29 March 2011

Jerudong FC captain returns to call of duty

JERUDONG FC are banking on inspirational captain Md Radzi Tamat's return to steer the team to a point against the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) at the Berakas Sports Complex tonight.

Md Radzi was unavailable for Jerudong FC's last two matches due to personal commitment. Taking into account that the team are about to face their biggest task in the season so far, Jerudong FC head coach Julkifli Hj Hitam hopes the skipper will finally be able to wield the armband tonight.

"Hopefully he will be able to play tomorrow (tonight). With him on the field, the youth will really benefit from his experience," said the Jerudong FC head coach.

"All the other players are looking good for the match against MS ABDB. I also hope that the weather will be good, the field to be in good condition, so that we can all enjoy a good match," he added.

The downpour in Berakas last week had already caused two matches to be abandoned. It also affected the condition of the already battered field which was further compounded by the daily matches.

Even though all the factors do go in Jerudong FC's favour prior to the clash, Julkifli is under no delusion that the armymen will be a walk in the park. The head coach is well aware of the threat MS ABDB pose in their quest to break through into the Top Three at the end of the season.

The armymen are in top form, leading the nine-team table with three wins from as many number of matches.

"MS ABDB had won by a huge scoreline in their last couple of matches. Hopefully, we will be able to give a good fight. Our main focus will be to collect a point from the match while a win will be a bonus," said Julkifli.

The armymen came out with all guns blazing against newly-promoted teams LLRC FT and Prisons Department in their last two matches.

MS ABDB hammered LLRC FT 4-1 before thrashing Prisons Department 6-1. Both matches were contested on home turf at the Penanjong Camp in Tutong.

After their season opener against Indera SC on March 9, which they won 3-1, MS ABDB manager Suhaimi Jamali said they were having problems upfront because striker Md Sardillah Hj Abdullah had been ruled out for an indefinite period due to injury.

The armymen seemed to have found the answer in Md Isa Hj Bahar, who scored a hat-trick against both LLRC FT and Prisons Department.

Currently the top goalscorer in the top-tier league with a total of six goals, the 23-year-old will definitely be one of the players Jerudong FC want to keep an eye on tonight. Kick-off is at 8.15pm.The Brunei Times

19 March 2011

Rain washes away Gunners' lead

HEAVY downpour doused off the fiery 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) match between AM Gunners FC and Prisons Department at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.

After only 30 minutes of play, a curtain of rain swept over Berakas to grind the match, led 1-0 by the Gunners, to a halt.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, Md Nazlee PD Hj Md Jaafar's excellently taken freekick will not be taken into account, due to the rules requiring the match to be played from the start at a later date to be determined by organisers Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam.

Though it was not raining early in the match, both teams found it hard to connect on passes through the aggressive play and rough tackles.

BPL I debutants Prisons Departments were made to pay when the referee awarded a freekick in the Gunners' favour just outside the box.

Md Nazlee tucked the ball beyond jailers' goalkeeper Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor's reach to give the Gunners an early lead in the ninth minute.

Prisons Department failed to adapt and learn from their mistake as they continued to concede freekicks one after another.

They were however bailed out by the powerful force of nature halfway into the match as light drizzle transformed into heavy downpour.

Players were slipping all over the field as the passing rates of both teams plummeted due to the ball getting caught in puddles which were starting to form on the pitch.

The unfavourable condition forced the referee to blow his whistle at the 30-minute mark to stop the match.

When the rain showed no signs of letting up, it was decided that the Gunners and Prisons Department will have to continue their duel on another day.

Due to the postponement, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) shot to the top of the nine-team table after a 4-1 hammering of LLRC FT at Penanjong Camp in Tutong last night.

Hj Md Yusof Hj Matyassin opened the armymen's account in the 25th minute. Teammate Md Isa Hj Bahar scored a hat-trick in the match.

The Belait-based team's sole goal was scored by Hj Anuar Seidil in the 44th minute.

The result puts MS ABDB in first position, collecting the maximum six points from two matches to demote the Gunners down into second place.

Majra FC, who are determined to fight for a trophy this season, take third spot after their 3-0 victory over LLRC FT last Sunday.

Indera SC, Wijaya FC and LLRC FT sit at the bottom half of the table, with zero points collected from two matches.

