Aidil relishing chance to play in a packed Gelora Bung Karno

Comments (0)
Raul Longhi & Aidil Zafwan - Johor Darul Takzim
Muhamad Rais Adnan
The experienced Johor Darul Ta'zim centre back is adamant the anticipated big crowd at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium will only serve to spur his side on.

There's no doubting that the atmosphere that can be generated by 60,000 to 70,000 screaming and singing fans will be an intimidating affair even for the players with nerves of steel. And that is exactly the challenge that will be faced by JDT when they play Persija Jakarta in the AFC Cup match tomorrow.

An easy win was achieved in the first match of the group stage, when the corresponding fixture was played at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium but it will be a completely different environment at GBK.

However, with JDT having featured in FA Cup finals and Malaysia Cup final in recent seasons, the players under Raul Longhi are more than experienced enough to handle the intense pressure and noise that can come from the stands.

As arguably one of the most experienced player in the squad, the 30-year-old centre back is not entirely dimissing the impact but calls on his team mates to use it to their advantage.

"As a player, I'd be lying if I said it will be zero nerves [playing in front of the expected big crowd]. But we are from Johor and we are used to playing in front of big crowds, even though not the same number as in Indonesia. In fact, it will motivate us to play even better."

"The atmosphere will be different when we face a big crowd. For every match that we play now, it's like a final," said Aidil in the pre-match press conference today.

JDT will continue to make do without Luciano Figueroa and that means that Hariss Harun could be the only import player that Longhi will field in the match.

Aidil himself have not found playing time this season, easy to come by. Fadhli Shas and Marcos Antonio have been the preferred partnership in central defence. Even when Antonio was rested, Adam Nor Azlin have been to usual replacement.

But with expected big crowd turn-out, Longhi may yet turn to Aidil who has been in situations like this before in his career and leave Adam on the bench.

"Tomorrow will definitely be a tight match because both teams want a win. The group is very tight because three teams are on seven points. The advantage is with Persija tomorrow because they are playing in front of their fans. But we are ready to achieve success in a tough place," added Aidil.