Papuan Giants Prepare for First Experience in Second Caste – The fall of Persipura Jayapura to the second grade at the end of the 2021-2022 Indonesian League 1 season is definitely not a common sight for national football. This event is like seeing AC Milan drop into the Italian Serie B for ending the season in the relegation zone.

Even so, the financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic which ceased the competition in 2020 and made the decline of Persipura as already imagined. The modern Indonesian football giant has dropped out of class for the first time since the era of the professional league began in 1994.

The situation is quite ironic because Mutiara Hitam – Persipura’s nickname – is now getting international standard facilities with the presence of the Lukas Enembe Stadium in Jayapura. The stadium with a capacity of 40 thousand spectators was built as the main venue for the 2021 Papua PON.

After discontinuing the collaboration with Angel Alfredo Vera who chose Persita Tangerang in Liga 1, Persipura then appointed the former coach of Borneo FC and North Sulawesi United, Ricky Nelson. The coach who was born in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, July 25, 1980, has started his squad training camp in Jayapura since July 4.

In terms of squad quality, Persipura this year is not inferior to the big teams in Liga 1. With the strength of 30 players who have joined, they are assisted by native Papuans who have appeared for the Indonesian National Team such as Patrich Wanggai, Ramai Rumakiek, and Captain Ian Louis Kabes .

“The enthusiasm of the players is very good, but the physicality is very low. I’m trying within a month to improve physically and some tactics of the game,” Ricky said at the first practice at the Mahachandra Field, Cenderawasih University, Jayapura, last July 4.

Not only that, Nelson has even started tasting the training facilities at the Lukas Enembe Stadium Sports Complex. Earlier this week, they also did fitness exercises at the fitness center of the Cenderawasih Military Command XVII in Jayapura.

“With the current composition, I hope that players can follow the intensity of training according to the program we have made so that when the competition arrives they will be more prepared,” said Ricky.

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