Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The SLeague is back!

After a YOGs induced hiatus the SLeague is back. Gombak United defeated Albirex Niigata 2-1 while Balestier Khalsa beat Young Lions 2-0.


SLeague Column

The Indonesian season finally ended about three weeks ago. For a review of how the Singapore lads did check out my contribution on the SLeague website.

Monday, August 30, 2010


PSM to check on Goran

With one foreign slot to be filled PSM have targeted Australian defensive midfielder/central defender Goran Subaru, possibly in their game against SAFFC on 5th September.

Goran is in his second season with Gombak United and has been featured prominently on this site with an interview on Jakarta Casual TV and Asian Football Pictures.

With the SLeague ending in November and the Indonesia Super League hibernating for two months before and during the AFF Cup the earliest Subaru can move would be the new year unless PSM can come to an agreement with Gombak United

Sunday, August 29, 2010


A Completely Different Ball Game

Like many football fans I’ve had a flutter on the football. I once backed Sheffield Wednesday to win the title, I put a tenner on at 66/1 but I lost my money. I was once five minutes away from winning several hundred quid but Gary Mabbut decided to score his own goal in extra time and not injury time thereby invalidating my bet which was based on 90 minutes.

But these odd flutters have been just that. Odd flutters. They have never been the raison d’etre of following football. Just a harmless activity along with eating cheese n onion crisps and a few cold beers at Trips in Waterloo Station.

South east Asia of course is famous for its obsession with gambling. The hardcore here would mock my feeble efforts as they rushed to back Manchester United or Chelsea to win. By their standards I am lower than a neophyte.

Last night I was talking with a Singaporean gambler about football and it was like two different conversations were going on. Which in fact is what was happening. I was talking football as a game, a spectacle. He was talking odds. To him it wouldn’t matter if he was betting on snails in a marathon or raindrops on a window pane. As long as he won he didn’t give a shit.

He, like I guess many others, has an interest in football because he believes, wrongly, that it offers him the best chance of a return. So he will back the big teams week in, week out safe in the knowledge that they will, usually win. Because them’s the stats.

Muggings old me though I made the mistake of trying to tell him that anything can happen in 90 minutes and that all sequences will come to an end but he was having none of it. He would reel off stat after stat leaving me feeling totally bewildered.

In his robotic mind there was no room for emotion or passion. He had reduced football to one or two ball advantages, sequences and total goals scored. He didn’t get what I was saying and I sure as hell didn’t get what he was saying. Instinct he kept telling me was his best friend.

Before I went out last night he asked me for a tip. I said Arsenal to beat Blackburn, draw half time. Pah, he said condescendingly, he would never back Arsenal. He went on to say Arsenal would never win anything with kids under Arsene Wenger. They had won nothing for five years, by his logic they would never win again and he could see no way of them ending the famine.

I returned a little later a little worse for wear and asked him how much he had won. He hadn’t of course placed the bet.

All conversations with this guy leave me with a feeling of helplessness and bewilderment. I don’t get his mindset, he sure as hell don’t get mine and so it goes on. I will bump into him on my next trip no doubt and we will, no doubt, have the same roundabout conversations which will leave both of us scratching our heads.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Persisam plan to test Malaysian striker

Depite frosty relations between Indonesia and Malaysia Persisam are going to give a trial to Malaysian striker Stanley Bernard who played for Persibo Bojonegoro in an East Java League game the other day.

Previously he was with My Team and, according to Wikipedia, in India with Sporting Clube de Goa.

Persisam are also optimistic that Singapore striker Khairul Amri will arrive over the next couple of days for trials.

Now I have no inside track on this but the lad has just returned from a couple of weeks in Serbia with the Singapore national team. And his club side Tampines Rovers have a crucial SLeague game against Beijing Guoan next week. One wonders when Khairul will be able to squeeze in a trip to Borneo.

Of course there is nothing stopping Persisam sending someone to Singapore to watch him is there? Nothing except this attitude that 'everyone must come to us.'

I'm no coach but surely you can see more of a player in a match situation than a training session?


National Stadium, Singapore

Finally it's going to happen. The historic National Stadium in Singapore is finally to be torn down later this year, it's old and they don't like old things in Singapore, and a new Sports Hub, they love the word 'hub' in Singapore, will go up in it's place.

Apparently it will have a 'wow' factor. Which is nice. Because they like a good wow factor in Singapore.


It's that time of the year again

Vietnam just love hosting international torunaments. There were so many last year I never knew whether I was coming or going and without any real publicity out there I just gave up.

The Ho Chi Minh City Cup kicks off at the end of September with Vietnam Olympic, Iran Olympic, Singapore Olympic and Malaysia Under 23 competing.


