Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Flapping Around, Singapore

The Singapore FA must have known a while back national team coach Raddy was leaving. It had been signalled once or twice.

Surely caution would have dictated them scouting around for possible candidates?

But now, with only a few days till the Lions lick off their Asian Cup campaign they still have made no appointment. And this despite Raddy's old office being empty for the best part of a month.

Then we have the SLeague 2013 season starting soonish. Any fixture list been announced yet?

I know we shouldn't compare with other countries but the ALeague announced their fixtures nearly six months ahead of the season; England announces a good three months ahead.

It's not as if the SLeague gets complicated does it. Hardly great distances are involved and if games were played at Bedok and Tampines on the same night would anyone even notice?

I know Tampines Stadium is making way for a hub...and this is the issue. Plenty of hub talk but little action. You wanna talk Key Performance Indicators and it looks like the FA are falling down on two of them already, strategic plan or not

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Indonesia's Friendlies That Never Happened

With Arsenal confirming their intention to visit Jakarta in July it is worth looking at recent friendlies proposed by PSSI that never happened. This is not meant to mock anyone or organisation so please don't read anything into it and don't start looking for a pattern.

The PSSI stand on the cusp of a FIFA suspension (yeah, we heard that before) if they don't sort their stuff out by the end of March and who knows where that will leave the Arsenal tour eh?

The following is a list of games cancelled in the last few months so does not include PSV who were supposed to come last year but also cancelled.

This list does not include games against local teams who generally do as they are told from head office...well, some do.

- Espanyol B (5 September)
- North Korea (8 September)
- Thailand (16 October)
- Sudan (14 November)
- Philippines (15 September)
- Everton (26-29 July)
- Galatasaray (26-29 July)
- UAE (1 February)
- Jordan (31 January)


Monday, January 28, 2013


Mitra Kukar Extend Unbeaten Run

Mitra Kukar v Sriwijaya 4-2 (Zulham Zamrun 3, Jajang Maulyana; M Fakhruddin, Hilton Moriera) 4,596
Barito Putra v Persegres 1-0 (Yongki Aribowo) 6,964
Persiba v Arema 1-0 (El Kassa)
Persija v PSPS 1-0 (Fabiano) 9,637

Four straight wins for Mitra Kukar as they brushed aside champions Sriwijaya at home over the weekend. It's been a good start to the season for the four clubs from Kalimantan who all find themselves in the top 6 at this early stage of the season.

Only been three away wins this season which means I don't know what. Mitra Kukar have two of them, the other by second placed Persegres.

The Divisi Utama kicked off with PSIS defeating PSCS 1-0 in front of 22,000, a figure that suggest better the potential of football here than any hot emanating from FIFA downwards.

On the weekend Irfan Bachdim moved to Chonburi it's worth pointing out the only teams capable of matching the PSIS attendance in Thailand are Buriram United and Muang Thong United.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Name Changes

SAFFC - The Warriors
Geylang United - Geylang International
Thai Port - Port Lions
Pelita Jaya - Pelita Bandung Raya (Pelita Jaya bought out by Bandung Raya)
Johor FC - Johor Darul Tazkim

Any more?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Miroslav Janu RIP

Former Arema and Persela coach Miroslav Janu died earlier today of a heart attack.

Although I never met the guy there is an outside chance I saw him play. Back in 1993 I went to see Bohemians play Inter Bratislava in Prague on the way to Poland...I guess I will never know now if he was there as well.

Janu coached Persela last season and was looking forward to a new season with Persebaya in Divisi Utama.

He also spent time with Sabah.


