Amin Anas and Krishna Sadhana
Football Tribe Malaysia and Football Tribe Asia
Despite the stagnation of achievements from its senior national team, Indonesia has produced numerous talented wonderkids with huge potential within the past few years. From the Class of 2014 – Indonesia’s eye-catching U-19 national team that won the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship that includes the likes of Evan Dimas, Septian David Maulana, Hansamu Yama, Paulo Sitanggang, Ilham Udin, Ricky Fajrin, and Yanto Basna, to the current youth crop that includes Egy Maulana Vikri, Witan Sulaiman, Saddil Ramdani, Todd Rivaldo Ferre, Bagus Kahfi, and the cleverly-named Beckham Putra, the development of youth talent in Indonesian football has been in an ascendancy despite the shortcomings and issues that have plagued the beautiful game in the archipelago nation in recent years. However, there’s one Indonesian wonderkid that have slipped underneath the radar of almost everyone, having not played in the country since 2011. Instead, he’s silently making a name for himself in British shores, representing the U-16 team of EFL League One side Ipswich Town.
His name, is Elkan Baggott. He is half-Indonesian, half-English, with an English father and an Indonesian mother. Elkan was born in Thailand on October 23rd, 2002, and plays as a center back, a position that suits his 194 cm height. In 2008, Elkan attended the British School of Jakarta in 2008, while in the same year he also experienced his first professionally led football training session held by Soccer Schools Indonesia. Elkan also acted as the captain of the British School of Jakarta’s football team, a position that he held until he and his family moved to England in 2011. Despite now living in England, Elkan still has close familial ties to Indonesia and regards it as his home just like England.
Elkan spent 4 years playing grassroots football in England, catching the eye of the Ipswich Town academy staff. He was subsequently recruited by the club and quickly impressed the coaches there. The Ipswich coaches were especially impressed by the combination of Elkan’s power, pace, height, and obsession with personal development, and because of that they offered Elkan a 2-year Professional Development Phase Scholarship contract in 2017.
In 2019, Elkan was invited by Tottenham Hotspur to represent them in The Future U-18 Cup in Holland, playing against the likes of Boca Juniors, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus.
Like all footballers, Elkan aspire to perform at the highest level both domestically and internationally, and has expressed his desire to play for his motherland Indonesia one day. Due to his parentage, Elkan is currently eligible to represent either Tim Garuda and the Three Lions of England at international level.
“I want to help Indonesia climb the FIFA rankings, play in the final of the World Cup, and win trophies with Tim Garuda,” Elkan said, “I want to play for Indonesia to make my family and my nation proud, it is where I was brought up and where I learnt how to play football. Because of this, I want to give back to the nation and play in their colors.”
With Ben Davis currently representing Thailand’s U-23 team after impressing with Fulham’s youth side, the opportunity is there for PSSI to formally include Elkan within the Timnas setup. Unlike Andri Syahputra, who opted to represent Qatar, and Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero Mulyadi, who turned down the opportunity to be naturalized into an Indonesian citizen and opted to represent Italy instead, Elkan has expressed his desire to play for Indonesia one day. It is up to PSSI now, whether they would take notice of Elkan and bring him into the national team setup, or instead overlook Elkan and may risk losing him just like Andri and Emil. Should PSSI decide to take Elkan in, he would be a great addition to the Indonesian youth national team’s defense, complimenting an attacking force that already has an internationally-experienced youngster in Egy Maulana Vikri.