Sunday, September 30, 2012


The Power Of Bobotoh

It was only a friendly between Persib and PSAD last Thursday at Siliwangi Stadium but it didn't stop an estimated 15,000 Persib fans, known as Bobotoh, turning up to see their heroes.

Let's put this into some kind of context.

In the same week Manchester United attracted are supposed to be the biggest club in the world. They hosted Newcastle United in the Capitol One Cup, the latest sponsor of the League Cup, and 46,000 went to the game.

Chelsea, they won the Champions League last season and are followed by millions around the world ever since they were founded in 2004, played Wolves in front of 32,000.

And Manchester City, you know them what won the Premier League last season? I saw father and son walking round Jakarta yesterday in their latest City shirts, bless 'em. Anyway everyone's latest favourite team played Aston Villa and just 28,000 bothered making the journey to Maine Road...sorry, wherever they play now.

So, the maths.

Manchester United 46,000 in 75,000 stadium
Chelsea 32,000 in 41,000 stadium
Manchester City 28,000 in 47,000 stadium
Persib 15,000 in 22,000 stadium...for a friendly!

Of course if this were a blog about English football then I would slip in the small fact that Arsenal attracted 58,000 in their 60,000 stadium but ... what the hell!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Persita Consider Kuningan Home Base

Persita Tangerang's thoughts are turning to the new season after winning promotion to the Indonesia Super League.

Their problem lies in the fact that they cannot use Benteng Stadium in Tangerang after a religious organisation imposed a fatwa prohibiting football being played there.

That followed several incidents of crowd disturbances and rock throwing that involved fans from Persita, their cross city rivals Persikota and local residents who would get pissed off with the fans running amok every home game.

After considering using Siliwangi Stadium in Bandung they are now looking at using Mashud Wisnusaputra Stadium in Kuningan, West Java.

While Kuningan itself has no top flight team the stadium was used by Bandung on occasion during their short lived spell in the IPL.

Of course the problem with any team playing in West Java is the small matter of Persib. The province bleeds blue.

Perhaps a better option for Persita would be Singaperbangsa Stadium in Karawang. Much closer to Jakarta even though it is still in West Java, the stadium was used by Pelita Jaya last season but if their proposed merger goes ahead they could well be looking for new tenants.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Selangor Running Into Form

It hasn't been the best of seasons for Malaysia's historic Selangor but in the first leg of their Malaysia Cup Quarter Final they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners away to Johor FC with all the goals coming in 13 lethal minutes through Safiq Rahim, Bunyamin Omar and Amri Yahyah.

In the other game Pahang defeated LionsX11 2-1 in Kuantan to take a narrow lead south of the Causeway. The Lions will be grateful for their away goal in front of their home fans.

Two ties outstanding. ATM host Negeri Sembilan on Friday night while Saturday sees Felda United take on a busy Kelantan.

Second legs to be played first week in October


Albirex & Their Strikers

First there was Kenji Adichihara. After an impressive season with Albirex Niigata in 2009 he was snapped up by Indonesia Super League side Bontang where he had a couple of prolific seasons averaging just over a goal every two games.

It was no surprise when he was finally picked up by one of the bigger clubs when Persiba Balikpapan signed him for the last season and the goals kept a coming...13 in 32 games.

This earnt him another move, this time to Persib ahead of the new season, whenever that may be.

The Japanese striker turns 28 in November and has certainly made a mark in South East Asia.

The next Japanese striker to make an impact in the SLeague was Shotaro Ihata. He netted an impressive 22 goals in his debut season with Albirex before making the move to Home United where he teamed up with French striker Frederic Mendy.

Last night Yamakoshi Yasuhiro hit a ht trick for Albirex in a must win game away to the champions, Tampines. That lifted him up to 12 for the season.

If Albirex continue unearthing Japanese striking gems by tying them down to multi year contracts could ensure a steady procession of agents and clubs offering healthy prices for a highly sought after commodity


Albirex Overcome Tampines

Just hours after I'd bigged up Tampines Rovers chances of securing back to back SLeague titles the Stags only go and lose 4-3!

It sounds like a right ding dong affair at Clementi Stadium with Tampines taking the lead, getting a man sent off and falling to a goal with eight minutes left.

Sead Hazibulic gave the champions the lead on 8 minutes with his eighth of the season before Yasuhiro equalised on the half hour mark. Ahmad Latif restored the Stags lead minutes later but it never lasted because Yasuhiro scored his second on 36'!

