27 October 2020

DPMM FC to sit out 2020 AIA SPL season

 SINGAPORE (27 Oct 2020) – Defending champions DPMM FC from Brunei will not participate in the remainder of the 2020 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season.

The FA of Singapore (FAS) resumed the SPL with safe management measures in place amid the COVID-19 situation, with the first games being played on 17 Oct 2020.

We have been informed recently by DPMM FC that they are unable to participate in their upcoming fixtures because there are currently no provisions in Brunei that allow them to travel to Singapore.

As it is important for the FAS to ensure that the 2020 SPL season can continue so that the League concludes in time in order for Singapore’s representatives for 2021’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) club competitions to be ascertained, the FAS will proceed with the rest of the 2020 SPL season without the defending champions.

FAS President Lim Kia Tong said: “It is extremely unfortunate that Brunei DPMM FC will not be able to join us for the resumption of the 2020 SPL campaign as I am certain SPL supporters and the other participating clubs are looking forward to see the reigning champions defend their title. However, we recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances, and the current situation leaves us with extremely limited options. Brunei DPMM FC has been a valued participant of the SPL for a better part of the decade and remains an integral part of our League. We look forward to welcoming them back next season.”

Commenting on the announcement by the FAS, Brunei DPMMFC General Manager Ali Haji Momin said: “We were looking forward to defending our title this season. However, despite our best efforts, the travel rules have meant that it is not possible for us to do so. We are tremendously grateful for the patience and kind understanding of the FAS over the last few weeks as we both sought for a solution to this matter. We wish the other eight teams the best of luck for the rest of this season, and hope to return for the 2021 season in full force.”

The sitting out of DPMM FC means that the result of the sole match they have already played – a 2-0 victory against Tampines Rovers at Bandar Seri Begawan on 6 March 2020 – will be voided.

It also means that there will be 37 matches left to be completed in the season by the end of this year.


21 October 2020

DPMM FC’s Hougang United match postponed

 Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC’s wait for their first league match since the opening game of the season in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) continues after their clash against Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore this Sunday was postponed.

In a media statement, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said that it is still working with the club for their travel and logistical arrangements to Singapore.

The football governing body had proposed the Brunei-based outfit to be accommodated in Singapore and play their remaining matches there.

The Gegar Gegar men have also been scheduled to meet Lion City Sailors FC in an away game at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on October 28.

The fixture list also sees a home match between DPMM FC and Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on October 31.

Meanwhile, a number of DPMM FC players have returned to club training after a nine-day national call-up from October 5 to 13 in line with the FIFA calendar window.

The reigning holders have only played once this season during the 2-0 home win against Tampines Rovers FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 6.

The league was suspended on March 24 due to the COVID-19 outbreak before it was resumed last weekend.

The season is on track to be completed before the end of the year based on the revised schedule.

This is not the first time that DPMM FC have been involved in a match postponement this season as their tie against Albirex Niigata (S) on March 14 was moved to another date.

All eight clubs based in Singapore returned to action last weekend since the seven-month suspension in line with strict match protocols as advised by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB), Ministry of Health, Sport Singapore (SportSG). Tampines Rovers FC lead the nine-team table with nine points followed by Albirex Niigata (S) in second place with eight points and Balestier Khalsa by virtue of goal difference. The league continues this Saturday with unbeaten Albirex Niigata (S) facing Lion City Sailors while Geylang International take on Balestier Khalsa.

Meanwhile, Tanjong Pagar and Young Lions will look to pick up their first win of the season when they play each other on Sunday.


14 October 2020

NFABD calls potential national players to attend training camp

 Fadhil Yunus

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has called up potential national players to attend a nine-day training camp in conjunction with the FIFA calendar window at the NFABD Football Field.

The second national call-up, which started on October 5 and set to conclude today, featured a host of DPMM FC regulars and returning players from the first call-up in September.

The DPMM FC players included goalkeeper Wardun bin Yusof, defenders Muhammad Wafi bin Aminuddin, Awangku Yura Indera Putera bin Pengiran Yunos, Helmi bin Zambin, Suhaimi anak Sulau, Muhammad Hanif Farhan bin Azman, midfielders Hendra Azam bin Mohd Idris, Mohammad Nurikhwan bin Othman, Azwan bin Salleh, Muhammad Azwan Ali bin Rahman, Shahrazen bin Said and forwards Mohd Najib bin Haji Tarif, Razimie bin Ramli, Abdul Azizi bin Ali Rahman and Hakeme Yazid bin Said.

MS PPDB goalkeeper Haimie anak Nyaring has also been called up with Pengiran Muhd Muizzudin bin Pengiran Ismail and Awangku Ashraf bin Pengiran Haledi completing the goalkeeping list.

