05 February 2013

FOOTBALL DPMM FC vs Home United in Singapore League opener

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
DPMM FC will take on Home United in their Singapore League (S-League) opener at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on February 21.

The Football Association of Singapore informed the 12 S-League clubs of the tentative schedule for the first five match weeks yesterday, with the full fixtures for the season expected to be announced by the end of the week.

Last season's S-League runner-up, DPMM FC host Hougang United in their first home game of the year on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They then face Courts Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-23 team) in the third week of action on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) in the fourth week on March 11, the games set to be played at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium and Jurong East Stadium respectively.

Brunei's only professional club will sit out the fifth match week which will run from March 20-24.

All of the club's away matches will kick-off at 7:30pm while the home fixtures will start at 8:15pm.

DPMM's season-opener last year marked their return to the S-League fray after an absence of two years, and the stage was set for a memorable upset against defending champions Tampines Rovers FC until the Stags grabbed a late equaliser to force a 2-2 stalemate at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

The S-League season officially kicks off next Friday when Tampines, the reigning S-League champions, take on Singapore Cup holders Warriors FC forerly known as Singapore Armed Forces FA in the Charity Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Tampines are also the defending champions in the Charity Shield after beating Home United 2-0 in last year's curtain-raiser.

Online news portal aXrosstheline.com reported that the delay in announcing the fixtures was down to talks between FAS and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to avoid clashes involving teams playing in the S-League, Malaysia Super League (MSL) and Malaysia Premier League (MPL).

Harimau Muda B (Malaysian national Under-21 team) who finished eighth in the 12-team second-tier MPL last season have confirmed that they will be setting base in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where they will share the Pasir Gudang Stadium with MPL side Johor FA for the 2013 season.

Games in the MPL are usually played on Mondays and Fridays evenings, while games in the MSL are usually played on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The delay has not gone down well with S-League fans and coaches alike, with one bench boss pointing out that the wait for news had disrupted his team's preparations.

"It is not very convenient for us to prepare the team. What happens if we are scheduled to play DPMM FC, probably the strongest team this year away from home in our first match," an S-League coach told aXrosstheline.com on the condition of anonymity. "We need to be mentally ready for the first three to four teams that we play but right now, we know nothing and our first game is two weeks away."

"I can understand that the FAS need to meet up with the FAM to sort out the issues but I certainly believe that they could have done it much earlier."

The Brunei Times 

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