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Brunei DPMM FC
Pg Waslimin bin Pg Momin
+(673)-2430000
Fax: +(673)-2431000
Suite 1, Level 1
Halimatul Sa'adiah Building, Gadong
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
BE4119
 
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Wednesday, November 19
Perak listed import player from Brunei.

Perak has listed a striker from Brunei, Shahrazen Said, 28, as their Asian import player for the season 2015.

Besides Shahraen, two more import players from Africa are scheduled to arrive next week to ensure Perak will be at least in the top-five of the league next season. 

Perak has also confirmed in recruiting four local players namely  striker Bobby Gonzales and Haris Safwan, defender Azmii Azmi and goalkeeper Zamir Selamat. 

The team manager, Datuk Azhar Ahmad said, Shahrazen who was the top-scorer of the Malaysian Super League 2007 when he played for DPMM, already started training with the tean since last week.

According to him, Shahrazen was also under the coaching of the head coach, Vjeran Simunic, who also played in the Singapore League for the last few seasons.

"By God's grace, there will be two more import players from JAmaica and Nigeria are scheduled to arrive to complete the four imports roster," said Datuk Azhar while be interviewed in his office today(Wednesday).

Besides Shahrazen and the two players from Africa, Perak had already extended contract of Marcos Tulio.

Azhar mentioned, the choice of players were selected by Simunic himself because the Croatian has his capability and knowledge to bring the team up, to another level and dimension.

"We give full believe for Simunic for the choice of the players and the management will get the feedback every now and then,"he said.

According to him,the management has already listed some of the roster of players for the season while the remaining, will be listed before the 5th December,2014, as stated by the FAM. 



Wednesday, November 19
Perak considering move for Shahrazen.

Perak FA are considering the option for signing DPMM forward Shahrazen Said, to beef up their squads as well is fill in the Asian foreign player quote for the 2015 Malaysian Super League.

The Seladangs are close to finalizing their squad, though they are currently working to secire the signature of foreign players, with Shaharaen said to be attracting their interest significantly after he was recently offered a trial by the Perak FA management.

The 28 year old striker is no stranger to the Malaysian football scene, havung finished as Super League top scorer back in 2007, when DPMM were part of the competition.Since then, he has been plying his trade in the S.League with DPMM, besides a short loan with Wijaya FC in the Bruneian League back in 2011.

Though Shahrazen isn't exactly the most explosive forward out there, he comes with a wealth of experience and certainly he has the knack of doing well when on form. With Perak containing a fair amount of young players, Shahrazen could perhaps be the sort of signing their need to balance out the 'experience vs youth' scale. 



Friday, November 7
DPMM FC trio eye awards.

DPMM FC have just completed their best season to date, and there could be more icing on the cake as they have nominess in three categories for Sunday's 2014 Singapore League Awards Night.

Steve Kean has been nominated for the Coach of the Year award while Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi- who is set to receive the Golden Boot Award - has been nominated for the Player of the Year award.

Kean, who led DPMM to the Singapore League Cup, a second-place finsihed in the Singapore League, and third in the Singapore Cup in his debut season, will be up against Alex Weaver from S.League champions Warriors and Marko Kravljevic of Balestier Khalsa.

It is no surprise that Tosi is up for the Palyer of the Year award after scoring 24 goals in the league. He tallied a tallied of 34 goals in all tournaments and bagged a brace on Wednesday to give DPMM their first win over Tampines in the Singapore Cup third-place playoff at the Jalan Besar.

He will be up against the trio of forwards Fazrul Nawaz, Kazuki Sakamoto and Goran Ljubojevic and national goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

Apart from Azwan, the other nominees in the Young Player of Year award include Sahil Suhaili, Nicolas Velez and Suria Prakash. 



Wednesday, November 5
S-League revamp draws mixed reactions.

Football fraternity says the league's revamp is a modern reality, but it is unsure if fans will return back the ailing league.

Response from the football fraternity to the S.League's reported changes for the 2015 season has been mostly mixed, as the ailing football league downsizes from 12 teams to 10 next year and brings in age restrictions and new rules on foreign players.

Tanjing Pagar United,announced on Sunday that they will sit out the 2015 season because of money issues. This is the second time the Queenstown-based Jaguars have resorted to withdrawing from the league, after having done so in 2004. 

Two other sides - Hougang Utd and Woodlands Wellington, which finished seventh and 11thth respectively. this season - will merge for next year.

New age restrictions for local footballers will see the team limited to amaximum of five playeres aged 30 and above and a minimum of three players aged 25 and under for teams with a 22-man squad.Those with a 20-man squad will be allowed only four players over 30 years old and a mimimum of two in the 25-and-under bracket.

As in the 2014 season,five foreign players will be allowed for each team, but incentives will be given to thise that recuit one aged 21 and under.

The S.League did not respond to TODAY's quieries on the changes by press time on Tuesday night.

While observers said a reduced roster of teams could ensure that the remaining ones will get more resouce and better players, it remains to be seen if the changes will revive the ailing league.

Since its high-profile debut in 1996, attendance at S.League matches has continued to flag, with some struggling financially due to a lack of sponsors and corporate suport.

Former Tampines Rovers striker Aleksandar Duric - who retired last week after a 16-year carrer in the league - had earlier called for a revamp in an interview with TODAY, and the 44-year old is hopeful the changes will help bring fans back.

"The measures are a little drastic, but we need some changes to the league to move forward,"he said. "Tanjong Pagar was my first club when I started playing here and its sad to see the tradition go, as Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands were both there on the first day of the league.

"Bu thats modern football -if there are no resources, you cannot run a club.With fewer clubs,there could be better players coming in.We will see how the clubs deal with the age restrictions.But this will give younger players a push as they now have a chance to play regularly."

Loyal S.League fan Basil Yeo was not optimistic, telling TODAY: "The S-League has on life support for many years and now, the FA Singapore is sort of pulling the life support.

"Some clubs have closed their Centres of Excellence, so where are the younger players going to come from? They are forcing the older players out, but there is no proper plan for young players."

Tampines Rovers' roster currently includes 7 players aged above 30,but chairman Teo Hock Seng is not unduly worried. "My club has the oldest average age, but some older players will have to go and 2 younger ones from the Prime League will come in," he said.

"S-League has a certain budget to exercise. With the changes, the teams will eb more committed to the league.Its our job to (bring the spectators back) and hopefully, th crowds will come back. 



Thursday, October 30
Kean praises defenders.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was delighted with the performance of his backline after coming away with a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata in the S-League on Tuesday night.

A goal courtesy of Adi Said in the 61st minute separated the two sides at the Jurong East Stadium.

They are now back at the top of the standings on 50 points, tied with Warriors FC but boasting a superior goal difference.

"I don't think we have been playing badly but we haven't been ruthless enough," said Kean to the S-League after the triumph.

"We also finally got a cleansheet tonight after not getting enough cleansheets.

"Credit must be given to the defenders because I've not been playing them a hard time and righly so," he said. 

"Defenders are paid to defend, we haven't had enough cleansheets of late but tonight they threw their body o the line. They were excellent. 

"We are just delighted with the result tonight.The result makes the game on Friday a game that means something," continued the Scotsman.

The biggest blemish was that Roy O'Donovangot sent off with a straight red card moments before the final whistle.

Referee Sukhbir Singh had shown a yellow card after the Irishman committed a foul nea rthe Albirex right corner flag but he was flashed for red just seconds later while backpedalling.

Kean felt that it was a 'strange' decision but acknowledged that they have no other choice but to look forward.

"You just got to take it,when you got those decisions against you," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 

"We had one in our last game where there was a blatant fhandball on the line, two hands in fact, but you've got to bit your toungue and get on with it," he added.

Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was disappointed to drop out of the tile race.

The Japanese outfits needed a victory to stay in the unt.

"This is football,both teams created chances and the team that score goals will win.DPMM FC have many experienced players so we were not good enough to beat them in that point," said Okuyama.

"I wanted the players to grow throughout the season and also wanted to get good results so if we won one of these five games,it might be interesting for us bet we lost so I can't say I'm satisfied but disappointed," he added. 

DPMM only need to equal the result of the Warriors on Friday to lift the trophy.

Brunei's only professional team will have to overcome defending champions Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium to guarantee the tile.

Warriors will face off against Albirex at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium also in Singapore at the same time.

Both matches kick off at 7.30pm. 



Wednesday, October 29
DPMM a step closer to championship.

It is Brunei DPMM's title to lose now, after their slim 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium on Tuesday evening.

This result moved them to the to of the league on goal difference and they just have to equal Warriors FC's result on Friday to win their maiden S.League title.

In a repeat of their opening round encounter,Adi Said's 61st minute striker proved to be an all-important one as ensured Steve Kean's side 3 points while managing to stay unbeaten against the hosts in five games in all competitions this season.

It eas an end-to-end game with both teams having their chances to socre, but it was DPMM who almost took the lead as Roy O'Donovan flashed a shot narowly wide mere seconds after kickoff.

Albirex then carved out their first opening of the evening on six minutes when Norihiro Kawakami connected with a corner from the left but his downward header was smothered bu DPMM custodian Azman Ilham on the line.

At the other end, Adi squandered two opportunities in quick succession as he first balloned a shot over four minutes laster before drilling one inches wide at the near post off Azwan Ali's low cross in the 15th minute.

DPMM had the ball in the net in the 24th minute but it was disallowed by referee Sukhbir Singh after Rodrigo Tosi was adjudged to have fouled on Albirex player in the build-up to the goal.

The White Swans finished the half strongly and could have gotten their noses infront minutes before the break.

Azman had to be called into action to gather Kazuki Sakamoto's deflected effort from the dge of the penalty area in the 41st minute before pulling off a fine save to deny Itsuki Yamada from a tight angle moments later.

After the restart,an error from the Albirex defence nearly resulted in a DPMM goal in the 49th minute but O'Donovan contrived to shoot straight at Ogino instead. 

The breakthrough, finally came shortly after the hour mark as O'Donovanturned provider, finding a space down the left to cross the ball for Adi to send a looping header over a hapless Ogino for a lead they never relinquished.

Albirex tried to find a way back after falling behind apart from a Keisuke Ota effort which was well-saved by Azman ten minutes later from the end, they preery much failed to breach a watertight DPMM defence who saw out of the game and dashed Albirex's title hopes. 

There was however late drama as O'Donovan was dismissd with seconds remaining for a second yellow, which rules the Irish out of his side's final game against Tampines Rovers. 

 



Tuesday, October 28
No room for error.

There is no more room for error if DPMM are to lift the Singapore League trophy on Friday.

Brunei's only professional club will be going all out when they face title contenders Albirex Niigata (S) at th Jurong East Stadium tonight.

Things haven't been rosy for DPMM as they heva gone without a win in their past 5 matches, including the two-legged Singapore Cup match.

"We're still in it and the good thing is that we've got two games to go. Two victories will win us a championship and that is the way we've got to look at it," said Kean to the media.

"Maybe it is better, there are no gray areas.We've got to go get a victory and in a few daysget another .

"We are never defensively tight at the back no matter how many sessions we have and what defensive combination we have put in.

"We have to go out and score many goals than our opposition in the 2 matches. We will go on the attackfrom the first minute,"continued the Scotsman.

Captain Rosmin Khamis agreed with Kean and knows they will have to be fully focused the whole way. 

"Definitely,Tomorrow there will be no room for errors, and it will b emore attacking," Rosmin told the Times.

"The environment in the team is still high and everyone is still eager to win," he added.

The iodds certainly favour DPMM as they have defeated the Japanese outfit all 4 occasions this year.

Though the numbers are in favour of the Brunei side, Eosmin knows that they have to overlook it.

"We know our record against Albirex is good but tomorrow will be a new match," said Rosmin.

"We have to watch out for the entire team because they are a good passing team. We also have to make sure we take all the chances we have," he concluded.

 

 



Tuesday, October 28
DPMM and White Swans clash in must-win game.

Albirex Niigata (S) and Brunei DPMM lock horns at the Juring East in their penultimate league tie on Tuesday evening and they will br looking for a win to keep their respective title hopes alive.

Albirex hauled themselves in the running for the championship after edgig Home Utd 2-1 on Froday evening, while the same cannot be same for DPMM who were held to a 1-1 draw by Balestier Khalsa.

Warriors currently lead the standings on 50 points, three more than DPMM and a victory for the Wasps will propel them to the top headng into the final fixture against defending champions Tampines Rovers.

The White Swans on the other hand, will go on level points with DPMM if they manage to emerge victorious here and set up an exciting finale to the final day of the season.

There will be added incentive for Albirex to beat DPMM too, as a win could help them to emulate their showing from the past 2 seasons where they finished as second runeers-up.

A quick look at the squad of both sides and it suggests quality is aplenty with Kazuki Sakamoto and Rodrigo Tosi leading the lines for Albirex and DPMM respectively, both of whom are at the top of the goalscoring charts.

However, there can only be a winner from this encounter so expect an end-to-end game as both teams try to cancel each other out and reign supreme. 

 



Saturday, October 4
DPMM FC want more support.

DPMM FC are looking to get a strong turnout for Tuesday's S-League match against the Warriors FC- which will be free of charge.

Speaking to the media yesterday, team manger Ali Hj Momin said he wants the home fans to get behind DPMM as the league leaders bid to win the league for the first time.

Though they are on 46 pointswith a game in hand, DPMM are under pressure from three-time defending champions Tmapines Rovers who are second on 43, while Home and Albirex and Warriors are all on 41 points.

Tickets will he handd out at the both entrances of the stadium starting at 6.45pm kick-off prior to the 8.15 kick-fff, and Ali stressed that pulling in a good crows would be important in securing the win.

"I hope the crows will be more than 10,000 to support us...I will be very happy if they're more than 10,000.

"As you know the crow is like the 12th player.

"They give moral support with their voice, and as a player, you don't have that feeling of being tired and your mental thoughts are strong because you know you have that back up.

"Its just different,(and) thats why playing at the home ground is a big advantage.

"The players knows the field and have the support from the crowd," noted Ali, who added that supportersand can wear red to show their support.

With only 4 games to the season,including Tuesday's tie against the Warriors, Ali knows how just important three points will be.

"If we beat Warriors we wil be eight points above them, and if we win the next game, that's it," he said.

DPMM FC's next game will be at hoem against Balestier Khalsa on Oct 24 before heading to Singapore for their final two games againt Albirex on Oct 28 and Tampines on Oct 31st. 



Sunday, October 26
Kean:No more gray areas, We need to win.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean declared that there was no kore room for errors and his ide have to win their next two S.League games againat Albirex to become champions.

Drop more points like they did on Saturday night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium , and that just might be the end of their title hopes.

Those hopes were dented after a 1-1 draw against Balestier Khalsa which left them three points behind of league leaders Warrors FC - though they have a game in hand and ssubstantial goal difference.

After opening the scoring in the 18th minute with a Rodrigo Tosi header, DPMM allowed Balestier back into the gamea minute later when Shahrurizal Rahman failed to clear the ball and let Zulkiffli Hassim sneak in to score a decisive equaliser.

"We have two games to go and we have to win it to win the championship.Maybe its better this way, there are no gray areas," Kean told the media after the game.

"We can never be defensively tight at the back, so we're going to go out and score more goals than our opponents in our next two games.

"I think we had an excellent start but in what has beena pattern of late we gave away a sloppy goal from an individual mistake.Shahrul should have cleared the ball but he let it bounce and the goalkeeper was caught in no man's land.

"Its very, very difficult for us to win games like that," stressed the Scotsman.

Admitting that his team were 'lucky' to leave Brunei with a share of the points, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic explained that the gameplan was always to defend in numbers and wait for DPMM to make a istake and he was certainly spot-on with his tactics.

"We knew DPMM were under pressure and needed the win, so our plan was to defend - and I knew we had Zulkiffli upfront," said the coach.

"We had a few more chances but our last pass was not there. I thought we were a bit lucky.But we were brave, and luck favours the brave." 

 



Friday, October 24
Kean focusing on positives.

DPMM FC head coach is looking at the positives from the recently concluded ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos.

The national football team returned home early yesterday morning after failing to notch a single point at the Oct 12-20 competition.

Brunei started out with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Timor Leste on Oct 12at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane before failing to hosts Laos b ythe scoreline two days later.

Brunei went down and out of contention after loaing 3-1 to favourites Myanmar last Thursday.

They were then edged 1-0 by Cambodia at the Chao AnouvongStadium on Monday to finish their outing empty handed.

"It is never great when you lose a game. But to put things in context, we went out to Laos as a group," said Kean when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

We got three very young players (Muhd Nurikhwan Othman,Reduan Hj Petraand Ak Yura Indera Putera) and they played the last couple of matches.That is a positive.

 "We also played Ak Fakharazzi as full back in the last 2 games and he was excellent when he played there.That is a positive.

"Even though we didn't manage to get victories,I felt we played well.A lot of the games...we were in position, where at jey times, it could have gone either way," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"We came back with the confidence at the international as the lads played well.

"We will now change the focus to the S-League and hopefully we were going to be in a position to claim the title in a week's time," concluded Kean.

DPMM had 17 players represent the Sultanate and this was the first stint for Kean in handling the national team.

Asked on the differences compared to the club level, the Scotsman replied: "I felt we came up against a lot of good players.There is a lot of talent from other countries.

"It is always good for us as a country to stretch ourselves. We learn more about yourself when you play against some really good opposition," he added.

That experience is always positive even though we didn't manage a win.

"The positives we take out from each match in the tournament is a learning experience as a country.

"We have also found some excellent young players that we can add to the squad next season," concluded the DPMM FC head coach.

Kean will now set focus on the S-League title race as they haave a tight schedule ahead.

They will host Balestier Khalsa in their final home game tomorrow before facing off against Albirex Niigata next Tuesday. They close out the season against Tampines Rovers three days later. 



Tuesday, October 7
Kean expects tough time.

Steve Kean is expecting a tough challenge when DPMM entertain S-League title contenders Warriors FC tonight in a game in which entrance will ne free.

S-League DPMM, who are on 46 points will be looking for a victory after three-time defending champions and second-placed Tampines Rovers cut the lead at the top to only three points- while the trio of Albirex Niigata , Home Utd and Warriors are all locked on 41 points.

DPMM head coach Kean knows it will be an uphill task but believes is charges can produce a positive result at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"It will be another difficult match.Rodrigo is an influential player and is big part of why we have been done well this year," said Kean in a post-training interview with the Times at the match venue last night.

"But it is unfortunate that players pick up suspensions at this stage of the season.I didn't just pick my side just the day before we have been working hard for the past 10 days.

"They are looking really sharp and energetic. This is an opportunity for someone else to step up and they have to enjoy taking part in the games with the pressure that goes with it.

"I'm confident after seeing the way we trained and we have done a lot of work on aspects that were not well in the last game.

"Preparations have been good and we are ready fo this game,"continued the Scotsman.

Kean has witness the weaknesses after the last semifinal encounter against Home Utdand is hoping they will be able to dp better defensively.

"Defensively we have really been working on a lot of set plays. Against Home we conceded 5 from setplays from the league match to the S-Cup," said the former Blackburn manager.

"As that happens we lose a bit of confidence but we have tightened up.I don;t think we can have any lapses in concentration against a team like the Warriors.

"They have got good height, good technical delivery ad set plays will eb very important," continued Kean.

Warriors head coach,Alex Weaver is focused and knows they cannot affoed another defeat after coming off a 1-0 loss at the hands of Balestier Khalsa last week.

"We need the three points for a chance to win the league,"said Weaver.

"We were quite unfortunate in the last gameas we had a goal disallowed even though it was onside, and we had a penlaty decision turned down and one against us.

"It was very harsh for us and I believe that Balestier fans would agree.The players performed well and we expected to keep the same standard tomorrow (Tuesday night),"he added.

"DPMM are a good team, but we have beaten them before in the  season and we wil try to do it again.

"Rodrigo's absence is a big loss for Brunei but we know Steve Kean will organise his team very well.We'll be ready and looking forward to it," he concluded.

Kick-off is at 8.15 pm 



Saturday, September 27
DPMM FC sent packing

DPMM are no longer in the run to become the first team in history to win a treble after Home United came from behind to steal a 3-2 win the the second leg of the Singapore Cup last night.

The clinched the final berth by winning the semifinal clash 4-3 on agreegate.

The result meant that Home will play Balestier Khalsa in the final.

DPMM started last night's game the stringer of the two teams.

Forward Roy O'Donovan put the visitors in front in just 5 minutes following a deflection from a free-kick.

The Irushman also played a major part in their second goal when Home United's Juma'at Jantan took him down inside the box in the 34th minute.

DPMM's Rodrigo Tosi stepped up the spot and found the back of the net to double their lead.

Hoem managed to pull one back when Sirina Camara out one in for team moments before the half time whistle to trail 2-1.

They scored the equaliser through Masrezwan Masturi when the shot bounced off a DPMM defender before settling in the goal in the 83rd minute.

Home's Song Inyoung would complete their comeback by finding the back of the net in the 89th minute. 

 



Friday, September 26
Kean confident ahead of crucial clash.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes that they have the advantage going into the second leg of the Singapore Cup semifinal against Home Utd at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

This will be the third time the two teams play each other in the span of just 10 days.

The first of the three clashes saw Home Utd edge DPMM 2-1 during the league match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last Wednesday.

Roy O'Donovan then saved DPMM FC from going into the second leg 1-0 down after striking the back of the net in the 75th minute at the Bishan Stadium on Tuesday.

Kean told the Brunei Times during a phone interview,"Well I think the good thing when you play a tean so close together is that you get to know what they're a good at and what they're not good at ...So from a point of view thats an advantage."

"We finished the last match very well. I thought they were slightly better than us in the first half but I felt we were better in the second.

"We know why we've done so well in the second half...So that's what we will be looking to do from the first minute of the second game," he said.

Kean noted that they will also have the upper hand with Joe Gamble coming off his susoension.

"We are confident because another added advantage is that we went through that game missing one of our imports, Joe Gamble, who's very important," stated Kean.

"Now, he's available,we have a stronger squad to select from," he said.

Asked what if the outcome repeats itself and the game has to be decided on penalties, Kean replied, "We've got the experience from the league cup when we had to kick through a penlaty shooutout."

"I think the extra time period in the league cup showed the physical level that we have. We finished the game very strong and we managed to win the penalty shootout in the league cup," said Kean.

 

 



Tuesday, September 23
Rosmin: This is a new game.

Rosmin Hj Md Kamis insists DPMM FC aren't losing any sleep thinking about their last meeting with Home United.

With the two teams set to face each other in the first leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal at Bisha Stadium in Singapore tonight, it will be hard not to rewind to last 10 minutes of their league match last Wednesday.

Leading 1-0 after a 76th minute Rodrigo Tosi goal, DPMM allowed Home to get back into the game three minutes for the equaliser, and another similar pattern of a corner kick in injury time to cnceal the game for the visitors.

DPMM FC capain Rosmin, though, said the team isn't dwelling on the past as they prepare to take on defending champions and record six-time Singapore Cup winners Home again tonight.

"Its already been forgotten because tomorrow will be a new match," Romsin told the Brunei Times yesterday.

Prior to last week's match, where a win would have increased their lead over the Warriors,DPMM FC coach Steve Kean called for focus and organisation throughout the 90 minutes.

Judging by how long the Scotsman spent in the dressing room talking to his players after the game, the time was probably used to drill in those two points once again.

During his post-match pressconference, Kean sid the team would watch the game's DVD to identify which player was supposed to mark Song and Kwon - adding that his players needed to communicate better.

When asked whether he thought the team needed to talk to each other more on the pitch, Rosmin said: "Yes, because in football you need to communicate very second."

"We watched the DVD already...We need to tighten up during every set piece and take responsibility for the player we're marking.

"Watching the video and analysing the statistics, we were better thsn them, but its totally different tommorow(today)since its a cup competition," he added.

Singapore League Cup champions DPMM and Home will meet again in the second leg on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

 

 

 



Thursday, September 18
Kean:Home deserved to win, wake up call for us.

Steve Kean had no qualms about saying it to Lee Lim Saeng when the two coaches met after the game.

"You deserved it<" said Kean as he shook Lee's hands.

Though the hosts dominated large periods of the game, Kean knew that the manner in which his players defended those two late corners would not help the league leaders in their cause to win the title for the first time, and they were made to pay for switching off and allowing Song and Kwon to rise above the rest and head home goals in the 79th minute and 90th minute.

Some would even call it scholl boy defending, and Kean certainly implied it.

"You can't watch Under-14 or Under-15 teams defend like that...What more professionals," he calmly siad the the gathered media at the post-match press conference.

"Those two goals we gave away were poor and its disappointing we let in two identical goals from set plays...We will go back and watch the DVD and see who was supposed to mark who.

"We had a lack of communication and they had good movement.

"But its an expensive wake-up call for us if we think thats teams were going to coem here, lie down and give us three points," added the Scotsman.

On the back foot for most of the match, the Protectors defended stubbornly and were organised until the end- their only blemish coming when Rodrigo Tosi was aloowed space to head in an Azwan Salleh cross at the far post,

Song provided the equaliser three minutes later though, and Lee was happy with his players' never-say-die attitude after pulling to 5 points of DPMM with four games left.

"We didn't give up although we conceeded first and the players fought until the last minute, I appreciate with my players and give credit to our opponents," said Lee.

"This match was the most important one for us(to stay alive in the race)...If we lost the players' morale might have went down," added the former South Korean international.

The two teams will meet each other again next Wednesday and Friday in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals, and Lee knows that he can;t let his team get carried away with the win. 

 

 



Thursday, September 18
Home's win set for exciting finale.

Home Utd punished some lax defending on set-pieces by Brunei DPMM to shock the league leaders 2-1 on Thursday night, setting the stage for an enthralling finale this season.

In a game Home's coach Lee Lim Saeng billed as "must-win" if they were to mainatain their title hopes, yhe visitors did just that by storming back from a goal down with headers off corners from Song Inyong in the 79th minute and Kwon Dakying just before the final whistle - ensuring they return to Singapore with wins in both meetings in Brunei.

Wuth only 4 games to go,Brunei DPMM's lead at the top over second -placed Warriors is still 5 points- though that can be cut to two when the Warriors take on Bslestier Khalsaa on Oct 1.

DPMM and Home will meet each other again next Tuesday  and Friday in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals and judging by last night's display, both showdowns will be cagey affairs.

Steve Kean's charges controlled the opening period but failed to convert their chances into goals, which they eventually paid the price for.

They finally got on the scoresheet when the league's top-scorer Rodrigo Tosi, bagged his 22nd goal of the season with a 76th minute header at the far post after connecting on a cross-field pass from Azwan Salleh.

But it was 1-1 three minutes later when Song jumped above a sea heads to power home aSirina Camara corner  - the goal nothing less than the Protectors deserved.

DPMM striker Roy O'Donovan produced a shot that stung Shahril Jantan's gloves soon after, but it was the visitors who would edge in front with Kwon's glancing header off a Indra Sahdan's corner.

Indra forced the corner after testing DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yusossof and wasted no time in ruiing to the cornee flag for the kick, with Kwon's goal from a  tight angle exposing the hosts' poor communication on set-pieces on the night.

DPMM's Azwan Ali Rahman could have given DPMM the lead in the 12th minute but Shahril dove well to his left to keep out the shot, with the striker also missing another chance the break the deadlock in the 37th minute when forcing Shahril into an exciting save after the goalkeeper's botched clearance frll invitingly to him.

Hoem were defending in numbers in the second half and their stubborn resistance frustrated DPMM until Tosi's header.

Ultimately, though all of DPMM;s hard work in the days leading up to the match was undone by two unmarked headers - and that just might come back to bite them come the end of the season. 



Wednesday, September 17
DPMM FC must stay focused.

Staying organised will be key for DPMM as they prepare to face Home Utd tonight in the first of three battles over the next 10 days.

Singapore League leaders take on the Protectors in the first of their five matches in the third and finalround of the S-League, with the Bruneians also meeting the same opponents in the two-legged Singapore Cup semifinals  on Sept 23 and Sept 26.

Speaking to the Brunei Times yesterday,DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean said that staying focused throughout the 90 minutes will be crucial if they are to come away with the maximum points against fifth-placed Home.

"They are a very dangerous team...If we're not organised they can hit us on the counter-attack," warned Kean.

"We have a lot of respect for them and we've worked hard to identify their weaknessess.

"They have a back fout that trust each other and two good holding midfielders, and though they don't play very high up on the pitch,they are certainly attack-minded," he noted.

With DPMM taking a minibreak after their last second roundmatch on Aug30, a 2-1 win over Tanjong Pagar Kean has used to gap to pit his players against each other in training -  and he likes what he has seen.

"Today we were just working on trying to sharpen things up in attack since we haven't played for a while," said the Scotsman."There's a good energy in the side and the scoreline during the training between the first-11 and the reserves have been close."

"All we need to do is to play to our potential like we have in many games this season," he said when asked what the club will have to do win the league this season.

Though Home also have their eyes on the rophy, their coach Lee Lim Saend admits they have an up-hill battle to dethrone DPMM FC - making tonight's tie all the more important.

Lose the game, and Lee admitted their chances of winning their first S-League title in 11 years maybe over.

"Our target is to champions but unfortunately we're now in 5th and 8 points behind DPMM,"Lee told the Brunei Times.

"We still have a chance but it depends on thsi game."If we don't get three points it'll be very difficult," added the former South Korean defender.

Home, who are a record six-time Singapore Cup winners and defending champions of the competition, will be without suspended midfielder Yasir Hanapi tonight - though the Pretectors can still count on Lee Kwan Woo to pull the strings in midfield.

While he may concede that DPMM are slight favourites for tonight's tie, Lee was adamant that neither he nor his players will be awd by the occasion.

"They have two very good strikers in Tosi who is the current league's top-scorer and O'Donovan and they have proven their ability," said Lee when asked about DPMM FC's stregths.

"I also know DPMM like to put in a lot of crosses when they play but...We'll be going there to play our own style.

"We're not a defensive team and like DPMM, we both like to play attacking football - so it will be exciting for the fans." 



Friday, September 12
Tosi: It's DPMM FC's title to lose.

Rodrigo Tosi believes that the Singapore League title is for DPMM to lose.

With only 5 games remaining in the season, DPMM are currently on 46 points an hold a 5-point lead over second-placed Warriors FC.

Brunei's only proefessional club will play the first three matches of the final and third round at the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium followed by the last two in Singapore.

They will tackle Home United on Wednesday before Warriors FC on Oct 6.

The Brunei side will will then have a 16-day break before hosting Balestier on October 24 before flying out to Lion City to contest against Albirex at the Jurong East Stadium 4 days later.

DPMM will close the season against three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium on October 31st.

"I think to be honest...for us, it is perfect.If we can get great resultsand win(the three games)then we are going to be champions," said Tosi in an interview after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"All will be very difficult matches though as we already have a few losses and draws as well.

"But we have a really good chance to win the league as we are halfway there now," continued the Brazilian.

"I think we are really confident.Everyone is practicing hard and wants to play.

"Everyone knows we have a good chance as this is the first time for the club to make history by winning all three trophies,"he continued.

The DPMM striker currently leads the scoring charts with 21 goals to his name from 22 matches played.

Kazuki Sakamoto of Albirex just a goal behind while Nicolas Velez has his tally at 18 goals.

Tosi insists that winning the Golden Boot is only secondary to the titles.

"I will try but that is not the most important thing," said the 31-year old

"The most important thing is for us to win the trophy at the end of the season.It will be perfect if we can get all three,"he concluded.

DPMM are in the running to create history by winning all three competitions - a feat that has never been done before.

The Brunei side already won the Singapore League Cup after defeating Tanjong Pagar 2-0 back in July.

They are also in the semifinals of the Singapore Cup, set to play Home Utd.

The first leg will be contested at the Bishan Stadium on September 23.

The return leg is scheduled at the Jalan Besar Stadium three days later. 

 



Sunday, September 7
DPMM FC:We're focusing on us

All the focus is on DPMM FC heading into the third and final round of the Singapore League.

With only 5 matches left on the schedule, Brunei's only professional team hold a five-point lead at the top of the 12-team table.

The third round sees the League splits into 2 halves.

Warriors FC, Albirex Niigatathree time defending champions Tampines Rovers,Home United and Balestier Khalsa join DPMM FC in the top 6.

DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin hopes that they will able to hold their ground enroute to the title.

"Hopefully the schedule for the final round will be released next week," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday when met after training session.

"The players are working hard in training and looking forward to the next game.This is agood time to let the players take a break because the schedule will be tight once its resume.

"It id all about us...the concentration of the players.We are in first place and the rest of the teams are trying to bring us down," he said.

"Hopefully we will able to handle the pressure.It is not about the other teamsso it is all up to us,"continued the DPMM FC manager.

All never expected to have such a good gap going into the last 5 matches of the season.

"From the start of the seasonour target was to finish at the top of the league, but we never expected to be five points clear,"said Ali.

"I thought it would have been closer. We could have built a bigger lead had we not drawn against Hougang and Balestier," he said.

The next fixture will be on the 17th September at home in the first five matches of their third round encounter,but not known which team will be played against.

After that they will shift their focus to the semifinals of the Singapore Cup where they will face off against Home Utd in two legs on September 23 and 26. 



Wednesday, August 27
DPMM canter to landslide victory.

An efficient Brunei DPMM dismantled Woodlands Wellington 8-1 to send shockwaves rippling across the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League with this season's largest margin of victory.

The table toppers were simply no match for the visitors, wrapping the game up even before they started the second half with their comfortable 4-0 cushion - their 4-point lead over defending champions Tampines Rovers all but guaranteed by this point.

League Cup champions DPMM take on Tanjong Pagar in their last second round game on Saturday, and the Bruneians are firm title favourites heading into the six-team third round - with last night's thrashing breaking a run of 2 draws in the last two games.

Roy O'Donovan's had an early chance when he eased past Woodlands goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar in the 13th minute but found the angle too tight.

But the floodgated opened 4 minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi won the ball in midfield and sent it through to Roberto Alviz, who hit it past Ahmadulhaq's top left corner.

DPMM FC's slick movement and crisp passing meant they dominated the midfield, and it was 2-0 in the 30th minute when Adi Said - who had scored 4 goals in the last 3 games for the club- finished off with a one-two with O'Donovan.

Irish striker O'Donovan made it 3-0 after latching onto a mistake by Fadhil Noh and cutting inside to the left past him and another player to lash home a shot from outside the box.

O'Donovan turned provider once again after receiving a Helmi Zambin pass from the right and pulling off a reverse pass to Azwan Ali, with the midfielder rolling the ball past Ahmadulhaq in the 40th minute.

Woodlands were left-footed and second to the ball in almost every challenge,exempified when centre back Walid Lounis received a 41st minute yellow card for a deliberate handball- knowing that that if he didn't, the long ball over the top would have allowed Adi to run through on goal.

Wooldnads grabbed a consolation after substitute Moon Soon-ho put the ball past an onrushing Wardun in between the DPMM sticks in the 58th minute,but defence-aplitting passes which led to the goal were few and far between.

A 64th minute corner was met by a headed attempt by DPMM defender Boris Raspudic, But Woodlands failed to clear the lines and Adi did not need another invite to poke the ball home from close range.

A raking diagonal pass from Tosi to Alviz opened space inside the area for the latter to shoot, and though Ahmadulhaq was at hand, he could only palm the ball to the inrushing O'Donovan -who made it 6-1 in the 80th minute.

Two more goals in the last 10 minutes added shine to the scoreline,which if not for Ahmadulhaq,would have been in double digits.

Raspudic powered a strong header in the 85th minute off an Alviz corner,and Tosi rounded off the scoring after chesting down a pin-point pass from Azwan Salleh and netting his 19th goal of the season - a strikee which made the Brazilian the league's joint top-scorer with Albirex's Kazuki Sakamoto. 

 

 



Tuesday, August 26
Kean wants all three points.

Steve Kean is targeting all three points when DPMM hosts Woodlands Wellington in the league at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

DPMM FC head coach Kean is hoping to avoid any more slip ups with only two games left in the second round.

"It is all about the next two games before going onto the third round," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Park Mini Stadium. 

"We are pushing on and making sure we don't slip up and ensure we get maximum points.

"Every team goes through little spells where things don't go well.We slip up and everybody else did as well.The Gods are with us.

 We have been training very well over the past four days and the lads are looking very sharp.

"We've got to make sure there are no individual errors," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM defeated Woodlands 2-0 in their last meeting at the Woodlands Stadium at the end of April.

When asked on what to watch out for, Kean replied: "Woodlands are like any team that come to Brunei."

"It is how they counterattack as they will defend very deep."

"They know we score a lot at home and it is how we deal with the counterattacks.

"We must have good organisation behind the ball,making sure to limit chances on our opponents."

"The players have to deal with it and don't panic.We have to keep control and defend well," he added.

Midfielder Joe Gamble is suspended  for the encounter after after two bookings in the last game against Balestier Khalsa.

On the other hand, Woodlands head coach Salim Moin is hoping to get a positive result against the league leaders.

"We will try to collect some points here despite knowing that they are strong,"said Salim.

"They are a well prepared team and well organised.

"They are attacking oriented and we know the quality of the team as the foreign players combine well with the locals.

"We will miss some key players through injuries and suspensions.But we got capable replacement and hopefully can rise to the occasion.

"We have to be positive The players have to work hard and at the end of 90 minutes we hope to collect some points.

"We will do our best and of course weknow that the fan support of DPMM will be strong,"added the former Tampines head coach.

Kick off for tonight's match is at 8.15pm 

 



Sunday, August 24
Kean: We could have won.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean was not surprised with his team's to turn things around against Balestier Khalsa but fekt that they should have pulled off a win.

DPMM came back from a two-goal deficit at a hlftime to earn a 3-3 draw against the Tigers in the league on Thursday night.

Balestier had taken a 2-0 advantage at halftime after goals by Kim Min-ho and Goran Ljubijevic at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Second half substitute Adi Said scored just after 5 minutes after getting on the pitch before Rodrigo Tosi equalised in the 65th minute.

The Tigers got back in front through Ljubojevic in the 70th minute before Rodrigo Tosi netted his 18th of the season three minutes later.

"I believed we could win but unfortunately we failed,"said Kean to the S-League.

"We fell behind two goals and we managed to come back and not hide.We normally score goals and at 2-2 after we made the comeback, I really thought we were going to win the game," he added.

"We had a few chances to win the game but we really put much pressure as a team almost everywhere.

"It is hard to score 4 goals to get the three points away from home," continued the Scotsman.

Kean felt that the absence of Roy O'Donovan and captain Rosmin Khamis affected their performance.

"We missed our marquee and the most experienced locala player who is the vocal point of the loclas," said Kean.

"We were quite quiet so there was a lack of organisation tonight," he said.

The former Blacburn manager also felt that his backline could have done a better job.

"From the way we defended, I thought we were lucky to get away with a point," said Kean.

"We were a but slow in the first half and the goals we concededwere poor.The back four was very quiet and we did not deal with the presence of Goran.

"He was a handful and he bullied us all night.Credit for Balestier for their good service to him because he caused us problems," he added.

Blestier head coach Marko Kravljevic was disappointed not to walk away with all three points.

"We gave away the two-goal lead and had problems dealing with the quality crosses," said Kravljevic.

"At 2-2 I still thought that we could have win.That scoreline was also not good enough for them and they wanted to win the game.

"The boys are getting tired which led to a few mistakes ans we opened up a lot behind," he said.

"But I'm happy with the mental stregth. When our opponents came back with two goals, we usually start going down 3-2 but today it was an excellent job," he concluded. 



Friday, August 22
DPMM salvage draw.

DPMM FC came back from two goals down to salvage a point following their 3-3 draw against Balestier Khalsa in the league last night.

Rodrigo Tosi bagged a brace, which brings his tally to 18 goals, and Adi Said scored in his second successive game for his third in the competition.

Goran Ljubojevic found the back of the net twice for Balestier with Kim Min-ho the other to get on the scoresheet.

The hosts had the best of starts after Kim gave them the lead in the third minute at the Toa Payoh.

They doubled the lead through Ljubojevic in the 21st minute.

DPMM made a double change by bringing on the duo of Adi Said and Helmi Zambin at halftime for the pair of Maududi Helmi and Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hassan.

It paid dividends almost immediately with Adi, who notched 6 goals for Brunei on the HBT, finding the back of the net 5 minutes after entering the game.

The game was tied 2-2 after Tosi scored his first of the game in the 65th minute.

The tigers regained the lead in the 70th minute with Ljubojevic scoring his second of the encounter.

However it was shortlived as Tosi replied three minutes later to notch things up at 3-3 to see the teams share the spoils.

 

 



Thursday, August 21
DPMM FC ready to pick up where they left off.

DPMM FC are ready to jump back into action as they take on Balestier Khalsa in the S-League at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore today after a three-week break.

DPMM will enter the match shorthanded with the duo of Roy O'Donovan and Rosmin Khamis serving a one-game suspension.

The quartet of Adi Said, Najib Tarif, Md Hendra Azam and Azamnilham Md Noor returned to the team on Tuesday after their stint in the Hassanal Bolkiah trophy but are undergoing a recovery period.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Keanfelt that the break was a plus and expects a tough outing against the Tigers.

"It is always tough when you lose a couple of experienced players as we are not as strong when we lose some of our main men,"said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

"But some of the lads who haven't had as many minutes are fresh and energetic.

"I thought Maududi played well in the last game and he will be given a chance to start again.

"We have to play throughnthe injuries and suspensions. We will crack on and get these three points," added the Scotsman.

"The break was a good top up as we had an intense middle period when we trained six consecutive days and did nine sessions.

"The boys are refreshed and recharged.We are looking forward to this game," said Kean.

The head coach also revealed that those involved in the HBTwill be travelling but will be a game time decision.

"Those from the HBT came back today(Tuesday)but are physically very tired after having a lot of games.They had a lot of training and only got one day off," said Kean.

They need few receovery sessions.I"ll have to ask them if they are physically ready to be involved," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

The team also picked up crossfit during the break at the Crossfit 673 Jerudong box and Kean felt that it will help the team. 

"We want to take it to another level and will go for the next eight to ten weeks every Monday. We are learning different lifting patterns and dynamics," said Kean.

"We can't do too much though since it is late in the season but it will be something to start up for the pre-season,"he concluded. 



Monday, August 4
DPMM FC held to draw.

It was late heartbreak for DPMM after Hougang Utd netted late into injury time for a 2-2 draw in their league match last night.

DPMM looked to have all three points in the bag after substitute Adi Said's brace but Gelson Moura scored from inside the box just before the final whistle.

It was a slow opening half and it wa only at the half hour mark that the crows saw the match's first shot on target.

Roy O'Donovan received the ball down the left flank and shot to the far post.However, Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim was to his equal at full stretch to keep the ball out.

The Irushman got another chance in the 40th minute but saw his effort from three yards deflected out for a corner.

The home side should have taken the lead in the 52nd minute after Roberto Alviz gathered an O'Donovan cross from the left, but he saw his shot just inches off top right corner.

Hougang broke the deadlock two minutes later off a counterattack after Diego Gamam broke down the left and delivered a cross for Nuehilmi Jasni to head it ground and into the net.

The visitors got another attempt in the 58th minute through Shunsuke Nakatake,but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof did well to deny him at the near post.

DPMM could have equalised in the 64th minute with O'Donovan's diving header but Fadhil put up another good save.

Adi pounced on the rebound but could only see his effort blocked by the Hougang defence.

He made no mistake in the 75th minute as he got his name on the scoresheet after heading home the equaliser from an Azwan Ali corner.

DPMM were gaining momentum but Fadhil was up to the task to deny their opponents with back-to-back saves.

O'Donovan struck a powerful shot but the Hougang keeper saved it at the near post in the 79th minute.

Adi was put through on gosl by Azwan Ali 2 minutes later but Fadhil did well to stop his shot.

DPMM finally took the lead in the 86th minute with Adi firing his second of the encounter from inside the box.

Substitute Shahrazen Said was put through on goal by Azwan Ali in the 89th minute, but an unfortunate slip by the former saw Fadhil collect the ball.

And then delivered the ball into the box for his older nrother the next minute but Shahrazen saw his effort from inside the box just inched wide off the post.

Rodrigo Tosi could have put the match to bed with a 35 yard volley but could onyl watch it bounce off the crossbar before the late drama. 



Sunday, August 3
Kean eyes hat trick of Hougang wins.

DPMM face a stern test when they host Hougang Utd in the S-League today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM won both their meetings so far this season but Hougang are in fine form in the league riding an eight-game unbeaten streak.

Their first encounter required and Azwan Ali header in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory at the Hougang Stadium last April.

Their latest saw O'Donovan bah a bhat-trick in a 3-2 win in the League Cup at the same venue on 14th July.

DPMM head coach believes that it will be a tough test but is looking to gain all three points from the matchup.

"They are having a really good second half of the season.Both our matches have been close and we expect another tough match.We will not take it lightly,"said Kean in an interview yesterday.

"Like I said last week, teams come to Brunei and are aware of our goalscoring and how many points we pick up at home.

"We just need to be positive and play to our strengths...get quality ball up to the front unit.If we can do that then we can score.We will also need to eb disciplined to keep a cleansheet," he added.

"They are very quick on the break.They have got very good strikers who can hold the ball up.

"The important thing is that we don't turn the ball over and let them go on the counterattack.They are very good forward think team and always play through their strengths," continued the Scotsman.

Asked if there is any added pressure, KEan replied: "This is the time of the season where we have to focus on ourselves.

"Tampines are playing each other.Albirex beat Warrors last Friday bit it would have been a better result for us had it been a draw," added thr former Blackburn manager.

"Hopefully they will take points off each other and we just look to pick up points," he continued.

DPMM striker Roy O'Donovan is also expecting a tough outing against the Cheetahs.

"It will be a tough game as Hougang are also challenging for the tile.They ar eprepared for the game and we won't take them lightly," said O'Donovan.

We had a difficult game against them in the League Cup.

"We don't expect it o be any different.All the lads are looking forward to it snf are in good spirits."

Hougang head coach Amin Nasri is looking to close gap on the leaders,

"We are doing alright in the League and are quite close.We definitely want to get a good result from this gameto get closer," said Amin.

"We know it won't be easy We have played them twice before and we lose but all were close fights.

"We are confident but it won;t be easy.We need to work extra hard to beat them here,"he added.

Asked on what to llok out against DPMM, Amin replied: "There are difinitelt lot areas like the scoring form of O'Donovan and Tosi.

"They are always running These are the 2 key players we need to be awre of they create a lot of problems for us. 

"But really it is not only the both of them as it is an entire team effort.We just need to make sure that we cut off service," he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, July 26
Kean set eyes on treble.

One down two to go!

DPMM head coach Steve Kean won his maiden trophy after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The Scotsman was ecstatic with the triumph and is laready looking ahead to more but insists that it is more about the club than himself.

"I'm absolutely delighted! A lot of press (media) asked how I feel with my first trophy but it is not about me," said Kean in an interview.

"Im here to work and help the club progress. During my first meeting with the Crown Prince and team management, they have asked me to help.

"I felt that we were playing a different way and we were controlling games.We always have 55-60 per cent possession and we are a nice team to watch," he added.

We are always looking to win and score in games.there are only a few occassions when we haven't scored this season.

"We try to play the right way. Hopefully it brings more titles, cups and alot of victories," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Kean had put his faith on Adi Said to replace the suspended Rodrigo Tosi for the title decider.It was always abig shoe to fill considering the Brazilian forward is the team's top scorer.

However, the striker paid forward and bagged the second goal in the victory,much to the delight for Kean.

"It wasn't only today, I thought.The who;e competition, he has been sharp and lively," said Kean.

He gives the game a different dimension.Obviously he has good pace and runs away from the ball to stretch defence.

"I thought in short time he had good understanding with Roy .He had an excellent tournament and in the future we got a lot to wotk with him.

"He is a good lad and he is quick and wants to learn.He has good temperament and attributes to be a good player," continued the 46-year old.

Goalkeepr Wardun Yussof was also a big reason DPMM FC managed a clean sheet and Kean felt he was "exceptional".

"He made the double save and even pushed himself against the post. He has done well for us the whole season," said Kean.

"He has kept us in the games and made us win.I thought he was great tonight but other games he has een equally as good," he added.

DPMM are currently leading the Singapore League  and are in the semifinals of the Singapore Cup for the first time.

Asked it he was confident in wiining a treble - which had never done before - Kean replied:"Confident but not overly confident.It is always dangerous if we don't respect our opponn=ents,It does not matter who we play."

"We analyse our strengths and weaknesses in training all the time.We are in a strong position right now,"he added.

"Everyone coming to Brunei are going to be fearful.We have got the wind in our sails and are in positive for.We are confident we can win every game that we play," said Kean. 



Saturday, July 26
DPMM FC are champs.

DPMM FC were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final last night.

A goal each by Boris Raspudic and Adi Said in each half cemented the win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM FC kicked off the match on the right foot and got their first opportunity in the 12th minute after Azwan Salleg rn past his defender to put the ball through to Azwan Ali Rahman.

The latter fired a good shot but Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aureliern Herisson came up with a fine save.

Adi Said got the next chance for the Brunei side after he received a good pass from Azwan Ali but saw his shot cannon off a Tanjong Pagar defender in the 15th minute.

Tanjong Pagar got a golden opportunity in the 20th minute after going on the counterattack.

However defender,Boris Raspudic rushed back fast enough for a tackle on Etiembe to stop the danger.

The Jaguars should have broken the deadlock after Sebastien Etiembe delivered a good cross from the right but Monseg Zerka fialed to get aa touch on it at the far post.

Roy O'Donovan responded the next minute after he was given space to shoot from just insude the box but saw his effort fly wide.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was not taking chances on the 27th minute, pushing the ball over the bar after Tengku Murshadad fired a weary long freekick on goal.

DPMM were fortunate not to cencede in the 33rd minute after Ahmed Latiff rose highest for the header on target but his shot flew straight to Wardun.

DPMM finally broke the deadlock after Raspudic headed home a Azwan Ali corner in the 35th minute.

DPMM came strongly in the second half and added the scoreline just two minute in.

Azwan Ali did well to shake off his defender down the left and delivered a pin point cross into the box to Adi who calmly blasted the ball into the net.

O'Donovan got an opportunity 2 minutes later after skipping on unrushing Herisson but couldn't fire past the Tanjong Pagar defender.

Tanjong Pagar played with a sense of urgency but DPMM were doing well soaking up the pressure.

Asraf got a good shot off on the hour mark but the attempt went straight into the arms of Wardun.

Jaguars looked to have pulled one back in the 68th minute after substitute Firdaud Idros got the ball into the  net but he was flagged for offside.

He got another chance in the 72nd minute with apowerful striker from inside the bpx but Wardun put up an acrobatic save to keep the ball out.

The DPMM custodian was up to the task again five minutes later to save an Asraf shot from inside the box.

Wardun was at his best and came to the rescue twice in the 81st minute.

Eteimbe struck afree kick from just outside the box but Wardun got his finger tips to see the ball bouce off the crossbar.

Ahmad headed the rebound but Wardun scrambled to the other post to keep the ball out.

Wardun injured himself in the process but decided to stay in the game.

Adi almost scored a brace in the 88th minute but Herisson did well to parry the shot away.

The squad will return to Brunei at 2.15 am at the Berakas International Airport today. 

 



Friday, July 25
Tosi-less DPMM face Jaguars in final tonight.

Local pride will be at stake when Tanjong Pagar take on Brunei DPMM in the 2014 StarHub League Cup final at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

"While this will be DPMM FC's third successive final appearance, it will eb Tanjong Pagar's first since the inaugural StarHub League Cup edition kicked off in 2007 as they will be keen to keep the title on home soil.

Placed in Group A alongside Albirex Niigata(S) and National Football League side Police SA, Patrick Vallee's side emerged unscathed as they won 4-0 and 7-1 respectively.

Considering their poor form in the Great Eastern YEO's S-League so far this season, they have defied a l odds and even beat the likes of Warriors and Hogang Utd in the quarter-finals and semis.

In these games, the Jaguars displayed mental strength as they went back-to-back games which went into extra-time with the victory over Hougang all the way to penalties.

Regarding DPMM as the 'better' team,Vallee promised that they would do their best and will not give up without putting up a fight.

"We will handle the fitness of our players and we will try to give a good fight to DPMM," he stated.

"But what is good at this time is that we are playing DPMM who are the better team as they are top of the table, in the semis of the RHB Singapore Cup and now finals in the League Cup.For us its good, we will do our best and plan and work for that."

The Frenchamn will receive a boost in the form of skipper Ahmad LAtiff's return to the team after serving a one-match suspension but defender Hafiz Osman will miss out after accumulating his second yellow of the competition.

DPMM meanwhile will be determined to play party pooper and at the same time, make amends for their heavy loss to Balestier Khalsa at the same stage last year.

