23 October 2013

DPMM FC face Warriors tonight

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
VJERAN Simunic is not letting rumours of his replacement with ex-Blackburn Rovers FC manager Steve Kean get in the way of his job – or his 100th game for the club in Singapore.
The DPMM FC bench boss can look forward to the milestone when the club takes on Warriors FC in the Singapore League tonight, with the visitors in search for their fourth win in as many games.
The last time the team lost in the S-League was to Warriors, a 3-1 defeat in August, and tonight’s battle at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore promises to be an enticing one between the two top teams in Tier 2 of the 12-team table, seventh placed DPMM FC and eighth placed Warriors.
Only two points separate the duo and the Warriors have a two-one win-loss advantage over DPMM FC over the course of this season.
However, the lead-up to tonight’s match has centered around the arrival of Kean, who it is understood will take over mid-November from the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.
The Croatian, though, is only focused on the task at hand.
“I’m a professional… If I think about these kind of things, I’ll never get a good result,” he said.
“Me, my players and the staff are focused on making the best possible result in this difficult moment for us. We are united until the end for this.
“I am only focused on the players and for them to continue their good form.
“I prefer not to think about anything except the game.
“The boys are playing really good and I think their current performances show there is a good connection between the coach and players,” added the former Bahrain national coach.
The connection of which he speaks of is one that has been forged over years of trust and travel, with Simunic first leading his team out in March 2008 when they were still in the Malaysian Super League and dropping a job in Vietnam to return to his “boys” as soon as he heard news that DPMM FC could return to the S-League after FIFA lifted its nearly two-year suspension on the Sultanate in 2011.
The FIFA suspension on the country in 2009 forced DPMM FC to abandon their inaugural S-League season despite having just five games to play, but the 2009 season was also largely remembered for the capture of the Singapore League Cup, a first by any foreign side.
They repeated the feat last year to become the most successful team in the competition’s history, and though they were unable to make it title number three after falling 4-0 to Balestier Khalsa FC in last month’s championship decider, they have gone on a run of three straight S-League wins since.
The journeyed coach has kept a careful count of all the games he has been involved in but insists that tonight’s milestone will not be worth remembering if they don’t beat Warriors.
“I have had more than 500 games in my career in Croatia, Bosnia, Bahrain, Vietnam and with DPMM FC in Malaysia. So maybe 150 games in Brunei,” said Simunic, who was also in charge of the Sultanate for the 2008 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers.
“But for DPMM FC, playing in Singapore, this will be my 100th game. That’s 77 S-League games, 15 League Cup games, and seven Singapore Cup games.
“It is a nice achievement but I don’t really care too much about that – what I care about is that we play well and win. This is not a time for celebration – only a time for us to focus on the game,” he added.
His counterpart Alex Weaver saw his team fall to their first loss in six matches when Geylang International beat them 3-0 in their last game on Friday.
Though the hosts can depend on prolific striker Mislav Karoglan for the goals, and midfielder Tatsuro Inui for his on-field nous, they will be hampered by the loss of suspended striker Sufian Anuar and defender Daniel Bennett.

The Brunei Times

National futsal team finish tourney without a win

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
THE national futsal team ended their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Miracle of Life Futsal Championship campaign with their fourth straight loss yesterday.
They were defeated 4-2 by Vietnam, who were last year’s runners-up, at the Bangkok Thonburi University in Thailand.
The national team sit at the bottom of the Group B after losing 5-3 to Philippines, 8-4 to Malaysia and 8-1 to Thailand.
Although Brunei lost to Philippines, they still managed to put on a better show compared to the Philippines, who lost 20-1 to Thailand and 10-1 to Vietnam.
Defending champions Thailand defeated Malaysia 2-0 in yesterday’s other match.
Vietnam and Thailand will face off against one another for the top spot on the table at 7pm today.
In Group A, Indonesia kept with their dominance going after thrashing Laos 12-0.
Australia finished off Myanmar 4-0 and remain at the top of Group A by three goal difference over Indonesia.
The two dominating teams will meet today to decide who will be the group winners at 1pm today.
Timor Leste will face Myanmar at 10am inGroup A and Philippines will play Malaysia at 4pm in Group B.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC brace for future without Simunic

