Thursday, March 10, 2016


Blue Blooded Eka Rejects Persija Move

Wow, I find it hard to believe Eka Ramdani is now 31 years old. Mind, I found it hard to believe he would ever leave Persib. Born and bred in Puwakarta, in the heart of Tanah Bobotoh, Ramdani is the kind of midfielder Indonesia excels at producing. Pint sized Billy Bremners, blessed with skill, an engine and yes even a bit of toughness.

He first played for Persib when he was 18 and, with a brief spell with Persijatim, went on to spend about seven years with the club before joining Persisam in 2011, a move that surprised many. After being a fixture for so long at his boyhood it was perhaps no surprise he would only spend a short time in another time zone on another island and in 2012 he was back on his manor if you like. Only this time it was with Pelita Bandung Raya.

But PBR are no Persib. Think going from Manchester City to Lille and then on to Stockport County. It could be called returning home geographically but football transcends mere maps. Football, the football of romantics and dreamers is about soul and no disrespect to PBR there is not a lot of soul there and 12 months later and he was off again, this time to Semen Padang. With the moves went his international career. Ramdani has just 24 caps to show for his efforts, a meagre return for one so gifted.

Word recently was that Persija were sniffing around the midfielder and why not. Like I said he is a good player. However given the rivalry between Persib and Persija the player himself has reportedly nixxed the move, worrying how the rival sets of fans would have reacted. Nothing like swapping the great divide as players like Maurice Johnston and Sol Campbell have found out in the past.

One player who has made the move and it has worked out pretty well for him is Atep. Born in Persib country, he first got his break with Persija but returned to the bosom of his Sunda family in 2008, being pretty much an ever present ever since. So highly feted is Atep the Persib support have taken him to calling him Lord Atep.

Both Ramdani and Atep are Persib through blood and family. Spurs fans may sing about Harry Kane being one of their own but Ramdani and Atep truly are Bobotoh in a way that perhaps many outside of Indonesia may not understand.

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