22 October 2011

Simunic wants to test DPMM FC against foreign sides

Dennis Lim

Saturday, October 22, 2011

DPMM FC need a tougher test one that can only be provided by foreign teams.

Vjeran Simunic, the club's head coach, is preparing Brunei's only professional football side for a possible return to the Singapore League and is keen to test DPMM FC against foreign teams.

"Local teams cannot give us the real picture of the team (DPMM FC)," Simunic told The Brunei Times during an interview yesterday.

Seeking to get teams from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand to play here against DPMM FC, the veteran Croatian said in order for his players to grow and improve they had to face more than just the local sides.

DPMM FC had played various friendly matches against the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) and the U-23 national team, but Simunic wanted more.

He said: "Playing against local teams we wouldn't be able to see the real picture. If we win 8-0 against a local club it won't help us too much. But we do our best ... we practise and play various friendlies against each other."

He said foreign teams, whose players are arguably fitter and more skillful, would provide better contest to DPMM FC and show where they really stood against other good sides.

Their new imports Tales Ricarte dos Santos, George O'Callaghan and Osman Basiru have all impressed during friendly matches and training, but need competitive matches to test themselves, this being their first time playing in an Asian country.

On the fourth import, the Croatian said: "We have not decided on the other import yet. We already have three imports, so we are taking our time. We need to play more games and see what we really need.

"Thus, we need to play serious matches as soon as possible."

He added that they were also focussing on players' fitness.

"We are now concentrating on the teams' fitness. We have in front of us, a big window of opportunities. The new season (of the Singapore League) will start in February so we must concentrate on getting the players fit for matches and get a composed team as well."

DPMM FC last week 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.

All S-League sides are allowed to have four imports per team.

The Brunei Times

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