24 February 2013

Simunic not distracted by Challenge Cup

By Gabriel Tan

Simunic was rewarded for leading DPMM to a runners-up finish in the league last year, as well as winning the Singapore League Cup, last month when he was named as Brunei coach for the upcoming 2014 AFC Challenge Cup Group E qualifiers, that will be held in Philippines from March 22 to 26.
Despite now having to juggle his commitments, the Croat insists he will worry about the national team when the times comes, and is fully focused on getting his club side off to the perfect start in the S.League.
"I have more strength and desire now that I'm the national team coach but I'm not thinking about that," he told FOX Sports.
"We have four games [in the league] before I embark on Brunei's Challenge Cup qualification campaign.
"It will be tough playing the likes of Turkmenistan and Philippines, who are now third in Southeast Asia, but I am now only focused on the new S.League season."
Although the Bruneian outfit are expected by many to once again challenge for top honours, Simunic, renowned for being inclined to playing down his side's chances, insists he will be happy with a top-five finish, the same target they set in 2012.
"The management are smart people who understand that, while we don't have many problems, our game isn't fantastic yet and we need time," he added.
"It's not easy to replace all the foreigners in our side. It doesn't mean [Stephane] Auvray can come in and immediately replace [Ivan] Jerkovic, it's the same with [Ivan] Bosnjak and Basiru [Osman].
"But we have good local players on the bench. If everyone plays like they did last year, at the current moment, I think we can battle for a top-five finish.
"It's going to be an interesting season - a lot of clubs have changed their players. Home United are strong, Tampines [Rovers] are strong, even Warriors FC are strong. They've signed big names that are all good players."

DPMM FC start with draw

Friday, February 22, 2013
VJERAN Simunic looked less than impressed during his post-match interview after DPMM FC's Singapore League opener against Home United ended 0-0 last night.

Last season's runner-up took to the Bishan Stadium in Singapore for their long-awaited S-League starter, but despite failing to find the net, DPMM FC's coach seemed satisfied with the stalemate at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore.

"Absolutely," said Simunic when asked whether he was happy with the result.

"Everybody knows it's very difficult to take points (away) from Bishan.

"Of course, Home have changed a lot of their players and they are now one maybe of the best contenders to win the title this year, (so) at the moment I think playing 0-0 against them is a good result.

"DPMM FC did not play defensively... We had two or three excellent chances to score," added the Croatian in a video sent by goalkeeper coach Hj Zainol Ariffin Hj Jumat.

Home won two of the four past encounters with DPMM FC, so last night's draw should be seen as a fair result. The game was delayed due to a lightning alert the second match in a row after Wednesday night's game between Young Lions and Hougang United FC suffered the same fate and the holdup was met with much criticism on social media. The deadlock was enough for DPMM FC to finish the night sixth in the 12-team table, equal on points with Home, Woodlands Wellington and Warriors FC the latter two playing out a 2-2 draw in last night's other game.

Like many of their opponents in the 12-team S-League, DPMM FC, who won the Singapore League Cup for the second time last season, have made wholesale changes in their starting line-up.

The team lined up in their normal 3-5-2 formation last night with Croatian defender Dino Drpic marshalling the back-line flanked by veteran Pg Sallehudin Pg Hj Damit on the left and Hj Muhd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir on the right.

As expected, captain Rosmin Hj Muhd Kamis and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray held court in the centre of the park.

Azwan Salleh started on the left, Muhd Helmi Zambin was handed a rare start on the right and Croatian striker Ivan Bosnjak was used as an attacking midfielder ahead of Rosmin and Auvray.

The game marked the debuts for Drpic, Moreira, Auvray and Bosnjak all who were signed in the close season.

Bosnjak who represented his country at the 2006 World Cup did not play a single minute of pre-season football after picking up an injury in the first of the team's five friendlies in Vietnam earlier this month.

That he lasted the whole 90 minutes should be a relief for Simunic.

