Southeast Asia Indonesia

Hamka Hamzah Comes Out of Retirement as RANS Play Stalemate with Bali United

Veteran defender Hamka Hamzah made his return to professional football after retiring in 2022, as his struggling RANS Nusantara FC side played out a 1-1 draw with top four-chasing Bali United at the Sultan Agung Stadium in Bantul on Sunday night.

Hanging up his boots after leaving second-tier side FC Bekasi City two years ago, former journeyman Hamka has been working as RANS Nusantara’s manager, helping out the club’s head coaches in Rahmad Darmawan, Rodrigo Santana, Eduardo Almeida, and currently Francis Wewengkang.

However, after Portuguese defender Angelo Meneses had to end his season early after a knee injury sustained during a Liga 1 Indonesia match against Persib Bandung on March 3rd, RANS Nusantara found themselves facing a crisis at their backline as another defender, Dallen Doke, is currently recovering from a fractured fibula. In response to that, Hamka has decided to come out of retirement for the time being and register himself as a player/manager, in order to solve the Prestige Phoenixes’ defensive shortage.

Hamka was on the bench as RANS Nusantara lost 4-3 to Persik Kediri on March 8th, before Sunday’s showdown with Bali United saw Francis name Hamka as his starting defender alongside David Maulana, Kiko, and Taufik Hidayat, playing 79 minutes.

And despite his aging legs, Hamka performed quite admirably in the RANS Nusantara backline, performing 16 tackles and 18 interceptions that frustrated Bali United to no end.

The Serdadu Tridatu did score the opening goal through substitute Jefferson Assis in the 61st minute, however three minutes later RANS Nusantara struck back through Mitsuru Maruoka, ending the tie in a stalemate.