Monday, June 30, 2008


Can Super Reds Do It?

Nearly half way through the season and with Super Reds still snapping at the heels of the mighty SAFFC now seems as good a time as any to consider the impact of ‘foreign’ backed teams in the SLeague.

Albirex Niigata were the first side to enter the league and, to date, have been the longest running with the current SLeague 2008 being their 5th campaign to date. The Japanese side finished 5th in their first two seasons but have fallen away since then and the current campaign has seen on the receiving end of some right thumpings.

Backed by one of Japan’s best supported club’s with the same name Albirex Niigata are content with being a feeder club for it’s parent by providing up and coming talent with competitive football on a weekly level.

Sinchi were a Chinese backed club who spent three seasons plying their trade in the league before withdrawing ahead of the 2006 season. Their record saw them finishing 7th in their debut season then successive 9th placed finishes.

Sporting Afrique arrived in 2006 in a blaze of publicity but it was headlines of the wrong sort that led to their early demise as they ended the season 9th out of 11 and their application to continue in the league was rejected.

2007 saw two new foreign teams enter the fray. Liaonang Guangyuan were a feeder club for Chinese side Liaonang but their season also ended in ignominy as match fixing charges were leveled at several players and officials. They finished 10th in the 12 team league and were ceremoniously booted out of the league.

The other new team started life as the Korean Super Reds and while they avoided controversy off the pitch, on it they were woeful managing just three wins in that first season and finishing bottom of the table. In August they changed their name to Super Reds but results stayed the same and it was probably a relief for all when the season ended.

To replace Liaonang in 2008 the SLeague again looked to China and Dalian Shide. With established Albirex Niigata and Super Reds these three sides would provide the foreign element but would they just be whipping boys or would there be more to come?

As I write this Super Reds are joint top with SAF having amassed 35 points from their 14 games. Compare this with the meager 18 they managed all last season! Their 29 goals thus far has already exceeded last season’s paltry 24. On the other hand Dalian and Albirex are finding success hard. They have just three wins each and lie 10th and 9th respectively in the table.

Can Super Reds break the mould and win the SLeague? That of course remains to be seen but success in the domestic league would not mean they could play in any AFC Cup as SLeague regulations prevent ‘foreign’ teams representing Singapore.

What next for foreign teams in Singapore? We already have sides from Brunei, Thailand and Cambodia regularly competing in the Singapore resembling a surrogate ASEAN Cup. Local pride would no doubt prevent a Malaysian side playing on the other side of the causeway but an Indonesian side would be interesting. Tapping into the large numbers of Indonesians who work and study in Singapore they could break all attendance records.

For now though we have the sight of the cavalier Super Reds taking on the local powerhouses SAFFC and Home United and making the title race very interesting indeed!


Thai Premier League Table

1. Chonburi 12 7 4 1 13-5 25
2. PEA 13 8 1 4 15-10 25
3. BEC Tero 12 7 3 2 22-10 24
4. TOT 11 7 2 2 13-6 23

Top scorers

8 - Rotchai (PEA)
6 - Theerathep (BEC)
5 - Anant (BEC)
5 - Nappaphol (Bangkok University)


Persik Kediri v Perth Glory

This report has been lifted down to the very last comma from the official Perth Glory website. For a Persik spin on things, in Indonesian, check out here.

Glory’s super start in Indonesia
Monday, 30 June 2008
Perth Glory has kicked off their pre-season tour of Indonesia in fine form with a 2-1 victory against two times Indonesian Super League Champions Persik Kediri.
Glory strikers James Robinson and young gun Anthony Skorich, who continues to impress during his trial with the club, hit the back of the net in the second half to give the visitors a well deserved win.
James Robinson
© Getty Images
In front of a huge pre-season crowd of more than 15,000 local Kediri fans and beamed live across Indonesia to an audience of 100 million, the Glory reinforced the quality of Australian football with a performance that delighted Coach Dave Mitchell.
“It’s great to have the bulk of our squad together and the way the lads are combining on the pitch in a short time has really impressed me,” Mitchell said.
“Persik are one of the gun sides in Indonesia and have brought in a lot of quality players for this season and it was nice to challenge ourselves against a top team and come away with the win.
“It was a very entertaining match, end to end stuff, and great quality from both sides. It’s still early in the pre-season and we have a plenty of hard work to do but we will take a lot of confidence from this performance into our next match on Friday night,” Mitchell said.
Robinson opened the scoring just after the break with a superbly taken long range strike that skimmed the underside of the crossbar. Persik were left to rue a fumbled attempt to clear a corner allowing Robinson to pounce and give the Glory the lead after 54 minutes.
Both sides made changes late in the game as the heat and humidity started to take its toll, and it was the home side that initially benefited with an equaliser on 72 minutes.
The Glory though responded quickly through super-sub Skorich who has made a habit of scoring after being injected late into the fray. The Western Knights youngster has been in superb touch recently, scoring in each of the Glory’s past three pre-season matches.
In other positive news for Perth, veteran goal keeper Jason Petkovic returned between the posts for his first competitive outing of the pre-season. Petkovic moved freely and made several good saves following the removal of a pin inserted in the leg he broke during the 2006/07 season.
Defender David Tarka stepped up his return to full match fitness with another solid display at the back. Tarka played 85 minutes and showed no signs of the hamstring problems that have plagued the talented West Aussie in the past few seasons.
The Glory’s pre-season tour in East Java continues with a match against Deltras Sidoarjo on Friday night.
Match details;
Persik Kediri 1 (Sinaga 72’)Perth Glory 2 (Robinson 54’, Skorich 78’)Brawaijaya Stadium, Kediri
Crowd: 15,000
Next match - Friday 4 July 2008Deltras Sidoarjo vs Perth Glory FCDeltras Stadium, Sidoarjo7.00pm kick-off


Greedy Players

My column this week on ESPN is an open letter to Emmanuel Adebayor. Basically it tells him to do one if he ain't happy...


