“In the spotlights” is the column about fans introducing their favorite club. It’s not about the size, city, trophies, or current performance, it’s about the passion for the club. This weeks club in the spotlight is Deltras Sidoarjo from East Java who is currently active in Liga 3. This time it’s up to Angga to tell us more about his club.
A little bit of background about Deltras Sidoarjo. The club was founded as Gelora Dewata’89 back in 1989 by a rich businessman and represented the island of Bali as its first professional football team. The club then relocated to Sidoarjo in East Java in early 2001, this is when they changed their name to Gelora Putra Delta which eventually changed to Deltras Sidoarjo. Since 2003 the ownership of the club has been passed on to the Government of the Sidoarjo Regency. In late 2011 the club’s management decided to make a final alteration to the club name by settling for Deltras F.C.
The club spent a fair time in the highest tier of Indonesian football but was not able to hold that position. A series of promotions and relegations made the once proud Liga 1 team ending up in the lowest tier of Indonesian football, where they remain active until today. Famous players that have worn the jersey include Hariono, Wawan Hendrawan, Lucky Wahyu, Uston Nawawi, Claudian Pronetto, Jose Sebatian, and Hilton Moreira.
Sidoarjo is known as the Delta City, because it is located between two large rivers, namely the Kali Mas and Kali Porong. With its strategic location, the city is able to attract many newcomers to work in the many industries the city provides. The club’s logo is represented by lobsters which gave the club its nickname “The Lobsters”.
Sidoarjo is nicknamed “Shrimp City” due to its position in between the rivers and the culinary specialty obtained from the waters surrounding the city. Their signature dish is Lontong Kupang. Lontong Kupang is a fairly basic but delicious composition of small shellfish, lontong and shrimp paste sauce and is usually topped off with lento or fried cassava. it has a hot and spicy flavor, swinging between sweet and salty which is usually countered with green coconut ice to neutralize the taste of garlic and shrimp after consuming the dish.
Gelora Delta Stadium
The home base of Deltras F.C. is the Gelora Deltra Stadium which has a capacity of 35.000 people, a quite big stadium considering the size of the club and its fanbase. The stadium opened its doors in 2000 and was considered one of the best facilities in East Java.
Sidoarjo borders on the north side of the city of Surabaya and the regency of Gresik. Causing Gresik to be seen as natural rivals. Many people from this area either support Persebaya Surabaya or Gresik as those two teams have a larger history, background, and more prestige but there is still an active group of young, Deltra supporters that identify themselves as Deltamania.
While the club established itself in the Sidoarjo area, the Delta mania support group was formed to show support for the club. It was unexpected that the enthusiasm of the people of Sidoarjo at that time always filled the Gelora Delta Stadium every time there was a match, and the support was not only during the home games, Delta Mania also traveled to away games to guard the pride of the team.
As stated earlier, the Deltra’s journey in Indonesian football did not always go smoothly, pending between promotions and relegations and eventually ending up in the lowest tier of Indonesian football. Even when the team is active in the Liga 3, Delta Mania is still there and always stayed loyal to the club and continues to maintain the identity of the football culture in Sidoarjo.
During the hay day of the club, they used to have an official fan store within their stadium, but ever since their relegation, the club doesn’t have its own official fan shop. This has led to the creation of a fan shop initiated by local fans who try to meet the needs of Deltras attributes in the city. Several members of Deltamania agreed to start the locally created brand “Deltafams” to create merchandise for the club. A system was put in place to transfer parts of the profit from sales to the club and Deltamania.
With the presence of this shop, the fans hope they can contribute towards a bright future for Deltras F.C. so they can maintain the club and the football identity in Sidoarjo as they claim it’s something worthy to be proud of!
Special thanks to:
1. Angga (sharing his stories)
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