A) FR 0-0
v Timor Leste FR (H) 1-0
v Cameroon (H) FR 0-0

P 11 W 3 D 5 L 2 F 12 A 17

Top Scorer
5 - Irfan Bachdim


Confusion Reigns Over Cameroon Game

Indonesia yesterday played Cameroon in an international friendly. Given the quality of the opposition there was very little pre match hype or publicity. Contrast that with games against Uruguay (which happened) and Everton (which never happened) and it all seems mysterious.

I can find no mention of the game on the Cameroon website which is also odd when you consider they do mention their game against Albania played on 14 November which ended 0-0.

There is also the matter of ticket prices which were most decidedly at the lower end of the price range; indeed even cheaper than the Under 23 SEA Games which Indonesia hosted last year.

A UK betting outfit described the Cameroon team as an Under 23 squad in which case the FIFA website, which lists the game as a full international, is wrong.

We've been here before of course. Malaysia supposedly played a full international against a team, was it Zimbabwe only to find out later it was a club side. And then there was the time Indonesia played a friendly ahead of Asian Cup 2007 only to later find out they were playing against a bunch of players out of contract.

The farce continued ahead of the game with the Cameroon team arriving late, I guess connections from Tirana ain't that regular, and then refusing to leave their hotel until they got their money putting the kick off back by an hour.

Indonesia start their ASEAN Cup group stage next week when they will, hopefully, play Laos, in a game that will, hopefully, be played in Kuala Lumpur which is in Malaysia.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Butler Is Back

Peter Butler is back in Malaysian football. After leaving Terengganu, he wanted to discipline players, the club wouldn't let him, he will work with T Team next season, also from Terengganu.

He is also bringing with him a name familiar to people who watch English Premier League clubs; at least them that watch both teams playing. George Boateng was known as a combative midfielder with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough among others.

Boateng joins names like Daniel Guiza and Simone Del Nero who signed for Johor in raising the bar for foreign players bringing a bit of a reputation with them and that can only be good for the game in long as they are well looked after.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Yongki Move Highlights Difficulties Young Players Face

Yongki Aribowo has been written about on this here blog for a number of years now. A week shy of his 23rd birthday the striker first came to national prominence with Persik back in 2009/2010.

He did enough in that opening season to impress other clubs and champions Arema snapped him up for the following season. Unfortunately, in an all too common story, Arema were unable to build on their success and struggled to make a real impact.

For the next season he was signed by Persisam who wanted to pair him alongside Christian Gonzales. Though a regular Yongki only chipped in with four goals, a poor return for a highly rated striker, and he was released at the end of the campaign.

He has now been picked up by newly promoted Banjarmasin.

With eight caps to his name and possessing a raw talent, Yongki could be, should be spearheading Indonesia's assault on the AFF Cup later this month. But he plays in the 'wrong' league and has been continuously overlooked by the new regime despite their lack of goals.

Instead of preparing to head to KL for the group stages, Yongki will be getting to know his team mates at his fourth club in four years. Hardly the best way for young players to make an impression in the game.


ISL Plan Early Start

The Indonesia Super League 2012/2013 will kick off on January 5th 2013 meaning the 2012 bit on the redundant side.

18 clubs will feature; the top 15 plus the three newly promoted sides; Persita, Barito Putra and Persepam.

No decision has yet been made on whether Persijap and Semen Padang will be allowed to join the ISL next season after applying to switch from the Indonesia Premier League.

Divisi Utama will begin on 13 January and will have 33 clubs, possibly in three regional divisions of 11? 19 clubs from last season will be joined by three teams relegated from ISL, PSAP, Deltras and PSMS, eight teams promoted from Division One and three switching from the IPL set up.

Among the eight new teams from Division One are, takes a deep breath, Persipur Purwodadi, Persisko Bangko, PS Bangka, Persipas Paser, Perseka Kaimana, Persebo Bondowoso.

Another great thing about watching Indonesian football. Improves your geography! Let's be honest, how many of them have you heard of?!


Johor Continue To Flex Financial Muscle

Johor recently announced the signing for former Spanish international Daniel Guiza. They followed that up with a clutch of internationals seduced south by the influence of the Johor royal family who have been getting involved in the club recently.

Now coach Fandi Ahmad is close to adding another familiar name; Simone Del Nero is formerly of Lazio and is expected to sign for Johor over the next day or so.

The signings of Guiza and Del Nero break the mould for foreigners in Malaysia. Typically the foreign players have come from the Balkans or Africa.

Johor continue to talk with Malaysian striker Norshahrul Idlan Tahla.


