Friday, November 22, 2013


Coaching The Coaches

Football can be an ungrateful business. Take, for example, the summer transfer of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for a reported world record fee of 85 million pounds. There can be no denying Bale had a phenomenal season last campaign for Tottenham but truth be told, while Spurs bank the cash, they probably had little impact on Bale as a footballer.

The talent would have been already within the player. He had shown it as a raw teenager coming through the ranks at Southampton before sparking the move to North London in 2007 for 7 million pounds. He would have shown it before being picked up by the Saints in the first place.

Bale’s talent would have been recognized and honed by unsung others a long way down football’s food chain. By part time coaches working the local age group leagues in South Wales and the physical education teachers at his school.

Indeed as Andre Villas Boas drooled at the prospect at spending the windfall Bale’s sale had brought the club, one guy who had a far greater impact on the player’s career would have received no attention at all.

At school, Bale was so good his PE teacher insisted decided the young lad who one day would command such a large transfer fee should play the game using only his right foot. “Whatever you teach, you are looking to maintain their strengths and develop their weaknesses. You want to challenge them to see how they respond,” said Gwyn Morris, head of PE at Bale’s school.

In football they talk about unearthing gems. The analogy with mining for precious stones is appropriate. The diamond necklaces seen in designer outlets with outrageous prices started their journey in the slime and muck of some pit far removed from their destiny.

Some unnamed, unrecognized, under paid worker would have recognized its potential amid all the drudge. 

The unpolished gem would then have been passed along some unseen chain, passing through a number of hands, before finally ending up draped around some neck. In the case of Indonesian football, regretfully, gems remain unpolished, to be peddled by unscrupulous middlemen and traded in dubious circumstances.

In the example of Bale, Tottenham are little more than a high end retail outlet. The real work had been done years ago.

Little attention is paid to those further down the chain yet the responsibility they have is massive. And so is their legacy.

Take for example Senrab Football Club. Never heard of them? Chelsea’s John Terry, Ray Wilkins (Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan), Sol Campbell (Tottenham and Arsenal) and Jermaine Defoe (West Ham United and Tottenham) are just four of their alumni who went on to represent England.

Or Wallsend Boys Club. England internationals Alan Shearer (Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United) and Peter Beardsley (Newcastle United, Liverpool) honed their skills under the watchful eyes of the Boys Club coaches.

Coaching top class footballers today is a regulated business. Anyone interested in entering the business needs to be licensed by UEFA or FIFA. Yet down at boys’ club level, the people tasked with finding and developing the next Terry or Shearer are all too often well meaning amateurs who just love their football. 

Their reward comes not from seven figure wage packets, bling or Wags. They just love football.

Once qualified, coaches and managers get plenty of opportunities to develop their trade. Which is kind of like giving Sebastian Vettel driving lessons after winning his third Formula One title. Yes, career development is good and something all good professionals embrace.

Recently, in South Jakarta, a coaching clinic took place that took a different route. Their aim was to reach out to those involved in local soccer schools, known as Sekolah Sepak Bola or SSB, and schools. In other words, those likely to find and nurture a Bale or Terry.

Lee Johnson and Taff Rahman brought with them a wealth of experience. Both had worked with academies of top flight English clubs. Rahman with Arsenal, Johnson with Chelsea.

Together they set up Academy Soccer Coach and brought their workshop to Jakarta where about 20 enthusiastic local coaches rocked up at an international school for two days of practice and workshops.
While in Jakarta they took the opportunity to catch the national Under 19 team defeat South Korea and were impressed by what they saw.

We are now even more excited about football development in Indonesia. Having delivered our first course over here and positive feedback we have received has been very good. Also after watching the U19 play we can further see the potential for football development here,” said Rahman.

The course spent a lot of time focusing on coaching basics. Topics like formations, movement and passing. They may seem basic but then football is a simple game.

The feedback sessions were just as important as the time spent on the field or in the classroom for the coaches. It gave them the opportunity to discuss their own personal situations, the problems they faced. It is all well and good a couple of foreigners coming over and telling people in Indonesia how things work at Arsenal and Chelsea, on the ground things are very different and both Rahman and Johnson emphasized the process was just as much a learning curve for them as it was the participants.

While the coaches went away enthused by what they had seen and discussed, they were all too aware of the problems they faced on a daily basis in the quagmire of Indonesian football. 