SLeague Standings

1. SAFFC 15 12 2 1 46-14 38
2. Super Reds 16 12 2 2 33-17 38
3. Home United 15 10 2 3 42-18 32
4. Tampines 15 9 2 4 31-18 29

Top scorers

15 Kengne Ludovick
13 Aleksandar Duric
10 Khairul Amri
8 Masrezwan Masturi, Ojimi Gabriel Obatola


Tampines Struggle to Sign New Players

Tampines Rovers had been hoping to add Pipat Thonkanya to their squad during the upcoming transfer window to join Sutee Suksomkit and Santi Chaiyaphuak.

However it now looks like Pipat's club BEC Tero Sasana have sold him to rivals PEA rather than send him on a 2 year loan deal south.

The Stags also missed out on former QPR striker Sammy Youssouf who was unimpressed by the money he was offered.

Tampines have confirmed though that Noh Alam Shah will return for next season.


A Couple of Friendlies

With the new season, finally, commencing next week clubs are in their final stages of preparation.

Persija will play Persisam Samarinda on Wednesday while Persib will play West Java rivals Persikabo Bogor on the same day.


Shh. It's a Secret!

While watching many SLeague games I don't have a scooby who is actually playing. Yeah, I know the teams but the players.

At the start of the game the MC runs through the line ups, jersey number 12 blah blah, but unfortunately I can't remember all that he says as he races through both teams in 14.26 seconds flat. Sorry, just the way it is.

Club officials do give out a single sheet team sheet before the game but these only go to the media, referee assessors and people like that. Not the fans.

Isn't it too much to distribute these to all the fans in the stadium so that at least we know who is playing. Except for the gamblers of course who don't care who's playing as long as they win.

Fair play to Geylang United who distribute a single sheet leaflet that carries the team line ups.

Is this really beyond other clubs' abilities? Develop some kind of link between the club and the fans?

At the moment there are fan clubs or cheer leaders who rarely actually watch the game or even react to events on the pitch beyond the monotonous drumming. How much does these people really know about their club? Or the SLeague?

How do interested fans get involved? It all seems so cliquey with a few people beating drums and eating chicken rice at half time and nowhere at the stadium that allows other people to sign up. Even if they wanted to.

Brought up on You'll never walk alone, endless chants of Defend can seem unispiring to a new breed of supporter. They see flags and t shirts but have no idea where to buy these items from; it's almost masonic, perhaps they need a secret handshake or perhaps a special way of eating chicken rice before they would be allowed in.

I was over at the SAF stadium on Friday meeting their coach Richard Bok and I noticed piles of Warcry lying around. It's the club's newsletter and it's left gathering dust in an office instead of being on sale in the community, or even given away and increasing the awareness of the club.

A sports shop next to the stadium didn't sell SAF merchandise!

This is Singapore ffs. A country built upon business acumen.

Until it comes to football!


It's Raining Goals

Saturday night was a good night for SLeague fans as both games featured goals galore.

SAF thumped Dalian Shide 7-0 at Warriors Arena while at Tampines Stadium, the Rovers beat Sengkang Punggol 3-0.

The score could have been higher had not one of the linesmen not been practising for his new job at Changi and waving his flag at every goven opportunity.

On the Friday night in a right tasty affair at Jalan Besar Gombak United beat Young Lions 2-1. Controversial penalties, a yellow that should have been a red, a bit of afters at the end, I thought the Indonesian season had started early.

Great fun!


Khairul Amri to be a Stag?

Young Lions striker talent Khairul Amri is, I understand, poised to sign for Tampines Rovers during the up coming SLeague window.

Amri is widely considered to be one of the most promising players in the country.


PDRM Look to Singapore. Again.

Having recently signed Agu Casmir Polis Di Raja Malaysia, or the Police team, have finally added Noh Alam Shah to their least for the Malaysia Cup.

Singaporean international Shah was suspended for 12 months, later cut to seven, after twatting Daniel Bennet in last season's Singapore Cup Final while playing for Tampines Rovers.

An interesting strike force to say the least.


Persitara Soap Opera

A few days ago I reported how Jacksen Tiago looked liked being installed as the coach of stricken Persitara.

I now understand Dutch coach Richard Azreg has not been officially sacked and there is a chance he may take charge of the North Jakartans first game of the season against city rivals Persija.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty swirling round Persitara with no players being paid yet and uncertainty as to where the first game will be played.

With two weeks until the season starts there is a lot of work to be done to ensure the club even take the field for that first game.

Where ever it may be.


Malaysia Cup Results 27/6

Selangor v Negeri Sembilan 0-3
Terengganu v Kelantan 1-2
Melaka v Sarwak 3-0

Kedah v KL 0-1
PDRM v Penang 3-1
Sabah v Johor 2-1

Perlis v Pahang 3-1
Perak v ATM 5-0
Johor PBT v MyTeam 2-3

Friday, June 27, 2008


Busy Time for Indonesian Fans

The next couple of weeks are sure to keep fans of Indonesian football, different from Indonesian football fans of course.

Read a preview in this week's ESPN column!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Home United v Albirex Niigata 2-0

Well, the Casual curse of Home at home amounted to nix but the Protectors had to work hard to overcome a gritty Albirex side.

The three points for Home keeps the uniform side within touching distance of leaders Super Reds and SAF

Pictures added


Casmir Nicked!