Harimau Muda return to Slovakia

PETALING JAYA (26 August 2010) The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have decided to send the Harimau Muda ‘A’ to Slovakia for a second stint with an aim ‘to form a decent side to defend the SEA Games gold medal in less than 15 months.’

The stint will be for three months.

The decision was made by FAM president, HRH Tuanku Sultan Ahmad Shah, following a discussion with Harimau Muda A head coach Ong Kim Swee and after careful consideration and deliberation on the three options available for FAM.

Six players who are currently attending centralized training with the national team bound for a friendly with Oman in Doha, Qatar, will be joining them later.

The six are K. Gurusamy, Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mahali Jasuli, Gary Steven Robbat, Izzaq Faris Ramlan and Mohd Fadhli Shas.

Other than playing 12 competitive matches against the Slovak Div 1 sides, the Harimau Muda ‘A’ squad will also be playing four international friendly matches against the Under-21 sides of Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

It is for these reasons that the FAM have decided to send the team to Slovakia ahead of the other options - to attend a training camp at Cardiff City for a period of six weeks or for the team to be based in Kuala Lumpur from August to December with a number of friendlies being arranged.


GOALKEEPERS: Muhammad Zamir Selamat, Mohd Izham Tarmizi Roslan, Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar.

DEFENDERS: Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Affize Faisal Mamat, Mahali Jasuli, Muhammad Faizal Mohd, Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas, Muhamad Nazri Ahmad, Nicholas Wee Shen Ming, Amer Saidin, Mohd Fandi Othman.

MIDFIELDERS: Gary Steven Robbat, Gurusamy Govandar Kandasamy, Abdul Shukor Jusoh, Muhammad Rafiuddin Roddin, Sivanesan Shanmugam, Irfan Fazail, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor, Saarvindran Devandran, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria.

STRIKERS: Izzaq Faris Ramlan, Thamil Arasu Ambumanee, Muhammad Ferris Danial Mat Nasir, Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim.


2011 - The English are coming

It's an odd year meaning no World Cup or Euros. Which is good news for the money men at English Premier League clubs who look to stack their accounts with oddles of lovely dosh at the expense of stra struck Asian fans happy for just a scowl from a Drogba orRooney.

It has already been announced that England will play Thailand next June as part of England's 2018 World Cup bid, sorry to delight the thousands of fans of the English team as well as the shaven headed knuckle draggers in Pattaya.

Now we have news that Chelsea will be hitting both Thailand and Malaysia as well as one more Asian country.

Them perennial optimists Indonesia will be hoping at least one team will find time to squueze Jakarta into their busy schedule but insurance concerns maybe an issue after the Manchester United team hotel was bombed just days before the team were due to arrive in Jakarta.


Riedl's reign begins

After being in training for the best part of a month Indonesia's new age will begin with a friendly next Saturday against, drum roll, Persita Tangerang! From the second tier Premier League!


Singapore still buzzing

Singapore football has found a heap of new friends following the bronze medal the Cubs got in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Nothing like a bit of bling to bring folk crawling out the woodwork. Of course, in the local way of thinking, these kids will now have to go on and win the World Cup in 2014 but for now they can bask in the glow of praise from a highly cynical public.

There was of course at least one person who managed to piss on the parade. Following the Bronze coach yahya Kadir revealed he had been receiving anonymous emails and text messages abusing him, probably, for not picking their beloved offspring.

At one point this anonymous, cowardly, testicle-less pondlife said that because yahya had no kids he had no idea how to take care of them. Of course the coward himself, never gave a name or replied to any comments from the coach, is a fine example of parenthhood. It would be great if thise kids who didn't play challenged their people to find out who was the source of this shit.

Easy to be a tough guy when no-one can track you.

Meanwhile Mabel, on here Facebook page, has posted a picture of herself swinging a rusty parang with the caption 'If you still have any I'm gonna cut them off'.

Anyway back to the football, and away from the snivelling, cowardly shitbag, what next for Singapore?

There is talk of sending the Cubs back to England to play friendlies against teams there. Very glamourous, headline grabbing, sponsor pleasing stuff. But that's not what these lads need. They are mollycoddled enough in Singapore, to jet them round the world, put them up in decent hotels and have them kick around with their English peers in a sterile atmosphere os not what these guys need.

They need mental toughness. They need street smarts. They need to know who they can rely on in the trenches. And they won't get that playing an Arsenal Undr 16s who don't care who they are up against.

