Wednesday, April 22, 2009


PSMS & the AFC Cup

Obviously congratulations are in order to PSMS as they have successfully navigated their way through the group stage of the AFC Cup but what does this say about the standard of football in some of our neighbouring countries?

The Medan side ended the last domestic season runner's up to Sriwijaya but back then they boasted a side brimming with quality. The likes of Gustavo Chena and James Koko Lommel were ably backed by home grown talent in Markus Horison and Boy Jati this was a side built around a strong defence.

This was also a side that nearly didn't start the ISL back in July 2008 as doubts hung over where they would play their home games and who would actually run the club.

With home games thus far played in far flung Jakarta, Bandung and Palembang, that PSMS are even playing is nothing short of a miracle. That they sit 15th just a single point clear of automatic relegation is less so.

The draw kings of Indonesia, their 25 league games have produced 12 draws and a miserly three wins so far.

They have had more coaches this season than Dierdrie has had rutting partners in four decades of Coronation Street.

They lack a potent hit man in the domestic game with no stiker netting more than six goals in the ISL while Rahmat Affandi has hit four in the Copa Indonesia.

And yet they have qualified from a group containing South China, VB Sports and Johor. The finest from Hong Kong, Maldives and Malaysia! What does that say about the standard of football in those countires?

One thing is for sure. PSMS, like other South East nations have found out recently, will find the Arab sides a different kettle of fish when they come head to head in the later rounds. If they make it any further.

Of course there is nothing they can do about the quality of oppositon or lack thereof. All PSMS can do is beat what's put in front of them and that is what they have been doing. At least the AFC Cup run has seen cash flowing into the club and if it is invested wisely, ie on players and stadium improvements, then perhaps the future maybe a bit brighter for the side from North Sumatra.

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