Thursday, July 23, 2009


Bridging the culture gap

With Thai striker Teerathep Winothai returning from his spell with Belgian side to play for Muang Thong United in the second half of the Thai Premier League the question remains. Who will be the first south east Asian player to successfully make a career in Europe.

Fandi Ahmad (Singaporean) - was offered a chance with Ajax but was persuaded to move somewhere closer to home, NIAC Mitra in Surabaya, by his family. Later on had spells with Groningen in the Netherlands where he is still fondly remembered

Bambang Pamungkas (Indonesia) - spent one season with EHC Norad, a team from the Dutch nether regions but soon returned home

Noh Alam Shah (Singapore) - had trials with Notts County and Skonto Riga (Latvia) and regrets he never had the chance to play there

Teerathep Winothai (Thailand) - after six months with Belgian side Lierse (6 games, 1 goal) he has returned to Thailand. Had spells with Crystal Palace as a youngster

Suree Sukkha, Kiatprawut Saivaew, Teerasil Dangda (Thailand) - went to Manchester City when Thaksin Shinawatra owned the club but never played in the first team

Lionel Lewis (Singapore) - had trials with Manchester City and Grasshoppers in Switzerland

Irvin Museng (Indonesia) - spent some time on Ajax's books but think I read somewhere he was now in Makassar. Still only 16.

So who's it gonna be? Who will cross the linguistic, cultural divide and make their mark on Europe like Park ji Sung has? Could it be Hariss Harun, now with the Young Lions? Or is there a second chance for Teerathep?

The problem really lies upon the players in Southeast Asia might find it all too easy back at home as compared to let's say Africans.

Generally across Asia, the number of East and West Asian (not counting Aussies) making it in Europe is not a astronomical figure with those few that made it truly are the top tier of Asian players who certainly had teh culture shock in Europe and as an Asian myself are less receptive to embrace the change.

Of course European clubs are less patient with the players themselves thus many were released prematurely.
It would be easier to have Asian players who were born and bred in Europe and ply their trade there as we hoped to snag them before their adoptive country would

@ fishoutofwaterspfc

You forgot one asean player that also played in Europe and hes from Indonesia, one of Indonesia best if not the best...

Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto

He played for Sampdoria, he was also on tour with Sampdoria in Asia....after Sampdoria, he played for Lucerne switzerland..

Kurnia Sandy ex Arema GK also played for Sampdoria...he was the 1st asean player being listed in Serie A...

Dave Semarang now in HK
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