No Bull In Sleague 2013

who will they support next season?
Sorry to see Gombak United pull out of the SLeague next season saying they anticipate 'a tricky time' during the middle of 2013!

For me at least Gombak were unlucky not to win the title a couple of years back but Singapore's immigration pulled the work permits of a couple of their key players which meant they went through the first half of the season without their planned strike force.

They sure had a strong team that year with players like Obadin, Gabriel Obatala, Kingsley Njokou, Agu Casmir, Mahmadou Bah as well as Fazrul Nawaz.

They plan to return in 2014, assuming no doubt nothing tricky lies on the horizon, but they won't disappear all together with a team still entering the Prime League next year.

I always though a Bull's Head was a pub in Bangkok until I went to a Gombak game and saw their fans wearing them!


AFF Cup Draw 2012

24/11 Vietnam v Myanmar, Thailand v Philippines (Rajamangala Stadium)
25/11 Indonesia v Laos, Malaysia v Singapore (Bukit Jalil Stadium)
27/11 Vietnam v Philippines, Myanmar v Thailand (Rajamangala Stadium)
28/11 Indonesia v Singapore, Laos v Malaysia (Bukit Jalil Stadium)
30/11 Philippines v Myanmar (Muang Thong Stadium), Thailand v Vietnam (Rajamangala Stadium)
01/12 Singapore v Laos (Shah Alam Stadium), Malaysia v Indonesia (Bukit Jalil Stadium)

08/12 & 12/12 Semi Final Runners Up Bangkok v Winner KL
09/12 & 13/12 Semi Final Runner Up KL v Winner Bangkok

19/12 & 22/12 Final


Inter Island Cup 2012 Draw

01/12 Persidafon v Persepam, Persib v Gresik United (Bandung)
02/12 Persiba v Barito Putra, Persisam v Mitra Kukar (Samarinda)
03/12 Persepam v Persib, Gresik United v Persidafon (Bandung)
04/12 Barito Putra v Persisam, Mitra Kukar v Persiba (Samarinda)
05/12 Persib v Persidafon, Gresik United v Persepam (Bandung)
06/12 Persisam v Persiba, Mitra Kukar v Barito Putra (Samarinda)
07/12 Persija v Persita, Sriwijaya v PSPS (Palembang)
08/12 Persipura v Persiram, Arema v Persela (Malang)
09/12 PSPS v Persita, Sriwijaya v Persija (Palembang)
10/12 Arema v Persipura, Persela v Persiram (Malang)
11/12 PSPS v Persija, Persita v Sriwijaya (Palembang)
12/12 Persiram v Arema, Persela v Persipura (Malang)
15/12 Semi Final 1 Winner Bandung Group v Winner Samarinda Group
16/12 Semi Final 2 Winner Palembang Group v Winner Malang Group)
22/12 Final

Previous Winners

2010 Sriwijaya v Persiwa 2-0
2011 Persipura v Persisam 2-0

The IIC draw has finally been made as can be seen above. Featuring 16 teams from the Indonesia Super League, Pelita Bandung Raya won't be competing. Neither are Persiwa.

The eagle eyed may have noted it coincides with the ASEAN Cup!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


International Friendlies

Indonesia v Timor Leste 1-0 (Bambang Pamungkas)
Thailand v Bhutan 5-0 (Apipoo 3, Napat, Rattana)
Malaysia v Hong Kong 1-1 (Safee Sali; Lam Hok Hei)

The Thais continued their reasonable run with a comfortable win over football non powerhouse Bhutan but Malaysia's form must be concerning their coach Rajagopal. Hong Kong nicked a late equaliser to deny the AFF Cup holders.

Thailand play Bangladesh at the weekend while Malaysia play the same team next Tuesday.

Indonesia struggled to overcome an improving Timor Leste in front of a sparsely populated Bung Karno, some estimates give the attendance about 1,000, and they will host Cameroon on Friday. Funny that the scorer came from an ISL team...

God knows why Indonesia can't play games in the evening like other nations. Some people do have day jobs you know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Nil's Home Comforts

Indonesia's current national team coach is a rarity indeed. For many involved in football it is normal to move from place to place, which here often means island to island. It is not unheard of for players to have spells with clubs in Java, Papua, Sumatra or Kalimantan in a short period of time.

Apart from a six month spell with Sparta Prague in 1990 Nil Maizar has spent practically his whole professional career in is home province of West Sumatra.

