The inaugural match of Liga 1 2021-2022, which was supposed to be the end of Persebaya Surabaya’s long preparation, turned out to be an anticlimactic.
Bajul Ijo’s enthusiasm for the 2021-2022 League 1 was tarnished by a series of problems that made Aji Santoso’s troops unable to appear as a full team ahead of their inaugural match.
This is an irony because Persebaya Surabaya became one of the most enthusiastic teams in the preparation period before the competition.
In fact, Rachmat Irianto cs was willing to not take a long vacation in order to finalize the team when the other teams were on holiday because of PPKM.
“So, it’s true that our preparation was very smooth, the preparation trip was also very good because we only had a few days off,” said coach Aji Santoso.
“Then come the problems like players can’t play because of vaccine regulations and also injuries.”
Persebaya Surabaya itself has lost at least six pillar players who should be the focus of the team this season including the four foreign players Taisei Marukawa, Jose Wilkson, Alie Sesay, and Bruno Moreira.
These four foreign players could not be demoted due to the constraints of the two-dose vaccine regulation from PT LIB.
Currently, the four have just received the first dose of injection, while the second dose is scheduled for the second week of November 2021.
Two other names are Koko Ari Araya who is struggling with injuries and Marcelino is having problems with the vaccine.
Aji Santoso did not deny that this condition had a huge impact on the team.
Moreover, the four foreign players who are projected to be the main motor of the team’s game in the 2021 season will also be absent.
He was forced to rack his brains in the remaining time to re-strategize with the available squad.
Nevertheless, Aji emphasized that Persebaya Surabaya had no reason to give up.
The team is still standing tall, the existing problems are considered as additional challenges that will color Bajul Ijo’s journey.
“I personally and the team don’t want to complain and don’t give up in situations like this,” said the former coach of Persela Lamongan.
“I always tell all the players I put on, whether it’s local or foreign players, they all have to be ready.”
“They have to do a good job for the team.”
Not only that, Aji Santoso and his team still see the wisdom of this problem.
With many players absent, this is an opportunity for other personnel to prove their worth in the first team.
So, players are expected to take advantage of this golden ticket to spur themselves.
He is optimistic that this can be a new force that is not expected by other teams.
“It’s a bit of a disadvantage not having four foreign players, but it’s also an advantage factor for local players to show their quality in front of the coach.”
“So, in my opinion, there are disadvantages as well as advantages. I don’t want to explore losses, but I take advantage of those advantages,” concluded the 51-year-old coach.
Persebaya Surabaya’s inaugural match will be against Borneo FC at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium, Bekasi, Saturday (4/9/2021) night.