New Groups For Divisi Utama

Group 1 : PSAP Sigli, PSAB Aceh Besar, PSMS Medan, PSGL Gayo Lues, Persih Tembilahan, PS Bangka, Persisko Tanjung Jabung Barat, PS Bengkulu
Group 2 : Persitara Jakarta Utara, Persikad Kota Depok, Persikabo Kab. Bogor, Persip Pekalongan, Persitema Temanggung, PSIS Semarang, Persiku Kudus, Persipura Purwodadi, PSCS Cilacap
Group 3 : Persebaya Surabaya, Deltras Sidoarjo, PSBK Kota Blitar, Persekam Metro FC, Persid Jember, Persebo Bondowoso, Perseba Super Bangkalan, Persipas Passer, Perseta Tulung Agung
Group 4 : PS Sumbawa Barat,Persigo Gorontalo, Perssin Sinjai, PSBS Biak, Perseru Serui, Perseka Kaimana, Yahukimo FC, Persbul Buol
Group 5 : Persis Solo, PSIM Yogyakarta, PS Mojokerto Putra, Persewangi Banyuwangi, Persik Kediri, Madiun Putra, PPSM Sakti Magelang, Persipasi Kota Bekasi

Five clubs have switched 'leagues' including Persewangi who recently took some flack after it was revealed one of their players had gone nine months without getting paid and he couldn't afford to pay medical bills. Hmm, I wonder if there is a link...

Revised fixture list can be found here but you may need a map!


Singapore Cash In On Historic 4th Success

SINGAPORE — Football fans in Singapore will get a chance to hear the national team’s past and present skippers tell of their stories as well as catch the AFF Suzuki Cup on display at the launch of Nike’s limited edition 4 Stars National Team Kits this Sunday.
Due to overwhelming demand for the national team kits following Singapore’s triumph in the recent Suzuki Cup, the sportswear giant has produced 100 limited edition sets — comprising of home and away jerseys packed in a collector’s box — which will only be available at the Nike Store in Suntec City from 3pm onwards.
Suzuki Cup-winning captains Nazri Nasir, Aide Iskandar and Shahril Ishak, along with players from the National Youth Teams (U15 - U21) will also be present at the event from 4pm onwards.
Stocks and sizes for the kits are limited, and sales will be based on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Okto Still Clubless

The Indonesia Super League has already begun; the Premier League could well begin next month yet Okto Maniani remains without a club.

Okto burst on the scene at the 2010 AFF Cup when, along with Irfan Bachdim and Christian Gonzales, they blitzed Malaysia (5-1) and Laos (6-0) in their opening games.

From there on his impact dropped markedly but people had sat up and taken note. Here was a player with genuine pace and it seems Indonesians love their pacy wingmen.

But I could never 'get' Okto. For me he was a one trick pony and that trick didn't always work. I saw him come on the field one day and his team mates had to point out which direction he was facing. Another time he performed an outrageous overhead kick just a few feet from his goal line that went so high it collided with incoming at Jakarta International Airport.

People loved him though. He would try and trick, in the wrong part of the field usually, it wouldn't work yet people went mad. A bit like watching the Beatles and McCartney going 'ooooooo'.

Some optimistic souls bravely went out on a limb and predicted Okto was one of a new generation of Indonesian players who could try his hand overseas!

Well no, after being released by Persiram, who he captained last season, Okto is a free agent and it seems the local clubs have not been beating down his door to sign him.

Before Persiram he had a spell with Sriwijaya but wasn't a regular; before that Persitara.

For all their problems and issues Indonesian clubs can, occasionally  recognise a useful player and surely it is telling the big clubs, and now the small ones, are giving him a wide berth.

There are rumours he carries a bit of attitude; perhaps the hype of 2010 went to his head, I don't know.

But as he looks for a new club surely time to pause and reflect on they build up young players get when they are truly not equipped to handle it; either on or off the pitch.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


SAFFC Name Change

One of the proudest names in Singapore football is no more.

Singapore Armed Forces have changed their name to The Warriors.

Um, ok. Never been a big fan of clubs named like Armed Forces, ATM, Siam Navy etc but The Warriors? Sounds like a cheesy 70's gang flick.

They have also appointed some retired soldier as Adviser what ever that means. Could he be a Global Advisor like Shebby Singh at Blackburn? But at least Shebby played the game. This new adviser has 30 plus years of yes sir, no sir and that will help a football club how?

In the squad for this coming season is Kazuyuki Toda who played for Japan in 2002 World Cup

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Stags New Coach

SINGAPORE - Former SAFFC captain Nenad Bacina is expected to be unveiled as the new coach of Tampines Rovers at a press conference hosted by the club on Friday ahead of the kick-off of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League 2013 season.