Simunic made his first change in the 77th minute by replacing Moreira with Shahrazen's brother Adi, going on to substitute Drpic for Abdul Aziz Tamit three minutes later and sending midfielder Ak Mohammad Fakharrazi Pg Hj Hassan on for Shahrazen in the 88th minute.

DPMM FC's next game is against Hougang on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

The Brunei Times

21 February 2013

DPMM FC intend to hit the ground running

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
DPMM FC are eager to get their Singapore League (S-League) campaign off the ground.

Last season's runners-up face Home United at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore tomorrow, and the team confirmed all their players during a signing ceremony for their 19 local players at the Riverview Hotel yesterday,

More importantly, though, the chemistry between the local boys and the new imports Croatian forward Ivan Bosnjak, Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray, Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos and Croatian defender Dino Drpic will be crucial to determine how successful they will be this season.

Captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis feels that training has been going well but believes more time is needed for the team to play to its full potential.

Rosmin also felt that there may be more pressure on the team to perform this season, especially after finishing as runners-up last season.

"Everything is smooth at training, but of course things will be different once we get on the pitch for competitive games," said the midfielder in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"I think we have improved from the past season but we will see how things go in our first game.

"So far there is good flow in our game together with the imports, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

"I think there is a bit more pressure on us because we finished second last season, but what is important is that we take it one game at a time," added the captain.

Shahrazen Said, who was the club's top scorer last season with 14 goals to his name, will probably be partnering younger brother Adi a little less this season now that Bosnjak and Moreira are around.

"I think we are at 90 per cent but everything can only be seen once we get on the field for the first game," said Shahrazen.

"We are learning to adapt quickly playing together with the imports. We are ready and we are eager to face Home.

"Hopefully we can work well together as one, but as of now we are not there yet. There is still a bit of individuality going on.

"The team is better than last season though. I hope these new imports can come through because they will be a confidence booster should they add some goals... But at the end what is important is the win.

"We want to be champions but we know it isn't easy," continued Shahrazen, who joined the team in 2005.

Left-back Sairol Hj Sahari will miss the first match of the season after picking up a red card in the last match of the season against Balestier Khalsa FC.

He will play alongside Tales and Drpic who both are over six feet tall once he gets back from the suspension.

Veteran defender Pg Sallehudin Pg Hj Damit is expected to take Sairol's place tomorrow, though Tales' ongoing battle to recover from a knee injury he picked up at the end of last season means he will play no part in tomorrow's tie.

"It is an honour for me to play alongside two experienced players in Santos and Dino," said Sairol.

"I think we have a physical advantage to get to the high ball with their height.

"We are ready for the S-League and the first game is very important.

"Winning would be a big morale-booster," he added.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof feels that the team is ready to pounce, but only time will tell how well they will do.

"I think we are a stronger team than last season after watching the imports play. We even have a former World Cup player (Bosnjak) but the chemistry is not fully there yet," said Wardun. "We still need to work on blending together and we need time."The Brunei Times 

Sponsors give DPMM FC timely boost

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
DPMM FC received a timely boost just ahead of their Singapore League (S-League) campaign with eight local companies signing on as sponsors yesterday at the Pelangi Hall of the Riverview Hotel.

Present as the guest of honour to witness the ceremony was the club's vice-chairman YAM Pg Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pg Anak Haji Abdul Rahim Pg Indera Mahkota Pg Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj.

The sponsors were Sri Sentosa, Royal Brunei Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation, Brunei Shell Marketing Co, DST Group, Maju Motors, Sports Partnership Pte Ltd and Riverview Hotel.

The team's 19 local players also put pen to paper for the 2013 season. Representing DPMM FC during the player signings were club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin and team manager Ali Hj Momin. Marketing manager Hj Momin Hj Md Ja'afar joined Pg Waslimin for the company signings.

DPMM FC will start their S-League campaign away against Home United tomorrow.The Brunei Times 

DST Super League heats up

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
INDERA Sports Club will be hoping for an unlikely scenario when DST Super League title rivals Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) take on Kilanas FC on March 3 - dropped points.

