14 March 2012

DST National Football League all set to resume

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FC PHOSPHOR take on Setia Perdana next Saturday in the first DST National Football League match since the one-month break for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT).

Brunei football has been awash in jubilation since the national Under-21 team clinched the HBT for the first time since the biennial tournament was organised in 2002, topping the fourth edition of the regional meet after beating Indonesia 2-0 last Friday.

And now that the euphoria from the historic win is slowly beginning to die down, the local football league can take a front seat once again with the Group A clash between FC Phosphor and Setia Perdana at 8:15pm one of the five games to be contested next weekend.

Two more games will be played at the Balapan Track & Field, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas Besa FC going up against Lun Bawang and Indera Sports Club hoping to gun down the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB).

Both slated for next Sunday, the former will kick-off at 4:15pm while the latter is scheduled for 8:15pm.

Perennial favourites in any competition they enter, MS ABDB were denied the league title last season and believe they have some unfinished business to settle. The army men were enjoying a six-point advantage in the old DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) I when it was stopped on June 13, leading their manager, Major Suhaimi Jamali, to tell The Brunei Times earlier this year that they would be the team to beat.

Rounding off the list of five matches are the games between Majra United FC against Menglait FC and Jerudong FC against Seri Bolkiah 1.

The former will start at 4:15pm while the latter is set for 8:15pm, both at the Berakas Sports Complex.

Winners of the only national-level trophy handed out last season, the DST Group Brunei League Cup, Majra head into the game as the team to beat.

Organised by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), a new format of play has been introduced in the revamped league this season.

Thirty-two teams divided into four groups will be competing in the tournament, with winners and runners-up of each group gaining automatic qualification to compete in the elite DST National Super League, where they will be joined by the two best third-placed teams.

The DST National Football League is expected to end on June 3, after which the teams in the DST National Super League will be revealed.

A total of 166 goals have been scored in the 37 matches played to date, with Group A leaders Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) the league's on-form side after netting 23 goals - thanks largely to their 8-0 thrashing of Youngsters FC on Jan 9.

Winning all three of their games, their star player, Md Helmie Md Noorazmi, currently leads the league in scoring with six goals to his name.

In a Press release issued yesterday the competition's working committee stated that no matches will be played during public holidays or days when DPMM FC Brunei's only professional football team, which is currently competing in the Singapore League play their home games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, Bandar Seri Begawan.

The working committee also wished to remind teams that have yet to submit their full list of 25 players to do so before 4pm on Friday, March 16.

Teams are advised to contact NFABD House at 2380047 for more information.

The Brunei Times

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