Two minutes into the second half and Aleksander Duric, this is where I usually insert an adjective like timeless or evergreen, netted but Tampines were never able to put any distance between themselves and the Japanese side with Yasuhiro completing his hat trick on 72'.

Moments later Mustafic Fahruddin got a second yellow and took an early both and it was left to Sho to finish off a remarkable 90 minutes with the winner for Albirex on 82'.

The result means Albirex climbing up to second six points behind Tampines though with a game in hand.

Yet again a nail biting climax to the SLeague season...

1 - Tampines 22 14 4 4 45-22 46
2 - Albirex 21 12 4 5 34-23 40
3 - DPMM 20 12 3 5 41-21 39


Fantastic Chonburi Reach AFC Cup Semis

A mixed night of AFC Cup action last night saw two clubs from the region end their interest but Chonburi reaching the semi finals.

Playing Al Shorta from Syria, the Sharks appeared to have kissed their hopes goodbye after losing 2-1 at home in the first leg.

Two goals in two first half minutes though turned the game on its head whatever that might mean. Played in Jordan due to the continuing unrest in Syria, Pipob On Mo gave Chonburi th eelad on 36' before Thiago made it two seconds later.

Half time and Chonburi had overturned the deficit. Al Shorta equalised early second half and that was enough to take the tie into extra time.

The Syrians drew first blood on 93' but Thiago replied completing his hat trick in the last minute of the game.

An excellent achievement for Chonburi.

In the other Kelantan were held at home 1-1 by Arbil who will meet Chonburi in the semi finals next month while Arema lost 2-0 in Saudi Arabia against Al Ettifaq to go out 4-0 on aggregate.

Chonburi's semi final will be in October.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Who's The Best Team In The SLeague?

SLeague champions may be playing in the wrong part of town an impressive run of form of late has seen them start to move away from the rest of the teams.

The Stags have won the most games, scored the most goals and only Balestier Khalsa have conceded fewer goals.

Since losing to SAFFC back in April, Tampines have embarked on an 11 game unbeaten run, a consistency that has seen them go seven points clear of second placed DPMM. They now only need five points to secure the title and they have two home games to do it.

26/09 v Albirex Niigata (H)
18/10 v SAFFC (A Jalan Besar)
01/11 v Harimau Muda (H)

For a reminder of last season's championship celebration, just click on Tampines midfielder Mustafic Fahruddin!


IPL Eye Expansion

The Indonesia Premier League is hoping to kick off again in January.

The IPL, just one and a half seasons old, hope to extend the league from 12 to 16 clubs.

PSMS, who finished bottom, are to be relegated while Bontang, who finished 11th, will go into a play off with PSLS, PSIR and Persibul which has been scheduled for this weekend.

Don't ask where the games will take place!

However with Semen Padang and Persijap reported to be interested in moving to the ISL the IPL could be scrambling round to fill the 16 places in the league.


Indonesian Clubs Consider Mergers

As we near the end of the dualism nonsense that has plagued Indonesian football for so long some clubs are looking at merging as they realise they have no idea how to actually raise money through sponsorship to fund themselves.

The first one mooted was between Pelita Jaya and Deltras, both owned by the same group. Pelita Jaya of course have previously played in Jakarta, Solo, Cilegon, Purwakarta and Soreang among others before hitting on Karawang while Deltras started life in Bali before moving to Sidoarjo.

That move seems to have been poo pooed by the Deltras support so now Pelita Jaya have turned their attention to working, somehow, with Arema, again same owners. Which is daft. How the hell someone can NOT cash in on the Arema brand is beyond me.

One other merger in the news recently concerns PSS Sleman and PSIM Yogyakarta. PSS boast one of the best stadiums in the country as well as a keen support who travel in large numbers to away games despite the fact they have only played in the Divisi Utama in recent years.

That particular merger has yet to be confirmed.


Star Footballer Turns Waiter

Harris Harun is widely considered to be the most talented player of his generation. Singapore international and a member of the LionsX11 team that competes in the Malaysian football set up, Harun has been on people's radar for a good few years now.

But instead of being allowed to concentrate fully on his professional career he must spend time in uniform as part of Singapore's National Service.

As part of his duties to prepare to save the nation should it ever be attacked, he spent the recent Grand Prix, which Singapore hosted, delivering 'rations to the front line officers.'

Which sounds awfully like he was a mere minion fetching and carrying for the officers who were watching the race. In other words, a waiter in a uniform.

While people may argue that being a delivery boy will keep his feet on the ground which other country would allow its top athlete to be engaged in such trivial nonsense ahead of a crucial fixture?