Like their opponents, the current S.League leaders also stayed unbeaten as they drew 2-2 with Balestier followed up with a narrow 3-2 victory over Hougang in Group D.

DPMM then beat Woodlands in the last eight before emerging trumps on penalties over Geylang in their last match to put themselves on course for trble this season.

Although they will ge intot his regarded as slight favourites, coach Steve Kean insists that nothing if for certain and has urged caution.

"On league standings, yes they (Tanjong Pagar) are easier but actually the teams that started off poorly are improving annd starting to play better," he pointed out.

However, they will miss influential player Rodrigo Tosi - who has scored 3 goals in this tournament - through suspension but Kean believes they have enough in them to cope with the Brazilian's absence.

"We will miss Tosi, you are always going to miss your best players, but Azwan Ali will step up and he will play behind the position just behind the strikers and he is a good option," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It is an advantage when we got tosi but it is not a case of bad bones if we don't because we have a good squad that has depth." 



Tuesday, July 22
Brunei DPMM survive penalty shootout to enter League Cup final.

Brunei DPMM wil contest in the StarHub League Cup final against Tanjong Pagar on Friday after they managed to see off Geylang International in a penalty shootout after being held to a scoreless draw in a regulation time.

The Eagles frustrated DPMM to most part of the game in regulation and extra time, leaving the fates of both clubs in the shootout. Geylang failed to convert any of their chances, while DPMM score three to gift them their third consecutive League Cup appearance.

Clear-cut chances were rare in this match, as Geylang set out to stall to deny their opponents the luxury of space.

Even so, it was the Eagles who threatened first when Ridhuan Mohammad crossed one in from the right for Leonel Felice to scoop over the bar too lona after kick-off.

It was not to be another 25 minutes till the next noteworthy chance came,when Roberto Alviz- who had a good game with his crosses - nearly found his centre back Boris Raspudic at the far post with his free kick but unfirtunately the latter was unable to get a touch on the ball.

Wardun Yussof was called into action on 32 minutes, when he dived down low to gather a low shot from Mustaqim but the effort was tame and never going to trouble the gaolkeeper.

The half then ended with felice attempting to force an opener by having a go from distance but his attempt went wide.

It was a much better showing from DPMM in the second half, although they still faced an unrelenting Geylang backline.

Two minutes after the restart, Roy O'Donovan was unable to find his way through the defence after receiving a lay-off from Adi Said at the edge of the box, so he instead hit a dipping shot which crashed off the bar.

The striker then drew a smart save from Joey Sim in the 67th minute when he took the ball with him into the seven-yard box and hit the first shot on target of the night for DPMM.

Alviz and Hendra Azam then saw their respective speculative shots from distance go wide as the game entered the final 10 minutes of regulation time.

In extra time, the game opened a little and Sim had to make a huge save in the 105th minute as he pushed away a piledriver by Azwan Ali.

Rodrigo Tosi missed two succesive headers in the box in the second half of extra time, with the second being more wasteful as the unmarked headed wide from 6 yards out.

It came down to penalties thereafter and DPMM were helped by Geylang failing to convert any of their chances as Wardun held his nerves to deny Felice and Hafiz Nor, while Khairulnizam Jumahat crashed his spotkick against the bar. 

While Tosi missed for his team for the first time this season, O'Donovan,Alviz and Gamble all converted to give DPMM the win and a date with Tanjong Pagar in the tournament's final. 

 

 

 



Monday, July 21
DPMM face Geylang.

DPMM FC's captain Rosmin Khamis is upbeat ahead of their Singapore League Cup semifinal against Geylang International FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium despite the last two meetings between the two sides ending in stalemates.

DPMM have won the tournament twice in 2009 and 2012 and were beaten finalists last year.

"Our two S-League matches against Geylang this season ended in draws," pointed out Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times last night.

"They are a very good team, but we are only focused on awinning and advancing to the final - so we will give our best tomorrow.

"Preparation has been good and we've worked very hard in training.

"Everyone is looking forward to this match and there are no injuries."he added.

"The last time DPMM played Geylang was in the league on June 14, when both teams played out a goalless draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Midfielder Hendra Azam is just positive as his skipper, saying that Geylang are an easier opponent than Albirex.

"I would say that it is advantage for us as I think Albirex are a stronger team than Geylang," said Md Hendra.

"Albirex are a difficult team to play against and they run a lot...Anyways, anything can happen in football and Geylang are quite good too," he said, before also pointing out the two draws the team played out to this year.

 



Friday, July 18
DPMM through to semifinals.

DPMM FC left it late to defeat Woodlands Wellington 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the Singapore League Cup last night.

After a goalless first half,Chang Jo Yoon broke the deadlock for Woodlands in the 56th minute at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was only in the 80th minute that Rodrigo Tosi equalised after heading homr s corner.

The Brazilian netted again 6 minutes latere with another header togive DPMM the lead.

Substitute Adi Said put the icing on the cake for the two-time champions by getting on the scoresheet in injury time to complete the comeback victory.

DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that they played well and never gave up chasing the victory.

"I thought we played well as we have a lot of ball possession but they managed to score the first goal,"said Romsin in an interview after the win.

"We kept a never say die attitude...Kept our momentum and passion till the end, which hepled us to score three goals," he added.

DPMM will either face Geylang or Albirex Niigata in the semifinals which will be held tonight at 8pm. 



Wednesday, July 16
Kean: We needed courage.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean was a satisfied man after the full-time whistle in the 3-2 win over Hougang came, as the Bruneians confirmed their spot in the StarHub League Cup 2014 quarter-finals.

However, Kean admitted that he was not pleased at half-time, after his side nearly became the latest victims of Hougang, as the Cheetahs threatened to extend their six-match unbeaten streak by takinga first-hafl lead and dominating over DPMM.

"I felt we weren't doing ourselves justice. I feel that we are a better team than the one we showed in the first half," Kean said. "The first half, obviously we knew the core we had to have to progress, and I felt that it made us afraid to get on the ball."

"We let Hougang control the game really in the half, and I said to the lads at halftime that courage is not always about putting in a tackle or gwtting in a header. Sometimes courage is getting on the ball and trying to dictate play, and I felt we done that much better in the second half and created more chances."

The second half did see a turnaround by DPMM, as they were led by forward Roy O'Donovan who popped up with a hat-trick to lead his team to victory.

The win also saw DPMM topping Group D, and matched them up againsr Woodlands Wellington in the next round, instead of Group C leaders, Home Utd, who are arguably a tougher team to beat.

However, Kean insisted that it was never on his mind to finish second or first, but instead to gain momentum which is fuelled by confidence which comes from wins.

"It is always good to win and it is a good habit, we done that a lot this season and I think the more you can win,especially from not playing well in the first half, or going behind like we did tonight, it is always  good for confidence," the Scotsman asserted.

The biggest turning point for Hougang Utd coach Amin Nasir came late in the game, when a miscommunication between Hougang midfielders Fazli Jaffar and Shunsuke Nakatake saw both failing to capitalise on being unmarked in the danger area despite the ball crossing both players' paths then. 

First half, we did superbly, but in the second half not so.That moment when Fazli had miscommunication with Nakatake, I felt that was one moment we could have been ahead and it would have been a different game." Amin explained.

While Amin was disappointed that side's unbeaten run came to an end, he took the defeat on the chin and praised his players for putting up a good fight against the current league leaders.

"Definitely it was sad to lose our 6-match unbeaten streak, we didn't manage to get a result but I am quite pleased with our performance.It is Brunei, thet are a good side, but we fought very hard, we showed that we can compete with them,"Amin stated. 

 



Tuesday, July 15
O'Donovan the hero for DPMM FC

Two time champions DPMM FC are through to the last eight of the Singapore League Cup after a Roy O'Donovan hat-trick lifted them to a 3-2 victory over Hougang Utd last night.

Hougang Utd took the lead after a deflection off DPMM defender Abdul Aziz Tamit and into his own net at the Hougang Stadium. 

O'Donovan equalised for the visitors with a simple header to beat Basil Chan in between the Hougang sticks in the 57th minute.

DPMM FC -who won the competition in 2009 and 2012 - finally stick their noses upfront in the 77th mniue with the Irishman firing from outside the box.

Eveeything was going downhill for Hougang United after O'Donovan was brought down inside the box by Chan two minutes later,and Roy stepped up toc onvert the ensuing spot kick to bring the score 3-1.

Hougang Utd kept up the chase and were givena lifeline after Geison Moura found the back of the net in the 81st minute.

They had a good chance in the final minute of regulation with a free kick just outside the box but the attempt went straight to the hands of DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that it was a tale of two halves but was delighted with the performance, especially in the second half.

"At half timecoach(Steve Kean) told us that we needed to pass to keep on moving the ball," said Rosmin in an interview after the triumph.

"We had a poor performance in the first half but we moved up a gear in the second half," he added.

DPMM will meet Tanjong Pagar in the quarter-finals on the 18th July. 

 



Monday, July 14
"No settling for less than a win."

DPMM FC are gunning for a win against Hougang United in Group D of the Singapore League Cup at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.

Brunei's only professional team require only a draw or loss by no more than a three-goal margin to advance to the quarter-finals of the July 7-25 competition.

The current Singapore League leaders are coming off a 2-2 draw against the Balestier Khalsa on Fridat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Hougang meanwhile, handed the tigers a 3-0 defeat at the Toa Payoh Stadium last Tuesday.

Both teams are in good form, riding a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions heading into the encounter.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis expects an exciting clash and hopes to finish at the winning end.

"We know that we only require a draw to progress to the quarterfinals but we wil always target winning every match," said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"It is always tough to play against them.I believe it will be an exciting match tomorrow ans both teams will finish at the top of the group," he added.

"Positioning is important and we want to be able to bring the momentum forward," continued the DPMm skipper.

Hougang have already booked their berth in the next round but head coach Amir Nasir wants to end the group with a positive result.

"Football, you cannot go for a draw,you need to go for a win for sure and there is no two ways about it,"Amir told the S-League.

"What happens is now we are going to go in positive and compete with them.It won't be easy but are prepared for it," he added.

Kickoff is at 8pm. 



Saturday, July 12
I thought we were going to lose.

DPMM coach Steve Kean was a relieved man at the final whistle when Brunei DPMM and Balaetier Khalsa played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

DPMM had started the game well, and we were threatening whenenver when we went forward.This saw them grab the lead on two occasions, but each time the tigers managed to peck them back.

The second equaliser came seven minutes from time, and it seemed to especially spur Balestier on as Kean felt a real sense of threat from them. 

"It was a strange game. I thought we were doing well putting crosses into the box, overlapping and then for some reason we stopped doing that," Kean shared.

"The game became a little bit stretched, and in all honesty I thought they were going to win in at te end because we couldn't  get out of the box."

While Kean felt that the draw was a fair result after a good first ahlf performance, he was disappointed that DPMM squandered the lead twice and in the process altered tactics for the group against Hougang.

"I am disappointed because twice we got our noses in front, but we don't kill the game off, then we gave away too many set plays and we let them build momentum," the Scotsman said.

"To be honest, I was hoping to win today and make many changes but now I will make changes but probably not as many as I would have."

The result has left Balestier in an uneviable position, as Hougang now need to beat DPMM by 4 goals for the reigning up holders to progress to the quarters.

While Balestier coach Marko Kraljevichad started the post-match conference with a light-hearted comment, he was unable to mask his disapointment at the result.

"I think we should play at Jalan Besarat every game, we play better here," he said cheekily when asked about his team's performance.

"But I am not happy with the result, it was 1-1, then 2-2, and then we should have scored to make it 3-2 to be able to hope to go to the next round. Now there is hope but we need luck.

"We should have won, they had their chances, but we had ours. We needed to win to go into the next round."

While Kraljevic will be keeping his fingers crossed till then, he admitted that there were positives he could take away from the League Cup campaign,especially with the performances of youngsters Muhaymin Salim and Alando Nicholas.

"It was a very good game.I am impressed with the boys and I think it is nice to watch tonight,"the Balestier coach added.

The determination to make a comeback twice and draw with DPMM also pleased Kraj\ljevic, as it showed that his team were no pushovers.

"Its very important, after the game, we showed that we can challenge one of the top teams in the league, and we can challenge anyone." 



Friday, July 11
DPMM out to win League Cup.

Two-time Singapore League Cup champions DPMM are looking to go all the way this year.

A victory tonight will guarantee the visitors a berth in the next round after Balestier fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hougang in the three-team Group D on Tuesday.

There is no shortage for DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean, whose team heads into the tie on the back of a four-game streak in all competitions.

Speaking to the Brunei Times, the Scotsman said he believes hs charges will be able to lift the trophy at the end of the July 7-25 competition.

"This is a tournament we have done well for three years ad our any aim in any competition is to win it," said Kean after their training session at the Jerudong Mini stadium on Wednesday.

"The good thing is that this is a fresh tournament, and can now put the Singapore Cup and the League aside," added the coach.

Kean knows what to expect from their opponents and has prepared his team for the encounter.

"Balestier are a very physical side and and very quick on the break. They have good pace,power and strength," said Kean. 

"We are expecting a physical game...We have to be good on our set plays and make sure that we don't give away too many freekicks and throw-ins," he added.

DPMM will be missing the services of left winger Azwan Ali Rahman who is out with injury, though Kean expects the player to recover within this week.

"He is a big miss but he has played a lot of minutes," said Kean.

"We were looking to give him a bit of rest...Not for the first game but only the second.

"At the moment it looks he will be out for six or seven days.It is just a knock which caused a bruise, and fortunately there is no muscle or ligament tear.

"Hopefully we will able to progress so that he will eb available for the latter stages of the competition,"continued the former Blackburn manager.

When asked about the fitness level of the team during Ramadan Kean admitted they suffered their first game against Albirex in the S-Cup since it was the first day.

"We did much better in the second game except in the last 15 minutes. It was a good test hough,since none of the Alburex players are fasting," said Kean.

"Right now everyone has settled and fitness is very good.

"Training is good snd everyone is taking their supplements so I'm confident of their fitness," added the 46 year old. 



Friday, July 11
Confident DPMM take on fatigued Tigers.

Balestier did not get off to a good start in its StarHub League Cup 2014 camapign as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat by Hougang United in the Group D opener, but they will have a shot at redemption by going against Brunei DPMM in their last group match.

This is a must-win match for the tigers if they are to harbour any hopes for progressing to the quarter-finals, as anything less wil see them eliminated.

Balestier have not been helped by a runs of games which have seen them played almost every four days. The toll on the team could be seen during the match against Hougang, as the tigers were sluggish and could barely muster the energy to close down on their opponents quickly.

While previously insisiting that he will field his strongest line-up whatever the case, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic has had a change of heart after the lacklustre display he witnessed in the game against Hougang.

Insisting that even though DPMM are a top team, Kraljevic believes his team is capable of surprising the current league leaders. But with the game coming three days after the Hougang game, the tactician realises that he mihgt have to shuffle his line-up to ensure that his players remain fresh.

"Maybe I will put on fresh legs, but we will have to assess our squad's fitness first," Kraljevic said. "Everybody always have a chance to win, we start with 0-0 and will do what we can."

Blaestier will have it all to do against a confident DPMM, who have rebounded from their last loss to go on a five-game unbeaten run.

Steve Kean let on that his side have enjoyed their fair share of luck this season so far, but added that they were buoyed by their league form as well as the making of the semifinals in the RHB Singapore Cup.

"We have been fortunate thie year that we have won lots of games.We've had some little bumps on the road where we have manage to get victory. It will be tough but we will enjoy the League Cup and focus on the Singapore Cup semifinals when it comes around," he said.

Balestier will need to look out for Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan upfront, and that will be a big ask given they are still missing their first-choice centre-back Paul Cunningham due to injury.

Whoever starts besides EMir Lotinac needs to work well together in order to deny the duo space in the box, or DPMM will make Balestier pay for allowing them any.

That being said, it is more than likely that Balestier are in for a tough time given the form that DPMM are in. The Tigers do well to learn frim their last meeting with the league leaders when they trounced 4-1 in Brunei. 

 



Friday, July 4
DPMM FC: We are not going there for a draw.

DPMM FC  are gunning for a win tonight despite needing only a draw to progress to the semifinals of the Singapore Cup.

Brunei's only professional team have never it to the last-four of the competition but are looking good break that record after an injury time goal from Roy O'Donovan to put them in the driving seat heading into tonight's quarter-final second leg against Albirex Niigata at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC managerAli Hj Momin, though, said they are not about to settle for a draw.

"The one goal advantage is not good enough because there is no away goal rule in the competition," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday before the team;s departure at the Brunei International Airport.

"We are not going there for a draw.

"We want to win so that we can keep the right mindset going into the next round," he added.

DPMM got off to a blistering start for a 3-0 lead after 17 minutes on Sunday with goals from Roberto Alviz, O'Donovan and Rodrigo tosi.Ali felt the start of Ramadhan could have played a factor in their collapse, going on to proase the imports for taking it up a notch for the team.

"The start of fasting may have affested our players. Performace took a dip as it was only the first day of Ramadhan," explained Ali.

"The body may not be used to it straight away and there was a lack of energy.

"The foreign imports really stepped up their game in thr last match, especially in the first 15 minutes where they looked extremely sharp.

"But it is normal in football that a team chasing can come back.Albirex went all out to get goals when trailing by three," he concluded.

Kickoff is slated for 8pm.Astro Arena will telecast live. 



Tuesday, July 1
Kean hails O'Donovan's impact.

DPMM FC head coach has priased Roy O'Donovan for playing the role of the hero on Sunday night.

The Irishman struck the winner in injury time to give DPMM a 4-3 advantage over Albirex Niigata heading into the second leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal, scoring the decisive goal after surging down the right and past the stagnant Albirex defender before unleashing a powerful striker to beat Kenjiro Ogino.

Kean was delighted with thr win and said the former Sunderland striker O'Donovan showed "maturity and class to find the target."

"When you have a player like O'Donovan in the side, he can pop up and get a goal late on in the game like he's showed today," Kean was quoted.

DPMM got off to a blistering 3-0 lead just after 17 minutes with goals by Roberto Alviz, O'Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi.

However, the Japanese outfit came storming back to tie the game with goals by Kazuya Okazaki,Keisuke Ota and Kazuki Sakamoto.

Despite being on the backfoot in the second half, Kean felt that it was a deserved win for his charges.

"Credit to Albirex, I felt they keep going," said Kean.

"Like I said before the game,they are a technically good side and they play lots of good football.

"They cam back but we showed character.

"You've seen a total contrast in how the two halves were played.Even the last 10 minutes of the first half, I thought it was Albirex and I thought they were better in the second hlf.

"Its only half time, fsr from finished.

"I think they were good chsnces from Albirex but we stuck at it, and Wardun made a few saves,and obviously came to the play a feew times.

"Even though we were physically dead, we still tried to keep the shape of the team. 

"And even at a time when we don't play particulrly well, the last 60 minutes of the game...We still managed to win, and thats a good sign,"continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 

 



Monday, June 30
O'Donovan hits winner.

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan gave DPMM the advantage after finding the back of the net for a 4-3 victory over Albirex Niigata on the first leg of the Singapore Cup quarter-final last night.

DPMM squandered a three-goal cushion in the first half before the Irishman fired a tight angle from the right to beat Kenjiro Ogino between the Albirex for the triumph at the Jurong East Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club had the best of starts against the Japanese outfits after midfielder Roberto alviz netted in the fifth minute.

The lead was doubled two minutes later courtesy of O'Donovan bfore Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi made it 3-0 for the visitors in the 17th minute.

Albirex almost pulled one back in the 24th minute but DPMM keeper Wardun Yussof saved Kento Nagasaki's effort just before the goal line.

The hosts found the back of the net in the 34th minute through Kazuki Okazaki.

Kazuki Sakamoto blasted hsis hot wide 5 minutes after the restart but Wardun was there to blosk his attempt.

Albirex pulled back to 3-2 after Keisuke Ota netted in the 56th minute before Sakamoto ssored the equaliser 7 minutes later.

Sakamoto came closed again in the 73rd minute after dribbling past two defenders but missed the target.

The Japanese had another chance in the 84th minute but couldn't convert before the late drama.

The second leg will be contested on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.There will be possibility shown live telecast on Astro Channel on Friday. 



Sunday, June 29
Kean praises Gamble's contribution.

Steve Kean has credited midfielder Joe Gamble for being the difference in changing DPMM FC's after going 5 games without a win in the Singapore League.

DPMM are looking to overcome Albirex Niigata FC in the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore tonight, with DPMM head coach Steve Kean saying that the decision to move Gamble to defence has helped the team regain its form after three straight S-League defeats.

"You tend to gain confodence when you start to pick up again," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"We have moved Joe Gamble play at the back and he has settled down in defence.

"He uses his voice very well to move the team about in the game and that is an important aspect," added the Scotsman.

"Albirex is a technical team as we know it," said Kean.

"They like to play starting from the back through midfield, and they will keep plenty of ball possession.

"We know that it will be a tough game but we have played them twice and got good results," he added of the Japanese outfit.

Kean was delighted with Ak Fakharazzi's performance and expects more to come from the midfielder.

"He deserved a chance to start.He doesn't get many minutes in league matches but trains,very well," said Kean.

"We decided to put him in the starting line-upand he managed to score. He played great," added Kean.

The Bruneian side are set to have a tight schedule with the League Cup also run from July 7-25 despite the month of Ramadhan.

"It is tough as it is the fasting month .We just have to make sure to take our supplements and rest well.

We will also have to use the ice baths for injury prevention.All this is very important.," he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8pm. 



Saturday, June 28
DPMM to face Albirex.

Brunei DPMM will face Albirex Niigata in two legs within a week in a bid to clinch a place into the next round of the RHB Singapore Cup 2014.

Both matches will be played away in Singapore during the fasting month whereby the first left of the match will be on Sunday June 29 and the second leg will be on Friday July 4th.

With the majority pf the players are Muslims, it could be a cause of concern about the player's performance during the month of Ramadhan.

Head coach of Brunei DPMM Steve Kean, however, is not worried and in an interview at the training ground yesterday: "We have taken the decision to provide the players with protein supplements and recovery drinks that they take everyday as part of the team's diet."

"We know that it is difficult times for the team, however, just before heading to the pitch, the players will eb given protein gels and proteinbars to get some energy," Kean added.

The most important step, he said "is not the day of the match but its the day before.As long as we gear properly before the day of the match throughout the fasting month,there will be no problem."

Without any injury woes and suspension,Brunei DPMM will have its full squad ready to pound on Albirex Niigata.

Commenting on Albirex Niigata,Kean warned:"Although we have beaten them twice in the league, it doesn't stand for anything in the Singapore Cup.They are a good team, the games that we played in the leaague have been very tight. They play a style of football that can cause us problem and they pass the ball very well."

Meanwhile, on the League Cup,Brunei DPMM will take on Balestier Khalsa on July 1 and Kean revelaed that he might field a different squad in the cup matches from the league.

"At the beginning of the season, I have mentioned during the cup matches, we may not field the same team that played in the league.So maybe, there are few new faces playing in the cup matches. This will give everyone an opportunity to compete," Kean said. 

 



Monday, June 23
DPMM widen lead to 5 points.

DPMM FC extended their lead at the top of the S-League to 5 points after triumphing 4-1 over Harimau Muda last night.

Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hassan, who was given his first start and only his second appearance for DPMM this season, notched a brace in the win at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor,Malaysia.

The midfielder gave the visitors the best starts after finding the back of the net as early as the 10th minute.

The lead was doubled after Rodrigo Tosi netted his 16th goal of the season from the penalty spot 5 minutes later.

Ak Fakharazzi made it 3-0 just three minutes after the intervaland Irish striker Roy O'Donovan made it 9 straight goals for DPMM-dating to their first meeting of the year -- without reply against the Malaysia basement dwellers.

Akhir Bahari scored a consolation goal in the 73rd minute and a red card for Nurshamil Ghani later summed up the outing for the hosts. 



Sunday, June 22
DPMM FC out to extend lead against Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC have a chance to extend  their lead at the top of the Singapore League.

Brunei's only professional team will face basement dwellers Harimau Muda B tonight at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis who was rested for the match against the Young Lions, admits that the team spirit is high at the camp and they hope to continue their winning ways.

"We must keep winning after this. Not only against Harimau Muda but the remaining games," said Rosmin yesterday.

"The team morale is back up but we will also respect Harimau Muda because they are coming off a win against Geylang," he said.

"We were a little under pressure to win the match against the Young Lions but now we wil be well prepared for the ncounter against Harimau Muda," continued the skipper.

Their last meeting saw DPMM cruise to a 5-0 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on April 11.

However, Harimau Muda are no push overs despite sitting at the bottom of the standings this time around.

They are comin off their third win of their campaign following a 3-2 victory over geylnag International at the Bedok Stadium on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 8.45pm. 

 



Thursday, June 19
Azwan late striker seals win

Azwan Ali Rahman was the hero for DPMM FC last night after scoring a late winner against the Young Lions in their 3-2 league victory.

According to the official S-League facebook page, the 22-year old unleashed a powerful striker in the 92nd minute to beat Young Lions custodian Rudy Khairullah at the Jalan Besar Stadium earning the visitors their first win in win league games.

"It was an unbelievable goal for me," said Azwan in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We deserved to win tonightand now we are back on track.

"Most important for us tonight is that we gained all three points," continued Azwan, whose goal was his fifth of the season.

The visitors started out on the wrong foor after Sairol Sahari put the ball in his own net in the 7th minute.

DPMM FC almost responded three minutes later but the goal was flagged off for offside.

Croatain Roberto Alviz levelled the match after finding the back of the net in the 26th minute and the Bruneians took the lead through Rodrigo Tosi after he headed home his 15th goal of the season in the 37th minute.

Young Lions equalised after a long distance striker from outside the box by captain Suhil Suhaimi in the 86th minute and both teams looked to be headed for a point efore Azwan's late drama in injury time.

Stand-in captain Hj Md subhi Abdilah Bakir felt that they deserved the win after what was a tightly contested match.

"We deserved all three points after a hard fought game. It was a tight second halfas expected with the home team pressing us with a goal down," said Subhi.

"But overall the performance is good and it is great that we are back on track," he added.

DPMM next face Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor, Malaysia on Sunday before meeting Albirex Niigata(S)in the Singapore Cup on June 29. 



Wednesday, June 18
DPMM FC out to tame Young Lions.

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways in the Singapore League when they face the Young Lions today at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis believes that victory will be the spark needed to ensure they get back on the right track.

"It will be a tough match whenever you have to play against a young team who like to run more," said Rosmin with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"A win tomorrow(Wednesday night) will guarantee that we will get back to a fantastic form again," he added.

Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Bakir, the vice captain agrees with the skipper and hopes that they do not drop points the rest of the way.

"For sure against the Young Lions we would to get all three points but we know that it won't be easy becuase they are a young team," said Subhi.

"We must work hard and stick to the coach's game plan and strategy," he said.

"InsyaAllah, we don't want to slip up points for the remaining of the 6 games in the second round of the competition," continued the defender.

They will also welcome back midfielder Joe Gamble in the line-up, having served a one-game suspension.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Sunday, June 15
Kean: We deserved to win the game.

Steve Kean believed that DPMM FC  were unlucky to finish with a 0-0 draw against Geylang FC even though they dominated the second half last night.

DPMM FC just could not find the back of the net despite goal scoring chances from Roy O'Donovan, Rodrigo Tosi and Roberto Alviz last night.

"I felt that the draw wasn't a fair a result for us as we dominated the second half and we worked reaally hard moving the ball around to create chances," Kean said after the match.

"But in the first half it was fair as both teams created an equal number of chances.

"How we dominated the second half was by having Rosmin Khamis and Roodrigo Tosi push up and pressure their centre midfield players so we could pick up the loose balls and maintain our attacking pace.

"I hope after this draw we will win our next match and go on another winning run.Just like what happened to us after we drew with Geylang at the end of March," he said.

"Little steps are required first if we want to have momentum and start winning again," added the Scotsman.

Geylang coach Jorg Steinbrunner felt that his team performed much better and were more fortunate.

Its not easy to come to Brunei and play at DPMM FC's home. We can'y just show up without a game plan," said the German.

So our game plan was to keep attacking and work the ball through the midfield.Defensively we were also very solid and managed to shut down our attackers.

"In the first half we were the team as we kept pushing them and kept them on their toes.But in the second half they increased their pace so they got more chances for us...We were lucky a few of DPMM FC's goal scoring chances hit the post, otherwise the game could've gone either way," he said.



Saturday, June 14
DPMM FC eager to get back to winning ways.

DPMM FC are looking to right the ship in the Singapore League as they take on Geylang International today at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club are experiencing their worst spell of the season, having lost 3 consecutive matches in the competition.

Head coach Steve Kean expects another tough encounter but has put in the work to ensure the team can bounce back.

"It will be a tough game since we drew last time we played. I got to watch them against Young Lions.They played well and should have won the match," said Kean in an interview ith the Brunei Times after training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"Good thing is that we are on our own pitch and the staff at the stadium has done a great job in maintaing the smooth surface.

"We are looking to pass the ball more and gain control of the game early," he added.

"We seem to be a little bit more spread out now so we've worked a lot on that the past couple of days with and without the ball to be more compact," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM FC suffered a scare after Brazilain Rodrigo Tosi, who is the league's topscorer with 14 goals was taken off on the hour mark in their 2-1 loss to Tampines Rovers last tuesday.

Kean was looking at the bigger picture and decided to preserve his striker for the taxing schedule.

"He was feeling his groinand when Joe Gamble was boked, we knew he would be suspended for the next match," explained Kean.

"Wanted to protect himas we didn't want anything worst to happenwhich could have led to him being out for more games,: he added.

"He is too important for us and now he is fit to play," continued the former ex-Blackburn manager.

His counterpart Jorg Steinbrunner expects a tough outing but is heading into the matchup with confidence.

"It will definitely be a tough game. DPMM FC are a good team and they have a good coach with Steve Kean," said the Geylang head coach. 

"I'm sure they want to make amends for the last 3 games.We know how it feels as we had the same spell and tried to learn thins around. 

"It is not easy to come to Bruneias the home team always put up a good performance and get good support," he added.

"As a team over the last 3 months, we have come together and steadily improved.We managed to get some good resultsespecially beating Tampines a couple of days ago.

"The team are at full confidence and come here not to play defensively but to win the game.It doesn't matter if you play at hoem or away, we are looking to score goals," continued the German.

Asked on what his charges will have to look out for, Steinbrunner replies," DPMM foreigners are above averaged compared to years before but we cannot foget the local players.

"A team cannot depend on two or three players for successful football. You need the whole team to play on a good level and they have done so comfortably.It is not for nothing for them to be on top of the league,"mhe concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 



Wednesday, June 11
Rafi elated with win; Kean disappointed with consecutive losses.

Tampines Rovers latest 2-1 win over Brunei DPMM has put coach Rafi Ali on cliud nine as they closed the gap on the league leaders to a mere three points.

"I am very happy tonight; the boys worked very hard tonight and deserved the win," he said after the match.

"We were dominating the game against Geylang a few day ago but we could not score a goal. Today we showed our mettle after being a goal down, especially in the second half,"

The former Tampines skipper was also full of praise for his charges, especially the three new signings who were namely Justin Pasfield, Jacob Butler and Jozef Kaplan.

"My team are set of fighters who never stop fighting and my job is to keep on pushing them in attempts to get better and more consisitent,"Rafi pointed out.

"My new signings also had a termendous game.Butler gave steel in midfield by protecting the back four and covered every balde of grass.

"Pasfield never stopped talking at the back - a trait whiche every goalie needs, while Kapaln gave energy to the whole team and never stopped running. We need players like this to blend in with the team, and they did exactly that."

On how the game went, the fomrer Singapore international explained: "When we were 1-0 down, I knew we were still able to score and it was just a matter of composure.

"I made some tactical switched in the second half which paid off, and Noh ALam Shah played his guts out and deserved the winning goal."

"I told them this season is not over yet and we are slowly closing the gap."

His counterpart, Stev Kean was downcast with the recent run of results but believed his team would bounce back from this.

"Yes I am disappointed to lose three league games but it is not easy to play 4 very hard games, against Albirex, Warriors FC, Home Utd and now Tampines," he said.

"The good thing is that we are atill ahead in the table after all these big games.

"In the first round, we went on a fantastic run after the draw with geylang and there is no reason why we cannot do it again."

The fomrer Blackburn manager however felt that his team were poor collectively.

"We always stood a chance but when the scoreline was 1-1, we defended too deep. We need to ask more questions to Tampines defence which we never did," the Scots shared.

"The goals we conceded were also too soft. We easilt lost our marker and we need to work better as a unit." 



Tuesday, June 10
DPMM FC, Stags face off.

DPMM FC will be looking to end their game slide when they take on defending champions Tampines Rovers in the S-League at the Clementi Stadium tonight.

Brunei's only professional team saw their seven-point lead over Warriors FC at the top of the standings down to a point after losing 3-2 to Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last Friday.

They have an increase the gap back to 4 points should they they be able to upend the Stags after Warriors suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Hougang Utd last Sunday,

However, DPMM are still in the hunt for their first win against three-time defending champions Tampines in five meetings.

Their last encounter saw the league leaders fell 2-1 at home on March 23, a result which ended their three-game winning streak at the start of the season.

DPMM FCcaptain Rosmin Khamis feels that the squad is ready and knows that the defence is the key in the matchup.

"Honestly, we were alittle bit down after the Home match...But now we are ready and well prepared to face Tampines," said Rosmin in an interview esterday.

"It will eb hard but we know we can score goals, so we need tighten our defence when they attack.

"That is what we have been training for the past two days," he added.

The Brunei side will be missing the services of Croatain midfielder Roberto Alviz after he picked up his fourth yellow card of the season against the Protectors nut will welcome back marquee signing Roy O'Donovan after the Irushman served his one game suspension.

Tampines will have a different line-up from their last meeting having debuted the trio of goalkeeper Justin Pasfield, midfielder Jacob Butler and forward Jozef Kaplan in their 1-0 loss to Geylang International on Friday.

"We wil surely miss Roberto but I believe that whoever replaces him will amke an impact," said Rosmin.

"I know that they (Tampines)have new imports but it will take time for them to adapt in a short time.

"Its not about them to worry but its all about us," concluded the DPMM skipper.

Tampines haven't been in their best form of late having won three and lost three ut of 10 matches after their victory over DPMM.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Saturday, June 7
Kean:Defensive lapses gave Home United the win.

Steve Kean strongly suggested that defenders must take responsibility after losing at home against Home United 3-2.

DPMM are still the league leaders with 31 points although Warriors FC are only 1 point behind, while Home Utd moved up to third place with 27.

"First all, our defending was not as good as it has been in the last few games.We gave away poor goals and the defense will have to be responsible for it," said DPMm FC coach Steve Kean after the match.

"We left the opponents too open and gave them space to run and work the ball."

"First thing we'll be doing once we're back on the training ground is defensive work, most definitely."

When asked what he thinks about Home United's third goal in the natch, Kean mentioned that it surprised him when the referee indicated play-on when both teams were still unprepared to continue.

"The only goal that I have a qualm with and that surprised me was when the keeper was getting treatment," said the Scotsman.

"Usually, the referee would let everyone got into positions first and continue the game. But this time the referee let it play on when both teams still had players drinking water their water on the sidelines.

"So, I don't understand what the officilas were thinking about when they make the decision."

Kean feels no pressure from the loss, adding that DPMM FC will be fine, "just as long as we're still league leaderswe'll be fine, even by a point."

 

 



Saturday, June 7
Home United upset DPMM with 3-2 win.

DPMM FC succumbed in their second straight defeat in the Singapore League for the first time this season after losing 3-2 to Home Utd last night.

The loss sees the lead now down to only one point with DPMM on 31 points while Warriors are hot on their tails aftera 4-2 win over Harimau Muda at the PAsir Gudand last Thursday.

The defeat also ends DPMM FC's five game wiining streak at home.

Qiu Li, who missed the 3-0 defeat in their last meeting,bagged a brace the lead the charge for the Protectors.

Home United dominated the exchanges in the early going and broke the deadlock in the 13th minute.

Qiu Li put striker Bruno Castanheira through on gaol and the latter rounded on the onrushing DPMM keeper Wardun to put the ball ino the empty net for the lead.

Wardun was kept busy and ensured they don't fall behind furtherhaving to deny Castanheira and Fazrul Nawaz in the 16 and 21st minutes.

DPMM could have equalised in the 26th minute had there been more luck as Azwan Salleh saw his cross from the left inchess off the top corner.

Home United midfielder Indra Shahdan should have got his name on the scoreshhet on the half hour mark but Wardub did well to get a hand to his shot in a one-to-one situation.

In the 40th minute DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis had delivered a perfect cross to Shahrazen Said but his effort was just inches wide off the post.

DPMM FC's best chance in the first half came in the 42nd minute after Home Utd goalkeeper Shahril Jantan denied Shahrazen.

Rodrigo Tosi got the rebound and unleashed a thunderbolt that was sent crashing off the woodwork.

The Brazilian had another chance in the first half injury time after rising the highest to head Azwan Ali's cross for an acrobatic save by Sharil to keep the score at 1-0.

The visitors doubled the lead through Qiu Li who drove a low shot past Wardun in the 52nd minute.

Croatian Roberto Alviz almost replied immediately but Shahril did well to parry his shot out for a crner in a one-t0-one situation.

DPMM were made to worry after Tosi picked up a head injury in the 52nd minutes.

The Brazilian did return minutes later with a bandage on his head a pulled one back for the home side, with his 13th goal of the season, after heading home Azwan Ali's corner in the 63rd minutes.

Home Utd regained their two-cushion in controversial fashion after Shahril was receiving treatment for an injury.

Referee Md Taqi whistled for play to resume while the DPMM players were still getting back to their positions after taking a water break.

It proved to eb costly for the hosts as the ball had landed to Qiu Li, who skipped past his defender and rounded Wardun to put Hoem United up 3-1 in the 79th minute.

The goal stood despite protests from the home team.

DPMM FC were given a lifeline after defender Boris Raspudic headed hoem Rosmin's freekick from the left 4 minutes later.

Home United were made to defend tightly despite Tosi, Alvi and Hj Subhi's falling in the box late on from challenges,none were entertained by the ref. 

Meanwhile, the next match on the calendar for DMM is the crucial clash against Tampines at the Clementi Stadium on Tuesday, scheduled for 7.30pm. 



Friday, June 6
Shahrazen to start.

Shahrazen Said will b ehanded his first start of the season when DPMM FC host Home Utd in the league tonight.

The match at the Hassanl Bolkiah Natonal Stadium will also be the first time the free scoring duo of Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan will not start alongside each other as the latter is suspended having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season in their last encounter against the Warriors.

Shahrazen, who was DPMM FC's top-scorer in the 2012 league season with 13 goals, has been given the chance to fill the void.

Though there is plenty of work to be done, the 28-year old is ready to shoulder the load.

"I'm feeling a bit of pressure as there is a big gap for me to fill," said the DPMM FC forward in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"I'll need to play at the level of Roy because he has been doing his job brilliantly.

"I'm confident though, especially having got on the scoresheet in the last game.

"I'll take any chance that I'm given.

"I hope we will able to play like how we did against Global FC in the second half and gain all three points tomorrow," continued the 28-year old.

The only league goal that Shahrazen scored this season was in a 4-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar at home on May 9 when he came on as a late substitute.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that Shahrazen is in good shape and is ready for the challenge.

"It is always difficult when you lose a striker and we have been working with Shahrazen this week," said Kean.

"We are encouraging him to play on the shoulder of the last defender and do what he is good at... by using his power and strength.

"He has got a good bit of confidence after coming on the other night and scoring a goal," added the Scotsman.

DPMM beat Home United 3-0 in their last meeting at the Jalan Besar back in March.

Kean feels that it will be a different ball game tonight though, and expects a tough outing against the fourth-side placed side.

"We are expecting it to be another tough match.Home United are a good side and in good form," sais Kean.

"We have to make sure that we start off the game like how we were in the second half against Global.We need to approach it with the same intensity where we had over 500 passes and 20 shots in the match," he added.

"We dominated and overpowerd Global .That is what we intend to do against Home," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Croatian Roberto Alviz will be fit for the game having recovered from a hamstring injury and Azwan Ali rahman is well rested after missing the Cup tie against Global.

Home United head coach Paul Lee is expecting nothing less than 3 points but he knows the level of difficulty for the encounter.

"DPMM are a strong side and have very strong foreign players.They may be missing Roy, but we will also br missing Camara due to suspension as well," said Lee.

"It will be a tough match but we cannot afford anything less than 3 points.

"There is no choice for us but to win in order to close the gap to the leaders.

"DPMM FC's strength is in their attacking and we've been working on our defenders to cope with them.

"Hopefully we will be bakle to do well and provide high quality football,"he concluded.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 

 



Sunday, June 1
DPMM belt Global 7-0

DPMM FC tasted sweet revenge as they thrashed Global FC 7-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup at Jalan Besar Stadium last night.

Their previous clash in last year's edition of the tournament saw Global FC knocked them out 5-4 on agreegate on the quarter-finals.

DPMM FC's scoring machines - Roy O'Donovan and Rodrigo Tosi- were again on tarhet as they shared a total of 5 goals between them in a game that proved the total dominance of the Bruneians.

O'Donovan capped his stellar performance with a fine hat-trick scoring in the 59th, 78th and 89th minutes to mkae him the leading scorer in the competition.

The remaining goals were knocked in by Azwan Salleh in the 80th minute and Shahrazen Said in the 90th minute, who was a late substitute in the 82nd minute for Tosi.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean felt that his boys played a fantastic game in the second half.

"I felt that in the first half our players were all too wide," Kean told the media.

"We were making it very easy for the Global FC's fullbacks, so what we did after halftime was play very narrow on the pitchbecause I felt that Global's two holding midfielders were getting on the ball too much.

"We really turned the middle of the pitch to our advantage so that Joe gamble, Hendra Azam and Rosmin Khamis could control the game from the middle, making it difficult for the twp central players of Global FC.

"I also pushed another player up front because I wanted Tosi to drop in middle a little bit when we didn't have the ball.I just told him just  stay up as a strikr and lets just try to win the ballin the middle and then play off the front end quicker and squeeze the game much higher.

"Historically, we don't have a good record in this competition but I don't believe that history comes in always because every year you have a new team.

"I think the main thing for us is that we just have to keep trying hard to keep the clean sheets both in the league and now in this cup competition.

"I said at the beginning of the season I think we have a competition squad that can compete in the 3 competitions, so why not win this competitionbecause its a fantastic one to win," added Kean. 



Saturday, May 31
Kean eyeing Singapore Cup triumph.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his charges have what it takes to go all the way in the Singapore Cup.

Brunei DPMM, who have never progressed past the ;ast-eight in the competition, will kick off their campaign against Global FC of the Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

Global FC, who lead the Philippine top-tier United Football LEague,sent DPMM FC- who themselves lead the Singapore League - packing in the quarter-finals last year after winning 5-4 on agrregate.

Kean has done his research on the UFL side and his men are all prepped up for the encounter.

"We will forget about the S-League for the moment and enjoy playing in a different competiton," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session on Thursday.

"Historically we haven't done well in the Singapore Cup, but obviously we re doing well now in the S-League.

"We hope to go all the way and win it. We have got a squad that can challenge the best in all competitions.

"I know that they (Global FC) are a physical and quick side.I haven't seen them live though, only video footage. It will be a good game.

"We can rotate players and some will get a chance to play.We will make sure that everyone is freshwhen the S-League starts again," continued the Scotsman.

Kean feels that the players have responded to the defeat.

"It has been a good week of training," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I think when coming off a defeat... Sometimes you learn more about the side. We'll see how we'll respond to it.

"We were disappointed at end of match as we were trying to keep up the points against teams around us," he added.

DPMM FC will be missing services of Croatian midfielder Roberto Alviz, who picked up a hamstring injury from the last game, and Kean is expecting others to step up in the matchup.

"We thought he will be out for another few weeks but has responded well to treatment," said Kean.

"He should be fit to play Home United (on June 6) but not this game.

"It is not easy to miss a key player. Previously when we had Roberto come off before, all subs that came on had big impact in games," concluded Kean.

Kickoff will be at 7.30pm. 

 



Friday, May 23
Warriors earn vital win to close gap.

Warriors FC asserted their credentials as title contenders after besting league leaders DPMM in an narrow 1-0 win at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on thursday evening.

The win, curtesy of Hafiz Rahim's third goal of the season, reduced the gap between Warriors and DPMM to amere 4 points.

Earning himself a freekick at the edge of the area, the 30-year old dusted himself to curl the ball beyond Wardun is it went off the post for the game's only goal.

While DPMM named an unchanged line-up, Warriors FC coach Alex Weaver made a sole change as he handed Prime League winger Suria Prakash his first S.LEague start in place of the injured Thomas Beattie.

Suria who played on the left wing showed glimpses of brilliance early on as he created the first chance of note in the 9th minute.

Racing past Subhi Abdilah, Suria's low cross found Nicolas Vlelez in the box whose effort was blocked by Shahrulrizal.

Warriors goalkeeper Hassan Sunny then had some work to do as he first thwarted Roy O'Donovan's in an one-on-one on 13 minutes before parrying Roberto Alviz's ferocious freekick at full-stretch a minute later.

However, the home side would assume the lead anfd deservedly so in the 22nd minute as Hafiz scored in almost similar fashion to his striker against Geylanf International earlier in February and this proved enough to be the winning goal.

The home side went on to dominate the remainder of the half and created numerous goal-scoring opportunities but were unable to add-on to their lead while DPMM were still finding the Warriors defence - led by skipper Daniel Bennett and Marin Vidosevic- a tough nut to crack.

Velez came closest a minute before halftime after getting onto the end of KEvin McCann's cross as he sent a header towards goal which Wardun fumbled but managed to claw out to safety.

Trailing by a goal at the break, the visitors were determined to find an equaliser and they nearly did so in the 54th minute but Hassan produced yet another stupendous save to keep out Azwan Ali's fierce shot insode the penalty area.

DPMM huffed and puffed in the closing stages but were unable to blow the house down as they fell to their second defeat this season. 



Thursday, May 22
O'Donovan not going anywhere.

DPMM FC marquee signing Roy O'Donovan is "flattered" that other clubs in the region are noticing his good work.

Football website Goal.com have reported that Thai Premier League side Bec Tero Sasana has expressed interest in the former Sunderland striker who has scored 11 goals in his debut league season for DPMM.

In another report on Tuesday, it as stated that the TPI leaders have "officially confirmed their interest in Brunei DPMM duo Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan as well as free agent Joe Cole."

Yes, we're ready to negotiate with the 3 of them," Bec Tero General Manager Robert Procureur told Goal Thailand.

"And we're well aware that Joe Cole's cost will be incrediblt expensive," he added.

O'Donovan, though, insists he is happy with his stay with the club.

"I don't know anything about the Thai club but I'm flattered that clubs are seeing how well I'm playing... The goals that I'm creating and scoring," said the 28-year old O'Donovan in an interview with the Brunei Times on Tuesday.

"It is also good for DPMM FCwhen players and the coach are linked with positive things," added the Irishman.

DPMMFC head coach Steve Kean is in the same boat as his players after it was reported last week that he will be heading to TPL side PTT Rayong.

The Scotsman has dismissed the claims and believes it is just a way to stifle DPMM FC's S-League performances.

"I dismiss them as a speculation,"said Kean.

"I haven't tslk to any clubs and I'm happy here.It is just a tactic to change the rhythm that we've got.

"I would like to be here this season and the upcoming ones."

"The way that we are playing, none of the players want to leave...They are playing as a group," added the former Blackburn manager.

When ashed if he has any plans to take action against the false claims, Kean replied: "No.These stories happen every week all over the world.

"It is all just speculation.

"There were no quotes from other club and I've never spoken to them as well.

"We don't have to be silly and tlak about any kind of action.

"I would just like to continue our good start...Push on and get more points." 



Thursday, May 22
Will DPMM FC extend their lead?

Will DPMM FC extend their lead at the summit of the SIngapore League tonight or will Warriors FC make up some ground?

DPMM FC have a tough test tonight as they face second-placed Warriors at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore,with the gap between the two teams currently 7 points.

The table-toppers may be on a roll with 7 consecutive victories, but head coach Steve Kean told the Brunei Times that his men will have to be at their best to be able to upend the Warriors.

"They are a very good team and they have been picking up good results," said Kean after Tuesday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. 

"It is going to be a tough game,and we will have to be at our very best to get anything," admitted Kean of tonight's tie.

"We will give the Warriors respect because that is what they deserve.

"They have been scoring goals late in games and we have to make sure we go for 90 to 96 minutes," continued the Scotsman.

Aziz Tamit will miss tonight's encounter as a result of a sprained ankle.

However, the squad will welcome back Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic after serving a one-game suspension.

Raspudic has been a key part of DPMM FC's defence - the team letting in a league-low 6 goals in 12 games this season.

Most impressive, though, has been DPMM FC's forn upfront - where they have a league-high 33 goals, 23 of them from imports Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan. 



Sunday, May 18
Kean pooh poohs report of going to Thailand.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has refuted claims that he would be travelling to Thailand to meet representatives of a Thai Premier League club's PTT Rayong next week, in a response to an article published by Goal this week.

The head coach also confirmed that he had not been in any form of contact with the struggling Thai side after learning that he was linked a s a potnetila successor to former England International Peter Withe.

"I've never spoken to anybody from any club in Thailand, so I don't know where the story came from I've got no plans to go to Thailand and talk to any other clubs. I'm very happy here," Kean reaffirmedin an interview with the Sunday Bulletin during a training session ahead of DPMM FC's away game against the Warriors next week.

Kean is under contract with the Brunei-based club nad has no intentions to depart the S-League leaders, who have reinvigorated the side currently enjoying a 7-point lead over second-placed Warriors.

"I said to the players to keep our focus of its maybe somebody tactically trying to put a  story to upset our rhythm. If someone tries to upset us and take the focus away from our game, we won't let that happen.We'll be together as a team right till the end of the season,"he said.

"Our aim is to win the next game and forget any made up stories," he added.

The Bulletin also learnt that Kean received the news when a young nepher texted him.

When asked of his plans next week,Kean will be preparing for a match in Singapore against Warriors in a bid to extend their lead at the summit of the S-League and will be part of the Champions League final coverage on Saturday evening for a Singaporean TV.

"I also plan to come back on Sunday morning," aded the former Blackburn manager. 

The former Blackburn manager added that he had never hard of the club. 

 



Saturday, May 17
DPMM dismiss report of Kean leaving

DPMM FC dismissed the report that claimed head coach Steve Kean is set to leave the club for Thialand Premier League side PTT Rayong.

Singapore's Goal.com reported on Thursday that Kean who signed for DPMM at the start of the season will head to Thailand next week to meet with representatives of the club.

The Brunei Times contacted the club manager Pg Waslimin Hj Mominyesterday but calls made to the team's manager, Ali Hj Momin, were not answered.

"We do not know anything about this," said Pg Waslimin.

"I have read the report about it but as for now I can tell you that Steve Kean is still the head coach of DPMM and he is still under contract with us,"

"We are doing well now in the league and the report is just trying to cause disorder.For now we are only going to focus on our football," he added.

Kean is not the only one claimed to be leaving DPMM with Roy O'Donovan subjected to similar rumours.

Goal.com reported that another Thai Premier LEague side,BEC Tero Sasana are keen to sign the striker who has scored 11 goals fo DPMM so far this season.

PTT Rayong who are third from bottom in the Thia Premier League is currently managed by the former England International Peter Withe.

DPMM FC will travel to Singapore on Thursday to play against the Warriors FC. 



Thursday, May 15
DPMM relentless in title bid.

Brunei DPMM have opened what could possibly be an insurmountable lead atop og the Grreat Eastern YEO's S.League on Friday night, after beating Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 to move 10 points ahead of nearest rivals Warriors FC with their seventh win in a row.

The usual suspects were on the scoresheet for the Bruneians once again, with Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan now with 12 and 11 goals respectively - the former still leading the league.

DPMM FC coch Steve Kean has effectively moulded a balanced team during the half year ha has been at the club - not only do they lead the league in goals with 32 from 12 games, they also have the stingiest defence allowing a measly 6 goals.

A win for Albirex would have seen them leapfrog Home United, Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC to second, but their second half performance - where a more attacking-minded DPMM emerged from the dressing room- meant the Japanse had to be content with staying 5th. 

Still, the game proved to be DPMM's toughest game of the year. 

The Japanese almost got ahead in the 17th minute during a one-on-one only for Kosuke Matsuda to see his shot saved by Wardun Yussof at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Berakas.

Roberto Alviz was denied by the post a minute later, and on the other end of the field, Albirex had a double-chance when Taiyo Nishida's header off a corner was saved and the ensuing attempt hit the side netting.

