Football Tribe Indonesia
Four-time Indonesian champions Persipura Jayapura has always been the sanctuary for Papua players over the years. The upcoming 2020 season will be the second consecutive season that they became the sole representative of Papua in the Liga 1, but their habit in the transfer window remains the same.
Instead of collecting all of Papua’s best players in one team, Persipura Jayapura have always relied on their youth system, promoting the cream of their crop to the first team annually. For example, Osvaldo Haay, the best young player of the 2018 Liga 1 season, was a Mutiara Hitam youngster who was promoted to the first team in 2017 before he joined Persebaya Surabaya. Last season, Todd Rivaldo Ferre also had an impressive season, playing 29 games, scoring 6 goals and creating 8 assists.
Both Osvaldo and Todd have now solidified themselves as important members of the Indonesian national team in various age groups. They are also steadily following the footsteps of Persipura legends who had graduated from the club’s academy and made a name for themselves in Indonesian football, such as current Persipura captain Boaz Solossa, Ian Louis Kabes, and many more.
Besides relying on the best that their academy has to offer, Persipura have also been known as a silent predator in the transfer window. They act like an assassin, moving slowly but with deadly precision, without any drama or any fuss. This season, for example, they became the first Liga 1 team to announce their complete final squad for the upcoming season, which includes their four foreign players.
Mutiara Hitam have announced 24 names for the upcoming 2020 season on 21st January and there are only seven new faces in Persipura this season under the command of Brazilian tactician Jacksen F. Tiago. Two notable names in the list are Brazilian defender Arthur Cunha and Dutch forward Sylvano Comvalius, both of them joining Persipura on a year-long loan from Arema FC.
Another familiar name is Brazilian midfielder Thiago Amaral, who had represented Barito Putera back in 2016 before furthering his career in Lebanese and Iraqi clubs prior to signing for Persipura. Last but not least, filing in Persipura’s AFC player slot is 29-year old Japanese midfielder Takuya Matsunaga, who had been brought to the Mandala Stadium from recently relegated Kalteng Putra.
The only remaining team member who has yet to join Persipura in their training camp at Batu, Malang was Theo Numberi, who is still with the Indonesian U-19 national team in their own training camp. Once Theo had arrived in Batu, Jacksen will continue to the next phase of his team’s pre-season preparations. Persipura had stayed in Malang for one week at the time of this article’s writing and they had already played a friendly match against local team Putra Jaya. “In the middle of February we have plans to play a friendly match against a team who are on the same level as ours. We’re also considering playing a friendly match overseas,” said Jacksen as cited from Bola.com.