14 January 2013

Auvray finds niche at DPMM FC

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
COMBATIVE midfielder Stéphane Auvray (pic), the Guadeloupe national team captain, seems to have settled down comfortably at DPMM FC where he joins Croatian defender Dino Drpic and Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira as three new imports on the team list.

The former New York Red Bulls midfielder, who joined the Singapore League (S-League) runners-up in December, said he has been enjoying his time in Brunei.

"I've been pleasantly surprised by the training facility and field," he replied when asked about his first impressions of the club after last Saturday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The conditions here are very good, the people here are welcoming and the weather's exactly like my country.

"I like the guys' mentality and I've formed an understanding with them very quickly.

"The team has had some good results and that's important (heading forward)," added the 31-year-old, referring to DPMM FC's finish in the S-League last season and their capture of the Singapore League Cup for the second time.

Auvray was a commanding presence in the middle of the field during Saturday's training session which pitted the team's first-11 against the bench.

Not only did he impress with his hard work, strength and tackling, the defensive midfielder also did well to spread play and looks to have sealed his spot in central midfield — where he will team up with captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis.

The dreadlocked Auvray was brought in to replace Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic, who was one of the three imports released by Brunei's only professional club at the end of last season.

Auvray spent most of his career in the lower divisions of French football before moving to MLS side Sporting Kansas City in 2010 and then to Red Bull, where he teamed up with friend, and former Arsenal striker, Thierry Henry.

Auvray's profile on the MLS Soccer website states he left his native Guadeloupe at the age of 14 to join the youth academy of French club SM Caen, which plays in France's second tier Ligue 2.

He was promoted to Caen's B team in 1999, the side playing in the Championnat de France Amateur — the equivalent of the French fourth division. Auvray appeared 41 times in three years and scored one goal during his time at Caen B, and in 2002, moved to amateur outfit GSI Pontivy, where he made 58 appearances and found the net four times during a two-year spell.

Auvray made 144 appearances for Vannes OC from 2004 to 2009 and scored one goal for the team that plays in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football.

He also appeared 11 times for Ligue 2 side Nîmes Olympique in 2009 before a transfer to Sporting Kansas City.

He laced up 27 times for Kansas City — once in a friendly against Manchester United — and moved to Red Bull in the middle of the 2011 campaign. He spent less than a year at New York though, and has been without a club since December 2011.

Despite being out of action for the better part of a year, he was hardly sluggish during Saturday's practice. His work ethic is sure to endear him to his teammates and fans.

"I don't know much about the S-League but no matter where you play or who you play, you have to do your best," he said about his aim for next season.

"Once you do your best, you will be rewarded and get what you deserve."

The Brunei Times 

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