Copa champion Sriwijaya
looking for more foreign

Copa Indonesia champion Sriwijaya FC is looking for more foreign recruits in a bid to up the challenge in the Indonesian Super League.

The foreign players on the list of the Palembang-based club's target include Agu Casmir of Singapore, Gerald Ambassa Guy of Hong Kong, and the Thai pair of Teerasi Diangda and Teerathep Winothai.

Casmir, currently playing for Gombak FC, is tagged as the most expensive prospective signing, at Rp 1.1 billion (US$100,000).

Sriwijaya won back-to-back Copa trophies, but failed to defend its league title this year.

The club also released a list of top local players it plans to snap up in its bid to set up the so-called Dream Team. The club management has provided a total of Rp 16 billion in funds, apportioned from the South Sumatra provincial administration and sponsors.

Local player targeted by the club include Persija Jakarta's Bambang Pamungkas, Ponaryo Astaman and Muhammad Ilham; PSM Makassar's Iryad Aras, Persitara Jakarta's Ngurah Wahyu, and Pelita Jaya Bandung's Erol Iba.

Hendri Zainuddin, who heads club's five-strong recruitment team, said that hey would retain 15 from 25 players of the current team.

"We're done with the formation and just need finishing touches," said Hendri, who replaced Baryadi as team manager for next season.

He said the funds also came from some private and state-owned enterprises in South Sumatra, as well as from ticket sales and the expenditures deductions.

"We've received some good responses from these enterprises," he said.

Team coach Rahmad Darmawan has welcomed the club management's response, saying the move would help him prepare a better team.

He blamed the lack of preparation at the start of last season for the failure to retain the league title.

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