The coaching staff also saw a new line-up led by head coach Aminuddin bin Jumat, accompanied by assistant coaches Atsushi Hanita and Haji Mohd Wardi bin Haji Masni.

Goalkeeping coach Awangku Omar Nur Aqammadin bin Pengiran Sallehuddin, fitness coach Haji Ameer Aziz Hakim bin Abdul Lani and strength coach Muhd Hadi Dinie bin Haji Abdul Rahman complete the list.

Head coach Aminuddin said, “We observe that the players gave a good response to us. We formed the training on what we need to fix and then the boys can incorporate well with the training.”

The players participated in fitness tests on Saturday to help the officials obtain data for future programmes.

He continued, “From the fitness test itself, the boys can give 100 per cent commitment and response to the drills.”

The head coach also shared that training focussed on improving the defensive aspect of the game.

“We need to analyse what is our football problem especially in our defending. From the beginning, we have planned our programmes and drills starting from one-on-one, two-on-two and come up with three-on-three and five-on-five.

“The purpose is to strengthen our defending side first and then we move to the attacking side.”

The major part of the training involved the technical aspect while the tactical part of the game has not been included as it will be done in stages.

“We want them to improve part by part. In this window, we get the opportunities to improve on the defending side first.”

Preparations have begun early to help the national team with their international commitments which is likely to be in 2021 following the postponement of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been moving forward and prepare them with ample time. We do not want to leave them with a short period of time, as it will make be hard for the players to adapt with our system.

“I believe these strategies and planning will help us develop and improve the players,” he said.

Goalkeeper Awangku Ashraf has another opportunity to train with the national team again following up his first call-up in September.

“We didn’t bring him for the World Cup qualifiers (against Mongolia) but now we bring him to expose him. Hopefully, he can commit with our system so that he can gain some experience and football knowledge from this training.

“There are opportunities for other players too. The most important things are commitment and responsibility since we represent the national team.”

The head coach added that the squad featured a mix of youth and experienced players, to provide balance in the team.

The youngest player in the team Hakeme Yazid, 17, is one of the several players that made the jump from the under-23 side to the senior team training.

Aminuddin also thanked clubs for releasing their players and hopes that the teamwork between players, clubs and the Football Association (FA) will help improve the national team.


10 October 2020

2020 AIA Singapore Premier League season to resume on 17 October 2020


The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) welcomes the announcement made today by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) on the approval to resume the Singapore Premier League (SPL) from 17 October 2020. The current 2020 AIA SPL season has been on enforced hiatus since the suspension on 24 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent safe management measures.

On the subject of reigning SPL champions Brunei DPMM’s participation status for this season, Mr Lim said: “Brunei DPMM FC has been an integral part of our League for years and their continued participation on its resumption is very much treasured. Currently, they are a part of the competition format on resumption. We have provided Brunei DPMM FC with an option of having their matches played in Singapore considering the recommended protocols. We await their response by Monday 12 October after which we will make the necessary preparations for the resumption. We remain hopeful that they will provide a favourable reply to our proposal.”


All positives for Clough in debut season with DPMM FC

 Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC’s foreign import player Charlie Clough has enjoyed his debut season with the club after winning the Singapore Premier League (SPL) title last season.

Clough entered the club’s history books after becoming the first club’s Englishman to earn a SPL’s medal.

“It was the first winners’ medal of my career and lifting the trophy at our home ground in front of 20,000 fans was the best feeling ever,” he said.

The 30-year-old played an instrumental role in DPMM FC’s title triumph last year at the heart of defence. He opened the scoring in the 2-0 victory against title contenders Tampines Rovers FC during their only appearance this year.

The SPL is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Taunton-born Englishman is enjoying his time in the Sultanate as he entered his second year since making the switch from Europe to Southeast Asia.

“The weather is always hot and Brunei is very peaceful. It is a very religious Muslim country so everyone is nice and respectful,” Clough said in an interview with Gloucestershire Live recently.

“The place is so clean and tidy and they look after their people here, so everyone is happy. The lifestyle beats living in the UK (United Kingdom) hands down,” he added.

He said football takes most of his time with training taking up double sessions on some days.

The former Barnet man has been impressed with the technical ability of his teammates although he admitted the football physicality is lesser compared to England.

“I’ve had to adapt to the style that is played here and players are not as physical as in the UK, but technically they are very good and sharp,” said the centre-back, who was also named in the SPL Team of the Year last season.

Like the rest of the DPMM FC squad, Clough has been training on building his fitness levels before being allowed to use balls in line with the revised guidelines relating to team sports.

Charlie also expressed his hopes of signing a new contract for the 2021 season amid the club’s wait to resume their competitive action.

“I know they really like me here as a character so fingers crossed I can get that over the line.”