04 January 2014

DPMM FC to begin pre-season

Friday, January 3, 2014
DPMM FC are set to feature in the Saksee Phuket Cup tournament in Thailand as part of their 2014 Singapore League (S-League) pre-season training.
It was reported on the club’s official website that they have been invited to participate in the January 25-27 tournament, and it was also reported that DPMM FC are slated to host Malaysian FA Cup Champions Kelantan FA on January 31 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
In an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday, DPMM FC’s team manager Ali Hj Momin confirmed the reports and said that the club is also working on organising a number of friendly matches this month ahead of the new S-League season which is expected to start in mid-February.
“Yes, we got the invitation to compete in the tournament and we are currently working to make it happen,” said the manager.
“And at the same time we will also invite some football teams to play friendlies in the country,” he added.
Brunei’s only professional club, DPMM FC went to Vietnam and Indonesia last year for their pre-season friendlies but failed to win any of their matches on the tour.
The club last month announced that defender Boric Raspudic from Bosnia and midfielders Roberto Alviz from Croatia and Joe Gamble from Ireland will be lacing up for them next season, with Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi also to be given a contract extension.
“We will soon officially announce the signings of the three confirmed players, Raspudic, Alviz and Gamble,” Ali said.
“They are currently not in the country, but they should be back here sometime this month,” continued Ali.
“We are still looking for one more player who is going to be our marquee signing and we hope that we will be able to finalise all the deals before the season starts in February,” he added.
DPMM FC were recently linked the former Borussia Dortmund forward Euzebiusz Smolarek and ex-Sampdoria striker Ikechukwu Kalu.
They were also linked with a move for the former Arsenal and Everton striker Francis Jeffers previously but the club made it clear that there has been no deal made between the club and the player’s representative.
Meanwhile, two news outlets have reported that former Sunderland striker Roy O’ Donovan is in talks with DPMM FC – which might be just the marquee signing Ali was talking about.
Goal Singapore reported that 28-year-old is still attached to English club Northampton Town, having signed for the English League Two (fourth division) side on a free transfer in January of last year.
“He is understood to have 18-months left on his current contract with the League Two side and will be in Brunei over the weekend to discuss terms,” stated the story that was published online yesterday.
O'Donovan is a former League of Ireland championship winner with Cork City and has also finished as the competition's top scorer during his two-year stay with the club.
In 2007, he moved on to Sunderland, then under the charge of fellow countryman Roy Keane, signing for a League of Ireland record transfer fee, after early interest from Fulham.
The forward has featured in the Scottish Premier League as well as in the top four tiers of professional football in England.
However, signing the Irishman might be risky as he has been on the injured list as of late.
The Northampton Chronicle & Echo have reported that O’Donovan had a sluggish start to Northampton Town’s current season after being sidelined for two months in September after undergoing a hernia operation, the injury having been misdiagnosed in the summer.
Both outlets stated a deal for Jeffers fell through because of an injury.
Steve Kean, the former manager of Blackburn Rovers, will be leading the Sultanate’s only professional club this season following the departure of Croatian Vjeran Simunic.
DPMM finished runners-up in 2012 in their best season in the S-League, winning the League Cup for a second time.
Their 2013 campaign was not as successful though, managing an eighth-place finish and a heart-breaking 4-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa FC in the League Cup final.

The Brunei Times

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