The Far East Express S6P1 – A Leaving Present

DP-FM are back in control of the Express and I for one have been excited to get back involved with this save as I really enjoyed myself in season one. There was just something about the madness of Indonesian football that I just fell in love with, it was just unorganised chaos!

It’s still a similar line up of creators in ourselves, OffTheBarFM, SadPanda333 and FMAdvancedPlaymaker who will follow on from my round. Unfortunately, FirstEmperorLee won’t be involved for now due to work commitments which is a shame as we all thoroughly enjoyed his work in season 2 but who knows what the future will hold!

As I am taking the reins from SadPanda333 who had a monumental season in charge winning our first piece silverware in the Indonesian Cup, this means I am free to move clubs as per the save rules – which there is a reminder of right here

Rules

So when it comes to these types of saves, there must be some rules in place to keep the save flowing and exciting, a few bits below will be followed when we all take our turns.

  1. A trophy must be won at the current club before moving on to a new club or league.
  2. To keep the next player guessing, no direct updates regarding results or moves can be given outside of each players chosen way of broadcast.
  3. When you take over on your turn, you can do whatever you want with the squad. Buy/sell who you want, change the tactics, the staff…treat it like your personal save!

3 simple rules as we don’t want to over complicate things and the main thing about this is to allow all players to enjoy their seasons.

The News

As our great manager Cha Bum-Kun works through the off season whilst the squad enjoy what only turns out to be 10 days off (I’ll explain why later), he realises in order to progress in Asia he needs to get the coaching badges done starting with his National B licence course.

Out of the immediate coaching staff, Cha-Boom has the lowest qualification which was an eye opener for sure. With this in action and pre-season training planning underway something popped up out of nowhere – Tiga Naga have new owners again?!

Luckily for us, Mr. Firmansyah was happy to keep Cha Bum-Kun on board after being seemingly impressed by last season’s exploits.

The Tactic – 4-4-1-1 Tiki Taka

There has been a decision to switch the tactic this season as I have belief that this style of football in a more defensive formation to what is normally used could work in Tiga Naga’s favour.

You may notice some new names in there…I took the screenshot too late!

It is what you’d expect to see instruction wise from a tiki taka system but a few adjustments have been made. The team will sit higher opposed to much higher as the defence doesn’t have the pace to drop back on long balls and there will be no risk in not playing the offside trap.

I’m in belief that a low tempo, short passing system will suit this standard of players and again it should element the risk giving the ball away by just launching it up the field. It will still happen now and again but at least it will be less frequent. In this kind of league tactic wise, I think you just have to go for it, maybe not as ambitious as the tactic DP-FM’s Louis used to get us promoted with in Season 3 but I’m still going for it in a sense.

Youth Intake 2026

A youth take with players full of potential, this the pick of the bunch but the majority of players were signed as their potential sat between 2.5 and 3.5 stars. A very good refresh for the u19s as well which was key but maybe we will see players like Imam Irawan later down the line in the save.

Transfers

I’m going to go through the window now as it will give context to some new names that you will see as we get through the results, saves going back and forth as well! I felt the squad needed general improvements in some areas which sparked a good few incomings, all for free as well!

There were improvements to central defence through Muhd Anwar Ibrahim & Jujun Saefuloh, two new left midfielders in Habel Amri & Hendro Ramadhan, a new experienced right midfielder with Rifan Nahumarury, Dalibor Husic will be a new creator within centre midfield and a new number 1 in goal in the form of Eko Harno.

There was quite a few outgoings, quite a few u21s players wanted away to other clubs due to play time or their new clubs higher stature. The main first teamers who left were Awang Kechick & Nazli Gifaldi Sanali who both joined PS Timah BaBel as they were deemed not good enough for the Indonesian Premier League.

AFC Champions League Qualifiers

Last season’s Indonesian Cup win meant we went into the AFC Champions League but at the very first qualifying round due to Indonesian football’s standing amongst the other leagues around the continent. Cha Boom’s side gave it a good go in the qualifiers but Australian A-league opposition proved too much in the second round as the difference in quality was clear.