Albirex glovesman Kazuki Kishigami had to be at his best in the 42nd minute to keep O'Donovan out after he found space following a one-two with Tosi.

The Japanese side - who impressed with their one-two passing - took the lead in the 53rd minute when skipper Itsuki  Yamada latched onto a deflected pass at the edge of the box to slot home from close range,

However, DPMM were level three minutes later when O'Donovan stole the ball off Yamada on the right and ran in the heart of Albirex's defence before lashing in a fine shot which he hit the top left corner.

DPMM were stating to pose problems with their penetration and when O'Donovan was felled insode the box when sandwiched by Taisho Nishida and Soichiro Tanaka - the latter who appeared to tug O'Donovan down - referee Sukhbir Singh wasted no time in pointing to the spot, with Tosi's calm shot sending the fans into fits of frenzy.

The visitors could have ended with a share of spoils when DPMM's Azwan Salleh brought down Ota in the box, but Sukhbir Singh was not in the mood for Albirex's potests.

 

 



Wednesday, May 14
DPMM host Albirex tonight.

DPMM FC are in search of their 7th straight win and looking to extend their lead at the top of the S-League.

Brunei's only professional club  are set to kick-off the second half of the season against Albirex today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side had beaten the Japanese outfits 1-0 in their season opener, courtesy of a Rodrigo Tosi penalty in the Jurong East Stadium last February.

Having notched a winning debut then, DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean knows what to expect from their opponents and is hoping things will run accordingly.

"Our (recent) performances have been better than the (early games)as there was no flow to the start of the (earlier) games.Our challenge is for us to play well for the whole game against a team like Albirex," Kean told the Brunei Times when met during training session yesterday.

"We cannot afford a slow start.We need to be a t a good oace early and get hold of the game.

"If we can pull all the bits we have been working on all week together then we should put up another good performance," added the former Blackburn Rovers coach.

"Albirex are a good football side and bulid to play from the back.I don't expect them to play direct footbal as they are a team that like to pass the ball and work their way up the pitch.

"They have got good players.They are technically very goodand it is a challenge for us to get enough ball possession to create more chances," continued the Scotsman.

The only concern for Kean is that Bosnian defender is suspended for the encounter, having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season.

"It is always a concern when you lose a defender considering we have had many cleansheets," said Kean.

"It is unfortunate for Boris but that is part of the game.Good thing is that we only have 1 player susoended," he added.

Albirex head coach Okuyama Tatsuyuki believes they can give the home side a strong challenge.

"DPMM are a strong team and we will have to prevent them from playing their usual game," said Tatsuyuki. 

"I'm satisfied with the result despite losing 1-0 at that point but we can challenge them tomorrow(Wednesday). Our playes have gotten better after the first meeting.

"We have been preparing ourselves and we need to stop their key player Rodrigo Tosi from scoring.This year all their players are good and we are not ficussed on only one or two of them," he conclided.

Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, May 10
DPMM pulls away from chasing pack.

Brunei DPMM stregthened their lead atop of the S-League to 7 points after another comfotbale homr win against Tanjong Pagar 4-0 last night in a game that was settled after the restart.

DPMM held to a 2-0 lead heading the break and the fans were still finding their seats when Roy O'Donovan made it threee goals to the good as he latched onto a cross from Azwan Ali on the left which caught the Jaguars defence sleeping.

Composing himself for the shot, O'Donovan calmly guided the ball to the right corner and there was nothing Tanjong Pagar goalkeeper Aurelien Herrison could do to ave it-especially since the Irishman was just a few yards out.

It was DPMM FC's seventh win in a row and they continued their stunning form at home hwere they not hit the back of the net 19 times in their last four home games and conceded only 2.

O'Donovan scored the opener in the 10th minute after taking advantage of a slip by Tanjong Pagar captain Hafiz Osman in wet conditions to slot in a Hj Subhi Abdillah Bakir cross from the right.

Despite the visitors getting into the game after 20 minutes after pressuring DPMM to lose possession and commit sloppy passes, Monsef Zerka's tame shot at Wardun Yussof in the 24th minute was their only real highlight of the half.

The second goal soon came as DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis delivered a superb pass from just inside his half to O'Donovan on the right. The Irishman then crossed to Rodrigo inside the box and the Brazilain out-jumped Hafiz to beat Herrison just before the break.

But it was the third that goal that really knocked the wind out of the visitors sails, especially with it coming just after the second half kicked off.

However, DPMM 's Azwan Salleh provided the home fans with a fright when he slipped and lost the ball with Sebastian Etiembe bearing down on him.

Tanjong Pagar did well to tighten up in defence in the second half and prevented DPMM from enjoying too mush space and it needed Shahrazen Said's fresh legas to add the scoreline.

The one-time poster boy of DPMM, the striker has seen playing minutes hard to come by now that O'Donovan and Tosi are guaranteed starting-11 places.

But he made impact felt when introduced in te 88th minute, and after winning the ball in midfield, played a one-two with O'Donovan before placing the ball past Herrison. 

 



Friday, May 9
DPMM FC won't take foot off pedal.

DPMM FC will go into tonight's match against Tanjong Pagar with cautuin as they look to extend their S-League lead at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Brunei's only professional club are 4 points ahead of second and third placed Warriors and Tampines Rovers after the two battled to a 3-3 draw at the Clementi Stadium.

They will also be out to extend their five-game win streak against Tanjong Pagar tonight but DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is not allowing his squad to underestimate their opponents.

Kean insists the team will be vigilant and highlighted that it is dangerous should they take their foot off the pedal.

"We are top of the league but we have to be careful with these type of games.If we don't take them seriously then it will be a disadvantage for us," said Kean.

"If we are not fit we might lose our counter attacks.Keeping a clean cheet is our first objective. We have to stop the goals from coming and concentrate on scoring goals ourselves," he added.

"We might make one or two changes for the games in order to rest some players," continued the Scotsman.

Asked if there was any added pressure that they are top of the table,Kean replied: "It can be difficult for a team but for us we should not fear the pressure but enjot it as it can bring the best out of the players."

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan doesn't expect an easy outing and is hoping that the team play to their potential.

"It will be a difficult game. Performance needs to be there and we cannot underestimate these kind of games," said O'Donovan.

"We expect some more goals...Who scores the most goals doesn't matter just as long as the team wins and I hope the football will stay great," aaded the Irishman.

Tanjong Pagar heaed coach Ptrick Vallee knows that it will be difficult task to topple the Brunei side but is looking to put up a good fight against the hosts.

"We expect to get good results for every game but we also know that DPMM are performing very well right  now -both at home and away," said Vallee.

"WE are missing a few players and that is a problem for us. We know that it will be difficult but we will try whatever we can to win," he said.

"We didn't come here to lose and go back to Singapore.It would be better to just stay back hoem if we came with that mindset.

"We are competitors and we will see how the game goes," continued the Frenchman.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 



Friday, May 2
Coach Kean: We should have score more goals.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean felt that his team should have scored more goals in their 2-0 victory over Woodlands Wellington in the S-League on Wednesday night.

Woodlands are reduced to ten men in the 13th minute when Walid Lounis was sent off after bringing down Rodrigo Tosi inside the penalty box.

Tosi would convert from the spot kick to give DPMM the lead.

Azwan Ali Rahman would fire the second goal from distance to defeat Woodlands goalkeeper.

"I think we deserved to score more goals," Kean was quoted on the S-League official website after the match.

"I told my players to pace up at half-time because the game was very slow.

"Woodlands lost a man early and that changed the whole game.It was tough for them and the rhythm was changed," Kean said.

Striker Roy O'Donovan came close to scoring after the restart but his shot struck the post.

Tosi also miised his chance to score a brace, scooping the ball over the bar from inside the box.

Hj Md Subhi Abdilah Bakir who captained the team in the game echoed Kean's sentiments.

"It was a great game and we are happy with the result...Woodlands are a good team but they lost one player early in the game and we made good use of the advantage," said Hj Md Subhi.

"There are still more games to play in the league and we must take it one game at a time and must not lose focus.

Woodlands now sit 9th in the league and their head coach Darren Stewart admitted that his side was second best on the night.

"DPMM are a good team, they scored fantastic goals and there was never a case of us coming back into the game.We were playing with ten men against the bst team," said Stewart.

"It was a pleasing performance because we wanted to keep the scoreline at wht it was and we somehow did it, but of course it would have been better if we have pinched something to maybe get back into the game," he added. 



Thursday, May 1
DPMM FC notch 5th straight win.

DPMM FC continued their brilliant form inthe league with a 2-0 away win over the Woodlands Wellington last night.

The victory was DPMM FC's fifth straight win in the league and they are 5 points clear at the top.

The country's only professional club went ahead in the 14th minute with hitman Rodrigo Tosi converting the penalty.

Tosi was brought down inside the penalty box by Woodlands defender Walid Lounis and the latter was sent off for the challenge.

The Brazilian is still the current top-scorer of the league with 10 goals to his name.

Azwan Ali Rahman doubled DPMM FC's lead in the 47th minute, firing from 20 metres out to defeat Woodlands goalkeeper Yazid Yasin in goal.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean started the duo of Azwan Salleh and Hendra Azam in the midfield, leaving Rosmin Khamis on the bench again.

Rosmin would however come on for Hendra Azam in the 66th minute.

The only concern for DPMM FC last night was when Azwan Ali was hauled off the pitch in the 69th minute after going down with an injury.

"If we can continue this good form I believe that we will be able to win the league this year," said Rosmin in an interview last night.

"It feels good to be back playing with the team after the injury," he said.

Left back Sairol Hj Sahari who came on only in the 89th minute was equally pleased to take part in the win.

"It is always good to be back in the team, but this is not enough for me...I need to train harder and fight again for my place," said Sairol.

"I am ready and hungry and there is still long way to go.We must keep the momentum going." he eadded. 



Wednesday, April 30
DPMM FC gun for 5th straight win.

DPMM FC aregoing to approach tonight's League match against Woodlands Wellington FC with a lot of caution.

Brunei's only professional team are gunning for their 5th straight win and can move five points clear at the top of the table should they win tonight at the Woodlands Stadium.

The team is in high spirits and Hj Md Subhi Abdilah BAkir, who has been captain for the last two games, believes they have what it takes to leave with all three points.

"We have to be extra careful and respect the away team because Woodlands also surprise the big teams," said Hj Md Subhi in an interview with the Brunei times yesterday.

"We will work hard and give 100 per cent for tomorrow (Wednesday) night."

"As alway, we are ready mentally and physically.

"We are looking for the three points and hopefully luck is on our side. InsyaAllah, we will try our best," continued Subhi.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean started the duo of midfielders Azwan Salleh snd Md Hendra Azam in the past two matches despite Rosmin Khamis and leftback  Sairol Sahari returning from injuries.

"Every game is tough, and we don't take anything easily," said Sairol.

"We just have to keep the momentum and play all out the whole 90 minutes.

"I can't say we are confident but I do hope we can win.Football is hard to predict," he added.

The current leaders boast the best offensive and defensive records in the league, finding the back of the net 24 times and only conceding 5 so far.

Their good form in front of goal has been largely thanks to the duo of Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan.

The Rams have however sprung some surprises - especially after beating three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers 2-1 on April 18 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

They will be banking on last season's joint top-scorer Moon Soon-Ho to find the back of the net- though the South Korean onyl 2 goals so far this campaign.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Tuesday, April 29
Steve Kean could have worked with Mourinho ahead of this season but he said "No"

Steve Kean has claimed he turned down an opportunity to become an assistant coach at Chelsea ahead of this season.

The former Blackburn boss currently manages abroad at Singapore top flight side Brunei DPMM, but states that agents from the Blues contacted him last summer about becoming member of the back-room staff at the west London club.

According to Kean, it is the second time the Premier League and Champions League high flyers have spoke to him about filling a coaching position at the club following an earlier attempt in 2008.

"There was contact before Jose Mourinho arrived in the summer, Kean told Owen Amos at britishcoachesabroad.com.

"I was sounded by an agent asking whether I was up for an assistant's role, and whether I was available.I said I was taking time out, and that, when I came back, I wanted a manager's job.

"I could have been Luiz Felipe Scolari's assistant at Chelsea. They approached me when I was assistant at Coventry - I spoke to Chris Coleman, the manager and he said,"Speak to the chairman Ray Ranson.)" 

"So I spoke to Ray, and he said: "You've got a contract here. "So it didn't happen, but its always nice when you 're approached by a club of that stature.It shows people rate you."

Kean's time at Blackburn has been his only managerial job in England, but after controvetsially replacing Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park in 2010, the 46-year old was sacked just under 2 years later having led Rovers to relegation from the top flight in his only full season at the club.

Despite his ill-fated spell at the current Championship side, Kean states he has no regrets about his Blackburn tenure and feels his reputation has not suffered because of it.

Kean added: "Do I have any regrets about my time at Blackburn? Not one. Decisions were made above me about selling players,which made it difficult. Its much harder to win games in the Premier League when you've got so many young guys, players just starting out.

"But it meant we gave opportunities to guys like Martin Olsson, Junior Hoillet, Grant Hanley, Jake Kean. Really, we had a great dressing room, and I can count on one hand the number of games when we were really, really poor.

"I don't feel my reputation has suffered because of Blackburn. Speak to anyone who's ever worked with me - because the best people to ask are the players.

"Ask Andy Cole, Edwin Van der Sar, Paul Robinson, Bradley Orr, Grant Hanley, Scott Dann, whoever. Its the players who matter. Its your job to make them better. They're the ones who'll decide whether you're good, bad, or indifferent." 



Saturday, April 26
DPMM FC strike force crush Balestier Khalsa.

DPMM FC shot back at the top of the Singapore League after a 4-1 thumping of Balestier Khlasa last night.

A brace by forwards Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O'Donovan paved the way for the club's fourth straight win. 

The home side came out storming and were in full attack mode despite starting the match without the services of Rosmin Khamis and Sairol Hj Sahari.

O'Donovan had his first chance of the game in the 6th minute but his shot from inside the box was saved by Balestier keeper Zaiful nzam.

DPMM FC got another opportunity in the 21st minute after a dsplay of good individual skill by Tosi to skip his defender down the left only to see his shot denied by Zaiful.

Balestier couldn't push the ball forward bt looked dangerous on set pieces.

The Tigers had their first chance in the 26th minute through captain Paul Cunningham after he fired a free-kick from the edge of the box over the wall but Wardun did well to gather his attempt.

O'Donovan should have scored in the 35th minute after connecting on a Joe Gamble cross but the Irishman miskicked the ball.

The DPMM FC marquee signing was causing havoc for the Balestier backline with his timely runs.

O'Donovan finally broke the deadlock for DPMM just before the halftime whistle.

It started from a long goalkick by Wardun which landed in front of Azwan Ali who pulled it back for Tosi.

The Brazilian would lob it over the defence for O'Donovan to chest it downaand fire it past Zaiful.

The Brunei side started the second half where they left off and continued ti push forward.

O'Donovan won a penalty in the 59th minute after he was pushed down by Tajeli Salamay inside the box after receiving a cross from Roberto Alviz.

 Tosi calmly sltted home the ensuing spot kick to double the lead for the home side.

Cunnigham had a chance for the Tigers 4 minutes later but could only skyrocket his shot from inside the box.

DPMM made it 3-0 in the 69th minute off a set piece and a scramble in the box.

Defender Abd Aziz Tamit got on the end of an Azwan Salleh corner to put it inside the box for Tosi who easily tapped in his 9th goal of the season.

Azwan Ali was put through on goal in the 75th minute but the Balstier keeper did well to get off his line to collect the ball.

Tosi almost scored his hat-trick four minutes later but his header off an Azwan Ali freekick went straight into Zaiful's hands.

O'Donovan got his 8th goal of the season in the 81st minute after finding the back of the net with fine finishing.

The almost perfect night was marred with DPMM failing to keep a cleansheet after a defensive lapse allowed Goran Ljubojevic to set-up Kim Minho to bulge the net in the 85th minute.

 

 

 

 



Saturday, April 26
Tosi:Our 12th man helped us win the game.

Rodrigo Tosi praised DPMM FC's supporters after a healthy crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas helped propel them to a 4-1 win over Balestier Khalsa FC last night.

Speaking to the media after the match, the Brazilain said that playing at home with the local fans cheering them on is a belssing as it gave the hosts an edge over the opponents.

"Playing at home is always great, especially when you win," smiled Tosi.

"We have great fans and they provide a great atmosphere.When the fans start cheering, it gaves us that extra motivation to play better," added the 30-year old who now has a team high of nine goals for DPMM FC.

Despite controlling last night's match,they ket in a goal when Kim Minho tapped in an 85th minute consolation.

The hosts were in the driver's seat for most of the game though,and speaking to the media,Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic felt that luck just wasn't on their side.

"A lot of chances did come our way and we wasted some of them," said Kraljevic.

"We were off our form tonight and we paid for it.Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose - that's football," he added.

Steve Kean though, was more than satisfied with his side's display and sais he respected Balestier for their fortitude.

However, the DPMM FC coach said that the win would have been better if they had ekpt a clean sheet

"Honestly, I'm impressed by tonight's performance," said Kean.

"We played a great passing game, played well overall and we scored quality goals.

"The opposition's single gol did annoy me because our defenders slipped up for that moment when they shouldn't have allowed the opposition to score an easy goal.

"We work hard to keep a clean sheet in our matches, so yes, it bothers me.

"If it wasa world -class goal,I wouldn't have mind." 

 

 



Friday, April 25
DPMM FC out to stretch win streak against Balestier.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his squad can continue on their wiining ways.

Brunei's only professional team will hist Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM FC are in good form after coming off three straight wins within a span of 10 days before a nine-day break heading into the encounter.

Kean felt that it was  well-needed break and believes that they can carry the momentum forward.

"When we look at the season,overall the games soemtimes comes very thick and fast then a break in between," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We always train well and we used thenine days to get to the gym to continue strength and conditioning," he said.

the mometum can be continued as we practiced a lot and they were very intense.At the right time,players will get a few recovery days.The fitness level has been superb and we have only had very few injuries," continued Kean.

"We are an offensive team and we will score in every game as we create more chances.Our focus is to try and minimise the goals against," said Kean.

"We try to imit our opponents and we only gave Tampines very few shots even though we lost the game.We will continue to keep progressing and get more cleansheets," he continued.

Balestier head coach Marko Kraljevic,meanwhile, is expecting a difficult battle to try and upend the hosts especially since they are missing key player Park Kang -jin in midfield.

"We go into every game expecting to win. But it will be tough since they are a lot better than last year," said Kraljevic.

"They are playing well and have 5 good import players.It is a good mixture with the local players and they look promising especially after they beat Home United 3-0.

"We are missing our playmaker Park.He is the middleman,connecting our attack and defence. We are struggling without him.

"We have a good team but we are a bit shaken and need a bit of time to regroup especially mentality," he said.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 



Friday, April 25
Coach Kean: Azwan can play in any of the top leagues.

DPMM FC Steve Kean believes that Azwan ALi Rahman is able to play in any of the top leagues based on his current performance.

After leaving Indera SC and joining DPMM FC early last year, the 22-year old Azwan has been enjoying his time in th club this season as he is more actively nvolved in creating plays for the league squad.

Azwan, who has played in all eight league matches, is growing comfortable with role after scoring in the last 3 games, impressing Kean and the fans with his recent displays after scoring his first goal for the club in their 6-1 win over the Young Lions.on April 6.

When Kean was interviewed yesterday he talked about Azwan very positively.

"Azwan has been playing very well for the team, exceptionally even," said Kean.

"Even when I first joined the team(last November)he kept on impressing me with his performance.

"With the ways he coming along as a player,I can confidently say he can play in any of the top leagues.No problems," added the Scotsman after the team's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Azwan is also relishing his new role and feels that he can contribute more this season now that he has increased play time.

And when asked about his recent performncehe said that it is encouraging for him to see his hard work and dedication pay off.

"I was preety much a bech player last season, getting rotated in and out by the previous coach (Vjeran Simunic)," said Azwan.

But this season I've been given a more active and solid role, and I'm happy with the decision as ot will help me grow more as a player.

"I'm feeling preety confident after scoring in the last three games.Its building my confidence to get involved with the play more and helpfully score some more goals," he added.

The midfielder is looking forward to DPMM FC's next match against Balestier Khalsa tonight, and he hopes the team will be able to carry on their winning ways.

"For me the team's performance is more of a priority than my individual performance because we're on a very good run at the moment, and I hope it doesn't stop soon," he said.

"Just as long as we get the three points,I'll be happy," 



Friday, April 18
Tosi still among S-League's top scorers.

DPMM FC striker Rodrigo Tosi is still among the Singapore League's top goal scorers.

DPMM FC's top goal scorer has tallied seven goals in eight S-League matches so far and is tied with Miroslav Pejic of the Warriors and Gelson Moura of Hougang.

The 31-year old Brazilian is not thinking about the number of goals he has cored though, instead insisting it is the performance of the team - who currently top the S-League- that is more important.

"The teamwork is there with the way that we are playing. It is not only about me but Roy who has six goals as well,"said Tosi in an interview with the Brunei Times before the Hougang match.

"Our confidence is good as we are playing well.We are playing the way we should as pressing and then going forward to score.

"I just want to keep going...There is still a long way to go(in the season).

"I'm not going to think about it (number of goals) now but I just want to make sure I keep the momentum,"he continued.

There have been questions about Tosi's fitness as he didn't play the full 90 minutes in the past two victories over Young Lions and Harimau Muda due to calf tightness.

However, that has not stopped him from adding to his impressive tally so far in the season.

He notched two goals against the Young Lions before getting substituted in the 76th minute and also got his name on the scoreshhet against Harimau Muda before making way for Shahrazen in the 70th minute.

Tosi feels that he is at 100 per cent now and that the substitutions were necessary to conserve energy.

"I'm feeling good as I underwnt therapy twice a day," said Tosi.

"I managed to get some rest in the past two games as I had to make sure not to get injured as well.You are more tired towards the end of games and become more prone to picking up injuries," concluded Tosi. 



Friday, April 18
Kean pleased with Hougang win.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has lifted his team back to their winnign ways after their two game hic-cup in March.

DPMM have managed to get themselves back on track again after picking up three consecutive wins in the last two weeks, and they now lead the 12-team table.

They first annihilated Young Lions 6-1 before handing a 5-0 thrashing to Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC then defeated Hougang Utd 1-0 to put them at the summit of the league with 19 points, ahead of Tampines who sit on 18 points with one game in hand.

Kean acknowledged that Hougang were the stronger side in the half through sending in a number of crossed which cuased problems to DPMM , and the Scotsman felt that they were fortunate to go to the break wothout seeing a ball hit the back of their net.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager told his players to boost their performance in the second half as he felt they were playing below par.

"I thought we were better in the second hlf, but I thought Hougang can consider themselved unfortunate not to get somethingfrom the game,"Kean told the S-League website.

Azwan Ali Rahman scored with a header after connecting on a cross from Najib Tarif at the Hougang Stadium during the 77th minute, the lone goal eventually turning out to be the winner.

Despit Kean feeling that DPMM didn't put up a good show, he was still satisfied with the outcome.

"You are always pleased with the results when you win, especially when you win aay from home- but I don't think we played very well," said Kean.

Kean did confess that he wouldn't have been happy if they had to leave Singapore with just one point, going on to say that DPMM have to try and win all their games because one point would not be something to be happy about if they want to try and win the championship.

Hougang Utd coach Amin Nasri shared that his team couldn't secure the point due to suspensionsand injuries.

Despite the loss,Amin was still proud of his players as he flet they performed well.

"We created many chances.Overall I am so pleased with their character that we bounced back (after the 3-2 loss to Geylang the week before.)

"Yes we lost, but the performance tonight against Brunei, a good side, it was brilliant," added Amin.

DPMM FC's next match will see them take on Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas next Friday. 



Thursday, April 17
DPMM FC get a -head.

DPMM FC are back to the summit of the S-League following their 1-0 win against Hougang United last night.

Azwan Ali Rahman fired to their third straight victory after his second half goal proved to be the difference in the match.

The duo of Azwan Salleh and Md Hendra Azam got their first starts of the season playing in place of the injured pair of Eosmin Khamis and left back Sairol Sahari.

Hougang United were the better team in the opening exchanges and dominated much of the possession.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute off a counter attack through Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi but saw his header cleared by the Hougang backline.

Najib Tarif made an immediate impact having only subbed into the game in place of Hendra Azam two minutes before breaking the deadlock.

Azwan Ali headed home Najib's cross to beat Nazri Sabri in between the Hougang sticks in the 77th minute to snatch all three points.

The goal was the 22-year old's third in as many games this season.

Azwan Ali was ecstatic with the goal especially because it was s header and that it was supplied by his 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy teammate.

"It was an unbelievable goal to me because I have never scored a header goal," said Azwan Ali in an interview when contacted after the triumph.

"It was a fantastic cross from Najib and it feels great to score three goals in a row," he said.

Stand-in captain Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Bakir felt that the adjustments made at halftime were key in helping them notch the victory.

"The first was a bit difficult due to the conditions of the pitch because of heavy rain prior to kickoff," said Subhi.

"It was a very tough game as well.During half time,coach changed the strategy on how we should play for the second half," added the midfielder.

It worked and we dominated the second half.We created alot of chances then and credit to all thise players as we played hard till the final whistle," he continued. 



Wednesday, April 16
DPMM FC on hunt for third straight win.

DPMM FC are looking to stretch their winnign streak to three games despite being short-handed.

They will be missing the services of captain Rosmin Khamis(tight calves)and left back Sairol Sahari(left hip) for the encounter against Hougang tonight in Singapore.

The Brunei side are coming off back-to-back lopsided home victories against the Young Lions and Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean will be looking to the bench and believes that they still have enough firepower to put up a good game.

"There are just a few concerns. But any type of problem where they and play and rupture muscle, we will take them out," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times when met after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Monday.

"The guys on the bench or those who have no travelled...they are ready to play.We don't want to take any risks," he added.

The squad hasn't had much time to recuperate as the match today will be their third in the span of 10 days.

Kean is hoping that his charges will be able to deliver despite the tight schedule after putting in the work.

"It is a tough schedule and the lads have been here training almost everyday.We had to make sure we don't slip up any of the home gamesas it was important to get maximum points," said Kean.

"I have to credit to the lads as they have trained very hard.I think the away games are always different as the home team is expected to come out and get more possession and play.

"We also have to defend a bit more than thr last two games.The nature of our game is we like being aggressive by pushing high up the pitch to play a good game,"added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I can say that we are a fit side as our fitness level seems to show late in the game. This is another game we are well-prepared.

When the match (against Hougang)is finished we will have a nine-day turnaround before next game. I'll give a couple of rest days after the amount of work put in,"he concluded. 

 



Saturday, April 12
DPMM FC back on top.

DPMM FC are back to the summit of the S-League after a five-star performance last night.

Brunei's only professional team dominated and demolished Harimau Muda 5-0 at th Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas to leapfrog Warriord and Tampines.

Unlike the previous match against the Young Lions, DPMM got off to a ferocious start.

Marquee signing Roy O'Donovan almost out them in front after 30 seconds but blasted his shot into the side netting.

Two minutes later, Azwan ALi Rahman broke down the left and fired past Harimau Muda goalkeeper Ilham Amirullah for the lead.

It was his second goal in as many games.

The home side were playing a much different game by going with long balls instead if their usual short passes.

They doubled their lead in the 23rd minute when Sairol Sahari found the back of the net with his left foot after a weak punch by the goalie.

O'Donovan made it 3-0 in the 36th minute after getting at the end of a Rosmin Khamis free kick from their own half.

The home side were close to adding another goal in the first half in injurt time but Tosi's attempt flew over the goal.

Harimau Muda cam out of the interval a different side and were pressing forward.

Wardun got in on the action to deny a Nor Azam free-kick just four minutes after the restart.

Substitute Faris Shah had a chance but his free-kick from the edge of the box flew over the bar.

The game took a turn for the worse for Harimau Muda after Azril Nizam was shwon a straight red for falling O'Donovan just outside the box in the 55th minute.

He was unhappy with the decision and debated the call before being advised by his teammates to leave the pitch.

Tosi made no mistake with the ensuing freekick as he blated the ball beyond a hapless Ilham to make it 4-0. The goal brings his tally to 7 goals for DPMM this season so far.

O'Donovan got on the scoresheet again in the 71st minute after chipping the ball over an onrushing Ilhma to complete the rout.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean was pleased with the performance, especially in keeping the scoresheet.

"We pressed high up the pitch.and got that early goal.The players did very well and got that cleansheet," said Kean in a post match interview.

"We were going with the 40-50-metre passes but I told the boys at halftime to go for short passes of higher percentage.

"Many chances came from that and we were unfortunate not to get more goal," he added.

They(Harimau Muda) have to be disappointed with the sending off but the decisions sometimes don't go your way.

"We know that losing a man makes it more difficult so what we did was switch sides(the ball)to tire th opposition," he continued. 



Friday, April 11
DPMM FC gunning for max points.

DPMM FC are gunning for a cleansheet and all three points when they host S-League basement dwellers Harimau Muda today.

Brunei's only professional team have every right to be confident mood after coming off a 6-1 demolition of the Young Lions on Sunday.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is not taking anything for granted and will enter the match with caution.

"Like I said last week, these games are in a strange way more difficult if you don't approach them the right way," said Kean in an interview when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"If we don't start properly like in our last match,the other team can score one or maybe two then make the match difficult for us.

"But I'm confident of all three pointsafter the way we finished our game on Sunday," he added.

"We have been unfortunate in conceding goals from deflections. Weneed to focus on getting the blockas and avoid turning our back as it gives the keeper no chance ," continued the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers coach also highlighted his aim in not conceding for the encounter.

DPMM have been doing a great job a tthe defensive end so far, only conceding four over their past 6 matches.

"We want to get a cleansheet.We need to get to abck to where we were the first three games," said Kean.

"We know we can create chances and score goals.It is not just Wardun and the back four...everybody needs to think like a defender once we lose possession and put pressure," he added.

"Chances for the opposition are few then and we want to limit the waves of attack," continued the DPMM head coach.

There are no injury worries for Kean with both defender Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir and Brazilian forward Rodrigo Tosi back to full-fitness.

Harimau Muda B coach Razip Ismail is hoping that his charges will not suffer the same fate as the Young Lions.

"It is going to be a tough game for us.I'm worried of our opponents because they thrashed the Young Lions in the last game," said Razip.

"Whatever it is, we are prepared and the players will need to double their efforts to ensure we don't suffer the same results.

"I just hope the players will be able to produce a good game and avoid any embarrassment.They shouldn't be afraid," he added.

"I don't know much about the players in DPMM.I just know they have a new coach and imports.From past results we know that it will eb a tough match.

"WE have a squad made up 80 per cent of new players and they are not ready for this level.Getting a point out of this match would be very good," concluded Razip.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 



Monday, April 7
DPMM FC crush Young Lions in style.

DPMM FC are back to winning ways in the Singapore League.

The Brunei team shrugged off a slow start to demolish the Young Lions 6-1 in the Singapore League last night.

Both forwards - Roy O'Donovan and Rordigo Tosi - got on the scoresheet twice in the lopsided victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

DPMM FC didn't look like themselves in the opening exchanges and the visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute after Sherif El-Masri's deflected shot went pass Wardun Yussof.

Azwan Ali Rahman had an opportunity to tie things up but his shot was cleared off the line in the 30th minute.

Thr ensuing corner was punched out by the Young Lions keeper Syazwan Bahari to have it land at the feet of an unmarked O'Donovan who fired in the equaliser.

The Irishman found the back of the net again the next minute but this time was whistled for offside.

Tosi put the home team infront just before the break after heading a long ball from captain Rosmin Khamis in the 40th minute.

DPMM cam out aggresively after the break with Tosi getting back-to-back chances.

He fired just wide in the opening minute after the restart and then headeda Rosmin cros just over the bar the next possession.

It was in the 56th minute when Croatain midfielder Roberto Alviz rifled home his shot from inside the box to make it 3-1.

Tosi notched his second of the night six minutes later after he rounded his defender to put the ball past Syazwan.

Tosi should have bagged a hat-trick in the 68th minute but only could shoot over the bar.

The brazilain was give another opportunity in the 74th minute just before getting substituted by Shahrazen Said,but the Young Lions put another superb save to deny him.

O'Donovan added to the scoreline in the 87th minute after heading home a cross from Shahrazen.

The DPMM marquee should have notched his hattrick in the 90th minute but saw his effort saved by Syazwan.

Azwan Ali Rahman got his name on the scoresheet in injury time to complete the rout.

DPMM FChead coach Steve Kean was delighted with the win despite squandering multiple chances on adding to the scoreline.

"I'm satisfied with the three points but we could have scored more and get a couple of hattricks.We created a lot of chances and we will have to improve on our finishing,"said Kean after the triumph.

The good thing is the goal difference because it can be worth a point later on the season," he added.

Asked about the chances Tosi was getting in front of goal, Kean replied: "In defence of Rodrigo,he was not 100 per cent fit.We took a chance to play him despite having a tight calf."

Young Liosn head coach Aide Iskandar flet they were simply outplayed by their opponents.

"We were up against a quality team and we needed to improve our defending," said Aide.

"We lacked focus but we showed that we can play in the first half. But football is played over 90 minutes. They deserved the win." 

 



Sunday, April 6
DPMM out to tame Young Lions.

DPMM will not take anything for granted against the Young Lions in their league match tonight.

Despite their disparity in the stndings,DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean feels that these are the kind of matches which proved to be more challenging.

"I always think that these games are in a strange way just as difficult... if not, more difficult than playing against top teams at the top of the league," said Kean in an interview with the Times yesterday at the Mini Stadium. 

"We maybe better on paperbut we all know that games are not won on paper.We will respect the other team and make sure we give them that," he said.

"They are a team filled with young players who will be eager to impress and try to get results.

"We muxt try to grab control of the game as early as wecan.If we play anywhere near like against Tampines then I'm sure we will do well," continued the former Blackburn Rovers coach.

Asked if there were any defensive concerns, Kean replied: "I think the beauty of the first three games is that not only the back four were playing as defenders.

"We were stopping the ball before it got to the back four. Defence starts from strikers and we need to get back to pressing the ball high up the pitch.

"We have not allowed many shots at goal.Last match we allowed one target but it went in. Those stats show we are defending well as a team," he added.

"I actually thought there was a foul on Wardun and normally we would get it but unfortunately we didn't," continued Kean.

DPMM have got plenty of firepower upfront with Rodrigo Tosi, who have four to his name, and marquee signing Roy O'Donovan.

However Kean believes there is plenty of work still to be done.

"We have been working on our finishing all week.I think we get s little bit excited in front of goal.

"We have been practicing on being composed in front of goal. We keep creating and we should and scoring more than we have," added Kean.

On the other hand, Young Lions head coach Aide Iskandar feels that his charges are nothing to lose against the Brunei-side.

"We are the underdogs but we will go out to do our best.We know that they are a strong team and this will be a good test for the Young Liosn to go up against a Quality side," said Aide.

"They have a good striker force with Tosi and Roy upfront as well as a good midfield.

"I challenge my boys for a strong performance.They will need to stay focus and compete throughout the whole match," he added.

"Getting one point of the gamer is already a good result considering we are playing away in Brunei.Getting three would definitely a bonus,"concluded Aide.

Spectators stand a chance to win return air tickets to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur sponsored by Royal Brunei airlines.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 

 



Saturday, March 29
DPMM FC held by Geylang.

DPMM FC remain second in the league after being held to a 1-1 draw by Geylang at th  eBedok Stadium in Singapore last night.

Geylang, who lost their first three games of the season but now have picked up a win and a draw after the arrival of German coach Jorg Steinbrunner, are still 10th in the league.

Geylang got in front in the 16th minute through Yuki Ichikawa, who scored after lashing the ball into the back of the net after a freekick which DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof was unable to claim.

DPMM hit back immediately through Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi who bagged a team-leading fourth goal via a 21st minute free-kick.

Geylang's Hafiz Nur came close to giving the hosts the lead with a shot from outside the box which went past the post just before the hour-mark, with DPMM coach making two quick-fire changes in the space of four minutes.

Kean first hauled off midfielder Azwan Ali for Najip trif in the 64th minute and introduced striker Shahrazen Said for Tosi in the 68th minute.

Ten minutes later it was Sahrulrizal Rahman in for Abd Aziz Tamit, and DPMM were able to hold out until the 90th minute when Geylang goalie Joey Sim produced a reflex save to keep out what would have been a sure goal by DPMM's Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

"Its probab;y a fair resultcause I thought Geylang were better than us in the first ha;f and we were better than then in the second," said Kean after the match.

"The chance at the end was a good as any in the match...Great save from the goalkeeper.

"Credit to Geylang, they changed their system and played a 4-2-3-1 and stried to stretch us in the first half and wemade it difficult for us when we had the ball.

"But when we adjusted we matched them up and we had a great chance at the the very end to win it with Roy.

"Taking in all things,that's another point and gets us back in a positive mindset of picking up points,". 

 



Friday, March 28
DPMM FC ready to bounce back today.

It will take more than a six-point Tampines lead at the top of the league to worry DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis.

Three time defending league champions, Tampines sent out another strong sign to their title challengers by coming back froma two goal deficit to beat Harimau Muda B 3-2 last night -denying their first points if the season after a dramatic turn-around in which they scored all three of the goals in the last 5 minutes.

"I don't think there's more pressure on us, we just have to focus on winning,"Rosmin told the Time yesterday."The most important thing is how we react after last week's defeat," he said.

"Its very important to win since we need to get back to our winning ways.

"Every team will concede goals, we just need to bounce back.

 "We needed to take our chances that night and I'm sure we would have won, but we need to live with it and need to keep going and forget about the loss," he added after seeing the team's three-game winning streak coem to an end.

Geylang have been the exact opposite.

After losing their first three games, Geylang notched a slim 1-0 win over Young Lions in theit last gaem snd will enter tonight's tie against DPMM with a spring in their step.

The game against the Young Lions was the first match in charge for Jorg Steinebrunner, who replaced V.Kanan in the Geylang hotseat, and the German's arrival seemed to have motivated the Eagles enough for them to grab their first points of the campaign.

"They have a new coach from Germany and they won their last match, so it won't be easy for us,"admitted Rosmin.

Perhaps adding more pressure on DPMM, though Rosmin won't agree,is tonight's other match which pits 5th placed Balestier against third-placed Warriors.

A win for either for the two sides, combined with dropped points for DPMM, could see them slide to third.

But in a season which is only 5 games in, it will take more than that to give Rosmin any sleepless nights. 

 



Monday, March 24
DPMM FC heartbroken.

DPMM FC failed to break their Tampines Rovers curse as they were denied ao victory by the woodwork twice.

Brunei's only professional football team succumbed to the three-time defending chsmpions 2-1 heatbreak in their S-League match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They remain winless against Tampines in all five meetings - two of which have ended in draws anf this is the third time the Singaporeans found the back of the net late in the game.

It was also Steve Kean's first defeat of the season and also the first time they let in a goal, which the Stags leaping over DPMM to take sole possession of the top.

DPMM put up a dominant showing but were made to pay the price for wasting their chances upfront, with skipper Rosmin Khamis and Roy O'Donovan both having attempts rattle the posts within two minutes of each other.

Kean was disappointed with the outcome as he believed they should have walked away with all three points.

"I'm disappointed because we did enough to win...I would have even been disappointed with a draw," said Kean in an interview with the media after the match.

"We created enough to win two games.

"We were on top, hit the post twice and even had a chance for a penalty.We needed to be more ruthless to score and could have gotten full points,

"I'm disappointed with the second goal as we should have put more pressure on the ball," continued the former Blackburn manager.

DPMM started the match strongly and deservingly took the lead through Roberto Alviz in the seventh minute when Joseoh Gamble set up a trailing Alviz to rocket home his shot past Tampines keeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

There was an appeal for handball from DPMM's marquee signing O'Donovan when he has his shot blocked by Norihiro Kawakami three minutes later.

Tampines began to settle down and had their only chance through Shahdan Sulaiman in the 20th minute, though his deflected shot was saved by Wardun.

O'Donovan had a good strike in the 39th minute but Hyrulnizam put up a good save.

The former Sunderland player had another chance the next minute after connecting on an Azwan Ali Rahman cross  but was denied by Hyrulnizam's fingertips.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi rose the highest on another Azwan cross in the 44th minute but failed to hit the target.

Tampines didn't get many chances but pounced once given.

The Stags equalised through Miljan Mrdakovic after a failed clearance by the home side in the 56th minute.

The Tampined marquee signing got behing the defence and easily slotted it past Wardun for his fifth of the campaign.

DPMM almost responded immediately through O'Donovan in the 58th minute but Hyrulnizam once again saved it.

Tampines, who had used all their 3 substitutes by then, were basically down to ten men after Abdil Qaiyyim picked up an injury in the 63rd minute.However the defender would stay on the pitch for th remainder of the game.

Wardun had to coem up with back-tp-back saves in the 65th minute to prevent Tampines from adding to the scoresheet.

Tosi had  good chance in the 70th minute with his shot going across goal,with O'Donovan only able to hit the side netting.

DPMM looked to have gain the lead in the 72nd minute but Rosmin Khamis saw his shot off the post.

Two minutes later Rosmin has his attempt saved before O'Donovan pounced on the rebound denied by the post once again.

It was heartbreak later on as Shahdan struck in the 89th minute to complete the Tampines comeback.

DPMM looked to have salvaged a point on minute into injury time after O'Donovan scored,but the striker was flagged for offside.

 

 

 



Sunday, March 23
DPMM FC out to break Tampines curse.

DPMM FC are unfazed by their next challenge and are looking to break tradition.

Brunei's only professional fooball team are gunning for their first win against three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers in the league today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM have never beaten the Stags after recording two draws and two losses in their four meetings. 

The top of the table clash- with  both teams levelled on nine points with three consecutive wins - will be the biggest test fo DPMM head coach Steve Kean thus far.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager beleives that they have a strong chance on claiming their first victory over the Stags.

"The expectations for us are the same for every game.We think we are in a position where we can go on to win this game," said Kean in an interview during a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"What everybody sees is that we have progressively gotten better.

"Now we are up against a very good opponent which we will give a lot of respect to, but it is on our hoem ground," added Kean.

More impressively is that DPMM have kept cleansheets in their opening three triumphs over Albirex, Warriors and Home Utd.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof have said previously that they can win the game as long as they keep a cleansheet and his head coach agrees.

"Yes I do.I believe we have got enough attacking players on our side which will look us over to create chances and score goals," said Kean.

My biggest focus from preseason until now is to be defensively compact and really determined.

"Not just Wardun and defenders but everybody when we lose the ball.

"We put pressure high up the pitch that has kept the ball away from goal for longer periods of time," added the Scot.

Tampines came off a 3-1 victory over the Indian side Pune FC in the AFC Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Wednesday.

Kean felt that the match is a double edged sword for Tampines.

"They got a great result on Wednesday and I think that will give them a lot of confidence on the positive side," said Kean.

"On the negative side, it is their second game of the week.No doubt that would take a lot out of them,"he added.

"We are looking to play at a high tempo and dictate pace of game.Confidendce is game but we have to be careful not to be over.We are at the right level at the moment," continued Kean.

Forward Roy O'Donovan is also in confident mood and is looking on the scoresheet again after opening his account with two goals against Home Utd.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow (Sunday).It should be a great occasion.This is a good test for the evolving DPMM team against an experienced Tampines team," said O'Donovan.

"Experience is as good as youth and speed. There will be two differing styles and hopefully football is the winner," added the former Sunderland striker.

His partner upfront, Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi, has found the back of the net in all the matches and is hoping to keep his form.

"I hope I can keep on scoring as I want to help the team in any way.Most important is the victory.It doesn't matter who scores Roy or anyone else...even Wardun,"said Tosi.

"I remember our last match(where DPMm was thrashed 6-2 at home in August)and I want to erase from my mind.That is from the past year and now we're in a new team with a different mentality," he added.

We're confident.Football is crazy and anything can happen. Both are good teams but we're looking to get a win at home," continued the Brazilian.

Tampines head coach Salim Moin is hoping to get a positive result out of the encounter and will be banking on striker Milijan Mrdakovic, the current top-scorer with four to his name , to lift the team.

"We're hoping for a good result.DPMM are in a good situation, having won three in a row under their new coach,"said Salim. 

"I have watched them.They showed team unity and are working as a unit.

"We have just completed a hectic schedule and are coming off a tough game."

"The resting period is inadequate as we played on artificial pitch.It normally takes 2-3 days to recover," added the Stags coach.

"Right now he (Mrdakovic) has good confidence and hopefully he will continue to score,Tomorrow (Sunday) will be exciting,"he concluded.Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, March 22
Tampines field test next.

DPMM FC are looking to erase their bad memories against the Tampines Rovers.

Brunei's only professional club will face their biggest match so far in the Steve Kean era as they host the three-time defending champions in the Singapore League tomorrow at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Both teams have won their opening three games of the season with nine points each to their name in the 12-team table.

However,DPMM have yet to get on the winning end against the Stags with two draws and two losses in their past meetings.

Their last meeting in August was one to forget as they handed a 6-2 thrashing at home, with Aleksandar Duric firing a hat-trick.

Captain Rosmin Khamis, though, has already forgotten their last encounter and is focussed on the present.

"I don't even remember the last time we met," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

"It will be a big match since both teams have had a good start to the season and we'll be playing to win.

"I think they are also worried about us since we also have form strikers in Rodrigo and Roy.

"They are working hard upfront and both deserved to score against Home Utd.

"I also want to credit all the players for that win and it will be an entertaining match this Sunday.

"I also hope that many football fans will come to support the team as it will be an extra boost for the players," continued Rosmin.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof believes that they have got what it takes to barge into the win column against the Stags.

"In Kean we trust...As his tactics always work.

"It will be a tough game though.If we defend good like the last three games and keep a clean sheet, then we will win the game.

"The goals will come because our attackers are good enough to score goals. I hope in this game against Tampines,our players will give 101% until the final whistle," continued the DPMM custodian.

Left back Sairol Sahri didn't play the last encounter but knows that teamwork is the important thing if they are to finish as winners.

"Tampines are a very good team.For me as a defender,we just hasve to keep our momentum on how we have been playing and work together a sa team,"said Sairol.

"I don't mind who we play against.We just have to work hard in every game we play, and it is going to be an exciting match since both teams have not loss," concluded the left back.

Kick off is at 8.15pm. 



Saturday, March 15
O'Donovan double sends DPMM top.

Brunei DPMM signaled their title intent after topping the S-League table on Friday night by convincingly beating Home United 3-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Steve Kean's side their 100% record in the league as they won their third game in a row, having yet to concede a single goal so far.

The foreign contingent for DPMM were the stars of the show as former Sunderland striker Rory O'Donovan bagged a brace while Rodrigo Tosi maintained his fine early season form with hs third goal in as many games.

After a cautious opening period, it was the Protectors who carved the first real opportunity on 15 minutes. Fazli Ayobchipped the ball to Syahiran Miswan, who slammed a half-volley into the side-netting.

DPMM came close to breaking the deadlock a few minutes later after Rosmin Khamis's long ball was chested by Tosi into the path of O'Donovan, but his first-time volley smashed against the upright.

However, O'Donovan was not to be denied again as on 25 minutes. Joe Gamble's perfext cross found the Irishman, who made no mistake as he powered a header into give the Bruneian outfit the lead.

Nine minutes later, Gamble found Tosi as DPMM raced away on a counter-attack and the Brazilin feinted his marker before cracking a 25-yard shot that beat Shahril Jantan at the near post.

Home did try to get back as Fazli Ayob saw his effort get headed off the line, byt they were unabel to break down the resilient DPMMs' defense.

O'Donovan scored his second of his evening just after the hour mark as Tosi turned provider with his cross to the far post, where the 28-year old make no mistake from five yards with a simple header.

DPMM manager Steve Kean fired a warning to the other teams in the league after the match, saying that there is still room for improvement for his team despite their perfect start of their season.

"I think we can play better," he said after at the post-match press conference.

"We showed from the first game we managed to win, and we managed to win the second game too, Home is a good side, but I think there's more to come for us.

I've said from day one that we're assembling a squad to challenge for the title. The local players I've seen are very good, there's a lot of room for development. The foreign players we've brought in have fit in and adapted to what we've already got."

The former Blackburn manager also indicated that Home's involvement the AFC Cup earlier in the week was a "massive reason" for the team's lack of intensity against his side.

"Its not easy to play in the S.League and AFC Cup with a lot of injuries," Aidil lamented.

"WE have a big squad, but a lot of our key players were injured. I think we were second to everything on the Brunei played very well, closing down our key players.It might be fatigue, most if them might not have had enough recovery."

Still Aidil is optimisitc that once his players return from their injuries, they would be able to mount a greater fight for the title.

"Definitely, the coach (Lee Lim Saeng) is disappointed with the result, like everyone else in the team, but we can't look back, we have to look forward now," he said.

"Its too early to talk about title becaue its a very long season. We're not thinking of the title now. We want everybody to get fit, and then we can climb up the table as high as possible."

 

 



Friday, March 14
DPMM hungry for third win in a row

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamishas called on his teammates to fire themselves up ahead of tonight's league match against Home United.

Third in the tabel and just one point behind the leaders Balestier Khalsa and second-placed Hougang, DPMM FC are gunning for their straight third win to continue their flying start to the Steve Kean era - but Rosmin knows the outing against the Protectors are always tough ones.

"What we need is passion and take every chance that we are given" said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times ahead of the game at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

"It is going to be difficult since they managed good results in their last two matches and I won't say that we are confident but we just need to play together as a team like we did in the last two matches.

"We also will have to maintain what we do best and try to avoid making mistakes," he added yesterday.

Asked what to watch out for against Home, the captain replied: "Honestly I don't know much about them."

"I only know they have made changes to the team this year and they have taken some good players from around the league.

"I watched their first match against Tampines Rovers on television. They are a very good passing teamand they like to go forward every time." continued the midfielder who got on the scoresheet in the 2-0 result against the Warriors.

DPMM FC's defence will be the key once again as they have kept clean sheets in their first two matches- and are the only side in the 12-team league yet to let in a goal.

Left  back Sairol Hj Sahri, who returned to the squad at the start of the year after a meniscus tear to his right knee last August, also knows they are up against some stiff opposition.

"We just need to play our normal game.I know that it is going to be hard but we will try our best," said Sairol.

"So far the season has gone well. We want to keep the momentum going and help each other in keeping a clean sheet.

"We have to watch out for all of them(Home players) because we never know what will happen in football.We must be alert at all times and I can say that we will try our best to grab points out of the game," he concluded.

DPMM FC will once again be banking on in-form Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi, who got his name on the score-sheet in both matches, to lead the charge. He will partner marquee signing Roy O'Donovan- who has yet to open his account with the club. Fan favourite Shahrazen Said is still in search of his first start. 

 



Friday, March 7
Tosi providing DPMM FC's spark.

DPMM FC find themselves at the top of the Singapore League and it is largely thanks to Rodrigo tosi.

The Brazilain found the back of the net twicein as many games tolift DPMM to the summit of the 12-team table.

Tosi scored the only goal from the penaly spot for a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium on February 22 to gibe head coach Steve Kean a winning debut in the league.

Brunei's only professional team followed that up with a 2-0 triumph over Warriors FC in their first home match at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium last Friday.

Tosi scored from outside the box for the lead just three minutes after the restart and created the second for captain Rosmin Khamis just before the final whistle.

Rosmin's first attempt, after a one-two with Tosi, hit the post before he pounced on the rebound to kill off the Warriors' hopes of a comeback.

The humble 31-year old didn't want to take all the credit but instead credited everyone on the team to their good start of the season.

"It is a good start for everyone.The team is doing well because we are working hard together. That is the difference," said Tosi in an interview yesterday.

"It is not a one player team. I'm getting the goals because I'm playing as a striker now. I hope that the good form continues," he added.

"I'm enjoying myself playing up front since I'm nearer to th goal. I always try to shoot and hopefully I can continue to do well," concluded Tosi, who is in his second spell with the club after a stint during the 2005/2006 Malaysian Super League campaign.

DPMM FC will play their next  game against Home United at the Jlaan Besar Stadium in Singapore next Friday. 



Friday, March 7
Azwan, Shahrazen adjusts to life on the bench.

DPMM have donned a new look under former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean.

The DPMM FC head coach didn't start the duo of striker Shahraen Said and midfielder Awan Salleh in their last two matches in the league.

Despite their absence in the starting 11, Brunei's only professional club notched wins against Albirex Niigata and Warriors FC respectively to lead the 12-team table.

Both are unfamiliar territory as they were regulars on the starting 11 under the former head coach Vjeran Simunic.