The BPL I will resume with defending BPL I champions QAF FC, currently in fourth, taking on Prisons Department at the Berakas Sports Complex on Sunday at 8.15pm.

They will have to play the jailers' without two of their main defenders, Ratano Tuah and Md Shah Azhar Abdullah.

Both players picked up a red card in their match against Indera SC on Tuesday.

Despite the odds, QAF FC manager Abdul Rahim Daud is still confident that his team will still be able to pick up a win.The Brunei Times ..

Nine-man QAF FC outclass Indera SC

QAF FC had two men sent off but still walked off as the victors against Indera SC in their 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) match at the Berakas Sports Complex in Berakas last night.

After Ratano Tuah and Md Shah Azhar Abdullah were sent off, the defending BPL I champions made the most of an early three-goal lead to escape with a 3-1 scoreline.

Md Hardyman Abdul Lamit, Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh and Md Mardi Mirza Bujang Abdullah all got on the scoresheet within the first 20 minutes thanks to Indera SC's poor defence.

Despite the advantage in numbers, all Indera SC were able to take from the match was Sahrin Momin's goal from the penalty spot.

QAF FC manager Abdul Rahim Daud praised his players for their resilience throughout the match.

"I am really grateful to the players for being able to withstand the remaining minutes and still control the match. In the end, it's getting all three points that's important," he said.

The QAF FC manager also lamented the two red cards that might prove costly in their next two matches.

"If our players were in better control of their emotions this would not have happened and we could have scored more goals. They will also be unavailable in the next two big matches, against AM Gunners FC and Prisons Department, and that will be quite a loss. "However, it's okay because we will just do our best. If we were able to win tonight (despite playing with nine men), I don't see why we can't in those matches," said Abdul Rahim.

Both Ratano and Md Shah will miss the match against Prisons Department on Sunday. The latter also stand to miss out on the fight against the Gunners on March 23 since he collected a straight red.

Tipped to shake up the BPL I this season, it looks like Indera SC still have lots to learn judging by last night's performance.

The fashion in which the first goal was scored was the sign that it was not going to be Indera SC's night. Under no pressure from the opponents, Indera SC's Abdurahman Assawadiq Ab'rahim (sic) needlessly sent a high backpass to goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammaddin Pg Hj Sallehuddin.

Unable to catch the ball, the goalkeeper punched it down and from the bounce Md Hardyman headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0 in QAF FC's favour after only five minutes.

Indera SC failed to track Md Aqmal Hakeem Abdul Hamid's run on the right flank and given ample space, he delivered a cross into the box which Adie Arsham drilled from the far post to double their advantage in the 12th minute.

Despite conceding two goals, Indera SC failed to adapt and were made to pay again soon, a result of poor defence from a corner kick.

Md Mardi Mirza was left unmarked at the near post and he slotted the ball in with ease to make it 3-0 in the 16th minute.

Though QAF FC goalkeeper Md Sahan Mumtazali had to pull a number of saves, the efforts were tame and posed no real threat.

Misfortune struck for QAF FC when Ratano picked up a second booking after the referee judged him to have brought down an Indera SC player in the box.

Sahrin sunk the ball in from the penalty spot in the 37th minute and things were starting to look up for Indera SC.

Md Khayrun Salleh, who was one of few Indera SC players that actually performed on the pitch, unleashed Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman into enemy territory.

Md Sahan managed to divert his tight angle shot but the rebound fell to the path of Indera SC's Md Arif Hj Zulkifli, who headed the ball over the crossbar from pointblank.

Indera SC wasted most of the second half by flying in crosses which were dealt with easily by QAF FC.

Despite playing against 10 men, the lack of creativity to create chances on goal were their most obvious weakness.

Indera SC were given another break when Md Shah was ousted from the pitch after the referee flashed a straight red to the defender in the 81st minute.

It was just not meant to be for Indera SC when both Abdul Mu'iz Sisa and Azwan Mohd Salleh's efforts were denied by the crossbar in the final moments of the match.

The BPL I resumes tonight with the Gunners taking on BPL I debutants Prisons Department at the Berakas Sports Complex.

Meanwhile, at the Penanjong Camp in Tutong, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council will play host to LLRC FT. Both matches kick off at 8.15pm.

