Published: Monday, 26 July 2010 Written by Walter Marthaler

The International Sports Club Indonesia (ISCI) staged the 7th international hockey event at Lapangan Hoki, Gelora Bung Karno Senayan, Jakarta. And teams came from all over Asia and even one from Europe – the Flying Hoppers, of course!!


Having played with ISCI at last December’s Bangkok Tournament, the scribe (WALTER) could vouch for the very social character of the ISCI boys and strongly suggested to the Flying Hoppers’ CEO, STEFAN, to participate in their tournament. Stefan left no stones unturned and mustered up a TRAVEL SIDE to Indonesia that will all be mentioned in this short write-up.


Noteworthy for their absence:  New York PAT and backhand BRUNO.  What happened, Bruno, I saw you on the list of participants?!


Well, so they all arrived from near and far.  But not everybody got easily out of Europe or into Indonesia….


PETRA believed that a German identity card will let her go anywhere in the world and had to establish a passport in a hurry to join us a bit later.


MAX, on the other hand (whilst hockey-hosenlos) was a proud holder of a Swiss-passport.  Unfortunately, the validity remaining on that passport was only 5 months and 28 days instead of 6 months!  Fantastic(??) negotiation skills on his part made him offer a Swiss chocolate gift box to the Immigration Official (a lady), but brought him not closer to entering the country (other than not getting the chocolates back).  Only once more concrete means of persuasion changed hands, our dear MAX was let into beautiful Indonesia….


Most persons arrived more or less swiftly and we had first drinks at the Meridien’s hotel bar on the 25th.  By the evening of the 26th, everybody was in town and we jointly attended the TOURNAMENT briefing.


Your scribe tried to make amends for that poor restaurant experience in Bangkok (the one that no longer existed!) and suggested an INDONESIAN restaurant of adequate standing for these HOPPERS, i.e. the KEMBANG GULA, where we spent a very pleasant dinner together.




At 09.20 (sharp!) we had – on this Saturday – our first game against a side called SUNDAY 20.30.Even though we went 1:0 ahead, the end-result was a 2:1 loss, not the best start.  I need to clearly mention at this stage that our Aussie SACHA could not play, but was substituting as our COACH.  Obviously, our normal head-coach, Roland, was sorely missing!! Moreover, luck was not with us on the transfer market…., leaving KERRY to have to do a lot of running.


The other two games on this first day both ended in a DRAW.  Our supreme defender WILLY injured himself in the second game of the day (against ISCI) and could not play any more during the whole tournament – a further blow…..


Undisturbed, we all enjoyed another great evening (dinner) together.  The new and proud German passport holder, PETRA, had joined us happily.  A few drinks at the lively area in the Meridien hotel sealed the evening.




At about 09.40 (not so sharp…) we played Malaysian Police and we found our stride: Solid goal-tending by MAX (who we also loaned out to the Hong Kong Vets team) coupled with especially strong defensive work by GUIDO and RETUS kept the scoresheet clean. COEN in midfield (helped by soaring runs by RETUS) and both KERRY and  Captain FRANK and of course STEFAN upfront played their best and we won by 2:0.


This result did lead to a PENALTY decider against Valley, which we eventually won (great saves by MAX).


In the semi-final of the lower-ranked teams, we once again faced our hosts, ISCI.  This game became the most dramatic and nerve-racking for our LOYAL SUPPORTERS, namely IRENA (did I already mention that she lost her credit card yet again – but Willy is so used to that….), SHOKO and PETRA.  At the end of normal playing time, we were even and thereafter every two minutes two players on both sides had to retire from play, giving plenty of space to the TIRED remaining players. How we survived that short-corner against us will remain for ever a miracle/mistery! In a draining effort STEFAN moved up-field and finally released the pass that saw COEN free in the circle and his GOLDEN GOAL:  our entry in the small-FINAL!!!


By now, some of our not so young bodies were tired beyond redemption and some new injuries (GUIDO) surfaced. Hence, it was no big surprise to anyone that in the FINAL we were comprehensively beaten by a very young and fit Indonesian side (MANDALA) by 5:1.


I believe that the HOSPITALITY shown by our Indonesian hosts was quite fantastic and we were cordially invited to come back to Jakarta in the future.


The sad news of the massive earthquake some 600 km away of course put quite a damper on the general mood.


I believe that the bulk of this TRAVEL side had a fantastic follow-up time in BALI?!?


Maybe somebody could post some relevant pictures…..


May the FLYING HOPPERS always be so heartily RECEIVED at future “expeditions”.  WASABI rules!