LionsX11 play Pahang in the Malaysia Cup tonight in a crucial quarter final tie so don't be surprised if the Pahang players start yelling at Harun to bring them some orange juice or make that slice of pizza warmer!


IPL Implosion?

In what can only be seen as further embarrassment for the PSSI and their flagship Indonesia Premier League two clubs want to switch to the rival Super League.

Semen Padang, the first ever champions of the IPL, along with Persijap have applied to return to the IPL after initially jumping ship back in 2010 when the IPL kicked off.

There is no guarantee they will be accepted though. The ISL have indicated if they do want to join their set up both clubs will probably have to start off in the Divisi Utama which is the right approach. Can't just have teams being promoted willy nilly..oh, wait a minute!

Anyway, were Semen Padang to move to ISL where would that leave their ACL campaign next year?

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Singapore Fans Whine About Malaysia Cup Qualification

LionsX11 have made it out of what looked a less than taxing group stage of the Malaysia Cup but their fans have been less than happy at their less than cavalier approach.

Going into the final group stage game LionsX11 hosted Johor FC while Johor FA played PKNS across the border. LionsX11 and Johor FC were assured of qualification if they avoided defeat. That's what happened. They drew 0-0 in what was by all accounts a bloody awful game with neither side expending much energy.

LionsX11 fans are up in arms with some calling for free tickets for the quarter final against Pahang 'cos they wus robbed!

Robbed of what? They are through and that is what it is all about. It ain't about entertainment, sorry for all you romantics out there.

Both teams got through 90 minutes without injuries, the coaches will be thinking job done.

Are the fans who were at the game suggesting the match was fixed? Is match fixing without money a crime? If both coaches implicitly or explicitly tell their players to ease up is that tantamount to match fixing? If both clubs know a draw is all they need and they settle for that from the get go, is that match fixing?

Alan Durban, former Stoke City manager, said if you want entertainment send for the clowns. I was at the game when he made that comment and his team were truly awful. But his point was valid.

Not every team has the players that can produce non stop entertainment and guarantee a win. It ain't like that. You gotta wonder what the whiners want. An attacking display of football, breath taking end to end stuff yet losing 1-0, going out of the competition and one player sidelined for a lengthy period?.

Is that preferable?


Sergio In Indonesia For Talks

Sergio van Dijk is apparently in Indonesia with his agent for talks with Persib Bandung. The Adelaide United striker is also being linked with Sriwijaya.

Persib have been recruiting heavily for the new season, whenever it begins, which ever league they are in, and have added Herman Dzumafo and Kenji Adichihara to their ranks already.

Van Dijk's wage demands could be interesting. The number I have seen mentioned is a lot more than any other player earns and given the habit clubs have of not paying players you would hope the player and his advisors will be treading very carefully.

Saying that Persib are perhaps the best equipped club at going out into the market place and securing sponsorship.


Thai League Cup Semi Final

TOT v Ratchaburi
Bangkok Glass v Buriram United

1st leg to be played 26/9. Ratchaburi host TOT on 3/10 while Buriram Ne Win United take on the Glass Bunnies 17/10.

One of the big boys will play a decided minnow in the final which is nice.


Indonesia Cancel Hanoi Trip

Indonesia were supposed to fly to Hanoi yesterday to play Vietnam in their second friendly after a 0-0 last week in Surabaya.

But it's been cancelled!

Why? One reason given is that the duelism that plagues the game in Indonesia is a problem. Get away! One story mumbles something about the players still not being paid for the games against Vietnam and North Korea.

The PSSI are just saying it's about technical and non technical issues saying they don't want to lose again, they need more preparation.

You pay yours money you takes your choice...


A Possible Solution In Indonesia

JAKARTA (19 Sept 2012) – Indonesia might have found a recourse or a solution to the dualism to their top flight football. It has been announced that the two controlling bodies of the Indonesia Super League (ISL) and the Indonesia Premier League (IPL) met yesterday at the FA of Indonesia (PSSI) headquarters and where they have formulated a new approach – the Red and White League.
With hopes of combining both leagues an impractical impossibility considering the number of teams involved, both parties have now agreed that the new format is perhaps the best way forward.
It is a throwback to the early 90s when football in Indonesia was divided into two conferences – East and West. But this time round, it is not divided geographically but by the existing teams in both the IPL and ISL.
Both leagues will still be run independently but perhaps there are plans to have crossover play-offs for the overall championship. The exact mechanism has yet to be formalized but this idea presented a way forward for both parties to recognize the existence of one another and if it works out could also have a positive impact on the strength of the Indonesia national team.
“I cannot reveal the exact format as yet as I have to get the approval from the Joint Committee (which will met tomorrow) first,” said Widjajanto, the chief executive committee of PT Liga Prima Indonesia Sportindo (the controlling body of the IPL). “But I hope that the members of the Joint Committee will agree to this new idea so that we can begin the 2012/2013 league season.”
Widjajanto added that the Red and White league format presented the best options following earlier proposals that failed to get the agreement of both parties. Plans for both leagues to run independently has not been accepted by the Joint Committee as well as the idea to combine both leagues into just one.
“This is the third and best option,” Widjajanto surmised, who also revealed that he had already met Joko Drioyono, the chief executive officer of PT Liga Indonesia (PT LI).
The Joint Committee will meet tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Alternate Indonesia Aussie Ambitions