Shahrazen has been left out of a spot up front as Rodrigo Tosi, who previously played as a midfielder, has been moved to the striker position.

The move has paid off as the latter has found the back of the net in both the games.

The Brazilian is partnered by marquee signing Roy O'Donovan up front leaving Shahrazen on the bench.

On the other hand,AzwanAli Rahman is getting the start over Azwan Salleh as the left midfielder.

Azwan Salleh has at least come on for some minutes in both those matches in the second half but Shahrazen has clocked over the 2 games.

The latter is affected with no playing time but keeps a positive attitude.

"I feel that my morale has gone down a little since I was always on the pitch as the first 11 over the past two seasons," said Shahrazen in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"But come to think of it, I'm sure there will be chances to play," said the 28-year old.

"I will remain patient and watch our import strikers score goals for the time being," continued Shahrazen, who finished as joint top scorer of the 2006/7 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season with 21 goals.

 Azwan Salleh too remains positive and will take all the chances he is given once on the pitch.

"We have a new coach and his decision is to play Azwan Ali.It is good for the team," said Azwan Salleh.

"I'm keeping positve even though I want to play. There is nothing negative and I will make full use whenever I get the chance to play," he added.

Most important is that the team wins. I'm ready to play anytime off the bench,"concluded the 25-year old.

 



Sunday, March 2
Warriors: We had no luck.

Warriors FC coach Alex Weaver believes his team did not deserve to leave the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium empty-handed following Friday's 2-0 league defeat to DPMM.

Captain Rosmin Khamis sealed the win for DPMM after scoring the second goal in the 89th minute when he made a beautiful run to latch onto a through ball from Rodrigo Tosi.

Rosmin would striker the right post in his first attempt but made no mistake in his second by slamming the ball into the net,past the goalkeeper.

The first goal saw Tosi's shot from outside the box deflect off Warriors captain Daniel Bennett and into the net, with Weaver blaming the striker on bad luck.

"Luck can be the reason for winning and losing, but you saw the goal that we conceded and from my point of view we were quite unlucky," said the Warriors coach.

"DPMM had a couple of chances , we had some chances.

"They scored a deflected goal and we let in another goal in the end, so it was again a bit unlucky for us and we were extremely disappointed to coem away from here haaving lost the game,"he said.

"They hit us on the counter attack for the first goal.

"We thought we had things under control and Bennett made the tackle and Tosi got the bounce of the ball and the shot... Hassan thought he got that covered," added the coach.

"He(Hassan) was rising but the ball got deflected and looped over him.Hassan is a very good goalkeeper and that was quite unfortunate."

"We had some cjances in the half in and around the penalty area, and it was just a matter of getting the players at the end of all the crosses.

"We made a few changes tactically from last week and it was working well until we conceded the deflected goal - and the momentum changed after that," he added.

Moving forward ,Weaver said that next week's international break will provide his players so much needed time to recover and prepare for their next game agianst Harimau Muda B.

Former Scotland Under-21 international Kevin McCann was hauled-off midway through the second half to make way fror Zulfadli Emran.

Weaver explained that the decision to take out the midfielder stemmed from an injury concern.

"We will have a rest day because of the international break which is good.

"We've got a couple of injuries now and hopefully all those guys will be back and get ready for Harimau Muda on March 12," added Weaver. 



Saturday, March 1
DPMM FC down Warriors.

DPMM FC continue to impress under the guidance of newly appointed coach Steve Kean following their comfortable 2-0 win Warriors FC last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

DPMM currently sit on top of the Singapore League table with a maximum of six points from two games.

The club has now scored three goals, with Rodrigo Tosi providing much of the firepower.

He scored the only goal in their 1-0 win against Albirex last week and he opened the scoring three minutes into the second half last night.

Captain Rosmin Khamis sealed the three points with DPMM's second in the 83rd minute.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when the midfielder Miroslav Peljic dribbled past Sairol Sahri on the right flank.

Pejic then set his team-mate Nicholas Velez through the ball but the striker fired the shot wide.

Another move from the right initiated the Warriors/ right back Jeremy Chang caused panic to the DPMM backline but Veelez once again failed to find the target.

DPMM had their own chance few minutes later when Toi flicked the ball for striker Roy O'Donovan but Warriors' defender Zulfadli Zainal was quick to put out the danger.

Both teams matched up evenly in the first half but a rejuvenated DPMM would establish dominance in the second half.

The restart saw DPMM adopting a more aggressive play style.

It did not take long for Tosi to break the deadlock, his shot from outside the box deflecting offcaptain Daniel Bennett and into the net.

Roberto Alviz put on a commendable performance, his tirely work ethic closed down the midfield,disrupting the play of Warriors' Dharham Aziz and Kevin McCann, the latter replaced midway in the second half.

Tosi had the chance to score his second of the night at the hour mark but his shot went straight into the hands of Warriors' goalkeeper Hassan Sany.

O'Donovan looked to have scored his debut goal for DPMM but his attempt was judged to have been offside.

DPMM were then denied a penalty when O'Donovan appeared to have been brought down by Shia Jiayi in the penalty box.

Captain Rosmin Khamis would fire his volley wide a minute following a cross from Hj Subhi from the left.

The captain eventually found  the net in the final minute of the game when he made a beautiful run to latch onto a through ball from Tosi - who scooped the ball over the Warriors' defence line.

Rosmin struck the right post in his first attempt but made no mistake in his second slamming the ball into the net.

"We had a very good goal that I think was not an off-side. We got a big claim for penalty that was not given, but we just got on with the game," said DPMM coach Steve Kean after the match.

"The second half was better ... We trusted each other with the ball."

"Boris Raspudic was exceptional tonight, he is a tough defender, the one who lokes to defend and tackle," said Kean when asked who was DPMM's best player of the night. 



Friday, February 28
DPMM FC play Warriors tonight.

DPMM FC will be looking to build on their good start to the S-League season when they take on Warriors FC in their first home game of the campaign tonight.

The club have been reinvingorated by the arrival of former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean during the close season, and they were able to snap a three-game losing streak to Albirex Niigata (S) in their S-League opener last week.

As if their 1-0 win at the Jurong East Stadium wasn't enough of a statement, Kean used his post-match conference to announce DPMM FC's title bid on two fronts -  the S-League and Singapore Cup.

Though it may be too ealry to confirm if DPMM are really championship contenders, club captain Rosmin Khamis sais the team have been boosted byt their victory against the Japanese outfit-  and all they need to do now is to be consistent.

"We've got a different coach and he has brought in different methods, and it has worked out so far and the win against Albirex has given us confidence," he told the Brunei Times ahead of tonight's clash at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"The difference now is that we are more compact and have more movement, and we just need to keep up with the good workwe did against Albirex," added the 32-year old midfielder yesterday.

Record 8-time S-League winners Warriors also got their their season off to a wiining start by beating Geylang 2-1 last week, holding on to the 3 points despite Croatian defender Marin Vidosevic's red card in the 81st minute.

"We'll be weary of DPMM but we're not here just to make up the numbers," warned Warriors' coach Alex Weaver, who took over from V.Selvaraj midway through last season.

"This is DPMM's first home game of the season and there will be good crowdand great atmosphere.

"We've got a very offensive team and with the players we've got , the game should be quite exciting.

"We've signed some string midfielders this season- Kecin McCann,Thomas Beattie,Miroslav Pejic, Md Hafiz Md Nor- and I'm sure that people would have been pleased with our display against Geylang." 



Monday, February 24
Hungry DPMM eye 1st S-League title.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis believes that the club's new signings ca help them win their first Singapore League title this season.

Brazilain Rodrigo Tosi converted a first half penalty to lift DPMM FC to a 1-0 vicotry over Albirex Niigata.

The match featured all the club's new imports - striker Roy O'Donovan, defender Boris Raspudoc and midfielders Joseph Gamble and Roberto Alviz.

"It is only the beginning of the seasonbut it is very good sign and it is also good for us to beat against Albirex away from home," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

Newly appointed coach Steve Kean echoed the skipper's comments.

Singapore's goal.com reported that the coach already has his sights set on the trophy.

"We'd like to win the [Singapore]Cup and the league, and I think that would be a good season." Kean was quoted as saying.

"They[the management] wants to win the championship.For the next two years, we have committed to the league and they want to win it for the next two years.I believe we have assembled a squad not only do that but do it in the cup competition," he said at the post-match conference.

Striker Shahrazen Said and Wardun Yussof were the notable absentees at the Jurong East Stadium on Friday.

DPMM FC star signing, former Sunderland striker O'Donovan had his moments in the game but it was Tosi who made the headlines.

The Brazilian midfielder was brought down by Albirex's Kazuki Kishigami before stepping-up to take and score the penalty in the 15th minute.

"The boss(Steve Kean) was not impressed with how we passed the ball in the game, but he insisted that was important to get a win as all teams will have their good and bad days throughout the season,"said the skipper.

"The new signings performed well in the game and I think they wil play a very important role for the club this season." 

They (new signings) adapted very well and they are also good people and they bring excellent environment in the dressing room."

"If we can continue this until the end of the season , we can win the league title,"he said.

DPMM will host the Warriors at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Friday. 



Sunday, February 23
Steve Kean targets S.League title after first win.

We want to win the S.League title. That was the message from new Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean on Saturday night, after their win over Albirex Niigata on his debut.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager, who arrived to take charge of the club in November last year, stated his aim to challenge for the league crown at the post-match conference at the Jerong East.

"We'd like to win the [Singapore] Cup and the League, I think that would be a good season," Kean declared.

"They (the management) want to win the championship.For the next two years, we have committed to the league and they want to win it for the next two years. I believe we've assembled a squad that can not only do that, but do it in the cup competitions."

"I wasn't particularly pleased with the way we passed the ball, I think we can pass it much better," he acknowledged.

"But I think we showed taht we've got discipline when we don't have the ball. I've said to the lads after the game that if you look at any team that wins the championship, there would be many games where they don't play to their maximum and get points.

"ANd I think thats what we've done today and we've got much, much more to come."

The Scot's confidence came from what he's seen on his side since taking over, with new foreign signings Boris Raspudic, Roy O'Donovan and Joe Gamble looking assured on their debuts.

"Roy's come in and only had few training sessions, it's difficult to get a partnership so quickly but he's a good football player and I'm sure he'll get a good understanding with Rodrigo," he pointed out.

I've got good import players this year,very good. I think the local players have worked really hard for the last six weeks and they've improved in every area so we are confident we'll have a good season."

Kean is aware that his task won't be easy, having witnessed a few pre-season friendlies and watched ome of last season's ones on tape since his arrival.

"I've seen tonight that Albirex are a very technical team, they try and move the ball and get it one-on-one in the wide areas and I thought they played really well and that's the standard we are gonna come up against then its gonna be a tough season," he acknowledged.

"I amhere to help the players, here to help the club...if we can keep everybody fit and get the understanding that I know we can, I think we can have a very good season."

Kean will be looking to continue his team's winning ways when they take on Warriors FC at home on Friday. 

 



Sunday, February 23
Kean off to winning start.

Steve Kean bagged a winning debut as DPMM FC head coach after guiding the team to a 1-0 victory in the S-League yesterday.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi converted a first half penalty to lift Brunei's only professional team to a 1-0 victory over Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium.

The Brazilian striker was brought down by Albirex custodian Kazuki Kishagami before stepping up to take the spot kick in the 15th minute.

DPMM FC goalkeeper,Azman Ilham, who sttod in for the suspended Wardun Yussof,protected the scoreline for the team with a string of brilliant saves to keep a clean-sheet.

DPMM FC star signing, former Sunderland striker Roy O'Donovan, came clos to putting his name on the score sheet in the second half but saw his header bounce wide.

The victory put DPMM joint top with three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers who edged Home Utd 1-0 in the curtain raiser on Friday.

DPMM next host the Warriors at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Saturday, February 22
Kean era kicks off today.

Fans can expect a new style of play from DPMM FC when Brunei's premier club kick-off the Steve Kean era by taking on Albirex Niigata in their S-League season opener today.

Talk of the former Blackburn manager's move to the S-League in November created huge buzz, and the Scotsman - who is the highest profile coach in the league - will be looking to stamp his mark on the team after taking over from Vjeran Simunic - who led the club to two Singapore League Cups and a runners-up finish in 2012.

During his first meeting with local media in November, Kean promised to shape a stronger defensive unit, but not at cost of the team's attacking instinct, saying that "When you lose ball, everyone is a defender."

It is evident that Kean expects his players to press the ball more and put a stop to letting in late goals, which was one of the factors that contributed to the team's eigth place finished last season.

"We'll be moving the ball around a lot more quicker this season with one, two, three passes...So other teams will find it hard to get the ball off us," Kean revealed during a training session this week.

"We've been working on closing down spaces in training... When to press and when to drop down," he explained.

Except for goalkeeper Wardun yussof, who was sent off against Harimau Muda B in their second last game of last season, all the other players are available to play.

Training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium has been less physical-based over the past few days, with Kean instead focusing on the team's tactical play, set plays and free kicks leading up to today's tie.

Praising his players' fitness as "excellent", Kean knows the team must have enough gas in its tanks to last for 90 minutes if they are to maintain their flavour of play that Kean wants to serve.

"Its a tough fixture list," admitted Kean.

"All the team have improved from last season, so I think there will be no easy games," predicted the former academy director at Fulham and Reading.

Albirex's head-to-head record with DPMM FC points to them as favourites tonight, with the Japanese club winning their last three meetings and DPMM the two games before that.

Like Kean, Albirex's coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama will also be making his S-League debut for the club tonight.

Albirex's league standings have preogressed over the years, finishing fourth in 2011 and 2012 and third last season.

This season, though, they aim to go all the way-with the S-League website reporting that the Japanese outfit hope to win the league this year. 

 



Friday, February 21
S-League kicks off with Charity Shield tonight.

The Singapore League(S-League) officially kicks off tonight when defending champions Tampines Rovers takes on Singapore Cup title-holders Home United in the Charity Shield.

The game, which also doubles up as the  

2014 S-League seaspn opener, is set for 7.30pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Tampines, who have won the league and the Charity Shield the past three years,head into the tie as favourites.

Their head-to-head record certainly points towards a Tampines win, with the Stags emerging top in two of their three meetings with the Protectors last year.

Though he knows how important a win will be to make an early statement, Tampines' new head coach Salim Moin also admitted Home will be a tough team to beat - even calling them title contenders.

"I am very excited for the opening game. The fighting spirit must be unleashed against Home because that is very important for a start," he told S-League website.

"My team are tactically prepared and there is motivation everywhere, which is good for team's performance.

"We've been winning the charity shield for the past three seasons and we have to retain it once again.

"My players know what to do and Home Utd is a very good team. They do show some glimpses of champion-material," he added.

Tampines will also be looking for a win to help ease the dissapointment of being knocked out of this month's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League at the play-off qualifiers by Hong Kong side South China.

Salim though, doesn't think the exit from the continental competition will affect his team;s drive on the national stage.

"It definitely won't affect the rest of the season," said the former Woodlands Wellington coach.

"We had a good chat after the loss.They know what the next task is, which is to do well in the league and go a step further in the region," said Salim.

Home's coach Lee Lim Saeng also acknowledged that the game will be especially important because of the points at stake-  a rarity in the Charity Shield games across the world.

"This is not only a Charity Shield match as it doubles up as a League match," Lee told the S-League website. "This match is very important to us so we will do our best against our opponents," he added.

Both clubs have moved to strenthen their squads this season, with Tampines picking up Serbian forward Miljan Mrdakovic as their marquee signing.

Home, meanwhile, have retained marquee player Lee Kwan Woo while also grabbing former Albirex Niigata (S) FC striker Bruno Castanheira and welcoming back forward Qiu Li for his third spell. 

 

 



Wednesday, February 19
Albirex Niigata (S) eyeing S.League title.

Having missed out on the Great Eastern YEO's S.League title for the past few seasons Albirex Niigata(Singapore) have sounded the war horn and declared their intention to challenge for the championship this year.

Albirex have in recent years steadily improved on their league standings, finishing fourth in 2011 and 2012 before claiming third position last year.

While former coach Koichi Sugiyama is known for his patient build-up of play, new coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama has drilled an attacking mindset into the players which was evident during the pre-season friendlies.

Okuyama holds an 'A' coaching license from the Japan Football Association and was previously the youth coach for Albirex Niigata(Japan) from 2006 to 2008, before being appointed as head coach for Albirex Japan Ladies team in 2008.The club's 2014 target was revealed by club Chairman Daisuke Karenaga during their annaul pre-season kick-off party at the Jalan Besar Stadium to show their appreciation towards their sponsors and partners.

"We participated in the S.League since 2004 and this will be our 11th season. To repay the support from all sponsors and fans, I would like to announce our target for 2014; it's the S.League title," expressed Korenaga, as it was met with thunderous cheers and applause from those present in the event.

"Our players are young and the average age is 23 years old and it is the first time they are travelling out of the country for many of them.

"In Albirex (S), we encourage young Japanese footballers to step up and to get experience here before playing in their home country or else where.This overseas experience will be exciting for their future and our country,Japan," added Korenaga, who also revealed the club new apparel sponsor,Mafro Sports Management.

"We appreciate what Albirex is doing in Singapore, on and off the pitch too. They have contributed to Singapore's football and showed professionalism in the way they managed the club," said Professor Ho.

"Most importnantly, they are building bridges between the young players from Japan and Singapore.You(players) are ambasssadors of Japan here."

Leading the club will the captain Shuhei Hotta who is in his fourth year with the White Swans while Kenjiro Ogino,Shinji Kagawa's former teammate at the J-League outfit Cerezo Osaka, will be their guardin between the sticks.

Several players to look out for in the squad will be the sharp shooter Kazuyuki Sakamoto who extended his stay with the club and new recruits such as Kosuke Matsuda and Keisuke Ota.

Matsuda displayed nifty dribbling feat during pre-seaon while Nagoya Grampus Under-18 player Keisuke Ota constantly caused headache for the opponents with his marauding runs down the flanks and an eye for the goal from the edge of the box.

ALbirex will open the new season against fellow title challengers Brunei DPMM on 22 February at the Jurong East Stadium at 7.30pm. 



Wednesday, February 19
Roy eager to prove himself.

DPMM FC's new marquee signing Roy O'Donovan knows he has his best days ahead of him at the club.

A travelled footballer with experience in the top four tiers of professiona football in England, the ex-Sunderland striker touched down on sunday and joined his new team-mates for his first training session the next day.

The Irishman's arrival means DPMM FC's search for their marquee has ended, and the 28-year old wants to prove just why the club took him as their marquee player for the first time ever.

"I'm 28 and I still have a lot of good years in front of me, and I'm hoping to peak at DPMM FC," said O'Donovan after his second training session with the club yesterday.

"Hopefully people will get to see me at my peak when I'm here, and the good results wil follow," he added.

"Its very different from where I have played before but I needed something fresh, something new, so that's why I think this move is the right thing at the right time."

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 International looked sharp in training yesterday, and playing off defenders' shoulders, was dangerous with timely runs into the box - calmly slotting home half of the chances afforded to him at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

But its not as if DPMM coach Steve Kean didn't already know what to expect from the striker.

O'Donovan, whose last club was English League Two side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM last month before DPMM confirmed his signing last week.

Despite the pressure on his shoulders, the striker - who has also played for Championship sides Blackpool and Coventry City and Scottish Premier League Clubs Dundee United and Hibernian - knows he has to manage everyone's expectations.

"I never put a number on anything," he replied when asked if he had a goal-target for next season.

"I just want to score as much as I can and set up as many as I can...Be a good teammate.

"Its easy to say "We're going to sign this player but at the end of the day,I'm just one component in the team,"he pointed out.

Indeed, O'Donovan joins a team whose local contingent has remained largely intact over the years, with the nucleus of the side remaining the same as their pre-S-League time in 2009.

O'Donovan will have familiar face in midfield and fellow Irishman Joe Gamble, the two having played together for two years at League of Ireland side Cork City.

Though Kean might feel inclined to start O'Donovan for Saturday's season-opener against Albirex Niigata (S) Fc, the coach said he was unsure whether his marquee signing might start or even be on the team lsit come day at the Jurong East Stadium.

"I will have to assess taht over the next few days, but as you can see, he looked sharp in training," said Kean. 

 



Saturday, February 15
Roy O'Donovan signs for Brunei DPMM.

The former League of Ireland championship winner will be playing in the S-League after mutually termianting his contract with Northampton Town on Friday.

Former Sunderland and Northampton Town forward, Roy O'Donovan has finalised his move to S-League side Brunei DPMM, completing the club's roster of foreign players for the upcoming season.

28-year old O'Donovan was exclusively reported by Goal in January to be talsk to join Steve Kean's side and had been in Brunei to undergo a trial. But a deal failed to materialise and the forward finally broke his silence on his earlier u-turn.

"I said no initially becuase I felt, at 28, I was too yooung to turn my back on English football -  but a new manager coming in at Northampton changed things," O'Donovan told Mirror Sport.

Northampton sacked manager Aidy Boothroyd, who had signed the former U-21 international, in December last year and his replacement,Chris Wilder, has since brought on four new stikers to the club.

The Cobblers parted ways with O'Donovan on Friday,Feruary 14, with the club terminating the player's contract on mutual consent.The announcement was made on the official Twitter account of Northampton Town FC.

O'Donovan signed a one-year contract with the Brunei club, filling the club's marquee player lot for the 2014 season. He is joined by former team-mate Joe Gamble, Boris Raspudic, Roberto Alviz and Rodrigo Tosi.

"Its a club on the up," he said of DPMM in his interview with the Mrror Sport."The owner is the Prince so he's in it for the long haul.He's not going anywhere else, unlike an investor who might plough money in and then leave all of a sudde."

"Its a lovely place too, albeit a bit different from what I'm used to! Its a Muslim country so there's no nightlife culture whatsoever- no pubs o clubs. But you have all the usula brands and coffee shops in the malls and if you've been to Dubai before, that'll give you a feel for what its like.

"Its a really exciting adventure. I'm heading over there on Monday and I can't wait for it as I loved the place last month."

O'Donovan also added that the move was 'an adventure', that he had to take before he started a family with wife Ellen, who is also moving to Brunei with the player.

The new season of the S.League starts February 21 with Tampines Rovers taking on Home United in the Charity Shield. Brunei DPMM play the following day in an away fixture against Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium. 

 

 

 



Friday, February 14
O'Donovan leaves Cobblers after having his contract terminated.

Striker Ray O'Donovan has left the Cobblers after having his contract terminated -and it is being reported he has already signed for Singapore League side Brunei DPMM.

The Irishman put pen to paper on a new two-yeat Sixfields deallast summer,but new manager Chris Wilder has decided he is not in his plans and O'Donovan has departed the club.

And it is being reported that Brunei DPMm have signed O'Donovan as one of their five overseas players after he underwent on trial with the club at the start of the year. 

The 28-year old was brought to Northampton on a short-term deal last January by then manager Aidty Boothroyd.

He proved an instant hit, playing a major role in the club securing a place in the promotion play-offs, and scoring the only goal in the semi-final first leg win over Cheltenham Town at Sixfields.

A misdiagnosis of a hernia problem over the summer led to O'Donovan struggling for form and goals in the early part of the season,before he eventually underwent an operation to rectify the problem in October.

On his return to fitness , the former Sunderland man again struggled to hold down a place in the team, and when Andy King was made caretaker manager following Boothroyd's sacking in December, O'Donivan was allowed to undergo trial to Brunei DPMM.

That trial had seemingly came to nothing at the time and O'Donovan returned to Northampton, but he failed to make a start under new manager Wildr,and was left out of the squad completely for Tuesday's night trp to Torquay United.

Wilder has brought in strikers Alan Connell,Emile Sinclair and John Marquis and O'Donovan has seen himself fallen well down the pecking order.

His most recent start for town was on October 12.

In all,O'Donovan made 29 starts and 6 substitutes appearances for the Cobblers, scoring 8 goals.

He only scored twice this season, in the Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons in August and the 3-1 Sixfields win over Newport County a few days later.

O'Donovan now looks set to continue his career with DPMM, who are managed by former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean.

"Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs behind," Kean told the Brunei Times.

"If we have similar striker, two big men, that would be predictable.So with the contrast,we can keep the defenders thinking. 

And he added,"Roy is very fit and conscientious about fitness," said Kean.

"He workd a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a rold model."

DPMM start their S-League campaign against Albirex Niigata next Saturday(Feb 22).

 

 



Friday, February 14
DPMM set for 2014 campaign.

DPMM FC's two new local players are looking to get as much playing time as possible during this season's S-League-though they know that's easier said then done.

The club gathered yesterday to take their team photo for the season at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.

Though Maududi Helmi Kasmi is no stranger to the team- he first joined in the 2007 season when  the club was playing in the Malaysian Super League and laced up for another 2 years, but did not get a call-up last season-Hj Md Yusof Hj Mat Yasin is the new face at the club after joining from the ABDB.

Defenders Pg Sallehuddin Pg Damit  and Suhaimee Yuosf join goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yusof have not been give contracts for this season, with the club still looking for the third goalkeeper for the season.

Both Muadudi and Hj Yusof know the battle for the place on the team list will be tough - Md Maududi is an attacking midfielder while Hj Md Yussof is aleft back but the duo certainly have the right spirit.

Hj Yussof especially, who finally got a DPMM jersey after being called-up for trials in 2009 and 2012 nut only marking his mark this year.

"Of course, I'm proud to be here," said Hj Yussof yesterday.

"Its going to be hard to get playing time because Sai(Sairol Sahri) is the first choice left back, but I will do all I can to get a place in the match-day squad.

"I got called-up for triald 2 months ago and its good to be in the team.

"Fitting in has been easy since I already know of all the other guys from my time playing with them in the nationals and for other local competitions," added the 28-year old before yesterday's training.

Md Maududi,though faces more competition than just one player,

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi and Joe Gamble are expected to start in every game,and after adding the fact Azwan Ali Rahman and Najib Tarif also play smilay attacking roles,its easy to see why Maududi knows he will have his work cut out for him.

"It will be hard to get playing time, especially with the imports around- but I might play if someone gets injured," said the 25-year old.

"I can play as a right midfielder, but thats where Joe plays," added Maududi.

But despite all the talk about predicted lack of minutes, neither player seemed downhearted or disappointed.

Competition for a spot has always been difficult, but certainly the pair have the quality required to play in DPMM FC.

Both have played for the junior national team, and at national level, Md Maududi spent time at Majra during his spell away from DPMM.

Taking the S-League by storm maybe too lofty of a goal at the moment, but Hj Yussof and Maududi know they are at the right club to do so. 



Wednesday, February 12
DPMM FC signs Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

DPMM FC's search for a marquee signing is over after the club yesterday confirmed they will be getting Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

The former Sunderland striker, who is set to arrive from English League two (fourth division)side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM for more than a week last month.

Though club officials could not give a date as to when the 28-year old O'Donovan will join his team-mates, Steve Kean already knows what the striker can provide the team.

"Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs ebhind," said the DPMM coach yesterday.

"If we have two similar strikers...Two big men...That would be predictable, so with the contrast, we can keep the defenders thinking," he added after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

O'Donovan is expected to join strikers Shahrazen Said and Tosi in Kean's starting-11, with Kean already saying he will be basing his attack around the Brazilian-who was the only import the club retained from last season.

A vastly experienced footballer,O'Donovan has featured in the Scottish Premier League as well as the top 4 tiers of professional football in England.

A former League of Ireland championship winner with Cork City,O'Donovan finished as the to-scorer during the two-year stay with the club from 2005-2007.

He then moved to Sunderland, then under the chahe of countryman Roy Keane, after early interest from Fulham.

He then played at 6 different clubs before moving to Northampton on a free-transfer in January,2013.

Despiye being out of action for 2 months last September after undergoing a hernia operation,Kean said he had no concerns about his newest player's fitness level.

"Roy is very fit, and conscientious about fitness," said Kean.

"He works a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a role model," added the Scotsman.

<any had thought that the club would unveil a marquee player during last Thursday's player ans sponsor signing ceremony, but when ashked on the matter, Kean said the club had no need to rush into things.

"We willt ake our time,however long that takes,until we get the right one(marquee)," he sais in a previous report in the Times.

"The biggest thing is the attitude of the marquee plaer.He has to be here for the right reasons.

"It's more important that he fits in with us, its not the case where whoever is going to come in, we have to change what we have been doing.

"Soemtimes you can be a little bit rushed in your decision making and then sometimes it doesn't work out right,"

DPMM changed imports mid-way through last season, and their fans must be hoping that the move for O'Donovan- and the other imports for that matter-will, as Kean said,"work out right". 



Friday, February 7
DPMM FC ink new deals.

DPMM FC held their annaul player and sponsor signing ceremony for the 2014 Singapore League(S-League) season yesterday.

Four foreign players were among the team of 23 that inked their names onto contracts yesterday, after which representatives from Mitsubishi Corp,Brunei Shell Marketing Co, Maju Motors,DST group, Royal Brunei Airlines,Sri Sentosa and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd also signed on as sponsors.

The ceremony at the Red Jade Room of the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong was witnessed by DPMM FC vice-chairman YAM Pf Maharaja Setia Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pg Anak Hj  Abdul Rahim.

Gamble-who learnt of DPMM FC through friend George O'Callaghan - made the move to Brunei's most notable football club as he is looking to gain experience playing outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

O'Callagahan recommended me to come here because its a very good club with great facilities, and a club that will look after you in terms of the environment that you train in," Gamble told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"Also a big reason for the move was the coach, Steve Kean, as I have know him from my time at(current Championship side) Reading as a youngster from 200-2004," said Gamble.

"So put all together and its new experience for me and one that I don't think I could have said no to.

"Its been very good and tough so far,as pre-seasons are, but we've had a trip to Thailand and the matches we've played were quite good," said the 32-year old.

DPMM FC defeated Nakhon Sri Heritage 3-3 in their first match of the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup before losing 2-0 to Phuket a day later.

They also showcased their play infront of the home crowd last Friday in a 0-0 draw against Kelantan at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium -  their first home game of the season.

"I think we look good on the field...Very strong and organised,but I think there is still more to come from us," said Gamble.

"I think training has been really good because most of the stuff we have done has been new to the Brunei players...New for me and new for all of us.

"We're trying to get new training ideas and training methods that will hopefully make us better on the pitch, so we will perform better to get better result - which is what we're here for," added Gamble.

Alviz, who is close to reaching his second month with DPMM FC, was recommended through a friend of his agent to try-out with the club.

"I heard many positive things because many Croatian players have played here before, and ex-DPMm coach Vjeran Simunic has also said many positive things about the team,"said Alviz.

"I'll try to do my best and try to play my football. and as I build up my career with them, I hope we can produce good results," added the midfielder.

Raspudic said he is satisfied with how pre-season has gone and think that DPMM FC have a team capable of performing well this season.

"I think we have a good teamto fight with the other teams in the S-League," said Raspudic.

"We have about 18 days to get ready for the season, and I will give 100 per cent of my body to represent this team, myself and my country." 



Friday, February 7
No marquee player? Not a problem for Kean.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is not worried he doesn't have a marquee import player yet.

Singapore League(S-League) rules allow for maximum of five imports each team, and DPMM have already four.

The transfer window closes on MArch 22, and DPMM start their S-League season a month earlier on Feb 22 against Japanese side Albirex Niigata(S) FC.

Kean, the new DPMM FC coach, blieves he already possesses a balanced side through a mix of young and old local players - as well as the 4 imports that have been already brought in.

"I think we can go all the way but we certainly have a competitive squad," Kean told the press yesterday.

"We will take our time, however long that takes, until we get the right one (marquee).

Kean did admit that its not an ideal situation but "as long as you get the right type", thats all that matters.

"The biggest thing is the attitude of the marquee player.He has to be here for the right reasons," said Kean. 

"Its more important that he fits in with us.Its not a case where whoever is going to come in, we have to change what we have been doing.

"I've always said that he has to be here t play, work and to win.

"Sometimes you can be a little bit rushed inyour decision making and then sometimes it doesn't work out right," said Kean following yesterday's signing ceremony for players and sponsors.

Mitsubishi Corporation,Brunei Shell Marketing Co,Maju Motors,DST Group, Royal Brunei Airlines, Sri Sentosa and Sports Pte Ltd officially signed delas with the club yesterday, the companies maintaining ties with DPMM of that have stretched  back for years.

"We are confident with the way we have been working the way we have been training,"said Kean.

"I've told the guys from day one that we were in this to win the championship.

"I think the fans can see that we're possibly playing a little bit different to how we did lasy year," said Kean.

Kean has put DPMM through three pre-season matches leading up to their S-League opener, playing out one win and one loss to Thailand clubs last month and a goaless draw against Malaysian Super League side Kelantan last week.

"The important thing is to be solid and I think we saw that we went up against Kelantan," said Kean, who after the game, said he would base his attack around Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi.

"Against Phuket (which the team lose 2-0) it was fine.The result wasn't great but the performance was good.

"We had a penalty we thought we didn;t get,which ws just one of those things.

"At that stage the most important thing was the physical side.

"This week, we have been training on the physical loading but after this week we will start to work much more technically and tactically leading up to the first game," added KEan.

Kean will be heading over to Singapore tonight to learn more about Albirex while they take on the Warriors in a friendly.

"I'll be on a spying mission," he jokingly added. 



Saturday, February 1
DPMM set to base attack around Brazilian striker.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean yesterday revealed he will be basing his attack around striker Rodrigo Tosi this season.

Tosi is only one of five import players from the previous season who was offered a new contractto continue with the club this season -  the Brazilian currently in his second stint with the club after spending a year with DPMM during the 2005/2006 Malaysian Super League season.

"The most important thins for us is that our main guy who I want to play as a the striker this year, Rodrigo Tosi, I wanted to try to keep on as long as possible tonight," said Kean after last night's friendly match against Kelantan.

We are also looking our front three(trial players) Frederic Nimani,Nathan Ellington and Andrea Mendoza.

"So because we only had 90 minutes, I spoke to them before the match and told them they all play 30 minutes," said Kean

Shortly after signing his contract, he pointed out that he wanted to work on building a defensively stronger team.

It seems to have worked as he called last night's organisation "excellent"

"The first aspect for this time of the season is fitness.Yesterday we did a double session and make sure that all the players, and not just the ones that played tonight, are all physically ready for the start of the season," he said.

"The second thing that we have been working on is defensive organisation, and I thought tonight the back-four, the goalkeeper  and the midfield four...

"All the organistion behind the ball,you know, was excellent -and it limited the opposition to a few half-chances and  no shots on target, and that's very encouraging.

"And out of the, I don't know how many, maybe 20 shots we had...I was hoping they(the fans) would see one or two goalsbe cause I think we deserved them.

I would really like to publicly thank the fans.

"Its always nice to win but I feel sorry for the fans...They were superb, got right behind the team and we were really positive.I think that energy transmitted to the playersand we were excellent tonight," said Kean adding he might go to watch Albirex in a friendly in Singapore tonight.

Kelantan coach Steve Darby went into the game without expecting to walk away with anything saying that his main objective was to see how his players that had less time on field performed.

"I thought that we would be beaten tonight.I don't mean badly or stupidly," said Darby after the match.

"The results were irrelevant to me, win, lose or draw because we came to look at performances.For us its worth is that our reserves and or young players got 90 minutes.

"The first half, the starting 11...They hadn't played all year.As they tired out in the second half, we had to bring in 3 of our seniors.

"But the first half I thought our goalkeeper were outstanding.I mean you got to be honest,that could have been 4-0.They rose tonight, and I was delighted with their performance.

"You don't know until they play,and this friendly serves the purpose of coming in and doing that job," he said. "They were great.I'm really proud of them and their attitude. The senior players helped the juniors...It was excellent." 

 



Monday, January 27
Ambitious Salim aims for clean sweep,unveils Mrdakovic as Marquee signing.

Reigning Great Eastern Yeo's S-League champions Tampines Rovers are set for a busy and exciting 2014 campaign as they will be challenging for honours in both the domestic and regional competitions.Salim Moin's charges will begin their season by hosting South China AA in the Asian Champions League (ACL) qualifying play-off on 2nd February.

Despite the arduous task ahead of him, Salim is unfazed and believes that they are able to put on a good showing in all competitions that they are playing in. 

Retaining the services of former internationals Aleksandar Duric, Fahrudin Mustafic and welcoming local names like hard-tackling defender Shariff Samat and the versatile Ang Zhi Wei, the Stags have also made the best out of filling their foreign slots.

They have secured the services of Norihiro Kawakami from Geylang United, Paraguayan duo Luis Alberto Closa Gonzales and Roberto Martinez Gamarra and their marquee player Miljan Mrdakovic from Serbia.

"I have a squad full of quality players who can play entertaining football.My two new Parahuayans are ones to look out for.They are creative and love taking shots at goal from distance, just like me in the olden days," the former Singapore international pointed out during the unveiling at tampines Rovers 2014 squad on Thursday evening.

"I would want to try and win all local competitions, and my target for ACL would be making the group stages," added the former Woodlands Wellington coach.

While it may be their time for some in Singapore, the new foreign signings have expressed their delight in signing for the five-time S-League champions.

"Wherever I go,I scores lots of goals and fans expect me to score more than 20 goals," asserted the former Serbia Under-23 international Mrdakovic.

The 31-year old also has ACL experience,hitting the net twice in six appearances for Chinese Super League(CSL) outfit Shandong Luneng five years ago.

Tampines will kickstart their domestic campaign against Home Utd in the Great EasternCharity Shield on 21st February at the Jalan Besar Stadium with kickoff at 7.30 pm. 

 



Monday, January 27
DPMM FC go down to Phuket FC

DPMM FC were handed a 2-0 loss at the hands of Phuket FC in the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup in Thailand yesterday.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean played a different team to their first match as he started off with five foreigners  - Roberto Alviz,Rodrigo Tosi,Boris Raspudic, Joseph Gamble and on trial player Andres MEndoza yesterday.

Sloppy play by DPMM right after kick-off resulted in a brace by Ney Fabiano de Oliverira in the fifht and sixth minutes, settling the tie ant the Sirikul Stadium in Phuket.

The task of a comeback was made tougher for DPMM as they were reduced to 10-men after Azwan Ali rahman was shown his second yellow in the second half.

It was back to level playing field after former DPMM defender Tales Ricarte od Santos was shown later in the showers later in the match.

Despite the setback, DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis felt that the overall performance was alright.

"The performance by the team was ok. It was just that in the early minutes of the game we switched off," said Rosmin.

"Overall we had a good game especially in the second half," he added.

Asked about the red card for Azwan, the captain replied: "I thought it was a poor decision by the referee. It was 50-50.

"Actually I thought he made wrong the decisions most of the match. We should have been given a penalty in the first half but the referee gave a free-kick instead.

"He had a clear view and it was inside the box.But I know that is not an excuse," added Rosmin.

Despit the loss, the midfielder is taking the positives out of the S-League pre-season match-ups.

"There is plenty of room for improvement.It is better that we lose now before the league starts so that we know what needs to be done," said Rosmin.

"I believe that we can only get better and better," he added.

Leftback Sairol Sahri started the match yesterday and Competed the second half against Nakhon Sri Heritage on Saturday.

He felt good progress having returned in his first competitive match since being out with a knee injury.

"I felt better but I will need to be fitter because during the second half my muscles felt tight," said Sairol.

"I played for 70 minutes before coming off. I didn't want to force myself to continue for my own safety," he added.

Next on the calendar for DPMM FC will be a friendly against Kelantan FA, the FA Cup champions and Malaysia Cup runners-up, in a friendly at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday. 



Sunday, January 26
Good start for DPMM FC

DPMm FC get their Singapore League pre season campaign off to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Nakhon Sri Heritage in yesterday's 2014 huket Saksee Cup opener in Thailand.

Two second half goals by Ak Md Fakharazzi Pg Hassan settled the tie, with the result just the kind of start ne coach steve Kean would have been looking for in his first match in charge.

According to striker Shahrazen Said DPMM kicked off with all 4 imports on the bench.

Midfielder Maududi Hilmi Kasmi gave DPMM the lead after being set-up by Shahrazen, and Nakhon equalised just before the halftime whistle after Suhaime Yusof failed to claer the ball- resulting in the home side putting the ball past Azmanilham.

With unlimited changes allowed for the match Kean bravely subbed out the starting 11 in the second half.

It was a move which paid off when Ak Md Fakharazzi put DPMM in front once again after he fired home Tosi's deflected header from 10 metres out.

The midfielder notched his brace fter connecting on a cross by Alviz to fire a low shot past the Nakhon Sri Heritage custodian.

Captain Rosmin Khamis, who came on as a second half substitute, was delighted with the team's performance.

"It is a good start for the new era(under Kean)," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times after tge triumph.

"Everybody got the chance to play today and everyone showed that they want to be in the team.

"Everything is very positive right now," he added. 

DPMM will complete the three-team round-robin tournament with a meeting against Phuket FC at 4 pm local time today. 



Saturday, January 25
Sairol working hard to regain fitness.

Sairol Hj Sahri can't wait to get back to full fitness.

The DPMM left back has been out of action since the last week of August after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear on his right knee.

He has since returned to training with Brunei's only pro team at the start of the year and yesterday travelled with the team to compete in the two-day Phuket Cup which starts today.

The 30-year old is working hard with the rest of the teammates.

"I feel a lot better already after undergoing surgery in September.I'm slowly progressing on building my strength and muscles," said Sairol in an interview yesterday before departure to Thailand.

"I'm still not at 100 per cent and I hope that I can get back to where I used to be before.

"I want to see how I wil be able to cope in Phuket and I want to get at the same level as my team mates soon since they started trainign under coach last year," continued Sairol.

The three-team round-robin tournament will be the first real test for Kean since his arrival to the Sultanate in November.

DPMM are set to face Nakhon Sri Heritagein the opener today followed by am meeting against Phuket FC tomorrow.

Captain Rosmin Khamis hopes that the team will be able to return from Thailand with some positives.

"We are getting better and we want to see want we wil able to do in Phuket," said the midfielder. 

"Everyone feels positive and the team spirit is high right now.

"Of course we are hoping th get wins in Phuket.

"We want to see how we play together before the league begins.

"Training has been affested a  little with continuous downpour the past few days fortunately we were able to use the artificial grass at SMJA," continued the DPMm skipper.

Team manager Ali Momin said the main aim for the competition is to get the players to gel before the start of the S-League season next month.

"Training has been quite interesting. The players are learning something new everyday.

"From my point of view they are continuously improving both physically and technically.

"There is good motivation in training camp having a high standard coach.

"We want ther local players to get with the imports before the league starts.

"Most teams struggle at the start of the season with he addition of new players and we're hoping we can gain soem momentum in Thailand. 

"Instead of this only being an ice-breaker for the team, we are looking to get the wins," continued the team manager.

 

 



Friday, January 24
DPMM FC seeking first trophy at Saksee Phuket Cup tournament.

Brunei DPMM are looking for their first trophy for the year at the Saksee Phuket Cup 2014 in Phuket, Thailand from 25-27.

The team is leaving the country today and will take on Nakhon Si Thamarat FC(Nakhon Si Heritage) on Jan 25 and Phuket FC the next day.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean in an interview yesterday said,"Although its warm-up games before the start of the league, I always think that we can win especially so when the team has improved so much following months of training. There is no reason why we can't win both games."

Besides working on fitness of the team, Kean is seriously emphasising training based on organisation of the team during matches.

"The current training is stressing on organisation of the team during matches where players must have discipline with and without the ball.We must keep possession and improve on the transition where the ball changes hands while substitutes must know their instructions in the field."

With only 80% of the squad is confirmed, there is only one slot left for import player while not all the 20 local players are confirmed.

DPMM FC's team manager Ali Momin has revealed that three on trial marquee players will also be making the trip to Phuket and they are Andres Mendoza,Frederic Nimani and Nathan Ellington.

On the Saksee Phuket Cup, he said: "Its a warm-up match to really test the team's chemistry.We need to build the chemistry and understanding of the team and I hope the competition can do that."

Touching on the two other Thai teamsin the competition he expalined: "Thai teams are always tough to play against.They always give us a hard challenge. I hope with the training conducted, our team can perform well."

He also revealed that Brunei fans can get a glimpse of Brunei DPMM in action at the end of the month when Brunei DPMM take on Kelantan FA, the reigning FA Cup champions and Malaysia Cup runners-up in a friendly game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The match is free of charge and is expected to kick off at 8.15pm.Members of the public are welcome to watch the much anticipated match. 

 

 

 



Thursday, January 23
DPMM FC raring to go despite harsh fixtures.

DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said believes that competitive pre-season matches will help his team withstand a tough run of games in the S-League this season.

The club will be leaving for Thailand tomorrow to compete in the Saksee Phuket Cup as they step up their preparations for their first match of the season against Albirex Niigata on February 22 at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

They will then face Warriors FC on february 28 at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium before travelling to Jalan Besar Satdium to play Home Utd on March 13.

DPMM will then host the defending champions Tampines Rovers on March 23.

"It is good to have stronger teams earlier in the season. I prefer it that way as we can measure our strength and try to win the league...Also I think that preseason games are very important to keep us ready and fit to face string teams," Said Shahrazen.

"The coach is still looking for his best 11 for this season, and the preseason games in Phuket are where to prove that you are (deserve to be)starting eleven, so we must treat this tournament competitively," he added.

Captain Rosmin Khamis echoed Shahrazen's sentiments.

"Yes it is quite a tough fixture but we have to face them sooner or later, so it doesn't matter," said Rosmin.

"If we can win get three points in our first match, it will be good for the team's confidence."

For seasoned players like Shahrazen and rosmin, the fixtures are not too much of a concern but it is certainly intimidating for the younger players like Azwan Ali rahman and Md Hendra Azam Idris.

"It is quite tough...We got Albirex,Warriors,Home Utd and Tampines in our first 4 games," said 22-year old Azwan.

"I do not want to think too much about it.The only think that we can do for now is to keep training ," he said.

Md Hendra Azam said,"We have to focus on ourselves this year if we are to compete for the title."

"Last season was very dissapointing. I hope with the new coach (Steve Kean)we will be able to bounce back this season."

Kean, the former Blackburn Rovers manager will be the leading the Sultanate's only professional club this season following the departure of Croatian Vjeran Simunic.

 



Saturday, January 18
Castanheira, Fazrul among new Home recruits.

The Protectors, who finished second in the league and won the Singapore Cup last season, have undergone a revamp for the 2014 campaign.

Uniformed giants Home United announced on Saturday their new signings for the 2014 season, witj most other S-League clubs having already revealed to some extent their squad for upcoming campaign.

The Protectors will feature at least seven new faces, chief amongst them skilful winger Bruno Castanheira. The Japanese-Brazilian player terrorised full-backs for Albirex Niigata last season and will be a more than adequate replacement for the ougoing Jordan Webb.

Winger Yasir Hanapi, who did well for Geylang Utd, returns for a second spell at the club as well.H will be joined by flanker Fazli Ayob, central midfielder Izzdin Shafiq and Fazrul Nawaz, all from LionsXII and former Tampines Rovers forward Ahmed Fahmie. Balester Khalsa reserve goalkeeper Daniel Ong has joined as well.

These recruits will make up for the outgoing Nor Azli Yusoff,Masrezwan Masturi, Firdaus Idros(all Tanjong Pagar),Sofiyan Abd Hamid(Balestier),Aliff Shafaein(Geylang),Choi Jae Won and Webb.

Star playmaker and Goal Singapore Awards Foreign Player of the Year Lee Kwan Woo is believed to be staying at Bishan Stadium as well.

There could be more signings announced in due course by the reigning Singapore Cup chmpions, who also finished second in the league under coach Lee Lim Saeng last season. 

 



Tuesday, January 14
New S-League fitness test.

This year's Singapore League (S-League) will demand a higher level of fitness from the players as the league looks to raise the bar for its mandatory fitness tests.

Two news sources in Singapore have reported that the league will be raising the passing mark for the 2.4 km test that all players went through last season and will have to repeat this season.

"We are looking into ways in which the league can support the national(Singaporean) team, and one of the ways is by helping push up fitness levels," S-League chief executive Lim Chin told Singapore's The New Paperat the sidelines of the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS)annual general meeting in September.

Kallangroar.com further suggested that all players will have to improve on the passing mark of 10:15 last season to 10 minutes this season.

the new 15-second improvement in standard was brought about as only 5% of the total population clocked 10 minutes or more during tests conducted last year.

Meanwhile, the passing mark for goalkeepers will remain unchanged at 12 minutes.

Despite the new requirement, DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said seemed unfazed by the changes.

"Yes we aware of the changes in the passing mark for the fitness tests, but it should not be a problem for us as almost every one ran under 10 minutes during last year's fitness test," said Shahrazen.

"I am very supportive of the changes as I believe that will help to increase the level of the competitiveness of the league. 

"I am looking forward to it and I heard that the test will be held at the end of the month or early February," added Shahrazen.

Known as the Cooper test, the assessment marks a move away from the much-criticised beep test which was used by the league in 2012.

The current test-which was created in 1968 by American Dr.Ken Cooper- is meant to guage the distance the participants can cover in 12 minutes, though the S-League wants players to shave 2 minutes off that time.

"In 2012 we had a beep test which was a little bit harder, so I think that this 2.4 km test should be fine for us," said DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis.

As in 2013, the format of the league in 2014 is expected to be the same with teams playing each other for two rounds before dividing into a top six-tier and a bottom-six tier for half a round.

The clubs in the bottom-six have no chance of winning the league-the best they can hope for is a top-six finish.

 

 



Friday, January 10
Joe Gamble raring to start S.League career.

The former Ireland international who is among Brunei DPMM's latest signings, spoke to Goal Singapore about starting his new adventure in the S.League

Twice capped by Ireland, Joe Gamble turned out for the under-17 and U21 teams before being called up to the senior side in 2007, making him the first player from League of Ireland to feature for the national team in over 5 years.

The now 31-year old had a successful start to his career with his hometown club Cork City in 200, winninh the league title as well as the FAI and Setanta Sports Cup, before moving to England with Reading and Hartlepool.A retuen to Ireland with Limerick in 2011 ended two years later, with Gamble in the sights of Brunei DPMM in the S.League.

The midfielder who like most Irish players,had never ventured beyond the British and the Irish Isles in search of professional football. But when Gamble's former team-mate and current agent, George O'Callagan , put forward the idea of playing in the S.League in mid-2013 he was quickly intrigued.

"Yes its unusual for Irish players to travel outside Ireland and England but I wanted to expand my knowledge of football, culture ans wanted a new challenge, nothing gets me more motivated or excited than anew challenge," Gamble told Goal Singapore.

"He (O'Callaghan) said they (DPMM) had fantastic facilities, a great stadium, professional set-up, and were a very ambitious club and overall I'd would have a lovely quality of life in Brunei.I have really  and truly enjoyed my stay in Brunei much better than I hsd envisaged. Its a lovely, peaceful nd interesting place. Fantastic beaches to relax on and plenty to do outside of football to explore."

Admittedly only having been familiar with the J-League and the AFC Champions League when it came to Asian football, Gamble has quickly kept himself informed of the S.League and rattled off Warriors FC's Alex Weaver and new Woodlands Wellington coach Darren Stewartas top two coaches who have impressed him. He also mentioned Geylang's new South American imports as players he would like to test himself against.

"Since I knew there was a possibility tha I'd be playing in the S.League, I've looked closer on the website on clubs and players,I've tried to familiarise myself with as much as I could," said Gamble.

"I have heard of a very good coach at Warriors FC, Alex Weaver from stoke on Trent.He has a good reputation of being a top coach/manager in Asia. Darren Stewart is another well-respected coach that has moved clubs recently so it will beit came to his new club's chs interesting to see how his team perform,also Geylang have brought in a number of South American imports so I will be looking forward to playing against them and see what their abilities are like."

For those who have never plied their trade in this region, adjusting to playing in the ropics in high humidity,where day time temperatures soar as high as 37C, would be a challenge to most players. Gamble admitted that the change in climate would be a big difference , bu pointed out his strict fitness regime and preparation as key to helping him cope, along with t'strong self-belief' in his own ability. He also stated that he had been able to get good advice from top class athletes he knew,to help with the adjustment.

But when it came to his new club's chances of achieving their goal of clinching the S.League title this year coming season, Gamble remained cautious, adding that there is a difference in setting a target and actually accomplishing it.

"Every club in the S.League, or in the world for that matter,at the start of the year will have an ambition of being successful, so DPMm wouldn't be different in that respect but its one thing saying what you're going to do and another to actually do it," he warned.

"It would be unprofessional of me to say what I think we can achieve, all I would say is that we will be very professional and competitive in every game and as a team we willsee where that will take us."

With the imminent transfer of his former Cork City team-mate Roy O'Donovan to Brunei DPMM has made the news, Gamble stated that he is already impressed with the club's current set of players and pointed out that it will go a long way in helping the club achieve their targets.