Far better for them, a couple of years down the line, is to enter them in the Malaysian league. Take them out of their comfort zone. Let them learn what it's like to have a flat tyre in the middle of the night in the middle of a rubber plantation miles from Terengganu. Have thousands, ok hundreds, all right then doezens of locals baying abiuse at them knowing that after the game they have a long drive back to Singapore, it's pissing down with rain and their dressing room has no roof. In fact have the anonymous messenger hold the brolly.

These guys can pass a ball now. Well, they should be able to. They know those two white sticks serve a purpose and the nets at each end of the pitch ain't for fishing.

Now they need toughening up. Mentally and physically. And they won't get that travelling by MRT to Hougang or on a bus going to London Colney where everyone will be nicey nice and lovey dovey.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Borneo tug of war

Following Persiba's interested in Tampines Rovers and Singaporean striker Khairul Amri now comes news that a second Indonesian team, Persisam, have thrown their hat into the ring.

Amri has been highly rated fr a number of years in Singapore but has been recently plagued by injuries.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Jaya to Persik

Relegated Persik have appointed Jaya Hartono to be their coach for next season. Hartono was previously with Persib and Deltras.


Darko feels the heat in Persib hot seat

The season hasn't even started yet but new Persib coach Darko Jancovic is learning fast about the expectations of Persib's fanatical supporters the Bobotoh.

Disappointed at failing to sign Herman Abanda and Pablo Frances fans have been muttering about how long it has been taking to build a squad and the feeling seems to be shared by management as this story in the Jakarta Globe infers.



Not done much about the VLeague recently. As you probably are aware the league was won by T&T Ha Noi but it was tight with the top five separated by just three points.

Attendances averaged just over 8,000 which, if I recall, is down on last year's 11,000 though my memory ain't what it used to be.

Check out Viet Football for fuller details.


Malaysia Cup 2010

The draw for the historic Malaysia Cup has been made and can be seen here in full.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


England's World Cup Bid

The best league with the best stadiums and the biggest clubs but are they enough to secure the World Cup for England in 2018? Check out my latest article on the Jakarta Globe...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Indonesia prepare for new season

The Indonesia Cup was only finished a few days back. The play offs likewise. The national team have been in training for a couple of weeks and now the teams are getting serious about their preparations.

The East Java League, or the East Java Governor's Cup, kicked off earlier this week and features 12 teams in three groups of four. Taking part are Persela, Gresik United, Persema, Persipro, Deltras, Persebaya, Persibo, PSBI, PSMP and Persik from East Java. Making up the numbers are Persikubar, Pro Titan.are from outside the province.

Meanwhile the Inter Island Cup is due to kick off this Friday. Arema, Persipura, PSM, Sriwijaya, Persiba and Persib are split into two groups of three with one group hosted in Palembang, the other in Malang.

Persipura by the way may not enter. Their coach is in Brazil apparently the club manager hasn't decided whether the team can join or not.


Indonesia's Friendlies

2-6/09 v Local Club Side
09/10 - Brazil
13/10 - Ivory Coast
21/11 - Paraguay
24/11 - China

I love the way they confidently state the likes of Brazil and Ivory Coast yet a game against local johnnies is purely tentative. By the way, don't hold your breath on any of the last four. I would like to be proved wrong but you know lah.


Singapore lose Serbian friendly

BELGRADE, 24 August 2010: Singapore went down 1-0 to Serbian First Division side FK Vojvodina Novi-Sad last night in the second of three friendly matches during their training camp in Belgrade, Serbia. The Lions had earlier lost 1-0 to a Serbia XI in their first game last Wednesday.

A 71st minute goal by Zeljko Damir after a defensive lapse proved to be the difference for both sides despite the Lions creating several good chances throughout the game.

The Lions had attended Vojvodina’s First Division match over the weekend when they claimed their first win of the new season 2-0 away to BSK Borca to currently lie in third place in the 17-team league.

Khairul Amri and Agu Casmir sat out the match with minor injuries while SAFFC keeper Shahril Jantan made his first away appearance for the Lions after more than six years.

Aleksandar Duric and captain Shahril Ishak had the best chances to open Singapore accounts in Serbia but could not convert the opportunities that came their way.

The Lions next play another First Division side, FK Jagodina in their final game on Wednesday 25 August before returning home the following day. FK Jagodina, like Monday’s opponents FK Vojvodina, have made an unbeaten start to the 2010-11 Serbian First Division season and will provide another stern test for our Lions.