In the first round, Cha Boom’s men faced Eagles who are a side from the Maldives’ top division. The game came in January which is usually off-season meaning the squad had to come back after New Years for the hard work to begin and it paid off with a 3-1 win. Goals from Mohammad Dhia Ulhaq and a double from striker Akbar Rambe.

It was a tougher draw in the second round against A League side Macarthur FC who had Man City youngster Daniel Arzani in their team. Tiga Naga put up a bit of a fight but the gap in quality got the better of them ending in a 3-1 loss. The consolation goal came from Akbar Rambe.

If the draw was kinder maybe the team could have got further but the board were just happy to be in the first round, let alone the second!

Indonesian Super Cup

Much like European leagues, the league champions and cup winners from the season prior face off in a final for the super cup. Tiga Naga’s opponents were Persija who are easily one of the best teams in Indonesia, they have some unreal players in their ranks for this level.

This fixture did fall in the middle of pre-season so both teams were match fit but more importantly the familiarity with the tiki taka system was becoming more accustomed to Cha Bum-Kun’s players…

WE’VE DONE IT AGAIN!!! A SECOND TROPHY WITH THE TEAM NO-ONE EXPECTS TO WIN!

Cha Boom’s new tactic takes some sting out of Persija as Tiga Naga secure the result after extra time with a 2-1 win.

That man again Akbar Rambe was amongst the goals before Persija’s equaliser but new winger Hendro Ramadhan scored in the second minute of extra time to make himself an early hero at the club. It was a close game which there is no doubt about but Bum-Kun’s side took their decisive chances, two trophies with this team – come on!

As the stats show, you can see how close it was but just to get a result against a team like Persija is a step in the right direction for sure.

Pre-Season 2026

It was a fairly decent pre-season to be fair, a good range of sides although most are in lower leagues. Pre-season allowed me to refine the tactic and see where we were lacking as well. The loss to Melaka is nothing to be ashamed of as they occupy a place in the better half of the Malaysian Super League. The only let down was against Tiga Naga u21s where it was a 0-0 draw. The first team had 30 shots and still couldn’t score!

April 2026

It was time for Cha Bum-Kun to lead Tiga Naga into a sixth season and just in time he completed that much needed coaching course.

The media prediction for the league was slightly kinder to Tiga Naga but the odds were still very far from the rest, as Cha Boom’s side were rated at 700-1 for a title win. I mean we can all dream can’t we?!

I find it a bit crazy that promoted teams get better odds than us still, our team even beat PSPS in pre-season. Anyway, let’s have a look at the first month of the season and get into the results.

WHAT-A-START! Out the blocks the team flew picking up a massive 10 points for a possible 12. It started with a good 2-0 win over Barito Putra (great name by the way!) as new experienced winger Rifan Nahumarury got off to a stormer with a competitive debut goal and Dico despatched from the spot.

It was a travel to play Persiraja next, which brought an empathic 4-1 win. Cha Boom’s men went 1-0 down very early but a dose of encouragement brought a brace from Akbar Rambe, another goal for new left winger Hendro Ramadhan and Michael Ohorella got amongst it too. Absolutely class performance by the team!

Back to the Tiga Naga Stadium, with Arema being the visitors which brought a frustrating 0-0 draw. The boys were better in every aspect but just couldn’t get that decisive goal in a game they really should have won.

They were quick to make up for it though, steamrolling Persib with a 5-1 victory! A rampant performance that we went 4-0 up after 32 minutes, Persib started to give us a game when it was too late. Goals came from Rifan Nahumarury & Habel Amri who got two apiece and new young captain Muhammad Saputra got amongst it too.

May 2026

An unbelievable first month but May posed games against two of the favourites for the title this season in Persija and Persebaya. These are good games to test ourselves in though.