Naturalised Singaporean striker Agu Casmir has certainly done a bit in the last couple of years in a whodunnit that would have dear Miss Marple looking for a new bicycle.

First off Casmir allegedly didn't sign for Persija. Then he allegedly didn't go for trials in Russia. He spent much of last season, no allegation this one, with Young Lions in the SLeague and the last I heard of him he was, allegedly, or not, interesting Persebaya.

Now it appears he has fronted up in the Malaysia Cup with...Police!


Be Afraid Home United Fans, Be Very Afraid

Home United, the SLeague's leading scorers, have lost their last two home games. Against Balestier Khalsa they surprisingly lost 2-1 while a week later they lost 4-2 against Tampines Rovers.

Today they host Albirex Niigata and I'm on a hat trick.

I attended the last two homes and I'll be there tonight!

With three defeats in the last four outings, they can't blame the defeat at Gombak on me as I wasn't there, Home are slipping behind the leaders (9 behind Super Reds, 6 behind SAF) and will be looking for a return to winning ways against the White Cranes.

But the Japanese side have won three or their four games on the road and combine their away form with the Jakarta Casual hoodoo they will go into the game feeling confident.


Azreg Out, Jacksen In

The events at Persitara over recent weeks have resembled a soap opera. In a nutshell Dutch coach Richard Azreg is reported as being sacked and the North Jakarta side have appointed Brazilian Jacksen Tiago as his replacement.

There is a lot more to thos story than meets the eye or is being reported locally. When I return to Jakarta I hope to get more details.

For now, suffice to say had this been England the gutter press would have had this story running every day on the back pages!


Geylang United v Super Reds 1-2

Well this was a big improvement on the previous nights' fare but then again eleven one legged centipedes on skateboards would have been an improvement on that turgid affair.

Three well taken goals livened up what was a so so affair and victory for the Super Reds puts the recent bad run behind them and back on top of the SLeague.

Some images can be found here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Malaysia Cup

Negeri Sembilan v Terengganu 1-2
Selangor v Sarawak 3-1
Kelantan v Melaka 3-1

KL v Sabah 3-2
Penang v Kedah 0-1

Perlis v MyTeam 1-2
ATM v Johor PBT 1-3


ASEAN Under 16 Championship


Australia - Bahrain
Singapore - Malaysia


Bahrain v Singapore
Indonesia v Australia


Australia v Malaysia
Indonesia v Bahrain


Singapore v Australia
Malaysia v Indonesia


Malaysia v Bahrain
Indonesia v Singapore


Third/Fourth Play Off

All games at Lebak Bulus with the first game at 3.30 and the second at 6pm


Super Liga Fixtures

These are the opening games in the new Super Liga which starts next month


Sriwijaya v Persipura
Pelita Jaya v Persiba
Persita v Arema


PSMS v Persiwa
Persijap v Persik
Persib v Persela


Persitara v Persija


Sriwijaya v Persiwa
Pelita Jaya v PKT
Persita v Persik


PSM v Deltras
Persijap v Arema


PSIS v Persiba
Persitara v Persela
PSMS v Persipura


Persija v Persib


Penarol Coming to Jakarta

Uruguayan giants Penarol will play an Indonesian Select XI at Bung Karno on 6 July.

The Indonesian side will feature internationals and non internationals.

With a friendly against New Zealand also in July to be played in Sleman notice how busy the international calender has become?


Sengkang Punggol v Woodlands Wellington 0-0

I went into this game with low expectations and boy I wasn't disappointed.

In a game of six bookings I seriously considered going home at half time so dull was the game. But given the amount of goals being scored in the last minute in the SLeague this season I decided to stick around.

No goals but things heated up towards the end and in truth the hosts could have won it, hitting the post, missing a sitter, hitting the roof of the net and having a penalty appeal turned down.

For a team with six goals from 17 games we shouldn't have been surprised.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Press Release - WA and East Java Friendship Cup

AFTER 18 YEARS of successful sister state/province exchanges between Western Australia and
Indonesia’s East Java, two football squads will now take that relationship to new heights.
From 24 June – 5 July, the Western Australian State team and the Perth Glory Football Club will star in the biggest Australian sports event ever held in Indonesia.
WA State will clash with the elite East Java All-Province U23 team in the inaugural Western
Australia- East Java Football Friendship Cup on Wednesday evening, 25 June and Perth Glory will take on two of East Java’s four Indonesian Super League clubs, Persik Kediri and Deltras Sidoarjo at their home stadiums on the evenings of Sunday 29 June and Friday 4 July respectively.
A highlight of the opening ceremony will be the runner-up of Australian Idol 2006, Jessica Mauboy, performing Advance Australia Fair and East Java’s own singer-actress, Ervyl Revylda, performing Indonesia Raya.
East Java is regarded as the nation’s football heartland - legend has it that football was introduced to Indonesia through East Java in 1895 when English schoolboy John Edgar founded a club in Surabaya - and public interest in the WA challenge has reached fever-pitch.

The Western Australian Trade Office in Indonesia appointed a football taskforce in March 2007 to develop people-to-people and business linkages through sport between Western Australia and East Java.
It has focussed on identifying opportunities for regular ‘friendlies’ between Western Australia and East Java representative teams and between the professional soccer clubs in both countries and introducing Western Australian expertise in sports education, training, administrative, medical, stadia, tourism and related technology and services.

“The Task Force successfully brought together Western Australia and East Java government
resources and the collaboration and support of the East Java Football Association, Football West,
Perth Glory FC, Persik Kediri FC and Deltras Sidoarjo FC, to make this major sports event a reality,” said Martin Newbery, Regional Director of the WA Trade Office in Indonesia.