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
DPMM FC have lofty targets in their next two Singapore League seasons, but it looks like they’ll be aiming to win the “treble” without Vjeran Simunic.
The most successful team in the Singapore League Cup, two-time winners DPMM FC extended their contact with the Football Association of Singapore to lace up for the 2014 and 2015 S-League seasons after signing a Participation Agreement Renewal at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore yesterday.
Leading the DPMM FC delegation at the signing ceremony was club vice-chairman YAM Pg Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pg Anak Haji Abdul Rahim Pg Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj, who was accompanied by club manager Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin and club executive committee member Hj Momin Hj Md Ja’afar.
“We like to play in Singapore because the standard of the players is good and the league allows for five imports – if we play in Malaysia we can only have two,” explained Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin at a press conference.
Asked about the team’s target next season, Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin replied they wanted to win the treble – which is probably why they are bringing in ex-Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean to replace Simunic, the reigning S-League Coach of the Year who has been with the club since March 2008 when they were still playing in the Malaysian Super League.
When prompted by the media as to why the club wanted Kean, Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin agreed to the suggestions put forward that they wanted to change their style of play and they have always wanted to field the best possible side.
DPMM FC, whose inaugural S-League season in 2009 was cut short due to FIFA’s suspension on the country, came back with a point to prove in 2012 – when they won the Singapore League Cup and lost out on the S-League crown to Tampines Rovers FC by one point.
The results haven’t exactly been going their way this year though - they currently lie seventh in the S-League and lost out on the Singapore League Cup after a 4-0 defeat to Balestier Khalsa FC last month.
They have also yet to make a mark in the Singapore Cup, a competition in which they have failed to progress to the semi-finals (third round) in three attempt.
But perhaps the most important piece of news that was made public during the press conference, of which The Brunei Times received a audio recording, was that the club want to win the treble – which makes it easy to see why they have said Kean will be arriving in the Sultanate mid-November and that Brazilian playmaker Rodrigo Tosi will be the only import the club will retain come the close season next month.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said it welcomed the continued involvement of the club in the S-League and that the away games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium created a better atmosphere at S-League games.
“DPMM FC are one of the best organised and managed clubs in South East Asia, and it augurs well for the S-League that the club renews its participation in the league,” said FAS in press release.
“The participation of DPMM FC in the S-League has boosted the competitiveness of S-League and made the league more interesting and exciting.
“Each season, DPMM FC puts together a very strong side with key signings of top players from around the world and they gather the best local players from Brunei as well.
“Our clubs always cherish the away matches by making the trip to Brunei to play in the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in front of thousands of fans,” it added.
FAS president Zainudin Nordin was also looking forward to another two years of successful partnership with the club.
“The participation of DPMM FC in the S-League is another good reflection of the close relationship between Singapore and Brunei,” noted Zainudin.
“Both nations have strong links in many areas and we are delighted that one of these key areas is through football.
“The signing of the Participation Agreement Renewal with DPMM FC goes a long way in fostering and strengthening the bilateral ties between the two nations; as well as bolstering the relationships between the two FAs,” added the president.

The Brunei Times

DPMM FC talking to Kean

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
DPMM FC have confirmed that they are in talks with ex-Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean (pic) to replace reigning Singapore League Coach of the Year Vjeran Simunic.
According to a report published in Reuters, Kean is in discussions to become coach of Brunei’s only professional club – with club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin admitting as much to Singaporean media.
"We are still in talks and will make an announcement at the end of the season (November),” DPMM FC club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin told Singapore daily The Straits Times.
Neither Pg Waslimin nor team manager Ali Hj Momin replied to calls or text messages from The Brunei Times.
The news of a change of coach is perhaps not surprising taking into account DPMM FC’s poor form this season.
Currently seventh, they failed to build on their strong finish of second last season and lost their Singapore League Cup crown 4-0 to Balestier Khalsa FC in September.
News of the possible move appeared on DPMM FC’s website on Saturday.
If the move works out, Kean – who was deeply unpopular with Ewood Park supporters and routinely faced protests for his managing style in his two years in charge after replacing the popular Sam Allardyce – will have big shoes to fill.
Simunic, who led DPMM FC to the Singapore League Cup in 2012 and 2009, refused to get drawn into speculation about his job.
“No comment. Absolutely no comment,” said Simunic when contacted yesterday.
“I just want to concentrate on the next game,” said the Croat referring to tomorrow’s S-League game against Warriors FC.

