The Far East Express S1 Part 2 – There is Potential Here..

The Far East Express has stationed in Indonesia! This is a collaborative effort between DP-FM, FirstEmperorLee, OffTheBarFM, SadPanda333 and now FMAdvancedPlaymaker (FM-AP) has jumped on at the Tuanku Tambusai Stadium in a great addition to the player list. FM-AP (blogger) will follow on from SadPanda333 and lead season 6, wherever we might be by then!

During ‘Part 1‘, Cha Boom certainly got his reality check in Indonesian football as players and staffing are nowhere near what he’s been used to as a player or in his past management experience. There was a glimmer of hope though after a poor first month in the league as a change of tactic and firmer attitude was slowly bringing some sort of form – but it looked like this season was mainly about not falling into the relegation zone.

Whilst we’ll review results from August through to the end of the season, some strange decisions from the owner may make getting away from Indonesia a bit harder. Also a domestic transfer window pops up for the last month of the season which is useless unless you make the play offs but this country is full of surprises and on a personal level I’m somehow starting to love this place..

August 2021

6 games in August, with 5 in Liga 2 and the second round of the Indonesian Cup against runaway league leaders Semen Padang.

Right, just before we go anywhere it’s not as bad as it looks. Cha Boom was actually happy with various aspects. Playing 3 of the top 4 was always going to be difficult however, one loss was very hard to take and it’s that 3-0 loss vs. PSPS which caused dressing room outrage. A team that was beaten 4-1 back on the first game of the season came out for revenge and in turn the Tiga Naga players did not react to any of it. The defending was horrendous, the midfield non existent meaning no service to the strikers who may as well have not been on the pitch. Cha Boom made his feelings clear to the press stating – ‘What a load of sh…’

Semen Padang were not the team you want to try and bounce back against being well away in 1st place even though the press somehow didn’t think that was good enough of the leaders..

What a question honestly, this whole Indonesian football thing is the gift that keeps giving! In the match, a rallied effort got Cha Boom’s boys a 0-0 draw, which was a great result. Next up was 4th placed Sriwijaya FC which brought a much deserved 2-2 draw. Saktiawan Sinaga gave Tiga Naga an unexpected lead before falling behind but Joko Sasongko fires a 79th minute equaliser bring in another decent point.

3rd place Badak Lampung caused a narrow 1-0 loss, the quality in the box being the difference as Cha Boom’s men missed some crystal clear chances. Next was Semen Padang in the cup which was a 3-1 loss which was expected in a sense. Right winger Mohammad Dhia Ulhaq got his first goal of the season, who’s now playing frequently since the switch to 4-4-2. After 5 games without a win finally one arrived at Cha Boom’s side feet. A deserved 2-0 win vs. Cilegon United who were a couple of positions above, a huge 3 points with thanks to Winsu Nugroho & Joko Sasongko for the goals.

It was another tough month with some good draws against good teams but the loss vs. PSPS was inexcusable because of the performance. The hope for Cha Boom is that the win at the end of the month will make September a bit more pleasing in terms of points.

September 2021

Only 6 league games left and as the unlikely play off hopes fade further away there was still a requirement to ensure safety and a respectable finish.

First up was bottom side Muba Babel United and that brought an emphatic 3-0 win, much to the delight of Cha Boom. Young winger Ilham Syafri Noer gets his first goal for Tiga Naga with strikers Wisnu Nugroho & Joko Sasongko at it again. Next up was Persekat who were on a downwards spiral in the table falling into the relegation places but Cha Boom’s side didn’t take advantage, sharing the spoils in a 0-0 draw. Chances were there for both teams but neither could grab the much needed goal.

A third match in a row that was televised brought a comfortable 2-0 win against mid-table side Perserang. Saktiawan Sinaga ended an extended goal drought with a brace to boost his confidence in front of goal. Last game of the month brought 2nd place Persis Solo who were very tough to break down, Saktiawan Sinaga scored in this one too but it turned to be a consolation losing 3-1. Top sides in this league are just too strong for Cha Boom’s Tiga Naga with the different class in players showing.

A lot better this month, the boys are beating the teams that are around them which is important in an attempt to become established in this league, at least.

October 2021/Final league Table

The last month of the season and with the play offs out of the reach, this is where Cha Boom’s first season back in management will end. Only 2 matches to play which will reveal Tiga Naga’s finishing position in their first Liga 2 adventure.