The hold politics has on the game chokes the life out of new thinking. A generation of players like Bambang Pamungkas, Firman Utina and Ponaryo Astaman, at their peak among the best in the region, never saw their careers blossom as their talents deserved.

Even now, young players like Evan Dimas, Andik Vermansyah and Syamsir Alam are in danger of seeing their careers damaged by political interference.

Players like Arthur Irawan is with Espanyol in Spain because his family had the wherewithal to take him out of the game as it operates here and encourage him overseas.

But the coaching must go on. We cannot give up on football because of the actions of others. The players need to be supported and the coaches need to be encouraged. Because one day things will improve and one day we need to be able to say player Z was found and developed by coach A in some kampong SSB.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Balestier Khalsa Ditch Stewart

SINGAPORE - They helped guide Balestier Khalsa to four trophies over the past two seasons.
But Tigers' S-League coach Darren Stewart and his assistant Kevin Wee - who also acts as the club's Prime League (Under-21) coach - will no longer be with the club next season.
Balestier chairman S Thavaneson confirmed this with The New Paper on Wednesday.
"He (Stewart) is contracted until the end of 2013, and we will not retain him for next season," said Thava, adding that Wee will also be released.
Stewart (right) and Wee could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.
Former Australia international Stewart guided the club to their first piece of silverware since the S-League was formed in 1996, when the team lifted the StarHub League Cup in July.
He also guided the club to their best finishes since the merger of Balestier Central and Clementi Khalsa in 2003, and was shortlisted for the S-League Coach of the Year award in each of the last two seasons.
Balestier finished sixth in 2012 and fourth in the recently-concluded season.
His long-time assistant Wee, meanwhile, led the Tigers' Under-21 side to back-to-back Prime League titles, as well as last year's FA Cup.
While Thavaneson declined to go into why he decided not to renew the duo's contracts, he hinted that it was not because of football reasons.
A Balestier player, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told TNP: "We players heard about it on Tuesday and we are all disappointed.
"We pride ourselves on being a united team, so this comes as a big shock to us.
Key roles
"Darren and Kevin have played key roles in bringing success to this club, as well as the first major silverware in the League Cup.
"And they always shun the limelight, and prefer to let the players take all the credit.
"Some of us have already signed on to play next season and it is sad that Darren and Kevin won't be with us."
Meanwhile, RHB Singapore Cup runners- up Tanjong Pagar United yesterday announced that coach Patrick Vallee signed a two-year extension to his contract at the club.
COMMENT - after ditching the most successful coach in their history I can only imagine Balestier Khalsa have lined up Mourinho. Or Wenger.


Kuala Lumpur On Their Way Back

The pieces of the puzzle are slowly falling into place for former Malaysia Cup kingpins Kuala Lumpur as the city side bid to reverse a decline which resulted in successive relegation the past two seasons.

   KL will play in the third-tier FAM League for the first time in their 35-year history but the wheels have been turning as soon as relegation from the Premier League was confirmed in July.
   Tang Siew Seng, assistant to Razip Ismail from 2009 to 2012 and a three-time Malaysia Cup winner with KL in 1987 to 1989, including one season as captain, has been confirmed as KL's coach for next season.
   KL have been performing well with a team of amateurs sprinkled with a few professionals in the ongoing Sultans' Gold Cup and on Saturday,  held Selangor 1-1 in the quarter-final first leg in Selayang.
   Only four players were retained from the disastrous 2013 squad while midfielder S. Sumindran is set to join from Pos Malaysia with KL on the look out for several more players to fill up their quota of 10 professionals and 15 amateurs.
   Siew Seng already has an idea of what his team should look like though not all the players on the Gold Cup roster will be retained.
   "There are some who have done well but there are others who lack fitness and technique so we will not be bringing them in," he said.
   "We need to find a few more players and we are looking at taking players on loan from several KL clubs playing in the M-League," he added, with Sime Darby and Public Service Commission ready to loan KL a few players.
   Only defenders Ahmad Jihad Ismail and Syazwan Rani and midfielders Syafiq Johari and J. Mughilan Kartik have been retained from last season while defender Ahmad Dashila Tajudin and striker Badrul Hisyam Azmi were among the senior KL players to have been let go.
   Siew Seng, who took over from Slovak Stanislav Leiskovsky, said he offered the four a second chance and challenged them to regain KL's honour after being responsible for their relegation.
   "I told them this is the time to prove yourselves because this is your chance to bring KL back up after you took them down," Siew Seng said.
   KL have also been looking at players from the city's Premier Division such as midfielder Lukhman Mohd Noor from RHB Bank, who was part of the Federal Territories Malaysia Games squad which finished fourth in 2010, and City Hall centre-back Hasnol Hamzah, who played for KL in 2008.
  Under-19 striker Amin Asraf Yaakob is among the youngsters to be given a chance to shine as he seeks to follow in the footsteps of Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Syafwan Syahlan, who were both absorbed into the FA of Malaysia's Young Tigers  in the last two years.
SOURCE - New Straits Times


