BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Saturday, October 29, 2011
DPMM FC'S search for their fourth import player continues with the Netherlands' Mourad Besselink and Montenegro's Bogdan Bogdanovic slinging it out for the final remaining slot.
Both strikers, Besselink, who has six caps and three goals playing for the Dutch junior team, faces stiff competition from Bogdanovic, who used to captain his country's Under-20 side.
Brunei's only professional club are predicting a return to the Singapore League (S-League), where teams are allowed to have four imports.
The club announced the signing of three imports on Oct 13 defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos (Brazil), midfielder George O'Callaghan (Ireland) and striker Osman Basiru (Ghana), meaning it will be either Besselink or Bogdanovic joining them.
Unlike dos Santos, O'Callaghan and Basiru whose main job should be impressing coach Vjeran Simunic Besselink and Bogdanovic, who have only been in Brunei since Wednesday, are more worried about acclimatising to the weather.
A youth player for Vitesse Arnhem II, Besselink broke through to the first team last year but came to the Sultanate for a trial after failing to pen a deal.
"We couldn't agree on a contract ... I was a little bit tired of the Netherlands so my agent (Abdul Halim Abdul Shukor) offered me an adventure in Brunei," said the 21-year-old 'Oranje' hitman yesterday.
"I played for 20 minutes on Thursday and it was alright. It's just my sharpness was not there because I was still tired from the trip. I'm sure tomorrow I can play with the ball better, dribble well and score some goals that's what I'm here for after all.
"So far everything's great and I like being here. I'm of Moroccan descent and everything here is based around Islam, so it's easy for me to be here," he added.
Bogdanovic was facing the same problem as Besselink, but was just as confident he would shine at the trial, which usually runs from 10 to 14 days.
The 22-year-old forward has played for Montenegro at the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 levels and led his team out of the tunnel at the 2009 Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy.
"I'm happy to be here but I'm not used to the weather ... I'm also tired from the trip," said Bogdanovic, who added that he had more than 20 international goals to his name.
"I came from Montenegro and there the season is just changing and getting colder, but here it's like summer all over again.
"But in the coming days I will show my best. The coach (Simunic) is from Croatia so it's easy to communicate with him because we both speak the same language, Serbian.
"The players are very interesting and they have treated me very well," he added.
Also in town with Besselink is his agent, Abdul Halim.
The director of Offside Sports Management & Consultant is a familiar face at the Jerudong Mini Stadium and was found chatting to DPMM FC club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin during yesterday's training.
The Fifa registered players agent was responsible for introducing strikers Oh Ddog-yi (South Korea), Atilio Cacares (Paraguay) and midfielder Alejandro Andres Tobar (Chile) to the club, but Besselink is the first player Abdul Halim has brought to DPMM FC this year.
"First of all they have to have character," said Abdul Halim when asked what he looks for in a player.
"Secondly, technical ability. Most of my players are below the age of 28. I have partners in Europe and together we source for players for trials," added Abdul Halim, who was the first Singaporean football agent recognised by Fifa.
The 2009 Singapore League Cup champions, DPMM FC are awaiting news from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on whether their application to rejoin the S-League will be successful, the answer which they will only be expecting once the season ends on Nov 28.
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