FI 12: Goran Gancev - I hope in five to 10 years the Indonesian League will be very attractive for European players

Goran Gancev is one of the nomads of the Indonesian League. The veteran defender has featured for PSMS Medan, Persebaya, Semen Padang, Borneo, Arema, Gresik United and now Sriwijaya FC.

His sort of footballing story is rarely told. He was capped at Under-21 level for his native Macedonia and then pinballed around other Leagues in Eastern Europe before ending up travelling to Indonesia for a new start one Christmas Day.

Gancev has island-hopped in Liga 1 too. But, as he nears the end of his career and starts a family, he reflects on his career, the countries in which he has played, the Indonesian experience and what lies ahead.

He spoke to me in outside a shopping mall in Palembang in the most recent break in Liga 1. Please forgive the background audio.

FI 11: Jacksen F. Tiago: Why I 'kill a lion' every day in training

Jacksen F. Tiago is one of the biggest characters in Indonesia football.

As a strong, free-scoring striker, he won the League with Persebaya in 1997 and, after retiring, coached the same team to same honour six years later. 

Since then, Tiago has led Mitra Kukar, Persipura Jayapura and had a spell in charge of the Indonesian national team. He is currently coaching Barito Putera, a small club who have been among the front-runners in GO-JEK Liga 1 during the first half of the campaign.

Speaking during the break for Ramadan, Tiago talked about his career as a player and on the sidelines. He also discussed his potential solutions to the problems in Indonesia football, the special reasons he has stayed so long in this country, the importance of intelligent players, WhatsApp and his attacking philosophies.

FI 10: Peter Butler: Persipura, SE Asia and Africa... via Halifax

Peter Butler has had one hell of a life in football.

The midfielder scored in all four professional divisions in England during a playing career spanning more than 500 games. He then forged a profession as a coach in Africa and south-east Asia.

His CV includes Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa Thailand, Myanmar, Botswana, Australia and, of course, Indonesia.

I spoke to him in the break in the GO-JEK Liga 1 season for Ramadan. He had led Persipura Jayapura into contention for the title. However, a few weeks after this interview, Butler would part ways with the club.

As you would expect, the Yorkshireman has strong views on the sport in Africa and Asia. But he also talks with passion and perspective on the English game.

FI 09: Kim Kurniawan: Football, life and Persib Bandung

Kim Kurniawan has had a tough road to success as a professional footballer.

The midfielder suffered a couple of career-threatening injuries and had to travel thousands miles away from the country of his birth. However he has battled back to become a crucial part of the squad at Persib Bandung

Right now, he is recovering from a broken leg but he spoke to Football Indonesia about football, life and, of course, Persib Bandung.

FI 08: Danny Guthrie - Why I moved to Mitra Kukar

The 2018 Liga1 campaign is nearly upon us.

One of the most eye-catching pre-season signings has been Mita Kukar’s capture of Danny Guthrie. The midfielder has extensive experience in the Premier League and The Championship in England. He rose through the ranks at Liverpool then for a host of other clubs, notably Newcastle, Reading and Blackburn.

But what made Guthrie swap Ewood Park to East Kalimantan? How has he found the transition and what does he want to achieve in Indonesia?

FI 07: Arthur Irawan - Europe, entrepreneurship and fighting back

Arthur Irawan is a rarity in Indonesian football.

He comes from Jakarta but received his education in the game in England, Spain and Belgium with the likes of Manchester United, Espanyol and Malaga. In 2017 he returned back home to spend his first full season playing in Indonesia.

But it was far from plain-sailing. 

In this podcast he talks about his injury-hit time with Persija Jakarta last term, education abroad, Manchester United, his tech start-up, his religion, dealing with criticism on social media, moving positions and where he might play his football next season.