Welcome Indonesia Expat readers. Something a little different for this month’s Jakarta International Football League (JIFL) article. We are featuring of two of the JIFL’s member teams – thanks to Rafael and Adam for their info. Why these two? Good question – but to paraphrase the words of Sepp Blatter “There is no systematic corruption in the JIFL. That is nonsense……” So that’s cleared that up.
German Plus Jakarta – football’s ambassadors for more than 50 years.
When a group of German businessmen gathered in 1964 and formed the “First German Football Club Djakarta“, they had no idea that they were creating a true legacy. Their ambition was to create a home far away from home – and this still is exactly what the club means too many of today’s members. “Yeah, that brings it straight to the point,“ states Peter “Howie“ Hinsch, one of the team’s all-time legends. “Despite the German core, we have always been an international team. Besides Germans and also some Indonesians, our team currently consists of players from France, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, Iran and others. That is the “Plus” in German Plus.” Over the past five decades more than 1000 players have joined the team, and it has become a tradition for some German Plus fathers to bring their sons into the club – hence the legacy.
Of course, the team’s long history is rich with interesting stories and hilarious anecdotes. The club’s pitch at the German International School Jakarta in BSD has been home to some intense battles, both in friendly matches and the JIFL. But also, the trips to more remote parts of Indonesia often result in unforgettable experiences with sometimes thousands of spectators. Once, in Flores, an audience of 15,000, expecting to see the German national squad, was somewhat surprised to witness a 4-0 victory for the Nusa Tenggara Timur regional champion over Jurgen Klinsmann and co. lookalikes!
And today? André Domnowsky, the current manager, seems optimistic: “Our recent JIFL results show space for improvement, I think the fact that German Plus plays in jerseys of the German national team seems to raise the motivation and ambition of opponents. On the other hand, we already managed to win an international six-a-side tournament in Bali earlier this year. We have some funny and talented guys in our team with great spirit – this is what matters. And we are always open to motivated new players.”
In the interest of balance, we should now feature a peerless paragon of footballing purity but instead, we will talk about the (Mighty) Lions.
Origins remain a mystery, with some saying the Lions team was formed way back in the mists of time when Suharto was at the height of his power. Regardless of the official start date, Lions is a club that gets under your skin and into your blood. The Lions is the most welcoming of football clubs, accepting, well, anyone as long as they can kick a ball, and sometimes those that can’t, as long as they turn up (boots optional).”
Although the Lions would love their style of football to do the talking for them – a style is often equivalent to Stoke on a rainy March evening – instead they cement their position as the number one social team. Win, lose or draw, you will find them in the bar, where welcoming banter is extended to all. The Lions’ motto “making friends wherever we go” is testament to their nature. With all this banter, they are the Marmite of the JIFL – you either love them or hate them (but secretly everyone loves them!).
Driven by Adam Batten (Manager) and his trusty accomplices Cato Cook (Captain) and Dieter Werwath (Vice Captain), the team is cajoled into shape. The team sheet is often compiled a minute before kick-off depending on the players that have managed to drag themselves out of bed or a bar in time for kick-off. With Brian Brian at the helm of entertainment, Daniel McDonald chief of wheeling and dealing, John Harrington in charge of all “jokes” and Damien K.O. Barden ensuring all new players have gone through the initiation of a nutmeg, the team is complete. The Lions team is a multi-cultural family, and is proud that, once people join, they find themselves coming back time and again, because invariably the Lions family is what makes Jakarta fun, both on and off the pitch.
See them on the pitch or in McGettigan’s Mega Kuningan, either way they’ll welcome you with a smile and a quip.
So there you have it; your editor asks for an objective retrospective of these two football and cultural icons and instead gets a barefaced bid for new recruits and claims of being the “most sociable team around“!
Andre and Adam can be reached via the JIFL website. Come and join German Plus or Lions – or any of the thirteen teams in JIFL.
As for The league standings, Japan still leads the pack with Nomads chasing close behind but still all to play for.
If you want to join a JIFL team you can start by contacting any of the JIFL Committee at www. jifleague.com, our via Facebook page. Or call Phil on 0815 1302 5166, Roberto on 0858 8182 0828 or Laurent on 0811 1975 662.
See you on the pitch!