He is a popular figure in Brunei for leading the Sultanate’s only side participating in Singapore football competition. He is well known for winning two League Cup titles in his last two stint here inSingapore, and famously pushed Tampines Rovers all the way to the wire in the 2012 Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League season. Vejran Simunic’s achievements on Singapore soil have led to his recent appointment of the head Coach of the Brunei National football team.
Simunic’s first task will be in March, when he will lead his team for the up coming 2013 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines. Simunic inherits the team from Kwon Oh-Sun whose last assignment with the team was in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers. Kwon’s team finished fourth out of the five team qualification group.
Brunei are in Group E and they are accompanied by host Philippines, Turkmenistan and Cambodia. The winners from the five groups will be joined by two best second placed teams in the Finals to be held in Maldives.
When contacted by aXrosstheline.com, Simunic revealed that he will include all local players from the Brunei DPMM S-League’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers.
“The local players have done really well with me during the 2012 season,” Simunic remarked.
“Towards the end of last season, I was literally playing a team full of local born players and I think they have done a good job.”
“We went to Banda Aceh for a off season tournament and we did well with the same players against Selangor and Kelantan,” he added.
The 59-year old Croatian’s last involvement with the Brunei National team was way back in 2008. Despite a five year absence, he is raring to go again.
“I am very grateful that the Football Association appreciates my work,” he told aXrosstheline.com
“I am up for it, and so are my players. Its going to be tough (the qualifying group), but we will not be there to make up the numbers. Turkmenistan and Philippines are the favorites in the group but we will try to make things happen,” Simunic added.
Simunic also told aXrosstheline.com that he is currently preparing his team for the upcoming S-League season scheduled for 20 February. His team will be travelling to Vietnam for a pre-season training tour this week. They face Vietnamese outfit Dong Thap, TP Ho Chi Minh and Saigon Xuan Thanh.
INDERA SC are back at the top of the table of the DST Super League and they did so in style
They demolished basement dwellers Najip FC 20-1 last night to record the largest winning margin in the competition at the Balapan Track & Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
It was a race between Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman and Azwan Ali Rahman on who can score more goals as they notched eight and seven respectively in the one-sided victory.
Indera SC got off to the best of starts by scoring one of the fastest goals in the competition with Md Nur Ikwan Othman giving them the lead in just the 45th second.
It was 2-0 in the seventh minute after a good solo effort by Mohd Aqmal Hakeem Abd Hamid.
He skipped past three defenders before firing the shot past Najip FC goalkeeper Mohd Zekaria Hj Jais inside the box.
Hamizan got his first of the night in the 12th minute while Azwan found his first the next minute to make it 4-0.
It was 5-0 in the 16th minute with Azwan blasting it into the net and Hamizan would add to his tally three minutes later from inside the box.
Azwan played a good through-ball to Hamizan to make the scoreline 7-0 in the 29th minute.
The former notched his hat trick in the 36th minute after scoring in a one-on-one situation.
Captain Mohd Afi Aminuddin got on the scoresheet two minutes later from the penalty spot to put his team into double figures at 10-0.
The only bright moment for Najip came after they earned a penalty two minutes later.
Huzaimi Hj Tengah took the ensuing spotkick and made it 10-1 heading into halftime.
It didn't take long for Azwan to add to his tally in the first minute after the restart.
It was 12-1 in the 52th minute after Hamizan headed home a cross by Mohd Nazirul Nazreen Abdullah from the right.
Mohd Aqmal Hakeem scored his second of the match after connecting from a Muhd Nur Ikwan cross from the left in the 58th minute.
Indera SC showed no mercy and Hamizan blasted another into the net in the 65th minute.
Azwan continued to find the net in the 67th minute and right on the restart Hamizan notched his seventh goal of the game to make it 16-1.
It was 17-1 in the 76th minute after Azwan floated in his freekick from outside the box.
Muhd Nur Ikwan got his brace two minutes later after a mistake by Mohd Zekaria to gift him the goal.
Azwan scored his seventh of the match in the 83rd minute to make it 19-1.
Hamizan then delighted the crowd as they made it 20 goals in the 89th minute.
Indera SC head coach, Ishak Hj Kabon, was delighted with the way his team responded after losing their first match in their campaign last Sunday.
"We lost the last game (to Majra United FC) with the absence of two key players. We needed to win tonight (Saturday) and to score more goals," said Ishak after the triumph.
"We needed this for a confidence booster ahead of our remaining matches. I'm happy with the way things turn out for us," he added.
Indera SC currently are on 13 points while Najip FC remain rooted at the bottom of the 10-team table with zero.
Their stay at the top will be dependent on how the big encounter between two unbeaten teams the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) and Majra FC play out on tomorrow.
The competition continues today with QAF FC going up against Jerudong FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 4.15pm.
The Brunei Times