31 January 2013

2012 S-League coach of the Year appointed Brunei National team coach

He is a popular figure in Brunei for leading the Sultanate’s only side participating in Singapore football competition. He is well known for winning two League Cup titles in his last two stint here inSingapore, and famously pushed Tampines Rovers all the way to the wire in the 2012 Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League season. Vejran Simunic’s achievements on Singapore soil have led to his recent appointment of the head Coach of the Brunei National football team.

Simunic’s first task will be in March, when he will lead his team for the up coming 2013 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines. Simunic inherits the team from Kwon Oh-Sun whose last assignment with the team was in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers. Kwon’s team finished fourth out of the five team qualification group.

Brunei are in Group E and they are accompanied by host Philippines, Turkmenistan and Cambodia. The winners from the five groups will be joined by two best second placed teams in the Finals to be held in Maldives.

When contacted by aXrosstheline.com, Simunic revealed that he will include all local players from the Brunei DPMM S-League’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers.

“The local players have done really well with me during the 2012 season,” Simunic remarked.

“Towards the end of last season, I was literally playing a team full of local born players and I think they have done a good job.”

“We went to Banda Aceh for a off season tournament and we did well with the same players against Selangor and Kelantan,” he added.

The 59-year old Croatian’s last involvement with the Brunei National team was way back in 2008. Despite a five year absence, he is raring to go again.

“I am very grateful that the Football Association appreciates my work,” he told aXrosstheline.com

“I am up for it, and so are my players. Its going to be tough (the qualifying group), but we will not be there to make up the numbers. Turkmenistan and Philippines are the favorites in the group but we will try to make things happen,” Simunic added.

Simunic also told aXrosstheline.com that he is currently preparing his team for the upcoming S-League season scheduled for 20 February. His team will be travelling to Vietnam for a pre-season training tour this week. They face Vietnamese outfit Dong Thap, TP Ho Chi Minh and Saigon Xuan Thanh.


27 January 2013

Indera humiliate Najip in 20-goal debacle

Sunday, January 27, 2013
INDERA SC are back at the top of the table of the DST Super League and they did so in style

They demolished basement dwellers Najip FC 20-1 last night to record the largest winning margin in the competition at the Balapan Track & Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

It was a race between Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman and Azwan Ali Rahman on who can score more goals as they notched eight and seven respectively in the one-sided victory.

Indera SC got off to the best of starts by scoring one of the fastest goals in the competition with Md Nur Ikwan Othman giving them the lead in just the 45th second.

It was 2-0 in the seventh minute after a good solo effort by Mohd Aqmal Hakeem Abd Hamid.

He skipped past three defenders before firing the shot past Najip FC goalkeeper Mohd Zekaria Hj Jais inside the box.

Hamizan got his first of the night in the 12th minute while Azwan found his first the next minute to make it 4-0.

It was 5-0 in the 16th minute with Azwan blasting it into the net and Hamizan would add to his tally three minutes later from inside the box.

Azwan played a good through-ball to Hamizan to make the scoreline 7-0 in the 29th minute.

The former notched his hat trick in the 36th minute after scoring in a one-on-one situation.

Captain Mohd Afi Aminuddin got on the scoresheet two minutes later from the penalty spot to put his team into double figures at 10-0.

The only bright moment for Najip came after they earned a penalty two minutes later.

Huzaimi Hj Tengah took the ensuing spotkick and made it 10-1 heading into halftime.

It didn't take long for Azwan to add to his tally in the first minute after the restart.

It was 12-1 in the 52th minute after Hamizan headed home a cross by Mohd Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah from the right.

Mohd Aqmal Hakeem scored his second of the match after connecting from a Muhd Nur Ikwan cross from the left in the 58th minute.

Indera SC showed no mercy and Hamizan blasted another into the net in the 65th minute.

Azwan continued to find the net in the 67th minute and right on the restart Hamizan notched his seventh goal of the game to make it 16-1.

It was 17-1 in the 76th minute after Azwan floated in his freekick from outside the box.

Muhd Nur Ikwan got his brace two minutes later after a mistake by Mohd Zekaria to gift him the goal.

Azwan scored his seventh of the match in the 83rd minute to make it 19-1.

Hamizan then delighted the crowd as they made it 20 goals in the 89th minute.

Indera SC head coach, Ishak Hj Kabon, was delighted with the way his team responded after losing their first match in their campaign last Sunday.

"We lost the last game (to Majra United FC) with the absence of two key players. We needed to win tonight (Saturday) and to score more goals," said Ishak after the triumph.

