Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Jakarta Casual - 10 Years On

Ok so it's slightly more than 10 years but you get my point. 10 years and has much changed in South East Asian football? In Thailand football hadn't yet been invented. The league was made up of random letters that had fallen off a Scrabble rack. There was no Buriram United and there was no Muang Thong United and the way Buriram United have lost two home games already this season as well as allowing their star left back Theerathon to move to their biggest rivals begs the question where will they be in 10 years time.

In Malaysia there was no Johor Darul Ta'zim. There was a Johor FC but no one really cared about them. And now JDY dominate Malaysia and became the first South East Asian club side to win the AFC Cup. Selangor are also rans while Felda United, formed in 2007, are looking serious title challengers.

Malaysia has won the SEA Games twice and the AFF Cup but instead of consolidating on that success the national team seems to have regressed, losing 10-0 to UAE and 6-0 twice to Palestine in World Cup Qualifiers. The promise of 2009-2011 generation has not really been fulfilled while the next generation seems to increasingly been drawn from players with mixed Malaysian/Other Country heritage.

Kelantan exploded on the scene for a couple of years collecting trophies like kids collect World Cup stickers but it didn't last. It rarely does. Now the once mighty Red Warriors have become a laughing stock with an arrogant President who dares the FA to take action over unpaid wages and a new sponsor who promises the world or to leave; it is difficult to know what she has in  mind half the time.

For a while ATM were known as the Manchester City of Malaysia as they splashed the cash on highly paid imports. They won the Premier League and the Malaysia Cup in 2012 and many thought they were the next big thing. Never happened of course. Players and agents were quick to take what was on offer but when the cash dried up they left and now the club are paying the price, bottom of the Premier League, winless and almost fanless. South East Asian football in one club. Spend cash and everyone loves you. Have no cash and no one cares.

To develop young players Harimau Muda projects have come and go with teams playing in Singapore, Slovakia and Australia. JDT have taken up the gauntlet with a JDT II in the Premier League, a JDT III in the FAM Cup and so on down the pyramid such as it is.

After embarrassingly low crowds in KL, the national team is now looking to play home games around the country with Asian Cup Qualifiers against Timor Leste being played in Johor for starters.

I haven't been to as many games as I would like in Malaysia and what I have seen I have usually enjoyed. Surely the old Football Association model where each state has its own association which puts together the team is old hat. JDT have proven a professional management is whats needed to build a football club, not political appointees keen on photo shoots and exhibiting power to the electorate like we see in the far north east. Will other clubs try and take on JDT on and off the pitch? Because if Malaysian football is to progress then that is what needs to happen. But who really wants to work with the FAM as it stands?


God. Where to begin?

2006 - Liga Indonesia
2009 - Indonesia Super League
2011 - ISL/Liga Premier Indonesia
2014 - ISL
2015 - Nothing
2016 - ISC

Like, bloody hell!

In my 10 years writing about Indonesian football we have seen (deep breath);

One PSSI chairman jailed. Twice.
One PSSI chairman go on the run.
A player die because he couldn't afford basic healthcare as his club didn't pay what they owed him. Two national teams prepare for the same international event,
One playing friendlies against a Queensland Sunday school side.
Lee Hendrie become the first England international to play in Indonesia.
Too many fans die.
60,000 Arema fans invade Jakarta. 60,000 Persib fans invade Jakarta.
360,000 fans see semi finals, final of AFF Cup 2010 in Jakarta, Malaysia
Hundreds of Persebaya fans travel on the roof of a train to Bandung.
Pelita Jaya move from Cilegon to Purwakarta to Soreang to Karawang. Change t heir name to Pelita Bandung Raya and move back to Soreang. Change their name to Persipasi Bekasi Raya and move to Bekasi. Change their name to Madura United and move to Madura.
Two Arema's, two Persebaya's, two Persija's, two PSMS's
Persires move from Rengat to Bali, Kuningan, Sukoharjo, Cirebon
Persija play home games in Solo, Malang, Lamongan, Yogyakarta, Sidoarjo +++
Persisam split to become Pusamania Borneo and Putra Samarinda. The latter became Bali United.
Persma, Persimin just about disappear off the football map
LPI team Minangkabau express an interest in signing non flying Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp
A sports minister suggest Jose Mourinho should be next coach of the national team
Jakarta lose Menteng Stadium and Lebak Bulus Stadium
West Java see new stadiums in Bogor, Bekasi, Bandung, Cikarang, Karawang
Persipura, Sriwijaya dominate the domestic scene with Persib, Arema making fleeting challenges
Persib fans have accused me of being a Persija fan.
Persija fans have accused me of being a Persib fan.
The fall and decline of PSMS
Persebaya all but disappear
Indonesia lose 10-0 to the mighty Bahrain
A victim of the 2004 tsunami earn a trial with Sporting Lisbon

I don't make this up. I can't! God knows what the next 10 years will bring but bring it on I say.

Actually Kelantan won the 2013 FA Cup not ATM, the problem with ATM this year is because the minister who was in charge of military(ATM) is now a home minister(PDRM) so the sponsors follows him to PDRM as well
noted and amended
You forgot one thing. The mighty PSIS went to final in 2006!
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