"I've been very impressed with the DPMM players,their ability and technique is very high but most importantly their attitude stood out to me,"he said of his new team-mates.

"They're willing to work hard in training every day and very keen to learn. These traits are very important for any team to be successful, no matter what league you compete in."

DPMM have so far confirmed the signing of Boris Raspudic  and Roberto Alviz, who along with Gamble will join Rodrigo Tosi who has been retained.A deal to sign former Sunderland forward O'Donovan is believed to be close to wrapping up.The club have also announced that their first S-League fixture will be on February 19, with a pre-season competition in Krabi,Thailand mooted for late January. 



Thursday, January 9
DPMM FC to host Kelantan in friendly match.

Brunei's football fans will get a glimpse of the much anticipated strength of the new Brunei DPMM FC squad for the 2014 S League when they take on Malaysian Cup runners-up Kelantan FA in a friendly end of this month at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The friendly game in preparation for the S League was confirmed by DPMM FC's team manager Ali Momin and the date of the match is scheduled on the 31st January.

Meanwhile Brunei DPMM FC's squad for the 2014 S League which will kick off on Feb 19 is shaping up nicely with almost all the crucial pieces have already come together.

Brunei DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is currently looking for another marquee player and on trial are Celeb Folan and Roy O'Donovan, and Sinan Kaloglu will be arriving next week.

The former manager of Blackburn Rovers Steve Kean in an interview with the Bulletin on the progress of the final squad for the coming S-League season said: "We will be signing the final marquee player in the next two weeks and we will make the final selection of the local players so that we will have a complete squad by the time wo go the Suksee Phuket Cup 2013 from Jan 25-27."

When asked about the expectation from the Suksee Phuket Cup, Kean said: "Any competition that we enter we wanted to do well but the most thing is to prepare for the season to be ready when the season starts."

With the team;s puzzle falling into right places, Brunei DPMM coach is looking forward to the new S-League season.

"I am confident that we will do well.We have a good depth and experience players as well as young players in the squad.I would like to extend my thanks to credit to the management who has organised high level foreign players to come to Brunei for trials," Kean expressed.

"I think we have the best or one of the best squad in the S League this season.I expect that DPMM will be able to challenge for the championship this season," he added.

New midfielder Roberto Alvoz from Croatia meanwhile in a separate interview hoped to work hard to help Brunei DPMM to build a successful season in the S League.

The reason of joining Brunei DPMM, he explained: "I heard of many nice stories about the team and the good people here so I was eager to come to Brunei to be part of the team.Under coach Kean's guidance, I think that he has many good ideas for the team. He also share his experience and players who wanted to learn from him."

Meanwhile, in the Saksee Phuket Cup 2013. Brunei DPMM will take on Nakhon Sri Heritage on Jan 25 and Phuket FC the next day. 



Tuesday, January 7
DPMM FC Kean to start with Steve.

DPMM FC players have reacted positively to the appointment of Steve Kean as the team's new coach.

The former manager of england's Blackburn Rovers will be leading the Sultanate's only prefessional club this season following the departure of Croatian Vjeran Simunic last November.

"I believe that Kean will be able to bring the team back on its feet this year and challenge for the title in the Singapore League(S-League)," captain Rosmin Khamis said in the interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

He used to coach the English Premier League, which is one of the best football leagues in the world, and it is an honour for us to be able to train under him," he added.

DPMM had a poor campaign last season, managing an eighth-place finish and a heart-breaking 4-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa in the S-League Cup final.

"We had a bad season last year," said midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam yesterday. 

I can't wait for the season to start. I am looking to working with Kean.He likes to play one-two pass football and it will be very interesting.I hope he can lead us to win the league this year."

Striker Shahrazen Said was equally excited.He believes that Kean is the perfect mean to lead the club this season.

"He is a very good caoch... The way he talks to the playersand explains things on the training ground is just excellent," said Shahrazen.

"Coach Steve (Kean) philosophy of football is quite different from Simunic.

"He )Kean)likes the players to run around with the ball and make on-two passes, while Simunic was kore to running without the ball and looking for empty spaces."

"I have very positive impression about him and I hope that we will be able to adept quickly to his style of play."

Another possibility is former Sunderland striker Roy O'Donovan who is currently in the country.

"He (O'Donovan) just arrived today and I am looking forward to see him in training soon," Shahrazen said.

The club are also looking forward to start their pre-season training.Their first stop is the Saksee Phuket tournament in Thailand later this month.

According to DPMM FC's official website, the club have been invited to participate in the tournament on January 25-27.

The club are also reported to ahve been slated to host Malaysia FA Cup champions Kelantan FA on January 31 at the hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Sunday, December 22
DPMM sign Bosnian international Raspudic.

S-LEague side Brunei DPMM are set to feature a Bosnian international in their ranks for the 2014 season after signing the 31-year old Boris Raspudic.

 Raspudic, who can play anywhere acoress the backline and also as a defensive midfielder, received a solitary cap for Bosnia and Herzegovina when he was involved in a 2-2 draw with Poland in December,2010.

With pnly the formalities of medical and fitnesstests to clear, Raspudic will join Croatian defender Roberrto Alviz,former Ireland international Joseph Gamble and Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi in the Bruneian team's foreign legion.

Raspudic, who scored against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League qualifiers while playing for Bosnian side FK Borac Banja Luka, wants to help DPMM improve on their eigth-placed finish in 2013.

"I am glad to have signed for a well-organised club like DPMM FC," he said in a press statement.

"I see this is a very important milestone in my career. I will do my best to justify the confidence and beiefs of the club management and my representatives, Trebol Sports International.

"My ambition for 2014 is to help the club record better results than last year and hopefully we can mount a serious challenge for one of the top two spots.I am not very familiar with the other S-League teams but I think we possess a good squad to pose a threat to them.

"This club deserves good results and I am here to ensure that they get them next season."

This will be Raspudic's second foray into Asia, having spent four years with Tractor Sazi Tabriz FC nd Petrochimi Tahriz in Iran.

DPMM will eb led by former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean in the new S-League season,which is expected to start in February 2014. 



Wednesday, October 23
DPMM FC face Warriors tonight.

Vjeran Simunic is not letting mours of his replacement with ex-Blackburn Rovers 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 firward to the milestone when the club take on Warriors in the league tonight, with the visitors in search for their fourth win in as many games.

The lead up to tonight's match has centered around the arrival of Kean, who it is understood will take ober 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 of this.

"I am only focused on the playersand 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 the 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 2008when 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 could return to the S-League after FIFA lifted its nearly two year of suspension.

They repeated the fete 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 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 gameshe 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 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, playing in Singapore, this will be my 100th game.Thats 77 S-League games,15 League Cup games and 7 Singapore Cup games.

"Its a nice achievement but I don't care too much about that-what I care about is that we play well and win.This is not a time for celebration -only time for us to focus on the game," he added.

His counterpart Alex Weaver saw his team fall to their first loss in 6 matches when Geylang International beat them 3-0 in their last game on Friday.

 



Tuesday, October 22
DPMM confirm Kean appointment, target S.League title next season.

Following Goal Singapore's revelation on Saturday night that former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean will take charge of them in the 2014 S.League season, Brunei DPMM FC officially confirmed today that the Scot will arrive in mid-November.

This was revealed by club manager Waslimin Abd Momin at the Brunei club's participation agreement renewal ceremony with the Football Association of Singapore(FAS) at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The renewal will see DPMM continue to play in the S.League for a further two years, having rejoined the league in 2011 after being banned by FIFA from all competitions halfway through their first season in 2009.

Waslimin also added that the decision to replace current coach Vjeran Simunic, who has led them throughout their time in the S.League, with Kean was due to a desire to change their style of play. He continued by declaring that they will target the S.League title next season, having finished in the lower half of the table in the current campaign after a runners-up position last year.

DPMM will also only retain Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi from their contingent for 2014, with Waslimin remaining tight-lipped when asked about the reported arrival of former Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers for try-outs.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin was "delighted and heartened"with the renewal as he praised DPMM's commitment and support of the S.League.

"The participation of DPMM FC in the league goes beyond football and has not only helped raise the professional level of the S.League, but more importantly, it is another good reflection of the close friendship between the two countries," he said.

S.League CEO Lim Chin believes that DPMM's participation has more "interesting and exciting".

"All of you will agree that each season,DPMM puts togeher a very strong team with top signings of good players from overseas and they have the best of their locals players in their team," he added.

"We are delighted to continue this synergistic collaboration with one of the best organised and managed clubs in our region and it certainly augurs well for S.League." 



Monday, October 21
Tampines win S-League.

Tampines Rovers successfully defended their Singapore League(S-League) crown for their third straight title with four games remaining in the season.

This was decided after their closest contenders Albirex Niigata succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Balestier Khalsalast night at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

Qiu Li gave Balestier after blasting a long range effort into the net in the 19th minute beforr PArk Kang Jin doubled their lead two minutes before halftime.

Albirex were pushing forward and they were given some life after Kento nagasaki curled in a free-kick in the 87th minute but it was not enough.

The result means that Albirex are on 40 points with only three games on the schedule while Tampines hold an unassailable lead with 52 points.

The race for second place is still wide open with Home Utd in third a further points back but with an extra game to play. 

Meanwhile,DPMM FC are doing their own battle at the second tier after moving up to seventh spot on Saturday folllwing a 1-0 win at home.

They are currently on 33 points with thre games left while Warriors are in eigth spot with 31 points.Geylang and Harimau Muda followed respectively with 28 while Hougang are second from the bottom with 24 points. 



Sunday, October 20
DPMM edge Hougang.

DPMM FC are up to seventh spot in the S-League after they edge Hougang 1-0 last night.

In what was their third striahg twin, 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.

The Brazilian midfielder headed home a Rosmin Khamis corner at the near post four minutes into added time just before the break.

It was the 4th goal for the lone import on the roster in the past three games.

However,DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic felt that it was the team effort that gotthem the triumph.

"It was a sweet 1-0 win.We could have scored more had we closed our chances.Their keeper 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 but saw his sahot saved by Fadhil in the 17th minute.

The game was brought in a standstill for over 5 minutes after fadhil was given treatment after picking up an injury from a corner.

Hougang Utd threatened in the 32nd minute as Liam Shotton saw his attempt deflected to Mamadou Diallo who could only fire it wide.

DPMm pushed forward  5 minutes later after Tosi flicked the ball to Shahrazen 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 in the 90th minute after he struck a good free kick from outside the box but Wardun was on the hand to put 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 coach Amin Nasir said they had only themselves 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 need to keep our focus. we were caught napping and they capitalised on that," said Amin.

"I was quite pleased with Fadhil's performanceas he kept us in the game.But looking at the backline, we will need to sit down and analyse what went wrong.It is dissapointing as we came for a win," he added. 



Saturday, October 19
DPMM FC gung-ho against Hougang.

DPMM FC are running for all three points when they host Hougang Utd in their Singapore League encounter tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Brunei's only professional team are in good form recentyl after coming off back-to-back victories over Harimau Muda and Young Lions respectively. 

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic has been playing wih an almost all-local lineup and is in a confident mood.

"We are playing with the best team possible.We have moved forward and I'm proud with this team," said Simunic in an interview with the Times during training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"They took responsibility when the team was down especially the younger players who have stepped up to the task," he added.

It is a big game tomorrow and we expect a good challenge from our opponents. They are a good team and it will be tight. It can go either way but we hope to get three points," continued the Croatian.

Simunic also urged more fans to come and give their support to the team on hoem soil.

"We hope that more Bruneians will come to support the team because the team is made up of 99 percent local players. they deserve to get the support," pleaded Simunic.

They have no suspension worries and will only be missing Sairol Sahari, who is ourt for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his meniscus tear.

Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi is in form having found the back of the net thrice in the past two matches.

Hendra Azam Idris has also shown his capability in scoring on set-pieces.

They have not lost to DPMM this season as well.The last time the two teams met in brunei, the home side missed two penalties and squandered a two-goal cushion to draw 3-3 back in March.

Hougang were the better team in their last second meeting beating DPMM 2-1 at the Hougang Stadium two months later.

Amin Nasri, the head coach of Hougang Utd, is in confedent mood but knows that it won't be easy to take full points in the Sultanate.

"The confidence of the team is high after we got good results in out past two meetings," said Amin.

It won't be easy though because it will be different from the past two games.Our opponents should have done their homework and studied us technically," he added.

Just like DPMM, they also had a break of some three weeks after their last game.

They are coming off a 2-2 draw against Tampines and a 2-0 victory over Woodlands in friendlies earlier in the week.

"This was a concern for us after coming off three consecutive good results. The long break kind of killed the momentum," said Amin.

"Looking at the bright side, we are keeping a positive attitude as it also gave us ample time to prepare ourselves.

"It is good to get those good results but how it will go tomorrow cannot be based on that," he added.

"It is unpredictbale but it is a good guideline for us. The friendlies have given confidence to the strikers after scoring some goals," concluded Amin.

Striker Mamadou Diallo will be one to watch after scoring a goal each in their last three matches.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

 

 

 



Saturday, September 28
DPMM strike early to edge Young Lions in thriller.

Two early goals did the trick for Brunei DPMM  on Friday night as they edged the Court Young Lions 3-2 in a goal-fest at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

A win in the last game of Round 23 would have seen the hosts make it two in a row as well as bump their points tally up into two digits, but they conceded twice in the opening 10 minutes  to leave them with too much to do eventually.

Rodrigo Tosi struck a brace in the Bruneians' 3-1 home win over Harimau Muda last week, and the Brazilian was instrumental in breaking the deadlock here after nine minutes.

The midfielder cut in from right and shaped to shoot with his left but was brought down, leaving DPMM with a free-kick right on the edge of the box. After two of his teammates dummied over the dead ball, Hendra Azam took one step before curling it perfectly into the corner.

A minute later, it was 2-0. With the hosts' defence caught in the disarray,Shahrazen Said glided past Afiq Yunos before slamming the ball high past Syazwan Buhari from the top of the box.

Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar immediately responded by taking off right-back Faiz Salleh for Al-Qaasimy Rahman, as the Bruneians threatened to run away with the game.

But the home side drew blood with a superb move in the 22nd minute. Iqbal Hussain set Sherif El-Masri free down the rightwith an excellent pass, and the Canadian jinked into the box only to see his shot handled by a desperate Abd Aziz Tamit.

The defender was fortunate to escape a dismissal, as captain Raihan Rahman coolly placed the spot-kick inches away from a rooted Wardun Yussof to get his side back in the game.

There was controversy near the half-hour when the Young Lions were denied a goal.

Wardun parried Sahil Suhaini's far-post header from El-Masri's corner back into a gaggle of bodies in the box, where Sheikh Abd Hadi volleyed it straight back towards goal. It was straight at Wardun on the line, with the referee ruling it had not gone over.

Shahrazen then fluffed a great chance to restore the two-goal cushion when he mi*** his shot at Syazwan following a cross, with the goal gaping.

Aide Iskandar's men went close to leveling when Sahil's low free-kick nearly crept in at the near post, then Afiq Yunos slammed a shot over on the turn as the action flowed from one end to the other.

The Young Lions were dealt a further setback when Tosi rose highest in the 54th minute to nod Rosmin Khamis's deep free-kick past Syazwan, who was helpless once again.

Four minutes later, Wardun made a fine block as Sail charged in the area from the left. The DPMM custodian then denied the same player twice more in the 64th and 67th minutes, the duo seemingly having entered a personal duel.

Luck didn't appear to be with the Young Lions on the night, with Afiq Yunos's close range header in the 70th minute ruled out correctly for offside as they sought a second goal.

But Sahil's persistence was rewarded 10 minutes from time when he broke away down the left before jinking into the area, where his trickery was too much for Subhi Abdilah.  the defender scythed down the striker and El-Masri dispatched the spot-kick low into the right to pull another goal back.

That was the end of the scoring though as the Young Lions failed to find a third goal even with four minutes of time added on, leaving Vjeran Simunic and his men to return home with a second consecutive league win.

 

 

 

 



Friday, September 27
DPMM FC eye strong finish.

DPMM FC will kick off the third round of the league against the Young Lions.

DPMM FC are coming off a 3-1 home win against Harimau Muda last Wednesday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

The team has started out with the only one import ,Rodrigo Tosi, and he came through by scoring a brace.

On the other hand, the Young Lions, who are rooted at the basement of the 12-team table, are coming off their second victory of their season after they defeated Geylang Utd the same day.

Canadian Sherif El-Masri bagged his fourth goal of the season after heading home the winner at the Bedok Stadium.

The 12-team table have been split into 2 groups and with DPMM in the second half.

 They are joined by Warriors,Harimau Muda, Hougang Utd,Geylang Int'l and Young Lions in the bottom half.

With only 5 matches to go, striker Shahrazen Said feels the team is ready for the game and hopes that the team will be bale to finish off the season in winning form.

"We are looking to win all the remaining matches," said Shahrazen in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"The team is feeling good but  we are not going to be overconfident. I feel that the team is making very good  progress at the moment,"added the striker, who combined well with Azwan Ali Rahman in their last game.

Their first meeting of the season saw DPMm ran away to a 3-0 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

However, they will be looking to forget the second meeting after bith sides draw 1-1 at the Hassnal Bolkiah Nnational Stadium in May,

Kick-off is scheduled 7.30pm.



Thursday, September 19
DPMM FC tame Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC came from a goal down to defeat Harimau Muda 3-1 in the S-League second round final match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

This year, the S-League has introduced a new "two-and-a-half" round format in which the league will be divided into two tiers at the end of the second round of fixtures.

A brace from Rodrigo Tosi and a goal from substitute Abd Aziz Tamit helped the Sultanate's only professional club replace Harimau Muda in eigth place in the 12-team table with 27 points.

 "I am very happy we won today especially yhese past few days, it has been bitter for us after losing in the S-League Cup final," said DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic after the match.

"Harimau Muda is a fantastic team, they defeated Tampines Rovers, and I respect them a lot.

"I am happy the Bruneians played tonight,Tosi was the import player in the game. We played with four to five imports when we lost to harimau Muda in May, but we won tonight with only 1 import, I think this is good for Brunei football," added Simunic.

Th Malaysian side found the net early in the sixth minute when Akmal Ishak rose above DPMM players to head home a corner kick from the left.

Tosi levelled the score in the 27th minute with a brilliant goal,blasting the ball from outside the penalty box to beat Harimau Muda's goalkeeper Hafizyl Hakim in the goal.

The Brazilian midfielder almost put DPMM FC ahead just before the break, when he was picked by Azwan Salleh from the right,but the latter would head the ball just wide.

DPMM FC pushed for a winnner in the second half and looked dangerous with their set-pieces.

Tosi and striker Shahrazen Said were on target in the second half causing a lot of problems to Harimau Muda's backline.

Abd Aziz who came on for Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman in the first halfput DPMm FC ahead for the first time in the 54th mnute when he headed home Rosmin Kamis' corner from the left.

Tosi would add another goal in the 72nd minute with a penalty kick after he was brought down by Ashmawi Yakin.

"I am disappointed with the game today. I think wedidn't play well in the second half, and we failed to defend their set-piece," said Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail..

"I think we scored too early in the game.I think DPMM's number eight(Tosi) played very well tonight, he gave us a lot of trouble,"he added.

The new league format splits the team into two tiers, with the top six forming the "upper tier" and the bottom six teams the "lower tier".

They will play another round of matches against teams in their own pool, but the seventh -placed team will not be able to move up the table even thoug they might end up with more points than the sixth-placed team at the end of the additional half round.

 

  



Sunday, September 15
DPMM fail to retain League Cup.

Balestier Khalsa drove the final nail into DPMM FC's shambolic season with a 4-0 thumping of the sultanate's only professional clubin the cup final last night.

The trophy was the Tigers' first major one in the modern S-League era,having last won the FA Cup back in 1992,five year's before the S-League's rebranding.

It was an emotional night in particular for head coach Darren stewart, who was first involved with the club as a player back in 1999.

"Tonight isn't about me.Its about the team and the chairman(S.Thaveneson)," mustered the Australian, whilst seemingly holding back the tears of joy.

"When the final whistle went,I just thought about the 20 years I've known Thava and all that we've been through together, and I can't repay him enough for all his hard work.

Often criticised for their abrasive style of play, Stewart felt that last night's result was the perfect way to respond to his team's critics.

"We were breathtaking today! The pundits that say we play boring today I hope they watched the game."

"Of course you don't expect at the result, but looking back it could have been more.I know that we can play that well.It wasn't easy but tonight it just clicked.

A 1-0 win over Woodlands showed plenty of promise, but defending champions DPMM failed to carry that performance over to the final as the Tigers tore them apart with the complete conviction.

Paul Cunningham returned to the starting line-up as a centre forward, with new signing Victor Borges still out injured, and it took only 14 minutes for the big Kiwi tomake his mark.

Park Kang Jinfound space on the left and dinked the ball into the box, which an unmarked Cunningham guided into the far corner with his head, leaving Wardun rooted to his line.

Kim Minho doubled their lead with a fantastic striker, hitting Rodrigo Tosi's weak headed clearance on the volley from outside the box which had Wardun flapping at thin air.

Blaestier continued to push forward despite a two-goal advantage, and it would pay dividends in the 68th minute when substitute Poh Yi Feng found the back of the net.

Feng, who replaced Zulkifli Hassim, himself a substitute after Ruhaizad Ismail picked up an early injury, was first to react to Qiu Li's saved shot,in the rebound with not a single defender at sight.

DPMM FC were not without their chances and Tosi drew top-class safe from Zainul Nizam in the 70th minute.

The Brazilian headed flick seemed destined for the top-corner but Nizam got across in time to claw the effort out.

That was followed bu Subhi Abdillah's goal-bound header being blocked,with tales sending his follow-up agonizingly wide.It was clearly not their day,and that thought was compounded when Tengku Mushadd made it four.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic refused to make up any excuses for his side, despite a host injuries and suspensions which eventually proved costly."

"We wanted to challenge them, so I'm very upset that we lost 4-0," bemoaned the Croatian.

"Once you give Balestier a 2-0 lead, no one can comeback, not even Real MAdrid.

"Everyone expected to do something because we have won it twice,but today we came up against a better team.

"I couldn't win the cup this year, so I'm very happy that Darren won it.He's a good friend, and when we play,its always a tough game.They have built a very good team this year.

Their hammering in the final was a hard lesson which Simunic hopes his charges can learn from and not make the same mistakes again.

"We must learn from the lesson today and make a better performance in the future because they are a bunch of talented boys.

"I must apologise to the fans because it is a habit from them that DPMM win. We've been unlucky many times this year,so silver is a good result for this team.

"We reached the final today against a better team and lost to a better team.I must congratulate Darren again.They deserved to win something this year, and if they can't win the league,then they deserved the cup." 



Saturday, September 14
DPMM set for third title.

Defending champions DPMM FC have a shot at a winning record third Singapore League Cup crown tonight, though they will have to go up against Balestier Khalsa side brimming with self-belief after losing only one of their last 17 games.

Promising a "dramatic" clash, DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic knows his men have their work cut out for them in a final that promises to be both physicala nd entertaining.

Despite their form Balestier have less "big-game" experience with tonight's tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium their first major cup final-though they did clinch the second-tier plate event last year.

Injury worries to three of the DPMM FC's four imports -Portuguese striker Joao Moreira,Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius - combined with the suspension of veteran defender Pg Sallehuddin Damit means that the visitors wil not be at full strength tonight.

All this, coupled with DPMM FC's current run of the league's results, looks to has taken a toll on sSimunic over the last few months- and he sounded none too confident whhen asked to talk aboutnteam's beggest game of the season.

"I hope we have a little chance," he said.

"I have something secret up for tomorrow.

"We play with 10 Bruneians and one import,and Salleh is suspended and that is a big problem...But I think we've survivedbecause of our big motivation - and the atmosphere(within the team) is fantastic," the Croatian insisted.

Simunic and his Australian counterpart Darren Stewart have already faced off three times this year, though the results provide little indication as to how tonight's match might turn out - especially in a cup final where the form book is thrown out the window.

The sides were drawn in the same League cup group and their June 6 encounter ended with Balestier enjoying a 2-1 result.

Thir most recent outing in the league on August 25 needed a late wonder goal from dos Santos to claim a 1-1 draw, with their first S-League clash in April seeing DPMM beat the Singaporeans 1-0.

"This is the decider," insisted Stewart,who went on to praise DPMM's magnificient striking partnership of brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said who he felt had a big impact in their 1-0 win over the Woodlands Wellington in the last four.

"We has a lot of players who couldn't play for various reasons in the game in August,incliding Cunningham, but we have a full squad available now.

"Going by the league table...I'm not saying we are going to win it and I can't say they're favourites because they won it twice.

"But in terms of consistency, we are better.

"They have that experience playing cup finals but we've got leadership- and if we play like we did againast Albirex in the semis its going to be near impossible to beat us.

"If we play like the commitment like that game, I'll have nothing to do.

"They are tough, but we are tough as well." 



Friday, September 13
Preview: Balestier Khalsa vs Brunei DPMM

The Bruneians are the defending champions but will expect to face a bruising battle against tough-as-nails opponents in the final of the StarHub League Cup final.

They might be friends off the pitch but on it, there's no love lost between Balestier Khalsa coach Darren stewart and his Brunei DPMM counterpart, Vjeran Simunic.

That will be the case again this Saturday when the teams go head to head for the second time in the StarHub League Cup this season, with the trophy at stake.

The Bruneians will certainly be given a hard time as they tried to defend their trophy against a side that has lost only once on their last 17 matches in all competitions. Balestier's last game saw them clinch a slender but deserved 1-0 win against Albirex Niigata in the semi-finals on Monday, while DPMM upset in-form Woodlands Wellington by the same scoreline a day later.

While this is familiar territory for DPMM,who also clinched the trophy in 2009, it is a first-ever majot cup final for the Tigers, they won the second-tier plate last year.

If previous encounters are anything to go by, this will be a fascinating, no-holds barred clash.Simunic has on more than one occasion complained about Balestier's abrasive style of play.Stewart has maintained that he will not apologise for a game-plan that has clearly proved effective for them to despite criticism from some quarters throughout the season.

Their direct brand of football has seen centerback-turned-striker Paul Cunningham flourish in a makeshift role upfront, thanks to his height and strength.If DPMM's Brazilian defender Tales dos Santos is passed fit to start this game,having been on the bench against Woodlands due to a hamstring injury , it will be a titanic battle between those two. 

Elsewhere on the pitch, Korean midfielder Park Kang Jin provides the guile and creativity for Blaestier.The 25-year old is a class act and his playmaking skills are an integral part of their success.Park also struck a well-taken winner against Albirex and will have to be watched closely by DPMM, with an eye also on flankers Kim Min-Ho and Zulkiffli Hassim.

Simunic might have to do without injured strikers Arturas Rimkevicius and Joao Moreira again, leaving sibling duo Shahrazen and Adi Said to shoulder the attacking burden. Captain Rosmin Khamis is also capable of driving the team on from midfield, while compatriots Rodrigo Tosi and Hendra Azam are no slouched offensive-wise.

DPMm edged Balestier in their first league game back in April and have since lost once and drawn another against them, but the form-book will go straight out the proverbial window here. Expect a close contest between two determined sides, with penalties a real possibility here. 



Wednesday, September 11
Hendra fires DPMM into final.

Mohd Hendra AzamMd Idris couldn't have scored his first goal in DPMM FC colours at a better time.

His goal was enough to see the defending champions through to the final of the Singapore League Cup after edging Woodlands Wellington 1-0 at the Woodlands Stadium.

The midfielder rifled a superb freekick from 30 metres out to stun Yazid Yassin in between the Woodlands posts in the 50th minute and it proved to be the winner for Brunei's only professional team.

The 25-year old never expected to be the difference maker but was delighted to be the one to set the teams apart in their semifinal encounter.

"I feel great because my goal made the difference between both teams and it send us through the final," said Hendra in an interview after the triumph.

"I never thought that they would let me take the freekick because I know that we have other good freekick takers on the team such as Azwan Salleh,Rodrigo and Rosmin.

"Even the opposing goalkeeper didn't expect that I was going to take it because he did not seem ready,"he said.

"I'm proud of all my teammates because of the fighting spirit till the end of the whistle.Credit to all players to get the win," said Hendra, who was part of the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah winning side.

Woodlands should have gotten in front in the first half but Moon Soonhosaw his penalty effort fly wide of the goal.

DPMM captain,Rosmin, felt that the missed penalty was the turnaround of the match.

"I think the Woodlands players were a little bit down after the missed penalty.They would have been more motivated had they scored,"said Rosmin.

"We created many chances after that but fortunately one goal wasenough for us to make it into the final," he added.

"We had worked hard in training over the past week and it has definitely helped us. We ran a lot tonight and I would like to congratulate all my teammates for what they did," continued the captain.

DPMM FC will take on Balestier Khalsa, who defeated Albirex Niigata 1-0 the day before,in the final on Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

This is the third finals appearance in as many times for DPMM in the competition.

They lifted the rophy after beating SAFFC 4-3 onpenalties.DPMM FC then became the first team to win the tournament twice after beating Geylang Utd 2-0 last year. 



Tuesday, September 10
A glimmer of hope for DPMM FC

DPMM FC still have a chance to salvage their dismal season.There is still a glimmer of hope for Brueni's only professional clubas they have one last shot of silverware as they take on Woodlands in the semi finals of the Singapore League Cup today.

Runners-up of the Singapore League last season, expectations were high but they won't even finish in the top half of the 12-team table this season and this is their only hope left.

It is the biggest match of the season and it will be a tough outing for them at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore.

The winner of the encounter will face Balestier Khalsa in the final after a lone goal by Park Kang Jin in the 17th minute was enough to seal victory at the Jurong East Stadium last night.

Woodlands thumped DPMM 5-2 in their last meeting despite the latter netting their first two goals at the Jalan Besar Stadium in May.

Rosmin Hj Khamis, the captain of the team, knows that there is only one outcome needed from the game and that is victory.

"The boys are ready for the match since it is the only chance for us to win a cup this year.We have nothing but to win the game," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We have trained hard the past week so we pray that it will pay-off on the field," he added.

"I won't say that we are confident but we will fight hard to reach the final," continued the captain.

Strikr Shahrazen Said is focused on the game and is not thinking about anything else.

"The only thing I can say for tomorrow is that we have to play normally and wait until the final whistle,"said Shahrazen.

"We have to avoid making any mistakes against them,"he added.

DPMM have been stuggling in front of goal and will be missing the services of underperformed Joao Moreira.

Brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte dos Santos is also doubtful after picking a hip injury a day before travelling,with both Shahrazen and Arturas Rimkevicius stuggling to hit the target.

Woodlands will be banking on their Korean duo of Chang Jo-Yoon and Moon Soon-Hoto spearhead them on the attacking front.

They ahve 10 goals each to their name in the league and are aided by Therawekin Seehawong and Atsushi Shimono in midfield.

The game kicks off at 7.30. 



Friday, August 30
Karoglan double helps slick Warriors conquer DPMM

The striker's goals added on to Simpei Sakurada's opener as the uniformed giants saw off their Bruneian visitors.

A Miroslav double fired Warriors to an impressive 3-1 victory over Brunei DPMM at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on thursday evening.

Midfielder Shimpei Sakurada and Karoglan gave the home side a comfortable 2-0 lead at half time before the visitors pulled one back through Tlas Dos Santos before half time but there was no denying the Warriors as Karoglan selaed the victory early in the second half.

The Warriors dominated proceedings right from the kick-off as the Bruneians were made to chase shadows by their slick passing and movement, and Alex Weaver's side were nearly rewarded after just four minutes into the game.

Hitman Karoglan's brilliant turned off a long ball followed by a sot, but his effort went stright into the arms of Wardun.

Midfielder Shia Jiayi was pulling all the strings in th middle of the park after his perfectly weighted half-volleyed through ball from Karoglan, who dissapointed the crowd with a ascuffed effort wide off the post.

 There was no sign of a DPMM goal with rodrigo tosi being their best player thus far,holding up the ball single-handedly at every possibel opportunity.

But the Warriors found their deserved breakthrough in the 27th minute.A corner from the right by Tatsuro Inui found Sakurada,whose header in a crowded box bounced off the ground into the top left corner of the net.

Vjeran Simuni'c side barely had any time to regroup before the home side made it 2-0 just five minutes later.

Great movement and play on the right saw Jeremy Chang played through on goal and the defender's cut back into the box was expertly converted by Karoglan.

It looked like a drubbing was on the cards for the Bruneians,who had no answer to the Wariors' dominance.

But they stunned the home crowd 2 minutes by pulling one back.

A quick free-kick gave right back Suhaime Yusof a chance to cross and the 32-year old obliged with a ball across the face of the goal,which found unmarked Dos Santos for the simplest of tasks to chest into the goal.

In the 52nd minute ,Brunei's hopes of getting back into the game were dealt another blow.Great work on the right yet again by Inui saw the winger deliver a pinpoint cross for Karoglan to double his tally and restore his side's two-goal lead.

Shi nearly put the nail in the coffin four minutes later. A cleared corner found the midfielder, whose shot looked bound for the bottom corner before it was soemhow cleared off the line.

The visitors began to find more joy in attack as they searched for a way back into the game and they nearly did in th hour mark.

A long freekick from DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis found anunmarked Adi Said, who has only the goalkeeprt o beat,but he could only flickhis header just wide.

The visitors continued to pour forward as the Warriors were happy to soak up the pressure.

Simunic's side had another great chance five minutes later as Arturas Rimkevicius terrorised the Warriors defence on the right and out the ball back for Helmi Zambin, whose shot was well blocked by custodian Hassan Sunny.

 



Thursday, August 29
DPMM eager to bounce back.

DPMM FC want to forget about their last Sinagpore League game quickly.

They will close out their three-game, eight-day schedul with a abttle against the Warriors at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Brunei's only professional club will be eager to put aside memories of their 6-2 thumping at the hands of leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Sunday.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic wants his charges to regroup and forget about their last outing and forget about their last outing ahead of tonight's game.

"We are now looking at how we can repair mentally and stay motivated," said Simunic in an interview with the Times when met during their training at the Mini Stadium.

"We must gorget about our last result quickly and turn things around in the next game.

"We need more concentration for anbetter result.

"Warriors are a good team snd we will see how it goes,"continued the Croatian.

Choosing not to focus on their league standings, Simunic is hoping for a better result as they prepare for their biggest game of the season on September 10.

They will face Woodlands Wellington in the semifinals of the Singapore League Cup which is the only chance for silverware this match,which the match to be played at the Woodlands Stadium.

"Sometimes the schedule is against us but we cannot choose.We want to get result ahead of our big game against Woodlands," said Simunic.

"We will have around 10 days to prepare ourselves.We have to work hard on preparing both physically and mentally.

"Our fitness has taken a dip after one month of fasting and we've lost maany players to injury.

"We can do our best whatever we have and we are always going to win every game," insisted last year's S-League Coach of the Year who will be without leftback Sairol Sahari for the rest of the season.

 

 



Monday, August 26
Hurt and humbled.

DPMM FC fell to a 6-2 humiliating defeat at the hands of the Singapore League leaders Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

"It is difficult to say anything when you lose 6-2After the third goal, I think we lost formation," said DPMm FC head coach Vjeran Simunic after the game.

"I think we played good in first half and also we came very close to scoring goals in the second but it is very difficult when you lose so many players like Sairol,Hendra and Azam.

"We were all down after the third goalbut because we were looking for goals and they punished us when Santos went up to help in the attack,"

Both teams started the game cautiously with neither creating any real chances until the 22nd minute when Alexnader Duric picked midfielder Victor Ladeiras who uncharacterictically volleyed the ball over the bar from inside the penalty box.

DPMM were nearly punished few minutes later when Pg Sallehuddin Damit's poor clearance fell into Khairul Amri's past on the edge of the box and the midfielder fired the ball straight into the arms of the goalkeeper Wardun.

Arturas Rimkevicius made a beautiful run to latch ionto an Azwan Salleh's through ball from the left but the Lithuanian's striker weak attempt was easily saved by Andre Martins.

Rosmin came off the bench for Md Hendra who had to be taken out after he fell to a tough challenge five minutes before half time.

DPMM pushed hard to get an early goal after the restart with their aggressive playbut the first threat in the second hlaf fell to Tampines when captain Mustafic Fahrudin headed Ladeiras' cross past wide.

Shahrazen who has a very quiet first half replied a minute later with a glancing header off Rosmin's corner kick but his effort faded to trouble the keeper.

Tampines went ahead in the 51st minute when Duric was at the right place  at the right time to slam home the rebound following a long range by Firdaus Kasman just from outside the penalty box.

It was 2-0 two minutes later when Khairul brilliantly past two DPMm defenders before firing low shot past Wardun.

Simunic brought in Adi Said for Arturas and the 23-year old made an immediate impact scoring DPMM's first goal of the night.

Adi made a run near post and rose everyone inside the box to head home an Azwan Salleh's corner from the right leaving the goalkeeper no chance.

Rodrigo tosi should made it 2-2 when he was set up inside the penalty box by Azwan Ali, but the Brazilian fired the ball past wide.

Firdaus caught DPMM players napping when he picked Duric at the far post with a beuatiful cross from the right,the 43-year old striker calmly nodding the ball home past helpless Wardun in the goal in the 68th minute.

Diogo Caramelo would score 2 goals in the 83rd and the 85th minutes to wrap up the game.

"Basically we are much fitter in the second half and we took our chances very well,"said Tampines coach Tay Peng Kee. 

 



Sunday, August 25
DPMM prepare for Tampines test tonight

DPMM FC will face arguably their toughest home test of teh season when they take on league leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers tonight.

Brunei's only professional club have yet to beat the Stags in three tries, and each of those instances,Tampines came up with 90th minute goals to salvage the games -with two of them ending in draws and the other in a aDPMM loss.

When DPMM faced Tampines in last season's meeting they were at the summit of the table in 12 games and were in contention for the tltle.

But it will be a different situation come tonight- who were expected to challenge the Stags for the title but they lost by a point, currently lying 9th in the table with 24 points while Tampines are sitting at the summit with 44 points and look almost certain to win the league again.

With the Stags ability to produce a dying-minute goal in each of their previous games,DPMM's coach Vjeran Simunic believes that tonight's clash wil promise to be another exciting encounter.

"They are now at the top of the league and a lot of people will say they are favourites to win the match," said the Croatian.

"But if you look at our previous record against them we were very close in winning the games," added the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

One thing Simunic would have done for certain,though, would be to remind his players of how deadly Tampines have proved to be against them in the closing stages.

Khairul Amri Mohamad Kamal's 90th striker cancelled out Joao Moreira's goal in the first of their league games on April 16, a match which ended 1-1 at the Clementi.

The same away last season saw a defense lapse let in Gligorov at thr back,the midfielder scorong a 90th minute goal in their 1-0 win.

Just as heartbreaking was last season's hoem game, Tampines satged a late come back to bag a 2-2 draw in the 90th minute and forced a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Apart from changing imports midway through the season,injuries a=have also played a large part in DPMM FC's poor campaign, with Sairol Sahari the latest casualty after suffering a meniscus tear.

"We are very unlucky this season with injuries-Sairol now our for 3 months," said Simunic.

"Rosmin only played 15 minutes on Wednesday and he will start on Sunday and I hope Shahrazen can step up his game yoo.

"Subhi will eb back soon from injury and I am happy how Azwan Ali has improved over the months.

But once again I would liek the fans to come and support us and get behind the team on Sunday,"he added.

DPMM FC managed to salvage a draw on Wednesday against Balestier when Santos' emerge as the hero scoring a stunning volley 9 minutes from time after Qiu Li put the visitors ahead with a 15 th minute penalty.

I respect Qiu Li he is a fantastic player, but it was clear that he dived to get the penalty," said the coach.

"We could have won and get all three points." 



Thursday, August 22
Santos rescues DPMM FC

Tlaes Ricarte dos Santos' stunning 81st minute volley helped DPMM to rescue a 1-1 dwar in their Singapore League match against Balestier Khalsa last night.

The ball from the DPMM FC half was met by Adi Said, who flicked a header tp Santos who cheated the ball down, turned and htt it from outside the box.

"When I saw the ball got off Adi I controlled it with my chest and volleyed it with my right foot.It was the best goal of my career!" said the Brazilian.

"It was a very important goal and I am very happy to help the team got a point tonight.

"We cannot lose anymore, especially playing at home.We need to save the season and if we want to finish in the top six, we must win games,"  added the centre-back.

The first 10 minutes of the match saw both teams create a fair share of chances.

Bslestier forward Qiu Li tested DPMM's defence early in the 2nd minute with a shot from outside the penalty box, only to see it go over the bar.

DPMM replied few minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a brilliant run down the left flank and skipped past three defenders, but the Brazilian midfielder would send his shot wide.

Md Hendra Azam's free-kick went straight to Balestier Khalsa's goalie Zaiful Nizam before Shahrazen Said's fired his shot just wide a minute later.

Before Khlasa were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute when Qiu Li was brought down by Pg Sallehuddin inside the box, and the 32-year old Qiu Li converted after sending Wardun the wrong direction.

Balestier should have doubled their lead 5 minutes later when captain JAslee Hatta picked Obadin Aikhena inside the penalty box from the rightbut the defender would waste the chance with his weak header.

Qiu Li was a constant threat for the hosts backline thriughout the first ball with his strong pressure upfront, and the Singapore former international almost turned provider when he played Ruhaizad Ismail through in the 32nd minute, but the midfielder blasts the ball straight to Wardun.

Portuguese Joao Moreira headed Shahrazen's cross from the right wide, while Helmi Zambin's powerful shot from 10 metres out also sailed wide just before the half time whistle.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic brought in midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman for under-performed striker Arturas Rimkevicius at the atrt of the second half and Azwan helped in open Balestier's defence.

Azwan Salleh forced Zaiful into a brilliant save five minutes into the second half when the midfielder fired a thunderous free-kick from 10 metres out.

Adi cam out for Shahrazen in the 60th minute as DPMM pushed hard for an equaliser while defender Santos was alo pressed forward as emergency striker to help out in the attack.

DPMM were the better team in the second hafl with Balestier limited to only few chances.

DPMM continued to create more chances in the remaining minutes, and with 15 minutes left to go,Simunic brought in captain Rosmin Khamis to preplace Md Hendra, and six minutes later,Santos would score that spectacular volley from outside the penalty box.

Azwan Ali Rahman should have scored the winner two minutes before time when he was left with only the goalie to beat , but captain Jaslie would make a heroic dive to block the shot.

"I think DPMM played with guts and determination tonight," said Balestier coach Darren stewart.

"They deserved the point and there is niothing that we could have done with the goal , it was a world class goal.

"It was a proper away game for us and we were rock solid in our game - but is always to play DPMM at their home ground," he added.

DPMM FC's next game is against Tampines Rovers on Sunday. 



Wednesday, August 21
Sairol to miss rest of season.

DPMM FC will have a hole to fill as left-back Sairol Hj Sahari is expected to miss the remainder of the season, starting with tonight's match against fourth-place Balestier Khalsa.

The 30-year old is set to undergo surgery next month on his right knee after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear, the lengthy lay-over a potentially worrying scenario fo DPMM- who have to play three games over the next 8 days.

"It is an old injury but recently there weere some pains so I went to the Orthopedic Centre and they found there was a meniscus tear," said Sairol.

"I'm schediled for surgery next month and I will need to get enoughtrest and work in the gym for the next couple of months after that," he added.

Tonight's match against Balestier at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium will be a tough test considering the visitors have not lost their last 8 league games.

A positve for the fans is that they can look forward to is the inclusion of striker Shahrazen Said and defender Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir back into the line-up after injuries.

Despite Sairol's setback DPMM FC head coach VJeran Simunic feels that the team i ready for tonight's gsme.

"Sairol is injured and will be out for the next 3 months,"confirmed Simunic.

"Also I think Rosmin and subhi will be on the bench so I will give Shahrazen a chance to play in Subhi's position.

"I think all of this won't be a problem we still have 18 good players ready for tomorrow," continued the Croatian.

Rosmin said the team have been working hard and are in good shape ahead of their tight schedule.

"We have trained hard to keep our fitness for the past couple of weeks," said the skipper.

"We had four days off for Hari raya but that should not be a problem for the players,

"It is going to be hard but that is football.We must be ready and prepare for the tight schedule.

"So far we don't have any problems.We will have Subhi back from injury which is good for the team.

"Our main target is to win all the remaining matches for the top-six target, but we will take it game by game.

"We have confidence but we must respect our opponents because all matches will be tough," continued Rosmin. 



Sunday, August 4
Azwan relishing DPMM FC challenge.

Midfielder Azwan Salleh is relishing the challenge of competing for a staring spot in his first season with DPMM FC.

Signed at the end of March from Indera SC, Azwan admitted he didn't expect to walk straight into the team, but the midfielder has now featured in 5 S-League matches for the club and is starting to get some of the recognition he deserves after impressive displays in DPMM FC's last several outings including a 1-0 win over Geylang International on July,19.

"I had planned something new and I had previously said that our No 2 (Azwan) will be the new star of the league," said DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic after the 1-0 win.

"But he played against Tampines and then was out for threee months after challenge from Mustafic.

"But did you all see how he played? Washe good?' asked Simunic.

Azwan also won the fan's hearts with his performance and assist during the club's 1-1 draw with tanjong Pagar on July,13, when he picked out Rodrigo Tosi at the far pot in the final minutes witht the Brazilian tehn heading hoem the equaliser in Singapore.

"Playing regularly for the team like DPMM is a tough challenge for every foot

"baller in the country," said the 21-year old Azwan in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"Whether you are competing for a starting spot witht imports or the local players,there is always competition.

"For me, what I got to do is to show the coach that I really want to play in his trust.

"So far I am very happy with how I've progressed with the club. 

"The players here are the ebst, and they are very experienced, especiallycaptain Rosmin Khamis...And by just being around these players during training will hep me a lot,"he added.

Apart from Rosmin,Simunic has plenty of midfield talent at his disposal with Hendra Azam,Azwan Salleh and latest signing Tosi also on form.

Azwan started his DPMM career in the club's 4-2 win over Geylang in the league on April 3 when he came on for Portuguese striker Joao Moreira in the 81st minute.

The midfielder was an important figure for his former club Indera in the first edition of the DST National Super League.

Azwan also scored a staggering 17 goals in his first eight appearances for Indera and hsi astonishing tally earned him the award for top-scorer in the league.

He was a part of the national Under-21 team that won the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in March and he also featured in the national squad at the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2012 qualifiers in Myanmar in October. 



Sunday, July 28
Global reach the semis on agregate 5-4

The Azkals international struck thrice in the first half as the Philippines outfit survivied a rousing Bruneians response in the second period to make the Singapore Cup semi-finals.

Trailing by a goal from the first leg, DPMM were dealt a huge blow when the Spanish-Filipino midfielder scored the opener in the 20th minute.

Left back Jeffrey Christiaens made a marauding run down the flank and his cross was finished off by Carli, who sent an unstoppable header past Wardun yussof.

Brian Reids' side doubled their lead after captain Ben Starosta regained possession in their own half and led a breakaway down the middle.

The attack culminated with Joshua Beloya threading a precise through ballt o Carli, who made no mistake from a close range.

Carl then deabbed his third goal in the first minute of injury time, latching on to a apss from former Ado Den Haag player Paul Mulders before coolly slotting home.

Although on-loan striker Sanchez headed in Global's fourth nine minutes after the restart, Vjeran Simunic's charges mounted a stunning comeback after an hour mark.

Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius led the way in the 62nd minute with a perfect volley that crashed past Roland Sadia and off the crosbbar into goal.

Reid was soon forced to bring on reserve goalkeeper Eduardo Sacapano for the injured Sadia,with DPMM;s giant defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos also brought by Simunic as makeshift striker at the same time.

The Brazilian made an immediate impact with his first touch of the ball, heading Azwan Salleh's corner past hepless Secapano.

The deficit was reduced to just one goal on the night in the 82nd minute when dos Santos played a defence-splitting ball to Rimkevicius, who slid it inder Sacapano to make it 4-3.

Joao Moreira sensationally equalised with a header five minutes before the end of regulation time, but the Bruneians were not able to find the fifth goal that would have forced the match to go into extra-time.

The relieved Global players celebrated when the final whistle went as they advanced, with DPMM still in search of a first semi-final in the Cup. 



Saturday, July 27
DPMM FC eye redemption.

DPMM FC are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Global FC in the second leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-finals tonight.

They succumbed to alate loss on Wednesday after Global's Spanish forward Rufino Sanchez headed hoem with the last touch of the game for the only goal at the Jalan Besar Stadium, and it was heartbreak for DPMM considering they put away several chances that could given them the advantage before the defensive lapse in the 96th minute.

Captain Rosmin Khamis said the team has erased memories of their first leg loss against the Filipino outfit and are focused on winning tonight's tie.

"We have no other choice but to win the match," said Rosmin in an interview yesterday.

"We are motivated since we still have hope to advance to the semis."Its dissaponting after losing in the last minute since we domonated most of the match, but we have already forgoten about it and are in high spirits for tomorrow's match," he added.

After the loss DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic couldn't have asked more from his players and felt that they have performed well and didn;t deserved to lose.

Rosmin agreed with the Croatian and knows exactly what is needed from the team to conjure a victory.

"I also asked the assistant coaches after the match and they said we played well," said the midfielder.

"We will need to score at least 2 goals and work hard to keep a clean sheet.

"We know that Global are a strong team and we must be aware of their counter-attacks," he added.

According to the S-League website, Siunic was not pleased with the performance of foreign strikers Joao Moreira and arturas Rimkevicius.

The former, who is the team's top-scorer, had missed svereal chances in the past few matches and according to Simunic,Rimkevicius has yet to get accustomed to the artificial pitch at the Jalan Besar.

He also mentioned that he was missing the services of injured striker Shahrazen Said, the forward set to sit out another three or four weeks with an inured knee.

"We just need to play normally , but we will require 100 per cent teamwork upfront to score goals because that has been lacking in the forwards," said Shahrazen.

Nevertheles, I know that the guys can make history for this Singapore Cup," he added.

The match kicks off at 8pm. 



Thursday, July 25
Debutant Sanchez strikes at the death for Global.

The Spanish striker, on loan for a  month at the Philippines outfit, marked his first game in style with a last-minute winner in the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarter-final.

Global FC were left thanking their lucky stars as they left it late to snatch a last-minute winner in their Singapore Cup quarter-final leg clash against Brunei DPMM at the Jalan Besat Stadium.

The Bruneians fired blanks for most of the match while the Philippines outfit went forward on the counter, with carlos De Maurga and Misagh Bahadoran combining well in midfield to supply the ammunituon to lone striker Rufino Sanchez.

Spaniard Sanchez,on a month loan from Stallion FC, was lively upfront but missed a glorious opportunity to give his side the lead in the first half.

In the 18th minute, Joshua Beloya went on marauding run down the left flank before sending the ball into the six-yard box.However, Sanchez miraculously failed to score from close range as the ball got stuck under his foot before it was swiftly gathered by Wardun.

While there were many clear-cut chances on the field, emtions ran high on the touchline as both coaches, Vjeran Simunic and Brian reid, had heated exchanges.

 Reid was furious that his opposite number had, on several occasions, screamed to referee Sukhbir Singh to hand out cards to the Global players for challenges on the Bruneians.

DPMM had the bulk of possession after the half-time interval but none of their foreign players were able to trouble Global goalkeeper Roland Sadia.

Simunic brought on striker Adi Said six minutes before the end and he wasted no time in setting his sights on goal.

A minute after coming on,Aid managed to sidestep his marker before pulling the trigger from 30 yards, forcing a stupendous acrobatic save fron Sadia.

With the clock ticking down, Gobal were presented with a final chance on goal after they were awarded a freekick at the halfway line.

With referee turning his back to instruct the DPMM players on the distance of their wall from the ball, set-piece-taker Jeffrey Christaens moved the ball forward again a yard, and it was an advantgae that eventually led to the winner.

The ball was swung in deep into the penalty box where Sanchez manged to flick it to the bottom corner to spark joyous celebrations, as the UFL side gained the upper hand going into the second leg on Saturday. 



Wednesday, July 24
DPMM FC calm and ready for Global challenge

DPMM FC aren't worrying about tonight's opponents.

Brunei's only professional team will take on Global FC of the Phillipines in the quarter-finals of the Singapore Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium , the first of two legs with the second to be contested at the same venue on Saturday.

DPMM FCadvanced to the quarter-finals after cruising in a 4-0 victory over the Lao Police end of May.

On the other hand,Global are coming off a 2-0 win over defending champions, Warriors FC in the previous round in June.

"We aren't thinking too much about them," said interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We know they are a strong team but we have to think about ourselves.