"With Australian soccer part of Asia, and Indonesia probably the most soccer-loving country in Asia, we have a wonderful opportunity for combining health, sport and business with developing goodwill with our neighbours,"

“Many sister-state relationships like this often do not appear to have much impact on peoples’ lives, but the East Java-Western Australia agreement has proven different. The sorts of practical cooperation and exchanges that have taken place under the WA-East Java relationship have helped to promote Australia’s overall relationship with Indonesia in a definable way.

“In addition to a cultural exchanges that have taken place under this agreement, first signed in
Surabaya in 1990, there have also been a number of successful development projects including
renewable energy projects and efforts to provide solar energy-driven water for poor villages in the province.

“Sport is something that is close to the hearts of people in WA and East Java but up until now there had not been any activity in this area. I can think of no better way of bringing Australians and Indonesians together than sport where a common language, interest and enthusiasm brings people together and develops friendships and contacts at the personal level. This extends into business to business relationships.

"Western Australia is one of the world's great professional football centres," Mr Newbery added.
"With two Australian Football League clubs, a team in the Rugby Super 14 competition and Perth Glory FC in the A-League, the sports passion of our State's 2 million residents has endowed it with second-to-none facilities and expertise in sports administration, marketing, medicine, fitness, nutrition, junior development, coaching, refereeing, stadium infrastructure and pitch technology and, of course, football technical skills.

“Indonesian national teams have travelled to Perth for fine tuning before major international
tournaments but through this new initiative, Western Australian sports organisations, institutes,
educational institutions and businesses may contribute directly to East Java's sports development, from the grassroots upwards."

East Java U23 will host WA State in the inaugural Western Australia – East Java Football Friendship Cup at Gelora Deltras Sidoarjo Stadium, East Java on Wednesday evening, 25 June (KO. 7.00 PM).

Australian and Indonesian celebrities will participate in the opening ceremony and to present the
Friendship Cup to the winning team and commemorative medallions to all participating players and

The quality and strength of the WA State team is not be underestimated. Prior to departing for
Indonesia, WA State beat Perth Glory, Western Australia’s sole franchise in the national professional competition, the Hyundai A league, 3-2 in an entertaining friendly at Perth’s E&D Litis Stadium.

WA State was recently re-formed by Football West, which administers all aspects of football in
Western Australia across semi-professional, amateur men, women, youth, juniors, referees, coaches, officials and volunteers. Football West is affiliated to Football Federation Australia and is funded through membership and club affiliation fees, government grants and corporate sponsorship.
The popularity of football at a grass roots level throughout Australia is unsurpassed and in Western Australia there are more than 34,000 registered participants.

“The re-establishment of the men’s WA State team is a great boost for the local game,” Garry
Chandler, the CEO of Football West said. “The match in Indonesia will not only be an incredible
experience for the squad against quality international opposition, but will also provide us with a
great opportunity to further develop our footballing relationships in the region. I know I speak on behalf of the entire football family here in WA, in wishing the boys in the black and yellow, the very best of luck, “

During its visit, WA State will conduct a clinic for selected young players at Gelora Deltras Sidoarjo Stadium and will also present a paper on youth programs at the Western Australia - East Java Sports Development Seminar.

WA State coach Robbie Dunn, played 36 times for Australia’s Socceroos as a defender, scoring on
five occasions. He was a part of the Australian team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 1986
World Cup Qualifiers. He is currently assistant coach at Perth Glory FC.
WA State’s players are selected from the top semi-professionals of the Western Australia Premier League and First Division. All of the players are part-time and hold down full time employment or are studying. Several of the players picked to represent WA State in its first international encounter for five years recently travelled with the Perth Glory its recent tour to China. There the coaches cast their eye over them with a view to offering them full time contracts with Perth Glory.
With at least one Perth Glory contract still available for a local player for the upcoming 2008/09, WA State’s showdown in East Java will provide a further opportunity for skills to be displayed. Players expected to stand-out in the clash are Marc Anthony, Jeff Bright and Andrija Jukic.
The full WA Squad is Neil Young (Sorrento), Jeff Bright (Mandurah), Keith Brown (Mandurah), Andy Brown (Mandurah), John Migas (Floreat), Dean Evans (Stirling), Mark Anthony (Stirling) Johnny Mirco (Cockburn), Paul Harvey (Canning), Andrija Jukic (Perth), Ian McMurray (ECU Joondalup), Scott Bulloch (ECU Joondalup), Thomas Amphlett (ECU Joondalup), Garin Collins (Floreat) and Kenny Ftynogiannis (Balcatta).

East Java U23
Preparing itself for the football finals of the Indonesian National Games (PON XVII Samarinda 2008) in July, the elite East Java U23 team is cautious of the strength of the part-time players of WA State.

“All Australians are very competitive and tough and some of our players are not yet at the
professional level,” said Haruna Soemitro, chairman of the Football Association of East Java (PSSI JATIM). “However, we are building a dream team of youth players who we expect will make a big impact for many years to come.”

Unlike previous U23 football squads representing East Java at the National Games, only amateurs were brought together during the current two year youth development process. The team was included for the first time in the East Java Governor’s Cup (May 2008) and was competitive against the region’s leading professional and semi-pro clubs.

Australian young and talented singer, the runner-up Australian Idol 2006, Jessica Mauboy, will open her first ever tour of Indonesia by singing the Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, at the opening of the Western Australia – East Java Football friendship Cup in Sidoarjo, East Java on Wednesday evening, 25 June.