The country's top-tier football competition takes a break this week for the 29th National Day celebrations, but when it resumes next Tuesday, local football fans can expect the action to come raining down thick and fast.

A side brimming with national players, Indera's consistent showing over the past nine weeks has set them up as the only team capable of challenging MS ABDB for this year's trophy.

Indera trail the soldiers by three points heading into the final two weeks, and with MS ABDB collecting 19 points out of a possible 21 so far, their only blemish a 2-2 draw against Majra FC, it might be too much to ask for ninth-placed Kilanas to take more points off the army men.

Majra are currently third in the 10-team table, equal on points with Indera but with one game less to play.

Majra will close out their campaign with a tie against QAF FC on March 2, but even if they pick up all three points in that match, their poor goal difference means the DST Super League is out of their sight this season.

A win for fifth-placed QAF, on the other hand, will see them pull level on points with Majra, though their goal difference will not allow them to rise any higher than fourth.

QAF will need to beat Majra by at least six goals for them to climb to third, an unlikely outcome considering the form QAF have been in lately.

Fourth-placed Royal Brunei Police Force Sports Council (MS PDB) also have a chance at displacing Majra when they face Jerudong FC in the first Week 10 match next Tuesday, both teams enjoying the same goal difference and the policemen only three points adrift of Majra.

Another tie to look out for on Week 10 will be the March 3 match between Wijaya FC and Najip FC, the latter looking to pick up their first points of the season.

Wins for Indera, Majra and QAF in last week's ninth round were crucial in their bid to end the season on a high, Indera beating Kilanas 4-0 on Friday, Majra edging Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team 1-0 on Saturday and QAF going past Wijaya FC 4-1 on Sunday.

A strong showing from their forwards helped QAF beat Wijaya, the latter's poor form in front of goal contributing to their fifth loss of the season.

Majra's Mohd Syarafuddin Ahmad sealed them all three points against the Belait-based LLRC, the substitute's 47th minute curler proving to be the only goal of the night.

And not for the first time, Mohammad Azwan Ali Rahman was the difference for Indera after the national midfielder scored a brace in the 4-0 result against Kilanas.

Indera's captain wasn't the only one who stood out on Friday night though, with goalkeeper Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Salehuddin, who saved a penalty and made a number of key saves, also shining.

Indera know that they can't keep their foot off the gas though, and their match against the MS PDB on March 5 will be vital in ensuring they keep hot on the heels of MS ABDB.

MS ABDB and Indera are favourites in their ties against Kilanas and MS PDB, and if the table-toppers win their respective matches, March 10 will be the date to mark on calendars.

In a tie that was scheduled months ago, MS ABDB face Indera in the last game of the season - and one that is now looking to be a title-decider.

The Brunei Times 

14 February 2013

FIFA World Ranking February

FIFA World Ranking February

Brunei down 3 to number 185


Next matches for Brunei National team will be AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Manila in March

MS ABDB prevail over QAF FC

Thursday, February 14, 2013
TEN-MEN Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) came back from a goal down to secure a 3-1 victory over QAF FC in the DST Super League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

MS ABDB looked in for a tough night after midfielder Mohd Baharin Hamidon was shown a straight red card after appearing to stop the ball from entering the net with his hand infront of the QAF's goal in the seventh minutes. Mardi Mirza Abdullah made no mistake by sending MS ABDB goalkeeper Mohd Tarmizi Hj Mat Johari to the other way.

Though QAF dominated early in the first-half, it was the army men who found the net in the 21st minute. It occurred when MS ABDB went on the counter with Mohd Mazazizi Mazlan slicing a low cross from the right which Mohd Khairul Mee Mail put into the back of the net past QAF goalkeeper Junaidi Akim.

QAF were slow to recover from the goal and MS ABDB took advantage of it three minutes before the half-time break.

No QAF players bothered to pressure the midfield area. Spotting Mohd Isa Hj Bahar on the run, Mohd Mazazizi delivered a pinpoint low cross which Mohd Isa pounced on with his right foot.