The 41-year-old, who led Hougang United to eighth spot in the S-League last year, told Croatian news agency Dalmacijia News that he had accepted club chairman Teo Hock Seng's offer to lead the Stags in their title defence this season. 

Bacina's squad for 2013 will include new marquee signing Martin Wagner of Argentina, and former Albirex Niigata defender Kunihiro Yamashita. Stags fans will also be looking out for the likes of striker Khairul Amri - who was Singapore's hero at the recent ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup victory - and former LionsXII fullback Shaiful Esah and midfielder Firdaus Kasman.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Fare Thee Well, Raddy

Dear Friends,

When I first arrived in Singapore back in the middle of 2003, one of the first few impressions I had of Singapore was that you were extremely passionate about your football.

Almost daily, there were discussions or articles in newspapers about what can be done to improve Singapore's football.

This is understandable, and honestly, it is good that so many Singaporeans choose to let their feelings known about football, or sports in general because this only means that you care a lot for football.

Over the last nine years or so, I have tried my best to put Singapore on the international football map.

No one is perfect, and like me, I have done whatever I can within my ability to have Singapore taste success.

And we have, to a certain degree. Three ASEAN titles over the last 10 years, is by no means an easy feat. But we did it, together.

We have also taken Japan to the limit; beat Iraq and held China at home, among many results we have posted over the last few years.

This only means that your Lions are no pushovers and they can challenge against football sides which are ranked much higher.

There have been disappointments too, like missing out on the 2011 Asian Cup by a whisker.

Nonetheless, the Lions did very well to respond to the challenges and they are now one of the region's most feared and respected.

Singapore are reigning champions of ASEAN and this is testament to the ability of the talent we have been able to produce over the last decade.

What we need to do now is get better and stay ahead.

There are just so many people I know I should mention and thank, and my humblest apologies if I forget any.

Firstly, I must give credit to the extremely passionate band of support staff whom I have had the privilege of working with during my time as national coach.

They have been critical to our success, and they have sacrificed a lot just to further the development of Singapore football.

Also, I am extremely grateful for the support shown by our Presidents - former President S R Nathan and current President Tony Tan.

Your presence at matches over the years have only spurred the team to far greater heights.

To the Presidents of the Football Association of Singapore during my tenure as national coach - Mr Mah Bow Tan, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee and Mr Zainudin Nordin - a huge thank you for believing in me and for providing me with the opportunity to take Singapore football to another level.

A special thank you to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (the players were over the moon with your Facebook updates during the recent AFF Suzuki Cup), Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (President of the Singapore National Olympic Council) and the Sports Ministers during my time as national coach. Football does have a special place in the building of a multi-racial society like Singapore, and the support you have all given me as national coach has helped us to build a strong national team, which I hope will continue to rally Singaporeans around each other.

Most importantly, my heartfelt gratitude to the fans, who braved the rain for us, who stood in queues for hours, who shouted themselves hoarse and who stood by us through thick and thin. You will always hold a special place in my heart, for as long as I live.

Football is a strange sport, which many say, can make even grown men cry.

But what's more important about football, is that it is the one sport which can bring 55,000 Singaporeans, regardless of race, language or religion, to the National Stadium.

It is the one sport which can bond communities.

It is the one sport which can get an entire nation talking, be it in the neighbourhood coffee-shops, in online forums, bus interchanges or even within family units.

Continue to support the Lions, because they are your national team.

Cheer them on now that they are champions, but also be there for them when they are down because that will be when they need you the most.

Singapore will always have a special place in my heart.

And for that, I must thank all of you.

Let's not say goodbye, because friendships built, are meant to last forever.

Yours sincerely


SOURCE Today Online

COMMENT - personally got a lot of time for Raddy, First time we met I asked him about playing for Coventry against Arsenal. They won 1-0 he told me, he named the scorer and said the weather was really bad! Not bad for a game from 1983!

Chuffed he went out on a high and hope a place can be found for him in Singapore football in the future.