The Brunei Times

20 October 2013

Steve Kean, new manager of DPMM Fc !

Steve Kean is set to return to football management, just over a year after resigning as manager of Blackburn Rovers. The 48 year old will become manager of Singaporean S-League side Brunei DPMM in 2014, according to the club website and verified by sources of Les Rosbifs associated with S-League.
It is the first time Kean has been back in employment since resigning as manager of Rovers in September 2012, when the club were lying third in the Championship. It marked the end of a tumultuous period for the Scottish coach, who oversaw a remarkable collapse in charge of the Lancashire club, who were in the Premier League when he took over from Sam Allardyce in December 2010.
In recent months there have been rumours that Kean was on the shortlist for the Milwall job (subsequently awarded to Steve Lomas) and Bury, although neither role has come to fruition. According to our sources, Kean flew out to Brunei to sign his contract over this weekend (said to include a generous salary) and will have time to prepare for the role ahead of the start of the new season, which begins in February 2014.
Kean replaces Croatian veteran, Verjan Simunic, who led the club to League Cup success in 2012. 2013 has been a little less spectacular, although DPMM did finish runners-up in the competition again. It will be a difficult job for Kean, as Brunei DPMM have a reputation for being an incredibly difficult club to work at, as the Crown Prince of Brunei and club management have a reputation for controlling most matters. These include player recruitment, leaving the coach to pick up the flak generated if things do not go to plan. One may well consider this to be par for the course as far as Kean and his managerial career to do date goes.
Brunei DPMM have competed in the S-League and the Malaysian Super League over the past ten years taking part as one of the ‘overseas teams’ these leagues allow. After winning the Singapore League Cup in 2009, the club were forced to withdraw from the competition by FIFA, who suspended the Brunei Darussalam FA for governmental interference.

DPMM FC edge Hougang

Sunday, October 20, 2013
DPMM FC are up to the seventh spot in the Singapore League (S-League) after they edged Hougang United FC 1-0 last night.
In what was their third straight win — which brought their total to 33 points — a goal by Rodrigo Tosi just before the break settled the tie at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The Brazilian midfielder headed home a Rosmin Hj Kamis corner at the near post four minutes into added time just before the break.
It was the fourth goal for the lone import on the roster in the past three games.
However, DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic felt that it was team effort that got them the triumph.
“It was a sweet 1-0 win. We could have scored more had we closed our chances. Their keeper (Fadhil Salim) was fantastic,” said Simunic after the win.
“It was the whole team and I’m proud of them. We have lost seven players and went down (the table). Now we are at the top,” added the Croatian.
Azwan Ali Rahman had the first chance for the home side but saw his shot saved by Fadhil in the 17th minute.
The game was brought to a standstill for over five minutes after Fadhil was given treatment after picking up an injury from a corner.
Hougang United threatened in the 32nd minute as Liam Shotton saw his attempt deflected to Mamadou Diallo who could only fire it wide.
DPMM FC pushed forward five minutes later after Tosi flicked the ball to Shahrazen Said in the box but the forward’s effort on the turn was off target.
Rosmin should have gotten on the scoresheet on the hour mark but saw his attempt cleared off the line by Faizal Amir.
Striker Adi Said got in on the action immediately after coming on as a substitute for Azwan Ali Rahman in the 79th minute.
Tosi had delivered a good through ball down the middle for Adi just to be denied by Fadhil.
An unmarked Shahrazen should have scored in the 86th minute after a good one-two by Tosi and Adi which allowed the striker to shoot.
Diallo almost equalised for Hougang United in the 90th minute after he struck a good freekick from outside the box but Wardun was on hand to put up the save.
Despite soaking in the pressure, Adi had one final chance to put his name in the scorer’s column as he unleashed a shot inside the box just to see it saved by Fadhil.
Hougang United coach Amin Nasir said they had only themselves to blame after a defensive lapse at the end of the first half.
“We just lost our concentration. Seven minutes is a bit too long but that is no excuse. We needed to keep our focus. We were caught napping and they capitalised on that,” said Amin.
“I was quite pleased with Fadhil’s performance as he kept us in the game. But looking at the backline, we will need to sit down and analyse what went wrong. It is disappointing as we came for a win,” he added.
The competition continues today with Albirex Niigata FC playing Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