QAF failed to make their numerical advantage count after missing out several chances in the second-half.

Riwandi Wahit fired a free-kick just wide and Adie Arsham Mohd Salleh came nearest to score for QAF when his close range header was brilliantly tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Mohd Tarmizi.

The spurt of energy that came after the break was short-lived as MS ABDB continued to pour forward with relentless energy. It didn't take long for MS ABDB to get their third goal when Mohd Isa beat the offside trap before blasting the ball past the goalkeeper securing his second goal of the night

"It was a dramatic win for us. The players work very hard. It was a great team effort. We made some tactical changes in the game after the red card. We attacked QAF from both flanks tonight. The idea was to get the ball into the penalty box and score goals," said MS ABDB manager Azaman Hj Husin told The Brunei Times. "Mohd Isa played very well tonight. His touch and ball control was fantastic tonight. He was very dangerous inside the box in the game. He is our best player for tonight."

The win put MS ABDB six points clear at the top, while QAF remained sixth in the table. [See Most Viewed Pages for Feb 14, 2013.]

 The Brunei Times

12 February 2013

Friendlies for testing players, not results: Simunic

Jason Thomas


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WINNING only one of nine pre-season friendlies might be a problem for most coaches.

Then again, DPMM FC's Vjeran Simunic (pic) isn't like most coaches.

DPMM FC returned from a Singapore League (S-League) warm-up in Vietnam last week with one win in five matches, a poor return by any account. They were also in Indonesia in December to compete at the Governor Aceh Trophy, where they only claimed two draws and two losses in the six-team invitational tournament, losing out on third to Malaysian giants Selangor.

Factor in the injury that their biggest signing to date, Croatian international Ivan Bosnjak, suffered in the first minute of their first match in Vietnam which left him watching the whole week from the sidelines and one would think that Simunic would be a worried man.

Star striker Shahrazen Said also returned from Vietnam with a knock which kept him out of yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium, and Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos is still in his native land recovering from a knee injury.

Despite everything, last year's S-League Coach of the Year remains unfazed.

"I am happy we were able to challenge some of the most respectable teams in the region," Simunic beamed yesterday of their pre-season friendlies.

"Our intention was to improve, not get results, so generally I'm satisfied with how we played in Vietnam.

"We ended every game with different players than when we started, and my whole aim in Vietnam was to test out all the players.

"We have 19 local players and I tested all of them, and I'm happy with how they all played especially our defenders.

"If I wanted results I would have put out our strongest first-11 and stuck with them for 90 minutes.

"Do you know that Wardun (first choice goalkeeper Wardun Yussof) only played one game in Vietnam?

"We learnt a lot in Vietnam. The players there were really physical... Wrestling, like rugby. So we took some lessons from that," added the Croatian, who used to coach Vietnamese side Ho Chi Minh City FC before returning to Brunei for his second stint with DPMM FC in 2011.

Last season's S-League runners-up kick off their season next Thursday when they travel to the Bishan Stadium in Singapore to take on Home United.

They will then host Hougang United in their first home game of the year on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas before facing Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-21 team) on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) on March 11.

Geylang International's coach V Kanan last week said that DPMM FC and Tampines would be the teams to beat this season, but it is obvious Simunic isn't believing the pre-season hype.

He does, though, believe that more hard work is needed if DPMM FC are to continue being a talking point in Singapore football.

"I'm happy with our success last season, and how we were able to improve on our Top-5 goal," said Simunic, who took the title down to the wire before losing to Tampines on the last day of the season.

"We not only have good players, they also have good personalities and high-level training that is why others respect us and people speak about us.

"We have to defend our rating which is now very high.

"We're a young team and we don't have enough experience but I trust every player.

"Last season the four imports did a good job, now I am expecting the same if not better."

The Brunei Times ..

'DPMM FC, Tampines title favourites'

Jason Thomas


Monday, February 11, 2013

GEYLANG International's coach V Kanan insists DPMM FC and Tampines Rovers FC will be the teams to beat in next week's Singapore League (S-League).

