13 January 2019
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NEWLY appointed DPMM FC coach Adrian Pennock is looking to close the gap on Albirex Niigata FC (S).
The 47-year-old, who succeeded Brazilian Rene Weber, is not yet familiar with the Singapore Premier League but knows that the three-time defending champions are the team to beat.
“I have seen games on DVDs and on livestreams and I know that Albirex didn’t lose a game last season,” said Pennock in an interview with BruSports News yesterday.
“They are the standard we want to get to. Looking back to when Steve Kean was here, he had done a great job to win the League but they had five overseas players then.
“The rules are different now and we will have to look at Albirex. They are the top of the tree and we need to get closer to them and go from there,” he added.
The 47-year-old arrived in Brunei at the beginning of December and have spent most of the past two weeks holding trials in search of filling up their import quota.
They have successfully done so by netting the trio of Charlie Clough (England), Blake Ricciuto (Australia) and Andrey Varankov (Belarus) for the upcoming campaign.
Pennock is pleased with the signings as well as the showing of the local footballers.
“The trials went very well and we have signed three players. Good thing is that both the overseas players and the local players have put all in despite a tough two weeks,” said the former Stoke City first-team coach.
“I’m very pleased with the three overseas players that we got and pleased with the Bruneian players.
“We know that there are things to do but they have been first class and very good,” he added.
The club had their last training session of the year yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium and will only return to the grounds on January 3.
“The first two days (when we return) will be tests such as ECG (electrocardiogram), fat and weigh ins,” revealed Pennock.
“The five days after will be very tough with hill runs, gym work, swimming and obviously football.
“We want to get more mileage into their legs and build their stamina up. We will also be going to Thailand after that and get some games in. I’m looking forward to coming back in January,” added Pennock, who previously played for Bournemouth and Gillingham
When asked on how well he has settled down in Brunei, Pennock replied: “I’ve just settled in very quickly because everybody here is so friendly and warming.
“Everybody is very warm and welcoming from His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince all the way to the players.
“Everybody has been very good. I’m really enjoying it for over the past two weeks I’ve been here,” he concluded.