Indonesia U19 National Team has recently participated in the International U19 Friendly Tournament in Croatia. The tournament consists of four participants: Croatia, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.
Indonesia U19 National Team first met with Bulgaria. Indonesia play with the 4-4-2 system. Coach Shin Tae-Yong fielding experimental team consists of players, not in their natural preferred position. Komang Teguh who is a center back is deployed in the middle of the park.
Indonesia loses 1 – 3 to a more dominant team, especially in the height department. Bulgaria players don’t even have to jump to win a header. The first goal for Bulgaria pretty much showcase this advantage.
In the second game, Indonesia played against the host Croatia U19. Watching the game, it is obvious Croatia players are more technical than the Bulgarian, especially Antonio Marin. Acting as playmaker Croatia usually attack with Marin as the focal point.
In this game, Shin Tae-Yong again experimented with Komang Teguh in the middle of the park, and added it with Braif Fatari in front as one of two strikers. Braif Fatari usually plays as a defensive midfielder.
Indonesia again lose heavily 1 – 7, at least this time Indonesia scored one goal by Bagas Kaffa the right wing-back.
There is a wide gap between the quality of these two teams.
Shin Tae-Yong said before the tournament the objective is not to win matches but rather to gain experience, mentality against European teams and to increase stamina.
Coach Shin Tae-Yong
In the third game, Indonesia faced Saudi Arabia. Indonesia played with 4-4-2 system. Komang Teguh didn’t play in this one. Braif Fatari retained his place in front as a striker together with Irfan Jauhari.
Against Saudi Arabia, there isn’t an obvious advantage of height by both teams. Indonesia is able to take the play to Saudi Arabia. We could see in this third game Indonesia players are better at keeping the ball, and play a passing game.
This time Indonesia fared better, the game ended a draw with a 3 – 3 score. All three goals for Indonesia are scored by their strikers. Braif Fatari the makeshift striker scored one.
From these three games, we can see a few things from the Indonesia team.
Shin Tae-Yong Always Play 4-4-2 System.
Before taking the job, Shin Tae-Yong is the manager of the South Korea national team. His favored system is 4-4-2 and He brought this system to the Indonesia national team.
Shin Tae-Yong Needed A Tall Center Back
As Southeast Asia players, the national team players usually stand shorter than their European counterparts. Shin Tae-Yong saw this one aspect as a situation that needed to be resolved. The game against Bulgaria and Croatia proved the point.
It is a scare sight whenever a long ball came to the Indonesia GK area. Indonesia recruited Elkan Baggot to try to solve this. With a tall of 1,94 metres, he will help Indonesia back-four in the long ball situation.
He hasn’t played yet so we can only imagine how he will fare in this team.
(Jack Brown is another tall player recruited by the Indonesia team, but Tae-Yong played him as a left-winger and still has one game in his name.)
The Garuda Select Alumnus Will Play Big Part In Shin Tae-Yong Team
The Garuda Select program, in short, is a program to send young Indonesian players under 17 to England to gain knowledge and skill from abroad. Dennis Wise and Des Walker appointed to coach this team.
The program ran for 2 years, and there they developed physical strength to play against England clubs, gained technical knowledge on how to play football the European way. It is considered a success. With players like Bagus Kaffi (twin to Bagas Kaffa), Brylian Aldama, David Maulana made name for themselves.
Bagus Kaffi and Dennis Wise
Brylian Aldama got recruited with a European scouting team. Bagus Kaffi has several potential suitors to give him a contract.
Other garuda select alumnus currently play under Shin Tae-Yong are: Erlangga Setyo (GK), Komang Teguh, Bagas Kaffa, Yudha Febrian, Braif Fatari, Andre Oktaviansyah, Moh. Supriadi, Sandi Samosir,
Up Front Tae-Yong Didn’t Have Many Options.
This has been a long problem with the Indonesia team, especially with the senior team. Not many are there Indonesian strikers to be picked on. With the U19 level, there is especially one player with great talent, Bagus Kaffi. Currently injured with a knee problem, he didn’t make it to Croatia.
Bagus Kaffi has not always been a mainstay in the national team. Prior to being drafted to the U19 level, Bagus Kaffi is a second choice to Sutan Zico. Zico is the main striker under the then U16 manager Fakhri Husaini. He was seen as a future star for the national team at any level.
But along the way, his performance dipped. An injury doesn’t help his cause. Bagus Kaffi got selected as the main striker more often since. He took his chances and progressed into a better striker and finisher.
The Garuda Select program helps him developed. Kaffi got injured playing against QPR U19. If he wasn’t he’ll surely be in the Shin Tae-Yong team by now.
Shin Tae-Yong only has Irfan Jauhari and Saddam Gaffar as natural strikers, so he experimented with Braif Fatari to be the third. Tae-Yong’s preferred system 4-4-2 requires two strikers as the focal point and he only has two in that position.