10 Indonesian players who could follow in Andik Vermansah's footsteps
A decade or so ago, Malaysia was the overseas destination of choice for Indonesian footballers looking to add some foreign credibility to their Wikipedia profiles. The most famous one was arguably striker Bambang Pamungkas, who enjoyed a spectacular first season with Selangor, while the likes of Elie Aiboy, Budi Sudarsono and Ponaryo Astaman also had spells in Malaysian football.
After those original pioneers returned home, interest waned as Malaysia started to look elsewhere for talent, and it was only in 2014 that Indonesian footballers ventured back across the Malacca Straits with the precocious Andik Vermansah signing for Selangor, Patrich Wanggai heading north-east to T-Team and the versatile Hamkah Hamzah being snapped up by PKNS.
Fast forward a year, only Andik remains but given the uncertainty that is an almost permanent accompaniment to football in Indonesia – salaries are often paid late and the current Indonesia Super League (ISL) season was delayed by six weeks for “administrative” reasons – would more of our neighbours be interested in trying their luck in Malaysia’s thriving scene? So, here are the top 10 potential movers…
Read this month's cover story about Andik in the May 2015 issue of FourFourTwo Malaysia/Singapore, which also features exclusive interviews with Nacer Chadli, Alan Smith, Simon Mignolet and more. Get it today!
(Main picture: asiana.my)