The Brunei Times

AFF FUTSAL: Philippines Grab Lead in Group B

BANGKOK (19 Oct 2013) – The Philippines took the lead in Group B when they disposed of Brunei 5-3 in the last match of the evening as Vietnam edged Malaysia 2-1 in an earlier tie of the AFF Futsal Championship 2013.
It was as pulsating a match as could be between the Philippines and Brunei with both teams eager to win the points. And while it was Brunei who pushed hard earlier on, it was the Philippines who grabbed the lead through Arnie Pasanibo in the 13th minute.
The score at the end of the first half was 1-0 to the Philippines.
Pasilan Floriano was quick to double Philippines’s lead just a minute after the restart before Brunei got their scoring act together to score their first goal of the game in the 22nd minute through Maziri Maidin.
Then it was three quick goals for the Philippines with Pasilan nailing a double (26th and 36thminute) and another from Jovanie Simpron (36th minute.
Brunei staged a late revival through Mohamad Arif Haji Eisa in the 36th minute as Maziri then completed a brace with a second strike two minutes later.
“We created a lot of chances but it was just too bad that we could not score,” said Brunei coach Mohd Yunos Mohd Yusof.


16 October 2013

DPMM FC continue lessons for Under-23

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
THE national under-23 football team were down once again but showed improvement this time around.
They succumbed to their second defeat in three days at the hands of DPMM FC after losing 3-1 in a friendly at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday.
The team are busy preparing for the Dec 11-22 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
The U-23 side were playing without the services of DPMM FC forward Adi Said and midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman in Myanmar, both of them lacing up for their club instead of the national side yesterday.
Striker Shahrazen Said opened the scoring for DPMM FC after firing from outside the box in the early going.
Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi doubled their lead from the penalty spot before adding another after shooting from the left to put Brunei's only professional football team up 3-0 at halftime.
The under-23 side picked up the momentum after the break with better defence and they clamped down on their opponents with more than a player each time.
Despite being toothless in attack for much of the match, they were finally getting forward in the second half and threatened at times.
It finally paid off with Md Zulkhairy Hadi Razali going down the middle to score on the hour mark.
DPMM FC could have added more to their tally but under-23 goalkeeper Ak Omar Aqamuddin Pg Sallehuddin was on his toes the rest of the way to deny them.
DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic felt that everyone in the squad did good to get the triumph.
“We had a great first half and managed to score three goals,” said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times after the triumph.
“We gave a chance to our second team to play in the second half.
“The team has done a good job during the (Singapore League) break.
“We are just looking to adjust a little and also work on some tactics ahead of our game against Hougang (United FC) on Saturday.
“There are no injury worries as of now, except Azwan (Salleh), who had to be taken off after 15 minutes today.
“Hopefully he'll be alright,” continued the Croatian.
The under-23 side declined to comment after the match.
They are scheduled to take part in a competition in Sabah some time next month as part of their preparations.

