Former Mitra Kukar striker Marcus Bent has described his six-month stint in Indonesia as a positive experience.
The 34-year-old former Everton, Blackburn and Birmingham City player was released by Mitra Kukar in April talked about his time in Indonesia with the Merseyside club’s official site as the club prepares to tour the region.
“My first impressions were that it was a good place, it was humid and hot from six in the morning until eight in the evening. The stadiums looked good and they were trying to do things the right way,” he said.
“They will look after you. When a western team comes out they pull out all the stops. The hotels are awesome, especially in Jakarta. Jakarta is westernised; it’s a little bit like Dubai or Abu Dhabi with big malls and things like that.”
Bent also expressed his admiration to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, the 80,000-capacity main stadium of Indonesia national team which is placed in Jakarta as well as the Merah Putih supporters enthusiasm.
“The main stadium is huge, it looks awesome from the outside and the pitch is nice as well,” he said.
“The fans have all got banners and horns, they are mad for them. You come out of the stadium with your ears ringing from the horns.
“They are into their fireworks; in a couple of games I played you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face because of the smoke.”
About the popularity of Everton in Indonesia, Bent explained that David Moyes’ men have a huge fanbase there.
“Everton are a massive name over there but Manchester United are the biggest, you have got Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney on the billboards,” he said.
Everton will take part in a four-team tournament with Turkish champions Galatasaray and the Indonesian and Malaysian national teams between July 26 and 29.