Monday 23 August 2010

FK Vojvodina Novi-Sad 1 – 0 Singapore

Zeljko Damir 71’

Singapore lineup: Shahril Jantan (gk), Shi Jiayi (Zulfahmi Arifin 72’), Baihakki Khaizan (Safuwan Baharudin 72’), Daniel Bennett, Irwan Shah (Juma’at Jantan 46’), Fahrudin Mustafic, Tengku Mushadad (Isa Halim 75’), Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak (captain), Masrezwan Masturi (Shahdan Sulaiman 64’) and Aleksandar Duric

Next match: FK Jagodina vs Singapore

Wednesday 25 August 5.00pm (Singapore is six hours ahead of Serbia)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Looking at the numbers

For all the hype that has surrounded the Thai Premier League over the last season and a half it is sobering to bear in mind that much of the hoo haa has been generated by just a handful of clubs with deep pockets.

The deepest of course belong to Muang Thong United. Part owned by a media company and once known as Nong Jork they won promotion to the TPL last season and were champions at first time of asking.

Savvy marketing has kept them in the public eye and expansion of their stadium has seen numbers flocking to Muang Thong Thani, little more than a Basingstoke style new town out by the airport. Indeed, back in my day, adopts grumpy old man tone, the place was a building site barely visible from the airport tollway.

Chonburi were the first team to if you like go commercial and appearances in both the Singapore Cup and Asian Champions League brought the Sharks to a wider Asian audience who were more used to acronyms of bankers like KTB and TFB.

Now we have the 'new' face of Thai football in teams like Bangkok Glass and Buriram PEA. Bangkok Glass, based in Pathum Thani, is a company team albeit a company that seems to have deep pockets going by the investment at the club since they 'bought out' KTB and made girls with floppy ears and high heels a reason to go to football.

It wasn't that long ago that PEA, the sexily named Provincial Electrical Authority, won the Thai league. This year they were 'bought' by a politician to keep his electorate happy in Buriram near the Cambodian border. There was another team already in Buriram but you can't beat the profile of the TPL and a bunch of sparkies to open a pollie's pocket and that's what has happened with yesterday's game against Muang Thong United cramming almost 24,000 fans into the stadium.

But while the Big 4, god how corny but oh so easy, grab the headlines and the open wallets the rest of Thai football is just about getting by.

Samut Songkram, south west of Bangkok, attracted about 2,500 when they played title challengers Chonburi and you can be sure a large number of them were away fans.

The excitingly named Royal Thai Army, who play at the Army Stadium so kudos for branding, pulled 739 for their game with the equally attractive Osotsapa. My bar bill back in the day dwarfed their merchandise take!

TOT played Police United in what could almost be termed a greater Bangkok derby. Except of course who wants to see the phone company take on plod? All your branding and marketing can't disguise that fact. Just over 2,000 bothered, more people probably visited Nana Plaza that night.

Of the big 4 then, two are bank rolled by local politicians, one is corporate and one has serious funding from the private sector. The challenge is clear for the TPL. How to attract serious players to the game while keeping its integrity and of course wimmin with floppy ears and short, short denim shorts.

COMMENT - this story served little purpose other than to use a picture of the Glass Bunny


Arema strengthen squad

Arema, sorry for the slightly patronising tone, are acting like a grown up club now, after nearly imploding a few weeks back.

Not only have they kept the bulk of last year's title winning team, they have added to it astutely. In has come the hottest property in the Indonesian game at the moment, Yongki Aribowo from relegated Persik to form a strike force with Singaporean Noh Alam Shah.

In has also come TA Mushafry after a frustrating season with Persija. This is a smart move by Arema as Mushafry, a David Speedie type player with pace, brings something new to the Arema strikeforce with his running at defenders and his ability out wide.

Achmad Kurniawan has also returned to the club after a season with Semen Padang. The former international keeper will understudy Megia Kurnia...his brother. Or cousin.


PSM want one more foreigner

After adding Mustafa Sayedeh, Ali Khadaffi, Gerrard Mandessou and George Owinu, big names all, to their squad PSM still have space for one more foreigner. Assistant coach Liestiadi says that they will choose between Mustafic Fahruddin, formerly of Persija, and Daniel Bennett from SLeague champions SAFFC.

Now far be it for me to point anything out to the experts here but with both Fahruddin and Bennett in Serbia for now with the Singapore national team, and with Bennett under contract to SAFFC until November, and with the AFF Cup in December, and with the Indonesia Super League taking a break during November and December one does not need an advanced degree in Mabelomics to work out that either of those two would not be available until January at the earliest.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Results 21/08

Thai Premier League

Bangkok Glass v Pattaya United 3-1
Army v Osotsapa 0-1
TOT v Police United 0-2

Friday, August 20, 2010


PSM claim Andi Odang; now target Singapore international

It has been reported that PSM have added Persebaya striker Andi Odang to their squad for next season. I liked what I saw of Odang, small and fast with a good finish on him. Odang joins another former Persebaya man, Kornius Fingkrew at Makassar though I can't help feeling that PSM, who fancy themselves as contenders in the season ahead, are going to struggle for goals if they just rely on those two.