The Eagles take on defending champions Tampines in the first day of the season on February 20, and their coach feels the Stags and DPMM FC who finished second last year are favourites for the title.

Geylang who used to be known as Geylang United lost last season's Singapore League Cup to DPMM FC and split their results in the S-League, so Kanan knows first-hand the threat Brunei's only professional club can pose to Singapore football.

"Tampines and DPMM FC are the two strongest teams this year," Kanan told Singaporean daily The New Paper last week.

"I had wanted to play them both as early as possible.

"As the season progresses, their players will gel and they will get more difficult to play against.

"Of course, playing them in the first week won't be easy either, but we are well prepared," said Kanan, who like Balestier Khalsa's Darren Stewart came out second best to DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic for last season's S-League Coach of the Year award.

Kanan is no strangers to awards though, and got the nod for the Geylang hot seat last year after leading the club's Prime League squad to the title in 2011.

Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-21 team) take on Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore in the other opening-night fixture while DPMM FC travel to the Bishan Stadium in Singapore to play Home United in their first game of the season on February 21.

DPMM FC host Hougang United in their first home game of the year on March 1 before facing Young Lions on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) on March 11.

The S-League's curtain-raiser pits Tampines against Singapore Cup holders Warriors FC formerly known as Singapore Armed Forces FC in the Charity Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday.

Like most clubs in the S-League, Geylang who finished 11th in the 13-table pile last season have been active on the transfer market.

Bolstered by the signing of former Albirex Niigata (S) FC goalkeeper Takuma Ito and defender Norihiro Kawakami, the Eagles have also roped in Home's Shotaro Ihata who netted 10 S-League goals last season for an added edge in attack.

Though Kanan seemed to think Tampines are capable of going all the way this campaign, Tampines' coach did not want to put any additional pressure on his players.

Nenad Bacina also felt that all the teams that had a poor season in 2012 will be eager to bounce back in 2013.

"It is a new season," the Croatian told The New Paper.

"For all the teams that didn't do well last year like Geylang, they will come into this season very positively with new players and a new mood we cannot compare this season with the last one.

"I definitely do not see why we should be the favourites for this game (against Geylang).

"We play against the Warriors in the Charity Shield and, five days later, we will play against Geylang, so it won't be easy for us.

"At the end of last season, they played very good competitive and attractive football, so I don't see why they can't continue with the same approach," noted the former Hougang United FC coach and Warriors FC captain.

Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have only released the first five weeks of fixtures for the upcoming season.

An FAS spokesman explained that the delay in releasing the fixtures was due to attempts to avoid clashes with the LionsXII's matches in the Malaysian Super League (MSL).

Brunei Times

08 February 2013

DPMM FC finally register a win

Friday, February 8, 2013
DPMM FC won the first of their pre-season friendlies yesterday following a 2-0 win against Buba FC at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam

Brunei's only professional football team got their noses ahead in the first-half after Ak Mohammad Fakharrazi Pg Hj Hassan connected on a cross by midfielder Najib Hj Tarif from the left.

Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris made it 2-0 just before the final whistle via a free-kick.

According to DPMM FC staff Hj Zainol Ariffin Hj Jumat, BUBA FC is a football team made up of former import players from the Vietnamese League.

DPMM FC fell to a 2-1 loss to Vietnamese side Saigon Xuan Thanh FC at the Thong Nhat Stadium at Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

The Singapore League runner-ups also lost 3-1 to Dong Thap FC on Sunday before losing to TP Ho Chi Minh FC 1-0 on Monday.

DPMM FC will take on Home United in their Singapore League (S-League) opener at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on February 21.

They will then host Hougang United in their first home game of the year on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They then face Courts Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-23 team) in third-week action on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) on March 11.