"We hope to have a repeat performance from our last game.

"I watched their last game against Warriors but is different now that they have added some new players to the roster.

"My advantage could be that they haven't been playing along side each other as much to be at full stregth but we know for sure thst they are prepared to play," command the Croatian.

DPMM will once again be missing the services of the injured duo of brazilian defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos and striker Shahrazen Said.

However Simunic trusts his local players to be able to turn it up a notch for the encounter against the United Football League (UFL) side.

"The local players will have to step up," stressed Simunic.

 "They will be under a bit more pressure and will have to take responsibility.It is a good challenge for Bruneians with more locals seeing action.

"We respect our opponents because we know they are one of the fsvourites of the competition.

"It will be a good game...A 180-minute match, and there can be many things to decide who will win it," continued the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

According to the S-League website, Global boasts several Azkals in their squad including Jason De Jong, Mirsagh Bahadoran and Carh De Murga.

They have also acquired Spanish striker Rufino Sanchez for the matchup.

Sanchez is on a one-month loan from fellow UFL side Stallion FCand was the league top-scorer for the recently concluded season with 18 goals.

Kick-off is at 8pm. 

 

 



Tuesday, July 23
Global FC test for DPMM FC

Brunei DPMm will take on Global FC of the Philippines in the quarter finals of the RHB Singapore Cup tomorrow at the Jalan Besar Stadium starting at 8 pm.

Although DPMM FC steamrolled past Lao Police with ease in the preliminary round,Global FC will present much tougher opoosition for them, according to report in Goal.com.

The United Football League(UFL) side boast several Azkals including the ever-relisble Jason De Jong,Misagh Bahadoran and Carli De Munga.

Captain Yu Hoshide is surprisingly not including in the side while new signing Ruffino Sanchez will be making his trip to Singapore.

Sanchez in on a one-month loan from fellow side Stallion FC and was the top-scorer for the recently concluded season with 18 goals.

While confidence appears to be high in the Phillipines outfit,the Bruneians are sweating on the fitness of several of their key players as they aim to progress for the semifinals.

Central defender Tales dos Santos is still on the treatment table after pulling a muscle in their clash against Tanjong Pagar in the league while Md Shahrazen Said is also out injured.

DPMM will be banking on 40-year old Pg Sallehuddin Damit to hold the fort at the back while misfiring forward Joao Moreira will be eager to prive his critics wrong.

With coach vjeran Simunic claiming that ex Lithuanian international Arturas Rimkevicius is yet to be accustomed with the artificial turf at the Jalan Besar Stadium,it may spell yet another barren spell for the 30-year old.

But DPMM have yet another potent weapon up their sleeves in 21-year old Azwan Ali, who was impressive in their previous league match against Geylang.

The young striker showed flair and confidence with his nifty footwork and he might just prove to be the answer for DPMM's quest for victory. 

 



Saturday, July 20
Eagles cut down by late DPMM strike

A resolute Geylang International defence finally crumbled nine minutes before the end as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Brunei DPMM on Friday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Eagles were welcoming back Stefam Milijevicfrom along lay-off but were still missing some key players.Delvinder Singh and Fabian Kwok who were out injured, and the suspended duo of Khayrulhayat Jumat and captain Jozef Kaplan.

Coach V.Kanan played Shotaro Ihata as the lone striker but the former Home Utd was not having the best of matches and was constantly losing the ball easily and  failed to connect well with the rest of the teammates.

The Bruneians were also having problems of their own on and off the pitch as coach vjeran Simunic had to back instructions frpm the stands as he was serving his suspension folowing his sending-off in the previous match against Tanjong Pagar.

But even without their colourful coach, they played better compared to their previous encounters.

The visitors were missing lanky defender Tales dos Santos at the back, who is still recupearting from an injury, but there was not much work for the backline as the Eagles were toothless upfront.

It was a frustrating night for Simunic's men as they were guilty of squnadering several golden opportunituies in the match, namely by joao Moreira and Arturas Rimkevicius.

After the half time interval, DPMM controlled most of the possession and were looking more threatening whenever they went forward.

DPMM's perseverance paid off in the 81st minute whne Basil Tan needlessly gave away a free-kick outside the box.

Captain Rosmin Khamis shot sends the ball to the top corner and ricocheted off the bar before hitting the back of Geylang custodian Takuma Ito and into the back of the net, securing all three points for the visitors. 



Friday, July 19
DPMM brace for Geylang

DPMM will be looking to turn their Singapore League campaihn around when they take in Geylang International todat at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It will be an uphill task as they will have to do so without the injured dup of Brazilain Tales dos Santos and striker Shahrazen Said.

The former picked up an injury early in their 1-1 draw against Tankong Pagar last Friday.

Shahrazem, who came off the bench for the game picked up an injury during their last training night on the knee.

Vjeran Simunic felt that the team is prepared for the game and he hoped that the results will go in their favour.

"Every match is important for us and we will always go out to play the best possible," Said Simunic in an interview yesterday.

"Shahrazen is one of my best players in the team, so it might me a problem.Salleh came in for Tales and did very well and don't make any mistakes,"

The Croatian highlighted that their biggest problem now is finding the back of the net and hopes that his charges would change that.

"We created alot of cahnces but just could not score.We have about 6 chances against Tanjong Pagar bout couldn't score.We should have won," said Simunic.

In addition his side has given up eight goals in the last four matches but the coach was satisfied with backlinein the last game.

"I thought the backline did well in the last game.We want to go out and do the sam against Geylang.We have been playing with more players on the attack," continued the Croatian.

Geylang are in good form as of late, winning their last two games.

Skipper Jozef Kapaln will miss the encounter having picked up a red card against Hougang.The league's top-scorer and player of the monthn has been splendid ipfront and will be missed.

However they will welcome back defender Srdjan Milosevic in the roster. 



Saturday, July 13
Simunic pleased with draw against 'quality' Jaguars.

Tanjong Pagar United lost ground at the top of the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw bu a determined DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

Visiting coach Vjeran Simunic was banished from the touchline by referee Ahmad A'Qashah in the half and wasted no time in explaining his action during the post match interview, claiming that he regretted it. 

"About the sending off, I apologise for it;it was a reaction because I saw a punch to Hendra and one player going into a challenge with a high leg," he said.

"Next time I will not make any reaction."

Although the Croatian had hoped for maximum points from the match, he was pleased with the draw as he felt that the Jaguars are a "quality" side.

"Tanjong Pagar is a good team;I am serious and its not a joke, so one point is a very good achievement," Simunic claimed.

"I think we deserved an early goal but sometime in football, fortunate comes very late.I amhappy with this point as we needed it."

Simunic's opposite number Patrick Vallee believed it would have been different result had his side taken their numerous chances.

"Yes I feel we were unlucky but we can't complain because we got chances to score the second goal and I am dissapointed that we did not, which could have secured us the win," he admitted.

The Frenchamn was also not too pleased with the amount of time added on.

"I don't want to complain but someone must show me where the five or six minutes added tiem cam from," Vallee said in reference to the equaliser, which was scored a minute after the allocated injury time.

"But that is football, and I think we deserved to win today, but a draw is a good result too."

While it was 2 points lost for the Jaguars, who could have closed to within two points of second-placed Albirex with victory,Vallee acknowledged the hard work for his players.

"I can't be upset or angry,just a bit dissapointed at the end it is frustrating but I am happy with the performance of my team and their fighting spirit," he said.

"We are still in top position and July is a tough moth we will see how next Tuesday against Albirex."

Vallee also explained his decision to bring out captain Walid Lounis in the dying minutes of the match even though the Tunisian-born Singaporean did not sustain a serious injury.

"He had a cut on hsi lips and I can't play 10 players against a side like DPMM and that is why I made the change," he pointed out.

"But it was not because of that we conceded the goal; maybe we shoule kept the ball up in front more." 



Friday, July 12
DPMM eye return to form against Tanjong Pagar.

DPMM FC are looking to end their slide in their Singapore League campaign as they take on Tanjong Pagar today at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Their last outing saw them squander a two-goal lead to lose 5-2 to Woodlands Wellington at the Jalan Besar Stadium last Friday.

Brunei's only professional club will have a tough task on their hands as Tanjong Pagar are playing well,sitting in third spot with 28 points.

DPMM FC, however, can look to their on-going Singapore League Cup campaign for inspiration.

They came from behind to beat Tanjong Pagar 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the competition last month.

The S-League is a different tournament and leftback Sairol Sahri knows what must be addressed if they are to turn their season around.

"We must bounce back and focus for the whole 90 minutes because, sometimes, we lose our concentration during the game," said Sairol.

"Every team has the ability to beat everyone else and it is important for us to win so that we can be inside the top-six," he added.

Ramadhan has also begun and the players are fasting but Sairol expects the club's imports to pull up their socks,

"I think the fasting month will affect the team so we have to play smart.Our import playes will have to give their 100 per cent," said Sairol.

"We have to work smart, play as a team and focus. That is important for us to conjure up the win<" he said.

Striker Shahrazen felt that they had a good showing in the last game but hoped they can keep up the performance for the whole 90 minutes.

"We will come out as normal and play our game.We must fight back to get the points beacuse we want to be in the top-six," said Shahrazen.

"I'm not sure about the team's confidence but we just need to play like how we did against Woodlands,to keep scoring when have chances and focus on defence," he said.

"As for the fasting month, there is no effect.It actually makes us stronger," continued the forward.

Captain Rosmin Khamis is set to miss the encounter after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season in his last match.

The game kicks off at 8 pm, and will be telecast live on Astro 801. 



Saturday, July 6
Theerawekin inspires Rams to stunning comeback in dream debut.

Aided by the ireepressible duo of Moon and Chang, the Thai midfielder marked his return to the S.League in style as he notched two goals to down the Brunei visitors.

It was goals galore at the Jalan Besar Stadium s Woodlands Wellington romped to an impressive 5-2 victory over Brunei DPMM.

It was an unimaginable scoreline as the rams had trailed by two goals in the opening 17 minutes of the match, before debutant Theerawekin Seehawong started the comeback.

It only took the visitors 6 minutes top open the scoring through Joao Moreira, who took the advantage of the defensive lapse at the back and executed an acrobatic half-volley in the six-yard box.

DPMM doubled the lead 11 minutes later as the Woodlands defence were caught napping at a corner kick, and Rodrigo Tosi turned his marker to slam a low drive past Yazid Yasin in goal. 

Despite falling behind, the Rams did not let their game down and were the better sodes with Theerawekin leading the pack with his creativity and nifty footwork in the middle of the field.

The former Gombak midfielder led the comeback in the 28th minute when he chested down the cross from Moon Ho in the penalty box before slamming it home for Woodlands first goal for them.

Woodlands got the equaliser 11 minutes before the half-time interval after a nice interchange of passes between Atsushi Shimono,Theerawekin and Cho Sunghwan ended with the latter laying off the ball for Chang Jo Yoon to drive into the bottom corner.

The second half saw the collapse of the reigning League Cup champions, who were no match for the tactical discipline shown hy Salim Moin's side.

Six minutes after the break, Sallehudin Damit allowed himseld to be dispossessed by Moon Ho at the edge of the box witht only the goalie to beat,the Koream made no mistake as he cooly slotted home to give his side a 3-2 lead.

Seemingly upset with his defenders mistake,Vjeran Simunic swiftly replaced the 40-year old with Azwan Ali.

But the substitution counted for nothing as DPMM went further behing midway through the second half, with the Rams notputting a foot wrong in the game.

In the 75th minutem Moon;s shot was palmed away by Wardun but he managed to cut the rebound back for Chang, who made it 4-2 for the rams.

The rout was completed 9 minutes later before time when Theerawekin took advantage of a chaotic situation in the DPMM box after Chang's shot was parried and scuffed the rebound past Wardun. 



Friday, July 5
Shahrazen returns to boost DPMM

DPMM FC will welcome back striker Shahrazen Said to their squad for tonight's Singapore League match against Woodlands Wellington at the Jalan Bsar Stadium following his suspension.

The striker completed his one-match ban as DPMM fell a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex Niigata at home. 

"We will have Shahrazen back in the team.It is always to have him back and now we have trhree strikers(Shahrazen,Joao Moreira and Arturas Rimkevicius)and they all might start tomorrow (tonight)," said DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic yesterday.

"We need to win tomorrow, but we need to work very hard.In our last game against albirex, we were very unfortunate.We controlled the game for 77 minutes and lost.So we need to focus and concentrate through-out the game this time around," he said.

"Woodlands are in good form lately, they are aiming for the top three finish.I heard they have signed a new Thai midfielder so we need to watch out," said Simunic.

Woodlands have signed the former Gombak Utd midfielder from Thai Premier League side Pattaya Utd.

The 33-year old will be replacing midfielder Khalid Hamdaoui, who was released last month.

Skipper Rosmin Khamis and Tosi are expected to start in the midfield, with the latter operating in a more attacking role behind the strikers.

"I read today's newspaper in Singapore that Rosmin will be suspended for the game tomorrow.It is all wrong.So now I don't know whether he is going to plaay or not,"added Simunic.

Moreira scored the solitary goal when DPMM defeated Woodlands in their last meeting in March. 



Saturday, June 29
Late goals sink DPMM FC

DPMM FC suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex Niigata in the league at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

The Bruneian side were clearly outplayed by their opponents coming into the match in top form following their 5-2 win over Tanjong Pagar in the quarterfinals in the Singapore League Cup.

It was another dissaponting result especially since DPMM only gave the game away so late into the match,Albirex's Kento Nagasaki and Masatake Sato finding the back of the net in the final 13 minutes.

"I know Albirex is a team that can wait for 90 minutes and score goals.We lost concentration late in the game.We made a msitake and they punished us," DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic said after the game.

"Becuase of our big desire to win,we brought in Adi to replace Salleh in the second half,"

"I put in Adi to push Albirex defenders in their own half.But, we made mistakes and Albirex showed tonight that they deserve to be one of the top teams this season," said Simunic.

Joao Moreira and Lithuanian Arturas Rimkeviciusstarted upfront for DPMM with Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi operating in that fee role behind the strikers.

DPMM kicked off the game on the right foot, passing well and putting on a strong showing in the midfield for the first 15 minutes of the game.

They dominated ball possession and pushed Albirex deep into their own half.

Moreira was the firt to test the Albirex defence when he rose above them to connect on a Rosmin corner but his header went just wide.

Rimkevicius should have put the home side ahead when he made a run inside the penalty box through a pass by Hj Subhi Abdilah but Albirex centre-back Kento Fukada sacrificed his body to block the shot on goal.

DPMM continued to control the game and it looked as if a DPMM goal was inevitable, only to have the tables turned in the second half.

Albirex started to press harder in the midfield at the restart,especially when DPMM moving about the ball about in their own half.

The Japanese team aggresive play put DPMm on the back foot and they begun to crack under pressure making uncharacteristic mistakes.

This was not to say the locals were helpless.They tried to mount counter attacks whenever Albirex pushed on too aggressively.

Adi came in for Pg Sallehuddin at the start of the second half as DPMM chased for the win.

But the fluid passes had deserted DPMM who now moved the ball rather slowly,allowing the visitors the compose and reorganised their defence.

When DPMM tried to ove the ball quickly, they failed to connect their team-mates.

Albirex finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when Nagasaki latched perfectly onto a Brunojunichi Suzukicastanheira pass before slashing the shot pass Wardun in th goal.

They doubled the lead 7 minutes later when Masatake Sato headed home a Shingo Suzuki corner from the right.

DPMM remain rooted in the eigth position in the 12-team table with 18 points. 

 



Friday, June 28
DPMM FC resume S-League campaign tonight.

DPMM FC are hoping to keep the momentum gpong in the league after a string of good performances in the Singapore League Cup.

They will have their first home game in over a month as thry host second-placed Albirex Niigata today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Brunei's only professional team are in good form as of late as their last match  saw them come from two goals down to defeat Tanjong Pagar 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the Singapore League Cup.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic is upbeat bu knows that it will be difficult matchup against the Japanese outfit.

"We have put up a good performance at the League Cup and we are in excellent form," said Simunic in an interview yesterday.

"It is unfortunate that we came home without completing the Singapore Legue Cup due to the hazy conditions resulting in the semifinals to be abandoned.

"We will have to take it one game at a time and this is going to be atough one.Albirex is ine of the best teams in the S-League and are the biggest contenders to challenge for the title," he added.

"But like always we go out o play our best football and try to play our good form like recently.We know that we can obtain good results when we play with good teamwork," continued the Croatian.

Shahrazen Said will be out of action after picking up his red card in his last match encounter against the Young Lions. 

Simunic believes that his team have the ability to pick up the slack and overcome that obstacle. 

"It is always like that...how someone will not be able to play.But this season we have gone through a lot of challenges such as playing with one import.He(Shahrazen) is one of our top players and we will have to step up to replace him," said Simunic.

Albirex came back from a goal down to defeat DPMM 2-1 in their first meeting at the Jurong East Stadium in March.

Things are different this timr round with DPMM having undergone a revamp of the squad.

Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi and Lithuanian striker Arturas Rimkevicius are set to make their home debut.

The latter will be a handful alongside Portuguese striker Joao Moreirs whose form has been great at the moment of time.

Rimkevicius made an impact in his first apperarance for the club after bagging a brace against Tanjong Paagr.

"He has shown that he is capable in his debut and his teammates are all helping him out on playing better together," said Simunic.

"We also hope that more fans will come to the stadium because it has been a while since our last home game.We need all the support that we can get," he added.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 



Thursday, June 20
DPMM FC vie for final berth tonight

Vjeran Simunic is mulling a change in tactics ahead of DPMM FC's Singapore League Cup semi-final against Woodlands Wellington tonight.

The Croatian coach engineered a 5-2 comeback with win over Tanjong Pagar in Sunday's quarterfinals after replacing Md Hendra Azam with new signing Arturas Rimkevicius in the 33rd minute, the Lithuanina quickly forming a potential partnership with Portuguese Joao Moreira to erase a 2-0 deficit with 5 second half goals to put the defending champions through to the last-four.

Moreira bagged a hattrick and Rimkevicius hits a brace on his debut, but with attacking midfielder Rodrigo Tosi and striker Shahrazen Said also expected to start at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore tonight,Simunic admitted he has to rethink his normal squad selection in favour of more attacking-minded side.

"Ive already made changes during training to play all four of them,"Simunic told the Brunei Times.

"I want to see how they can help...But the locals are ready to step-up from the bench," reminded the Croatain, referring to other attacking options such as Adi Said, Ak Fakharazzi and Helmi Zambin.

Despite seemingly entering the tie as favourites, Simunic doesn't buy into the line that Woodlands are underdogs- especially since DPMm are seventh and Woodlands are just two points behind at eighth.

"They've got three good South Koreans and their best one is striker Moon Soon-ho," he said.

"They've had many good results in the past,have a good history and have won the Cup back in 2007,"said Simunic, going on to add that "we're treating this game like any other,".

Simunic also pointed out that Woodlands might be bolsted by the arrival of new Thai signing Theerawekin Seehawong, a former Gombak midfielder who has already tested League Cup glory after winning the competition back in 2008.

"I think he'll play if he gets his international transfer certificate in time," said Simunic.

The bench boss said he'd be watching the other semifinal tie between Albirex Niigata and Balestier Khalsa which was scheduled at the Jurong East Stadium last night. 



Tuesday, June 18
Simunic hails new era for DPMM FC

New imports and an upturn in fortunes have led to Vjeran Simunic hailing DPMM FC's "new era" for the country's only professional club.

The Singapore League Cup titleholders mounteda rousing 5-2 comeback win against Tanjong Pagar on Sunday night to book their place in the last-four of the competition, where they will meet Woodlands Weelington on Thursday.

DPMM were down 2-0 before their imports duo Joao Moreira and debutant Arturas Rimkevicius led a revival with a hattrick and brace respectively.

Moreira pulled a goal back two minutes after the break and Rimkevicius drew level in the 55th minute before Moreira gave DPMM the lead in the 64th minute.

Rimkevicius helped DPMM extend their advantage four minutes later and and Moreira's 71st minute penalty selaed the deal.

But for Simunic, more impressive than the win was the way DPMM played throughout the game at the Quennstown Stadium.

"Though we went into the break down 2-0, I was still very happy with my players since we have played well, had many chances and forced their goalkeeper into several," Simunic said.

"I told the players that 2-0 was nothing.If we scored an early goal,it could easily become 2-2 and 3-2.

"Im proud of how we've been playing the past few games and couldn't asked for more from my players.

"We can now speak about the rising quality of the team, of our fighting spirit, of how the new players have been accepted and how they've bonded with the team.

"This is a start of a new era for us," insisted the Croatian.

Though Portuguese Moreira has been with the club since the start of the season,Lithuanian Rimkevicius was only unreveiled last week, with Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Tosi making a return to the club after 7 years, with Santos completing the club's four-man import list.

Simunic said he was always going to give Rimkevicius some playing minutes on Sunday, a decision that was reinforced when the visitors went down 2-0 and replaced Md Hendra Azam in the 33rd minute and change to a 3-4-3 formation.

"I have to change Hendra after the second goal.I couldn't wait until it was 3-0," said Simunic.

"My plan was always to give Arturas a chance, but I didn't want to do so early.

"Its fantastic that he is with us now...He just joined and if he started perhaps there would have been too much pressure on him to score.

"The situation changed when he came in...He moved to the left,Moreira was in the middle,Shahrazen on the right and Tosi played just behind them.

"Now we're still alive in all three competitions(including the Singapore Cup)and we'll take things game by game...We're never arrogant and always keep both feet on the ground.

"I have to thank Tanjong Pagar for the motivation they gave us.

"In Singapore the media have said Tanjong Pagar will surely win because they killed us in Bandar," he said referring to the 1-0 DPMM were handed when the two last met in the league in April. 



Monday, June 17
DPMM come from behind to knock out Jaguars out of League Cup.

In a game of poor defending and tempers flaring, the holders overturned a two-goal deficit to beat the hosts as their new Lithuanian striker made an impact on his debut.

Th StarHub League Cup saw Tanjong Pagar welcome Brunei DPMM to the Queenstown Stadium on Sunday for the quarterfinals, where they were convincingly beaten 5-2.

DPMM came off a victory last week after seeing off Warriors in their Group D tie, and continued their form by coming back from a two-goal deficit in the first period.

Hafiz Noor and Monsef Zerka were on the mark for the Jagaurs in the half but a brace from Arturas Rimkevicius and Joao Moreira's hatrick handed DPMM a berth in the semifinals.

On the final whistle it was end to end action with Zerka intercepting a nackward pass before dashing down the middle for as hot.

The visitors weren't about to sit back as they wanted the win as much as Tanjong Pagar.

Their best chance came in the 22nd minute when Moreira dribbled past virtually the entire Jaguars backline with only the goalkeeper to beat.The shot looked like it was detined for the net even after Aurelien Herisson got a fingertip to the ball.Anthiny Ayward, however, saved his side the blushes by getting in the way to clear it to safety.

The game saw both sides take pops at each other with much ease due to the dismal defending at either end.

At the 25th-minute mark,Moreira was allowed to volley from outside the box.He his his effort well but could only send it over the bar.

Three minutes later,Zerka doubled Tanjong Pagar's lead.Sazali Salleh made a steaming run down the left hand side before finding the Moroccan in the penalty box, who scored from close range.

DPMM were now desperate than ever as they put their centre-half dos Santos upfront to win aerial battles.

They did get headers on goal and the best one came two minutes to the end of the first period when Santos's backward header was tipped over the bar by Herisson.

At the break, the home side led 2-0 but the second period saw the revival of DPMM.

Two minutes into the half, Moreira took advantage after Ahmad Latiff cleared the ball onto the big forward, who easily slotted home.

Tanjong Pagar lost the advantage in the 55th minute due to their shoddy defending once again.

Moreira was in the thick of things,lining up with debutant Rimkevicius at the edge of the penalty area. The shot from the latter was parried by herrison but it wasn't enough to prevent the ball from going in though Latiff attempted to clear off the line.

DPMM's equaliser jolted the Jaguars and sw them earn a penalty after Latiff was brought down by dos Santos.Zerka stepped up, but failed to convert from the spot.

Then the downfall of Tanjong Pagar ensued.

Moreira grabbed his second of the night in the 64th minute in spectacular fashion.From a tight angle on the top of the box he swerved his shot to the top right corner, leaving Herrison rooted.

Rimkevicius then secured his brace 4 minutes later as poor marking allowed him to punce on a flick-on from a throw-in and head home from a close range.

With the score 4-2, one would have thought that it was all over but utter frustration saw Walid Lounis blow his top when he was sent off for elbowing Rimkevicius in the penalty box.

Moreira completed hus hatrick from the spot, making it 5-2 to the visotors.

With tempers flying, substitute Sairol Sahri was also sent off after two bookable offences in a span of four minutes.

Jaguars coach Patrick Vallee was also given the marching orders and was sent to the locker room, as DPMM completed the comeback to knock them out of the League Cup. 



Sunday, June 16
Simunic wary of Tanjong Pagar threat

Vjeran Simunic knows that Singapore League Cup titleholders DPMM will have to keep a tight leash on Monsef Zerka if they are to win tonight's quarterfinal tie against Tanjong Pagar.

Th ex-Morocco international has been a revelation for Tanjong Paagr in his debut season and he currently shares lead atop the league scoring charts with Albirex Niigata's Kazuki Sakamoto with eight goals.

Simunic has also identified Frenchman Ismael Benhamed as a threat for the hosts, and the duo netting three of their team's four goals in the League Cup thus far, the coach has every reason to be concerned.

"Zerka will be a problem,"warned the DPMM coach on Friday.

"He's the best marquee player in the league and the most famous name in the S-League.

"They also have another strong player in Ismale Benahmed, so our plan will be to stop them both.

"Tanjong Pagar are one of the best teams in Singapore at the moment and they have title aspirations - but our players are very hungry and they will fight like never before," promised the reigning S-League Coach of the Year.

Zerka has had a lot of help from Banhamed and Kamel though,both of whom have chipped isx goals each.

Tellingly the trio have scored all of Tanjong Pagar's goals in the League Cup this season.

"Tampines finished second in the group after they lost to Young Lions perhaps they didn't want to play us,"he  said jokingly.

Tampines won't be playing anymore Singapore League Cup football as they were sent out of the competition after losing 4-3 on penalties to Balestier after their match at the Toa Payoh Stadium ended 3-3 last night. 



Thursday, June 13
DPMM preparaing for quarterfinals and Arturas will make his debut

DPMM FC havr advanced to the quarterfinals of the Singapore League Cup.

Warriors drew 2-2 against Balestier Khalsa last night, allowing DPMM to keep their second position in Group D, booking their berth in the next round.

There were more reasons for the fans to smile as DPMM announced the signing of Arturas Rimkevicius-record goal scorer from the Lithuanian A-League yesterday.

The Lithuanian striker set his record with Siauliai last season-smashing the 58-year old record of 28 goals with his 35 goals in 27 games.

He also scored another 6 goals in the Lithuanian Cup tataling 41 goals for the season. 

Rimkevicius has now filled in the fourth slot for the import players, win one more slot still vacant.

The Lithuanian who arrived in the country on June 1 for his trials told the Brunei Times "I wanted to try something new other than European clubs so I came to Brunei."

"I read all about DPMM FC on Google and saw that they came in second position last year.

"I think they are a good team and I want to be a memeber of the family and help the team to win in all our games.

"So far its very hot for me here but after each day it gets better ," added the striker.

Rimkevicius played fir Ekranas prior to joining DPMM.

Ekranas is currently third in the Lithuanian A-League at the moment.

His last game for Ekranas was on May 30, right before he flew to brunei, so match fitness shouldn't be a concern.

"From the first moment I checked on him I could see that he would be able to adopt the Brunei life and game," said DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic after yesterday's signing.

"I've said many times that it is important for the import players to be accepted and respected by the players.

"In the last 7 days I have seen that he has the personality that can be accepted.

"I think anyone who scores goals in any league, its like a habit and I think he will able to help us with that," said the coach.

So I hope he will be able to adapt as soon as possible with the rest of the players.

"It is his first time out of Europe and trying to make something of himself outside of his country so he is really hungry...Now we have 4 very good strikers so we might to change our formation.

"Rodrigo has adapted very fast and already showed that he can help us," added Simunic. 



Monday, June 10
Holders DPMM notch first League Cup win against Warriors.

Despite grabbing the opening goal, Warriors FC went down 2-1 to Brunei DPMM in their StarHub League Cup match at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

Shahrulrizal Rahman cancelled out Miroslav Karogalsn's opener in the first half before Shahrazen Said scored th winning goal in the second half.

Warriors dominated the opening stages with DPMM opting to start cautiously, although they were disciplined whenever they swithed to attacking gears.

The opener came in the 13th minute as Shi Jiayi made the break and went on a surging run forward down the right flank.

DPMM only had Tlaes Ricarte ods Santos and Pg Sallehuddin Damit at the back and neither of the duo could intercept Tatsuro Inui's ball across goal and Karoglan tappd it home to give his side the upper hand.

The lead did not last long though as Simunic's men did not allow the goal affect them, and they duly equalised five minutes later.

Shahrulrizal rose the highest and heded the ball into the back of the net from Azwan Salleh's corner for DPMM's first goal of the night.

Buoyed by the goal, DPMM went on the attack and Hendra Azam unleashing a stinging shot from 30 yards, which was fisted pwards by Hyrulnizam Jumaat.They were let off the hooks as Abdil Qaiyyim cleard the ball to safety before Shahrazen could get on the end of it.

The second half started the way the first ended, with Warriors guilty of squandering a golden opportunity to register their second goal.

Marquee signing Kazuyuki Toda went on a solo run into the attacking third and played a precise through ball to Karoglan, who was denied once again by the heroics of Wardun in goal.

Although the Warriors were enjoying the bulk of possession in the opening stagesof the second half, it was DPMM who found the back of the net in the 53rd minute.

Hyrulnizam misjudged the flight of Azwan's cross to the far post and Shahrazen took full advantage to nod the ball into an empty net and seal the victory.

With the win, DPMM are now three points after two games, while the Warriors still have a chance of making it to the quarterfinals should they clinch a victory against Balestier Khalsa on June 12. 



Sunday, June 9
DPMM FC try to keep hopes alive.

Not only do DPMM have to play a tense must-win match against Warriors FC in the Singapore League Cup tonight, the title holders will be forced to endure a nervy two-day wait to see whether they progress to the next round.

The two times champion take on record eight time Singapore League winners Warriors in the second of their two League Cup Group D fixtures, the first of which they lost 2-1 to balestier Khalsa last Thursday.

Balestier meet Warriors in the last goup match next Wednesday, and though DPMM will have to wait with waited breath until then,they know they have more pressing matters to attend to for now.

"Its very important that we win if we want to get through,", said striker Shahrazen Said ahead of the match at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

"Of course there is pressure on us, since we are the defending champions, but we must play like normal.

"Confidence is alright, but even if we win, we hope that results between balestier and Warriors go our way.

"What is important is that we stay focussed every second and not do what we did against Balestier, where we lost 3 points last few minutes,"added the striker, whose team-high 14 goals helped the club win the League Cup and finish second in the S-League last season.

Shahrazen put DPMM 1-0 ahead when they met Balestier last Thursday, but the hosts would storm back with 2 late goals in the last 10 minutes.

The kick-off was delayed for two hours due to lightning alert at the Toa Payoh Stadium, agrowing norm in Singapore football this season.

Though the late kick-off wasn't on captain Rosmin Khamis mind when he spoke to the Brunei Times after the match against Balestier, the skipper was as adamant as Shahrazen as to the importance of tonights tie.

"There is no other choice but to win," Rosmin said pointedly.

"The spirit of the team is still at a high, but we will not underestimate Warriors, since they beat us earlier at home this year

"A draw against balestier would have been a fair result for us,"

"It was our mistake that we conceded the first goal,but I think that it was a bad call by the assistant referee to give foul near the line for their second goal.

"It would have been a bonus had we won that game, but now this has become a must-win match into the next round," he stressed. 



Friday, June 7
Balestier edge DPMM 2-1

DPMM face an uphill task of defending their Starhub League Cup crown afer a late Obadin Aikhena condemned the visitors to a 2-1 defeat at th Toa Payoh Stadium last night.

The match was delayed for 2 hoursas a result of a Light Warning Systemand in accordance with the Singapore FA regulations, shoul in fact have been postponed as a match must be abandoned if it does not start 45 minutes after the original kick-off time.When the game did kicked-off the first chance fell way of Balestier, who were without influntial midfielder Qiu Li, with Aikhena knocking a corner just over the bar with no more than 2 minutes played.

DPMM Portuguese striker Joao Moreira should have put his side ahead when he skipped clear of the sluggish Balestier defence, but has happened on too may an occasion this season, the 26-year old flashed hais shot off the mark.

Paul Cunningham, starting in the unfamiliar role of centre forward, was finding space hard to coem by Brazilian tales Ricarte naturally assigned to mark the big target man.

Tengku Murshadad sent a 30-yard free-kick into the stands before Wardun produced a fine reflex save to deny Kim Min-Ho from Hamqamaal Shah's low cross as the Tigers began to grow frustrated.

I was the home side who bucked first, goalkeeper Zakariah Nerani letting an Azwan Salleh corner slip through his finger tips, allowing for Shahrazen to head home at the far post in strong of half time.

Ruhaizad Ismail replaced the ineffective Patrick Paran after the restart as Balestier sought to get themselves back in the game.

Tigers defenders Syed taha and Aikhena both went into the referres book, the first for an apparent two-footed sliding tackle, whilst the later could also count himself lucky after s high challenge.

After an intense duel with dos Santos Cunninghan finally got the better of his foe, as a long ball was flicked into the box, and the Kiwi was on hand to slam the loose ball into the back of the net in the 80th minute.

A free-kick in stoppage time was headed back across goal by Hee-Bong, and Aikhena was on hand to pick up the pieces, pocking home from close range to steal all three points, leaving the defending champions hopes of retaining their crown hanging on a thread. 



Thursday, June 6
DPMM kicked off S'pore League Cup defence tonight

DPMM will be hoping to rescue their dismal Singapore League season when they start their Sinagpore League Cup title defence against Balestier Lhalsa tonight.

The League Cup offers DPMM FC a chance to start afresh-with the top 2 teams in each of the 4 groups advancing to the next round.

Drawn in Group D with balestier and Warriors FC,DPMM take on the former at the Toa Payoh Stadium and the latter at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday.

Balestier should be just as buoyant though with their 4-0 demolition of league leaders Tampines on May 25 a moral booster.

"We're really confident after that good performance against Lao Police Club," said DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic.

"I've got nothing much to say about Balestier, but they'll be a big challenge.

"They have one of the best defences in the league and have strong players like Paul Cunningham and Qiu Li.

"If we can stop Qiu Li, we can stop Balestier," he added.

Simunic will be pleased to learn that the S-League website has reported that Qiu Li will not be on the start list tonight after the naturalised China-born Singaporean was recalled to the Singapore national squad due to some excellent performances in the league.

Though DPMM have done well to pick up brazilian Rodrigo Tosi the day the transfer window opened on Monday, the midfielder's international transfer certificate has yet to arrive from former club Esteghlalof Iran -denying him a chance to lace up for the second time after a previously successful stint with the club during the 2005/2006 Malaysian League season.

DPMm will take on Warriors FC in their second Group D game on Sunday the eight-time S-League champions definitely out to prove a point after being knocked out of the Singapore Cup at the first hurdle on Saturday. 



Tuesday, June 4
Brazil's Tosi makes DPMM FC return.

Rodrigo tosi knows exactly why he's back at DPMM FC.

The Brazilian midfielder, who played for Brunei's only professional club during their 2005/6 Malaysian Super League season, has become the third import after officially signing on the dotted line yesterday.

And though last season's Singapore's runners-up in the league,Tosi had no qualms when approached to play again for the Brunei's premier team after coming to the country for a week trial in April.

"The management and many of the players-seven or eight of them-are the same ,so of course thats a good thing," he said after signing the contract yesterday.

"One of the reasons I came back is because I'm familiar with the people here.

"I like the people here and  I like the lifestyle here, and I've always been in touch with the club and we talk every year.

"I hope I can help the team move up the table and finish as best as possible," added the 30-year old when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

His contract will run until the end of the S-League season.

Tosi last played for Iranian giants,Esteghlal, the recently crowned Iran Pro League side proving their prowess in the regional scene after the two-time Asian Cup winners qualified for the quarterfinals of the Champions League. 

Though Tosi's last competitive match as in november, the Curitiba-native doesn't think match-fitness will be an issue," he promised.

"I'm alright..It won't take long for me to regain my match-fitness,"he promised.

"After all,I didn't just learn how to play football," grinned Tosi.

DPMM FC are waitjng for Tosi's international transfer certificate from esteghlal, after which he will be eligible to play.

Though DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic has yet to see his newest signing play a competitive game,the Croatian belives the club have picked the right man for the job.

"From what I've seen...He's a skilled player," said the coach.

I have friends from Iran who had told me good things about him and  I trust my assistants advice.

"But for me the most important thing for any import is that must respect the locals and be respected by the locals," he stressed.

Earning that respect should be no problem though, with DPMM striker Shahrazen Said saying in April that he would welcome his teammate back.

 Tosi joins Portuguese striker Joao Moreira and Brazilian defender Tales dos Santos as the team's import trio, and the club still allowed two more, it is understood they are currently on the hunt for a striker and a marquee player. 



Friday, May 31
DPMM FC crush Lao Police

DPMM FC are through to the quarterfinals of the Singapore Cup after a convincing 4-0 victory over Lao Police last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

This is the second time in three tries that they progressed out of the first round in the competition.

A brace each by Shahrazen Said and second half substitute Joao Moreira in either half settled the tie.for the Brunei team.

Shahrazen gave DPMM the best of starts after finding the back of the net in the seventh minute.

His younger brother,Adi, had headed the ball forward allowing Shahrazen to go one-on-one with his defender and a brilliant one touch saw his effort soar over Lao Police goalkeeper Seng Athit Sonvang and into the net.

He doubled the advantage by converting from the spot five minutes before halftime.

DPMM remained in control of the matchin the second half and Moreira came in for Adi in the 78th minute.

The Portuguese striker made immediate impact and got his name on the scoreshhet four minutes later.

Azwan Salleh set up Moreira on the right to rifle it in from the ouside the box.

He summed up a good [erformance over the defending Lao League Champions by scoring another just befoe the final whistle with Shahrazen turning distributor this time for a similar goal.

It was sweet revenge for head coach Vjeran Simunic after seeing Brunei fall to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Laos in their AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers back in 2008.

He felt the game cold have gone either way despite the lop-sided scoreline.

"It was a good win because the Lao Police team were made up of many international players.I'm very happy with the teams performanceand it was a big win,"said Simunic after the riumph.

"It wasn't an easy game .It was tough as both sides created their chances.We managed to score and Wardun did a great job on coming with good saves," he added.

The team put in 100 per cent as always.We missed many of our chances in the league but tonight we converted them," continued Simunic.

What was more satisfying for the Croatian coach is that they started the game with only 1 import,Brazilian defender Tales.

"We are playing with majority local players and I'm very happy with our performance.The win is a good performance builder," said Simunic.

"Everyone worked hard such as Rosmin and Azwan despite some injuries.We hope to continue our form," he added.

Shahrazen was glad with the result and is hoping that they can continue with this kind of play.

"Good job and well done to my teammates.I hope that we can keep up this type of play in the S-League and the Singapore League Cup," said Shahrazen.

"What I said before,discipline in game and do our own job then we can see the victory," concluded the striker. 



Thursday, May 30
DPMM take on Lao Police FC.

DPMM FC will be taking on RHB Singapore Cup newcomers Lao Police at the Jalan besar Stadium in Singapore tonight in their round of 16 clash.

Lao Police are one of the four sides from outside the Great Eastern Yeo's league to be partaking in the annual tournament, and are joined b Filipino sides Global FC and Loyola Meralco Sparks, who beat Harimau Muda 3-0 last Sundayto advance into the quarterfinals, and Boeung Ket FC of Cambodia.

Lao Police FC were champions of the 2012 Lao League,edging Yotha by a single point after both sides had recorded 14 wins out of 8 games.As a result, they earned themselves a berth in the 2013 edition of the AFC Presidents Cup.

It could be argued that DPMM's tie against Lao Police in the round of 16 offersa better chace of progression than last year, when they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Home Utd, who have already secured a birth in the quarters with a 3-2 win over Albirex Niigata two days ago.

Shahrazen Said will be available for selection despite his red card against Court Young Lions in the league, but the 27 year old has failed to produce his goal-scoring form from last year and he now sits behind defender tales dos Santos in the goal scorers' standings.

 



Sunday, May 26
Young Lions frustrate DPMM

Young Lions finally pucked up their furst point of the league season ;ast night-the only problem was that it was against DPMM FC.

Singapore's national Under-23 team fought out a 1-1 draw in a match that saw both teams reduced to 10 men.Shahrazen Said receiving his marching orders after a 35th minute headed-butt on Sheikh Abd Hadi - who appeared to ahev punched the striker, who just seconds earlier was shown his first yellow for a harsh tackle on the defender - while the visitors had Suhil Suhaimi sent off for stamping defender Pg Sallehuddin Damit just past the hour mark.

Shahrazen's brother Adi Said opened the scoring in the nineth minute after a header off a cross from captain Rosmin Khamis to cap off a period of strong pressure by the hosts , the Young Lions would roar back after Shahrazen's dismissal and claimed what would be their only third goal in 13 gamewith Suhil's low effort from  the edge of the box after a counter-attack.

"I always knew the Young Lions would get a point , its just unfortunate they got it here," said DPMM's coach Vjeran Simunic, whose team fell to their second straight defeat after losing to Hougang last Wednesday.

"I'm not happy with the result, but I'm happy with how we played.

"I couldn't have asked more from my players.

"We were hprribly unlucky but I don't blame Shahrazen.

"I'm confident that this will be a good start for us," said Aide Iskandar as he looked around the dark and empty 30,000 capapcity venue that was once a fortress for DPMM/

"Win or lose, we always respect our opponents," added the former nationsl team skipper when asked why all his players lined up to shake Simunic's hand afrer the game.

Simunic's insistence that he was happy with his players performance was understandable.

Yet again,midfielder Md Hendra Azam showed why he is becoming the team's puppet-master in the midfield,pulling all the strings and hitting inch-perfect crossfield passes for fun.

It was his quick passes to rosmin which put the captain into space on the left, and his cross was met by an equally deft header by Adi.

The striker,though, was guilty missing several other chances, the most notable when he hit the post during an one-on-one with goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari in the second half.

Though the Young Lions clearly lacked the experience which leads to better decision-making, and perhaps even a bit of technique, it was hardly a stroll in the park for Wardun.

Iqbal Hussain forced the glovesman into a brave-point save in the 23rd minute, and Sahil gave him another scare when he hit the crssbar 2 minutes later.

Iqbal produced another stop from Wardun after a vicious shot from inside the box in the 67th minute and sub Fais Salleh hit the side-netting 4 minutes later- but Wardun's best contribution came in the 90th minute when he smartly rushed out of the box to clear the danger posed by an onrushing Raihan Rahman.

DPMM could have came away with all three points in the 85th minute, but Rosmin's shot from the edge of the box sailed wide of the bar-exemplifing the hosts perfectly. 



Saturday, May 25
Tonight game is basically Brunei V Singapore

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic labeled tonight's league game against Young Lions as a c;ash between Brunei and Singapore.

The majority of the country's national squad are made of players from DPMM, Brunei's only professional side.

The Young Lions, meanwhile, are the Singapore Under-23 team-making for an especially intriguing encounter at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"This is a game between Brunei and Singapore," said the Croatian yesterday.

"They are the junior national team of a big country like Singapore,who won the AFF Suzuki Cup last year, so if we want to win we'll have to work hard, runhard and fight hard.

"I want us to show the same kind of character we showed when we beat Home,"insisted the reigning S-League Coach of the Year, referring to DPMM's 3-2 win against Home Utd on May,10.

Last year's S-League's runners-up have an indifeerent 2013 campiang thus far, with injuries and the sacking of 3 imports all playing a part in their position where they lie 6th.

And though the Lions are at the bottom of the league,largely due to the fact they had the results of 4 games overturned after fielding inligible players,Simunic knows DPMM can't underestimate tonights visitors.

"I know they have no points but I don't care about that," said the coach.

"I've seen all their games and they've lost by one goal and their only problem has been their finishing.

"I know the fans has been dissapointed with how our season has been so far but our young players have had to become mature overnight," said Simunic.

Midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman is still out with a leg fracture, wtih strikers Joao Moreira is also on the injury list with hamstring concerns.

"Shahrazen has not trained for the whole week,Moreira is still out and Wardun has an eye problem, so I'll have to see tomorrow ow it goes," said Simunic.

"But I trust Fakhrul the same way I trust all my other players, and I hope the fans will come out and support the team." 

 



Thursday, May 16
DPMM's pain in the rain

DPMM FC  were left crying in the rain after they succumbed to their fifth defeat of the season ,falling 2-1 to Hougang Utd in the league last night.

Contested at the Hougang Stadium,Azhar Sarudin gave the hosts the lead after a good solo effort to find the back of the net in the 34th minute.

Brunei's only professional club equalised six minutes later through Sahrolrizal Rahman after he pounced a rebound from a corner kick.

Hougang were winning the aerial battle with their players having the height advantage.

The game winner for hougang came on the hour mark with Thomas Beattie scoring on the rebound after a freekick.

DPMM tried to even things up by putting on Portuguese striker Joao Moreira, wo is not at 100 per cent, in the 72nd minute for Azean Salleh.

"It was a very tough game for us.I thought we controled most of the first half but things changed in the seconds as we were put under pressure with all the freekicks given to our opponents," said the head coach after the loss.

"We did create some chances of our own but the Hougang keeper, Fadhil Salim had a very good game. 

"Overall our opponents looked more experienced fielding 4 imports on the pitch while we had only one,"he said.

"We also clearly missed Hj Subhi Abdilah in the match but I couldn't have asked more from the team.I thought we deserved at least a draw," continued the Croatian.

The brunei side will play their next game against the winless Court Young Lions on May 25 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Wednesday, May 15
DPMM FC eye redemption vs Hougang

DPMM FC can move to third in the Singapore League tonight, but their coach insists what the talk in the dressing room has been about.

Last season's S-League's runners-up are currently fifth in the league, and face Hougang Utd at the Hougang Stadium knowing that a win will see them jump above Home United and Tanjong Pagar Utd.

DPMM FC sacked three imports last week but their dismissal seems to have helped the team, with their confidence-boosting 3-2 comeback win against Home Utd last Friday a high-point of a season that has been marked by underachievement. 

Their love-point was probably their home game against Hougang two months ago, when DPMM threw away a two-goal lead and squandered two penalties to draw in one of the most dramatic games in their 3-year S-League history.

Vjeran Simunic though believes things have changed since the that match on March 1.

"Our first game was different.Hougang are a string team but we are confident now," said the DPMM coach.

"It will be a big game for us tomorrowbut I'm not thinking about that(going to tird).

"Being third is also not what we've been talking about,"

"What I want is for us to continue playing well,and I expect the younger players like Adi,Faka and Hendra to keep with their good form.

"I am also happy that Salleh and Rol(Sahrolrizal)are back playing defence.

Like I have always said,DPMM are a team of 18 players...Not just one," stressed Simunic.

DPMM will eb without Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Bakir, who picked his fourth yellow card against Home,but will be able to welcome back Adi's brother Shahrazen- who sat the last game out due to a hamstring strain.

The team's top-scorer with 6 goals,Portuh=guese striker Joao Moreira is still injured wuth a muscle pull, though Simunic said," We might put him on the ebnch maybe he'll play the last 10 minutes."

After five losses and one draw in the first6 games, Hougang have turned their seasonaround after winning their past 3 games under new coach Johana Johari.

They beat Harimau Muda 3-1 on April 26,Hoem Utd 1-0 three days later and Young Lions 1-0 last Tuesday.

 

 



Saturday, May 11
It's Santos to the rescue

Tales Ricarte Dos Santos dramatic 90th minute goal helped DPMM FC snap a two goal losing streak with a 3-2 win over Home United last night, the Brazilian also scoring the opener and providing an assist for Adi Said in a career-defining match which also saw him pull off a goal-line clearance.

Home looked to have dealt DPMm another potentially fatal blow at home after Jodan Webb hit a 87th minute equaliser when pouncing on a mix-up in defence to slot the ball into an empty net, but striding confidently forward, Santos had other ideas.

Substitute Ak Kakharazzi Pg Hasan's volley hit inside the right post and rolled nto the path of Santos, who calmly side-footed the ball past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Shahril Jantan-going on to celebrate wildly with the rest of the team and the fans at the hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

DPMM entered the game ahving lost their two last home matches,and their scoring touch along with it, so Santos couldn't have picked a better time to produce his best performance of the Singapore League season.

Perhaps more crucially, the match marked the first time the team took to the field after releasing the import trio of striker Ivan Bosnjak, midfielder Stephen Auvray and defender Dino Drpic on Wednesday-and the club's only import Portuguese striker Joao Moreira was still on the injury list.

Most of the pre-match talk revolved around how DPMM would cope without the import trio- who were dismissed after poor form and injury - and striker Shahrazen Said, who was out with a hamstring strain. 

But Brunei's only professional club proved their depth and character last night, and putting their bodies on the line,outran and outfought the visitors until the final whistle in a match that is set to go down as a season-changer for a side who finished 2nd last season but has failed to live up to expectations this term.

"I have always told my teammates that their level is very good, better than the Singaporeans,"said Santos, who now has three league goals this season.

"If we fight, are smart, play with the ball and attack...We can win.

"We shows today we can fight for 90 minutes.Home scored a late equaliser but we always believed.

"I remember telling the team the same thing when we played Home in last year's League Cup quarterfinal.

"We were down 1-0 and I told the team we cannot lose.I went up and scored after a cross from PAram(Azwan Salleh)and we went on to win the game on penalties," said Santos, who thanked his physiotherapist Saulo de Tarso for helping him recover from a knee operation before the start of the season.

"I am 100% recovered and I must thank my physiotherapist for that.He worked with me for only three months and now I am alright," he added.

Santos gave DPMM the lead after heading home a corner from captain Rosmin Khamis, after eight minutes, though Home replied straight from the lick-off when Masrezwan MAsturi beat goalkeeper Wardun Yussof at his near post, handing the Protectors a precious psychological boost.

DPMM would regian their cushion when the towering Santos headed a corner to adi, who scored unmarked on the far post in the 27th minute.

Thw confident Md Hendra was pulling all the strings in the DPMm midfield with some string running and accurate passing the whole game, but their best chance of the second half fell to the left winger Sairol Sahari- who connected well on a 76th minute cross from Ak Fakharazzi but saw Shahril up to the task.

Piling on the pressure, Home would hit the post twice in the last 10 minutes - with South Korean playmaker Lee Kwan-Woo also unlicky to see his 40-yard free-kick bounce off the bar early in the second half.

Wardun also had to save a free-kick from defender Sirina Camara and another from Lee and it was only due to some good tracking back and positional awareness  that DPMm were able to maintain the lead.

 The visitors persistence paid off when Wardun came out of his box and Webb stole in for the equaliser, but DPMM didn't let the goal affect them.

Trotting up from defence, Santos took a gamble taht would pay-off handsomely- though his coach's insistence that the win was down to a team effort entirely understandable.

"Tales was not player of the match,DPMm FC was. Many players were not 100 per cent but they gave their best, and they are all heroes," said Vjeran Simunic, whoe team now jumps two spots to fifth.

"For me, this is one of the most important games in my life because this was the start of a new era for DPMM," added last season's S-League Coach of the Year.

Even Home's assistant coach was impressed with DPMM's strong fighting spirit.

"Credit to them, they worked hard even though they had no foreign players and they took their chances," said Aidil Sahrin Sahak.

"We could see their commitment and determination, and they closed us down well." 

 



Friday, May 10
Unfamiliar DPMM FC host Home.

Not only with DPMM FC be missing three imports during tonight's league game against Home United, the hosts will be fielding an untested front-line now that Shahrazen Said has joined Portuguese Joao Moreira on the injury list.

DPMM FC released the imports trio of Dino Drpic, Ivan Bosnjak and Stephen Auvray on wednesday, the news coming as little surprise considering the battles with injury and form the three have had.

Their first match of the season ended in a 0-0 draw, with the match at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore marking the league opener for both teams.

Speaking with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session, DPMm coach Vjeran Simunic insists he has moved on from the club's decision to terminate the players' contacts and has more pressing matters to worry about.

"I respect every decision the management makes and am already focussed on the next game with the rest of the team," he said.

"Shahrazen injured himself(lrft hamstring)during our last three minutes of our last game and he hasn't been practicing since then.

