SINGAPORE - Former Aston Villa and England
midfielder Lee Hendrie has signed for Bandung FC in Indonesia's
breakaway football league.
Hendrie, who spent a decade at the English Premier League
club from the mid-1990s, has penned a two-year deal and is
expected to make his debut for the Javanese club on Saturday.
"He will act as a link-man and second striker who will
supply our forwards... his presence will give us a lift,"
Bandung Chief Executive officer Mohamad Kusnaeni told Reuters on
"He will be a role model for other players at Bandung FC
given his experience playing in the best league in the world."
Capped once by England during his Villa days, Hendrie later
dropped down divisions. He became a free agent earlier this
month when he was released from a short-term deal at League Two
side Bradford City.
An FA Cup runner-up and Intertoto Cup winner with Villa,
33-year-old Hendrie's signing to play in the Indonesian Premier
League (LPI) marks his first spell outside England and will be a
boon to the new Asian league.
"I am proud to have the opportunity," Hendrie said at the
LPI's offices in Jakarta.
Bandung, second bottom of the league with two defeats after
two matches, aim to use Hendrie's star appeal to boost the
growth of talent at the club.
"As a (globally known) player, Lee Hendrie will be appointed
our football ambassador for coaching grassroot and youth
development players in Bandung," Kusnaeni said.
The LPI is an independent professional football league
launched earlier this month, backed by the sports minister but
not the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).
The PSSI's official top flight competition is the 18-club
Indonesia Super League (ISL).
The 19-team LPI, including three who switched from the ISL,
is the brainchild of oil tycoon Arifin Panigoro.
"The LPI is a reform league concept that meets with FIFA's
direction 'For the Good of the Game' Task Force and AFC's
Pro-League Committee," league official Abi Hasantoso told
"The LPI was created to improve the achievements of national
Despite being ranked just 126th in the world by FIFA,
Indonesian fans are among the most passionate in the world.
Other notable players to have plied their trade on the
archipelago include Argentine World Cup winner Mario Kempes and
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