With her father’s Indonesian (Kupang, NTT) and mother’s Australian (Aboriginal-English-Native
American) family backgrounds, Darwin-born Jessica is both a perfect cultural ambassador for
Australia and a living example of the strong cultural and people-to-people ties between Australia
and Indonesia.
Jessica will also perform at the Plaza Semanggi (Thursday 26 June) and on the hugely
popular Indonesian Idol 2008 (with the Idol Divo group of Delon, Judika, Mike and Lucky). Jessica is very excited about her tour and is looking forward to entertaining Indonesian music lovers with songs from her 2007 album ‘The Journey’.
Jessica’s visit is funded under the Australian Government’s IN2OZ: Creative Australia program of cultural diplomacy activities in Indonesia throughout 2008. More information on IN2OZ is available at
The Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya, will be sung by Ervyl Revylda, East Java’s Surabaya born rising pop singer and television and film actress. She has receive more than 30 awards from singing contest in Asia, Australia and America and will soon release her fifth album, ‘Aku Yang Baru’.
Ervyl won national applause as the solo singer of the Opening Ceremony of the Indonesian National Games (PON) in 2000 in East Java when she performed the famous song ‘Semarak Sukses PON 2000’.

The Western Australia Trade Office, in association with the Provincial Government of East Java, is hosting the first joint Sports Development Seminar at the Sheraton Surabaya Hotel on Thursday 26 June. The 100+ by-invitation delegates will represent East Java’s provincial and local government youth and sports officials, pro and semi-pro football clubs and the regional associations and leagues of the Football Association of East Java (PSSI JATIM).

Football West will deliver a keynote presentation on Australia’s football youth development
programs covering issues such as Investing early in youth through grassroots programs, player
registration and insurance, training of coaches and referees, strengthening the club system, working with state and local governments, community infrastructure and participation and pathways to the men’s Socceroos and women’s Matildas national representative teams.
Perth Glory FC will address the growth of the A-League and its new national youth league, the Perth Glory Strategy in a competitive professional sports environment, building memberships, working with Football West, and gaining competitive edge from Sports Science, Sports Medicine, Sports Psychology.

The Western Australia Department of Sport & Recreation will discuss strategic sports planning on the state/province and local government levels. Other topics include sports-sector university and TAFE training and WA capacity in sports sciences.

On Sunday evening, 29 June, Perth Glory will meet Indonesian Super League club Persik Kediri at its home ground. Persik were 2006 national champions and played Sydney FC in the Asian Champions League in 2007. Due to Kediri’s distance from an international airport the club can’t play its ACL games at home (it played against Sydney FC in Solo, 500 km away) so the Perth Glory visit will overflow the ground.
On Friday evening, 4 July, Perth Glory will return from the mountains to play Indonesian Super
League club Deltras Sidoarjo at their impressive stadium, not so far from the Lapindo mud volcano, a natural disaster still swallowing up homes and factories.
Both of Perth Glory’s games will be televised nationally, thereby not only building their brand
amongst East Java’s 39 million football fanatics but also Indonesia’s other 200 million soccer lovers.

Perth Glory
Since the club’s inception in 1996, Perth Glory has been synonymous with football success in
Australia – both on and off the pitch. A loyal and passionate fan base coupled with strong corporate support have been the hallmarks of this two times championship winning club.

Perth Glory’s introduction into the National Soccer League during the 1996/97 season immediately brought a new professionalism to the sport and captured the imagination of WA sports fans. In 2005/06 the National Soccer League (NSL) was replaced by the Hyundai A-League. Perth Glory is one of only two clubs in the Hyundai A-League to have a history prior to the start of the new national competition.
In April 2007, Perth Glory was taken over by a group of three local businessmen. The club’s new owners have overseen a significant increase in the areas of sponsorship and corporate hospitality during the 2007/08 season plus the club had more members than it has had in its history.
Perth Glory recognises Western Australia’s increasing links to Asia and its own regional strategy has seen it play friendlies in Malaysia in 2007, China in March 2008 and now in Indonesia.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to promote Perth Glory’s brand into East Java and
continue to strengthen the relationship between Western Australia and the province through
football,” Scott Gooch, Chief Executive Officer, Perth Glory FC said. "“Our players will no doubt
benefit from the competition they’ll face in East Java while we also foresee a great deal of
opportunities from an overall club perspective going forward.”
The future success of Perth Glory looks bright as new coach Dave Mitchell stamps his authority on a playing squad that boasts an enviable crop of young players. Dave had a wonderful career as a player including 44 Socceroos caps and experience at the highest levels in Europe including Glasgow Rangers, Chelsea and Feyenoord. The 45 year old also boasts an impressive coaching resume with a host of clubs in Australia and also overseas including a Grand Final appearance with Sydney United in 1999.

“Our matches in East Java will form an important component of our pre-season program and we’re expecting some very tough competition,” Dave warned.
Key players
Frank Jurić: Perth Glory has bolstered its goal keeping stocks with the prized signature of Australian international ‘keeper Frank Jurić for the next 2 years. The twice capped Socceroo brings to Perth a wealth of experience from the highest levels in Europe where he has spent the past decade with German Bundesliga clubs Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover 96. Jurić began his professional career with the Melbourne Knights in the National Soccer League where he won two league titles before departing our shores to establish a long career in the German top flight. During his spell at Bayer Leverkusen he twice lined up for the club in their UEFA Champions League campaign against Greek power club Olympiacos and English giants Manchester United. Jurić has represented Australia at Under 20’s & 23’s level, including the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, while also achieving two senior caps for his country.