Malaysia, The Odd One Out

Singapore are bottom of their AFC Asian Cup qualifying group with one win and two goals from their four group games.

Freescoring Thailand are bottom of their AFC Asian Cup qualifying group with five goals and five defeats from their five games. In other words, 555.

Indonesia are bottom of their AFC Asian Cup qualifying group with one draw, two goals and four defeats from their opening five games.

Malaysia are not bottom of their group. They are third and have one win, one draw and three defeats, scoring just three goals.Yet it seems their fans are the most upset as this story testifies!


Persita Move Again?

Indonesia Super League clubs are supposed to register which stadium they wish to use for next season although I don't see why Persija bother. As usual, they have said they will use Bung Karno but you can be sure they will be forced to play many games outside of the capital city.

Persita have made a couple of interesting choices. After a religious instruction, called a fatwa, prohibited the use of Benteng Stadium in Tangerang, fans of both Persita and Persikota were always fighting each other and local residents near the stadium, Persita played last season in Kuningan, West Java. A bloody long journey.

For 2014 they have nominated Krakatau Stadium in Cilegon and Singaperbangsa in Karawang. One is to the west of Tangerang, the other to the east.

Pro Duta have used Bandung, Sleman and Medan as their home bases in their short history. Next season could they see them on the road again having chosen Harapan Bangsa Stadium in Banda Aceh and Singaperbangsa in Karawang.

Both Persib and Pelita Bandung Raya have chosen Siliwangi Stadium and Jalak Harupat although to be fair, given PBR's support, they could just as easily have chosen the stadium in Purwakarta for their home games; they are unlikely to make inroads into Persib's following.

Meanwhile, PSM will play their home games in Pare Pare. So good, they named it twice!


Indonesia Host Under 23 Competition

The MNC Cup starts today with Indonesia welcoming Maldives, PNG and Laos for a pre SEA Games tournament. 


15:00  Maldives vs Papua New Guinea 
19:30  Indonesia vs Laos

15:00 Laos vs Maldives
19:30 PNG vs Indonesia

16:30 Laos vs PNG
19:30 Indonesia vs Maldives

Friday, November 08, 2013


Hamkah Hamza Moves To Malaysia

Hamkah Hamza has signed for Malaysia Super League side PKNS.

Regular readers will know I rate Hamkah highly. He is a powerfully built player, all to rare in Indonesia, comfortable on the ground as well as the air.

In many countries, teams, and indeed the national team, would have developed sides round such a player but not this place. Instead, Hamkah has drifted from club to club during his career, ending last season with Mitra Kukar.

It's time more Indonesian players chanced their arm overseas and while Malaysia has many similarities to Indonesia with culture and language, it is a start.

Next season, PKNS will be coached by Wan Jamak Wan Hasan. During the 2013 campaign they boasted Roman Chhmelo, a familiar face for Hamzah if he sticks around, and the prolific Liberian striker, Patrick Wleh.


Persib's Forward Planning

As is often the case, Persib are well advanced in their plans for next season which will begin next year. Sometime.

They have already announced a friendly against DC United, owned by an Indonesian, to be played at Jalak Harupat Stadium 6 December. There is also a possibility they could play Malaysian side Terengganu later in that month.

In addition there is talk of a game against Hamburg SV in January.

One mouth watering clash that seems to be neither confirmed nor denied is a game against bitter foes Persija in Singapore! Some reports suggest the game will be played on 26 November, others on 23 November. Others say it will be played behind closed doors!

Or it may not even go ahead!

Then we have the squad with the club already signing up a number of players for next season.