The games are set to be played at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium and Jurong East Stadium respectively.-Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh

The Brunei Times

MS ABDB favourites to lift Super League cup

Friday, February 8, 2013
ROYAL Brunei Police Forces Sports Council (MS PDB) manager Sharin Hj Mohammad Jaya has tipped Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) to win the DST Super League title but predicts Indera Sports Club will ensure it is a tight race.

"It will be between those two clubs (Indera and MS ABDB) and goal difference could be the biggest factor in winning the title this year," he told The Brunei Times.

MS PDB are now looking to round up the third position in the league after his side lost further ground in the title race after being edged 3-2 by Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football team (LLRC FT) on Monday at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

"It is very hard to catch up with the league leaders now. We are now aiming for a top three finish. So I need my players to be focused and win the remaining matches," he said.

Midfielders Safuan Juhar, Mohammad Shah Hafiz Kifli and Ak Mohd Azrul Ariffin Pg Metussin all got their names on the scoresheet in the five-goal-thriller.

The defeat leaves MS PDB three points adrift of leaders MS ABDB with only two games left to play.

The armymen cemented their spot at the top of the league following a 11-1 thrashing of bottom-dwellers Najip FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday.

Indera and Majra FC did not take to the field as a number of their players are currently with DPMM FC in Vietnam to prepare for next month's 2014 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines.

With the defeat, Najip remain routed at the basement of the 10-team table with zero points from seven games and have let in a staggering 60 goals in their campaign.

The week also saw Mohammad Hafis Mahari record a hat-trick to help power QAF FC over Kilanas FC 4-3.

It was a harsh loss for Kilanas who fought back from 3-1 down in the first half to level the score at 3-3.

Kilanas controlled the pace of the game in the second half and had multiple goal scoring opportunities but it was QAF striker Mohammad Hafis who scored the game winner in the end. late goal ended their resistance in the game.

Wijaya FC recorded their second win of the season after defeating Jerudong FC 2-1.

Ak Anaqi Sufi Pg Hj Omar Baqi found the back of the net on the hour mark to give Wijaya the lead.

Md Esmendy Braim equallised for Jerudong in the 78th minute but Wijaya responded immediately through Khalil Saab who fired the winner after restart.

LLRC will have the opportunity to move into second place when they take on Jerudong FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight at 8pm.

QAF who are now sixth in the table with 10 points will go up against Najip FC tomorrow night at 8pm at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

They will then have three days to recuperate before playing MS ABDB on Wednesday.

The match between MS ABD and QAF FC on December 22 was postponed due to unfavourable field conditions as a result of heavy rainfall.

Wijaya will take on Majra at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas on Tuesday in the final game of week 8.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC remain winless

Thursday, February 7, 2013
DPMM FC lost all their matches in the pre-season friendlies in Vietnam after falling 2-1 to Vietnamese side Saigon Xuan Thanh FC at the Thong Nhat Stadium at Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.

Midfielder Helmi Zambin scored the only goal for DPMM FC in the defeat.

The Sultanate's only professional football club lost 3-1 to Dong Thap FC on Sunday before losing to TP Ho Chi Minh FC 1-0 on Monday.

The Singapore League runner-ups who will go up against Home United in their S-league opener on February 21 were also without a win in the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia in December.

They started out their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Indonesian Premier League (IPL) Champions Semen Padang FC.

They were held to a 1-1 draw by Kelantan in their next game before losing 3-2 to Aceh United in the semi-finals. They lost their final game to Selangor on penalties after both team were locked in a 1-1 draw after regulation.

The national players also laced up for the club to prepare for next month's 2014 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines.

Import striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira from Portugal settled in quickly for DPMM FC after scoring the only goal in their 3-1 loss to Dong Thap and two goals in the Governor Aceh Trophy.

Moreira joined Croatian striker Ivan Bosjnak, defender Dino Drpic and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephane Auvray as the team's four new signings for this season.

The fifth import, Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos, is still in his homeland recovering from a knee injury. Dos Santos was the only import the club retained for this season.

