Thursday, January 12, 2006


Pre Season Article

I really should learn a bit more Indonesian but while I do I have to get my news from the local Jakarta Post. It seems Persija have appointed a new coach, pinching the guy who won the league with Perspura Jayapura last season. They have certainly got a bucket load of cash to spend as the Governor of Jakarta does an Abramovich and throws money at the club. Of course how the tax payer feels is unknown about having their money used to subsidise a football club. I mean it's not as if Jakarta is bereft of problems but then again a successful team does wonders for a town's image.

The Jakarta soccer club Persija is aiming to reclaim the Indonesia Djarum League title it last won five years ago, relying on better preparation, foreign players and improvements in management.
"Winning the league this year is non-negotiable after repeated losses in recent years," Persija's patron, Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso, said on Wednesday.
The "reforms" at the club, he said, included the hiring of foreign players and appointing a new coach and manager.
"We have selected foreign players more carefully this year by directly hiring them from their clubs instead of relying on unscrupulous brokers as we did in the past," he added.
Despite high transfer fees, Sutiyoso criticized Persija's foreign players' unsportsmanlike conduct during past matches.
"We won't tolerate such unprofessional behavior. We will recommend that the Indonesian Soccer Association blacklist those players," he said.
Currently, Persija has five foreign players on its 23-strong team, including Abanda Herman of Cameroon, Ronal Daian Fagundez Olivera of Uruguay and Javier Leopold Roca Sepulveda of Chile.
"We also have a new coach, Rachmad Darmawan, to train our players," Sutiyoso said.
Darmawan successfully brought Persipura of Jayapura in Papua, to victory last year, defeating Persija in the final.
"We will do our utmost to reclaim the title," he promised.
Persija's new manager, Darmawan Eddie, shared the optimism.
"I believe a winning team is made and not born. That's the reason why we have to continue the reforms in our organization in the future."
The Jakarta administration also introduced its North Jakarta municipality club, Persitara, which recently managed to enter the main division.
"Hopefully, Persitara will serve as a training ground for young talented players so they can make the national team in the future," Sutiyoso said.
The administration has allocated Rp 25 billion (US$2.63 million) in its 2006 budget to help finance all soccer teams under its patronage, with the lion's share of about Rp 17 billion going to Persija.
Persitara will enjoy more money this year, between Rp 3 billion and Rp 5 billion, as incentives for the team, much higher than other municipal teams, which each enjoy Rp 450 million every three months, or Rp 1.8 billion a year.
So there is an all Jakarta derby with Persitara, or Jakarta North, which could be a laugh. Also there are a couple of teams in Tangerang which like I said before is Jakartan overspill. Tangerang and Tangerang City, known as Persita and Persikota, share a stadium and someone told me Tangerang are Persija's big rivals. Other local derbies would be Bandung, Persib, which is a 2 or 3 hour train journey south. I ain't done an away game by train for decades! Wonder if the Bandung fans will be waiting at the station wearing pringles and lacoste?

The last issue of Bola, a sports paper that comes out a couple of times a week had something about the start of the season...I gotta learn this language. Certainly they have a good TV coverage of the Indonesian League as well as all the foreign stuff, hell, they even show the Carling Cup semi finals which is more than ESPN do.

That's it now, see you after the game!

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