Friday, June 24, 2016


Tjong Becomes Fourth ISC Coach To Pay Ultimate Price

Edward Tjong has stepped down as coach of PS TNI with the club saying he felt he had failed to give his best for the team this season. The military side have moved swiftly, replacing him with Suharto who had coached the side during the General Sudirman Cup.

While PS TNI are winless after seven games, only goal difference keeps off bottom place, there had been a sense Tjong's position was fairly safe with the understanding he had a pretty young, inexperienced squad to draw upon and of course a squad that included no foreign players.

It has been an interesting debut season for the military men who only joined the league after some kind sponsor had bought the license of Persiram. They started the campaign playing in Bandung but after just a couple of home games there switched to playing in Cibinong as they sought to find a home base.

While no one has been surprised by their poor start to the season they did earn some headlines when their supporters went on the rampage in the game away to Gresik United with play stopped for 20 minutes. The club received a hefty fine and were told their next two away games were to be played without any PS TNI fans in the stadiums...hardly a great punishment for a team that draws its support from local military camps!

Under Tjong they earned a reputation as a tough team to beat. Only Mitra Kukar (4-1) and Persipura (3-1) could make their class show against the hardworking but limited side while Persija had to wait until five minutes from time before they could secure the three points. Draws against Bhayangkara Surabaya United, Gresik United and PSM are all they have to show for the ISC so far with just four goals scored in their seven games.

Suharto has a couple of days to work with the squad ahead of their next game away to Semen Padang with their on fire import striker Sacremento and local lad Vendry Mofu among the goals. On paper there is little reason to expect anything will change any time soon beyond the name on the coach's office door but then this is Indonesia...

* The other coaches to find themselves out of work this season are Dejan Antonic (Persib), Luciano Leandro (PSM) and Stefan Hansson (Persela).

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