Jamie Harnwell: Perth native Harnwell first joined Glory in 1998 from local outfit Sorrento and
quickly cemented himself in the starting eleven and earned a reputation as a strong,
uncompromising defender with a penchant for scoring important goals. After a brief stint in England in 2003, Harnwell resumed his career with the Glory. He made the switch up front in mid 2006/07 and sensationally netted a hat-trick against NZ Knights while also capturing the club's Golden Boot Award with 7 goals. Awarded the 'Supporters Player of the Year 2006/07' the popular player will continue to ply his trade in attack this season.

Jamie CoyneL Born in Sydney and raised in Perth, Jamie began his professional football development with English side West Ham United. He joined Perth Glory for the 2002/03 season after a couple of years in the WA State League where he was named Player of the Year in 2002. Jamie’s versatility is a key weapon and is comfortable in most positions across the defence or midfield. He won a NSL Championship with Perth in 2003/04 before heading to Europe for a season with Dutch club ADO Den Hagg. Jamie returned to Perth for the start of the Hyundai A-League and has been a consistent contributor since that time. He was the club’s goal assists leader in 2005/06 and is a key member of Glory's defensive set-up.

Eugene DadiL Dadi brings experience and attacking flair to the Perth Glory squad in season 2008/09. The Ivory Coast striker first trialed with the club in November 2007 but was denied an opportunity to join Perth when his previous club failed to release him during the transfer window. He took part in the Glory's post-season tour of China and impressed coaching staff with his awareness in front of goal. Dadi has enjoyed a successful career in Europe including spells with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen and English outfits Nottingham Forrest and Tranmere Rovers.

Hayden Foxe: One of the Glory's big 2007 signings, Hayden has a prestigious albeit injury-restricted career since being signed by Dutch giants Ajax in 1997. The big central defender has had stints in the top divisions of Germany, Japan, Belgium and England and represented Australia at every level. Hayden has 15 Senior Caps (Socceroos) to his name and will be an instrumental figure in the Glory’s defence this season.

David Tarka: David is a talented West Australian defender who has overcome several years of
frustrating injuries to reclaim his mantle of one of the country’s most accomplished performers. He scooped the pool at Perth’s 2006/07 end of season award presentations where he picked up his first ‘Most Glorious Player’ award and also took home the ‘Best Young Player’ and the “Players’ Player of the Year’ gongs. David first joined Perth Glory from the Australian Institute of Sport in 2001. He quickly established himself in the first team and was part of the club’s 2002/03 NSL Championship winning team. A tall, elegant defender whose reading of the game defies his years, Tarka quickly became a target of international clubs and he joined English outfit Nottingham Forest in 2003. Injuries curtailed his impact at Forrest and he jumped at the chance to return to Perth in 2005 for the new Hyundai A-League competition. David will lead the defence this season and will be a key figure in the club’s push into the finals. Tarka spent all of 2007/08 on the bench, after badly tearing his hamstring ten minutes into the first game of the season, but is now fully fit and ready to get back to the game.

The full Perth Glory squad is: GK: Jason Petkovic and Frank Juric. Defenders: David Tarka, Mark Lee,
Jamie Coyne, Dino Djulbic, James Downey, Hayden Foxe and Hayden Doyle. Midfielders: Nicola Rizzo,
Josip Magdic, Adriano Pellegrino and Naum Sekulovski. Strikers: Jamie Harnwell, James Robinson,
Adrian Trinidad and Eugene Dadi.
During its visit, Perth Glory will a conduct clinic for selected young players at Brawaijaya Stadium in Kediri and will also present a paper on professional club development at the Western Australia - East Java Sports Development Seminar.

The convenor of the Western Australian – East Java Football Taskforce believes the first WA-East Java Friendship Cup, Sports Development Seminar and the friendly tour by Perth Glory will ignite sports cooperation between Indonesia and Australia.
“Indonesians are truly passionate about football and want to see their national teams, clubs and
youth develop and win international respect. Neighbouring Australia offers generations of
experience in elite sporting performances fuelled by family and community initiative and
government commitment. ” said Geoffrey Gold, CEO of Sports Dynamics Asia, an Australian-Asian sports development firm with experience in regional development in Indonesia.

”The goodwill generated by the serious but friendly football exchanges such as these events will also benefit social, security and business opportunities between the countries.
“And, with the new off-season alignment of Australia’s A-League and Indonesia’s Super League, we can also expect that challenges between the senior clubs will expand into popular annual events and, perhaps, major tournaments. “Western Australia and East Java will have lead the way.”


Super Reds Lose Again

After losing the League Cup last week the Super Reds lost only their second SLeague game of the season when they fell 3-2 last night to Albirex Niigata. Victory would have put the Koreans back on top.

Do these successive defeats mean the Reds exciting season is about to implode or can they recover?

Watch this space lah!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Thailand v Japan

Bit late for an article but some images attached to Asian Football Pictures. I'll add more when I get time for PS.


Phnom Penh Empire Strikers Moves to KTB

Krung Thai Bank have signed Phnom Penh Empire's young Nigerian striker Ajayi Gdenga Samuel for $8,000.

Samuel also attracted interest from teams in Singapore and Vietnam. He has been with PPE for three years after learning his trade in an Nigerian academy.

PPE also report there has been interest in Chan Rithy and Keo Sokngom.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Perth Glory Tour East Java

Dates can be found here. PDF required.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Malaysia Cup

Last night saw the first round of games in the Malaysia Cup.

Terengganu v Selangor 1-1
Melaka v Negeri Sembilan 0-1
Sarawak v Kelantan 3-1
Johor v KL 3-1
Sabah v Penang 1-3
Kedah v PDRM 1-1
Perak v Perlis 1-1
Johor PBT v Pahang 0-2
MyTeam v ATM 2-0

The next round of fixtures will be 24 June.