He was born there, played for Semen Padang for five years, two years with PS Padang before moving into coaching with Semen Padang, going through the ranks beginning in 2000 before becoming national team coach this year meaning his office would, for the first time, be in Jakarta.

Wonder if he commutes from Padang?


Persita's New Stadium

Persita Tangerang were forced to play their games away from the Benteng Stadium in their home town after local mullahs and clerics, pissed off with inaction from others, declared football at the venue haram following several outbreaks of disorder (I hesitate to call it crowd trouble) forcing the Laskar Benteng Viola as well as co tenents Persikota to play their home games elsewhere.

Persita won promotion back to the Indonesia Super League and will play their home games in Kuningan which is a bloody long way from Tangerang.

They are hoping their new stadium, which will start next year, will ready within a couple of years and they can return home.

Good luck on that! For some reason building stadiums in Indonesia is never an easy operation.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Malaysia Stumble Ahead Of AFF Defense

Malaysia's preparations for their defence of the AFF Cup are not going to plan. Following their 1-0 defeat away to Vietnam last weekend they travelled to Thailand to take on the Thais and lost 2-0 at Muang Thong Thani's stadium. To rub salt in the wounds, if that's what really happens, Zafuan Adha picked up two yellow cards.

Prayad Bunya and Arthit Sunthornpit did the damage for the Thais in a rare freindly for them.

Next Wednesday Malaysia play Hong Kong at the Shah Alam Stadium and will be hoping for a better result with the AFF Cup just two weeks away.

Malaysian line up:

1 Mohd Farizal Marlias, 5 Mohd Bunyamin Umar, 7 Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abd Radzak, 9 Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (14 Khyril Muhymeen Zambri 77'), 10 Safee Sali (17 Mohd Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak 91'), 18 Mohd Shakir Shaari, 15 Gary Steven Robbat (23 Baddrol Bakhtiar 73'), 16 S. Kunanlan (15 R. Gopinathan 73') , 19 Azamuddin Mohd Akil (13 Ahmad Fakri Saarani 73'), 21 Mohd Zubir Mohd Azmi (2 Mahalli Jasuli 65', 27 Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas


Saarvindran Hopes For More Next Year

PETALING JAYA: Versatile D. Saarvindran hopes to get more playing time with Harimau Muda A.
 The 20-year-old Klang lad said he is fired up after scoring his first goal in the team’s 2-0 win over Geylang United 2-0 in the Singapore League at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday.
 “It is a special feeling to score after 11 matches. But I have not been playing regularly and have started only a few times,” said Saarvindran yesterday.
 Against Geylang United, Saarvindran came in as a second-half substitute and made his presence felt  instantly by scoring the second goal from a long range attempt.
 Earlier, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor gave the Malaysian team the lead.
 Saarvindran said his aim is to vie for a regular place in the Harimau Muda squad.
 “It is not going to be easy with so many talented players around but I will fight for my place and hopefully move up to the national senior team one day.”
 His team-mate A. Thamil Arasu said that they are on course for a top five finish in the S-League.
 “It is good to be tied at the top of the standings with leader’s Brunei DPMM FC. It is not easy playing against the other teams as they have foreign players,” said Thamil.
 Saarvindran and striker Thamil have had training stints in Slovakia. Thamil was also in the SEA Games gold medal team in Jakarta last year.


For Pre Season Football It Has To Be Bandung

If it's football you want then Bandung could well be the place to be at the end of this month. Flushed with success after winning the Celebes Cup on home soil, Persib are looking to host their own competition.

The Bandung Challenge Tournament is slated to be held 24 and 25 November and hopes to feature Persib, Arema (or Persegres), Persisam and Persipura.

The timing is odd coming as it does on the opening weekend of the ASEAN Football Federation Cup which kicks off that weekend but we won't know until later next week whether or not ISL players will be called up.

Bandung has also been decided as the venue for the IPL Play Offs with games kicking off on 26 November. This features Bontang who finished 11th in the IPL last season along with PSIR, PSLS and Persebol who each finished second in their respective regions in the Divisi Utama.

Moving into December Bandung is also down as one of the four cities to host a group in the pre ISL Inter Island Cup and that is starting on 3 December with other games on 6 & 9 December


Indonesia Have Real Friendly Shock

Posting about Indonesia's proposed international friendlies is a joke and no serious writer would entertain their announcements. But I'm not serious. Indeed I take great glee in announcing their latest ideas that rarely have any grounding in reality.

After the national team pulled out of the Batik Cup, the Bali Devata Cup seems to have been forgotten about and their game with Philippines was as likely as a remake of Titanic with Jack Dawson being rescued by a family of dolphins and marrying a squid named Theresa, there is now talk they will play Timor Leste on 14 November and Cameroon two days later.

