Thursday, January 21, 2010


Wanna know what makes Indonesian football special?

Arema were only formed in 1987 but in their short time on Indonesia's football map they have established themselves as one of the biggest names in the country. With a support to match.

The support hasn't always been angelic and despite what do gooders and dreamers might have you believe, whenever you have several thousand young lads together you are always going to have the potential for mischief.

Following your team on the road - as a supporter it don't get much better. I did it with the Arsenal and to a certain extent St George in the old NSL and the buzz of taking it into the enemy's camp is undescribable. You've either done it and you get it or you have never done it and you will never get it.

Arema's game against Persik the other day was switched to the more neutral venue of Lamongan over fears of violence had the game gone ahead in Kediri given the hatred that exists between the two sets of fans.

Having missed the away game at Persebaya because of a ban on away fans, Arema, buoyed by their heady start to the season and the impact of Singapore duo Noh Alam Shah, headed excitedly to Lamongan in droves.

Ongisnade reports 82 official buses made the journey. Plus those who made their own way. They helped swell the Surajaya Stadium to 12,000, one of the biggest crowds of the season. And what is believed to be the largest travelling support in ISL history.

Anybody hazard a guess at how many Arema fans made the journey? (I don't know, it's why I'm asking!)

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