Persija Jakarta’s appearance in the 2021/22 season did not match expectations. They finished eighth in the BRI Liga 2021/22 final standings. However, there is one thing they should be proud of last season, none other than the many young players from Persija’s academy who had the opportunity to play in the first team.
In total there are 15 young players who get promotion opportunities to the first team. They are Ilham Rio Fahmi, Braif Fatari, Alfriyanto Nico Saputro, Dony Tri Pamungkas, Rangga Widiansyah, Muhammad Ferarri, Radzky Syahwal Ginting, Salman Alfarid, Fajar Firdaus, Raka Cahyana, Cahya Supriadi, Hadi Ardiansyah, Muhammad Uchida Sudirman, Rizky Sudirman, and Resa Aditya Nugraha.
The first 10 names managed to get playing minutes. They are trusted to contribute to the team in several Kemayoran Tiger matches. Until finally, some of the 10 names consistently got their share of appearances. Call it Rio (26 matches), Braif (20), Nico (18), and Dony (10). While Rangga (9), Ferarri (7), Ginting, Salman, Fajar, and Raka (1) were under 10 matches.
So it’s not surprising that PSSI gave Persija an award as Best Academy when participating in the 2021 Mola Elite Pro Academy (EPA) competition.
To 90min Indonesia, Persija Development Director, Ganesha Putra, said that all this cannot be separated from looking for by monitoring players directly in local and international competitions. In addition, Persija Football Academy, which was founded in 2018, also has three different programs.
“Persija Development has three programs, namely Elite Pro Academy, Persija Academy (Boarding School), and Persija Soccer School. Elite Pro is a program for selected players who are awarded scholarships, Persija Academy is an integrated soccer and formal education program, which is open to anyone. who register. While the last one is, Persija Soccer School is a supplementary program for SSB to improve individual quality, and is open to anyone who registers, “said Ganesha.
Regarding the number of academy players who have been promoted to the main squad, all of this cannot be separated from the training program from Persija Academy which is based on an international standard curriculum based on Persija DNA as well as consultants and coaches licensed by UEFA and AFC. In addition, there are qualified club facilities such as field infrastructure, boarding schools, and FIFA-standard schools.
“Persija Academy provides a pathway to the first team for Persija Academy players who are able to meet the high criteria of the first team.”
But of course none of this would have been possible without the experience of a Ganesha Putra, who before joining Persija had studied coaching in Australia, Barcelona, and Spain; and do technical visit to several European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord, and Galatasaray. This experience from abroad has become the main capital for early childhood development that previously did not exist in Indonesia.
In addition, the background of the coaches at Persija Academy is also diverse. Starting from former Pro players to university dropouts which include main coaches, assistant coaches, goalkeeping coaches, physical trainers, to physiotherapists and nutritionists.
“Persija periodically also continues to do scouting for the best staff coaches in their fields to be able to collaborate in Persija Development.”
“Consistent with the vision to print players to professional (level) above team wins. This mentality is what makes the entire program designed to build individuals with a systematic, tiered, and sustainable methodology,” said Ganesha.
It is interesting to see Persija’s journey in Liga 1 for the 2022 season. The combination of academy players and main squad players, of course, can be coach Thomas Doll’s main capital to work on a capable squad in order to achieve the targets set by Persija management.