02 April 2013

Mohd Hendra gets ready to be counted

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
DPMM FC midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris (pic) is aiming to stake his claim in the starting-11 after an encouraging performance in his side's 1-0 win over Woodland Wellington in the Singapore League (S-League) on Sunday.

The 25-year-old provided the assist for Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira and later was named the man of the match by coach Vjeran Simunic.

Hendra featured twice for the Sultanate's only professional football club in their last S-League campaign but has already managed two appearances this time around, the first coming during their 2-1 loss against Albirex Niigata (S) FC on March 11.

He has slowly been gaining Simunic's trust after being an unused substitute in their first two games against Home United FC (Feb 21) and Hougang United FC (March 1) but coming off the bench to replace Guadeloupe national team captain St├ęphane Auvray during their March 7 match against Young Lions (Singapore Under-23 national team) which saw the team earn their first win of the season.

Though he started the game against Japanese side Albirex, he would be replaced by striker Adi Said in the second half.

Sunday's result against Woodlands was DPMM FC's second win of the season and puts them fifth in the league table after picking up eight points from five games.

"I just want to do well for the club, work hard and keep improving," said Hendra in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"I hope that I will be able to play more games this season (because) no one likes to be on the bench. I enjoyed being in the first-11 and it is my target for this year.

"I only played twice last season. I was in a starting line-up against Gombak (United FC) and came on as a sub during our match against Geylang (International FC)," he added. DPMM FC will face Geylang International at home tomorrow and Tanjong Pagar United away on Sunday. A former QAF FC and Majra United FC midfielder, Hendra believes he has grown a lot during his time at DPMM FC.

DPMM FC picked up Hendra, Adi, midfielder Md Najib Hj Tarif, defender Reduan Hj Petara and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof last April after they were part of the team which won the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) a regional competition for national Under-21 teams.

Asked about his performance during Sunday's game, Hendra replied: "I was surprised that the coach picked me as the man of the match because the other players played very well too."

"But you know it feels great to get the win, especially when you know you have contributed something," added Hendra, who laced up for the country at the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Myanmar last October.

Hendra also represented Brunei at the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Jakarta and Simunic believes Hendra has taken his game to another level now that he is at DPMM FC.

"He did very well in the recent games and he deserves his position," said Simunic when met after the team's training session at Mini Stadium in Jerudong yesterday. "He is a great player but he didn't play a lot last year because of fitness problems," said the coach.

"This year, though, I think he is ready." 

The Brunei Times 

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