Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Choirul Huda - Lamongan Legend

Indonesian football is a fickle mistress. Players rarely spend more than a season or two with the same club...given the current turmoil some are appearing for three or four in a short period of time. So when one player has played for the same club since 1999 that is surely worthy of recognition.

In other countries yes. Just look at the fuss and carry on recently when it was announced John Terry would leave Chelsea. Or the build up to Steven Gerrard's departure from Liverpool. Every time it happens we are told we will never see the like of him again but of course we do though perhaps not as frequently in days of yore.

But in Indonesia it just doesn't happen. And that is what makes Choirul Huda so special. He was born in Lamongan, East Java in 1979 and has been with his local side since 1999. He even seems to have another job in the city. You get the impression he gets jet lag just leaving the city limits so attached is he to his home town.

I once described Persela as Middlesbrough on this blog. Always there with a passionate local support but never really achieving much. They have a reputation for being a well run if not spectacular football club with every game at their compact Surajaya Stadium a near sell out. Players like Marcio Souza spent a number of seasons with a club while current Tampines Rovers skipper Mustafic Fahrudin still enthuses about his season in East Java.

Huda typifies Persela. Loyal, efficient and consistent without ever attracting the headlines he perhaps deserves. It's not as if Lamongan is a backwater of any kind. It is about an hour from Surabaya but while Indonesia's second city and nearby Malang attract the headlines and the glamour Lamongan seems to waft along at its own serene pace.

It is perhaps this lack of intensity which has seen Huda overlooked when it comes to the national team. There was a call up a couple of years back but by then he was in his mid 30s and was more like an embarrassed 'oh yeah, Choirul, let's give him a call' rather than any recognition of his consistency.

Indonesian Chelsea fans were blubbing into their teh botol when it was announced John Terry could be leaving. Man U fans wailed themselves senseless when Sir Alex Ferguson left. But when Choirul Huda finally hangs up his gloves you can be sure there will be no ripples outside of Lamongan. And maybe that is the way he wants it. Quiet, unassuming. But that is to do him  a disservice. His 17 years at one club deserves recognition and god knows Indonesian football needs some good news these days.

I hope someone, somewhere can see fit to give him the recognition and credit he deserves.

thanks for posting this, to me he's like a hero. 😊
Lambat laun choirul huda tidak hanya legenda klub PERSELA tapi layak dinobatkan sebagai pemain penting di pesepakbolaan INDONESIA
Lambat laun choirul huda tidak hanya legenda klub PERSELA tapi layak dinobatkan sebagai pemain penting di pesepakbolaan INDONESIA
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