ISL Catch Up

Pelita Bandung Raya v Persiba 0-0 1,124
Sriwijaya v Barito Putra 3-2 (Boakay Eddy Foday, Achmad Jufriyanto 2; Djibril Coulibaly, Nehemia Solossa) 9,123
Persib v Persipura 1-1 (Mbida Messi; Bio Paulin) 25,200
Persija v Mitra Kukar 1-2 (Pedro Javier; Jajang Mulyana, Esteban Herrera) 12,450
Persita v Persiwa 2-1 (Cristian Carrasco, Kim Dong Chan; Ferdinando Mote) 4,275
PSPS v Persisam 1-1 (Jibby Wuwungan; Lancine Kone) 5,875
Arema v Persiram 3-0 (Sunarto, Cristian Gonzales, Keith Kayamba) 29,591

Pelita Bandung Raya fired blanks in their second home game. After reducing prices they were rewarded with another 100 so spectators. They play in a nice stadium but it is a bastard to get to and from.

The curse of the last minute goal prevented Persipura taking all three points in their first game of the season. Messi's equaliser came deep into injury time.

Persija fans attacked the team bus after seeing their team fall 2-1 at home to Mitra Kukar. Fans were calling for the head of Iwan Setiawan at the first game of the season, they call is increasing but as I said last week; wrong target lads. Who are the ones who can't monetise one of the biggest football clubs in the land? Just check out the sponsorship on Persib shirts and see what can be done.

Newly promoted Persita hosted Persiwa in their new 'home' in far off Kuningan and started off with a 2-1 win, coming from behind. A reasonable effort at the gate as well though would be interesting to know how many fans made the journey from Tangerang.

Arema fans returned to Kanjuruhan Stadium following their 5-2 thumping of Persidafon in the opening game of the season.They had invaded the pitch and questioned coach Rahmad Darmawan after they did not win a couple of pre season games but they have started the ISL flying with a second successive convincing win at home.

1 - Arema 2 2 0 0 8-2 6
2 - Mitra Kukar 2 2 0 0 3-1 6
3 - Sriwijaya 2 1 1 0 4-3 4

4 Goals - Gonzales (Arema)

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Good Night For Home Teams In MSL

It was a good start for the home teams in the Malaysia Super League.

Big spenders Johor Darul Takzim flew out the blocks in their game away to Pahang with goals from internationals Safiq Rahim and Norshahrul before the home team fought back in the second half with R Surendren scoring the winner eight minutes from the end.

Perak had to wait for injury  time before getting three points at home to T Team while champions Kelantan also required an injury time winner to overcome PKNS who had taken the temerity to score first up in Kota Bahru.

LionsX11 showed Singapore's 3-0 triumph in KL during the recent ASEAN Cup was no fluke though. They bucked the trend in the first round of MSL fixtures by defeating Premier League champions ATM 1-0 in Paroi.

In the other game Selangor defeated Negeri Sembilan 1-0. The game was of course at home.


ISL Results & Attendances

Pelita Bandung Raya v Barito Putra 1-1 (Dale Milavanovic; Coulibay Djibril) 1,000
Sriwijaya v Persiba 1-1(Fandy Mochtar; Mahmoud El Ali) 25,353
Persija v Persisam 1-1 (Pedro Javier; Lancine Kone) 13,550
PSPS v Mitra Kukar 0-1 (Jajang Maulyana)
Persegres v Persiram 1-0 (Aldo Baretto) 10,300
Arema v Persidafon 5-2 (Christian Gonzales 3, Alberto Goncalves, Keith Kayamba; Anis Nabar 2) 9,403
Pelita Bandung Raya v Persiba 0-0

You don't meed me to tell you Arema lead the table on goal difference but with the mysterious way the fixtures are drawn up, six teams yet to play and two played twice, it is kind of academic.

Arema's goals scored by their aging strikers but disappointing crowd. Remember their last friendly the fans invaded the pitch to protest at their coach...only the most successful in the country but never mind eh?