"Adi will lead the line with Param and Helmi in attack...Salleh will join Santos  and Shahrul in defence.

"We have been in this situation before and we have always survived...Santos is also not 100% after a knee operationin the off season, but he always gives 300%," added Simunic.

The team's leading scorer with 6 goals Moreira is expected to be out for weeks after pulling a muscle in his right leg during the team's 2-1 loss to Harimau Muda on May 1.

A large reason the 2012 runners-up have been unable to replicate their good showing has bee due to injuries and the inability of the new imports to gel with the team-Bosnjak,Auvray,Dino and Moreira were signed at the start of the season, though only the Portuguese has cemented his place in the starting line-up.

Home have had no such problems though, adn Simunic has already identified their South Korean playmaker, Lee Kwan-Woo woho was part of his country's side during the 2006 and 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign,as the Protector's main threat.

Strker Indra Shahdan, who has made more than 200 appearances in the league and 100 for Singapore, has also been identified as one of the key players by Simunic- as was Japanese striker Fukui Masato and French defender,Sirina Camara.

Home's coach, though, didn't want to pick any of his players or DPMM's for special attention when met yesterday.

"They have some good foreign players and so do we,so if we play together I'm sure there will be no problem," said South Korean Lee Lim Saeng who seemed not to know about the trio's dismissal.

"Except for the three or four players, the rest of our team is new.The first part of the season was used to get to know each other, and now we have a good understanding.

"We have been playing very confidently with good football and controlling possesion in most of our games, and we are well-balanced in defence and attack," noted the 2006 World Cupper who has helped Home to the second best goal differencein the league with 10.

 



Monday, May 6
DPMM FC slump to second loss in a row.

DPMM FC slumped to their second defeat in as many games after two goals in five minutes gave a shock 2-0 win over DPMM last night.

Both strikers came in the second half, and both came after a pin-point passes were met by delicate finishes -with DPMM simply unable to break down a resilient Warriors defence which was led superbly by Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

The result against the record 8-time League Champions was also the second time DPMM have failed to find the net in as many games at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium with a 1-0 loss to Tanjong Pagar on april 7 still fresh in the memory of the sparse crowd.

"They're a very good team, atop-three contender.I can't say they don't deserve the result, but we deserved a draw," said the DPMM FC cosch.

DPMM FC Portuguese striker missed the game due to a fracture he picked up in the team's last match against  Harimau Muda, which ended in a 2-1 loss, and the hosts looked toothless in attack. 

Croatian centreback Dino Drpic set the tone for the first half by hitting the crossbar in the 7th minute and Shahrazen Said had an effort that was wide of the left post 4 minutes later.

The visitors soon got a foot in the game and Brazilian's defender Tales Ricarte was forced to clear a shot by midfileder Shimpei Sakurada off the line the 13th minute.

Shahrazen should make it 1-0 after stealing the ball off Croatian defender MArin Vidisevic but his shot was inches wide of the left post.

DPMM FCgoalkeeper Wardun Yusof did well to dive to block an attempt from the onrushing Karoglan 4 minutes later, and his counterpart Hassan pulled off the save of the game after instinctively falling to his right to deny a tap in from Md Hendra Azam in the 53rd minute.

Santos had a header flying inches wide off the right post in the 68th minute, hut the game's definign moment later when Shia Jiayi hit a crossfield pass that DPMM's backline and found Sakurada-who produced a cool finish past Wardun.

The home crowd grew even more silent when Shukor Zailan's through ball caught Santos out of position, with Karoglan easily prevailing in another one-on-one with Wardun.

"We deserbed to win.We could have been 2-0 up at the break and in the second half we took advantage of the high line they were playing," said Warriors coach V.Selvaraj.

"We have experienced players that can see the forwards movements and we have players that can make those runs,"he added.

The only run DPMM seem on to be is a goalless one at home, and their fans will be looking anxiously at Friday's game against  - ironically - Home United to see whether the third time will be the charm. 



Sunday, May 5
DPMM set to fend off Warriors

A depleted DPMM FC consider themselves the underdogs in tonight's league clasg against SIngapore's most successful club, Warriors FC.

Last season's runners-up, DPMM FC have had a mived 2013 campaign so far and are coming off the back of a 2-1 loss to Harimau Muda on Wednesday.

DPMM FC have collected 15 out of possible 30 points and sit sixth in the table, and though record eight0time champions Warriors aren't exactly flying high at 10th, DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic insists the injuries to his squad will be a problem.

Midfielder Azwan Sallehremains a long term concern with a knee injury, leading scorer Joao Moreira was replaced in the first half against harimau Muda after pulling a muscle in the right leg, and 2 other imports - striker Ivan Bosnjak and defender Tales Ricarte have yet to regain full fitness after a skull fracture and a knee operation respectively.

As tring of poor performances forces Guadeloupean Stephen Auvray out of the starting-11, all of which is hardly giving Simunic any cause for optimism ahead of tonight's match.

"We have lost Joao but I trust my other players," Simunic said on Friday.

"Warriors are a team of 6 imports... They're a respectable team.We will need to fight and run 100% to get a result -we didn;t do that against Harimau Muda.

"Warriors have Shi Jiayi, who was Singapore's best player during their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign last year.

"Warriors also have three good Japanese players -forward Tatsuro inui and midfielders Shmpei Sakurada and Kazayuki toda- and Croatians Marin Vidosevic and striker Miroslav Karoglan, wjo scored 11 goals last season and 33 in 2011," reminded Simunic.

The visitors also hve capable men in between the sticks in Hassan Sunny and Hyrulnizam Jumat, both of whom are national team goalkeepers for Singapore.

Warriors can also cll on the experience of Singaporean internationals suxh as defender Daniel Nennett, midfielder Ruzaini Zainal and strikers Erwan Gunawan and Sufian Anuar, and man-for-man it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the Warriors have more quality.Though the Warriors are coming off a 5-0 loss to Hong Kong side Kitchee in their last AFC group stage on Wednesday, their coach insists the result won't have an effect on tonight's game.

In face, V Selvaraj thinks their early dismissal from the regional tournament- will be a blessing in disguise.

"The loss to Kitchee was sequenial because we had already been knocked out of the tournament," explained the coach.

Now we know where our priorities lie and we can focus fully on the league.Now that the AFC Cup is over, its a weight off our mind.

Morale is very high because of our good results in the over the last 4 games.2 wins, a draw and a loss to Harimau Muda ) 

"We have two crucial games coming up, and its our best opportunity to climb up the table- the first against DPMM and the second against Albirex Niigata so its important to get a result here," he added.

The coach went on to note that DPMM's biggest threat is their height on both ends of the pitch, picking out Bosnjak, Santos and croatain defender Dino Drpic, as examples of players who can cuae problems during set-pieces.

Inui will be out with a calf strainm but Selvaraj promised that " the rest will be raring to go".

 



Thursday, May 2
Tigers feast on DPMM FC

DPMM FC  fell to their third defeat of the league season after losing 2-1 to Harimau Muda in Johor, Malaysia yesterday.

Striker Mohamad Faizal opened the scoring 2 minutes after the break at the Pasir Gudang Stadium, with Maxsilius Musa's 80th minute goal proving enough for the Malaysian Under-21 team to claim the three points and pushed them up to 4 places to sixth- and just one point adrift of fifth placed DPMM FC.

Yesterday's gam pitted the S-League's only two foreign sides, and with with the Malaysians in their debut season, the result comes as something of a surprise.

Defender Tlaes Ricarte dos Santos provided DPMM FC a lifeline after netting five minutes from time, but the Brazilian's first goal of the season would have been of little consolation during the bus ride across the Causeway back to Singapore.

Portuguese striker, Joao Moreira who has a team high six goals to his name was substituted for Adi Said in the 36th minute due to an injury.

Midfielder Ak Fakharazzi replaced Croatian striker Ivan Bosnjak in the 64th minute and DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic would make his last change after replacing Dino Drpic with Abd Aziz Tamit in the 83rd minute.

As expected, Simunic had to play without the services of midfielders Hj Md subhi Abdillah bakir and Azwan Ali rahman-all of whom were on the injured list. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wednesday, May 1
Simunic sweats over midfield fitness

Vjeran Simunic is sweating on the fitness of three midfielders ahead of DPMM FC's league game against Harimau Muda today.

Hj Md Subhi abdilah Bakir[ who has been usd as a right-back this season-joins left winger Azwan Salleh and central midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman on the injured list, and though DPMM's caoch seemed confident at least one of the three will be fit enough to play some part in today's proceedings at the Jalan Pasir Gudang Stadium in Johor, Malaysia, Simunic already has a contingency plan in place.

"Jimbo(Hj Md Subhi)got a kick in the last game against Balestier, Param(Azwan Salleh) is still injured from the game against Geylang and Azwan Ali is recovering from a challenge from Fahrudin when we played Tampines," said Simunic on Monday.

"Param has a lingering knee injury that we are monitoring.

"If Param is playing, we will use a 3-5-2 formation , but now we will switch to a 3-4-3 , and play Hendra and Bobby in central midfield and Najib on the left and Helmi on the right," added the Croatian.

Shahrazen is expected to start in front with Croatian striker Ivan Bosnjak, with Portuguese striker Joao Moreira- who leads the team in scoring six goals-playing in the hole. 

DPMM enter the game knowing that a win will see them jump from fifth to fourth in the table displacing Home Utd in the process.

Last season's runners-up,DPMM FC- who led the league during certain periods of last year- are in unfamiliar territory this campaign.

They currently trail leaders and defending champions Tampines by 10 points, though both teams have a t least a game in hand over the rest of the field.

After picking up only a win in their first four games,DPMM's season has picked up a pace after clinching three of their next five matches, with the 1-1 draw against tampines- the only team any team have taken points from the Stags- serving as a boost for Simunic.

"Tampines deserces to be at the top," admitted Simunic.

"But that game ...It was our best performance against them ever.We didn't give them any space and they didn't have any chances,"said the Croatian, despite knowing what the result was the third time the Tampines have secured a 90th minute goal to deny DPMM a win.

Harimau Muda 's performance is a far cry from Tampines, which is expected to be expected from a young team making its debut in one of Asia's most competitive leagues.

They are coming into the game on the back of losses against Home 1-0 and Hougang 3-1, and with 10 goals from as many matches, it is evident that finding th back of the net hasn't been a strong point. 

 



Wednesday, April 24
Boa Morte next name on DPMM FC's trial list.

Former English Premier League (EPL) player Luis Boa Morte is te latest name to be on trial with DPMM FC.

The Portuguese international is in the Sultanate and was on the field with the rest of the DPMM FC players during training yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

DPMM are looking to beef up the midfield department which is currently lacking in depth with Md Hendra Azam and Azwan Alirahman still relatively young and Azwan Salleh still recovering from injury.

Boa Morte scord a taotal of 61 goals in his EPL career where he plied his trade with Arsenal (1997-1999), Southampton(1999-2001),Fulham (2001-2007) and West Ham United(2007-2011)

The 35-year old was then released by the Hammers in 2011 and plied his trade for Greek side Larissa followed by South African side Orlando Pirates.

Boa Morte returned to england in October 2012 where he laced up for fourth-tiered Chesterfield and his contract finished in January.

He has 27 caps with the national side and has scored 1 goal in a 5-1 victory over Angola back in November.2001.

The midfielder was also part of Portugal's 2006 World Cup campaign in Germany, where the team reached the semifinals.

However, the Singapore League transfer window will only open in June in time for the second half of the season.

DPMM FC manager, Ali Momin told the Brunei Times that trials are being held just in case any of their players pick up any injuries.

"This is a back up plan for us just in case we have any players picking up injuries.We need to conduct the tests early so that we know who are the best for the team," said Ali.

"The transfer window will open for three weeks and normally it takes about two for us to run trials and tests.But hopefully there won't be any injuries to our players," he added.

DPMM FC's next game will be away against Harimau Muda at Pasir Gudang in Malaysia on May 1. 



Sunday, April 21
Rodrigo Tosi is coming back

DPMm FC are set to re-sign midfielder Rodrigo Tosi when the Singapore LEague transfer window opens in June.

The Brazilian-Italian midfielder is the second name linked with a move to the club after they announced a trial for former Juventus and Fenerbahce midfielder Stephen Appiah last week.

In an interview with the Brunei Times last night,DPMm striker Shahrazen Said said that he would welcome the midfielder with open arms.

It would be very nice to have him(Tosi)back in the team.He was a very good player for us."

"Tosi is a complete player.We used to playin the 2005 and 2006 Malaysian League together.Tosi is a very good provider of the ball...a very good passer.

"He was a playmaker for us, with his crosses and good individual skills.He also helped score goals for us, and moreover he was a DPMM fan favourite."

"He would be a very good signing for us.If the deal goes through,it will be very interesting,"added Shahrazen.

DPMM FC are reportedly looking to replace Guadeloupean import midfielder Stephen Auvray after he came under heavy criticisms from DPMm coach Vjeran Simunic- as well as fans following poor performances. 

Auvray has not seen in action for the team since their 4-2 win over Geylang on April 3 in which he was blamed for both goals in the game. 

Simunic has, instead, opted to use the young and inexperienced Md Hendra Azam to partner captain Rosmin Khamis in the middle of the park.

DPMM FC however need to consider that tosi has been struggling to make an impact for Iran Pro League side Esteghlal FC last season and first team football has been something of a rare commodity for the 30-year old midfielder.

He has featured in only nine of Esteghlal's 19 Iran Pro League fixtures and has only started four games, failing to notch a single goal in the league.

One wonders if DPMM would consider a risky move or opt for the pursuit of an alternative 'enforcer'signing, a position that DPMM certainly need to fill.

Also, because of consistent injury suffers by Ivan Bosnjak,  DPMM are also looking for a marquee player.Appiah is the player that DPMM is looking into.But the team will have a marquee arriving for tests this Monday,22nd April, the former Fulham player and former Portuguese international, Louis Boa Morte.



Saturday, April 20
Balestier Khalsa gift DPMM win

DPMM FC snatched all three points after holding on to defeat Balestier Khalsa 1-0 in their league match last night.

An own goal by Balestier Khalsa Tengku Mushadad in the 35th minute was the difference in the encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Balestier gaolkeeper Zaiful Nizam had failed to clear a corner kick which conveniently landed for Portuguese striker Joao Moreira to pounce.

The latter's effort was blocked by Syed Taha at the near post but the clearance ricocheted off Tengku to find its way back of the net.

DPMM FC's head coach,Vjeran Simunic was delighted to claim a total of 4 points in a span of four days.

"I'm very proud of my boys beacuase Balestier are a very good team.We respect each other and they are very disciplined team,"said Simunic.

"I think we deserved the win after fighting for the whole 90 minutes It was a tough game and whoever who scored first would have the advantage and momentum," he added.

"Every 1-0 is sweet and tough.At the same time I think luck abd fortune followed us," continued the Croatian.

Brunei's only professional club were the better side in the opening half but things turned around after the interval with the introduction of the duo of Zulkiffli Hassim and Patrick Paronjody into the Balestier line-up.

DPMM seemed tired and were put under pressure with Balestier pushing forward in seach for an equaliser.

Their first good chance came after a free-kick in the 57th minute put Zulkiffli through but DPMM goalie Wardun sttod his ground to deny him near the post.

DPMM responded three minutes later with Sairol Sahari delivering a cross from the left but Moreira was just inches away from connecting from connecting to double the visitors lead.

They had another chance in the 65th minute with captain Rosmin Khamis on target with a freekick at thr edge of the box.

Moreira didn't have enough power on his shot after going one-on-one wuth Zaiful 3 minutes later.

The ball was mostly in the DPMM half and Qiu Li finally found the back of the net for balestier in the 78th minute but was ruled offside.

Korean Bong Jung-Hee had a chance 2 minutes later but could only skyrocket his shot.

Moreira was a bit adventurous five minutes from time, firng one from midfield after catching Zaiful off his line.However his effort ended up in the stands.

DPMM leapfrogged their opponents and are now up to fourth in the 12-team table with 15 points. 



Friday, April 19
Shahrazen calls for full focus

DPMM FC's striker Shahrazen Said urged his teammates to focus on tonight's league clash against Balestier Khalsa.

The striker sais with the Times yesterday taht the team must forget about Tuesday's dissapointing draw against leaders Tampines Rovers.

"We lost focus in the game but we need to move on. We need to focus on both scoring and defending.We need to defend whenever we are in the lead," said Shahrazen.

DPMM FC blew the chance to take all three points after conceding a 90th minute goal against the Tampines.

"We must win tomorrow as we need to keep pace with the league leaders Tampines .For me it is very important for all players to help in defence regardless of their positions," added Shahrazen.

"Coach Simunic always told us that all eleven players must help out in defence.So we try our best tomorrow."

The trip to Jalan Besar tonight will be followed by the visit to Pasir Gudang, in Malaysia on the 1st May when they take on Harimau Muda, but Shahrazen is keen for them not to lose focus by looking too far ahead in the campaign.

"We need to keep focus on each game.We need to take one game ata a time and this time will be on Balestier Khalsa and at the same time we need to be very cautious too," he said.

Balestier meanwhile had an impressive outing as they defeated Hougang Utd 3-1 to walk away with all three points in which all their goals came from set-pieces.They have been using their advantage in the height department to look for goals.

Park Kang Jin has been influentialfor the team.His ability to score and set up goals for his team mates will cause difficulty for Simunic's team.

Jung Hee Bong and Obadin Aikhena will also be a threat to DPMM given their height and ability to score headers.

"I heard theyhave signed new good players," continued Shahrazen.

"They are dangerous at set-pieces, but so are we.They will need to defend against our set-piece attacks too,"he added. 

 



Wednesday, April 17
Stags escape with late draw.

DPMM FC were left kicking tehmselves once again after letting in a 90th minute goal to undefeated leaders Tampines Rovers in their Singapore League match which ended 1-1 last night.

Their previous two meetings saw the Stage escape with a 90th minute goal,and last night's encounter at the Clememti Stadium was no different- with DPMM yet to beat Tampines in three ties.

Portuguese striker Joao Moreira opened the scoring in the 35th minute after latching onto a rebound from a Shahrazen shot, but the Stags broke DPMM's hearts once again when Khairul Amri netted in the dying seconds after an attempt which found its way past a multitude of players in the box, according to DPMM coach VJeran Simunic.

The strike was Moreira's fifth goal in the league and he now leads the goal scoring charts at DPMM with Shahrazen on four goals this campaign so far.

The S-League runners-up can also take some consolation in the fact that the result was the first time any tam has taken points away from the defending champions, who have wn all 6 of their games leading up to last night's clash.

Though he was asked about the team's inability to get a win against Tampines, and the fact that the Stags always seem to be able to score a late goal, Simunic refused to drawa ny parallels with past results.

"Last night's game was different," insisted the coach in a telephone interview.

"Our players were fantastic and we had many chances to score a second goal.

"The refereeing was also bad and there were many mistakes which won't punished," added Simunic.

The Croatian said both Moreira and Adi Said suffered tackles which went unnoticed by the referee, going on to call the result " a big robbery".

"The way they tackled Adi...It was like rugby.And Joao is now injured after some bad tackles," he added.

Bad tackles or not, the team will have to pick themselves up from what would have been a much needed boost in time for their next match against Balestier Khalsa at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday.

 



Tuesday, April 16
DPMM FC lock horns with Stags.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis might sound upbeat about tonight's S-League match against defending champions Tampines Rovers even if his coach isn't.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic yesterday paid the S-League leaders the ultimate compliment, and though the Stags are the only unbeaten team in the league, his comparision to one of the most mesmerising sides in recent memory might be a ittel too respectful.

"They are like Barcelona," said Simunic yesterday ahead of tonight's tie at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore.

"They have a team of 14 international players.They are the best team in Singapore.What can we do?

"We will go there to give them a challenge and play a good game.I can't promise anything else," added last season's Coach of the Year.

His pessimism is perhaps understandable.

Last season's S-League runners-up look a shadow of the side they put out last season, one that brought the title fight with Tampines down the wire despite not playing a game of competitive football in 2 years.

Rosmin, though,  believes his team should step onto the Clementi Stadium expcting nothing less than a draw.

"Everyone has prepared well to try and get some points out of this match," he said.

"If we look back at our past games, we have had more chances.Its just that we need to take them if we want to win the game," he said.

DPMM FC's last 2 matches against the Stags have failed to produce a victory, though the same tie last season - when DPMM FClet in a 90th minute goal to lose 1-0 on June 15 - must still linger in the heads of the players.

The home fixture last season saw the Stags stage a late comeback to once again bag a 90th minute goal and force a 2-2 draw on Feb 12.

Shahrazen isn't thinking about any of that though.

"If we have full commitment and focus, maybe we'll break that record and I hope DPMM supporters pray for us.

"Every club in the league wants to break tampines' unbeaten record, but they have quality players so it will be really difficult.

"But we will try our best to do something good for the club," added DPMM FC's top-scorer with 13 goals last season.

 

 



Monday, April 8
Zerka sinks DPMM FC

Monsef Zerka showed why he is one of the most feared strikers in the league after the Moroccan striker handed Tanjong Pagar a 1-0 won over DPMM FC last night- the first time the Jaguars got one over Brunei's premier side after losing all three previous encounters.

The league's current top-scorer with 6 goals,Zerka - who has played in Ligue 1 with AS Nancy -turned Croatian defender Dino Drpic in the 19th minute before evading a poor sliding challenge from Subhi Abdillah to calmly slot home past goalkeeper Md Wardun Yussof to deal last season's runners-up their first home defeat of the campaign.

It was the visitors' only real chance of note on a a rainy night, and despite Tanjong Pagar ending the match with 10-men after midfielder Asraf rashid was shown his second yellow card after a a rash challenge on Portuguese striker, Joao Moreira, the hosts poor ball movement abd penetration prevented them from really testing French goalkeeper Aurelien Herrison.

The result means Tanjong Pagar cement their position at third, and though DPMM are still fourth, the Bruneians are ahead of fifth palced Woodlands by just one goal - with Home and Balestier chasing down their necks just a point behind.

"All the guys did their best, worked hard together, and the result was because of our string mentality...We work as a group," said a humble Zerka.

"We're not targeting a top three fin ish, whats important is that we enjoy playing together," said the 31-year old.

With Tanjong Pagar coming in the 12th last year, it come a little surprise that Zerka isn't carried away with the win.

Zerka was a constant threat in the first half, so much so that DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic hastily replaced left winger Najib Tarif who himself was playing in the place of injured Azwan Salleh, with Tales ricarte in the 27th minute.

The fact that the hosts were playing their third game in the space of a week after their 1-0 win over Woodlandslast Sunday and their 4-2 win against Geylang Internationalon Tuesday was also a factor in the loss- though Simunic felt the team should have walked away with a least a point.

"I think Tanjong Pagar are a good team but we didn't deserve to lose,"he said glumly.

"I had to take Najib out due tactical reasons.They had three very good strikers.Zerka, Frenchmen Ishmael Benahmed and Kamel ramdhani, and we needed Tales experience  so it wouldn't have been 2-0," said the Croatian, who personally congratulated Zerka for his performance after the game.

Though they did create the lion's share of chances,DPMM looked toothless in front of goal-opting to boot the ball upfield to the towering dos Santos in the latter stages of the match despite enjoying the numerical advantage.

Striker Shahrazen Said, who netted three times in the team's last three meetings with the Jaguars, cleared the ball off the line before dos Santos was introduced- and the Brazilian did well to rein in Zerka.

Drpic was having a horrid time in the first half but his carelessness was a thing in the past in the second half, with his passes finding their mark and his aerial ability shining through.

Just as impressive was central midfielder Md Hendra Azam who was showing why Simunic was playing him for the fourth straight match because of his astute ball distribution.

Md Hendra spurned a golden opportunity to level the scores just before the break when he skied the ball from Moreira on the left, but just seconds after the restart, provided a pass to deos Santos which opened space for the Brazilian to shoot- though he was unlucky to hit the left post.

Moreira had a shot which hit the side netting in the 53rd minute, and 4 minutes later Shahrazen had a header which looked to have crossed the line.

Though DPMM were finding space on the flanks, their crosses were gobbled up by Lounis, and anything that escaped  the tunisian-born defender reached the safe hands of Herisson.

Substitute Azwan ali rahman could have stole the draw at the death after dribbling inside the box but shooting wide of the left post, ana after captain Rosmin Khamis saw his free-kick saved seconds later,there was more drama to come when Sairol Sahri made a herois last-ditch tackle on midfielder Hafiz Nor who was running through to goal after a counter-attack. 



Sunday, April 7
DPM to battle for third tonight

DPMM face Tanjong Pagar tonight in a fight for third in the Singapore League tonight.

Third-placed Tanjong Pagar lead last season's S-League runners up on goal difference, and a win will guarantee taht the hosts end the match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium ahead of the Jaguars.

DPMM FC, who are playing their third game in a space of a weekadmit that their hectic schedule will play a part in tonight's proceedings.

Though DPMM have won all of their three past encounters against tanjong Pagar, the hosts know they can't rest on their laurels.

"We need to be clever because we knoits not easy to recover after playing three games in a week,"noted DPMM left back Sairol Sahari.

"We should just play our game and keep the momentum going," he added.

Striker Shahrazen Said, who has scored three times in the team's last three encounters with Tanjong Pagar, mirrored Sairol's comments.

"Like in the previous matches, we must keep our focus and concentrate our stamina and fitness because we will be playing three games in almost one week," said Shahrazen.

DPMM FC's top-scorer with 13 goals last season, Shahrazen netted a brace in their 3-2 home win in the league on April 13 and opened their scoring in their 3-0 victory at the Queenstown Stadium Sept 23.

Hj Subhi scored the only goal the two teams met in the group stage of last year's Singapore Cup, a competition DPMM would go on to win the second time.

Despite Shahrazen's consisitently strong showing over the years, it has been Joao Moreira stealing the limelight of late - the Portuguese striker finally coming good after a slow start to the season by scoring three goals in the last two matches, bringing his season tally to 4.

Moreira scored the winner against Woodlands and a brace against Geylang, but he is not the only foreign striker making an impact in the league this season.

Tanjong Pagar have ex-Morocco international Monsef Zerka, a veteran of the Ligue 1 with AS Nancy and FC Nantes, who currently shares the lead atop the S-League charts with Geylang's Jozef Kaplan -both who have 5.

Frenchmen Ishmael Benahmed and Kamel Ramdhani will add to the attacking threat, as will former Singapore international Ahmed Latiff Khamaruddin- aveteran forward the DPMM team know all too well about.

French defender Anthony Aynard is an injury concern heading into the match, and with captain Hafiz Osman out with a left tendon injury for the whole season, vice captain Walid Lounis will once again deputise his place- the Tunisian-born Singaporean sure to be a steadying presence in defence for the visitors.

Despit tonight's game being billed as a battle for third, Tanjong Pagar's coach insists he is not placing any additional importance on it.

"For me each game is a big game and I don't care about the league position," claimed Patrick Valle, who guided French side Etoille FC to the S-League title and League Cup in their debut in 2010.

"I know it will be a tough game because Brunei haven't lost at home this season so any point we get out of this will be good.

"They're a better team than us...They're fighting for the title, we aren't.We have to be humble.

"Its difficult to pick one player but they have two good strikers in Moreira and Shahrazen," he said whe he pressed on who his team would be watching out for.

"They' re a good team and we must watch out for all 11 players...Maybe 12 if you include their coach (Vjeran Simunic)...And 13 if you include the crowd," joked the Frenchmen. 



Friday, April 5
Geylang:DPMM were just better

Geylang International coach Kanan Vedhamuthu admitted that his side were second best in their 4-2 loss to DPMM in the league on Wednesday.

"They were the better team and we were visiblt second best.The boys will just have to work hearder now," he said.

Portuguese striker Joao Moreira scored a brace for DPMM with Helmi and substitute Ak Kakharazzi scoring a goal each to help the club into fourth place with 11 points.

"They are a good team and moreover they are more experienced and we just couldn't match them," he told Brunei Times.

"The average age of their team is 32, whereas we are just 25.

"We defended better in the first half and managed to prevent some goals, but I think the first and second goals came so quickly and we loss our shape,"continued Kanan whose team remained ninth in the table following the defeat.

the 34-year old coach also admitted that his side had struggled to maintain possession of the game.

"We didn't have anyone to hold the ball abd olay...We definitely missed Stefan and Shah Hirul and will be waiting for these two to come back so we can have someone who will hold the ball," said the coach.

Their absence was definitely a factor in the game as Geylang were completely outplayed in the midfield area with DPMM's Md Hendra Azam and skipper Rosmin Khamis shutting down the Eagle'smovement in the middle of the park.

DPMM, meanwhile have already turned their attention to their next game against Tanjong Pagar who currenly sit third in the table.

"They (DPMM FC players) are really tired, but we have four days before our next game, and it should be enough for us to prepare for the game. I am sure for the Tanjong Pagar game we will have double the fans after tonight's result," said DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic. 



Thursday, April 4
DPMM FC fire into 4th

DPMM FC produced a superb second half to beat Geylang International 4-2 in their league match last nughtat the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Joao Vitor Moreira scored a brace for DPMM while Helmi and Ak Fakharazzi scoring a goal each to help propel Vjeran Simunic's squad into fourth place in the 12-team table with 11 points.

Md Hendra Azam who got the nod ahead of Guadeloupe national team captain Stephen Auvray forged a formidable partnership with skipper Rosmin Khamis in the middle of the park.

Striker Adi Said who started in place of injured Ivan Bosnjak also put on an impressive performance last night.

The game did not dissapoint with both sides committed to leave the match with maximum points.

DPMM came out firing on all cylinders, Azwan Salleh the first to threaten after his striker went straight in the arms of Geylang goalkeeper Joey Sim.

Adi ran away from his defenders on the ensuing two posessions but poor finishing let him down.

Helmi, who is enjoying a recent run of good games, also looked highly dangerous down DPMM FC's right.

Geylang meanwhile, were starved of possesion and failed to register a single shot on target in the opening period.

Their only real chance in the first half came in the 35th minute when defender Khairulhayat Jumat's header went wide following a corner from the right.

Moreira and Shahrazen imposed themselves as the men of danger for Geylang after the restart.

However it was Helmi who made the breakthrough in the 49th minute, the wingback making a brilliant run behind two Geylang defenders from the right before latching onto a Moreira pass to squeeze the ball at the near post.

DPMM took advantage of a shell shocked Geylang to extend their lead just two two minutes later, courtesy of a Moreira header off Hj Subhi's cross from the middle of the field.

Geylang continued to struggle as th second half wore on. 

Both Moreira and Shahrazen spurned opportunites to build DPMM's lead while the visitors' chances were kept to a minimum.

Substitute Ak Fakharazzi made it 3-0 in the 78th minute, curling the ball from the right side of the midfield, leaving Geylang's goalkeeper with no chance.

Moreira scored his brace two minutes later with a low shot from outside of the penalty box.

DPMM's hopes of keeping a clean sheet was however ruined following two quick poor decisions by Auvray.

Geylang's Md Yasir Hanap took advantage of the midfielder's sloppy back pass in the 87th minute to pull one goal back for the visitors.

The Guadeloupe national was also blamed for Geylang's second goal when he fouled Kawakami inside the penalty box in injury time.

Jozef Kaplan converted the penalty to make it 4-2.

The game also marked the debut of Azwan Ali Rahman, signed from Indera SC last month.

Even without injured striker Bosnjak, Simunic's team were simply too good for the visitors.

"At the start of the game, I was scared this would be a boring game because we just had a game on Sunday," said Simunic.

"Even great teams cannot play after three days.But as you can see tonight, our young locals were fantastic," he added.

"Paka was great(Ak Fakharazzi), I am vry happy that a lot of locals played tonight.It is good for bruneian football," he said. 

 



Wednesday, April 3
"No let-up against Geylang"

Vjeran Simunic insists DPMM FC will not taking Geylang International lightly despite tonight's league opponents languishing in ninth place.

Last season's S-League runners-up,DPMM FC host geylang in their second game in four days following their 1-0 win over Woodlands Wellington - and DPMM FC's cosch believes the Eagles can cause his side problems when both theam clash at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

DPMM defeated Geylang 2-0 in the S-League Cup final last year, the victory marking them out as the first club to win the tournament twice after claiming the first in a penalty shoot-out victory over the Warriors in 2009.

DPMM also beat Geylang 4-1 in last season's home encounter on March 16 and 3-1 in the away fixture on July,21 but Simunic isn't taking anything for granted.

"Geylang are a very good teama nd we respect them," the coach told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We played them in the final of the Singapore Cup last year and they have always been a tough oponent for us.

"They have added defender Norihiro Kawakami and goalkeeper Takuma Ito and Shotaro Ihata from Albirex.And there is Kaplan too, so it won't be easy.

"We will try to repeat our performance during the game against Woodlands where we had many chances..And this time we will try to take them all," added the Croatian.

"It is always difficult to play in Brunei so I think a draw will be good enough for us," said Kanakarajan Vedhamuthu yesterday.

"DPMM are a very good team and it will be a tough game.

"They've got very good import players and the locals have been there for a long time.

"We all know that it is not going to be an easy game, but my players will not give in easily.

"We have a very young squad,the players are hungry and at the same time they also know about the strength of DPMM FC,"he said, adding the defender Stefan Milosevic will sit the game out with an ankle injury.

The 34-year old coach also played down claims that DPMM's busy run of fixtures will help his side in getting a win tonight.

"They have been in this position before and they have the experience to deal with it," said Vedhamuthu. "We might have a slight advantage but I am very sure they will go all ou to win the game," added the coach.

 



Tuesday, April 2
Mohd Hendra gets ready to be counted.

DPMM FC midfielder Mohd Hendra Azam Md Idris is aiming to stake his claim in the starting-11 after an encouraging performance in hsi side's 1-0 win over Woodlands Wellington in the league on Sunday.

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

Hendra featured twice for the club for the last season but has managed two appearances this time around, the first time coming during their away encounter against Albirex.

He has slowly gaining Simunic's trust after being an unused substitute in their first two games against Home Utd and Hougang Utd but coming off the bench to replace Guadeloupean Stephen Auvray during their match against Young Lions which saw the team won their first match of the season.

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

"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 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 the starting line-up against Gombak and came on as a sub during our match against Geylang,"he added. DPMM will face Geylang International at home tomorrow and Tanjong Pagar away on Sunday. A former QAF FC player, Hendra Azam believes he has grown a lot during his time at DPMM.

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

But you know it feels great to get the win,especially 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.

"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 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." 



Monday, April 1
Moreira lifts DPMM to victory over Woodlands.

Joao Vitor Moreira delivered a perfest Easter gift for Vjeran Simunic after he scored DPMM's win over Woodlands Wellington in the league at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.

"It is a good Easter for me," said DPMM FC's head coach in an interview with the Brunei Times after the match.

The Portuguese striker made a beautiful run behind the Woodlands defenders to latch onto Md Hendra Azam's cros  before slamming the ball past goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar with his left foot in the 30th minute.

DPMM had the lion's share of chances, but they failed to capitalise with Adi Said missing a free header early in the second half followed by Helmi Zambin's effort from the right which was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq.

The victory last night is very difficult but sweet," added Simunic.

"As I said earlier, Woodlands are not an easy team to beat, they are a good team.But again if we counted the chances that we had in the game we could have scored more.

"We lost Ivan Bosnjak early in the second half beacuase he could not continue.But Hendra was the man of the match tonight.He did a good job on Hamdaoui and it was a very good assist with the cross too," said Simunic.

"I don't know what happened to Woodlands.I thought they are going out and attack.Maybe they respected us too much or maybe we are that good and we pushed them into their own half," continued the veterean coach.

Meanwhile Woodlands coach Salim Moin, who was sent to the stands after arguing with the fourth official, did not agree with Simunic.

"I am very attacking oriented.That is why we are playing with three strikers tonight," said the woodlands coach.

"We came here not to give away points.I am very confident of my team.

"Basically we were the better team.In the second half we were better.Some of the decisions made by the referee were very poor, very silly uncharacteristically decision that was much uncalled for," Salim explained.

"What I am saying is the referee had DPMM to win the game tonight," he added.

"Certain departments were not working very well, so we made several changes in the half by bringing in Moon.

"With Moon around, it was a different game.But I cannot play him in the first half because he got fever,"he continued.

With the victory, DPMM replaced Woodlands in the fifth spot despite both teams having eight points because of a game in hand.

Meanwhile, DPMM will face  Geylang International at home on Wednesday and Tanjong Pagar away on Sunday.



Sunday, March 31
DPMM FC cautious of Woodlands' main weapons.

Vjeran Simunic is wary of the threat that Woodlands Wellington FC's new attacking midfielder Khalid Hamdaoui will pose tonight.

DPMM FC will face in-form Woodlands in their first Singapore League match in three weeks, and their coach knows that the Dutchman is the club's main weapon this season, especially since Hamdaoui is leading the league goal chart with four other players after scoring four times in five games.

The 31-year old former Ajax Amsterdam youth academy produst has played at Dutch Eredivisie clubs AZ Alkmaar and NAC Breda,according to Woodlands' website.

Hamdaoui was called up to represent the Dutch Under-21 national team, where he appeared 18 times between 1996 to 2001, scoring 5 goals in the process.

He also played for Japanese second division side Tokyo Verdy,Scottish Premier League Dundee Utd and Moroccan giants raja Casablanca.

"Hamdaoui is number one now in the league and our players are looking forward to play against him ," said Simunic, whose team lies 9th in the 12-team table with 5 points from 4 games.Their new signing Cho Sung hwan is also very good, and he is a key for them.

"Woodlands are very different team now and about 95% are new. With their recent form, they are now targeting a top-three finish.They are a lot stronger this year and our players are aware of that and it keeps them motivated," added the Croatian.

Woodlands coach agreed that their new line-up and has been reason for their fine form.

"New players, new philisophy, with a little bit of change in tactics and the team is progressing very well," said Woodlands coach Salim Moin yesterday.

"We have signed a number of good seasoned players abd they have blended with the locals,and it is very encouraging to see.We are looking ahead of this game and hope the players can get a good result," said the 51-year old, who added the Japanese Atsushi Shimono will sit the game due to calf injury.

Simunic will also sit a player out tonight -Guadeloupe national team captain Stephen Auvray.

Auvray will be replaced by in-form Md Hendra Azam who will be making his second start of the season after playing in their 2-1 loss to Albirex on March 11.

Striker Ivan Bosnjak,who suffered a skull fracture during DPMM's 3-3 draw against Hougang, will also lace-up tonight.

"Bosnjak can play with the mask," confirmed Simunic of the 2006 World Cup player.He will play alongside Joao Moreira and Shahrazen.

"Hendra, Bobby(Rosmin) and Helmi and Param(Azwan)will start in midfield and Sairol,Jimbo(Subhi) and Dino will play at the back.As you can see, it is a very attacking formation and Dino is the only real defender there." 



Tuesday, March 12
Albirex defeat DPMM FC

Singapore League leaders Albirex Niigata handed DPMM FC their first loss of the season after beating them 2-1 last night.

The Japanese outfit's fourth win in as many games marks them as the side in the league to have picked maximum points, with the results against last season's runners-up who are currently fourth- sending out a strong signal to the rest of the chasing pack.

Despite Shahrazen scoring his fourth goal in four games after connecting on an Azwan Salleh corner in the 29th minute, Albirex would head into the break level terms after Kento Nagasaki scored from a 45th minute corner as well.

Kazuki Sakamoto would give Albirex the lead after another corner in the 59th minute and though DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic said his men pushed hard for an equaliser, the hosts would hang on for the win at the Jurong East Stadium.

"It was a good performance but I'm upset with the result," said Simunic in a telephone interview with the Brunei Times.

"Albirex didn't have any chances," explained the coach."We were the better team throughout the game but they have the three points- and deserve to be champs.

"You must see the replays,we played excellent in the half and pressed well.

"And in the last half an hour, we were just at Albirex's box and close to a draw.

"Azwan had an excellent chance to make it 2-2 but the goalkeeper produced a fantastic reaction...Saved it like the best goalkeeper in the world!

Our locals played very well.Hendra was very good, but he lacks match-fitness," added the Croatian.

Simunic handed midfielder Md Hendra his first start of the season last night after Hj Subhi Abdilah's hamstring strain against Young Lions ruled him out of the match.

Md Hendra, a former Under-21 national team player, was replaced by Shahrazen's brother Adi said in the 62nd minute, with the ineffective Portuguese striker Joao Moreira also taken out for Ak Md Kakharazzi six minutes later.

Defender Shahrulrizal's first league game of the season ended on a sour note when he was forced out due to a "brutal challenge" by an Albirex Player in the 75th minute, with Abd Aziz Tamit coming on in his place.

"It was a knee injury and I think he'll be out for 6 weeks now," said Simunic of Shahrul's injury.

DPMM will play athree-game home series in the space of a week, starting with Woodlands Wellington on March 31, geylang International on April3  and Tanjong Pagar on April 7.

Most of the players will be donning the national colours during the 20-day break, during which brunei are set to compete at the March 22-26 Asian confederation Asian Confederation Challenge Cup Group E qualifiers at Manila.

 



Monday, March 11
DPMM FC shuffle their pack

Midfielder Hj Mohd Subhi Abdilah Bakir will miss DPMM FC's match against S-League leaders Albirex Niigata tonight due to a hamstring strain.

DPMM FC, who finished runners-up last season, face arguably their toughest test all year in Albirex, who cam in third last campaign.

Hj Md Subhi, who picked up the injury during last Thursday's 2-1 win against Young Lions will sit out tonight's game with evergreen defender Pg Sallehuddin damit- who was shown his second yellow card in the last game.

Defender Abdul Aziz Tamit replaced Hj Subhi in the 77th minute of the game, but DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic is looking at a more attack-minded option against their Japanese opponents.

SImunic will give midfielder Md Hendra Azam Idris, a key component in the national Under-21 team's victorious run at last year's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, his first start of the season - with defender Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman poised for his season debut.

Striker Adi Said, who has played in all three of DPMm FC's games this season - two from the bench- is also likely to play some part for tonight's proceedings at the Jurong East Stadium.

Though the loss of Hj Subhi and Pg Sallehuddin might seem like a blow to DPMM FC,Simunic believes his strong stable of local talent allows DPMM FC's fringe players to pick up the slack.

"Salleh is suspended and Subhi injured, so I will give Shahrul a chance to play.Hendra will play in Subhi's place,"Simunic told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We have many good players on the bench and every game now, we're 80 percent local players on the pitch...And that's something I'm very proud off.

"Just look at our win against the Young Lions...Singapore have the best national team in the region at the moment-they won the Suzuki Cup - and we beat the Young Lions.

"Brunei have very, very good footballers," he insisted.

Japanses footballers, though, probably a fer levels better than very, very good."

Albirex who are only team to have picked up maximum points from the season's three games,were one of the favourites for last year's title- and Singaporean media have already given them the same tag this year.

The Japanese have proven to be a tough nut to crack,letting in only one goalin their three matches-only defending champions Tampines Rovershave abetter record, having yet to pick a ball out of their net all season.

But Simunic as usual intends to crash the party.

"Albirex would like to be champions...But we want to spoil their plans," cautioned the confident Croatian.

Results have been split the last two times the tteams met though - DPMM beat albirex 2-1 last March but the Japanese beat them 2-0 in July - so tonight's game will be tough to call. 



Friday, March 8
DPMM fend off Young Lions to notch first win of the season.

The bruneian side were forced to dig deep to hold off the battling home team and secure victory after centreback Pg Sallehuddin saw red in the first half.

Both sides entered the game looking for their first win of the season, and in the end it was Brunei DPMM who prevailed over the Court Young Lions as two first half goals proved enough to seal victory on Thursday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It was the visitors who started the game on the front foot as they tested the Young Lions goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah twice within the first 7 minutes.

The 19-year old spilled a free-kick in the 2nd minute and had to thank an alert Sheikh Abd Hadi for bailing him out, before he redeemed himself with a smart save off Joao Moeira's towering header.

The Portuguese striker was causing all sort of problems for the home side as he next forced Rudy into a sprawling side with a long-range effort, before his header was cleared the line after Rudy had flapped at a cross.

The DPMM pressure finally paid off in the 20th minute as skipper Romsin Khamis pounceda half cleared free-kick at the edge of the area and turned to fire low into the bottom corner.

The doubled their lead just five minutes later, as forward Shahrazen Said sneaked in attack near post to glance a corner from Sairol Sahari beyond the hapless Rudy.

Things then started to heat up as players from both sides put in hefty challenges that stoked tensions, with DPMM centreback Pg Sallehuddin the first to crack.

DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic brought on midfielder Azwan Salleh for striker Adi Said at halftime to tighten things up, but the Young Lons managed to pull a goal back nine minutes after the restart.

Taking down a pass just outside the area, Sherif El-Masri neatly sidestepped two players before bending a sweet right-footed shot beyond Wardun's reach to put his sise firmly back into the game

The home side was doing a lot of pressing by now and Wardun denied them an equalizer in the 64th minute when he recovered well to block from shamil Sharif after spilling Nur Na'iim Ishak's hard drive into the midfielder's path.

Despite conceding, DPMM were happy to sit back with 5 players in defence as they tried to shut up shop, and they aided by the Young Lions inability to find a telling final pass in the ttacking third.

The Young Lions supporters, vocal throughout the match, continued to sing their hearts out as they tried to inspire their team, but the DPMM rearguard held firm to bring three points back home to Brunei. 



Thursday, March 7
DPMM FC to tame Young Lions

DPMM FC are looking to get into the win column of the Singapore LEague today.

Brunei's only professional team are set to face off against the Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC were close to a win last Friday but let a two-goal cushion slip aand missed two penalties for a 3-3 draw against Hougang at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Striker Shahrazen Said netted twice in the first home game of the season and believes that the team will bounce back even stronger.

"We will just focus on the match.Our last game was a lesson for us.We will have to work hard to take three points,"said Shahrazen in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We Will take it a game at a time.After this we will have to take ALbirex Niigata.Our fitness is very important,"he added.

DPMM FC will be missing the services of Ivan bosnjakafter the 2006 World Cup-playing Croatian striker fractured his bones around his ear and eye in the last match.

The 34-year old forward was instrumental in DPMM FC's attack and Shahrazen feels that the rest will have to step up without the former.

"I think I'll have to work hard and I hope that Moreira will do the same too as we play upfront with my brother(Adi Said)," said Shahrazen.

"Everyone is ready to bounce back.The morale of the team remains good.We will need good teamwork and fighting spirit to get the first win their first win of the season,"he added.

Captain Rosmin Khamis feels that the spirit in training camp is a t a high and he believes that they have got what it takes to.

"All the players were in shock after the result after the game against Hougang but that is football.Sometimes results just don't go our away but now everything is back to normal and we are looking forward to tomorrow's(Thursday's) match,"said Rosmin.

DPMM FC are only able to field three imports -Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvray.Croatian defender Dino Drpic and Moreira as Brazilian Tales ricarte dos Santos are still out.

Asked if the Bruneian team are at a disadvantage,Rosmin replied: "I don't think that we are a t a disadvantage.We will not have our most experienced player on the field but I believe we will have excellent replacement.

"I pray that we can get our first win of the season but we know it will be a tough match against the Young Lions.It is never easy against them and I hope everyone will be at their best form to get that win," the midfielder concluded. 

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 



Sunday, March 3
Ivan out with skull fractures

DPMM FC'd Ivan Bosnjak will have to undergo surgery after fracturing the bone s around his eye during Friday night's 3-3 draw against Hougang.

Though the 2006 World Cup-playing striker recovered more than his fair share of abuse from Hougang's backline, he played on through the pain and emerged with a bandaged head in the second half of the match - with coach Vjeran Simunic correctly predicting that his compatriot would have to go for an operation after the match.

Bosnjak was instrumental in DPMM FC's attack and really came into his own in the second half, and though the team would squander a two goal lead and miss two penalties - one of which he won - the 34-year old insists he has no memory of their home season opener.

"I still don't remember even one minute of the game,"he said yesterdau during a telephone interview from the RIPAS Hospital.

"I ws told that we missed two penalties and I missed one, but I don't remember anything.

"We're still not sure where we should I go for surgery. I think Singapore but we'll decide in the next few days," added Bosnjak, who has 14 caps and one international goal to his name.

Bosnjak was rushed to RIPAS after the game and said he might be released today.

Despite being ruled out for the action for what looks to be the best part of a month,Bosnjak is already raring to get back in action.

Simunic said Bosnjak - one of the club's four new imports this season-is sure to miss at least a month of football.

Two months would be more reasonable but Bosnjak wants to get back to get back to the pitch to make amends for the penalty miss as soon as possible.

"I will clear all that up in the next game," he promised.

"I won't play in the next two games and I hope on March 31 I will be ready to play in front of the public.

"I will have to wear a mask,but I want to play,"Bosnjak vowed.

Probably no one is worried about Bosnjak's injury than Simunic, who balmes himself for allowing him to play despite knowing that he had a fracture.

The two have a long history together, with Bosnjak starting his career in 1997 at croatian side Chibilia inder Simunic's guidance.

"I feel horrible, I haven't slept all night," said Simunic yesterday.

"I should have ignored Ivan's big desire to continue the game in the second half.It wasa horrible kick and we saw a fracture on his face,but he begged me to play.

"It was difficult to say no...Iremember during my playing days as a goalkeeper,I risked my life to play, took injections to play...Bosnjak is the same.

"He is crazy brave.This was his first home game for DPMM FC and he risked his life.

"Now his face is not the same...I'm not sure who did itbut it was one of Hougang's three last men...I will have to watch the replays.

"Salleh also got many knocks but this is football-I'm not complaining. 

"Football nowadays is like war, not about technique.Hougang are not the same team as they were under Bacina.

"They play aggressive football and are a better team thanlast year, but I expected a game like this and I respected Hougang," added Simunic.

DPMM FC face Courts Young Lions on Thursday and Japanese team Albirex Niigata on March 11, the games set to be played at Singapore's Jalan Besar and Jurong East Stadium respectively. 

They return to the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium in Berakas for their fifth game of the season against Woodlands, and its safe to say Bosnjak won't be satisfied unless his name on the team-list. 



Saturday, March 2
Heartbreak for DPMM FC

DPMM FC blew a two-goal lead nd missed two penalties in their Singapore League home opener against Hougang United last night, the 3-3 draw ranking as one of the most dramatic games in their three year S-League history.

It wasn't a problem for Hougang goalkeeper Fadhil Salim though, who dove to his right twice to deny penalties from Shaharazen Said - who was gunning for his hattrick - and Croatain Ivan Bosnjak,who was looking to score his first goal for his new club.

"Penalties are a gamble...A game of psychology too,"noted Fadhil.

"I took a chance with saves so so it was pure luck that I guessed which side.

"Actually I got a few tips from my goalkeeper coach Rezal Hassan on which side to jump.

"I can't tell you more than that or the other clubs will know what we are up tp," he said teasingly.

DPMM FC's coach Vjeran Simunic who was hardly in a mood for teasing after the game, might have been forgiven for thinking that Shahrazen's 61st minute brace would have sealed all the penalties after going 3-1 up.

But despite the hosts enjoying two penalties, the second sending Hougang captain Lau Meng Meng to an 80th minute shower for what looked like an elbow to DPMM FC's Joao Moreira, Simunic still felt his team was robbed.

"We needed three penalties morel,"he fumed, telling the press to write about the game after watching replays of the match."If you want to handball, no problem,he said, referring to a goal-line clearance from Syaqir Sulaiman, who looked to have handled the ball when saying a 70th minute shot from Bosnjak.

"We missed two penalties but thats football.Shahrazen was under pressure to score a hattrick, and Ivan made a mistake too, but thats football.

"Hougang have changed a lot of players this season,and are much better than last year,but they play very brutal.

"I think Ivan has to go for an operation tomorrow,he had many elbows thrown at him," said Simunic.

Bosnjak did enter the second half with his head nandaged but that was no excuse for the team's inability to sustain pressure and hold the ball when it mattered the most.

Their spurned chances in front of goal-Moreira shot straight to Fadhil after Shahrazen put him through on goal in the third minute- was also another problem Simunic would want to rectify during training.

It was only fitting that Shahrazen, DPMM FC's top-scorer with 14 goals last ca,paign, would score their first goal of the season after DPMM"s opener against Home Utd ended 0-0 last thirsday.

Captain Rosmin Khamis 27th minute freekick from the left was met with a header at the far post from Croatian defender Dino Drpic, who sent the ball back across the goal to Shahrazen- who rose the highest in a  packed Hougang box.

Shahrazen was just as effective at the other end of the pitch,clearing a 35th minute free-kick from Syaqir to safety.

Mamadou Diallo, who was aburst of fresh air for Hougang down the middle, shrugged off midfielder Stephen Auvray in the 42nd minute after another surging run and laid the ball off to Liam Shotton on the left-who cut past Pg Sallehuddin and curled the ball beyond Wardun Yussof.