Don't take my word for it. Check out the Indonesia page on


Arema Boost Ranks With Experience

Arema's preparations for the Indonesia Super League gather apace. Now coached by Rahmad Darmawan after the proposed merger between the Crazy Lions and Pelita Jaya never happened, the team from Malang have been adding some experience to their squad after a disappointing campaign last time round.

In have come Malaysian striker Safee Sali, Greg Nwokolo, Keith Kayamba and Alberto Goncalves to pep up the strike force. Sir Alex Ferguson talks about having four strikers, now Arema too can call on top notch goal getters to lead their push for success next season.

Also joining are Victor Igbenefo, who played alongside Nwokolo at Pelita Jaya and on loan with Chiang Rai United, Theirry Gatheusi to tighten up the defence and Egi Melgiansyah for some midfield presence.

They have also been trialling a young Nepalese defender, Rohit Chand, who impressed for Tottenham defender Graham Roberts while he was coaching the Nepal national team.

It's all a far cry from last season when Arema struggled to find any players and were forced to call upon journeymen to fill their ranks. Now with a squad filled with talent and experience the Aremania will be hoping they can challenge the likes of Sriwijaya and Persipura for the ISL last won in 2009/2010.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


Tampines Champions Again

Drama all the way as usual as Tampines Rovers held on to their SLeague title. Going into their final games of the season both the Stags and DPMM were in with a chance of glory though the Champions did have a one point advantage over the rivals from Brunei.

Tampines were hosting Harimau Muda and it took a 41st minute penalty from Mustafic Fahruddin to earn them the three points that guaranteed them the title.

Meanwhile over in Brunei the home team were not having things their own way. Balestier Khalsa, with their notoriously difficult defence, scored two late goals, 80' and 86', before Sairol pulled one back on 87'. By which time Fahruddin's penalty had made the events across the water academic.

The end of another thrilling SLeague season, this time round without the on field brawls or teams withdrawing. It is up to the Singapore Football Association to start marketing the game, not changing it by introducing more games fans don't want to see or forcing the team that comes bottom to pay a fine.

Friday, November 02, 2012


Arsenal To Indonesia

So Arsenal have finally decided to return to Indonesia; their first visit since 1983. Their won't be many from that trip 30 years ago still with the club. Perhaps Stewart Robson could come along for the ride and do stuff for the website; see what he can recall from when he was on the trip all those years ago.

Reading manager Brian McDermott, unusually for him, started all three games on that tour though the manager at the time, Terry Neill, revealed he was trying to sign Charlie Nicholas long distance.

Perhaps the only guy on the pay roll now and then is Terry Burton and it is highly unlikely he will be in the party next year.

What can the Arsenal expect? First thing they should do is contact Everton and find out why their trip fell through! And Galatasaray! They were both due here for something called the Java Cup but it never happened for various murky reasons most of which no doubt will have been to do with money.

Perhaps they could also talk to experienced coaches like Alfred Riedl and Wim van Rijsbergen. They have both lived to tell the tale of working with the PSSI, the Indonesian Football Association, and I am sure they may have one or two tales of caution.

It would be a waste of time Arsenal checking with FIFA 'cos the ruling body have done a great deal to bring about the current mess in the game here and nothing to bring it to a head.

For the Indonesians, it may well worth the KPSI keeping silent. Any suspicion that Arsenal are being used for local point scoring will not go down well in North London and anyway it's meant to be a one sided relationship where the club build their brand on their terms.

The Arsenal can of course expect a warm welcome in Jakarta from the local supporters club. For last year's friendly in Kuala Lumpur Indonesian Arsenal fans from all over the country descended on the Malaysian capital to get a glimpse of their heroes; perhaps a 1,000 + making the journey.

As well as a thriving supporters club the Arsenal also have a franchised Soccer School here which is/was set up by a name very familiar in Indonesian football circles; they recently sold Pelita Jaya? Interesting then that they are already playing both sides of the coin in the football fracas here.

One of Wenger's signings has also played in Indonesia. Christopher Wreh scored a few crucial goals in the 1997/98 season and ended up in Indonesia in 2006 where he played for Perseman Manokwari for half a season.

The tour dates have not been announced but ut wain't rocket science to suggest that next July would be the likeliest time. And that is a bloody long time, much yet can happen!

Arsenal's last trip here like I say was 30 years ago and tales from that can be found here and here

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Fandi Crossing The Johor Divide

I have no idea what the rivalry is like between Johor and Johor FC. The latter is a private concern I think playing in Pasir Gudang while the former is the state owned team who play at Larkin Stadium.

