Monday, February 10, 2014


Persiba Bantul's Misfiring Strikers

They have been spoilt down Bantul way in recent seasons.

Back in 2011/2012, they had Fortune Udo rattling in the goals for fun. 34 goals, to be precise, in 26 games. Form that earned him not a move to one of Indonesia's big clubs but to Binh Duong in Vietnam.

Then of course there was Ezequial Gonzales. The long-locked (!) Argentine striker spent a pretty impressive seven years with the Paserbumi, netting 54 goals in 120 games.

Now competing in the Indonesia Super League for the first time in their history, Persiba Bantul, not to be confused with Persiba Balikpapan, have played two games and managed just one goal.

But a look at their striking options this campaign suggests goals should be just around the corner.

Claude Parfait Ngon Djam, catch an old interview I did with him while he was at Persebaya on Jakarta Casual TV, was part of the Cameroon side that competed in the 2003 African Cup of Nations, he was in the same squad as Rigobert Song, Pierre Njanka and Samuel E'to!

Since arriving in Indonesia he has played for Sriwijaya, Persebaya, Persema, Persidafon, Persika and now has arrived in Bantul.

Alongside the Cameroonian is another player with a pedigree. Emile Mbamba, also a Cameroon player, has lined up for Viitesse Arnhem, Macaabi Tel Aviv, Vitoria Setubal, Daegu FC and Potros Neza.

His first stint in Indonesia came in 2007/2008 when he netted 15 goals in 21 games for Arema in a campaign that was cut short by frequent suspensions.

He returned in 2011 when he had a short spell with Bontang, scoring eight in 13 games. He moved back to Malang with Persema where he managed 10 in 18 before last season playing in Divisi Utama for Persepar, he scored an impressive 16 in 21 games.

With Indonesian striker M Isnaini, who formed a lethal partnership with Herman Dzumafo at PSPS, Persiba certainly have plenty in their arsenal to score goals.

I guess the question is, where will the supply come from?

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Mbamba is not such a special striker even for Indonesian standards. He was in Premier League last season (not Utama) with Persepar, saw a couple of matches during the "mother of all fixed matches" playoffs (that parody anyway) and he looked not fit at all, quite slow and facing amateur sides.
I don't know how come Persiba Bantul managed to get the verification to compete in ISL (nor Persijap Jepara) two clubs that had big issues with money during whole last year, had both a couple of walkovers while teams that finished above them (both in "regular season and the playoffs") like Pro Duta and Persepar didn't meet the criteria. Pro Duta seemed to be quite good if they had kept their players, coach and new transfers (Spaso was among them).
A bit off topic Dzumafo is quite close to sign a contract with Persijap, the Heskey of South East Asia!!!
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