1. I Made Wirawan
2. Shahar Ginanjar
3. M Natshir Fadhil Mahbuby
4. Maman Abdurahman
5. Supardi
6. Tony Sucipto
7. Ahmad Jufriyanto
8. Jajang Sukmara

10. Hariono
11. M Ridwan
12. Firman Utina
13. M Taufiq
14. Atep
15. Makan Konaté
16. M Agung Pribadi
17. Sergio van Dijk
18. Djibril Coulibaly
19. Tantan
20. Ferdinand Alfred Sinaga
21. Sigit Hermawan
In a country where most football clubs can't think beyond lunch today, it is refreshing at least one club is serious about their planning.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Singapore Select To Meet Indonesia Select

SINGAPORE, 6 November 2013:  A S.League selection side will take on the top stars from
Indonesia in the two-legged All Stars Challenge in November.

The series will be played over two legs with the first leg scheduled on Monday, 11 November in Singapore at the Jalan Besar stadium. The winner of the All Stars Challenge will be decided in Indonesia on Saturday, 16 November 2013. The kick-off times for both games are at 8:00PM local time.

The S.League Selection is coached by Richard Bok, a 3-time S.League Coach of the Year. The former Warriors FC coach could not contain his excitement at being back in management.

“I have been itching to coach and hopefully this match can give me the challenge that I need. It will be a great test for both sets of players to showcase their skills. Ideally, we would want to win the home game as it will be tough in Indonesia,” said Bok.

RHB Singapore Cup finalists Home United and Tanjong Pagar United will be represented by the likes of Juma’at Jantan and Monsef Zerka. The team will also feature Warriors FC attacking duo Erwan Gunawan and Sufian Anuar. Other notable names in the squad include former Singapore internationals Daniel Bennett and Ahmad Latiff.

Indonesia XI will feature the best players from their two top leagues – the Indonesia Premier
League (IPL) and the Indonesia Super League (ISL). The side boasts several Indonesian
internationals such as Patrick Wanggai, Sergio van Dijk and former national captain Ponaryo Astaman.

Football fans can expect to see an exhilarating matchup as the finest players from the region battle it out for the right to be declared winners of the All Stars Challenge.


Tickets for the 1st Leg will be sold at the Jalan Besar Stadium on matchday, 11 November from
5pm onwards. There will be 2 Ticket Categories – Concession and Open.
Concession - $2 
Only students and senior citizens are eligible to purchase the Concession tickets. A valid ID is
required to be produced upon purchase.
Open - $6
The Open ticket allows fans access to both the Grandstand and the Gallery.

S.League Selection
Team List

Shahril Jantan Goalkeeper Home United
Shamsudin Hashim Goalkeeper Tanjong Pagar

Jeremy Chiang Defender Warriors FC
Daniel Bennett Defender Warriors FC
Nor Azli Yusoff Defender Home United
Walid Lounis Defender Tanjong Pagar
Juma’at Jantan Defender Home United
Firman Hanif Defender Courts Young Lions

Shamil Sharif Midfielder Courts Young Lions
Ahmad Latiff Midfielder Tanjong Pagar
Shukor Zailan Midfielder Warriors FC
Syed Fadhil Midfielder Warriors FC
Firdaus Idros Midfielder Home United
Aliff Shafaein Midfielder Home United

Erwan Gunawan Forward Warriors FC
Sufian Anuar Forward Warriors FC
Monsef Zerka Forward Tanjong Pagar

Coach: Richard Bok

Indonesia XI
Team List

Wahyu Tri Nugroho Goalkeeper Persiba Bantul
Rivki Mokodompit Goalkeeper Sriwijaya FC

Abdul Rachman Defender Sriwijaya FC
Bernadus Valentino Telaubun Defender Perseman Manokwari
Ismed Sofyan Defender Persija Jakarta
Ricardo Salampessy Defender Persipura Jayapura
Kim Kurniawan Defender Persema Malang
M Ridwan Defender Persib Bandung

Ponaryo Astaman Midfielder Sriwijaya FC
Imannuel Wanggai Midfielder Persipura Jayapura
Atep Midfielder Persib Bandung
Eka Ramdani Midfielder Pelita Bandung Raya
Amarzukih Midfielder Persija Jakarta
Ferdinand Sinaga Midfielder Persib Bandung

Sergio van Dijk Forward Persib Bandung
Patrick Wanggai Forward Persipura Jayapura

Coach: Djajang Nurdjaman

SOURCE - Press Release


Mofu Expresses Sriwijaya Preference

With his contract at Semen Padang ended, attacking midfielder Vendry Mofu sat back and waited for the offers to come in. And come they did with champions Persipura as well as Sriwijaya and Gresik United expressing an interest in the player.

