01 November 2012

DPMM FC set eyes on big prize

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
DPMM FC have their eyes set on the big prize.

They are busy preparing for their last match of the season against Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League (S-League) on Friday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

In their biggest home match in recent years, Brunei's only professional football team hope that Tampines Rovers, who have a one point advantage over them, lose to Harimau Muda (Malaysia Under-23 football team) in the other matchup.

Finishing as runners-up is an excellent result considering that the team were without competitive football for over two years.

The target set by DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic (pic) before the competition was a top-five finish but the team have really outdone themselves to be in this position to make it a double for the season.

"We will only concentrate on the game and won't think about any other factors. We are in a good position to make history," said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday during a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"Even finishing as runners-up is fantastic itself but of course we are looking for the ultimate prize," he added.

Simunic was largely pleased with all the players that got the team to the very position.

"I'm very happy especially with the past five games and the local players have shown that they can all play," said Simunic. "I'm happy with the contributions of the imports too. The bench have really stepped up and all of them deserve to even be part of the starting 11," he added.

The DPMM FC head coach also sympathised for Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit as he will once again be missing another big matchup after picking up another yellow card in the 3-1 win over Hougang United on Wednesday.

The defender and former captain didn't play in the final of the Singapore League Cup back in 2009 due to suspension and missed the final this year because of an injury.

"I feel sorry for Salleh because this is the third time that he is missing out on a big game. He has been the best player for us in the last five games when we are missing (Tales Ricarte dos) Santos at the backline," said Simunic.

"It is too bad that we will be missing Salleh once again. Hopefully fans appreciate him because he has been crucial in getting us here," added the Croatian.

"It might be a problem for us too because he is a leader and a good player, someone I respect very much," continued Simunic. DPMM FC have a longer rest period as Tampines fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAF FC) in the final of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday. When asked if there is any advantage for a more rest to game day, Simunic replied: "There is no advantage for us because we only have extra four days of rest. For professional teams, I feel that we should always be playing every three days to be in top condition." Meanwhile, Hougang United and Harimau Muda played out to a 0-0 draw at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore last night. The Brunei Times

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