Saturday, February 17, 2007


Chrsitopher Wreh and Frequent Flyer Miles

We reported last year how Christopher Wreh was being lined up by Medan. It didn't happen and things went quiet but he has now resufaced in possibly one of the most remote footballing outposts on earth!

The island of Irian Jaya is the Indonesian half of New Guinea, a massive island of traditional cultures, a vivid eco system and very few roads. The capital city is Jayapura which takes a bloody long time to reach from Jakarta but does have a popular local team who were local champions in 2005.

No. From To DepartureTime ArrivalTime Flight Number Stops
1 Jakarta Jayapura 21:50 07:10 GA 650 2

Our friend Christopher had of course a short spell at Arsenal. He scored 3 vital league goals as we went on to win the Premiership in 1998. He also scored the winner in the Semi Final against Wolves. He played in the Cup Final and ended the season a Double Winner. Early the next season he scored at Wembley in the annual curtain raiser the Charity Shield. Then he fell away.

Well, now he has resurfaced, at least on the personal radar of this particular observer, in Manokwari.
At least he won't suffer from pollution! About the only thing Manokwari is famous for is that the first 2 bible beaters from Germany fronted up here in the 19th Century.

Here is a picture of the Manokwari firm mobbing up before a home game.

There ain't a lot about Manokwari on the web. Even Wikipedia only has this!

He's a long way from his nearest embassy, which as far as I could find out, is probably Taiwan!

Still, it looks like there are some other expats there as this god squad newsletter shows.

There are two other teams in Irian Jaya but don't count on any local derby atmosphere. Both Jayapura and Wamena (themselves only recently linked by a 600 km road through mountainous jungle) are only accessible by plane, indeed, Christopher can look forward to accumulating plenty of airmiles from his stay in Manokwari.

I hope he makes himself comfortable their and enjoys his football and one way to settle in with the locals would be to learn the language. But which one?
It looks a pretty wild place !
This is Manokwari's first season in the Indonesian League and obviously they are spending a few bob to make a splash. Their first game was at home to Balikpapin in front of 15,000 and they drew 1-1. Next up was another home game against East Kalimantin and this time they lost 1-0. This weekend they travel to North Sulawesi to play Minhasa and I have no idea about the logistics of this trip!


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?