Persija fans too protested at their coach, Iwan Setiawan, with a banner calling him to be dismissed. Got the wrong target there lads, who are the ones who can't raise money for the football club?


PBR Drop Prices

Pelita Bandung Raya have responded swiftly to a poor attendance at their opening Indonesia Super League game against Barito Putra.

They have dropped admission prices in an effort to get more fans through the gate at Jalak Harapat Stadium in Soreang.

Starting from today's game against Persiba prices will be as follows. Old prices in brackets.

VIP - 75,000 (125,000)
West - 30,000 (80,000)
East - 20,000 (50,000)

I don't know how much impact that will have. Clubs like Pelita Jaya and Persikab have struggled to attract fans to one of best stadiums in the country while Persib fill the place.

And that is the problem. West Java is most definitely Persib land and other clubs struggle to feature on the radar.

Pelita Bandung Raya is the latest carnation of Pelita Jaya after they were bought out by Bandung Raya, a club who won an early Liga Indonesia title but have struggled since that heyday and were last season down in the amateur divisions.

Pelita Jaya last season played in Karawang and attracted reasonable enough crowds but it remains to be seen how many will make the journey from there to Soreang to follow the 'new' team.

It was reported 1,000, a nice round number, attended the Barito Putra game which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


All Roads Lead To Thailand

First we had Titus Bonai who nearly signed for BEC Tero. Then we had Victor Ibgenefo and greg Nwokolo, both naturalised Indonesians, on loan with Chiang Rai United.

Now we have one time poster child Irfan Bachdim trialling with BEC Tero and playing against Nakorn Ratchasima in a friendly.

Will he make the move to the Thai Premier League and will others follow his lead. The Thai league offers all that Indonesia does; cranky politics, nutty leadership, on field brawls but adds a better chance of getting paid.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Results 05/01

Indonesia Super League

Pelita Bandung Raya v Barito Putra 1-1
Sriwijaya v Persiba 1-1

Malaysia Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup

Kelantan v ATM 1-1 (ATM win 4-3 on penalties)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Business As Usual At Persija

Pre season just wouldn't be pre season without mess at Persija. In recent years they have been taken over by a mysterious businessmen who promised much but delivered nothing and split, amoeba like, into separate identities sharing the same name but little else.

This year? No money.

Yeah I know, pretty tame by their high standards of farce but serious enough to have kept two long serving stalwarts, Bambang Pamungkas and Ismed Sofyan, away from pre season training.

The coach, Iwan Setiawan, is quoted as saying if he only has 14-16 players Persija can not enter the league.

Their first home game is this Sunday against Persisam. The new governor has promised to speed up work on their new stadium in Sunter but his hands are tied regarding funding; Persija are on their own and with one of the largest fan bases in the country you would think they would have companies queuing up to sponsor them.


Unhappy Arema Fans Invade Pitch

Even if you are one of the most successful coaches in Indonesia you are not given much slack by fans impatient for success yesterday.

Rahmad Darmawan has won the Indonesian title with Persipura (Liga Indonesia) and Sriwijaya (Indonesia Super League) as well as other cups in his career but that does nothing to impress the Arema fans who witnessed their team lose 2-0 in the East Java Governor's Cup at the Kanjuruhan Stadium on Sunday.

They invaded the pitch and made their feelings known they were not happy with the team's preparations for the new season.

Do they have a point? So far Arema lost both their games in the Trofeo Persija, were knocked out of the Inter Island Cup at the semi final stage by Sriwijaya after only getting past the group stage courtesy of a coin flip. And  now this.

Darmawan is melding a team from the best of Arema and Pelita Jaya following the former's takeover by the later and is most definitely relying on age and experience with players like Keith Kayamba, Alberto Goncalves and Greg Nwokolo and thus far it doesn't seem to be working.

But they're only friendlies! Given his track record the man needs a chance to build that team. Only time will tell if his aging squad can produce the goods so leave it to time!


Melaka Mania

Melaka's own football team seems to have fallen off the map in Malaysia but fans in the historic city will have plenty of football to look forward to this season with no less than four teams calling the city home.