Anyway Fandi Ahmad, I would usually insert words like Singaporean and legend here but can't be bothered, has been appointed coach of Johor FC for next season's Malaysia Super League which kicks off in January and thanks to the deep pockets of the club's backer, the Crown Prince of Johor, the club are investing heavily on players.

The highest profile new recruit is Safiq Rahim, formerly of Selangor who has reportedly been interesting Indonesian clubs of late. Also added is Zaquan Adha and Zafuan Aidil from Premier League champions ATM while they are reportedly interested in Kelantan's exciting striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.

Another new signing is former Spanish international striker Daniel Guiza, a 32 year old who was involved with Spain when they invented football in 2008, winning the European Championships. He also boasts an umlaut which is pretty cool eh?


CS Vise, Indonesia & AFF Cup

Here is an official communication from our general Director, M. Federico Molinari, about the convoncation of Indonesian players for AFF Suzuki Cup.
"CS Visé confirmed they will only release the Indonesian players Alfin Tuasalamony, Yericho Christiantoko, Syamsir Alam and Yandi Munawar to a unified Indonesian national team under the guidelines established by FIFA and AFC for the up coming AFF Suzuki Cup.
CS Visé is aware of the current issues in Indonesia in relation to the national football league and national team player selection and that a Joint Committee has been formed under the direction of FIFA and AFC.
It is CS Vise's policy not to interfere with issues of conflict with foreign leagues and federations outside Belgium where CS Visé is based.
On 22nd October CS Visé notified the Indonesian "PSSI" of our decision and until now we have not received a response.
We have also been informed that two national teams with different coaches have been inscribed to the AFF competition and that none of these teams are listing CS Visé players.
CS Visé is committed to release its Indonesian players to an Indonesian national team but only under the guidelines set out by FIFA and AFC.
CS Visé supports a positive solution to this current situation and wishes Indonesia success at the AFF Suzuki Cup."


One Step Forwards, Two Step Back

Indonesia plods along its own merry way to football union with the national team currently digesting both good and bad news. The good is that Persija striker Bambang Pamungkas has said he would like to be considered for the upcoming AFF Cup.

Bambang had been avoiding the national team, possibly as a protest at the pathetic way they are being ran (my words, not his), and had refused call ups from both PSSI and KPSI.

Now however he has thrown in his hat with the PSSI squad. His involvement will be seen as crucial considering his status as elder statesman in the game and other players could follow his example over the coming days as Indonesia attempts to make one winning team out of one losing and one untested teams.

Two players who won't be joining, at least yet, are Hamkah Hamza and Ahmad Buctomi. Their club, Mitra Kukar have refused them leave to join the training camp ahead of the AFF Cup later this month.


Nepalese Defender Trying Out For Arema

Nepal International defender, Rohit Chand has vowed to prove his worth in Indonesia. 

Highly talented versatile defender, Chand is leaving for Indonesia today for a trial with Indonesian Premier League side, Arema FC. 

"I will give my best. I am mentally and physically ready for the trial", Chand exclusively told

"I don't have any pressure at all. I have already played two season in I-League and I know the pressure of International club football". 

"I have seen and read that Indonesian club culture is much developed than I-League", Chand said, "But I am ready for everything". 

Rohit will reach Malang, East Java on November 3 after picking-up his Indonesian visa in Singapore and spending an evening in transit in Jakarta.

He is scheduled to make an appearance against Persegres Gresik in a friendly the following day.

Rohit's agent in Indonesia, Dr. Mustika said that he will have an opportunity to tryout for other Indonesian clubs if he is not able to secure a position with the powerful Arema side.

The 20-year-old Rohit is regular on Nepal's back line and was the youngest player to play for Nepal's national team in a competitive FIFA match.

He started his club career at Nepali 'A' division club Machhindra FC before moving to Bangalore I-League side Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL).

He had a very successful stint at HAL starting in every league game he was eligible to play in. As a defender he even scored a hat-trick against Pune FC.

News reports coming out of Britain had linked Rohit with several glamourous clubs in Europe including Arsenal, Lille and Glasgow Rangers.

COMMENT - I was advised to watch out for this lad a couple of years back and he was reportedly keen on trying out Singapore at one stage. He played under Graham Roberts when the former Spurs and Chelsea defender was managing Nepal.

The article which I have lifted wholesale from source mentions Arema IPL but isn't it Arema ISL who will play Presegres soon?

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