The Brunei Times


Jerudong punish Wijaya

TOOTHLESS Wijaya FC fell to their second consecutive defeat in the 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) falling 2-0 at the hands of Jerudong FC last night.

Md Esmendy Brahim and Md Bazli Mohammad Said scored a goal each to give Jerudong FC a perfect start to the new season at the Berakas Sports Complex in Berakas.

Jerudong FC said before the start of the season that their objective this year was to break into the Top 3 and judging by their performance last night they were on the right path.

Their head coach Julkifli Hj Hitam hopes Jerudong FC can keep up the good show for the rest of the season.

"The first match is always crucial to keep the spirit up. Though they did not perform exactly as instructed, they did stick to 80 per cent of the game plan and that was good enough for a start," he said.

"We're still without the services of our three main players, who are out due to personal commitments. I believe we will be a better team when they return," the Jerudong FC head coach added.

Julkifli also praised the 19-year-old Md Bazli, who made it a debut to remember by scoring a goal in the second half.

"He is a new addition to the squad and has justified his selection in the best way possible, by scoring a goal," said Julkifli.

Jerudong FC were the better team last night and the scoreline could have been better if they were more clinical.

Faizul Jefry Hj Zaini presented the first real threat of the match with a long drive that Wijaya FC goalkeeper Md Nashruddin Salamat had to palm away at the far post.

Teammate Md Esmendy could have scored early when he successfully beat the defenders but his shot went wide of the post.

However, he did not make any mistake with his next attempt, drilling the ball into the back of the net with a header in the 26th minute to break the deadlock.

The 22-year-old Jerudong FC player tried to beat Md Nashruddin again soon after with a long range effort, but the Wijaya FC goalkeeper collected comfortably.

Wijaya FC thought they had netted the equaliser when Marhazif Ahmad fired from point blank after Jerudong FC goalkeeper Abdul Hafiz Hj Mursadi had fumbled a save. But the linesman correctly ruled Marhazif offside.

Md Julremi Hj Zaini then tried to level the scores with a free kick from just outside the box, but Abdul Hafiz parried the ball out to keep Jerudong FC 1-0 up after the break.

The second half started in similar fashion for Jerudong FC with Faizul Jefry skipping past two defenders but the Wijaya FC goalkeeper was able to put a hand to the ball.

Failure to clear the ball from the box almost cost Jerudong FC, but Zulkefly Duraman shot straight at the Jerudong FC goalkeeper to their fans' relief.

Wijaya FC started to ramp up the pressure on their opponents with only 30 minutes to go, but a lapse in defence proved to be their undoing.

Dahlan Zainuddin delivered a cross into the Wijaya FC's box and the defenders failed to spot Md Bazli, who snuck in and headed the ball over Md Nashruddin to score Jerudong FC's second goal in the 70th minute.

Defending champions QAF FC will step onto the field for the first time this season today taking on Indera SC at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm. The Brunei Times

Losing start for LLRC FT

LLRC FT made a losing debut in the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) yesterday falling 3-0 to Majra FC at the Brunei Shell Recreation Club in Seria yesterday.

Undefeated in the BPL II last season, the newcomers were left with a bitter taste of defeat in their first match in the top flight.

Md Faizal Mohammad, who was Majra FC's top scorer last season with 18 goals, proved that he had not lost his scoring touch by firing into LLRC FT's net in the 16th minute.

Younger brother of DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Hj Mohd Said, Adi Said, added to the tally with two goals, in the 23rd and 83rd minutes, to allow Majra FC to romp home with the victory.

Despite the loss, LLRC FT assistant manager Ahmad Sazarin Hj Ahmad Sabli is positive that the team just need time to get their legs settled in the BPL I.

"In actual fact, it was a 50-50 match. It's just that we lack match fitness, my players are still at 70 per cent," Ahmad Sazarin told The Brunei Times when contacted after the match yesterday.

The LLRC FT assistant manager also expressed his dissatisfaction with the mistakes that led to Majra FC's three goals.

"The defeat won't affect team morale in any way. We've already gotten a taste of the BPL I and for the next match against MS ABDB (the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council), I admit that it will be hard, but we just have to work harder," he said.

No doubt it will be an uphill battle for the Belait-based team, but Majra FC manager Hj Mahaddi Hj Mat Zain believes that LLRC FT have what it takes to put up a viable challenge in the BPL I.