"We needed this for a confidence booster ahead of our remaining matches. I'm happy with the way things turn out for us," he added.

Indera SC currently are on 13 points while Najip FC remain rooted at the bottom of the 10-team table with zero.

Their stay at the top will be dependent on how the big encounter between two unbeaten teams the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) and Majra FC play out on tomorrow.

The competition continues today with QAF FC going up against Jerudong FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 4.15pm.

The Brunei Times

HBT heroes to man SEA Games team

Sunday, January 27, 2013
THE Under-23 squad for December's 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar will be acquiring the services of at least 12 players from the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) 2012 winning team to add experience to the squad, the national coach said yesterday.

"Some of the players from HBT squad include influential players Azwan Ali Rahman, Md Afi Aminuddin and Md Nurikhwan Othman," Kwon Oh-son told The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the trial held for the selection of the U-23 SEA Games squad for players residing in Brunei-Muara and Temburong yesterday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"Azwan is a key player for the team because he is skillful, strong and has a very good tactical mind," he said.

"On the other hand, Md Afi is a strong leader, a solid defender and has good mentality while Md Nurikhwan has good heading ability and is versatile in both attacking and defending," he said, adding that the player has also forged an efficient partnership on the field with Azwan.

Team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff stressed that experience is necessary for the U-23 team because the abilities of the HBT players will be much needed when facing against regional heavyweights.

"We want to maintain continuity among the players and not disrupt the team's momentum by bringing in new players all the time," said Hj Feisal.

"Otherwise it would be very difficult for us to face strong teams like Malaysia and Indonesia, both of whom maintain their players very well," he said.

Apart from SEA Games, Hj Feisal said that they also have their sights on building a team that can defend their HBT title in 2014.

He said that the U-23 SEA Games squad will be capped at 30 players but this figure may change if there are more players who show potential and talent.

He did not divulge a date as to when the squad would have centralised training but said that it would be "as soon as possible" following the final selection on February 4 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"Once we finalise the team, our immediate priority would be developing the players' physical strength," he said.

Over 200 players turned up for the second trial session.

The first was held at the Tutong Sports Complex two days ago in which a total of 10 players have been shortlisted for the final trial according to Kwon. 

The Brunei Times

SEA Games football trials continue today

, January 26, 2013
"Many of the players are as young as 17, and that is good for us because that means they may be candidates for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) next year," he added.

The South Korean, who helped guide the Under-21 team to HBT victory last year, was uncertain as to how many players from Tutong would be selected for the SEA Games team.

"We did not specify how many players we are expecting from Tutong, but we can see that there are promising players," he said, adding that some are also playing actively at their local clubs.

The session began at 3pm with the players warming up before being instructed to an 80-metre sprint for the coaching staff to determine their pace.

The trial culminated with a friendly match between players as an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities.

Every player was assessed by their individual skill, physical strength, tactical ability, teamwork and level of communication.

In terms of ability, the Tutong District players showed good skill and natural pace but this could be put to better use with more training, said Kwon.

"To refine their skills, they need to learn how to use their gift of pace, practice ball control, headers and running into space," he said.

He also said that the players must learn to take less unnecessary touches when they see a goal-scoring opportunity.

"It is basically just a matter of taking one touch to control the ball before taking aim at goal," he said.

Today's trial for Brunei-Muara and Temburong will take place at the Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at 7pm.

This will be followed by another session for those residing in the Belait District at the Brunei Shell Recreation Club at 3pm tomorrow.

Any local or permanent residents born from 1990 to 1996 wanting to attend the trials must bring their identity card along.

The trials are organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports through the Department of Youth and Sports together with the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam.

 The Brunei Times

24 January 2013

DPMM FC lend fresh legs to Brunei's AFC campaign

Thursday, January 24, 2013
THE players from the Sultanate's only professional club, DPMM FC, will be lacing up for the national team at the qualifying stages of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup 2014 in March.

With the 2013 Singapore League (S-league) approaching in less than a month, football clubs will often request for their players to be exempted from participating in international tournaments, leaving footballers in dilemma. But such is not the case for DPMM FC as they believe that national duty comes first.

Speaking to The Brunei Times last night, DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin said that his players will be available for the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila Philippines.

"We will have no problems releasing our players for international tournaments. We are aware of this and we will not stop our players from representing the country in any international tournaments," he said.

Asked if the tournament will affect their S-League campaign this year, the manager quickly replied: "It should not be a problem as S-League will be having a break in March."

"At the moment, I have no idea which players in DPMM FC will be representing national team in the tournament. It is up to the national team's management and, of course, there will be a selection process. I wish them all the best."

