Mendoza’s move could be sign of more Super League players moving to Indonesia


PETALING JAYA: There could be more footballers in the Super League heading to Indonesia to ply their trade in the future.

In the recent Indonesian transfer window, which closed on Nov 28, two players here have left their clubs to join Indonesian sides.

The highest profile signing was former Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Kevin Ray Mendoza (pic), who moved to Persib Bandung, where he is reunited with his former coach Bojan Hodak.

Many were surprised that the Filipino international left the City Boys before the season had even ended, but it was learnt that he was seeking a new challenge with a bigger club.

The 29-year-old has been one of the top goalkeepers in the Super League, having played 80 matches for KL.

Among his highlights was helping KL win the Malaysia Cup in 2021 and qualify for the AFC Cup final last year and also the FA Cup final this year.

Hodak said signing Mendoza was one of his priorities as he wanted two top players for each position in his team.

Mendoza will be competing with Indonesian Teja Paku Alam to be the first-choice keeper.

“Kevin was the best goalkeeper in the Malaysian League and he will be an asset to us. Teja is also a quality keeper but last year, he suffered an injury and the club were left struggling a bit. So, it’s great to have two good goalkeepers,” said Hodak.

“The Indonesian league is also long and physically demanding, due to the constant travelling.”

Besides Kevin, Persib have also snapped up former Juventus midfielder Stefano Beltrame, who will replace Gabonese Levy Madinda, who has returned to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) after a short loan spell.

Meanwhile, former Kelantan United winger OJ Porteria has signed a deal with Dewa United.

Porteria, who is Mendoza’s national teammate, will be joining hands with Malaysian centreback Junior Eldstal who joined the club in May from JDT.

The 29-year-old Porteria, was a standout for Kelantan United despite the team’s poor position in the league, where they are second from bottom in the 14-team standings. He scored seven goals and provided three assists in 25 matches.

The Indonesian league was also eyeing two more players from the Super League – Pahang captain Sergio Aguero was pursued by Persija Jakarta and Kedah winger Manuel Hidalgo by Persib – but both preferred to remain in Malaysia.

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Super League , Football , Indonesia , Malaysia

   

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