"I praise them for giving such a spirited performance as the newcomers of the BPL I. They should not be looked down on for I think they have the potential to upset bigger teams," said Hj Mahaddi.

The Majra FC manager credited the victory to his players for performing as instructed, reading the match flow perfectly and making the most of the opponents' mistakes.

"Adi and Faizal scored as predicted and, though they wasted a lot opportunities, their goals were good enough to grab all three points," he said.

Contrary to our report "Time for fun and games is over, Majra FC mean business" published on March 10, Majra FC actually finished behind March United and not as stated.

Jerudong FC's battle to breakthrough into the Top 3 begins today when they take on Wijaya FC at the Berakas Sports Complex. Kick off is at 8.15pm.The Brunei Times

BPL II teams told to raise their game

THE DST Group Brunei Premier League II might be the lower tier of the Brunei league, but it does not mean that the teams in the BPL II have lesser responsibility.

Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) deputy secretary-general Leftenan Kolonel Dr Hj Mohd Bahrin Bintang (pic) reminded the participating teams of their reponsibility to the local football scene during a BPL II managers meeting held at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.

"Show your commitment in raising the level of football in the country. It will reflect on the federation's capability to run the leagues and, hopefully, it will become the foundation to bigger things in store for Brunei football," said the FFBD deputy secretary-general during the meeting, which was attended by the BPL II managers and Brunei Darussalam Football Referees Association general secretary Hj Omar Hj Sapar.

One of the highlights of the meeting was Rimba Star FC being informed that they can totally overhaul the squad before the league kicks off on March 25.

Other teams were required to send in their final squad list on March 11. The news will no doubt bring much relief to the league newcomers, who are still looking for players to fill up the 25-man roster.

According to Rimba Star coach Hj Norazmi PD Hj Abdul Razak, the team only have 17 players at the moment and still lack quality goalkeeper and midfielders.

His comments came after Rimba Star won 3-2 in extra time against the Royal Brunei Police Force's Sports Council during the BPL II qualifier final at the Berakas Sports Complex on Saturday night.

They beat out five other teams, including the policemen, for a spot in the BPL II.

The battle is only half over for Rimba Star. They now need to outperform nine teams in the BPL II to win a ticket to the top tier league in the local football scene, the BPL I, and it will not be an easy task to accomplish.

Also making their debut in the lower tier league are Brunei Shell FT (BSFT). However, unlike Rimba Star, who interestingly will be their first BPL II opponents this season on March 27, BSFT did not enter the BPL II under glamorous circumstances.

Having contested in the top flight ever since the first edition of the BPL back in 2002, BSFT reached their lowest point when they lost 4-2 against NBT FC in both teams' final match of the season last April. The result placed BSFT bottom of the 10-team BPL I and as a consequence they were automatically relegated.The Brunei Times

07 March 2011

Let the new BPL I season begin!

THE tone of the 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) has been set with QAF FC's Champions' Cup victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Saturday night.

It is the first trophy for QAF FC without the services of Cameroonian Viban Francis Bayong in three years. Therefore, the 7-6 win on penalties after a 0-0 stalemate against the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) at full time served as an important statement to the other BPL I contenders: QAF FC are not a one man team.

QAF FC manager Abdul Rahim Daud will especially savour the moment after repeating time and again that the club will not be affected by the import ban.

But, what are words without action? That is exactly what QAF FC did by winning the first trophy of the season proving that they are still the ones to beat in the nine-team league.

One problem that might prevent QAF FC from repeating their 17-match undefeated run that led to the BPL I title last season is the battle for match fitness their biggest problem during the traditional BPL curtain raiser on Saturday.

(QAF FC only lost one match last term going down 3-1 to arch-rivals MS ABDB in their final league match of the season).

The defending BPL I champions, however, can take solace by the fact that they are not the only ones with such a problem. Due to organisers Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam's late announcement on the league kick-off, most teams started their preparation late.

One of the teams is AM Gunners FC, who will take on Wijaya FC in the first match of the BPL I at the Berakas Sports Complex tonight.

It will be the Gunners' sophomore season in the top-tier of Brunei football after finishing at an impressive third place last season.

Armed with a never-give-up attitude under the watchful eyes of last season's Best Coach-nominee Zainuddin Kassim, the Gunners aim to better their record of 13 wins, three draws and two losses.