UiTM will use the Hang Tuah Stadium.
PDRM will use the Hang Jebat Stadium
NS Betaria will use Hang Tuah Stadium
SPA will use Hang Jebat Stadium

As far as I can find out no one will use the Hang About Stadium!

Full Malaysia Premier League fixtures can be found on Malaysia Football.


LionsX11 Squad 2013

Goalkeepers : Izwan Mahbud, Khairulhin Khalid, Neezam Aziz, Syed Sufiyan

Defenders : Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin, Irwan Shah, Madhu Mohana, Shakir Hamzah, Faritz Hameed, Ali Hudzaifi, Faris Azienuddin 

Midfielders : Isa Halim, Hariss Harun, Raihan Rahman, Safirul Sulaiman, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Zulfahmi Arifin, Aqhari Abdullah, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Faris Ramli, Gabriel Quak, Izzdin Shafiq 

Forwards : Shahril Ishak, Khairul Nizam, Fazrul Nawaz, Shahfiq Ghani, Iqbal Hamid Hussain, Syafiq Zainal

Talk of Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak moving to Thailand has been nixed by the Singapore FA


Indonesia Super League 2012 January Fixtures

05/01/2013 : Sriwijaya Vs Persiba Balikpapan (Stadion Gelora Sriwijaya, Jakabaring)
05/01/2013 : Pelita Jaya Vs Ps Barito (Stadion Si Jalak Harupat)
06/01/2013 : Persija Vs Persisam (Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno)
06/01/2013 : PSPS Vs Mitra Kukar (Stadion Kuantan Singingi Sport Center)
08/01/2013 : Gresik United Vs Persiram (Stadion Petrokimia Gresik)
09/01/2013 : Arema Indonesia Vs Persidafon (Stadion Kanjuruhan)
10/01/2013 : Pelita Jaya Vs Persiba Balikpapan (Stadion Si Jalak Harupat)
11/01/2013 : Sriwijaya FC Vs Ps Barito (Stadion Gelora Sriwijaya, Jakabaring)
12/01/2013 : Persija Vs Mitra Kukar (Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno)
12/01/2013 : PSPS Vs Persisam (Stadion Kuantan Singingi Sport Center)
13/01/2013 : Arema Indonesia Vs Persiram (Stadion Kanjuruhan)
13/01/2013 : Persib Vs Persipura (Stadion Si Jalak Harupat)
13/01/2013 : Persita Vs Persiwa (Stadion Mashud Wisnusaputra)
15/01/2013 : Gresik United Vs Persidafon (Stadion Petrokimia Gresik)
16/01/2013 : Persela Vs Persepam MU (Stadion Surajaya)
17/01/2013 : Persib Vs Persiwa (Stadion Si Jalak Harupat)
19/01/2013 : Persita Vs Persipura (Stadion Mashud Wisnusaputra)
19/01/2013 : Mitra Kukar Vs Pelita Jaya (Stadion Aji Imbut)
20/01/2013 : Persisam Vs Sriwijaya FC (Stadion Segiri Samarinda)
20/01/2013 : Ps Barito Vs Arema Indonesia (Stadion Indrasari Martapura)
22/01/2013 : Persiba Balikpapan Vs Gresik United (Stadion Persiba, Komplek Pertamina Parikesit)
25/01/2013 : Persisam Vs Pelita Jaya (Stadion Segiri Samarinda)
26/01/2013 : Mitra Kukar Vs Sriwijaya FC (Stadion Aji Imbut)
26/01/2013 : Persiba Balikpapan Vs Arema Indonesia (Stadion Persiba, Komplek Pertamina Parikesit)
27/01/2013 : Ps Barito Vs Gresik United (Stadion Indrasari Martapura)
27/01/2013 : Persija Vs PSPS (Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno)
31/01/2013 : Persipura Vs Persepam MU (Stadion Mandala)
31/01/2013 : Persiwa Vs Persela (Stadion Pendidikan)
31/01/2013 : Persiram Vs Persib (Stadion Wombik)
31/01/2013 : Persidafon Vs Persita (Stadion Barnabas Youwe)

These may change!

SOURCE - BolaIndo

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