Saturday, December 28, 2013


Jakarta Casual Awards 2013

Hi there and welcome to this year's Jakarta Casual Awards. You know, what, as we approach this traditional end of year thingy, if you knew how many emails I received about these here would wonder why I bother! But I do so there...

For those with short memories, here are last year's awards in all their unadulterated glory.

Anyways, without further ado let us walk down the rabbit shit covered rags to the plastic chair I use to announce these turtally unheralded wotsits.


The last four years, in fact the first four years, have seen this award shared by Persis' Pasoepati and fans from Singapore. Any change this year? Well, one can't help but be impressed by the supporters of Suphanburi who have come from nowhere, literally, to give their team the second best average crowd in the country. Until you realise the club owners are used to getting numbers out...usually for elections!

Instead, I have decided this year's award will, for the first time be shared. Persib are a phenomenon on a par with Newcastle United. They represent a language, a culture, a state. They are single minded in their support for their team and they have this rascally nature that appeals to me.

Sharing the title with them are the fans of Persija and for different reasons. Despite the obstacles put in their way, not least the fact they must play so many 'home' games far from Jakarta, you still find a hardy bunch of Jakmania making the journey to cheer their team on.

2013 Persib/Persija
2012 Pasoepati
2011 Lions All The Way
2010 Pasoepati
2009 Woodlands Wellington


I have a lot of time for football in Singapore. I have met some great people there and learnt a damned site more about the country than had I just joined the cupcakes strolling up and down Orchard with their smartphones in one hand and credit card in the other.

There has been some groundbreaking stuff coming out from fans there and lets face it, given the apathy most of the population has towards the local game, anything would break the ground.

Axross the Line though is a man after my own beer gut. Not content with just sitting on his arse writing about the SEA Games he jumped on the cheapest bus he could find and hightailed it to Myanmar himself.

2013 Axross The Line
2012 Twitter
2011 Thai Football Message Board
2010 Pusam FC
2009 Ongisnade


FIFA, for their criminal neglect of the game in this region, deserve this award annually but everytime I think about them I get mental images of slithering serpents.  Luckily there is plenty of football stuff going on worthy of mention. For example in Malaysia where people have started throwing serious money at some clubs. But at the end of the day, Brian, it gets dark and there can only be one winner so I am plumping for the Indonesia U19s who not only won the AFF U19s, they went on to win their AFC U19 group to reach the next stage.

A massive boost in confidence for the game in Indonesia, the danger is the players start to believe they have made it and start being Billy Big Bollocks instead of working hard to better themselves. That is their choice and only hindsight can tell us but for now we can savour Indonesian triumphs, admittedly on home soil, for a change.

2013 Indonesia U19
2012 FIFA
2011 Liga Primer Indonesia
2010 Buriram PEA
2009 Noh Alam Shah signing for Arema


An interesting one this. Persipura runaway with the Indonesia Super League, it is easy to take them for granted but they were a consitstently good team in 2013. And what about LionsXII, written off by so many even before a ball was kicked, the usual thing there. But I am going for Tampines Rovers. They change coaches more often than Chelsea yet they still win the league with a team that seems to never age.

2013 Tampines Rovers
2012 Sriwijaya
2011 Buriram PEA
2010 Etoile
2009 Selangor


In any normal year, Australian Darren Stewart, who led Balestier Khalsa to their first ever trophy only to be given the tick tack in return, would be in with a good chance of this title alongside Sundramurthy with LionsXII and Jacksen F Tiago for his consistency with Persipura.  And what about Indra Sjafri who performed wonders with Indonesia U19.

But I am plumping for Jacksen who edges Indra on a couple of counts. The U19s success both came on home soil, I would like to see how they perform overseas in a different environment. And the other factor that swings the pendulum towards Jacksen? That consistency I mentioned before. 

2013Jacksen F Tiago (Persipura)
2012 Raddy Avramovic (Singapore)
2011 Ong Kim Swee (Malaysia Under 23)
2010 Rajagobal (Malaysia)
2009 Richard Bok (SAFFC)


Khairul Fahmi (Kelantan) -  Baihakki Khaizan (LionsX11), Safuwan Baharudin (LionsX11), David Pagbe (Semen Padang), Teerathon Bunmathan (Buriram United) - Norfahan (Kelantan), Hamkah Hamza (Mitra Kukar), Zah Rahan (Liberia) - Boas Solossa (Peripura), Djibril Coulibaly (Barito Putra), Sergio van Dijk (Persib)

Substitutes - Kawin Thammasatchan (Muang Thong United), Alfin Tuasalamony (Persebaya), Hariss Harun (LionsXII), Lancine Kone (Persisam), M Ridwan (Persib), Jozef Kaplan (Geylang International)


When you win a league in a foreign country and help your nation lift the region's biggest prize then you must be a special player.

2013 Hariss Harun (LionsX11)
2012 Izwan Mahbud (LionsX11)
2011 Khairul Fahmie (Kelantan)
2010 Frederic Mendy (Etoile)

2009 Kawin Thammasatchan (Muang Thong United)


This year's player of the year was a contender in 2012 but this year I think, he is a pretty clear winner. Highly rated as a youngster, it's fair to say he kind of lost his way a little and his move to Indonesia wasn't all that successful on the pitch. I add that qualifier deliberately. Since his return to his home land he  has been rejuvenated. I dunno what it is, perhaps he has slipped effortlessly into the role of elder statesman if you like but he has taken on a responsibility on the field that has helped his performances no end.

2013 Baihakki Khaizan (LionsX11)
2012 Keith Kayamba (Sriwijaya)
2011 Aleksander Duric (Tampines Rovers)
2010 Pierre Njanka (Arema)
2009 Greg Nwokolo (Persija)

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