Indonesia U23 coach Rahmad racing against time to prepare for Chelsea

The Young Garuda coach has been put in charge of the Indonesia All-Stars team to face Jose Mourinho's men and has to mold a cohesive unit out of his charges and the senior players

Indonesia Under-23 coach Rahmad Darmawan has admitted that time is against him as he tries to merge his squad with the seniors ahead of their big clash against Chelsea at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25.

The National Team Body (BTN) previously announced the squad list for the BNI Indonesia All-Stars against the English Premier League side, which included 11 players from the Young Garuda. 

But changes were needed soon after as several players were forced to return to their clubs to strengthen them for the domestic competitions.

“At first, I had readied 60 per cent of the U23 players but it was soon changed," Rahmad said.

“The composition is now 50-50 with the senior national team as there are many players called back to their respective clubs.

“I have to work hard as a big portion of the U23 players have never played with the senior team before. I will be trying to find the proper strategy to collaborate between the U23 and the seniors.” 

While national team coach Jacksen Tiago was at the helm for the previous two exhibition matches against Arsenal and Liverpool, Rahmad was given the responsibility by BTN to head the squad for their match against Jose Mourinho's charges.

Rahmad's preparations have also been hampered with the unavailability of their training ground at Soetasoma 77 Halim Perdanaksuma due to a water-logged pitch, and they eventually had to settle for a session at a futsal ground.  

Indonesia squad

Goalkeepers: Kurnia Meiga Hermansyah (Arema), Ajisaka (PSS Sleman)

Defenders: Hasim Kipuw, Purwaka Yudhi, Victor Igbonefo ( all Arema), Hamka Hamzah, Seftia Hadi (both Mitra Kukar), Muhamad Roby (Persisam Samarinda), Ruben Karel Sanadi (Persipura)

Rizki Ahmad Sanjaya Pellu (PBR), Bayu Gatra (Persisam Samarinda), Egi Melgiansyah (Arema), Rasyid Bakri (PSM), Andik Vermansyah (Persebaya 1927), Hendra Adi Bayauw (Semen Padang), Raphael Maitimo, Ahmad Bustomi (both Mitra Kukar)

Agung Supriyanto (Persijap Jepara), Ferdinand Sinaga (Persisam Samarinda), Titus Bonai (Semen Padang), Greg Nwokolo (Arema), Syamsir Alam (DC United).