A great way to end with two wins against two teams that were fighting for survival. PSKC put up a great fight in an entertaining game as Saktiawan Sinaga fired Tiga Naga into an early lead. PSKC equalised in the second half before winger turned hero Mohammad Dhia Ulhaq grabbed a 90th minute winner which actually secured Tiga Naga’s safety. Even Cha Boom made some well earned pocket money out of it!

The last game of the season was against PSMS who needed a win to stay up! But not on Cha Boom’s watch, he wanted business as usual and Joko Sasongko provided that giving ‘the 3 dragons’ a 1-0 win. Cha Boom took great pride in relegating PSMS, these are the type of things the great man lives for!

With the season finished, where did Tiga Naga finish their first ever season in Liga 2?

A respectable 7th place with a positive goal difference. Being 5 points off of the play offs wasn’t all bad, there is definitely potential for this young squad to go further. There were times where 10th place was going to be the dreaded finish but that late season form really got the team going, a shame the season ended when it did.

Domestic Transfer Window (Sep-Oct)

So the random transfer window that pops up near the end of the season even though any players you sign, cannot be registered until 10th October which is the end of the original season before the play offs…the logic of it especially if you don’t advance doesn’t make sense. Still a couple of new faces came in the door.

New back up Goalkeeper Ivan Fadhilah joined on a free from PSPS as his contract ran down. This is merely a star rating improvement for the back up GK position with Fadhilah rated 2.5 stars. The other non-starting ‘keepers are all rated 2 star which is why you’ll see the sale of Surya Rizki Saputra to Kalteng Putra FC who was one of the other goalkeepers. After the close of the window, young winger Dedik Prasetya joins on a free and with some work he could become a good player at this level – though his star rating makes him the best winger in the squad at 16!

Team Stats/Awards

As expected, there was no league awards from the team but fans awards are always interesting with the player stats and season best XI for the team.

Goalkeeper Sandy Firmansyah proved my personal view of him wrong being fans player of the year and having the highest average rating too! To his credit, the man made some cracking saves over the season but who cares what I think, it’s always about what the main man Cha Boom thinks!

Other News/Owner Madness

As the year winds down a very promising youth intake preview came which may do FirstEmperorLee some favours next season if any of the players are good enough for the first team – apparently it could be ‘the golden generation’!

Right the Owner, Rudi Sinaga (No, not the striker that’s Saktiawan Sinaga) claims to love the club but does things his way and only his way. Just to break it down, twice Cha Boom asked for a senior affiliate club for the owner to accept the request but on both occasions the next day its claimed a club can’t be found…all Liga 1 teams responded that quick?!

Towards the end of the season I asked for the club to go professional however, Sinaga claimed this wasn’t a good move. At the end of the season he gives a 4.7k wage budget but doesn’t allow Cha Boom to offer any full time contracts due to the semi-pro status and decent players will not join due to this. The whole squad had to be renewed on non-contract terms meaning they are all vulnerable to being approached (This will make all the ‘ctr’ status’ next to players make sense FirstEmperorLee).

After the season, he then had the bright idea to start planning for a new stadium even though the club has less than no money following the end of the season.

Sinaga wants to take the club to the next level but won’t allow the club to go professional…

Finances are poor as not enough revenue is generated from gate receipts as about 50 fans turned up each week at a 7,500 capacity stadium, which makes the new stadium plan even more outrageous. So the wages just take their toll each week but the non-contract situation will counter that slightly. Then a shared squad bonus of £77k made it even worse!

Rudi Sinaga’s way of thinking will put our beloved Tiga Naga in the bin at this rate!

What’s Next?

Well, that’s my stint of the season over now for a good few seasons but it has been thoroughly enjoyable with all the madness. The good man FirstEmperorLee will now take control of season 2 hoping to build on season 1.

Make sure you check out the other content creators on the links below;

FirstEmperorLee – Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/emperor_fm – Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj5uNW6M8qoBpe5sLbu6N6w

OffTheBarFM – Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/offthebarfm – Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWTLmf7GIQMgraZxoanKQXg

SadPanda333 – Blog site: https://www.sadpanda333.co.uk/

FM-AP – Blog site: https://fmadvancedplaymaker.co.uk/

As always thanks for reading guys, DP-FM will take control of this save again in season 3 when Louis takes the reins! I’ll be back in the coming week or so with the beginning Bolton Back To Europa Season 6, take care all.

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