Thursday, July 19, 2012


Indonesians Finally Being Noticed

It's been a good while since any Indonesian played overseas. A few dipped their tootsies in the Malaysian league before all foreigners were banned from there but for an Indonesian to play in Malaysia is like an Englishman playing in Scotland. Yeah, the language differs a little but it's not great leap into the unknown.

I'm not talking about the players out there on various Bakrie projects in Uruguay (SAD) or Belgium (Christiantoko, Alam) or those who have done it themselves (Arthur Irawan) but players who are regulars in the local leagues.

Titus Bonai is apparently being keenly sought by Thai Premier League side BEC Tero. Now the TPL may not be the best in South East Asia as plugged by some but the top four or five teams can take care of themselves as Buriram United are showing in the AFC Champions League this season.

Muang Thong United are unbeaten this season as they try to regain the TPL title they feel is only on loan to those provincial upstarts from the North East who basically are one man's ego run wild. BEC Tero are also showing some consistency this season after missing out in the last few years.

BEC Tero are in a way everything that is wrong with football in the region. They are a corporate's idea of a football club. Their name is all corporate and they have shifted stadium as often as Pelita Jaya here in Indonesia.

Despite finding some success over the years crowds have remained low; football fans brought up on the likes of Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United on TV are not going to follow some corporate outfit just like that. (And yes, I am aware that many clubs in Europe and Latin America began life as works teams.)

Titus is another exciting player from the eastern province of Papua, the latest in a long line of explosive talent from those distant shores. He hit the headlines during the SEA Games last year, which Indonesia lost, and despite falling out with his club side he remains a highly sought after player; he guested for Sabah Select when they hosted Queens Park Rangers earlier in the week.

Another player being linked with a move overseas is Ahmad Bustomi. The combative midfielder, who has featured in the last two Jakarta Casual Team Of  The Year, turned out for Mitra Kukar last season and was, until the political bullshit drove Indonesian football close to ruin, a regular in the national team. Perhaps he realises a move overseas will not only raise his profile but also get him back in the merah putih?

Anyway a Japanese team are reportedly interested in him and a picture was recently posted on Twitter showing his passport complete with an entertainers visa for Japan. Another whose passport was also pictured was Hamkah Hamza!

Before anyone starts getting too excited, and seriously why would anyone wanna wet themselves over a grown up deciding to work overseas, consider a couple of players who looked at the idea and nixxed it.

Back in 2007 Erol Iba was wowing them in the AFC Champions League as part of an exciting Persik team. Sydney FC were interested but the move fell through because he was earning more in a small, provincial town miles from an airport than he would do in one of the most vibrant cities in the world!

More recently Bambang Pamungkas had trials with Wellington Phoenix but a combination of cold weather and less bucks put paid to that move!

I'm always certain that there's some of Indonesian players who have got the skill and talent to play abroad..
but those are still not enough to 'go international'..
they also need the mentality,, the will to adapt with new system, new environment,, including the culture, the language,, the food..
that is the aspect that Indonesian players don't have.. and I really hope that this sentence could end with "until now"..
well i know about bonai..but is it true about bustomi...?
spot on about the mentality
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