Southeast Asia Indonesia

Sérgio Farias Takes Persija Hot Seat

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


Brazilian head coach Sérgio Farias was announced on Sunday evening after the Macan Kemayoran announced their new playmaker Evan Dimas Darmono on 11th January. Evan becomes the 4th new player who joined Persija after Alfaath Fathier, Otavio Dutra and Rafli Mursalim while Farias will the 4th manager for the club since the departure of title-winning head coach Stefano Cugurra Teco in 2019.

Farias became well known after guiding South Korean giants Pohang Steelers to the 2007 K-League and the 2008 Korean FA Cup titles. In 2009 he won Pohang the double as they emerged victorious in both the 2009 AFC Champions League and the 2009 Korean FA Cup. They went further in the 2019 Club World Cup and finish the competition as the bronze medalist.

Before joining Persija, Farias was in charge of  Egyptian Premier League club Tala’ea El Gaish and guided them to an 8th position finish. He once won U-17 Campeonato Sul Americano in 2007 with the Brazil U-17 team and managed the U-20 team one year later. Farias also had two separate stints at Thai League side Suphanburi FC in 2014-15 and 2016-17 that sandwiched a brief spell in the Indian Super League with NorthEast United in 2016.

Persija’s CEO Ferry Paulus said that Farias had a better CV than previous Persija coaches including ex-Leeds United assistant coach Julio Banuelos and ex-Yokohama FC coach Edson Tavares, both of whom already taken charge of new clubs for the 2020 season. Banuelos was appointed as assistant manager at Cypriot First Division club AEK Larnaca while Tavares has decided to make the switch to Borneo FC, replacing Mario Gomez who was signed by Arema FC.

Another reason behind why Persija appointed Farias according to Paulus was because Indonesian clubs tend to click well with Brazilian managers. Stefano Cugurra Teco had won back-to-back Liga 1 titles with Persija in 2018 and Bali United in 2019, while Jacksen F. Tiago had masterminded 3 out of 4 league titles that Persipura Jayapura had won so far in their history.\

On the other hand, Macan Kemayoran’s hunt for new players doesn’t stop with Evan Dimas alone. After four names joined the team, Ferry Paulus has indicated that there’s more to come as Persija was linked to several Indonesia national team stars such as Saddil Ramdani, Osvaldo Haay, and Todd Ferre. Even without the constraints of Asian competitions in 2020, Persija still need a squad with good depth in order to perform well in the new season.