Saturday, April 16, 2016


Villa 2000 Fans Face 5,000km Round Trip To Home Games

There is a wonderful almost casualness to football in South East Asia. The idea that you would form a team, call it something like, oh I don't know, United Plantations Berhad My Team for example or Projek Lebuhraya Usaha Sama and just expect fans to turn up borders on lunacy but it happens all too often. For the people behind these ideas I truly don't get their thinking. Is it just the perceived glamour of being associated with a football club that allows them to trample of decades of heritage around the world?

Indonesia of course takes things to another level altogether. I have written recently about Persiram merging with PS TNI; the former from an archipelago in Papua mixing with a military club with no fixed abode looking to make home in Bandung. Pelita Jaya...oh god, I'm not going through all that again.

Now we have Villa 2000. Based in Pamulang on the outskirts of Jakarta they used to play their Divisi Utama home games in Ciracas on another outskirt of Jakarta but as you can imagine from their name they never really forged an identity. Perhaps if they had called themselves Pamulang they could have tapped into that area but it never happened for whatever reason.

And it ain't going to happen now. Villa 2000 have new owners who will take the club lock, stock and smoking admin staff to Palu. Pamulang to Palu, now that would tax even the oldest of old hands. But fret not. Thanks to Google maps I can tell you a mere 2,500 kilometres lie between the two towns. Oh and a bloody large piece of water. And one hour. Flight times, if there are direct flights, are put at 2.5 hours. Put it this way. Even the most die hard of Villa 2000, assuming they had any, would struggle to make many home games.

True, that area of Sulawesi has been starved of football for yonks. But don't underestimate the costs involved in running a football club based way out east where every away game involves a flight and probably some generous transit times in airports that bear no similarity to Changi.

Football wise it makes no sense. Financially it makes no sense. But Villa 2000 always saw them I think as more a development club, looking to produce talented young players and move them on. Difficult to do in crowded Jakarta where you have a proliferation of soocer schools and academies but perhaps a tad easier in distant, remote Palu.

UPDATE - The club will now be known as Celebes FC after the old name for the island of Sulawesi.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?