Wednesday, May 03, 2006


On the road with Jakmania

Taken from any errors in translation are mine lah!

I flew down to Semarang on the morning of the match but I did spare a thought for those loyal Jakmania who I knew would travel and was keen to know about theire journey. 10 pm on the Friday night, quality beer time for some of us, they were pulling out of Senen station, some 600 orange clad road warriors on their way to support their team.

After a 30 minute break at Cirebon they arrived at Semarang Poncol station at 7.15 am, about the time I was checking in at the Adam Air terminal at Jakarta airport. They were met at the station by some of the Semarang firm, SNEX (Semarang Extreme) but this was a very different greeting to that I used to receive at stations around England. This was all very friendly and buses were laid on to take the fans somewhere to have a scrub down and a quick nose bag.

By 2 pm they were in the stadium but were a bit disappointed to find they were in an encloseure next to the Panzer Biru (Blue Panthers) and not their friends the SNEX. Whether anything kicked off or not I don't know, we were still in the Putri Lounge necking cold beers!

The game was crap but the Jak kept up a noise through the whole 90 minutes, pretty good away support and one they can be proud of! They were kept behind for a while after the game, the single access to the stadium forms a bottle neck and is ideal ambush territory if someone fancies a pop at opposing fans, but eventually they found their way back to the station, again with some SNEX in tow. I guess they would have got back to Jakarta about 2 am on the Sunday morning but we've all been there. Be it Arsenal, Saarbrucken or Jakarta following your team away from home requires a certain devotion and a special bond arises between the players and the fans.

Much is written of hooliganism at the game here. The Jakmania trip showed an unpublicised side of the up for them is Jepara away.

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