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Black Steel FC Papua: The Futsal Team from Papua Island

by Senaman
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Not inferior to Football, in Indonesia, Futsal competitions are also very loved by fans from various circles of Indonesian society. For Futsal fans, it’s no stranger to hearing the name Black Steel FC Papua. They made Indonesia proud in the 2023 AFF Futsal Cup competition. This Futsal club managed to become a champion after defeating a club from Thailand, Hongyen Thakam through a Penalty shootout with a score of 4-2 after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

This prestigious Southeast Asian Futsal competition took place on May 1-7, 2023. The victory of Black Steel FC Papua maintains the winning record of the Futsal club from Indonesia in this championship after previously being dominated by Thailand.

Black Steel FC Papua commonly called Black Steel Papua is a futsal club based in Manokwari, West Papua. The club was formerly known as Black Steel Manokwari before changing its name to Black Steel Papua. Black Steel is currently the only futsal club based in Papua and competes in the Professional Futsal League or Pro Futsal League. Previously, there was also Permata Indah FC Manokwari which unfortunately disbanded in 2020.

Black Steel FC Papua was founded in 2010, Black Steel has been competing in the Pro Futsal League for almost 14 years. In that period they have tasted 2 times the 1st place in 2016 and 2020 and 2 times the 2nd place in 2019 and 2021-2022. The club contains several talented players, the majority of whom are native Indonesians such as Muhammad Albagir, Andriansyah Agustin, Ardiansyah Nur, Ikhsani Fajar, and the star, Holypaul Evan Septinus Soumlilena often called Evan Soumilena.

They have been led by Thai coach Rakphol Sainetgam since 2020. He is the former coach of a fairly strong futsal club from Thailand, Chonburi Bluewave. This is not the first time Black Steel Papua has competed in the AFF Futsal Cup. They have competed in this championship in 2016 and 2019. Unfortunately, they did not achieve the best results, only becoming 4th place and eliminated in the club phase.

However, in 2023, Black Steel Papua impressed. From 4 matches, they managed to score 17 goals and only conceded 2 times. Evan Soumeilena was the main actor in the victory achieved by Black Steel Papua. He managed to be the top scorer with 7 goals, including his goal in the final against Hongyen Thakam. In the penalty shootout, Evan Soumilena also scored and helped Black Steel Papua clinch their first AFF Futsal Cup trophy.

Black Steel Papua’s success this year made Indonesia win 2 consecutive AFF Futsal Cup trophies after Bintang Timur Surabaya won the previous edition of the tournament. This also broke the hegemony of the Thai futsal club which had dominated this tournament after winning 6 times in a row.

Hopefully, in the future, Black Steel FC Papua or other Indonesian Futsal clubs can continue to make Indonesia proud in other Asian competitions.

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