Monday, April 06, 2015


Who Will Follow Persires?

I'll be honest with you. I had to google Rengat. It is between Pekanbaru and Jambi, an area I am totally unfamiliar with.

Anyways, Rengat has, or should I say had a football team and their name is Persires. I did see them play once, away to Persipasi at the old Patriot Stadium but beyond that the club has rarely crossed the radar. Which is a shame really but their recent past has been quite interesting if not in the slightest bit successful.

Fans in Rengat would have had a ready made local derby against Persih while the biggest club in the area would have been PSPS Pekanbaru. I wonder what the supporters do these days for football beyond play among themselves on a bit of patchy grass. They cant go see Persires any more, that's for sure. They were taken away years ago.

The tale is a familiar one in Indonesian football.

Back in 2011 Persires merged with Bali Dewata, a founder member of the breakaway Indonesia Premier League and the team that brought Ilija Spasojevic to Indonesia.

As a result of the merger the team became known as Persires Bali Dewata. For those who don't known the Persi/Perse you see at the beginning of most club names is an acronym meaning Football Association. So with the Bali merger the team was known as Rengat Football Association Bali Dewata. And they played in Bali.

What about the fans left behind in Rengat? We'll come to them later.

In 2013 Persires left the tropical island cliche paradise and moved to the north coast of Java, settling down in Cirebon, a nice seafaring town with a little bit of history attached to it. For 2013 they were known as Persires Cirebon.

What about the fans left behind in Rengat and Bali? We'll come to them later.

From Cirebon Persires moved again this time just down the road to Kuningan where they became known as Persires Kuningan.

What about the fans left behind in Rengat, Bali and Cirebon? We'll come to them later.

With the new Divisi Utama season to begin at the end of April Persires have been scouting around for a new home and after flirting with Wonogiri have settled upon Sukoharjo, a town in Central Java not too far from Solo. Their new name is Persires Sukoharjo.

What about the fans left behind in Rengat, Bali, Cirebon and Kuningan? We'll come to them later.

Pelita Jaya's travels have been well chronicled in this here blog but Persires in whatever carnation must run them pretty close for moves and we can be sure there will be another move in 2016.

But what's the point? What is their connection these days with Rengat and indeed why even keep the name when it seems clear they have nothing to do with the area anymore?

You will notice I have posed a few questions about the original fans of Persires but I have not answered them. I am not going to. I am merely following the pattern set by the club of ignoring them.

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