Last season the Malaysia Cup was won by Kedah.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Indonesia v Vietnam 1-0

You must know the drill by know.

Indonesia have possession. Fail to convert chances. Bambang scores.

The same as last week against Malaysia, against goal against Yemen, none against Dortmund, one over two games against Syria.

But think positive! I was there when they scored three in a single game!

Not alot has changed since that night 12 months ago and that should be a worry. Or should it? Nothing much changes with England does it?

International football sucks!


Super Reds Half Way

Last night Super Reds won their League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg 1-0 at Toa Payoh against Balestier Khalsa.

Second leg is on Friday as these two clubs fight for the right to play either Young Lions or Gombak United in next week's final.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bulls Batter Lions

Daft headline!

Last night in the League CupSemi Final 1st Leg Gombak United beat the Young Lions 4-1 thanks to braces from Kingsley Njoku and Ojimi Gabriel Obatola.

Firdaus Idros netted a last gasp consolation for the Young Lions.

The second leg is at Jalan Besar on Thursday.

If Gombak do hold on to their lead they will face either Super Reds or Balestier Khalsa in the Final to be held next Monday.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Singapore League Cup

The big three of Tampines, SAF and Home meekly surrended their League Cup ambitions at the earliest opportunity and with holders Woodlands Wellington already eliminated we are looking at a new name on the two year old trophy

Home United v Gombak United 0-1 (Gombak win 2-1 on aggregate)
Tampines Rovers v Young Lions 2-3 (Young Lions go through 3-3 on away goals)
Balestier Khalsa v SAFFC 2-1 (Balestier win 5-1 on aggregate)
Albirex Niigata v Super Reds 1-3 (Super Reds win 6-1 on aggregate)

The draw for the next round has been made:

09/06 Gombak United v Young Lions
10/06 Balestier Khalsa v Super Reds
12/06 Young Lions v Gombak United
13/06 Super Reds v Balestier Khalsa



Bahrain v Thailand 1-1
Uzbekistan v Singapore 1-0

A credible draw for the Thais in the gulf while the Singapore result was little more than a face saving exercise after the 7-3 drubbing last Monday.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Malaysian Squad v Indonesia 1-1

Malaysia arrived in Surabaya yesterday, on Air Asia the cheapskates, in preparation for tomorrows friendly against Indonesia.

Their squad is:

Goalkeepers: Helmi Eliza Elias (Kedah), Badrulzaman Abdul Halim (PKNS Selangor)

Defenders: Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (Pahang), S. Subramaniam (Perak), Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak (Negeri Sembilan), Daudsu Jamaluddin (Johor FC), Chun Keng Hong (Pulau Pinang), Irwan Fadzli Idrus, Juzaili Samion (UPB-MyTeam)

Midfield: Shukor Adan, Amirulhadi Zainal, Indra Putra Mahayuddin (Selangor), Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (Kedah), K Soley (Johor FC), Hardi Jaafar (Perak), Azi Shahril Azmi (Perlis)

Forwards: Safee Sali (Selangor), Nizaruddin Yusof (PDRM), Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak (Negeri Sembilan), Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli (Selangor)

They can expect a passionate atmosphere inside the November 10 stadium in Surabaya given that the city, the second largest in Indonesia, is famous for its bonek or, shall we say, enthusiastic fans.

There is also some political tensions between the countries that have shared languages, religions and heritage. But hey! Let's hope a few Malaysian fans come over for it and the fans can discuss the relative merits of Indonesia Bisa and Malaysia Boleh!

UPDATE - only saw 10 minutes before going out so no comments about the game


Zah Rahman World Cup Goal

Stephen Mennoh in WCQ action for Liberia. Image from Liberian Soccer

Sriwijaya's midfield dynamo Zah Rahman is currently with the Liberian national team as they strive for a World Cup place.
Alongside him are Murphy, now of Persema I believe, James Koko Lomel, Esiah Benson and Stephen Mennoh.
According to reports a couple of weeks ago James Debbah was due to sign with Pelita Jaya but returned to Liberia. The former Olympic Lyon striker then returned to Indonesia looking for another club.
In their first game against Gambia they drew 1-1 but the match was overshadowed when 10 people died.
On Friday Liberia travel to Algeria for their next WCQ before playing Senegal a week later.


A Genuine Shock

In last night's League Cup, Balestier Khalsa became the first team to win at the Warriors Arena since colour TV was introduced after they beat SAF 3-0.

Yep, 3-0!

Of course SAF were without the likes of Duric and Wilkinson, preparing in Tashkent for Saturday's WCQ but this result will stll send shock waves through the game in Singapore.

Doubt the media were watching though...

Mba Vitus Onyekachi 3', Faizal Amir 20', and Paul Bekombo 67' did the damage. It will be remembered Khalsa also went to Home United earlier in the season and beat them 2-1 while also drawing 0-0 against fellow strugglers Sengkang Punggol.

In the other game last night Super Reds beat Albirex Niigata 3-0 at Yishun Stadium with the wonderfully named Oh Dog Yi getting the first.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Singapore Football Media

Yeah I know. It's in there with George W Bush's knowledge of the world map, my right foot and Jose Mourinho's Humity for Dummies but they really did seem to take great delight in seeing Singapore lose on Monday against Uzbekistan.

Bear in mind the typical coverage of the SLeague in the printed press wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp. Bear in mind their fawning over the English game.

It was clear they would plunge the knife into Singapore football; they love nothing better than to mock what's available in their own backyard condescendingly while gagging for their free tickets when the big games come around.