They are also reported to be in negotiations with Singapore international midfielder Mustafic Fahruddin and are waiting for his final decision about whether he is willing to make the move to South Sulawesi.

Mustafic of course is in Serbia with the Singapore national team.


Riedl swings the axe

Under the new regime of the Indonesian national team it seems reputations will count for little. Persipura pair Boaz Solossa and Ian Luis Kabes have been dropped from the national team trials after failing to turn up for training this week.

Boaz especially has a record of missing events like this but in the past people have been lenient with him, accommodating his special talent, but Rieldl has put his foot down from day one, showing whose boss.

That old adage of no one player being bigger than the team. Unfortunately in Indonesia there are some players who think that doesn't apply to them and some coaches encourage that sentiment.


Fazli misses out on Persisam

Despite it being reported that Gombak United player Fazli Jaffar had signed for Persisam that seems premature.

I understand that the Singaporean did have trials with the Borneo Eagles but the ISL side have decided that with Ronald Fagundez and one other ahead of him in the pecking order he would have been surplus to requirements.

Which begs the question why trial him at all? Surely a bit of research could have told the club that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Some Key Indonesian Transfers

Dian Agus Prasetyo, Yohan Ibo (Pelita Jaya - Bontang)
M Ridwan, Supardi (Pelita Jaya - Sriwijaya)
Ezequial Gonzales (Persiba Bantul - Persela)
Charis Yulianto, Slamet Riyadi (Sriwijaya - Persela)
Samsul Arif (Persela - Persibo)
Hendro, Ferry Ariawan (Persiba - Persela)
Djayusman - (Persebaya - PSM)
Herman Batak (Persik - PSM)
Nur Hakim, Dony Siregar (Persijap - Persiba)
Julio Lopez (Persiba - Persisam)
Rahmat Latief (Persiram - Sriwijaya)
Mahyadi Panggabean (Persik - Sriwijaya)
Firman Utina (Persija - Sriwijaya)
Budi Sudarsono (Persib - Sriwijaya)
Jung Hwan (PSM - Sriwijaya)
Isnan Ali (Sriwijaya - Persib)
Herman Abanda (Persija - Persib)
Rahmat Affandi (Arema - Persib)
Satoshi (Persib - Bontang)
Yongki Ariwibowo (Persik - Arema)
Fazil Jafar (Gombak United - Persisam)
Kenji Adichihara (Bontang - Persisam)
Hendro Kartiko, Tony Sucipto, Precious Emuerjeraye, M Nasuha, Ambrizal (Sriwijaya - Persija)
GregNwokolo (Olhanense - Persija)
Titus Bonai (Persiram - Bontang)
Zah Rahan (Sriwijaya - Persipura)

Note - these transfers are lifted from a local tabloid, Top Skor, and is posted here for reference. Yongki was previously mentioned as moving to Persela!


Arsene Wenger Stands Accused

If Brian Clough was right, if a good goalkeeper is worth 18 points a season then Wenger has some explaining to do. His stubborness, his reluctance to see Manuel Almunia for what he is, a two bob journeyman, has cost Arsenal the last three Premier League titles.

Yep, my latest rant on Jakarta Globe tackles the thorny issue of goalkeepers, their importance and the rarity of the English members of the species.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Baretto moves to Persiba

Indonesia Super League top scorer last season, Paraguayan Aldo Baretto has moved to Persiba Balikpapan from Bontang.


Syamsul joins Persija

Defensive midfielder Syamsul Haeruddin has joined Rahmad Darmawan's Persija revolution. The former PSM man brings the squad to 22 with space still for one more foreigner.

RD has really torn the guts out of Persija with Bambang Pamungkas, Aliyudin, M Ilham and Ismed Sofyan the only regulars to survice the culling.

In have come Hendro Kartiko, Precious Emuejeraye, Ambrizal, M Nasuha and Tony Sucipto from Sriwijaya as well as Eric Arsene Bayemi, Julius Akosah and Greg Nwokolo back for a second stint.

Given Sriwijaya's well documented weaknesses at the back last season Persija fans will be worried that RD has brought most of that back line with hime while allowing stalwart Herman Abanda to move on. Possibly to Persib Bandung.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Rip van Winkle and the SLeague

The last SLeague game was between Woodlands Wellington and Sengkang Punggol on 8 August. The next one will be on 30 Aug when Woodlands will host Home United. In between there is a three week hiatus as Singaporean folk are in raptures over watching schoolkids run around in circles or see what the latest speedos are like.

