Monday, June 06, 2016


Hamka Has Been Arema's Mr Consistency

Amid the promise shown by many younger players so far this season in the Indonesia Soccer Championship, one old head has been putting in consistently good shifts for his team.

Arema skipper Hamka Hamzah has been around the block a bit. Now 32 years old, the Makassar born defender has seen service with PSM, Persebaya, Persik, Persija, Persisam, Persipura, Mitra Kukar, PKNS (Malaysia) and Pusamania before fronting up in Malang and I think it is fair to say we haven't always seen the best of him.

Technically speaking his is one of the best Indonesian players around. Comfortable on the ground and in the air he reads the game well and, as we have seen this season, packs a ferocious shot. And while he is generally seen as a defender he can play in the middle of the park and on occasion up top. Indeed one time I saw him partner Thai international Pipat Thonkaya for Persisam against Persitara.

As I inferred before consistency has been a thing with Hamka but this season he has been at the top of his game as Arema have started the season well. Perhaps it is experience, perhaps it is an old pro revelling in the captaincy he has been given by coach Milomir Seslija but he has been playing with a maturity and flair this season and his club have been reaping the benefits. And for all the sterling work he has been doing at the back for his team he has found time to become equal top scorer in the ISC with three goals in the five games so far.

With Cristian Gonzales missing for much of the season because of injury in the first game against Persiba the responsibilities for leadership on the field have fallen on Hamka's shoulders and he has responded big time.

If the PSSI ever get round to appointing a coach then thoughts will inevitably turn to the ASEAN Football Federation Championships later this year. Given his performances so far this season Hamka's name should be one of the first on the list.

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