23 November 2012

EPL's Chimbonda tries out for DPMM FC

Friday, November 23, 2012
POINTING his fingers to the heavens as he admired yesterday's orange skies over the Jerudong Mini Stadium at sunset, Pascal Chimbonda knew exactly why he has come to Brunei to tryout for DPMM FC and become possibly their biggest-ever signing.

"I don't need to explain anything ... This is a beautiful country," he grinned when asked why he chose to come to Brunei.

"I wanted a new challenge.

"I know DPMM FC finished second in the Singapore League last season and I heard a lot of good things about this country.

"I know about Brunei from the Sultan (His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam) and my agent told me to come here, try it out and stay for a bit ... So we'll see how it goes.

"I just arrived today (yesterday) so I think training will be better tomorrow (today)," added the versatile defender, whose contract at League One (English third-tier) side Doncaster Rovers expired in June.

The former Wigan and Tottenham defender is in the initial batch of three foreign players DPMM FC brought in for trials yesterday, with midfielders James Robinson and Maxime Belouet the other two.

The club are looking to sign four imports injured Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos is still on their books in line with next season's S-League rules, which allow for five.

Though DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic admitted he did not know much about the ex-English Premier League player, Brunei football fans certainly need no introduction.

Part of France's 2006 World Cup squad, Chimbonda will no doubt have benefited from the experience of sharing the same dressing room with players the quality of Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

With the club having released veteran Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic and strikers Osman Basiru and Patrick Roberto Daniel Da Silva after their S-League season ended on Nov 2, DPMM FC know that Chimbonda will bring years of experience playing at the highest-level.

Chimbonda's signing, if it does work out, follows the high-profile captures of Spanish striker Daniel Guiza La Liga's topscorer in 2008 and former Middlesbrough captain George Boateng by Malaysian clubs Johor and Terengganu.

Though he does not enjoy the same stature, Chimbonda's compatriot, Belouet, might be another good signing for DPMM FC since he has previous S-League experience.

The 26-year-old played for E{aac}toile FC, a team of European-born players which won the S-League and Singapore League Cup during their debut season in 2010.

He then went on to ply his trade at Indian side Salgaocar FC, which competes in the top-tier I-League and is coached by former Brunei handler David Booth.

Robinson, meanwhile, is in his second stint in DPMM FC after injury forced him to leave last year's trials.

The 30-year-old Englishman who described himself as a box-to-box midfielder started his career at League One outfit Crewe Alexandra before moving on to Iceland's IBV.

He spent the last five years playing at various levels in Australia.The Brunei Times

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