The Brunei Times

05 February 2013

FOOTBALL DPMM FC vs Home United in Singapore League opener

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
DPMM FC will take on Home United in their Singapore League (S-League) opener at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on February 21.

The Football Association of Singapore informed the 12 S-League clubs of the tentative schedule for the first five match weeks yesterday, with the full fixtures for the season expected to be announced by the end of the week.

Last season's S-League runner-up, DPMM FC host Hougang United in their first home game of the year on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They then face Courts Young Lions (Singaporean national Under-23 team) in the third week of action on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) in the fourth week on March 11, the games set to be played at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium and Jurong East Stadium respectively.

Brunei's only professional club will sit out the fifth match week which will run from March 20-24.

All of the club's away matches will kick-off at 7:30pm while the home fixtures will start at 8:15pm.

DPMM's season-opener last year marked their return to the S-League fray after an absence of two years, and the stage was set for a memorable upset against defending champions Tampines Rovers FC until the Stags grabbed a late equaliser to force a 2-2 stalemate at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

The S-League season officially kicks off next Friday when Tampines, the reigning S-League champions, take on Singapore Cup holders Warriors FC forerly known as Singapore Armed Forces FA in the Charity Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Tampines are also the defending champions in the Charity Shield after beating Home United 2-0 in last year's curtain-raiser.

Online news portal aXrosstheline.com reported that the delay in announcing the fixtures was down to talks between FAS and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to avoid clashes involving teams playing in the S-League, Malaysia Super League (MSL) and Malaysia Premier League (MPL).

Harimau Muda B (Malaysian national Under-21 team) who finished eighth in the 12-team second-tier MPL last season have confirmed that they will be setting base in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where they will share the Pasir Gudang Stadium with MPL side Johor FA for the 2013 season.

Games in the MPL are usually played on Mondays and Fridays evenings, while games in the MSL are usually played on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The delay has not gone down well with S-League fans and coaches alike, with one bench boss pointing out that the wait for news had disrupted his team's preparations.

"It is not very convenient for us to prepare the team. What happens if we are scheduled to play DPMM FC, probably the strongest team this year away from home in our first match," an S-League coach told aXrosstheline.com on the condition of anonymity. "We need to be mentally ready for the first three to four teams that we play but right now, we know nothing and our first game is two weeks away."

"I can understand that the FAS need to meet up with the FAM to sort out the issues but I certainly believe that they could have done it much earlier."

The Brunei Times 

National team wants 30 new players for 2013 SEA Games

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
THE NATIONAL football coach is hoping to recruit about 30 new players to the national squad and begin centralised training by early March as part of preparations for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in December.

"We are hoping to add 10 more defenders and midfielders each, seven new strikers and four goalkeepers," Kwon Oh-son told The Brunei Times in an interview at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium during a final selection for new players yesterday.

"The selection for new players will depend on how well they perform in the trial. Once we have finalised the team members, we are hoping to begin training in March," he said, adding that training locations will vary between the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, Balapan Track and Field at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex and the Berakas Sports Complex.

Other than new players, he also said that the squad should comprise of eligible players from the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) team, DST Super League and other local leagues.

Kwon also coached the national Under-21 team which won the HBT with a 2-0 win over Indonesia last year. The SEA Games, though, caters for Under-23 players.

Over 60 players turned up for the final selection which began with a warm-up session before the group was divided into teams to play in a 20-minute match.

Kwon also insisted that the selection process would carry on in February, in which the selected players will compete for a spot in the national team. "We want to make sure that we are getting the best out of the best players."

In a January report, Kwon confirmed that the SEA Games squad would be boosted by some players from the HBT 2012 winning team.

At that time, the national team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff said that the additions were necessary because the HBT players will add experience to the teaml which is needed especially when facing the top teams in the region.

He also added they seeking to build a team that can defend Brunei's HBT title in 2014 from the same batch of selected players.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC lose second friendly

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
DPMM FC lost their second pre-season friendly game in a row after falling 1-0 to Vietnamese side TP Ho Chi Minh FC yesterday.