What are the players and coaches doing during this interlude? Well, the lucky ones have already been to Thailand and are now in Serbia visiting family and friends and playing the odd game. Others are busy negotiating new contracts with new teams.

And the rest? Well, the rest are training a little bit, resting a lot and doing a whole lot of nothing the rest of the time.

How do you keep players motivated during this time. The danger with footballers round the world is that they have too much free time and too much money. And verily it is written that when two or three players are gathered together they will soon convince themselves that the grass is greener elsewhere.

Can we look forward to the same again next year when Singapore gets to host the massively important, the massively interesting Wimmin's World Netball Championships? Can we look forward to another frustrating period of inactivity for the sake of a nonsense competition with zero appeal to anyone with an IQ in double figures?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The best team in South East Asia

Dez Corkhill has been covering football in South East Asia since long before I started this here drivel. I was still fretting over how the Arse did the night before and Dez was talking about the likes of BEC Tero and Tampines Rovers.

In a recent interview with Dale's Chonburi site he was asked who he felt was the biggest team in the region and surprisingly gave South China. OK, putting aside the small geographical point that South China, in Hong Kong, is not part of South East Asia, why South China?

Not a lot of people know this but they hold the record for an attendance in the AFC Cup, pulling in something like 36,000 for one game during their run a couple of years back.

I of course would disagree with the esteemed media chappy not that anyone asked me of course! Being a big fish in a small pond doesn't always translate into success on a wider stage. Just look at the two Glasgow clubs in the Scottish Pointless League.

Personally i would say that there are two clubs with the potential of being regional powerhouses. One is the slick production that is Muang Thing United. You get the impression with them guys that everything has been choreographed long in advance and the only thing spontaneous about the Yamaha Stadium on match day is the weather.

Even the colour schemes are subtle inferences of Manchester United and Real Madrid.

A marketing man's wet dream come true and judging by the way fans are flocking to follow the Thai champions it seems to be working.

The other team with a claim to greatness would be Arema. If Muang Thong are Manchester United then Arema are St Pauli. 'Nuff said.

Arema is rough and ready. It's Satu Jiwa, one soul, it's Arema or nothing. It's a five hour walk home after a home game.It's football of the people, not the marketing men and it's real.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Samsul goes home

Samsul Arief has returned to the club where he made his name after a single season with Persela. He first hit the headlines with a scoring streak in the Copa Indonesia back in 2008/2009 including spectacular strikes against some big names.

That was with Persibo Bojonegoro in East Java and it was enough to earn that move to Persela where he hit a reasonable number of goals during the second half of the season.

Now, with Persela snapping up Feri and possibly Yongki he has been deemed surplus to requirements and he has been allowed to return to Persibo; now of course in the top flight themselves.


Young Lions defeat Maldives

SINGAPORE, 14 August 2010: The Singapore Under-23 team ended their training tour in Male on a high after defeating their Maldives counterparts 2-0 at the Male National stadium yesterday evening.

A low cross by captain Hafiz Abu Sujad deflected off Maldives defender Ahmed Abdullah in the 35th minute to give Singapore a well deserved lead heading into the break.

Having narrowly lost their first encounter to the same opposition last Thursday evening, Singapore were determined to get the win and were duly rewarded with a second goal courtesy of a fine effort by Fazli Ayob six minutes into the second half.

Coach V. Sundram Moorthy signaled his delight after the win and gave credit to his boys for their gutsy performance.

"I'm very happy with the way the boys played. They showed more desire and hunger to get the result tonight. I felt that the boys played more collectively as a team and showed more spirit than their opponents. Overall, there are many positives to take from this tour." said Sundram

Match Result:

Maldives Under-23 v Singapore Under-23 0-2 (Ahmed Abdullah 35' OG, Fazli Ayob 51')

Singapore Under-23: Syazwan Buhari (Siddiq Durimi 46’), Shakir Hamzah, Eddie Affendy Chang, Shahir Hamzah, Madhu Mohana, Gabriel Quak (Syafiq Zainal 46’), Hafiz Abu Sujad (C) (Faritz Abdul Hameed 95’), Yasir Hanapi (Khairul Nizam 87’), Eugene Luo, (Fadhil Noh 76’), Fazli Ayob (Fazly Hasan 69’) , Khalili D'Cruz (Rizawan Abdullah 65’)


PSM eye Persija duo

It is being reported that PSM Makassar are eying Abanda Herman and Mustafic Fahruddin, two foreigners released by Persija at the end of last season.