The group-stage qualifying draw was held in Kuala Lumpur last year on December 15 where Brunei was drawn into Group E with hosts the Philippines, Turkmenistan and Cambodia.

Group A will see Myanmar (hosts), India, Taiwan and Guam do battle while Group B comprises Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Pakistan and Macau (hosts).

Laos (hosts), Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Mongolia will vie for honours in Group C while Group D are made up of Nepal (hosts), Palestine, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

There are a total of five groups comprising four teams each with each group to be hosted in a different country.

The winners of each group, as well as the two second best teams, will advance to the tournament proper with host nation Maldives.

The AFC Challenge Cup, which is the counterpart of the Asian Cup, is a biennial event and is contested by emerging footballing countries in Asia.

The winners of the Challenge Cup will automatically qualify for the next Asian Cup in 2015 in Australia.

The last two AFC Challenge Cup titles were won by North Korea.

North Korea will no longer compete in the Cup, as they have moved up into the Asian Cup qualifiers.The Brunei Times

DPMM FC's biggest signing yet

Thursday, January 24, 2013
DPMM FC are close to confirming all their imports for the upcoming Singapore-League (S-League) season starting next month.

It is reported on the team's official website that "DPMM FC are to sign 2006 World Cup player, Ivan Bosnjak".

The Croatian striker, an 87th minute substitute for captain Darijo Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their second Group F match of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, will be Brunei's only professional team's biggest signing in history.

The 33-year-old, who has 14 caps and one international goal to his name, also laced up in six of Croatia's 2006 World Cup qualifying matches against Sweden, Hungary, Malta and Iceland, playing in both the home and away legs against Malta and Iceland.

He will join the other signings Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray, Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos and compatriot defender Dino Drpic - in the line-up.

Dos Santos is currently in Brazil recovering from a knee injury but is expected to be back before the start of the S-League.

It is also reported that DPMM FC is slated to fly to Vietnam for pre-season friendly games against three Vietnamese teams from February 1-8.

Their last outing was the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia just last month and they finished in fourth place despite failing to notch a single win.

DPMM FC started out their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Indonesian Premier League (IPL) Champions Semen Padang FC.

They were then held to a 1-1 draw by Kelantan in their second game.

They progressed to the last four as group runners-up after playing to a draw against Kelantan after both teams shared exactly the same statistics.

However, they were edged 3-2 by hosts Aceh United in the semi-finals.

They had a chance to finish on the podium but lost to Selangor 3-2 on penalties as both teams drew 1-1 after regulation.

The Brunei Times

19 January 2013

QAF FC pick up first win of season

Saturday, January 19, 2013
QAF FC picked up their first win of the DST Super League season after a confidence-boosting 2-0 result against Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) last night.

Muhammad Hafis Mahari put QAF ahead in the 14th minute after running onto a through-ball from playmaker Mohd Hadiman Abdul Lamit, and his replacement, former DPMM FC midfielder Hardi Bujang, would make it 2-0 with a composed finish from inside the box after Petrus Jumat's raking cross-field pass sliced open LLRC's defence in the 72nd minute.

Once considered the powerhouses of local football, QAF have failed to win either of their first two games this season.

They now move up from eighth to seventh, though postponed matches against fierce rivals Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) and Wijaya FC mean they have two games in hand and a lot of time to get their campaign back on track.

Their manager, though, isn't getting carried away.

"Our game wasn't so good but we won, and that's the most important thing," noted Rahim Hj Daud after the match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

QAF asserted themselves on the match after a frantic start by both teams, and as the game wore on, LLRC found it hard to contain Mohd Hadiman and QAF captain Riwandi Wahit in midfield.

LLRC started the second half with Ak Md Azrul Ariffin Pg Matussin hitting the left post, but lacking the killer pass that would unlock an organised QAF defence LLRC were always bound to return to Belait empty-handed.

Though they led the standings after the first two weeks after winning both of their matches, a dip in form has seen them lose all three of their subsequent games.

Admitting that the only reason they enjoyed the early season lead was because they had yet to meet the "stronger teams in the league", LLRC coach Hj Affandi Hj Julaihi seemed resigned to last night's result.

"Hard luck. We had a lot of chances but finishing was a problem," he said.

MS ABDB have the chance to dethrone Indera Sports Club from the top of the 10-team table when they take on Jerudong FC at the Balapan Track and Field, Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex tonight at 9.

The Brunei Times

Moreira ready to strike for DPMM FC

Saturday, January 19, 2013
DPMM FC'S Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira is looking forward to getting down to work.

