Malaysian teams warm to more Indonesian players

Since Selenagor used them with stunning effect, Indonesia's best players are in growing demand in Malaysia. With the scoring power of Bambang Pamungkas and Elie Aiboy, both regulars with the Indonesian national team, Selenagor won a hat-trick of titles, the Premier League the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup. Now Malacca Telekom, who with Selangor MPPJ are the only club sides in the Malaysian Super League next season, appears to be on the verge of signing Indonesian national team skipper, Ponaryo Astaman.

According to Vijesh Rai in the New Straits Times, "Telekom’s decision to sign him must surely be linked to the almost fanatical support Indonesian footballers have from their compatriots residing in Malaysia. That was for all to see in Selangor’s treble winning campaign this year as [Bambang and Elie] attracted fellow Indonesians working here by the thousands. The FA of Selangor admitted that, prior to the team winning honours, if the Shah Alam Stadium had 15,000 fans for a match, some 10,000 were Indonesians ... In fact, Selangor reportedly collected almost RM 4 million from ticket sales and this has obviously attracted the attention of other teams."


Rizal Abdullaha reports in The Star that Indonesian internationals seeking to land contracts with teams in the M-League "are said to be a demanding lot" and publishes claims from "a source" that they are asking to be given contracts without attending trials. “They also want to be placed in houses or condos of their choices. And they prefer to stay in the city,” the source said. “If I have my way, I will never hire such players. They are holding us to ransom. Why should we bow to their demands. It’s ridiculous. We hire them to win titles for us but not to the extent of them controlling us,” the source told Abdullaha (14 Oct).

Indonesians Ponaryo Astaman, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto and Budi Sudarsono were noticed in Kuching watching Premier League side Sarawak in training.

See also: Huge crowds fill stadium for Malaysian cup finals (2 Oct)