Tiga Naga got one over Persija in the super cup but it was revenge for the latter in a 1-0 loss. Persija took a fourth minute lead and it automatically drained the momentum as Bum-Kun’s side struggled to make any notable chances. A few days after this match, the team lost lively striker Akbar Rambe to a long term injury which was a brutal blow.

Breaking your foot jumping? So many questions…

The team bounced back against newly promoted side Borneo FC with a solid 2-1 win. Again the new wingers were at it again as Habel Amri & Rifan Nahumarury got the goals as they both continue to show their worth.

The home form continues to be a concern as a 2-1 loss came at the hands of Persebaya. It started so promising as Dico handed Tiga Naga the lead from the spot but conceding on the stroke of half time put the boys on the ropes a little. Caving in to heavy second half pressure, Persebaya sealed the points on the 70th minute.

Probably the craziest game to report on was this rollercoaster 4-4 draw with Persela. From smiling to worry to disbelief then elation, emotions all over the place. Another Dico penalty and Rifan Nahumarury gave Cha Boom’s side a 2-0 lead before the opposition got it back to 2-2 before half time. Dico got a second goal but it was quickly cancelled out by Persela who equalised straight away. The 88th minute came and Persela striker Heri Hidayat scored his 4th goal of the game as the defence couldn’t contain him but cometh the man, cometh Ahmad Yulianto who rose highest at the back post to head in a 92nd minute equaliser! Utter madness. In form Dico suffered a horrific leg break in training which sees both of the sides top scorers on the side line for some time.

The last game of the month was against Persita which ended in a 1-1 draw, keeping the team unbeaten on the road. A bad start saw Tiga Naga 1-0 down after 5 minutes but the boys worked their way into the game and got their equaliser on the 62nd minute through striker Fadli Kurnia.

The two losses against the big teams has certainly rocked the teams form this month but at least they have been resilient in the draws.

League Table

After April’s brilliant month, the team were actually a top 3 team but May was clearly a tough month with too many points dropped. With the team losing Rambe and Dico to injury, it could be a tough season with a few players needing to step up.

Welcome to Malaysia!

Cha Bum-Kun is now manager of Malaysian Premier League side (second tier) Negeri Sembilan. I think myself and the other boys on the save worked really hard in Indonesia when we were up against it every season but we all played a part in the progression of Cha Boom. To leave Tiga Naga with two trophies when it always looked so unlikely was a great achievement for us all so I felt it was time to put our stamp on somewhere else. I for one will miss Tiga Naga and the mad place that is Indonesian football.

Just for progression purposes, we arrived at Tiga Naga as a nobody but left as favoured personnel. When the save started, I think Tiga Naga’s club value was around £40k but from all the work it has been elevated to over £300k which shows the stature has been grown.

Why Negeri Sembilan?

Quite a few jobs in Malaysia had been applied for but teams in the Malaysian Super League which is the top tier were reluctant to trust our great manager. A couple of teams in the MPL offered interviews and after some research Negeri Sembilan seemed like the best project.

The main draw was their history, clearly a proven team in Malaysia winning the Super League in the past, the Premier League a few times including once during Cha Boom’s time in Indonesia. In addition to some domestic cups as well ultimately in recent years, Negeri haven’t been able to hold their place in the Super League with their last 3 times ending in relegation. Cha Bum-Kun aims to take them back to the Super League and make them a mainstay hopefully!

A historic club also that have been around for years although the facilities aren’t great by any means, maybe promotion can spark some improvements.

One difference between this club and the former is the finances. Negeri have close to half a million in the bank with a transfer and wage budget that you could only dream of at Tiga Naga. The balance is declining month on month but hopefully some progress in the remainder of this season will hopefully drive this side things forward.

What’s Next?

In the next episode, I will dive into the team side of things here at Negeri Sembilan looking at the squad, transfers, tactics and we get stuck into some league action as Cha Bum-Kun looks for a quick start in his new surroundings.

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

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

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

FMAdvancedPlaymaker – Blog site: https://fmadvancedplaymaker.co.uk/

Thanks as always for reading, it’s awesome to be back on this save and I’ll have the next instalment soon!

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