Moreira is one of the team's three new imports for next season's Singapore League (S-League) campaign along with Guadeloupe national team captain Stephane Auvray and Croatian defender Dino Drpic, and he seemed pretty sure why last season's S-League runners-up signed him.

"My job is to score and help DPMM FC in every competition," said the 26-year-old, who has represented his country at the Under-20 and Under-21 level.

"Training has been going well but this is just the beginning so I can't say too much ... But we are working hard to get fit and be ready for the next month's league.

"I think I'm a good header of the ball, am fast and have good technique," Moreira said of his strengths when met during DPMM FC's training last week.

Moreira put pen to paper last month after finding the net in both of DPMM FC's games at the Governor Aceh Trophy in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

He scored in a 4-2 loss to Indonesian side Semen Padang FC and a 1-1 draw against Malaysia Super League champions Kelantan in the invitational friendly.

Playing at various lower division sides in Spain and Portugal, Moreira's biggest claim to fame came during the 2008/09 season, where he played for Portuguese side Biera-Mar which plays in Portugal's top-tier competition, the Primeira Liga.

He will be expected to shoulder some of the scoring burden from Shahrazen Said, the club's main striker and the team's top-scorer in last season's S-League with 13 goals.

Moreira will be Shahrazen's third striking partner in the space of one year after Ghanian Osman Basiru and Brazilians Rodrigo Gral and Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva became the latest in the long list of foreign strikers to pass through DPMM FC's revolving door.

Basiru and Gral were signed at the beginning of last season but Gral was released in May after a lingering knee injury and his countryman Da Silva was roped in as his replacement.

But Basiru, Da Silva, and Croatian midfield maestro Ivan Jerkovic all played their last game for the club during their season-ender against Balestier Khalsa on Nov 2 their dismissal coming as something of a surprise for many fans.

Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos is the only retuning import from last season, and though he is in Brazil recuperating from a knee injury, the 28-year-old towering defender is expected to be back in the Sultanate in time for next season's S-League.

DPMM FC, who finished second to Tampines Rovers FC in last season's campaign and won the Singapore League Cup for the second time, are still searching for a fifth and and final import.

Croatian Ivan Bosnjak, who represented his country at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is currently on trial with the club and the striker certainly impressed during last Saturday's training session where the club's starting-11 went up against the bench.

The 33-year-old Bosnjak has 14 caps and one international goal to his name, but only played three minutes during the 2006 World Cup where he came on as a 87th minute substitute for Croatian captain Darijo Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their second Group F match.

The Brunei Times 

17 January 2013

Football: Try out for the SEA Games

Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Department of Youth and Sports under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports will be holding a series of trials to select players to represent the country in football during the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, in the coming week.

Crossing the country in search for potential national players, the trials will be held in Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Belait.

According to national coach Kwon Oh-son, the players will be judged based on individual skill, physical stamina and endurance and technical and tactical ability.

"All the players will be judge on three important points. The first is individual skill. We need the best footballer with excellent ability and skill. Then we will look at their stamina and endurance in the game.

"They need to be physically fit and (must possess) technical and tactical ability. They need to be very smart and clever. They need to think fast and must adapt to the game quickly," said the South Korean.

"There are important phases in forming a team. It includes the selection, the training period, quality assessment and, most important, is the final stage of the selection. Forming a team takes up a lot of time. That is why we need to prepare early for this tournament,"

"After the selection, the players will be put through a training camp where they will undergo a series of training under us. We need to start early if we want to achieve something in the tournament," he said.

The selections will kick-off on Tuesday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 9pm.

The coaches will then be at the Tutong Sports Complex at Tutong district to scout for talent at 3pm on Friday.

The coaching team will move on to Mumong Sports Complex in Kuala Belait next Sunday at 3pm. The final stage of the trials will be held at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on February 4 at 7pm.

The trials are open to anyone born in 1991 or later.

Those interested are required to bring along their identity card.

The Brunei Times ..

14 January 2013

MS ABDB grab top spot

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
THE ROYAL Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) continued their 100 per cent record in the DST Super League as they thrashed Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football Team (LLRC FT) 4-0 to move to the top of the table last night.

Captain Affendy Hj Akup, Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman, Budiman Jumat and Muhammad Bahrin Hamidon all found the net as MS ABDB, the reigning DST FA Cup champions, replaced Majra FC at the summit with nine points.

MS ABDB's manager was delighted with the result at the Balapan Track and Field in Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas and praised his players for their teamwork and commitment after the game.

"Tonight's game was one of our best performances in the DST Super League so far," said Major Azaman Hj Hussin during the post-match interview with The Brunei Times last night.

