23 October 2013

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

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