The Singapore League runner-up, who are in Vietnam to prepare for their S-League opener against Home United on February 21, lost their first friendly 3-1 to Dong Thap FC on Sunday.

They end their trip with a match against Saigon Xuan Thanh FC tomorrow.

DPMM FC goalkeeper Mohd Wardun Yussof said yesterday's line-up was made up of mostly national players.

The national players are with the club to train for next month's 2014 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup qualifiers in the Philippines.

Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira is proving to be a revelation for DPMM FC after scoring the only goal in their 3-1 loss to Dong Thap after latching onto a cross from Azwan Salleh, his third goal in five pre-season games.The Brunei Times

DPMM FC bow to Dong Thap FC

Monday, February 4, 2013
DPMM FC got their pre-season friendlies off on the wrong foot after losing 3-1 to Dong Thap FC yesterday at the Dong Thap Stadium in Vietnam.

Brunei's only professional football team got the lead in the 35th minute after Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira connected on an Azwan Salleh cross from the left.

Dong Thap FC equallised just one minute before halftime and grabbed the lead 10 minutes after the break.

The hosts then killed off the game with another goal in the 85th minute.

Fatigue could have played a role for DPMM FC considering that they left on Saturday and only arrived at Ho Chi Minh at midnight. The ride from the hotel to the match venue also took three hours.

They will face TP Ho Chi Minh FC today and end their three-game sting against Saigon Xuan Thanh FC on Wednesday.

The Brunei Times

03 February 2013

DPMM FC play Dong Thap today

Sunday, February 3, 2013
DPMM FC will be able to test their new combinations, especially in attack, when they face Vietnamese side Dong Thap FC in a pre-season friendly in Ho Chi Minh City today.

The club has the luxury of choosing from a variety of options in front of goal after recently signing two new import strikers ahead of the February 20 start of the Singapore League.

They also face TP Ho Chi Minh FC tomorrow and end their three-game stint against Saigon Xuan Thanh FC on Wednesday.

The team's long-serving striker, Shahrazen Said, was full of praise for new Croatian partner Ivan Bosnjak when met at the Brunei International Airport before the team left for Vietnam yesterday.

Bosnjak, 33, played for his country at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and has 14 caps and one international goal to his name so it is little surprise Shahrazen has been impressed with what he has seen during the team's training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"Ivan has a good first touch. He's very good at stopping the ball and shooting straight away, and he also has a powerful shot," explained the 27-year-old who was DPMM FC's top scorer with 14 goals last term.

"There's a lot I can learn from him and I can definitely improve by playing with him," added Shahrazen, who finished joint top-scorer with Perak's Keita Mandjou during the 2006/07 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season with 21 goals.

Shahrazen has already had an impact on the team's pre-season preparations after scoring three goals during their four games at December's Governor Aceh Trophy, a six-team invitational tournament in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, 26, also made a name for himself at Banda Aceh, where his two goals in as many matches led to the club offering him a contract.

Bosnjak had yet to sign for DPMM FC then, so the trip to Vietnam will be all the more important for the Croatian.

"Vitor and Ivan are both different player... Vitor hold the ball and dribbles, Ivan holds the ball and passes. We need more time to gel," said Shahrazen, whose brother Adi is also a DPMM FC striker.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis agreed with Shahrazen and said the trip will help get the team playing on the same channel.

"All our combinations and understanding (of how each other play)... We have to get that set before the S-League starts," stated the 31-year-old.

"That's what's important for the trip. Fitness, I think we are nearly at 100 per cent, so that's no problem," said Rosmin, who is expected to form a partnership in central midfield with Guadeloupean Stephane Auvray.

Auvray and Croatian defender Dino Drpic join Bosnjak and Moreira as the team's four new signings for this season.

The fifth import, Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos, is still in his homeland recovering from a knee injury.

Dos Santos was the only import the club retained for this season.

The club, though, will be boosted by the return to fitness of Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit, the veteran defender sure to be a calm, confident and composed figure in the back-line.

The Brunei Times