I don't make this shit up. I couldn't. Despite leaving my logic locked up in a left luggage locker at Heathrow I am still prone to WTF moments but in Indonesia them moments are less moments and more fully fledged soap operas.

Today Indonesia is sending a team to play Vietnam in a friendly ahead of the AFF Cup later this year. Meanwhile another team is being prepared to compete in the same competition and they are currently in a training camp near Malang.

The Vietnam bound team is the official PSSI sanctioned team and features players from the IPL. The team in Malang is picked from the ISL and really has no official recognition from the football world.

The unofficial team are now talking about going to Australia for training and a friendly against an A League team. Except of course they are not an official national team so it is highly unlikely the Football Federation of Australia would allow one of its members to play against them. Just in case FIFA were alert and took action which is another story.

Of course if this team were to go to Australia it is highly likely they would want to play Brisbane Roar who are owned by the group that effectively bankrolls the unofficial national team. They may be used to doing things their way in Indonesia. Would Australia be so forgiving?

Talk of a players strike soon dissipated and they have again politely divided themselves into the two warring camps, acqueising to the demands and ambitions of the various power brokers. Truth be told they would be on thin ice indeed if they did go on strike. The rival bodies really don't give a shit and would happily kick out the experienced pros and use unknown kids and face down any whining from FIFA, FIFPro or whoever.

The farce shows no sign of ending


Butler On His Bike

Now far be it for me to generalise but bosses in this part of the world like their subordinates to scrape, bow and doff their caps. They don't like people to have opinions without first making sure the opinion coincides with the party line. Whatever that may be.

A few weeks ago Terengganu coach Peter Butler dropped two players from his squad because they broke curfew one night and brought ladies back to their hotel room.

Days later the coach, who used to play for West Ham United, hauled off his goal keeper, Malaysian international Ahmad Sharbinee, after he conceded a goal in suspicious circumstances. For people who have been living under a rock, Malaysian football has long been blighted with match fixing associations.

Both the curfew breakers and the keeper responded angrily to being disciplined and denied any wrong doing.

In many countries the coach's job is to coach and he has full control over the players. Not so in this part of the world. The players can bypass the coach and go straight to the club president, manager whatever and on too many occasions the club will over rule the coach.

Instead of currying favour with the players as the manager or whatever will be trying to do, all they succeed in doing is undermining the coach and his position. Not a good idea if you want to build a successful football club.

Of course not everyone involved in running football clubs in this part of the world is interested in football; they have their own agenda.

In the wake of Butler taking disciplinary action the English coach posted on Twitter that he had been advised to not ride his bike round Kuala Terengganu! It would be pathetic if it wasn't true!

Now the Terengganu Football Association have suspended Butler for six months while giving the players a slap on the wrist. Butler's offence? He spoke to the media without the approval of the management team. Rumours that the Terengganu management team include Fred Flintsone and Barney Rubble is not confirmed but their thinking does seem to be most certainly stone age.

When asked if they would replace Butler the FA said yes, if he resigned.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


