Mitra Kukar, Wild Dragon from the Jungle

Mitra Kukar FC players. | Photo credit: Mitra Kukar Official

MITRA Kukar is one of Kalimantan Island’s most successful soccer clubs. The team is hugely successful in terms of achievement, in players’ regeneration, coaching and development, as well as in terms of promotion.

Mitra Kukar has already two nicknames: “Squad of the Strong and Stocky”, and “Naga Mekes” (lit, dragon that lives in River Mahakam.)

The club's flag is marked with a symbol of hornbill’s claws gripping a ball. Probably it is kind of hope that Mitra Kukar must hold an outstanding reputation in the national-level soccer.

Whilst Indonesia’s top-flight teams generally come from provinces’ capital or big cities; Mitra Kukar grew up in a small, remote place namely Tenggarong of Kutai Kartanegara Regency.

Big teams come from Kalimantan Island's main cities are, for instances, Barito Putra (Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan), Pusamania Borneo FC (Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan), and Persiba (Balikpapan, East Kalimantan’s biggest city; which was also named Indonesia’s most expensive city).

Like anything that has history, so does Mitra Kukar.

People who lives outside of Kalimantan Island was probably still not familiar with the club's name, especially when Mitra Kukar still working hard and “crawling” in the second division league, in 2003.

But nowadays, the reality is pretty different. Mitra Kukar has grown into one of the country’s highly regarded soccer teams. 

Coaches and players may come and go, but the “hornbill claws holding a ball” flag will last much longer.[sahrudin]