Despite the feat, the Gunners remain wary of the other teams that make up this season's BPL I especially Jerudong FC.

A breakthrough into the Top Three is Jerudong FC's main target this season and boasting one of the best team chemistry in the league most of their players hail from the same village, Kampung Jerudong as well as benefitting from the no imports ban, it could be achieved.

However, the main draw for this season is the debut of Shahrazen Hj Md Said, the joint top-scorer during the 2006/07 Malaysian Super League season with 21 goals while playing for DPMM FC.

Lacing up for Wijaya FC, he is one of 22 DPMM FC players that will lace up for BPL teams this season.

Indera SC have the largest contingent with six players; the midfield quartet of Sairol Hj Sahri, Azwan Salleh, Helmi Zambin and Muhd Arif Hj Zulkifli will be joined by defenders Ak Shahruddin Pg Tajuddin and Muhd Afi Aminuddin.

Majra FC have a well-rounded list of four DPMM FC players: Wardun Yussof in between the sticks, Yusof Salleh in defence, Ampuan Nurul Azmi Ampuan Hussin in the middle of the park and Adi Said up front.

Meanwhile, BPL I debutants LLRC FT are doubtful of repeating their run of form that led to the BPL II title last season. Due to personal commitments, most of the players that helped LLRC FT to an undefeated campaign have retired and all they could hope for is to avoid relegation.

Joining them in the top-tier league will be Prisons Department, who were also undefeated in the BPL II last season.

Will the import ban be enough to unlock QAF FC's iron grip on the BPL I for the last three years?

Watch the drama unfold starting today.The Brunei Times ..

QAF FC 'still the best'

MOHD Sahan Mumtazali proved why he is QAF FC's first choice goalkeeper when he saved Md Roy Suhardy Hanifah's penalty to help his team retain the Champions' Cup last night.

The traditional curtain raiser for the DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) season, Mohd Sahan dived to his right to deny the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) striker and win the trophy 7-6 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.

more : Brunei Times

04 March 2011

BPL under watchful eyes of DPMM FC

DPMM FC will be keeping a close eye on the DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) this season.

Brunei's only professional club have a remarkable 22 players playing in the BPL but that's not the main reason Norilham Hj Jais will be monitoring the league.

"Of course, we will be watching Premier I and II. It is good for us to scout young talent from other clubs," said the assistant coach yesterday.

"As for the DPMM FC players, I fully agree with them playing in the BPL as it will help them keep fit, maintain their rhythm and perform consistently," he added.

BPL I will kick-off on Monday while the first BPL II game will be on March 25. The BPL I will start earlier because it is played in a home and away format and there are more games.

Proceedings officially start on Saturday when two of the Sultanate's powerhouses, QAF FC and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB), face each other in the Champions' Cup at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm. QAF won the BPL I and League Cup last season while MS ABDB booked their slot in the curtain-raiser by clinching the FA Cup.

QAF are the titleholders in the Champions' Cup after beating MS ABDB 2-0 in May 2009.

This season will mark the second year DPMM FC will have their players suiting up for various sides in the local league since their exit from the Singapore League in Oct 2009.

Indera Sports Club have the largest contingent with six players; the midfield quartet of Sairol Hj Sahri, Azwan Salleh, Helmi Zambin and Muhd Arif Hj Zulkifli joined by defenders Ak Shahruddin Pg Tajuddin and Muhd Afi Aminuddin.

Majra FC has a well-rounded list of four players Wardun Yussof in between the sticks, Yusof Salleh in defense, Ampuan Nurul Azmi Ampuan Hussin in the middle of the park and Adi Said up front.

AM Gunners FC and the Prisons Department each have three players.

Defenders Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit and Abdul Aziz Tamit will be joined by midfielder Hj Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir in AM Gunners FC while the wardens have goalkeeper Azman Ilham, midfielder Muhd Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and striker Abu Bakar Mahari suiting up for them.

MS ABDB can field midfielder Rosmin Hj Kamis and defender Suhaimi Yusof, QAF have the services of midfield metronome Hardi Bujang while Wijaya FC can count on Shahrazen Hj Md Said Adi's older brother for the goals.

The joint top scorer during the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League season with 21 goals, Shahrazen also led DPMM FC in scoring during their debut S-League season in 2008/2009 by finding the back of the net nine times and was crucial to the team's Singapore League Cup championship run in June 2009.