AFF Cup Preparation

The biannual ASEAN Football Federation Cup kicks off with the qualifying rounds next month, hosted in Myanmar, but the region’s heavyweights have already began their preparations.
Six countries have already qualified for the two week event which will initially be hosted in Malaysia and Thailand. The hosts are joined by Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and The Philippines leaving the five other member nations of ASEAN, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei and Timor Leste to battle it out for the final two places.
Malaysia, the holders from 2010, and Vietnam, who won it two years before, met in Shah Alam Stadium with Vietnam earning a surprise 2-0 win. Despite their 2008 triumph the Vietnamese were disappointing when it came to defending their trophy and this win will be a great boost to their morale.
One team that could do with a morale boost is Indonesia. The current squad are not even sure whether they will be in contention for places when the competition comes round, such is the uncertainty that surrounds the game there.
Everyday seems to bring more bad news for followers of Indonesian football and the latest came on Monday evening when a sparse crowds, dwarved in the cavernous Bung Karno Stadium, witnessed a poor performance as the home team lost 2-0 to North Korea.
Indonesia and Vietnam meet later this week in Surabaya and the home team will be hoping for a decent turn out off the field coupled with a decent showing on it. But Vietnam’s win in Selangor will give them an edge.
Singapore’s international fortunes have been marginally better than their giant southern neighbours. They, at least, have won a game in recent memory, 2-0 against Hong Kong, though last time out they were held by the Philippines on home turf. And a do mean turf; the playing surface looked better equipped for horses!
Myanmar is a difficult place to go at any time and with confidence low in the Singapore camp they would surely have preferred a ‘softer’ opponent. They will then view a 1-1 draw there as a good result, especially after having a man sent off.
The Thais have won the AFF Cup three times but last time out they couldn’t get out of the group stage and struggled to get a draw against Laos. With a strong domestic league, peopled by influential business people and politicians the national team has become almost an after thought over recent years forcing current coach Winnie Schaeffer to pen an open letter to the Thai Football Association pleading for some competitive friendlies before the tournament begins.
They hosted Laos and just scraped a 2-1 win in front of their own supporters. Their first game since the end of February.
The team that appears to be going into the AFF Cup with the best preparation are The Philippines. They reached the semi finals last time round and were forced to play the ‘home’ leg of their semi final away from home because they lacked any suitable facilities themselves.
They have been preparing in earnest and their 2-0 win in Singapore last week was their 11th friendly of the year with just one defeat in that run. And there is more to come with games lined up against Macau, Chinese Taipei, Bahrain, Kuwait and a return leg against Singapore before the cup begins.
The Philippines are showing spirit and adventure beyond their ASEAN rivals by choosing opponents beyond their own backyard but it remains to be seen whether it will pay off or not.
The Azkals, as they are known, will either be the best prepared team this year or the most tired!

First appeared in Jakarta Globe

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Irawan Performing Well

Indonesian footballer Arthur Irawan turned in a good 90-minute
performance as RCD Espanyol gained a convincing 3-0 victory over
Castellar on Tuesday.

Irawan, 19, operated in his preferred right-back role and caught the
eye with his adventurous forays in the first half - and solid
defending in the second 45 minutes.

Irawan was delighted with the team's efforts.

"It was a very good display. I'm learning all the time, and I feel my
touch and speed of thought are improving, while the tactical
experience you gain from playing in these games is invaluable.

"We certainly had the edge in the first half and I got forwards quite
a lot to help out my team-mates in an attacking sense. And as a
defender I was delighted to record a clean sheet."

SOURCE - press release

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Report Me Says Riedl

Alfred Riedl, currently coaching Indonesia's 'other' national team, has dared the PSSI to report him to FIFA saying he is not scared.

Riedl was sacked when the new regime took over the PSSI. Some daft reason given like they couldn't find the contract!

'I remind Mr Djohar (PSSI Head) my contract was not paid for eight months until now (September 2011 to May 2012). It is my right and must be paid because I already did my work as contracted by the PSSI' he said, quoted in a local paper.

Of course we can wait for FIFA to take action on this...oh, sorry, no they won't. They won't do a thing.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Embarrassment & More Embarrassments For PSSI

The last couple of times Indonesia have hosted Malaysia the Bung Karno Stadium has been an uncomfortable sell out. Over 90,000 for the AFF Cup Final and the SEA Games Final.

Last night's friendly  between the respective Under 22 teams saw an all but empty stadium.

Further embarrassment for the PSSI came at the national games being held in Riau when their officials were sent home! The national games, which feature the provinces that make up Indonesia, will be refereed by officials from the Indonesia Super League, not the official Premier League.

The embarrassments keep piling up for the PSSI but these people, like their predecessors, have thick skin. Forget water off a duck's back, this is grenades off a rhino's back.

Last week the secretary general quit.

More red faces coming soon. A second national team is being prepared in Batu near Malang. This squad is being coached by Alfred Riedl who was unceremoniously sacked when the new regime took over. Now the Austrian coach risks sanction by FIFA for working with an unsanctioned national team...if those bozos ever wake up to what is happening in this parts.

Riedl was quoted as saying that he is a coach and not a politician, implying it is not his business who pays his wedge.

Still, as the general secretary in the last regime once famously said, to paraphrase him, we've done enough things, a few more won't make much difference!

