Football Tribe SEA Editor
Having decided against extending the contract of their head coach Milomir Šešlija, Arema FC have acted quickly in securing the Bosnian’s replacement for the upcoming 2020 Liga 1 season. And the man to take charge of the Singo Edan next season is a very reputable name in Southeast Asian football – Roberto Carlos Mario Gomez.
Gomez arrives at the Kanjuruhan with a number of accolades leaking out of his ears. He was the man who led Liga Super Malaysia side Johor Darul Ta’zim to 2 Liga Super titles, 1 Malaysian FA Cup trophy, 2 Piala Sumbangsih titles, and most important of all, the 2015 AFC Cup title, being until now the one and only man who have won the West Asia-dominated competition with a Southeast Asian team. Gomez also led Persib Bandung to an impressive 4th place finish in the 2018 Liga 1 season, before turning Borneo FC into a ruthless unit in the 2019 Liga 1 season, contending for the title a number of times before finishing 7th at the end of the season with their highest points tally yet. It is hoped that the 62-year old Argentinian will bring that capable touch and expertise to an Arema side that was wildly inconsistent throughout the 2019 Liga 1 season.
Gomez will be bringing along with him Charis Yulianto, who had served as his assistant at Borneo. Helping the duo are Singgih Pitono and Kuncoro, who were part of the existing Arema coaching staff from the 2019 season. Adding more to the Latin flavor in the new Arema coaching setup were Felipe Americo, a Brazilian goalkeeping coach who had previously worked at Barito Putera, and Marcos Gonzales, an Argentinian physical coach who will embark on his first job in Indonesia.
In announcing the appointment of Gomez and his new coaching team today, Arema media officer Sudarmaji expressed high hopes that this coaching setup will guide Arema to success in the 2020 season. While they had won the Indonesia President’s Cup twice in 2017 and 2019, Arema are yet to win the league since the 2009/10 season and have last won the Piala Indonesia in 2006.
Gomez and his coaching staff will take charge of Arema’s first training session of the new season, which will start on January 15th.
Elsewhere in the Liga 1, another former JDT head coach, Bojan Hodak, was appointed as the new head coach of PSM Makassar, while Madura United have officially appointed Rahmad Darmawan as their new head coach for the 2020 season. Last but not least, Bambang Nurdiansyah has gone upstairs to become PSIS Semarang’s new technical director, swapping places with former Borneo FC head coach Dragan Đukanović who will take charge of Mahesa Jenar in the upcoming season.