Friday, September 05, 2014


Banten Revival

There was a time when the port of Banten on the north coast west of Jakarta, was the premier trading hub of South East Asia. Yep, even more so than Melaka or Singapore.

Cilegon United line up before their game with Pidie Jaya

Much has changed of course since then and today Banten is just another province in Indonesia suffering from a creaky infrastructure thanks to the heavy goods vehicles that transit on their way to and from Sumatra.

Even the football there has been long in the doldrums. But that could be changing.

Perserang fans at Cilegon for their game with Persikota
Division One, more a cup competition than a functioning league thanks to the size of the country and the spread of the teams, is down to the last six teams and two of them are from Banten; Perserang and Cilegon United.

Under Bambang Nurdiansyah, Cilegon have played some exciting football; I saw them brush aside Pidie Jaya in Sleman the other night with nonchalant ease and they look to have the quality to make the step up.

With Persita seemingly heading for relegation and Persikota struggling to make an impact in their Division One games there has been little to cheer for fans in Banten, many of who have a soft spot for Persib! But with the possibility of three teams in next seasons Divisi Utama that could change though of course the local constabulary may not be so keen!

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