Saturday, September 08, 2012


AFF Cup 2012 Qualifying Round

05/10 Cambodia v Timor Leste, Myanmar v Brunei
07/10 Timor Leste v Myanmar, Laos v Cambodia
09/10 Cambodia v Brunei, Timor Leste v Laos
11/10 Brunei v Laos, Myanmar v Cambodia
13/10 Laos v Myanmar, Brunei v Timor Leste

Games to be played in Yangon, Myanmar. Team that finishes second join Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore in Group B, hosted in KL. Team that finishes first join Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines in Group A hosted in Thailand.

Lasted time Thailand hosted this, back in 2010, the airport in Bangkok was shut by protesters and games shifted to Phuket.


Where Are They Now? Australia Under 16 Squad, AFF Cup 2008

Back in 2008 I attended much of the ASEAN Football Federation Youth Championships here in Jakarta. Five teams competed, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Bahrain. The Aussies won, beating Bahrain in the final.

But what of the players four years on. Back then they were under 16. How about today? Have any stepped up and made the grade?

Shafiq Ghani most certainly has. The Singaporean plays for Young Lions in the SLeague and has been called up for the national team.

It was at this event I first sat up and took notice of what Malaysia was doing at a youth level. Their professionalism was evident then. While other South East Asian squads used down time in the stands to goof around and play with their mobile phones the Malaysians watched the action on the field and took notes.

Striker Gary Steven Robbat also plays in the SLeague but for Harimau Muda. He has been linked with trials with European clubs but nothing has come of them yet.

One player who really caught my eye was Malaysian attacking midfielder Saaryindran Devandran. He too is with Harimau Muda in the SLeague. I made him the player of the tournament, not that anyone cares what I think anyway, and as I researched this piece I notice he had been made player of the tournament the year before in a meet in Hong Kong.

A young Brendan Hammill kissing the AFF Under 16 Cup.
But how about the Australians? Have any of that squad from four years back done anything in the game yet? Their captain, Brendan Hamill, was born in 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and he, no, wait a minute, that can't be right. The football one, still not 20, signed for KLeague side Seongnam Ilhwa Chunwa not eight weeks ago.

Joseph Costa was born in Beirut in 1031 and became famous as an evangelical preacher...shit, done it again! The perils of research by Wiki...Costa the footballer was with Adelaide United but hasn't been updated for a while.

Kamal Said was born in Ethiopia but his family fled the war torn country when he was 11 years old, ending up in Australia. After spells with Melbourne Victory he stepped down to the State League with South Melbourne and Heidleberg United nee Alexander.

Interestingly the Victorian Football Federation also employ him as an ambassador giving advise and counselling to kids who have arrived in Australia from the Horn of  Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. That would be an interesting story for anyone down under keen to pursue it...

Striker Kerem Bulut is another Aussie from that squad who is making a name for himself overseas. In 2010 he joined Czech side Mlada Boleslav on a two year deal. In January this year he moved to Turkey with Eskisehirspor (glad this ain't a pod), but since returned to his former club in Czech Republic.

Trent Sainsbury missed out on the Final that year in Jakarta but is now playing in the A League for Central Coast.

While Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka may grab the headlines in China, the wonderfully named Million Butshiire is plying his trade in far less glamourous surroundings in League One there with Harbin Yiteng.

And me? Little old me who sat in the stand and watched every game bar one? I'm still here...


Thai Squad To Face Laos

Kawin Tammasatchanan (Muang Thong)
Siwarak Tetsoongnoen (Buriram)
Kosin Hembut (Army)

Teeratorn Bunmatan (Buriram)
Piyapon Bantao (Muang Thong)
Panupong Wongsa (Muang Thong)
Weerawut Gayem (Muang Thong)
Prayat Bunya (Rachaburi)
Prat Samakrat (BEC Tero)
Natapon Panreut (BEC Tero)
Niwet Siriwong (Pattaya)

Suchao Nutnum (Buriram)
Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Buriram)
Jakrapan Gaewprom (Buriram)
Jirawat Makarom (Buriram)
Datsakorn Tonglao (Muang Thong)
Sumanya Purisai (Chainat)
Pichitpong Choeichiu (Muang Thong)
Ratana Pet-aporn (Rachaburi)

Teerasil Daengda (Muang Thong)
Suriya Komtosong (Buriram)
Tana Chanabut (Police)
Surachat Sareepim (Police)
Kirati Kieawsombat (Wuachon)
Napat Tamrongsupagorn (Samut Songkram)

No players from Chonburi or Bangkok Glass called up due to League Cup duty. Could have played both, surely?!