"All the players contributed to the game and it was a very good team performance too.

"The first 10 minutes was very balanced but when we scored the first goal, the momentum shifted towards us. It was the starting point for us and we controlled the game afterwards.

"Our goalkeeper (Mohd Tarmizi Hj Mat Johari) played very well tonight. He made some incredible saves in the game, even in difficult situations, so we are very happy that we managed to get three points tonight," he added.

MS ABDB were ahead after 11 minutes when Muhammad Bahrin took a touch and fired a left-footed shot into the net following a great through ball by Mohammad Mazazizi Mazlan.

The lead was almost doubled five minutes later when Budiman sprung the offside trap but his low shot was parried by LLRC FT goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Amin Sanif.

It was only a matter of time before MS ABDB grabbed a second, and in the 25th minute, Muhammad Bahrin turned provider after darting down the left flank and curling in a cross that found Affendy arriving in the centre unmarked to head past Mohd Fakhrul Amin.

LLRC FT started brightly in the second half but they were denied at every turn as Safuan Juhar, Md Amirul Jafrey and Amy Amizan Gudang failed to find a way past Mohd Tarmizi.

Budiman added the third when he converted a free-kick in the 56th minute.

LLRC FT came close to scoring few minutes later when Safuan made a dynamic run into the MS ABDB penalty area and forced Mohd Tarmizi into an agile save.

However, the armymen squashed any hopes of LLRC FT's comeback when Muhammad Bahrin's cross from the left was swept home from close range by Abdul Azizi in the 73rd minute.

Tonight's game will see Indera Sports Club take on Jerudong FC at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas, where a win for Indera — who led the table heading into this week's fourth round of action — could see them move ahead of MS ABDB.

The Brunei Times 

Auvray finds niche at DPMM FC

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
COMBATIVE midfielder Stéphane Auvray (pic), the Guadeloupe national team captain, seems to have settled down comfortably at DPMM FC where he joins Croatian defender Dino Drpic and Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira as three new imports on the team list.

The former New York Red Bulls midfielder, who joined the Singapore League (S-League) runners-up in December, said he has been enjoying his time in Brunei.

"I've been pleasantly surprised by the training facility and field," he replied when asked about his first impressions of the club after last Saturday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The conditions here are very good, the people here are welcoming and the weather's exactly like my country.

"I like the guys' mentality and I've formed an understanding with them very quickly.

"The team has had some good results and that's important (heading forward)," added the 31-year-old, referring to DPMM FC's finish in the S-League last season and their capture of the Singapore League Cup for the second time.

Auvray was a commanding presence in the middle of the field during Saturday's training session which pitted the team's first-11 against the bench.

Not only did he impress with his hard work, strength and tackling, the defensive midfielder also did well to spread play and looks to have sealed his spot in central midfield — where he will team up with captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis.

The dreadlocked Auvray was brought in to replace Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic, who was one of the three imports released by Brunei's only professional club at the end of last season.

Auvray spent most of his career in the lower divisions of French football before moving to MLS side Sporting Kansas City in 2010 and then to Red Bull, where he teamed up with friend, and former Arsenal striker, Thierry Henry.

Auvray's profile on the MLS Soccer website states he left his native Guadeloupe at the age of 14 to join the youth academy of French club SM Caen, which plays in France's second tier Ligue 2.

He was promoted to Caen's B team in 1999, the side playing in the Championnat de France Amateur — the equivalent of the French fourth division. Auvray appeared 41 times in three years and scored one goal during his time at Caen B, and in 2002, moved to amateur outfit GSI Pontivy, where he made 58 appearances and found the net four times during a two-year spell.

Auvray made 144 appearances for Vannes OC from 2004 to 2009 and scored one goal for the team that plays in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football.

He also appeared 11 times for Ligue 2 side Nîmes Olympique in 2009 before a transfer to Sporting Kansas City.

He laced up 27 times for Kansas City — once in a friendly against Manchester United — and moved to Red Bull in the middle of the 2011 campaign. He spent less than a year at New York though, and has been without a club since December 2011.

Despite being out of action for the better part of a year, he was hardly sluggish during Saturday's practice. His work ethic is sure to endear him to his teammates and fans.

"I don't know much about the S-League but no matter where you play or who you play, you have to do your best," he said about his aim for next season.

"Once you do your best, you will be rewarded and get what you deserve."

The Brunei Times 

Majra FC beat Kilanas FC

Monday, January 14, 2013
MAJRA FC moved one point clear at the top of the DST Super League after defeating Kilanas FC 3-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

Shahremy Karim, Mohammad Julremi Hj Zaini and Mohd Ikmal Hakim Hj Mohd Yunnos all found the net for Majra FC in the victory.