Mofu has plumped for home comfort it seems, electing to sign for Sriwijaya for the new season, saying he didn't want to uproot his family who were settled in Padang.

Mind you, Palembang to Padang. It isn't just a case of jumping in the car and driving round the corner!


Police Want Top Dollah

From the rumour mill, with some confirmations, a look at coaches in Malaysia next season.

Steve Darby takes over at Kelantan with outgoing coach Bojan Hodak linked with T Team.

Mehmet Durakovic returns to Malaysia to take over at fallen giants Selangor with their outgoing coach, Irfan Bakto stepping down a division to take over at Felda United.

LionsXII gaffer V Sundramurthy is taking over at Negeri Sembilan while Ceasar Ferrando Jiminez is confirmed at moneybags Johor Darul Takzim.

Dollah Salleh is being linked with the Police side, known as PDRM, hence the headline. Why? What did you think it meant?

Wan Jamak Wan Hassan takes over at PKNS while Abdul Rahman Ibrahim moves to Terengganu on the east coast.

SOURCE - The Star


Boateng Eyes SLeague Opportunity

SINGAPORE — On the cusp of his 38th birthday, a still sprightly George Boateng sprints half the field — from the centre circle into the penalty box — to meet a perfectly floated cross, heading in a 90th-minute goal that sealed a 2-1 away victory for T-Team over Johor Darul Takzim in a Malaysia Cup group match in August.
It is enshrined in cyberspace.
“That goal kept our chances alive for the quarter-finals, and I can’t think of a better example (of why I continue to play),” said Boateng yesterday when he met the media here.
“As a player, even at my age, that’s what you live for ... just for that very moment. I don’t live to sign a multi-million pound contract, I’ve had that. I live for that moment of success, when you shine ... the moment when you know that the hard work has paid off.”
On a private visit to Singapore, Boateng admitted he is on the lookout for an opportunity to move south, with his year-long contract with Terengganu Malaysian Super League side T-Team due to expire at the end of this month.
But Boateng, who shot to fame with Dutch side Feyenoord at the age of 18, before spending 13 seasons in the English Premier League with Coventry City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Hull City, was quick to dispel the notion that he is seeking one final big pay day with the S-League.
“If I would get a job here in Singapore, it’s not because of money,” said Boateng, who has four international caps for the Netherlands and played in the 2006 UEFA Cup final for Middlesbrough against Sevilla.
“It’s because of the driving force within me that I want to achieve something. Make no mistake, I’m only going to use this as a step-up and I guarantee you in the next five years I’m going to be a Premier League manager.”
Boateng secured his UEFA “A” coaching licence last month, and with his playing career winding down, the Dutchman is open to the idea of being a manager or player-coach here.
He said: “I think I have something that I can contribute to the S-League, in terms of experience and quality that I have and bring with me. And it’s always nice to embrace another culture, and it’s always good to add value to the country.”


Stags SLeague Hat Trick Glory

Tampines Rovers eventually won the SLeague. But god, what a long winded end to the season. First there is the normal season. You know, home and away. Then they add on this nonsense top six play each other one more time each. Apparently it's what they do in places like Scotland.

In places like Scotland they have fans turn up.

So Tampines won the league after playing 27 games!

I'm not sure if it's copying for the sake of copying or just bending the knee before the local pools' company.

15 - Aleksander Duric (Tampines Rovers), Moon Soon Ho (Woodlands Wellington)
14 - Mislav Karolgan (Warriors)
13 - Kazuki Sakamoto (Albirex Niigata), Jozef Kaplan (Geyland International), Chang Jo Yoon (Woodlands Wellington)

Balestier Khalsa won the League Cup, crushing DPMM 4-0 in the final. Harimau Muda won the League Plate after defeating Young Lions 2-0. What the hell is the Plate? It's some other nonsense dreamed up in Singapore to generate more excitement/more business for the bookies.