Arema's All Time Worst XI

Taken from an Arema site! The best XI can be found here.

Hendro Kartiko

Boubacar Keita
Bruno Casmir
Donny Suherman

Landry Poulangoye
Esiah Benson
Han Young Kuk

Anthony Jommah Ballah

Buston Brown
Fortune Udo


Persela invest in youth

Persela Lamongan have snapped up two of the most promising young players in the country. Former Persiba duo Feri Ariawan and Hendra Siswanto have joined new coach Subangkit at the East Java club.

While it's a good move for the pair it also says alot about the mentality of much of Indonesian football. Persiba exceeded expectations last season finishing 3rd in the ISL and are obviously keen to build on that. It's a shame though that they feel it necessary to sacrifice two quality young players for the sake of one 'big' name.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


National Team Captain Axed!

Charis Yulianto has been sensationally dropped by new coach Alfred Riedl. It won't come as a surprise to many who have seen Charis turn in a series of poor performances at club level for Sriwijaya last season. The only surprise it that it has taken so long.

Keeper :Markus Harison (Persib Bandung), Ferry Rotinsulu (Sriwijaya), Kurnia Meiga (Arema Indonesia).

Defenders: Nova Ariyanto (Persib Bandung), Maman Abdurrahman (Persib Bandung), R. Latief (PSM Makasar), R. Sallampessy (Persipura Jayapura), Yesaya Desnam (Persiwa Wamena), Zulkifli Syukur (Arema Indonesia), M. Nasuha (Persija Jakarta), Benny Wahyudi (Arema Indonesia).

Midfield: Tony Sucipto (Sriwajaya FC), Eka Ramdhani (Persib Bandung), Firman Utina (Sriwijaya FC) , Donny F. Siregar (Persiba Balikpapan), Ahmad Bustomi (Arema Indonesia), Arif Suyono (Sriwijaya FC), Imanuel Wanggai (Persipura Jayapura), M. Ridwan (Pelita Jaya), Atep (Persib Bandung), Ian Kabes (Persipura Jayapura).

Forwards: Bambang Pamungkas (Persija Jakarta), M. Isnaini (PSPS Pekanbaru), Yongki Ariwibowo (Persela Lamongan), Jaya Teguh Angga (Persema Malang), Boaz Solossa (Persipura Jayapura).

COMMENT - interesting list. Especially saying Yongki is now with Persela!


Starting from scratch

According to reports in local media Dutch coach Robert Alberts is finally going to sign on the dotted line for PSM Makassar after the longest wooing since Mabel opened her heart to a well known Singapore football personality.

If the man who won the title for Arema last year does go ahead and lead PSM he won't have much time to start building a squad with most clubs, even Persija, just about finished.

If he keeps goalie Syamsider and midfielder Syamsul Chaeruddin he still has a big squad to puff out in a short space of time

He may look at former PSM defender Djayusman who signed for Persebaya last year. He's a bit of a no nonsense Row Z type defender whose career seems to have stalled to such an extent that he has been overlooked by Alfred Riedl for the national team.

Persebaya may prove a happy hunting ground for Alberts. As far as I'm aware playmaker John Tarkpor and tidy striker Andi Ondang are clubless and may not be too thrilled at the thought of playing IPL next season.

Another relegated player is the exciting Yongki Aribiwo. After making waves during the second half of the season will he be content to slip off the radar for a season? He has already seen team mates Mahyadi Panggabean (Sriwijaya) and Saktiawan Sinaga (Semen Padang) move on. Will he soon follow?

Alberts may also be looking at Sriwijaya cast offs. Players like Ponaryo Astaman, Rahmat Rivai, Anoure Obiora and Pavel Solomin could tempt. Wages may be off putting for Ponaryo but Rivai may look an attractive option. The small pacy striker is from nearby Ternate, nearby is a relative term in Eastern Indonesia, and may be open to a move east.

Another player from out east that may be of interest is TA Mushafry. The former Persiba man had a depressing time last season with Persija and may well jump at the chance of restoring his fortunes a little closer to home.

And what about Herman Abanda? It looks like he has not been re-signed by Persija so he could well be available.

One foreigner that may have been of interest is Thai Teerathep Winothai but he has gone and signed with BEC Tero till the rest of the season. Perhaps an option for the second half of the season?

After his success with Singapore duo Noh Alam Sham and M Riduan last season it won't be a surprise if Alberts again looks to the SLeague. Last year though he dealt with a favourable Tampines Rovers management who were happy to release players early. Will he be so lucky this year?

