06 December 2015

Kean not worried if import quota reduced

Thursday, December 3, 2015

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is not too worried about talk of a reduction in the import quota for the Singapore League (S-League) next season - especially since he has plans to bring in two of the club’s Under-19 players.
Channel NewsAsia last week reported that there will be a reduction in the quota of foreigners for S-League clubs from five to three next season, and though Kean feels it may be difficult for S-League champions DPMM FC to adjust, he is not losing any sleep over it.
DPMM FC can boast of having the reigning S-League top scorer Rafael Ramazotti in their ranks, and the understanding the Brazilian formed with Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio was instrumental in DPMM FC winning the S-League for the first time this season.
Also key to the club’s success this year was Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and the cohesive centre-back partnership of Bosnian Boris Raspudic and Northern Ireland’s Brian McLean.
“We’re not stressing at all. I have sat down with the chairman and spoke about who we want to keep,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times at a meet and greet session at The Mall in Gadong yesterday.
“It is difficult because what happens (if the quota is reduced) is that the emphasis is on the local players
“The imports are to fill the holes of the locals but now the lads will have to step up. But I’m ecstatic as I feel we’ve got the best locals.
“We will give an offer to the first (import) we want to keep, and if they don’t accept, somebody else will.
“But I believe everybody wants to stay with us because we are the best team.
“Regardless, I believe we will have a brilliant team for next year,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
The Scotsman also revealed that two players from the Under-19 side, which was formed in June, will be inserted into the first team roster next season.
DPMM FC will take a break before getting back on the training ground on Jan 9 to prepare for next season, and Kean said he is also looking at some friendly matches for the team in Kuala Lumpur.
“I’m bringing in two Under-19 players into the first team squad,” said the 48-year-old.
“Maybe it won’t be about replacing anyone since we are losing imports. This is also to show that the Under-19 team… Is a real pathway to the first team.
“We are probably going to KL to play three or four games in the first week of February.
“Our pre-season has always been good and it doesn’t matter when the games are. (More) important is what we do during the off season,” he concluded.
Kean arrived in the Sultanate back in Nov 2013 and led the club to their best season to date this year.
DPMM FC clinched their maiden S-League title on Nov 21 and equaled their best finish in the Singapore Cup with a third-place finish on Friday.
However, it was their worst showing in the Singapore League Cup this year as the three-time champions failed to make it out of the group stages for the first time in five attempts.
Despite only being formed in June, the Under-19 team - which is trained by Kean and was one of his priorities when joining the club two years ago - has already made their mark by clinching a four-team tournament in September.
They won all three of their games, scoring 18 goals and conceding only two.
Playing in their competitive debut, the team defeated Brunei Polytechnic 4-2 in the final on Sept 20.
They started their campaign by beating the Brunei Sports School Soccer Academy (BSSSA) 11-0 and went on to record a 3-0 win over Sports School Under-15.

The Brunei Times

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