The Brunei Times

We are just looking to adjust a little and also work on some tactics ahead of our game against Hougang (United FC) on Saturday.... There are no injury worries as of now, except Azwan (Salleh), who had to be taken off after 15 minutes today. Hopefully he'll be alright.
DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic

DPMM FC teach national U-23 squad a lesson

Sunday, October 13, 2013
THE national under-23 team have plenty to do after struggling to a 5-0 loss to DPMM FC ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar in December.
The silver lining was that the national side were playing their first friendly match after their stint at the Borneo Games in Labuan last month and they were missing the services of striker Adi Said, midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof who laced up for DPMM FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Adi found the back of the net four times for DPMM FC in the matchup which lasted for 75 minutes – with only 30 minutes played in the second half.
DPMM FC got off to the best of starts and opened the scoring just seven minutes after kickoff with Adi finding the back of the net with a superb freekick.
Hj Mohd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir doubled DPMM FC’s lead in the 22nd minute after the U-23 team failed to clear a corner.
The DPMM FC right-back was just at the right place at the right place at the right time to blast home from inside the box.
It was 3-0 in the 35th minute after Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis delivered a good ball from midfield to Adi on the right before the forward skipped past the keeper to slot it home.
The U-23 team were toothless on attack and were on the backfoot most of the time.
DPMM FC continued their dominance after the break and Adi notched his hat trick after he outpaced his defender to rifle in his shot in the 68th minute.
He added another goal to his tally just minutes before the final whistle to complete the rout.
DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic is gearing his team up for their upcoming matchup against Hougang United at home next Saturday.
He was pleased with the team’s spirit and hoped that they can carry the momentum forward.
“I’m not happy that we have a long break because we were in fantastic form in our last two games which we won,” said Simunic in an interview with The Brunei Times after the convincing victory.
“Hougang will be a big challenge for us as they are unbeaten in their last three games. They even drew 2-2 against Tampines in a friendly yesterday (Friday),” he said.
“But today (Saturday) the players ran, challenged and made many chances. We could have even scored more and this is a good confidence booster for them. Even the bench players stepped up,” continued the Croatian.
Hj Zainuddin Hj Kassim, the U-23 assistant coach, felt that there is still plenty of work to be done ahead of the Maynmar Games.
“We started off slow and the players seemed scared. We needed all the match experience considering that we were going up against the seniors,” he said.
“We will need to improve on our passing game. Confidence is also very important and it can be seen that the teamwork is not there yet. We will need to be more organised,” he added.
“Hopefully we will be able to do better in our next friendly,” continued Hj Zainuddin.
Both teams are set to play against each other again on Tuesday.
The U-23 side are also scheduled to play in a tournament in Sabah some time next month as part of preparations for the SEA Games.

The Brunei Times

10 October 2013

North Korea crush Brunei U-19 squad

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
THE national Under-19 football team faced a 6-0 beating at the hands of North Korea in their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifier opener yesterday.

Brunei managed to keep the game goalless before giving a penalty away in the 21st minute, which saw North Korea's Ro Myong Song put his team in front 1-0 at the Thai Japanese Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Three more goals were then added in the first half by So Jong Hyok (23rd minute), Kim Chol Min (31st) and Choe Song Il (39th) who was awarded the match's most valuable player.

North Korea's second half goals came from Pak Chol Song (64th) and Kim Kuk Chol three minutes into injury time (90th).

Brunei will take on Thailand in their second Group H match tomorrow at the same venue before closing out their campaign at the Thai capital against Singapore on Saturday.

Thailand defeated Singapore 3-0 in yesterday's other game.

North Korea top the group by a three goal difference over Thailand, with both of them holding one win a piece.

Singapore are sitting third whilst Brunei are at the bottom of the four-team table.

Today's first game will be between table toppers North Korea and Singapore.

Vietnam are the only team that have confirmed their spot after winning all their Group F matches against Australia (5-1), Hong Kong (5-1) and Chines Taipei (6-1).

Forty teams separated into nine groups are aiming to top their groups and earn their ticket to the October 2014 finals in Myanmar.

Six of the best second placed sides and hosts Myanmar will also make it through.

The tournament also serve as the qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, with the top-four sides in the 2014 edition booking a place in tournament proper to be held in New Zealand in 2015.

The Brunei Times