Majra FC had gone close early in the first-half when Mohammad Julremi and Ahmad Hafiz Said combined to set up Shahremy, but his shot was blocked by Kilanas FC's defender Abdul Qahar Ibrahim.

Kilanas FC replied almost immediately a minute later when Mohammad Nurhidayatullah Hj Zaini's clever pass found Syazwan Azizi Hj Mohd Taib in space and the winger lashed his shot just wide.

Majra FC finally broke the deadlock when Shahremy scored a curling free-kick in the 34th minute. Shahremy's free-kick deflected off the Kilanas FC before nestling into the net.

Kilanas FC struggling to get back on term as Majra FC, who displayed a determined with an assured passing game, showed why they are now sits on the top of the table with eight points. Kilanas FC found themselves 2-0 down in the 40th minute through Mohammad Julremi.

Kilanas FC responded very well after the restart however, and they pulled one goal back in the 75th minute when Mohd Nurhidayatullah perfectly timed his run to latch onto a through ball from the midfield and lashed a shot past Majra FC's goalkeeper.

However their jubilation was short-lived when Majra FC finally found their third goal in the 87th minute when Mohammad Julremi slipping the ball to Shahremy whose cross to the far post was easily tapped in by Mohd Ikmal Hakim.

Majra FC assistant manager Abdul Aziz Mohd Hashim was pleased with the result, saying that his team deserved to win after dominating the game.

"We played very well tonight and I think we controlled the game. It could have been better. There were a lot of chances in the game, and we could have scored more goals." said Abdul Aziz in an interview with The Brunei Times.

"I told the players not to be over confident before the game as Kilanas FC is a very good team. We saw in the previous games that we were too relax whenever we were leading in the game and it gave the opponent the chances to get back into the game."

"The strategy tonight was to get the ball to the penalty area for the strikers to score. I think Kilanas FC were quite defensive in the first half and we are very glad to be able to score goals and win the game," he added.

Meanwhile, Kilanas FC assistant coach Radzuan Hj Madali was unhappy with the match officials in the game. The Kilanas FC assistant coach felt that the match officials were inconsistent in the game.

"I think the refereeing today was very poor. Majra FC's third goal was an offside. He (Mohd Ikmal Hakim) was clearly offside. The third goal killed the game off and the players were down," he said. "We were without our key defender Nazirul Azim in the match and it was very difficult for us as we have to change the game tactically. We will be playing against Najip FC next and we could not afford to lose again this time."

The Brunei Times

Croatian Bosnjak for DPMM FC?

Sunday, January 13, 2013
DPMM FC might make its biggest signing in history in the next few days.

Croatian striker Ivan Bosnjak, 33, is the latest in a string of players who are trying out for Brunei's only professional club — though the rest can't boast of ever playing at a World Cup.

Bosnjak, an 87th minute substitute for captain Darijo Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their second Group F match of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is probably the most experienced footballer to step onto the team's grounds at the Jerudong Mini Stadium — and he definitely impressed with his pace and power during yesterday's training session.

Bosnjak — who has 14 caps and one international goal to his name — also laced up in six of Croatia's 2006 World Cup qualifying matches against Sweden, Hungary, Malta and Iceland, playing in both the home and away legs against Malta and Iceland.

He heard about the opportunity to play for Brunei's biggest club from compatriot Dino Drpic, the centre-back becoming the club's latest signing after proving his worth during the team's journey to Banda Aceh, Indonesia for last month's Governor Aceh Trophy — part of DPMM FC's preparation for next month's Singapore League (S-League) campaign.

The duo played together in Croatia for Dinamo Zagreb — who currently lead the top-tier Prva HNL — from 2004 to 2006, ending the 2005/06 season as league champions and Bosnjak with the competition's top-scorer award after netting 22 goals. The pair met again at another Prva HNL side, NK Reijka, where they played the whole of last season.

Bosnjak has played for Belgian side Racing Genk, Libyan team Al Ittihad and Croatia's Cibalia — where he started his career under the guidance of DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic. Like Bosnjak, Simunic has also played for Hadjuk Split — one of the most successful teams in Croatia.

Bosnjak isn't here just to renew old friendships though.

"I didn't take a 25 hour flight just to look around," he noted.

"This is my first time playing with the team and I'm satisfied. I trained yesterday (Friday) but today was my first time playing.

"I think if I have more time, maybe 10 days, I will be fully adjusted," he added.