Apathy At The Top Damages Singapore Football

Singapore's preparations for the AFF Cup later this year got off to a poor start last night when they were beaten 2-0 by the Philippines in front of just under 3,000.

People left blaming the pitch but surely the same for both sides. The mere fact that there is no decent pitch in Singapore must be a kick in the teeth for the people supposedly responsible for the game and sports in the country and highlights the government's 'we don't give a shit' attitude.

The National Stadium was demolished a few years back and the replacement, grandly known as a sports hub, that's what Singapore rulers care about, business school bullshit, is still someway down the line.

Meaning there is nowhere. And this in a country/city that some fawning organisation recently declared was a better sports city than Melbourne! The things people do for a couple of free nights in a pricey hotel.

With this institutional apathy why should anyone else give a rat's arse about the game there?

Singapore's results this year.

A v Azerbaijan 2-2
A v Iraq 1-7
A v Hong Kong 0-1
H v Malaysia 2-2
A v Malaysia 0-2
H v Hong Kong 2-0
H v Philippines 0-2

Malaysian players have come up against the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers in trophy friendlies. Singapore have played Hong Kong home and away!

UPDATE - sorry, second best sports city in the world after Melbourne!

Friday, September 07, 2012


Sriwijaya's Rebuilding Job

Sriwijaya target Wilson in action against Persikota
After Indonesia Super League champions Sriwijaya decided not retain much of the squad that won the title they have been looking for players to replace the old guard of Kayamba, Hilton, M Ridwan and co.

Among the local players they are thought to be looking at are Saktiawan Sinaga, Tantan and Samsul Arif.

Other names being linked are Erick Lewis Weeks who has been tremendously consistent with Persiwa for several seasons and M Ilham.

They are also thought to be in a three way tug of war for the services of Liberian striker Edward Wilson Junior whose goals led Semen Padang to the IPL last season. Mitra Kukar are also thought to be interested while Semen Padang too want him to stay.


Thai League Cup Quarter Finals

Buriram United v BEC Tero 1-1
Bangkok Glass v Chonburi 1-0
Ratchburi v Wuachon 2-0
Muang Thong v TOT 1-2

Sven Goran Eriksson's time as BEC Tero's Technical Director or what ever began with a useful 1-1 in Newin Country. The only team from outside the TPL, Ratchburi. defeated the recently invented Wuachon at home. They will carry a 2-0 lead down to Songkla for the second leg. And Muang Thong lost...first time this season? The TPL leaders rested a few players and TOT had a goal disallowed but will they be fired up for the second leg or will they keep a weakened side?

Second leg next Tuesday


Persib's New Stadium Taking Shape

Without doubt Persib are one of the best supported clubs in the country. Yet they have woefully lacked a decent stadium to show off in front of their fans. Siliwangi Stadium in Bandung only holds about 22,000 while Jalak Harapat Stadium out in Soreang holds about 35,000 but is a bastard to get to and from.

They're finally getting a new stadium. It has been announced that the new venue will be called Dada Rosada Stadium and will hold 38,000 spectators. Is that big enough?

Persib are hoping to get a big team to 'open' the stadium and one name mentioned so far is ALeague champions Brisbane Roar, owned by an Indonesian family prominent in the game here.


Andik Gets US Opportunity

Andik Vermansyah has been one of the most talked about footballers in Indonesia since his performances in the SEA Games last year.

The Persebaya IPL wide man has on occasion rather fancifully been linked with foreign clubs; people with long memories will recall another wideman, Okta Maniani, was similarly effused about, but with Andik he will at least get an opportunity.

He will miss this weekend's SCTV and fly off to the USA for a short trial with DC United who are owned by an Indonesian businessman.

Hope he manages to get a visa ok!

Who knows. Perhaps another rich Indonesian family with football clubs in Belgium and Australia may offer Andik an opportunity there? Except of course those clubs are owned by people firmly in the anti PSSI camp!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


PSSB Plan Malaysia Friendlies

PSSB Bireuen are not one of the teams I write too much about. Difficult to get to, several hours from Medan airport, they rarely appear on TV and they lack their own website.

This report suggests they are planning to play a friendly or two in Malaysia. Which ain't as daft as it sounds. Flying to KL from Medan is quicker than flying to Jakarta.

Whether it happens remains to be seen of course...


Vietnam Change Surabaya Date

If you had booked to go and see Indonesia play Vietnam in Surabaya on 15 September you're gonna be 24 hours late. The game has been moved to 14 September...