The teams knocked out in the early rounds of the League Cup had a second chance, hence the Plate!

The Singapore Cup final later this week has Tanjong Pagar playing SLeague runners up Home United


Burira Ra Ram United Win Thai Premier League

A word, or two, about Thai football.

It continues to be dominated by the usual suspects, plus one with a political dynasty to the north west of Bangkok liking what they have seen other dynasties do with the game and, perhaps, their popularity.

1 - Buriram United 32 24 9 0 78
2 - Muang Thong United 32 21 8 73
3 - Chonburi 32 18 8 6 62
4 - Suphanburi 32 14 9 9 51

Buriram then made it three titles in six years though their first, in 2008, they were known as PEA and played in a different town and the second they were known as Buriram PEA.

The other three titles in the last six years were won by Muang Thong United.

The FA Cup final is between Buriram United and Bangkok Glass while the League Cup will be the final game of the Thai season and will see Buriram United play Ratchaburi.

Buriram have won both the FA Cup and the League Cup in the last two seasons.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Malaysia Cup Final - Did You Know

1 - The first final was held in 1921 between Singapore and Selangor.
2 - Singapore appeared in the first 21 finals
3 - Selangor and Singapore have met in the final 23 times
4 - The first final that did not feature either Selangor or Singapore came in 1970, between Perak and Kelantan.
5 - 1999 saw Brunei and Sarawak meet in all all Borneo final
6 - Kuala Lumpur have won the Cup three times. Each time, '87, '88, '89, they beat Kedah in the Final.
7 - Kedah appeared in six finals in a seven year period but only won twice, '90, '93.
8 - Kelantan's first final appearance came in 1955. They lost to Singapore.
9 - Pahang's first final appearance came in 1983 when they beat Selangor.
10 - The winning team has scored 8 goals in the final on three occasions.
11 - The trophy has been shared twice, '28 and '29, between Selangor and Singapore.
12 - Selangor have appeared in 47 finals, Singapore, who last competed in 1994, have appeared in 43
13 - Only Perak, 18, Penang 13 and Kedah, 10 have appeared in more than 10 finals apart from the big two.
14 - Kelantan are appearing in their 6th final,and their 4th in five years.
15 - Only MPPJ and Brunei have never been defeated in a Malaysia Cup final
16 - Sabah, Sarawak and ATM have appeared in finals and lost them all.
17 - Perlis appeared in their first final in 2004. They then appeared in 2005 and 2006.
18 - The final has gone to a replay twice, in '48 and '58.
19 - The final has gone to penalties twice, in '96 and '98.
20 - Singapore beat Penang in the 1941 final, just months before the Japanese invaded.


Indonesia Win Big

Indonesia defeated Krygyzstan 4-0 last night at the Bung Karno stadium. A rare event, a competitive game of football in Jakarta. In fact so rare, no one could believe it and hardly anyone turned up.

Goals from Zulham Zumrun (2), Titus Bonai and Ahmad Jufrianto did the business.

After the game, Zulham said something along the lines of 'I'm very proud I can score a goal for my country. I dedicate my goals to everyone in Indonesia.'

Indonesia next travel to North Korea for a couple of friendlies against a club side there before playing China in an AFC Asian Cup qualifier

Friday, November 01, 2013


Safee Is In Demand

It has not been the best of seasons for Malaysian international, Safee Sali. Signed on loan by Johor Dahrul Takzim at the start of the Malaysian campaign from his Indonesian club, Arema, Safee has struggled to find consistency with the newly minted team north of the causeway.

Despite the prro campaign, Safee says there is plenty of interest in him from clubs in Indonesia and Suphanburi in Thailand while closer to home there are suggestions Kelantan and Selangor.

Let's hope he manages to sort something out for next season. As one of the top strikers in the region, he needs to be playing week in, week out


Coulibaly Is A Bobotoh?

Persib traditionally like to get their transfer business done sooner rather than later and this year is proving no exception.

Among the swathe of players to have already arrived include M Taufiq and Djibril Coulibaly.

The signing of Coulibaly is a real statement of intent. After a successful season with Barito Putra it was only a matter of time before the big clubs came sniffing and ot is Persib who have got their man it seems.

Also becoming Bobotoh for the new season are Tantan, Ferdinand Alfred Sinaga among others.

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