He didn't look to have any problems adjusting to yesterday's training session though.

He set up two goals in the second half with accurate crosses into the box, and he also impressed with his first touch, ability to shield the ball and speed on the flanks — all attributes a striker of his caliber is expected to possess.

Drpic was a commanding presence in the middle of defense, with his positioning, aerial prowess, distribution and dribbling - rare for a centre-back - looking to be his strengths. "We're best friends," grinned Drpic when asked how well he knew Bonjak.

"I can see a lot of potential here," he replied when asked to comment on his first impression of the club.

"The team lacks a bit of experience but that is something that I hope myself, and other foreign players, will help bring to the side.

"I'm sure we can make a really good team," he insisted.

Drpic is one of the four imports currently on the DPMM FC books, the other three being Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray and Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos. Dos Santos is currently in Brazil recovering from a knee injury but is expected to be back before the start of the S-League.

Next season's S-League regulations allow for five imports, and if Bosnjak does sign on, he will replace another Croatian named Ivan.

A fan favourite for years, central midfielder Ivan Jerkovic was released with Ghanian striker Osman Basiru and Brazilian forward Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva at the end of the last S-League season in November. 

The Brunei Times

12 January 2013

DPMM FC unleash firepower against MS ABDB

DPMM FC are just on a whole different level.

Brunei's only professional football team switched gears in the second half to demolish DST Super League side, Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB), 7-0 in a friendly yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Both teams were all square at 0-0 at halftime despite DPMM FC getting the lion share of chances in front of goal.

DPMM FC finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute from a set piece.

Sairol Hj Sahari rose head and shoulders above others to head home a freekick from the left to put his team up.

It was from another deadball that DPMM FC doubled their lead.

This time it was Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira who netted after connecting from a corner kick in the 65th minute.

DPMM FC added to their tally three minutes later after on-trial player, Brazilian Hilton Mauro Moreira, outmuscled his defender to rifle in his shot.

It was more one-way traffic and DPMM FC got their fourth goal of the match in the 71st minute.

Shahrazen Said had made a good run on the left to put the ball to Md Najib Hj Tarif in the centre before laying it off for Md Helmi Zambin to score.

DPMM FC were not letting their foot off the pedal and added another to the scoresheet.

This time Md Helmi turned provider as he whipped in a cross from the right for Shahrazen to head home in the 76th minute.

Md Maududi Hilmi Kasmi also got his name on the scoresheet two minutes later, rifling the ball home from inside the box to make it 6-0.

Shahrazen once again played the provider after he put the ball through to Sairol to score his second of the game from point blank range to complete the rout.

The team are preparing for the upcoming Singapore League (S-League) season with their first match scheduled for February 20.

They have one more slot for a foreign signing left as they have confirmed four imports so far with the signings of Croatian defender Dino Drpic, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray and Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos.

Drpic arrived in the early hours yesterday and did not feature in the friendly match while Tales is still nursing an injury and only set to return to action next month.

-Yee Chun Leong

The Brunei Times

'The imports and locals must gel'

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic feels that his local boys have grown up now.

The Croatian feels that there isn't too much to worry about for their preparations for the upcoming season of the Singapore League (S-League) kicking off next month.

Simunic only requires a bit more time to allow the team to gel together with the import players.

"The Bruneian players have grown up and they have been playing together for a while now. Eventhough we recently got back to full training but I'm not too worried because I can say that we are at 70 per cent at the moment," said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"It is not easy to find the best import players that fit in especially since most would have been signed by other teams by now.

"But what we need now is time. We have a lineup change of foreign players and we will need them to coordinate with the local players," he added.

"Even if we have four (Lionel) Messis on the team, we won't be able to do anything if they can't play with the locals.

"Hopefully the local players can maintain the level they were at last year or even improve. They are not limited to where they are right now. I feel that we are able to compete with the other countries in the region," continued the Croatian, who watched his side steamroll DST Super League side Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) 7-0 in a friendly at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

Brunei's only professional football team have filled up four of the five slots available with the signings of Croatian defender Dino Drpic, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray and Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos.

The team finished as runners-up in the S-League last season and became the first team to win the Singapore League Cup twice.

The head coach feels that it might be their biggest challenge to maintain their position.

"Singapore are champions of the AFF Suzuki Cup and we are going to be challenging the best in the region.

"We are ready for the S-League but we know what it will be quite a tough challenge," said Simunic, who was named the Coach of the Year last season.

"(Champions) Tampines are an excellent team and have reinforced themselves to become stronger for this upcoming season as well.

