BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, April 5, 2012
DPMM FC'S newest batch of players know they face an uphill task to break into the first team.
Five players who shone during Brunei's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) campaign officially signed for the Sultanate's only professional club yesterday, a fitting reward for their campaign which ended with a 2-0 win over Indonesia in the final.
There was talk striker Adi Said would join DPMM FC after winning the best player award at the HBT and the 21-year-old was relieved he could put an end to the rumours and team up with his brother Shahrazen.
"I'm really happy to finally be a DPMM FC player," said the former Majra FC player.
"I can improve my game playing here. It's going to be hard to adjust and get some playing time ... But I'm sure I can do it if I try my best.
"I've trained with the team for three times so far and I've enjoyed it," he added.
Md Hendra Azam Md Idris was a DPMM FC player even before the HBT started but he was under no illusion that he would be guaranteed any playing time.
"It'll take some time to break into the first team though .. Maybe two years," said the 23-year-old midfielder.
"But if I have the chance I'll definitely take it.
"I'm happy because now I can further my football career and I hope the fans will give us the same support they gave us during the HBT," said Md Hendra Azam, who will no doubt remember how the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas was packed to the rafters for all of Brunei's games.
The HBT team captain, Md Najib Hj Tarif, was relishing the opportunity to link up with some familiar faces.
"This is the best club in Brunei," gushed the midfielder.
"I have played with some of the players before, like Sairol Hj Sahari in NBT FC, Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir in AM Gunners FC and Hemli Zambin and Azwan Salleh during the 2006 Malaysia Games (SUKMA).
"Even before the HBT I was offered the chance to play with DPMM FC, but now I feel ready.
"Even if I don't play, I'm not going to let that affect my confidence. Instead, it'll make me work harder," added the 24-year-old policeman.
Defender Reduan Hj Petara also believed it wouldn't be easy to break into the first-11.
"I want to try and get some playing time and improve myself by playing overseas," said the 24-year-old.
"I'm new to the club so I know it will take some time though," added the former AM Gunners and Indera Sports Club player.
Goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof might have the easiest job when compared with the other four - he only has to fight with one player, Wardun Yussof, for a jersey.
"InsyaAllah (God willing), I can displace Wardun," he said.
"It's great to be playing for this club because we represent Brunei," he added.
DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic didn't want to give his new players any false hopes, and with the club leading the 13-team Singapore League (S-League) table, it's easy to see why he doesn't want to change a winning formula.
"I'm very happy with the first-11 now," said the Croatian.
"Even if I have Messi (Barcelona's Lionel Messi), where would I put him? How can I change the team? I'm an honest coach.
"But I'm very happy with the challenge they will be giving the other players.
"The team has been together for six months so for this current batch, I'd think they need one month to prepare with us.
"All the players can each play in five or six positions so it's very good for the team," he added.
DPMM FC take on basement dwellers Young Lions at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday.
The Brunei Times