12 February 2014

DPMM FC end search

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
DPMM FC’s search for a marquee signing is over after the club yesterday confirmed they will be getting Irish striker Roy O’Donovan.
The former Sunderland striker, who is set to arrive from English League Two (fourth division) side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM FC for more than a week last month.
O’Donovan’s signing will complete DPMM FC’s import contingent which includes Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi, midfielders Joseph Gamble (Ireland) and Roberto Alviz (Croatia) and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic – all of whom officially put pen to paper during last Thursday’s player and sponsor signing ceremony for the upcoming Singapore League (S-League) season.
Though club officials could not give a date as to when the 28-year-old O’Donovan will join his new teammates, Steve Kean already knows what the striker can provide the team.
“Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs behind” said the DPMM FC coach yesterday.
“If we have two similar strikers… Two big men… That would be predictable, so with the contrast, we can keep the defenders thinking,” he added after yesterday’s training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
O’Donovan is expected to join strikers Shahrazen Said and Tosi in Kean’s starting-11, with Kean already saying he will be basing his attack around the Brazilian – who was the only import the club retained from last season.
A vastly experienced footballer, O’Donovan has featured in the Scottish Premier League as well as in the top four tiers of professional football in England.
A former League of Ireland championship winner with Cork City, O’Donovan finished as the competition's top scorer during his two-year stay with the club from 2005 to 2007.
He moved to Sunderland, then under the charge of countryman Roy Keane, after early interest from Fulham.
He then played at six different clubs before moving to Northampton Town on a free transfer in January 2013.
Despite being out of action for two months last September after undergoing a hernia operation, Kean said he has no concerns about his newest player’s fitness level.
“Roy is very fit and conscientious about fitness,” said Kean.
“He works a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a role model,” added the Scotsman.
Kean got a first-hand look at O’Donovan before DPMM FC left to Thailand to compete in a pre-season friendly tournament, the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup.
DPMM FC defeated Nakhon Si Heritage 3-1 in their first match on Jan 25 before falling 2-0 to Phuket FC a day later.
Their only other pre-season friendly of note was on Jan 31 when they were held to a 0-0 draw against Malaysia FA Cup titleholders Kelantan at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas – which provided the 18,000 crowd their first look at Kean and the team.
DPMM FC start their S-League campaign against Albirex Niigata (S) FC on Feb 22.
Many had thought that the club would unveil a marquee player during last Thursday’s player and sponsor signing ceremony, but when asked on the matter, Kean said the club had no need to rush into things.
“We will take our time, however long that takes, until we get the right one (marquee),” he said in a previous report in The Brunei Times.
“The biggest thing is the attitude of the marquee player. He has to be here for the right reasons.
“It’s more important that he fits in with us, it’s not a case where whoever is going to come in, we have to change what we have been doing.
“I’ve always said that he has to be here to play, work and to win.
“Sometimes you can be a little bit rushed in your decision making and then sometimes it doesn’t work out right.”
DPMM FC changed imports mid-way through last season, and their fans must be hoping that the move for O’Donovan – and the other imports for that matter – will, as Kean said, “work out right”.

The Brunei Times

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