"Teams like SAF FC are playing in Thailand and Home United in Korea. That is what we are missing - the challenge of big teams. But we have to make the best of our situation by playing against the local teams," he added.

"It will not be an easy task to maintain our top-five target this year. We respect all teams and we are going to stand our ground.

"People have been talking about us and I think we have earned some respect after finishing as runners-up last season. We are one of the big teams now and others will be looking to topple us," continued Simunic.

"I'm also thankful to the players that have work commitments and still have to come all the way to training everyday as well," he concluded.The Brunei Times

DPMM FC in top form for S-League kick off

, January 10, 2013
DPMM FC are in fine form ahead of the upcoming Singapore League (S-League) set to kick off next month.

Brunei's only professional football team are back to full training with the return of head coach Vjeran Simunic on Monday.

They had their first session with the Croatian on Tuesday at their training grounds at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The regular local players are in good shape and are looking ahead to have a successful season.

Their top priority is to better their finish in last year's edition of the competition where they were runners-up last season.

"We hope to be fully prepared and be up to the level that we want. After our outing at Aceh, there is still quite some work to be done," said Rosmin Hj Md Kamis, the captain of DPMM FC, in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"The local players have been together for a while now so we have to work on playing alongside the imports," he added.

"It will be competitive and Singapore teams with naturalised players may have an advantage. We are looking forward to the challenge though and we are also looking at the possibilities of learning new things from our new import players as well," continued Rosmin.

Striker Shahrazen Said is hoping that he would be able to keep up his form after finishing as the team's topscorer in the S-League with 13 goals to his name.

"We had light training with assistant coach (Norilham Hj Jais) before coach arrived. We need to maintain our fitness and we did our usual runs under the assistant coach," said Shahrazen.

"I hope that I will be able to maintain my scoring form. But the ultimate aim for us this season is to be able to win the S-League. We were close last season and I hope that we will be able to gel quickly with the new imports as well," he added.

Leftback Sairol Hj Sahari feels that they are ready for the challenge and is looking ahead to improving ahead of the competition.

"It has been so far so good in training ever since returning from Aceh. We took a break until the new year but we weren't exactly relaxing as we know that we need to keep our fitness even without the presence of coach," said Sairol.

"Now that coach is back we are looking at our usual training and we even managed to have a friendly game against Jerudong yesterday (Tuesday)," he added.

Asked on his expectations for this year, the 29-year-old replied: "I hope that we can do better than last season. We are required to maintain our performance but it is going to be tough especially with each team now allowed to have five imports.

"Some of the Singapore teams have got naturalised players which makes them even stronger. None of them will take anything lightly," he added.

DPMM FC recently competed in the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia just last month and finished in fourth place despite failing to notch a single win.

One more slot is left to be decided as the team have confirmed four imports so far with the signings of Croatian defender Dino Drpic, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray and Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos.

The Brunei Times

03 January 2013

Dino to power DPMM FC

Yee Chun Leong


Thursday, January 3, 2013

DPMM FC have signed their third import player for next season's Singapore League (S-League).

It is stated on the team's website that "DPMM FC reaching deal with former Dinamo Zagreb defender Dino Drpic."

He will join the duo of Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, 26, and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray, 31, to become the latest foreign player to be picked up by Brunei's only professional football club.

DPMM FC now have two more slots to fill before the start of the new S-League season.

The Croatian has had 20 caps as a youth international and got his only call-up to represent his country in 2007 in a friendly match against Slovakia.

The 31-year-old defender, who stands at 6ft 5in, spent nine seasons playing for Dinamo Zagreb from 2000-2009.

He then moved to Germany to play for Karlsruher SC and had a brief spells for AEK Athens in Greece and Volyn Lutsk in Ukraine before moving back to Croatia to lace up for HNK Rijeka last year.

DPMM FC recently competed in the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia just last month and finished in fourth place despite failing to notch a single win.

DPMM FC started out their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Indonesian Premier League (IPL) Champions Semen Padang FC.

They were then held to a 1-1 draw by Kelantan in their second game.

They progressed to the last four as group runners-up after playing to a draw against Kelantan after both teams shared exactly the same statistics.

However, they were edged 3-2 by hosts Aceh United in the semi-finals.

They had a chance to finish on the podium but lost to Selangor 3-2 on penalties as both teams drew 1-1 after regulation.

It was a good year for DPMM FC last season as they became the first side to lift the Singapore League Cup twice after overcoming Geylang United 2-0 in the final in August.

They could have made it a double but finished second in the S-League after they lost their final game of the season to Balestier Khalsa FC 2-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas in November.

The Brunei Times