Of course this whole article is a bog standard English media invention based on the assumption that A) Alberts will sign for PSM and B) the players mentioned above are still available!


Maldives v Singapore

SINGAPORE, 12 August 2010: The Singapore Under-23 Team fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their Maldives counterparts in an evenly contested affair at the Male National Stadium yesterday evening. A well taken free kick by Abdullah Asadullah in the dying minutes of the first half was suffice to see the home side grab the win.

Despite dominating most of the second half, the Lions were unable to find the all important equaliser. Coach V. Sundram Moorthy remains upbeat of his side’s chances and is looking forward when the two sides face off again tomorrow for their second encounter.

“We created some good opportunities but we will need to work on taking our chances in the next match. I’m happy with level of commitment from the boys and I’m looking forward playing them again tomorrow. Overall, I feel the boys have done well, considering some of them are playing for the first time this season. The purpose of this tour was to give the boys international match exposure and I believe they have greatly benefited from this training tour so far.” said Sundram.

Singapore played without seven key Under-23 players who were called up to the senior squad last week, giving the trio of Siddiq Durimi, Syazwan Buhari and Fazly Hasan their first ever appearance with the Singapore Under-23 team.

Match Result:

Maldives Under-23 v Singapore Under 23 1-0 (Abdullah Asadullah 45’)

Singapore Under-23:

Siddiq Durimi (Syazwan Buhari 46’), Fazly Hasan (Shakir Hamzah 62’), Shahir Hamzah, Eddie Affendy Chang, Madhu Mohana (Faritz Abdul Hameed 72’), Gabriel Quak (Eugene Luo 67’), Hafiz Abu Sujad (C), Yasir Hanapi (Syafiq Zainal 77’), Fadhil Noh, Rizawan Abdullah (Fazli Ayob 53’ ), Khairul Nizam (Khalili D'Cruz 65’)

Next Match:

Maldives U-23 v Singapore U-23

Date: 13 August 2010 (Friday)

Time: 10.00pm (local time)

Venue: Male National Stadium

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Thailand v Singapore 1-0

SINGAPORE, 11 August 2010: A first half strike Thailand striker, Sarayoot Chaikamdee was enough to see off a determined Singapore team 1-0 in an international friendly match played at the Yamaha Stadium in Bangkok.

On 29 minutes, a neat passing move by the Thai midfield eventually sent the ball to the way of Sarayoot, who still had plenty to do.

The Thai Port striker managed to shake off the attentions of defender Safuwan Baharudin to unleash a fierce strike from the edge of the penalty area, leaving goal keeper Hassan Sunny with no chance.

The Lions started of the stronger of the two teams with Khairul Amri in particular outstanding with his penetrative runs.

As early as the 5th minute, Amri burst into the penalty area and was brought down illegally but the referee failed to point to the spot.

He had another chance to draw first blood for the Lions but instead of pulling the trigger, he decided to pass and the opportunity was lost.

The Lions dominated the rest of the half but were unable to draw level. The second half was a more even affair as the Thais defended in numbers and relied on their dangerous counter attacks but neither team were able to add to the scoresheet .

“This was a game of two different halves. In the first half we played very well, creating numerous chances, dominating the game and passing the ball well," coach Radojko Avramovic said after the game.

“In the second half, Thailand sat back and defended, trying to score through their counter attacks. Instead of passing the ball, we kept running with the ball and never were able create chances.

“But generally we played well and I am looking forward to bringing the players to Serbia. This will be a good opportunity to see all the players together as they try to build an understanding and shape together,” said Avramovic.

Avramovic was pleased with contributions from his team, especially central defender Safuwan Baharudin.

“He played well today. It was not easy playing against a team like Thailand but I am happy with his performance, especially as it rained before the game and pitch was slippery.”

Singapore: Hassan Sunny (GK), Shi Jiayi, Safuwan Baharudin, Baihakki Khaizan (Afiq Yunos), Irwan Shah (Daniel Bennett), Khairul Amri (Masrezwan Masturi), Hariss Harun, Fahrudin Mustafic, Fazrul Nawaz (John Wilkinson), Aleksandar Duric (Agu Casmir), Shahril Ishak (C)

Note: Home United’s Shahdan Sulaiman made his international debut tonight when he came on for Fahrudin Mustafic in the 80th minute.


Bambang returns to Indonesia

Indonesian striker Bambang Pamungkas has wrapped up his trial with the Phoenix and returned home to Jakarta.

“We thank Bambang for all his efforts during his trial with us and wish him all the best for his football career,” Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert said of the 30-year-old.

“We’ll continue to scout Asia for potential Phoenix signings in the future because of the talent emerging from that region.”

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