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 ..
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