BPL II is also not left out in the equation, with midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman and striker Abd Al Wardi Abd Hamid playing for Brunei Youth Team (Under-16).

Though the players might don their new club jerseys on match days, Norilham made it clear that the black and red of DPMM FC were still their main colours.

"They are still under DPMM FC and they still train with us twice a week," said the handler.

"But at the same time they will be with their respective clubs for the league and will train with them as well," he added.

When asked about what would happen if DPMM FC required the players for matches Norilham stated that the BPL clubs would have to give leeway.

"In that respect, we have to reach a compromise with the respective cubs. At this moment, in the short-term, I don't see any (matches) happening," he said.

"But the players will come back. Definitely."

Other sides in the nine-team BPL I this season and the only ones not to have any DPMM FC players are Jerudong FC and Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT).

LLRC FT and Prisons Department were promoted from BPL II after ending the season as champions and runners-up respectively. Both teams ended the season undefeated.

The nine confirmed teams in BPL II this year are Brunei Youth Team, Brunei Shell Football Team, Muara Vella FC, Perkasa, Lun Bawang, Kilanas FC, Menglait FC, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Football Team (BIBD FT) and DST Group Football Team.

Playoffs are currently being held in order to select a 10th side to join the fray.

The Brunei Times ..

Wijaya FC land Shahrazen

A BETTER finish is all Wijaya FC hope for in the upcoming 2010/11 DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) which kicks off on March 7.

Last season's dismal performance was one to forget for the club established in 1989.

They only managed to record four wins, two draws and 12 losses, from a total of 18 matches, to finish in eighth place, third from the bottom of the 10-team table.

Wijaya FC want a better finish and the club is going back to its roots to achieve it.

"The players are either family members or friends. Therefore, this club is formed from the solid foundation of trust," said head coach Hj Lukman Hj Adanan at Ong Sum Ping football field, the club's training ground.

However, familiarity does not automatically guarantee a spot in the first-eleven. There are standards to meet in the squad and Hj Lukman does not take this fact lightly.

"This way we can create a healthy competition within the club between the players," explained the head coach.

Most of the players have already been selected and it comes as no suprise that key players Shahroni Hj Bungsu, Sufri Yahya, Mahdini Hj Mohamad, Zulkefly Duraman and Jamrin Johari will return to the pitch.

"They are the experienced players that I hope will be able to guide the young and fresh-faced players," said Hj Lukman.

The squad had also been boosted by the arrival of ex-national Julremi Hj Zain, who laced up for Majra FC last season.

However, the biggest suprise was the inclusion of Shahrazen Hj Md Said in the line-up. The DPMM FC striker had just returned to the Sultanate last Thursday, after his stint in the India League (I-League) 2nd Division's side Sporting Clube de Goa did not work out.

On a quest to become the first Bruneian footballer to play abroad, the situation in Goa was not what Shahrazen had expected.

His agent had told him the club were already mid-way through their season and that he would be offered a contract immediately.

However when Shahrazen arrived, he found out the club were on a break until April when they would compete in a month-long tournament to fight for a place in the I-League 1st Division play-offs. He would also have to complete trials.

The striker boasts the reputation of finishing as joint top scorer during the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League season with 21 goals while playing for DPMM FC.

Shahrazen also led DPMM FC in scoring during their debut S-League season in 2008/2009 by finding the back of the net nine times and was crucial to the team's Singapore League Cup championship run in 2009.

"We're lucky to have his services. I hope that he will be able to give his total commitment to the club," said Hj Lukman.

Despite the impressive line-up however, the Wijaya FC head coach is still approaching the upcoming season with caution.

"When speaking of being prepared, this changes with time according to certain conditions. For every team that we will face, we have to take a different approach. Other basic prerequisites such as stamina and physical tests we have definitely covered," he said.

Wijaya FC will have the opportunity to warm up their feet when they take on Setia Perdana, who are currently contesting in the play-off for a spot in the BPL II, in a friendly at the Berakas Sports Complex tonight.

The real test for their renewed vigour will come on March 7, when Wijaya FC take on AM Gunners FC in the first match of the 2010/11 BPL I at the same venue. Kick off is slated for 8.15pm.

The Brunei Times ..