The contempt shown by the mainstream media to the game in Singapore should be replied with in kind. Their comments following 3-7 are beneath contempt especially as most of them wouldn't know a Duric from a Ridwan.

They can, and will, gloat. They will also continue to ignore the game domestically and instead saturate a generation of football fans with bullshit about the wags and wiches of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

That's fine. It creates a vacuum and nature abhors vacuums so they fill them. Kallang Roar, Bola Sepako. People writing about something they love. When you write about something you feel passionately the message becomes a lot starker.

I'll be back in Singapore in a few weeks time. You can bet there'll be some empty seats in the press boxes...


Grim Days for ASEAN Football?

Following on from Thailand and Singapore's defeats in the World Cup I get all maudlin in my latest ESPN column!


Malaysia Big Themselves Up

Friday sees Indonesia take on Malaysia in an international friendly in Surabaya with Malaysian striker Safee Sali talking up his team's chances.

The Kajang-born hitman scored against the Indonesians in a SEA Games warm-up match at the Cheras Stadium last year but was frustrated that Malaysia were held 1-1.

“That result frustrated me as when I score for Malaysia, I want to win.

“I also could have scored more goals in that game,” Safee said.

“Now, I want to score as many as I can and make sure we win this time.”

Safee is undoubtedly one of the country’s leading marksmen. He poached 11 goals for Super League outfit Selangor this season — just two behind local top scorer Khalid Jamlus. Safee was also on fire in the recent Intercontinental Cup, scoring all of Malaysia’s three goals in the tournament.

He expects a good result in Surabaya.“We have a good blend of youth and experience in the team and our preparations have been great,” Safee added.

We shall see, Safee.

Meanwhile it remains to be seen just how much Indonesia can take from a team they play regularly enough. Uzbekistan through down the challenge on Monday against Singapore in their 7-3 and it would surely be in the Garuda's interest to be playing nations of that ilk rather than the same old faces ad infinitum?

Bits of this copied from


Persita Given Green Light

Persita Tangerang have been given permission to use Jaluk Harapat Stadium in Soreang for the new Super Liga season next month. They are hoping, however, to use Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta of the necessary repairs can be finished in time given the lengthy distance to Soreang, about three and a half hours on a good day,

PSMS face decision day today. They must have arranged a stadium or they face expulsion from the Liga. Runners up in last seasons final against Sriwijaya, PSMS are one of Indonesia's more historic clubs but the FA are showing them little sympathy. They must meet the required standard or they will be gone.


Impressive Persik

Persik Kediri won the pre season East Java Governor's Cup for a record 4th time rattling home 23 goals in the process. They beat Arema 2-1 in the final played in Sidoarjo.

Yesterday afternoon Persib Bandung beat Sriwijaya 1-0 in a friendly at Siliwangi Stadium.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


League Cup

Singapore gets back to normal after their defeat last night to Uzbekistan with a couple of League Cup games.

Gombak United v Home United 1-1
Young Lions v Tampines Rovers 0-1

28,000 fans went to the National Stadium - I wonder how many of them will head to Jurong West or Jalan Besar tonight?


Malaysia Cup

Group A
Terengganu v Selangor
Melaka v Negeri Sembilan
Sarawak v Kelantan

Group B
Kedah v PDRM
Sabah v Penang
Johor v KL

Group C
Perak v Perlis
Johor PBT v Pahang
UPB MyTeam v ATM

These first fixtures take place on 11th June


Thais Over & Out

Thailand lost last night at home to Bahrain 2-3, their third successive defeat, to end their World Cup dreams.

Perhaps Thaksin can come in and throw money at the Thai FA!

Perhaps not!


Singapore's World Cup Dreams Dashed

Uzbekistan gave Singapore a footballing lesson last night at the National Stadium and merely emphasised the yawning gulf that exists between the game in South East Asia and the rest of the region.

Trips to Saudi and Uzbekistan on the horizon mean the Lions don't just have a mountain to climb. They will also need a few miracles and a bagful of goals.

Singapore: Aleksandar Duric 16', Fahrudin Mustafic 31', John Wilkinson 73'
Uzbekistan: Timur Kapadze 10', Victor Karpenko 21', Server Djeparov 34', 44 Vitaliy Denisov 42', Aziz Ibragimov 62', Maksim Shatskikh 88'

There is of course no shame in being outclassed. The worry is a local media that doesn't give two hoots about the domestic game will go to town with gleeful headlines about the 'sorry state' of the game in Singapore while ignoring the strengths of the SLeague and the performances of SAF and Home in the AFC Cup.

Singapore may be the best ASEAN has to offer but as far as FIFA are concerned they are ranked 128th. The Uzbeks are 59th!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Persitara in Crisis?

With Lebak Bulus not being approved for the Super Liga and the players not being paid it is hardly the ideal preparation for the new season. On the field they had been gelling nicely with victories over Persita and Semen Padang but it is what is happening off the field that will be of the most concern to new coach Richard Azreg.

Come July will the team from North Jakarta being lining up for the season's start in the Super or the Premier Liga?

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Singapore League Cup Results

These are results from the Preliminary Round

Dalian Shide v Albirex Niigata 0-1
Woodlands v Young Lions 3-3 (Lions 5-4 on pens)
Super Reds v Senggkang Punggol 3-0
Geylang v Balestier Khalsa 1-2

Woodlands Wellington last a cracking game on penalties after three goals in the last minute took the game to extra time. This means we will have a new name on the trophy, Woodlands having won the inaurgural trophy last season.

The Quarter Final draw is

Home United v Gombak United
Young Lions v Tampines Rovers
SAF v Balestier Khalsa
Super Reds v Albirex Niigata

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