Why? Who needs a just is.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Arema's New ISL Coach

Arema have finally being linked with just about half the unemployed, and a tenth of the employed, coaches in the region, Arema have finally appointed Paolo Carmargo.

The Brazilian coach previously led unfancied Persibo to the Indonesia Cup in the official league set up.

However did Arema miss out on Sven Goran Erikkson?!


SCTV Cup, Jakarta

The Indonesian Football Association haven't had much success trying to host teams recently. Everton, Galatasary and Espanyol Reserves have all said no to Jakarta's charms despite much wooing from here.

The SCTV Cup however does appear, for now, to be going ahead. Involved are Indonesia, Indonesia U22, North Korea and Malaysia U22.

09/09 Indonesia U22 v Malaysia U22
10/10 Indonesia v North Korea

Ticket Prices

VIP - 750,000 IDR
Category 1 - 400,000 IDR
Category 2 - 150,000 IDR
Category 3 = 70,000 IDR


Sriwijaya Clean Out

They may have won the Indonesia Super League last season but Sriwijaya will not be relying on the players who led them to the title.

Instead the team from Palembang are having a bit out of a clear out with some familiar names leading the way.

The highest profile is without doubt Keith Kayamba Gumbs. 40 years young next Wednesday, Kayamba has been an integral part of Sriwijaya's successes over the last five years, helping them to two titles, three cups and a Community Shield along the way.

An outstanding pro, he has kept himself fit and his dedication to the game is an example to young players.

Following him out of the door is Brazilian Hilton Moreira.

Three local players are also leaving. Firman Utina, M Ridwan and Supardi have apparently signed for Persib.


The Immature Side Of Malaysian Football

Terengganu coach Peter Butler has been threatened, apparently by his own players, after clamping down on ill discipline and 'suspicious activities.

The former West Ham player tweeted yesterday he had been advised to stop riding his bike because he would be attacked!

Last week he dropped two players for breaking curfew. The two, Muslim Ahmad and Ismail Faruqi, have asked the coach for an apology!

At the weekend he took off his keeper, Ahmad Sharbinee Allawee, after an error at a corner.

Malaysian football is forever being mired in match fixing allegations.

As the keeper walked off the field he threw a water bottle at the coach.

Butler was quoted as saying 'the team cannot move forward until we get rid of players who have no regard for discipline or are corrupt.' Words that could just as easily apply to Malaysian football as a whole.

Teregganu FA President  has supported Butler's actions.

Steve Darby had an interesting take on match fixing in the region when he was being interviewed on an English radio station last week. He cited the example of a player who refused an approach from fixers but had to give way when they indirectly threatened his family.

UPDATE 5/9/12

TERENGGANU - Axed goalkeeper Ahmad Sharbinee Allawee said he would clear his name and rejected allegations that he deliberately scored an own goal against his Terengganu team in their Malaysian Cup match against Kedah on Saturday.

The former Malaysian national goalkeeper was instantly hauled off the pitch by English manager Peter Butler after he appeared to fumble a corner into his own net, allowing Kedah the equaliser in the 1-1 draw.

A furious Butler shoved the goalkeeper in the back as he left the pitch, and delivered a stinging verdict afterwards: "We don't need such players. We only want those who put in an honest effort. I can safely say that he won't feature in the team anymore."

But Sharbinee said he welcomes an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as he has nothing to hide. "I want to clear my name. I have never sold a match and it saddens me that people have labelled me as corrupt," he told The Star newspaper.

Sharbinee, who hurled a water bottle at Butler as he left the pitch, added: "I have always accepted criticism, especially from the coach, but it was always in the dressing room. I admit I lost my temper as he also hurled curses at me. I couldn't contain my anger and retaliated by throwing the water bottle."

He said he would move on if his services were not needed but he wanted to clear up the matter first. 

Terengganu FA President Che Mat Jusoh said the club's management will meet today to attempt to resolve the issue.

Sharbinee is not the only player Butler has axed. Last week, he kicked out two senior players - Muslim Ahmad and Ismail Faruqi - for purportedly breaking a curfew. The two deny the allegations and have demanded an apology.

Monday, September 03, 2012


BEC Tero Go For Trophy Appointment

Muang Thong United had Robbie Fowler. Thailand had Bryan Robson. Now BEC Tero have appointed Sven Goran Eriksson as 'Technical Director'.

In footballing terms this is a nothing appointment. Yes, it will get a few headlines but it is not going to bring any benefit to the football club. These appointments rarely do.

When his agent says 'it could be very short term' it says it all.

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