15 October 2011

New kids on the block

Yee Chun Leong

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DPMM FC unveil 3 imports

THREE in, one to go.

Having already applied to rejoin the Singapore League (S-League), DPMM FC are working hard to rebuild their squad confirming on Thursday that they have signed three imports.

The club, who said last month they "are on the verge of signing defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and midfielder George O'Callaghan", unveiled the two players to the Press on Thursday, adding that they had also signed striker Osman Basiru.

Having said earlier they were looking to sign four imports, DPMM FC were working hard to find another player most probably a forward and several foreign players were on trial with the team this week. All S-League sides are allowed to have four imports per team.

Talking to the Press, the 32-year-old O'Callaghan feels that the club are heading in the right direction in terms of preparations.

"We're working hard in training and things are exciting here because it is a new challenge," said the Irish attacking midfielder after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Thursday.

"Things are looking positive and I can see that the local players are quite fit. We are working hard to get in shape and show our talents when competition comes," he added.

O'Callaghan played at Ipswich in the 2007/8 season and featured for Tranmere the following season before transferring to Yeovil Town, where he laced up for 12 matches.

On the other hand, Tales last played for Tocantinopolis and the Brazilian regularly featured in the Serie D in Brazil.

He wants to help the team to the ultimate prize and feels that things are looking up for Brunei's only professional football club.

"Training is going really well at the moment. I'm looking forward to compete (in the S-League). We will work hard together and I'm definitely looking to help the team to a championship," said Tales.

Asked about the difference between Brunei and Brazil, the 27-year-old fullback replied: "The weather is similar to Brazil except that it rains here like everyday. But it's so peaceful here and I really enjoy that. The country is also very green and clean."

Meanwhile, Basiru plied his trade for four teams in Israel before coming to Brunei the last being Hapoel Petah Tikva.

The Ghanaian has quickly settled down and is enjoying his time here in the Sultanate.

"Brunei is a beautiful country. I'm really enjoying training with my new teammates," said the striker.

"I have no problems adapting to the weather in Brunei as it is quite similar to my country," added the 22-year-old hitman.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic, meanwhile, felt that the most important thing for the imports is for them to adjust quickly since it is their first time playing in Asia.

"We hope they will adjust as soon as possible. It requires time especially since this is the first time for them playing in Asia. In my experience, good players don't necessarily adapt instantly because it is not an easy thing to do," said Simunic.

"But we must be patient with them and we should be ready within the next few months," he added.

"The only problem is that we haven't got any opponents to compete against. It is different against local teams as we need tougher games to test the talent of the imports," continued the Croatian.

"But we'll need the locals to be ready as well to help the imports," concluded Simunic, who led DPMM FC to the Singapore League Cup crown in 2009.

The club on Thursday also revealed that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had given them the green light to play in the S-League next season.

About a month ago, Singapore's online news portal Today quoted an anonymous source saying that DPMM FC had submitted their application to rejoin the S-League to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

Club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin then confirmed the news with The Brunei Times on Sept 15.

Currently in its 16th season, the Singapore's top-flight is scheduled to end on Nov 28 with the new season starting on Feb 12 with a dozen teams playing in three rounds.The Brunei Times

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