Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Sunday, September 2, 2012
HAMIZAN Aziz Sulaiman was superb for Brunei in their first friendly against Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), scoring a brace to power the Sultanate to a 4-1 win in Perak yesterday.
Teammates Md Aqmal Hakeem Abd Hamid and Affendy Akup produced strong performances of their own to put their names on the scoresheet in the rout.
One would figure that the Brunei Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup team would only grow from strength to strength with the much anticipated help from DPMM FC set to join the team for their remaining friendlies against Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Harimau Muda (Malaysia's Under-21 football squad) and Kelantan.
DPMM FC midfielders Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris, Mohd Najib Hj Tarif and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof departed from the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday to join their teammates for UiTM's game on Monday in the build up to their upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier campaign in Yangon, Myanmar.
Having successfully captained Brunei to the top during March's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT), Mohd Najib Hj Tarif pledged to do the same for the national side in the tournament.
"I feel very lucky and happy to be involved in the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier team this year. I will give my best in the tournament and I hope that I would be able to help and support the squad in some ways. I also would like to thank His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, for allowing us to be involved in the tournament," said Mohd Najib.
It shouldn't take much for the former HBT skipper to gel with the squad, many of whom were past teammates.
"I know a lot of players in the squad. Some of them are players from the HBT squad and some are my friends and I don't think that I will have any problems in adjusting myself to the team. This is a big tournament for our country and there are a number of senior players in the team too. It would be better if they select the senior players to be the captain for the team," said Najib.
A captain has yet to be named for the team.
Goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi meanwhile was under no illusions that he would be guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up in the tournament.
"There are three goalkeepers in the squad at the moment. All of them are very good. I am not sure if I am going to be in the starting line-up but I will give my best for the team," said Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi.
The AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers will see five teams compete for two spots in the Nov 24-Dec 22 tournament proper which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand.
The Sultanate face Cambodia on Oct 9, Laos on Oct 11 and Timor Leste on Oct 13.
All matches set to be played at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon.
The Brunei Times