Simunic's half time team talk seemed to have worked because DPMM came out a different animal in the second half, pressing in numbers and looking hungry for the ball.

However it was some direct, no-nonsense football that led the eam getting in front 10 minutes from the restart.

Drpic launched a goal-kick well into the Hougng half in the 55th minute,Shahrazen held the ball up outside the box and laid it off to Moreira who looked have skewed his chance after a heavy touch led him away from goal- though he quickly composed himself and chipped over Fadhil.

Rosmin's corner just past the hour-mark was met by a well-timed glancing header from Shahrazen, but the two-gaol cushion was shortlived.

Diallo unleashed an unstoppable free-kick in the 64th minute after being fouled by Auvray, the cannonball to the top-left corner setting up a nervy end to the game.

Auvray redeemed himself by unselfishly squaring the ball for Bosnjak in the 70th minute after some good build-upplay from Moreira,but Bosnjak's *** heroically cleared off the line by Syaqir- who collided with the post in the process.

Thomas beattie bundled Bosnjak's attempt in the box in the 75th minute but Fadhil's save denied Shahrazen a third goal.

Poor marking after an Azhar Sarudin free-kick saw Syaqir head home an equalise two minutes later, and though the home fans thought Bosnjak- who played for his country at the 2006 World Cup  -would not miss his 80th minute penalty,Fadhil was up to the task once again.

Ravisanthiran should have given the hosts another chance at the line after Moreira was brought down in the 86th minute, but as Simunic said, "That's football." 



Friday, March 1
DPMM play Hougang tonight.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic believes that tonight's Singapore League match against Hougang will be a test of his latest signings' compability with the local players.

Playing one week after their 0-0 opener against Home Utd, the Croatian yesterday said that awin at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium would be important ti prove that the new signings are gelling well together with the squad.

"Looking from the game against Home last week, the four new imports still need to coordinate.I know that it is not going to be easy.We need time for them to gel together with the team.We will see how they do tomorrow."

Lst season's runner-up DPMM FC failed to find the back of the net against Home United at the Bishan Stadium on Thursday.

"Hougand made a big surprise by defeating big teams last season except DPMM.Hougang did not lose both of their games against tampines last season.But we beat them twice last season."

"They sign a good number of players this year, four to six players, including their new tall striker Liam Shotton.Dino will take care of him tomorrow.

"Dino was injured after the game against Home .He didn't train much last week.But he will start the game tomorrow."added Simunic.

Good with the ball in the air, the towering Croatian defender Drpic brought a new dimension to DPMM's game.

The 31-year old donned the colours of Dinamo Zagreb 201 times during his nine year spell with the clubwhich has produced players such as Luka Modric,Niko Kranjcar and rising sensation Alen Halilovic.

"It is very important to not making a mistake tomorrow," continued Simunic.

"Look at SAF...It was a shock.They lost 6-1 to Tanjong Pagar.We cannot make the same mistakes. "

"Sairol will start tomorrow and Helmi will be on the bench.Joao and Shahrazen will be upfront.

Stephen,Subhi,Rosmin and Param in the middle.

It will be a big game tomorrow.Hougang is a different team now.But I am optimistic.I always believe in my players."added the coach.

Hougang are enjoying a great start of the season after defeating Young Lions 1-0 at the Jalan Besar on Wednesday.

"1-0 win against Young Lions.We didn't play to our potential.Young Lions defended very well but I am pleased that we score from acorner because it is what we have working on," said Hougang's coach Weaver in an interview yesterday.

"I saw DPMM play a few times last season.They are probably the favourite to win the league this year.They got quality players this season and they have a very determined coach.It will be tough."We are aware of their attacking threat,especially with Said and Joao Moreira.We got to be very cautious as we approach the game,"added the 36-year old. 



Friday, February 22
DPMM FC start with draw.

Vjeran Simunic looked less than impressed during his post-match interview after DPMM FC's Singapore League opener opener against Home United ended 0-0 last night.

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

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

"Everybody knows its very difficult to take points away from Bishan.

"Of course Home have changed a lot of their players and they are now 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 did not play defensively...We had two or three excellent chances to score," added the Croatian in a video sent by goalie coach Zainul Ariffin.

Home won two of the last 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's night's game between Young Lions and Hougang suffered the same fate - and the hold up was met with much criticism on social media.

The deadlock was enough for DPMM FC  to finish the night 6th in the 12-team table,equal on points with Home, Woodlands and Warriors.

Like many of the other opponents,DPMM, 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 Sallehuddin on the left and Hj Subhi Abdillah Bakir on the right.

As expected, Rosmin Khamis and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvray held court in the centre of the park.

Azwan Salleh started on the left,Md 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.

Simunic made a first change in the 77th minute by replacing Moreira, who was actually still not recover from back pain early in the week during training, with Shahrazen's brother Adi, going on to substitute Drpic for Abd Aziz Tamit three minutes later and sending midfielder Ak Mohd Fakharazzi on for Shaharazen in the 88th minute.

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

 



Thursday, February 21
DPMM FC face Home tonight

Despite not having played a single Singapore League this year, DPMM FC are already under pressure because of their strong showing last season.

The won the Singapore League Cup for a second time and finished runners-up in th league, an outstanding achievement since they had not played competitive football for 2 years.

DPMM start their season tonight when they face Home Utd at the Bishan Stadium and though Home finished fifth last season, they seem to be the favourites for tonight's match because they won two of the four meetings with DPMM.

"I saw on Singapore television that they are aiming for two titles.Even other media said Home are number one, Tampines second and Warriors in third," said DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic.

"Nobody talks about DPMM like we are a threat si we are always here to spoil plans of big teams from Singapore.

"I know Home are very hungry to win the leaague and have spent a lot of money," added Simunic, who should know that Home have only retained 5 players from last year's squad.

Like DPMM FC's former Croatian international Ivan Bosnjak-who played in the 2006 World Cup -Home also have made a star signing for this seasonpicking up ex South Korean international Lee Kwan Woo during the close season.

DPMM FC have 4 new imports this season, and though the team played nine pre-season friendlies, tonight's match wil be the first time they'll be lacing up with Bosnjak.

Bosnjak suffered an early injury during the first of DPMM's friendlies in Vietnam earlier this month, which made him miss out on important time to get the feel of his new teammates.

He is DPMM's biggest signing to date so there is a lot of pressure on the croatian's shoulders to pile through every upcoming match with ease.

"I hope he's an experienced player so he can coordinate with the teamand he incorporate and coordinate them with the locals,"he added.

"Like everu coach in the world, its hard when you change your team. It's a big task as well as a big job," noted Simunic.

"We also have a horrible schedule at the moment as we will be playing away three times in our first four fixtures, and all three are very difficult for us.

"But we had a very hard schedule last year and we did a very good job,"reminded Simunic.

Home's coach Lee Lim Saeng has had a lot of time to judge his team after preparing for this season with a trip to South Korea for friendlies with topK-League teams, and Lee felt the exposure his players got there helped them improve because they got the chance to play at a higher level.

In fact, Lee's is so optimistic that he has already stated his goal is to battle for the S-League title and the Singapore Cup.

"We have a relatively a new team but with strong capabilities and important responsibilities," said Lee in a press release issued yesterday.

"The current players are identified and signed by Home for their commitment to our football philisophy which is based on fitness,discipline and commitment.

"Everyone is important to the success of this club and higher fitness and discipline, the 2013 team is ready to play attractive and quality football," Lee promised.

 

 

 



Wednesday, February 20
DPMM FC intend to hit the ground running.

DPMM FC are eager to get their Singapore League campaign off the ground

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

More importantly, though, the chemistry between the local players and the new imports will be crucial to determine how successful they will be this season.

Captain Romsin Khamis 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 in training, but of course things will be differebt once we get on the pitch for competitive games," said the midfielder in an interview with the Time yesterday.

"I think we have imprived from the past season and but we 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.

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

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

"Hopefully we can work together as one, but for 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 athe win.

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

Left back Sairol 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.

Veteran defender Pg Sallehuddin Pg 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 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.

"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." 



Monday, February 4
DPMM FC bow to Dong Thap FC

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

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

Dong Thap FC equalised before halftime and grabbed the lead 10 minutes after the break.

The hosts then killed off the game with another goal in the 35th minute.

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

The local trial players will face former Simunic team,TP Ho Chi Minh today and end their Vietnam sting against 2012 league's second runner-up Saigon Xuan Thanh FC on Wednesday. 



Monday, February 11
"DPMM FC, Tampines title favourites"

Geyalng international's coach V.Kana insists DPMM FC and Tampines Rovers will be the team's to beat in the next week's Singapore League.

The Eagles take on defending champions Tampines in the first day of the season on February 2o and their coach feels the Stags and DPMM FC are favourites for the title.

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

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

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

"As the season progressed their players will get 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 Stewartcame out second best to DPMM FC's 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 in 2011.

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 goalkeeper Takuma Ito and defender Norihiro Nakami, 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 wll 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 Gaylang, they will come into this season very positivelt 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

"We play against the Warriors in the Charity Shiel 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 attrative football, so I don't see why they can't continue with the same approach," noted the former Hougang Utd coach and Warriors FC captain.

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

 

 



Friday, January 25
DPMM FC to visit Vietnam for pre-season friendlies

DPMM FC will be flying to Vietnam for pre-season friendly against three Vietnamese teams from February 1-8.

However the team will not be playing Vietnam's best football clubs, with coach Vjeran Simunic saying that most of the country's top sodes nill be occupied with other domestic tournaments.

"The best football clubs in Vietnam are currently playing in other tournaments in other parts of Vietnam,so they will be most likely unavailable for the friendly matches," said the coach.

"However, we will still be playing against good teams and the players are looking forward for the trip," he said.

"Pre-season friendlies is very important for us and it is necessary.The players will benefit a lot from it and it will help us to go through the S-League campaign this season," he said.

Simunic also revealed last night that DPMM has agreed terms with Croatian 2006 World Cup striker Ivan bosnjak.

"Ivan is now in Croatia.But he will be back in Brunei before the pre-season friendlies in Vietnam.

He is a good player, but he needs to adjust to the team, and that is why the pre-season friendlies are necessary," he said.

Since leaving DPMM in October 2009, Simunic returned to his native Croatia for a short stint in charge of NK Medimurje before taking charge of Ho Chi minh City a year later.

He then returned to the Sultanate last year to guide DPMM to second in the S-League before winning the Singapore League Cup. 

 



Thursday, January 24
DPMM FC's biggest signing yet.

DPMM FC are close to confirming all their imports for the upcoming Singapore League(S-League)season starting next month.

It is reported on the team's official website that "DPMM FC are to sign 2006 World Cup player Ivan Bosnjak".

The Croatian striker, an 987th minute substitute for captain Dario Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their Group F match of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, will be Brunei only professional team's biggest signing in history.

The 33-year old, who has 14 caps and one international goal to his name, also laced up in six of Croatia's 2006 World Cup qualifying matches against Hungary,Malta,Sweden and Iceland,playing in both the home and away legs against Malta and Iceland.

He will join the other signings - Portuguese striker Joao Victor, Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvray, Brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte dos Santos and compatriot defender Dino Drpic in the line-up.

Dos Santos is currently in Brazil recovering from a knee injury but is expected to be back before the start of the S-League.

It is also reported that DPMM FC is slated to fly to vietnam for pre-season friendly games against three Vietnamese teams from February 1-8. 



Tuesday, January 15
Auvray finds niche at DPMM FC

Combative midfielder Stephen Auvray, the guadeloupean national team captain seems to have settled down comfortabl at DPMM FC where he joins Croatian defender Dino Drpic and Portuguese striker Joao Moreira as three new imports in the team list.

The former New York Red bulls midfielder who joins the Singapore League runners-up in December, sais he has been enjoying his time in Brunei.

"I've been pleasantly surprised by the training facility and field," he replied when asked about his impressions of the club after last Saturday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The conditions here are very good, the people here are welcoming and weathers' exactly like my country.

I like the guys' mentality and I've formed an understanding with then very quickly.

"The team has had some good results and thats important," added the 31-year old referring to DPMM FC's finish last season and their capture of the Singapore League Cup for the second time.

Auvray was a commanding presence during Saturday's training session which pitted the team's first-11 against the bench.

Not only did he impressed with his hard work, strength and tackling, the defesive midfielder also did well to spread play and looks to have sealed his spot in central midfield-where he will team up with captain Rosmin Khamis.

The dreadlocked Auvray was brought to replace Criatian Ivan Jerkovic, who was one of the three imports released by the Brunei's only professional club at the end of last season.

Auvray spent most of his time in the lower divisions of French football before moving to MLS side Spoting Kansas City in 2010 and then to Red Bulls, where he teamed up with friend and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

Auvray's profile on the MLS website states he left his native Guadeloupe at the age of 14 to join the youth academy of French club SM Caen, which plays in Ligue 2.

He was promoted to caen B team in 1999,played in the French amateur team.Auvray appeared 41 times in three years and scored a goal during his time in Caen B, and in 2002,moved to GSI Pontivy,where he made 58 appearances and found the net four times during a two-year spell.

Auvray made 144 appearances for Vannes OC from 2004 to 2009 and scored one goal for the team that plays in the Championnat National, the third tier of French football.

He also appeared 11 times Logue 2 side Nimes Olympique in 2009 before a transfer to Spoting Kansas City. 

He laced up 27 times for Kansas City once in a friendly against Manchester United and moved to Red Bull in the middle of 2011 campaign.He spent less than a year at New Yorg though, and has been without a club since December 2011.

Despite being out of action for the better part of a year, he was hardly sluggish during Saturday's practice.His work ethic is sure to endear him to temamates and fans.

"I don't know much about the S-League but no matter where you play or who you play, you have to do your best,"he said about his aim for next season.

"Once you do your best, you will be rewarded and get what you deserve." 



Sunday, January 13
Croatian Bosnjak for DPMM FC

DPMM FC might make its biggest signing in the next few days.

Croatian striker Ivan bosnja, 33, is the latest string of players who are trying out Brunei's only professional club- though the rest can't boast of ever playing at a World Cup.

Bosnjak an 87th minute substitute for captain Dario Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their second Grop G match at the World Cup in Germany, is probably the most experienced footballer to step onto the team's grounds at the Jeruding Park Stadium- and he definitely impressed with his pace and power during yesterday's trainign session.

Bosnjak- who had 14 caps and 1 international to his name- also laced up in six of Croatia's 2006 World Cup qualifying matches against Sweden,Hungary, Mlata and Iceland,playing both in home and away legs against Malta and Iceland. 

He hard the opportunity to play for Brunei's biggest club from compatriot Dino Drpic, the centre-back becoming the club's latest signig after proving his worth during the team;s journey to Banda Aceh in a tournament recently.

The duo played together in Croatia for Dinamo Zagreb-who currently lead the top tier Prva HNL- from 2--4-2006, ending the 2005/6 season as league champions and Bosnjak with the competition's top-scorer with 22 goals.

Bosnjak has played for Belgian side Genk,Libyan team Al-Ittihad and Croatia's Cibalia-where he started his career under the guidance of DPMM FC coach Simunic. Like bosnjak, Simunic has also played for Hajdul split.

Bosnjak isn't here just to renew old friendships though.

"I didn't take a 25 hour flight just to look around," he noted.

"This is my first time playing with the team and I'm satisfied.I trained yesterday but today was my first time playing.

"I think I have more time, maybe 10 days.I will be fully adjusted," he added.

He didn't look to have any problems adjusting to yesterday's training session though.

He set up two goals in the second half with accurate crosses into the box, and he also impressed with his first touches, ability to shiled the ball and speed on the flanks - all attributes a striker of his calibre is ecpected to possess.

Drpic was a commanding presence in the middle of defense, with his positioning, serial prowess,distribution and dribbling -rare for a centre back looking to be his strengths."We're best friends," grinned Drpic asked how well he knows Bosnjak." I can see alot of potential here ," he replied when asked comments on his first impression of the club.

"Im sure we can make a good team," he insisted.

Next season's S-League regulations allow for 5 imports, and if Bosnjak does sign on, he will replace another Croatia named Ivan. 



Friday, January 11
The imports and locals must gel.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic feels that his local boys have grown up now.

The Croatian feels that there isn't too much worry about their preparations for the upcoming season of the league kicking off next month.

Simunic only requires abit more  time to allow the team to gel together with the import players.

"The Bruneian players have grown up and they have beenplaying together for a while now.Even thoigh we recently got back to full training but I'm not too worried because I can say we are at 70 per cent at the moment," said Simunic yesterday.

"It is not easy to find the best import playersto fit in especially since most would have been signed by other teams by now.

"But what we need now is time.We have a line-up change of foreign players and we will need them to coordinate with the local players," he added.

"Even if we have four (Lionel) Messis on the team we weren't be able to do anything if they can't play with the locals.

Hopefully rhe locals can maintain their level they were at last year or even improve.They were not limited to where they are right now.I feel that we able to compete the countries in the region," added the Croatain who watch his side steamroll DST Super League side ABDB 7-0 yesterday.

The team finished as runners-up in the league last season and became the first team to win the Singapore League Cup twice.

The head coach feels that it might be the biggest challenge to maintain their position. 

"Singapore are the champions of the AFF Suzuki Cup and we are going to be challenging the best in the region.

"We are ready for the league but we know it will be a tough challenge," said Simunic who was named the Coach of the Year last season.

"(Champion) Tampines are an excellent team and have reinforced themselves to become stronger for this upcomin season as well.

"Teams like SAF are playing in Thailand and Home Utd in Korea.That is what we are missing-the challenge of big teams.But we have to make the best of our situation by playing against the local teams,"he added.

"It will not be an easy task to maintain our top five target this year.We respect all teams and we are going to stand our ground.

"People have been talking about us and I think we have earned some respect after finishing as runners-up last season.We are one of the big teams now and others will be looking to topple us,"continued Simunic.

I'm also thankful to the playersthat have work commitments and still have to come all the way to training everyday as well,"he concluded. 



Thursday, January 3
Dino to power DPMM FC

DPMM FC have signed their third import player for next season's Singapore League.

He will join the duo of Portuguese striker Joao Moreira, 26, and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvraym 31, to become the latest foreign to be picked up by Brunei's only professional football club.

DPMM FC now have two more slots to fill before the start of the new S-League season.

The Croatain has had 20 caps as a youth international and got his only call-up to represent his country in 2007 in a friendly match against Slovakia.

The 31-year old defender, who stands at 6ft 5in, spent nine seasons playing for Dynamo Zagreb from 2000-2009.

He then moved to Germany to play for Karlsruher SC and had a brief spells for AEK Athens in Greece and Volyn Lutsk in Ukraine before moving back to Croatia to lace up for HNK Rijeka last year. 



Wednesday, December 26
DPMM FC look forward to 2013

DPMM FC's manager, Ali Hj Momin has gone on to express his delight with the clubs new signings and feels that the team is bound to get better from last week's Governor Aceh Trophy campaign in Aceh provincial capital Banda,Aceh Indonesia.

 Both Portuguese striker Joao Victor Rocha Moreira and Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvray have shown promising signs during the tournament with the former finding the net for the club in their 4-2 defeat against Semen Padang.

The manager said last night in an interview with the Times that he is convinced all the signings that have made this time will be able to replace the top stars Ivan jerkovic and Osman Bashiru who have left the club and that they are now looking to land some more silverware this season.

"The two new signings played very well in their games.They have proved throughout the tournament that they are the right players for us. Both of them did not start in the games, but they managed to make an impact when they were brought in,"said the manager.

The DPMM manager feels that it is a good sign that one of their new players has started to score, since it shows how the team has come together over the last couple of weeks.

"It is good to our new striker,Joao Moreira scored in the tournament.The aim of this tournament is to look and assess the performance of the new imports and how they can work together with the rest of the squad," he said.

" it was a very good outing for us.We got the chance to play against the Indonesia Premier League champions Semen Padang and Malaysian champions Kelantan in the tournament.

"Now the players will need a good rest before we start our training in January," he added. 

 



Tuesday, February 5
DPMM FC vs Home Utd in Singapore League opener.

DPMM FC will take on home United in their Singapore 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 in their first home game on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

They then face Court Young Lions in their third week of action on March 7 and Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata 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 pro club will sit out the fifth match which will run from March 20-24.

All of the club's away matches will kick-off at 7.30pm while the home matches will start at 8.15pm.

The S-League season officially kicks-off next Fridaywhen tampines, the reigning cchampions take on Singapore Cup holders Warriors formrly known as SAF in the Charity Shiled at the jalan Besar Stadium.

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

Games in the MPL are usually plays 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 convenient for us to prepare the team.What happens if we are scheduled to play DPMM, pobably the strongest team this year away from home in our first match," an S-League coach told on the condition of anonymity. "We need to be mentally ready for the first three to four teams that e 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." 



Sunday, December 23
DPMM FC beaten on penalties.

Brunei DPMM FC were beaten on penalties by Selangor FA after the third and fourth play-off ended 1-1 after 90 minutes at the Harapan Bangsa Stadium in Banda Aceh,Indonesia last night.

Shahrazen Said drew first blood when he struck in the 28th minute to make it three goals in four outings.

However, complacency crept into Brunei DPMM's game and just when it seemd they were set for the third place finish, the Malaysians scored an equalizer before the final whistle.

Selangor FA held their resolve, and triumphed 3-2 on penalties,when Rosmin Khamis,Amalul Ariffin and Azam Hendra missed their spotkicks, only Shahrazen and Adi Said scored.

"I'm very happy with the boys. They did afantastic job," Simunic remarked during a phone interview with the Bulletin.

"It was a nice competition but was not easy to prepare for.We played with two import players in most of the games,and today it was all Bruneians."

The tournament was like the Asian Champions League.There were two of the best teams in Indonesia and two of the best teams in Malaysia playing, so I'm very happy with how the boys played." 

 



Sunday, December 16
Titus Bonai crushes DPMM FC

DPMM FC went down 4-2 to Semen Padang FC in their Governor Acheh Trophy opener last night after a Titus Bonai hat-trick inspired the Indonesians to a comfortable win in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

According to Semen Padangs FC's twitter feed, Titus put the Indonesian Premier League reigning champions 2-0 after strikes in the 4th and the 18th minute, but midfielder Azwan Salleh would pull one back for the visitors before the break at the Lhoong Raya Stadium.

Edward Junior Wilson made it 3-1 in the 53rd minute and DPMM FC new signing, Joao Moreira cut the deficit back to one goal in the 65th minute before Titus bagged his third eight minutes from time.

DPMM FC will face Kelantan in their next match in their three-team group. 



Tuesday, December 11
DPMM FC leave for Indonesia today.

DPMM FC know this week's Governor Aceh Trophy in Banda Aceh,Indonesia will test their fitness and stamina to the limit.

DPMM FC take on Kelantan on Saturday and Indonesia outfit Semen Padang on Sunday.

Both champions of their respective leagues they are just the kind of opponents DPMM will be looking to play as they prepare for next season's SIngapore League.

The other group will see Malaysian giants Selangor face hosts Banda Aceh and fellow Indonesian side Makassar United, with the top two teams advancing to the next Wednesday's semifinals.

Leaving for Indonesia today, DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis admitted that the Governor Aceh Trophy will prove to be a tougher assignment.

"Its very hard to play two games in two days ...  Players need 48 hours to recover after every match," pointed out the skipper yesterday. But preseason warm-up tournaments like these are important. I think training has been going well...and the games in Aceh will give us the chance to better judge the four players who are on trial with us."

"I know that Kelantan will be bringing some of their on-trial players and I heard Keita Mandjou will be one of them," said Rosmin referring to the former DPMM and Perak striker who ended the 2006/7 campaign as joint top-scorer with Shahrazen Said.

It is understood that DPMM will be bringing a striker, two midfielders and one defender with them to Indonesia.

Though DPMM had a two-week break after the S-League ended on Nov 2,Shahrazen feels the team is back to normal in terms of fitness.

However, he still thinks the games in Banda Aceh will be tough on the players-though he feels it is a challenge he team is up for.

"Playing two games in as many days is bound to take a toll on the players," said Shahrazen, who was the team's top-scorer last season.

"Its very important for us to have warm-up games like these, because last time we had only 1 game against Changrai.

"Personally my target is for us to reach the semifinals.Once we get there, anything can happen.I don't know much about Semen Padang but I do know Kelantan are the defending champions," he added.

Kelantan have been the most successful team in Malaysia over the past few years, evident from their form in Malaysia's top-tier MSL.

They are also the defending champions in the Malaysia Cup-a trophy they won for the first time in 2010.

Semen Padang are no pushovers either, the team are the reigning champions.

 

 



Tuesday, February 19
Rosmin Khamis hopes for a better campaign for DPMM in 2013.

Although the Wasps captain feels that early preparations will be advantageous for the upcoming season, he cautioned against complacency as other clubs have also boosted their teams.

Although Brunei DPMM lifted the League Cup in 2012, the S-League title eluded them as they ended the season as runners-up, four points behind champions Tampines Rovers.

Keen to improve on that for the upcoming 2013 campaign, the club resumed training a few weeks after the previous season ended with the local players, in addition to holding tryout sessions for foreigners.

Speaking to Goal.com Singapore, club captain Rosmin Khamis had nothing negative to say about the early start to the new season and added that he is pleased with the new foreign players' ability to adapt to their new surroundings.

"We had a good preparation as per normal and also took part in aninvitational tournament in Aceh in December.

"Thankfully we had the tournament in Aceh, as we were able to play with the new foreign players and suit ourselves to each other's playing style."

DPMM FC has retained Brazilian defender Tlaes dos Santos while also signing Portuguese striker Joao Moreira and Guadeloupean Stephane Auvray, with the latter featuring in Aceh.

The Sultanate outfit has also secured the services of former AEK Athens defender Din Drpic nd finalized the signing of former Croatian international Ivan Bosnjak.

While Rosmin hopeful that the club is able to improve on their standings this season, the 31-year old midfielder is cautious of the other teams, who have also beefed up their squads.

"We will try to improve on our achievement of the previous season, but it will not be easy as the other teams have also done their own homework and signed quality players,"he explained.

"So our target is to take each game at a time and hopefully, results will go our way." 



Saturday, November 17
Where do DPMM FC go?

DPMM FC have taken a huge gamble by deciding to field a changed line-up for next season's Singapore League.

Training resumes on Tuesday, but unlikr last season, there will be a few familiar faces missing at the Jerudong Stadium - Croatian Ivan Jerkovic the most notable.

The highly experienced midfielder- who was surprisingly released with two other imports - was considered one of the team's elder statesmen alongside captain Rosmin Khamis and vice captain Pg Sallehuddin Damit.

Highly respected by players and fans alike, the club's decision to release the calm and composed Jerkovic is dumbfounding, especially since it does not like they have a replacement line-up.

Striker Osman Bashiru and Patrick da Silva could perhaps be faulted for not contributing enough to the team, and hence their return to Ghana and Brazil respectively.

But Jerkovic's symbiotic partnership in the middle of the field with Rosmin has been the foundation the team;s two S-League seasons were build on- season's in which they won the Singapore League Cup twice and finished last term.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic who called the S-League coach of the Year award he won last Sunday as the "crown" of his time at DPMM, knows how just important continuity is for success.

For that to happen though, they need experienced heads the like of Jerkovic,33 and Pg Sallehuddin,39, to lead by example.

Injury has prevented Sallehuddin from featuring in as many games as he would have liked to,but whenever he laced-up, the facts were there for all to see.

"We won all 11 gmaes that Salleh played in all season," pointed out Simunic.

"If we are to get other imports...They should be like Salleh  and know how to read the game,"he sais, adding that he would like to see towering centreback Tales dos Santos back from injury next season.

A large reason S-League clubs like champions Tampines Rovers have been so successful is that they have benefited from naturalised Singaporean like Aleksandar Duric and Fahridin Mustafic and the ability to sign imports on top of that. 

Ask any Tampines fans and they will wax lyrical about Mustafic?and the evergreen Duric, who despite being 42, is still  mongst the most feared strikers in the league. 

Simunic has always been a proponent of developing talent, with the likes of striker Adi Said, midfielder AK Fakharazzi and defender Ampuan Nurul Azami all making a name for themslves last season.

It is up to them to step up to the third plate when the new season kicks off in February,but carrying the team on their shoulders is perhaps too big a task to ask of them just yet 



Friday, November 16
DPMM FC coach proud to win award.

He likes making people think he's crazy - and proving them wrong.

Brunei DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic lapped up the attention after he was named the Mikasa Coach of the Year at the S-League Awards Night ceremony on Sunday night at ITE College East.

He said the awatd made him feel vindicated after some questioned his decision to quit Vietnamese club Ho Chi Mnh City to take over the reins at DPMM FCwhere he was head coach in 2009.

"When I did that, alot of people said I was crazy," he said.

"Why would someone leave a good team, with good in money in a strong football country in South East Asia to go in Brunei? But I showed them.

"Same thing in Brunei I said I would make DPMM one of the top teams in the S-League, they said I was crazy.

"But see where we are now."

Simunic guided DPMM to the StarHub League Cup title and pushed Tampines Rovers all the way to the last day of the league title race, eventually finishing with a runners-up medal.

Still, he's more than happy.

And in true fashion, he had no qualms in explaining why he deserved his individula gong on Sunday.

Looking down at the award in his right hand,he said:"Two medals and this?Perfect.

I can tell you I am very proud to win the Coach of the Year award.

"To take this when there great coaches like Darren Stewart,On Kim Swee and Sugiyama is not easy.

"But I think based on results, I deserve it...Plus we scored25 goals(more than half the team's total)from set-pieces and that is something the coach can take credit for."

Simunic said he is astually looking forward to next season, and wants to deliver the coveted S-League title for HRH Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, who is also the chairman of DPMM FC.

Online reports suggets the wealthy Brunei club are looking at former English Premier League stars like Luis Boa Morte and Pascal Chimbonda for next seasonbut the coach was mum on the issue.

He said he was unaware who were being lined up for the end-of-season trials for foreigners at the club but "welcomed" big names.

Added Simunic: "Most importantly I want my image out on the pitch every time the team plays.They must have my character and attitude, and they are slowly changing.

"It is not easy to come to a country like Bruneiand take players who have no professional league,and make a good team.

"But we are doing it,and I think next year, we will be back stronger."

While the S-League title is next on his hitlist,Simunic also revealed a personal ambition - to lead the Brunei national team in the future,professing his love for DPMM and the country he resides in.

"In 20 years as a coach, this is the first time I've at one club for more than one year,"said the well-travelled coach. I tell you what's my dream: To lead Brunei in the Suzuki Cup.

"I think they have the players to be the next Philippines,to compete against the other South East Asian countries.

"But instead,my players will be sitting at home later this month,watching the tournament on TV.

"Maybe I can help them get there in 2014."

Sounds unlikely?Craze even?Well,that's just the way Simunic likes it. 

 

 



Saturday, January 19
New Tampines coach Nenad Bacina confident about handling new challenges.

Former SAFFC captain Nenad Bacina has his work cut out for him as he takes over at the helm of defending champions Tampines Rovers, who have assembled a new-look squad for 2013 season.

With a squad boasting quality foreign players such as towering Serbian striker Saad Hadzibulic and Singapore national players such as Shahdan Sulaiman,Khairul Amri, Shaiful Esah and newly-appointed captain Mustafic Fahrudin, Bacina hopes to have a decent campaign in both local and regional competition.

"The target is always the same, as this is Tampines.We are playing in three domestic and one regional tournament and we will do our best domestically and go further in the AFC Cup," the Croatian stressed.

"Singapore clubs always lose when they meet Middle-East teams in the knockout stages so I want us to show that local  clubs are able to go a level higher.

"It won't be easy but my job is to make things work and hopefully it will work for us."

The 42-year old who coached Hougang United last season, is undaunted by the challenge of doing well in four competitions.

"Those who don't like the challenges and sit in the shade and hide.I am not that kind of person,"Bacina assertively stated.

"I hope to continue the good run by Singapore in regional competitions.The LionsX11 and the national team have been doing their best for the last few years and we have a good chance to move further, not only for us but Singapore as well."

Also joining the squad will be former Argentine top-flight player, midfielder Martin wagner, who last played for Racing Club in the Primera Division.

Wagner started his professional career with Olimpo de Bahia Blanca in 2004 and also part of the team who relagated from the Primera Liga in 2006, but bounced back the following season after winning the Primera B Nacional Arpetura and Clausura Championship. 

"We expect him to help us and vice versa but I don't like to put pressure on a singel player as its all about team work, and I hope he'll gel with us very well,"he explained.

Wagner also earned praise from his new boss, chairman Teo Hock Seng.

"I have been to Argentina few times and the level of football there is very high.He comes from Racing, a top-five club there,"he said.

Bacina will be assisted by former Singapore international Rafi Ali, who was also named the Stags' new Prime League coach,replacing Steven Tanwho was removed as the club's head coach towards the end of the  last season.



Monday, November 12
Brunei DPMM set eights on Luis Boa Morte and Pascal Chimbonda.

Singapore League Cup champions Brunei DPMM FC have confirmed that they have released three foreign players, namely strikers Osman Bashiru and Patrick da Silva, as well as midfielder Ivan Jerkovic.

Croatian Jerkovic netted six times for the Bruneians in the recently concluded 2012 S.League season, while Ghanaian and Brazilain da Silva bagged five and four goals respectively as the Bruneians finished second.

The fourth foreign player in the roster, Brazilian Tales dos Santos,is still contrated to the club. The giant centreback was forced to sit out his team's last two league matches due to a knee injury, and is currently recuperating back home.

With the release of the above-mentioned trio, the Bruneians have set their eyes on several former English Premier League (EPL) stars, including former West Ham and Fulham midfielder Luis Boa Morte and ex-Tottenham Hotspur full-back, Pascal Chimbonda.

Brunei's onky professional club have also invited Brazilian Edison Luiz dos Santos, Liberian Dominic Jlateh and Nigerian Sibi Gwar along with the two former EPL stars for a try-out session.

Striker Edison last played for Hungarian top division club,Kecskemeti TE. Prior to his move to hungary,Edison scored 23 goals and won the golden boot while plying his trade with Hibernians in the Maltese league.

Jlateh, the son of ex-Liberian international Aloysius Jlateh, finished as the top-scorer with 20 goals for Liberian Premier League side, FC Fatu in the recent 2012 season.

Super Eagles international Gar has twice won the NFA Golden Boot, during the 2008 and 2012 Nigeria Premier League seasons with Lobi Stars and Kwara United respectively.

The 25-year old midfielder received his first international call up on August this year when he was named in the Nigeria squad for a friendly against Niger.

The try-out session will be held in the Sultanate at the end of November. 



Friday, November 2
Dos Santos: From Brazil to Brunei with love.

Brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte Dos Santos will be rooting for DPMM FC  to beat Balestier Khalsa in their last league game of the season tonight despite being thousands of miles away.

Forced to sit out the last two games due to kee injury, he returned to Brazil last Sunday for surgery and admits the missed opportnity to play in tonight's title decider is weighing on his mind.

DPMM FC trail league leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers by one point and will need a win against Balestier, combined with a slip-up from Tampines when they meet Harimau Muda tonight to clinch the title for the first time.

"I'm said I can't finish the season but injuries are part of players careers," he admitted on Tuesday.

"I want to be on the field to help my team-mates against Balestierbut I just have to support them from here.

"Balestier are a good side..but I'm confident we can win because we are having a bright season,"added the 28-year old, who was instrumental to the team's victorious Singapore League Cup campaign in August. 

The Brazilian who joined at the start of the season in February, has earned a reputation as a reliable defender and the team's fans have long recognised the importance of his timely tackles and aerial prowess.

Though DPMM FC's home matches at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium lead S-League attendance records, regulars at the home of Brunei football will readily admit that the crowd support over the past few months has been dissapointing by DPMM FC standards.

But with electronic products such as a LG 55 inch television, a MacBook Air and iPhone 5 up for grabs during a lucky draw after the match,fans should be swarming the stadium in droves.

Dos Santos stressed that a big turnout will be crucial in picking up for all three points,and with the defender spreading the word about his new club in Brazil, it looks like Brunei's only professional club has a few new international fans.

"I hope it will be a full stadiumbecause we have the chance to win the league," he said.

"We can win two titles ... and DPMM FC have never produced a season like this before.

"Its important that the fans fill the stadium because it motivates us and makes playing more enjoyable.

"People in Brazil wants to know more about Brunei football and the S-League, and they're starting to know about DPMM FC as well since I have given some interviews here." 

 

 



Tuesday, February 12
Friendlies for testing players, not results:Simunic

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

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

DPMM FC returned from s Sinagpore 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 claimedtwo draws and two losses in the six-team invitational tournament, losing out on third to Malaysian gaints Selangor.

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

Star striker Shahrazen said also returned from Vietnam with a knock which kept him out yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium, and brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte 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 respectedteams 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 differebt 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 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 before returning to Brunei for his second stint with DPMM FC in 2011.

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 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 onot only have good players, they have also 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 very young team and we have don't 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." 

 



Friday, November 2
"Calm before the storm"

Vjeran Simunic insists he isn't feeling any pressure ahead of DPMM FC's biggest game in its history tonight.

The only tema to win the Singapore League Cup twice have the chance to add the Singapore LEague to their trophy cabinet, which will not only ne the club's biggest prize in its 12-year history but also serve as a testament to their character and resilience after an absence of two years from competitive football.

They aren't masters of their own fate though.Not onlt they have to beat Balestier Khalsa tonight, they have to hope for a slip up from the defending champions, Tampines Rovers- who they trail by one point[ when the Stags meet Harimau Muda in the other match-both the last games for all the four clubs.

Though Simunic isn't losing any sleep because of the title race, he couldn't hide his disappointment that the tem have to rely on Harimau for favours,

"I'm very calm," said the DPMM coach before their final training of the season at the Jeruding Mini Stadium yesterday.

"So whaterver happens, happens. What I can tell you is that DPMM is still the team of the year! We've scored the most goals and played atractive football.

"The players are feling confident .A few of them are down with flu and fever, its normal.I guess its because of the weather.Today I asked if they can play and they all said they're all ready!

But this is not a deciding game, like final where eveything is in your hands, we need help from others," he sighed.

Hrimau Muda will be fielding a second-string side against Tampines as a result of injury and national team call-ups for several players, a situation which Simunic felt didn't warrant too much discussion.

"As for Tampines-Muds, I have no comment.Once I knew they are without 4 key players who are on national duty, I decied I would not comment on the game," he stated.

The veteran coach has other matters to think about, as not only Brazilain centreback Tales dos Santos out for the rest of the season, his replacement Pg Sallehuddin is suspended for the game.

Ampuan Nurul Azami will replace the veteran defender and Simunic believes the ability of the team's fringe players to step up to the plate has made a big difference in the club's current campaign.

"Ampuan will be replacing Salleh and that is something I have been hoping for since I rejoined the club since last year ... That every player can be replaced by someone on the bench...that we have a team of 18 equals," he said.

"We have been in trouble for some games and we lost key players but they were replaced by bench players.We rcovered, and that is why DPMM are in the position now," he insisted. 

His counterpart Darren Stewart also paid tribute to DPMM FC's spirit but was adamant that his team would be in awe of tonight's opponents.

Balestier will fifnish the season sixth regardless of tonight's outcome, but the Australian- who was thankful has a full sqi=uad to choose from- wants his players to go out with a bang.

"We had a good year and we're preety   confident," said Stewart.

"We're ready for the game, we're well organised and the big crowd won't affect us since we've played few pre-seasons in Malaysia and they were all big crowds.

"DPMM FC are a quality team with a god coach, who's a good guy as well.

"They never give up and I think that their biggest strength-the reason they are where they are right now," he added.

Do DPMM have what it takes to win the league though?

"I hope Tampines slip-up and I hope Brunei do too, because if not then we'll lose," Stewart laughed.

 



Tuesday, December 18
Two new stars for DPMM FC

DPMM FC yesterday announced the signing of two new import players for next season's Singapore League.

Portuguese striker Joao Victor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira,  26, and Guadeloupean midfielder, Stephen Auvray, 31, have become the latest foreign players to be picked up by Brunei's only professional club - who are currently playing in an invitational tournament in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

A player profile sent by DPMM FC yesterday stated that Moreira has represented Portugal at the Under-20 and Under-21 level. Auvray who captains his national team, formerly laced-up for Major LEaague Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls.His profile describes him as a "defensive midfielder known for his aggressive tackling."

The duo join Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos as the club's three imports. Last season's S-League runners-up are still in the hunt for two more imports before the next season starts in February.

Moreira has already had an impact with the club after finding the net in both of DPMM FC's games at the Governor Aceh Trophy; a 4-2 loss to Indonesian side Semen Padang and a 1-1 draw to Malaysia Super League champions Kelantan on Sunday.

DPMM FC are through to tomorrow's semifinal against Aceh united after the Indonesian side beat Selangor 1-0 last night. Last night's other result saw Kelantan lose their second match of the six team tournament against Semen Padang 4-2.

DPMM FC, however progressed to the last four as group runners-up after a draw was carried out with Kelantan since both teams shared exactly the same statistics.The final is set for Saturday. 



Wednesday, January 30
DPMM FC players good to go for S-League kick-off

DPMM FC players have all been declared fit for next month's Singapore League(S-League)

Last season's S-League's runners-up were faced with a dilemma at te start of the 2012 campaign when eight of their players failed to make the grade during the mandatory fitness test.

They were no such problems during this year's edition though, when six S-League officialsconducted the Cooper test at DPMM FC's Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday morning.

The test was created in 1968 by American Dr. Ken Cooper and is meant to gauge the distance the participants could cover in 12 minutes.

The S-League version, though requires the players to run 2.4 km in 10.15 minutes.

A bonus was given for those that completed the run in less than 9 minutes, and DPMM FC's coach felt that more players would have have received the $100 bonus if they have known about it earlier.

"Everybody passed,there were no problems," said Vjeran Simunic.

"Helmi did it in less than 9 minutes and and he got $100.

"But many other players were close to helmi's time.Shahrazen was three seconds off the mark and Najip was two seconds.

"If they knew about the reward,I'm sure half of them would have done it in less than 9 minutes," added the Croatian.

The Cooper test marks a move away from the much-criticised beep test which was used by the S-League last year.

A gauge of cardiovascular fitness, the multi-stage beep tests requires the players to run between 20 m spaced cones, with their speed increasing in accordance to increasing beeps.

With the fitness test out of the way, Simunic is turning his attention to more pressing matters.

The S-League season starts on February 20, and though the fixture list has not been made public, DPMM FC are making sure they will be match-fit by embarking on a trip to Vietnam this week where they will play friendly games against three Vietnamese sides.

They face Vietnamese premier outfit Dong Thap, TP Ho Chi Minh and 2012 second runners-up in the premier league,Saigon Xuan Thanh.

"Now the second thing, very important, is how we play the games in Vietnam," said Simunic, who is well-versed with Vietnam football after coaching Vietnamese Ho Chi Ming City in 2011.

"We're expecting 30,00 people watching the games.

"They like football very much in Vietnam and not many famous foreign sides likes us having played there.

"We are representing the Singapore League, and the Vietnamese know it is a very well respected league." 



Saturday, November 3
DPMM FC finish 2nd best.

DPMM FC will have to settle for second in the Singapore LEague after putting in a dull display to lose 2-0 to Balestier Khalsa last night's title decider- the first time they were held goaless at home all season and snapping a five game winning streak.

Failing to shigt gears as the match wore on, DPMM FC found it tough to break doen a resilient Balestier defence and eventually fellto their third home loss of the league campaign- a resut a combined with Tampines win over Harimau Muda in last night's other match, saw the Stags retain their crown.

DPMM FC's midfield had a hard time playing as a unit despite the sizeable support at the soaked Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

They struggled to penetrate Balestier Khalsa's defence and found chances few and far in between in a game they had to win and hope for dropped points from Tampines.

The club can still look back at their first full league campaign- theit debut in 2009 was stopped five games to go because of FIFA's suspension to Brunei- as one filled with numerous positives though,becoming the only team to win the Singapore League Cup for the second time in Augustand blooding in new talents in the likes of Adi Said and Ampuan Md Nurul Azami.

Add in the fact that the team was left out of competitive football for the 2 years because of suspension,finishing second was a huge achievement-especially considering their target at the start was only in the top-5.

The 75th minute substitution of injured centreback Ampuan Nurul Azami and Hj Subhi abdillah changed the face of last night's game, and Balestier stunned the stadium when Zulkiffli Hashim headed a 80th minute goaland Park Kang-Jin produced an even bigger shocker by chipping Wardun Yussof seven minutes later-both goals coming from fluid counter-attacks.

Balestier looked content to sit back with their five man backline and play on the break, a tactic which earned their 12th clean sheet of the league campaign and proving just why they have the stingiest defence in the league after only letting in 20 goals this season.

Attributing to the loss of bad luck DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic said that Fahrudin Mustafic's penalty in the 41st minute demotivated the players once the news filtered down to the dressing room at half time.

"When we wnt into the break and heard that Tampines were ahead...The boys went down," admitted Simunic.

"I knew that it would he hard when Ampuan and Subhi were injured adn I had to take them out.

"Like what I've said before Balestier are a team with the beat organisation.

They are waited for us to make a mistake and we took risks to try and win the game but we lost," added the Croatian. 

Balestier's Zdavko Dragicevic scuttled the first chance in the game with a weak attempt in the seventh minute, with Azwan Salleh's long attempt in the 16th  minute DPMM FC's first shot of note.

Ivan Jerkovic had the best chance for the hosts after winning the ball in thr middle and forcing a save from Zakariah Nerani after a shot from outside the box on the half-hour mark.

Ruhaizad Ismail should have given the visitors the lead nine minutes later but balzed the shot wide despite only have Wardun to bat with both his and Dragicevic's chances coming from Park's crosses.

Perhaps sensing that DPMM FC were reelong from the news that Tampines were ahead, Blaestier came out the hungrier side at the start of the second half, with their brst chances coming in the 53rd minute when Ruhaizad hit the side netting.

The unmarked Patrick da Silva had a golden opportunity to put DPMM infront but was unable to test Zakariah with a shot from outside the box after Blaestier failed to clear the lines in the 70th minute.

PArk forced Wardub into a double save in the 76th minute, but Balestier wouldn't be denied 4 minutes later when the ever reliable captain Rosmin Khamis was robbed off the ball by three players after spending too long with un midfield.

Flowing forward with intent,Andrew Tan sent in a delight cross from thr left to Zul who headed home past a diving Wardun.

Though Rosmin would later apologise for the mistake, the damage was already done.

With momentum on their side,Balestier scored another goal against the runof play when their defence booted a DPMM corner kick up the field an onto the onrushing PArk.

He raced through to goal without a defender in sight and cooly chipped the onrushing Wardun -with leftback Sairol Sahri receiving his second yellow for protesting.

 



Saturday, January 19
Moreira ready to striker for DPMM FC

DPMM FC's Portuguese striker Joao Victor Roccha de Carvalho Moreira is looking forward to getting down to work.

Moreira is one of the team's three new imports for next season's campaign along with guadeloupe national team captain Stephen Auvray and Croatian defender Dino Drpic, nad he seemed preety sure why last season's league runners-up signed him.

"My Job is to score and help DPMM FC in every competition," said the 26-year old, who has represented his country at the Under-20 and Under-21 level.

"Training has been going well but this is just the beginning so I can't say much ... But we are working hard to get fit and be ready for the next month's league.

"I think I am a good header of the ball, am fast and have good technique," Moreira said of his stregths when met during DPMM FC's training last week.

Moreira put pen to paper last month after finding the net in both of DPMM FC's game at the Governor Trophy in Indonesia.

Playing at various lower division sides in Spain and Portugal, Moreira's biggest claim to fame came during the 2008/9 season, where he played for Portuguese side Biera Mar - which played in Portugal's top-tier competition, the Primeira Liga.

He will eb expected to shoulder some of the scoring burden from Shahrazen Said, the club's main striker and team's top-scorer in last season's league with 13 goals.

Moreira will be Shahrazen's third striking partner in the space of one year after Ghanain Osman Bashiru and Brazilians Rodrigo Gral and Patrick Da Silva became the latest in the long list of foreign strikers to pass through DPMM FC's revolving door.

Brazilian centre back tales Ricarte dos Santos is the only returning import from last season, and though he is in Brazil recuperating from a knee injury, the 28-year old towering defender is expected to be back in time for next season's league.

Croatian Ivan Bosnjak, who represented his country at the 2006 World Cup in germany, is currently on trial with the club -and the striker certainly impressed during last Saturday's training session where the club's starting-11 went up against the bench.

The 33-year old Bosnjak has 14 caps and 1 international goal to his name, but only played 3 minutes during the 2006 World Cup where he came on as a substitute for Darijo Srna during Croatia's 0-0 draw with Japan in their Goup F match. 



Thursday, October 25
Simunic not worried about title race.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic insists he is not perturbed at his side's battle with Tampines Rovers for the Great Eastern-YEO's S-League title.

Simunic's charges ensured the titlerace will go down to thevfinal week after beating Hougang United 3-1 on Wednesday evening, and are currently just oen point behind the Stags.

While DPMM enter next week's game against Balestier Khalsa with every chance of winning the league, especially with Tampines facing tough test against harimau Muda, the Croatian tactician insists even finishing second would be a tremendous achievement for them. 

"Right now, our target is to reach 51 points (DPMM are currently on 48)," he said after the game. "If Tampines slip us, we will be celebrating.

"If not, it still is history in the making for DPMM to finish second in the league.

"I'm very proud of what we've done overall, I'm very satisfied with the season."

The ex-Hajduk Split goalkeeper also admitted Wednesday's win over the Cheetahs had been a tough one, and is expecting a sililar game next week against Balestier.

"Like I expected, it was a tight game just like it had been in our last games against Geylang and Tanjomg Pagar," he added.

"Every game is a big game if you want to be at the top and now, I will not think about Hougang anymore. Now, I am only thinking about Balestier, who are a good side and will be tough to beat."

Hougang coach Nenad Bacina was upbeat despite the defeat, and believes his side more than matched their more-illustrious opponents.

"Playing against a good side like DPMM meant they didn't give us many chances," he said. " But I thought we defended well.

"We ended up conceding from two set-pieces and gave good resistance to our opponents."

Wednesday's defeat also meant the end of an impressive nine-game unbeaten run in the league for the Cheetahs, and the croat admits their good form had to come to an end sooner or later.

"We cannot expect to perform in every match," Bacina added."But generously, I'm happy with the performance.

"Of course, I cannot be happy with the result." 



Saturday, January 19
Toda promises his best for SAFFC

He is regarded as an icon. A marquee. A star.

But SAFFC signing Kazuyuki todahas firmly stressed he is not here to carry the team or even the S-League alone,nor does he wish to impose himself upon the Warriors colleagues.

Excited journalists were greeted with a video presentation featuring Toda, red-haired in his days as a Japanese international, before Warriors general manager Chong Wei Chang, who had a satisfied smile on his face, addressed the room.

"SAFFC are very excited and delighted to finally secure the services of Toda for this season,"declared Chong.

"We did not live up to expectations for the past few years and it is a top objective for us to become a strong title contender for this season. Hence we went all out to secure the signing of Toda.

"We would like to take the opportunity to thank the S-League for making this deal come true. Without their effort and funding, this would not have been possible. 

"All the officials and players have done their part in helping Toda to settle down here. I believe we have very much to look forward to and be excited for the coming season."

Chong was swift to add that the club had signed several top locals to strengthen their bid for the domestic double in 2013 including the Singapore international Sho Jiayi and promising forward Sufian Annuar, who had last played for the Malaysian Super League side Lions XII.

The main attraction nonetheless was Toda, whose professional career started in 1996 when he joined J-League side Shimizu S-Pulse.

Launched into international prominence when Japan hosted the World Cup in 2002, the midfielder subsequently enjoyed stints at English premier side Tottenham Hotspurand Dutch side Ado Den Haag, before returning to Japan in 2004.

He spent 2012 donning the colours of his hometown side Machida Zelvia,a second-tier outfit based in Tokyo,but decided would move abroad one more timefour years after a brief spell with Gyeongnam

"I received what I felt was a great offer from SAFFC when I was still contacted to Machida,"expalained Toda.

"I still have the confidence as a football player and I like the opportunity to challenge myself again in a new country.Thats why I decided to come to Singapore to join SAFFC."

"To be honest, I don't know very much about the S-League, apart from the involvement of Japanese players and Albirex Niigata.But having played in England and Holland before, I've learnt about adjusting myself to a foreign environment.I've no problem with that.

"Its true the weather here is different, but in Japan it can really get hot in the summer as well.It will take my body to get a while to it but I don't think I have to adjust my playing style too much to suit the weather."

Toda becomes the first big name signed under the revived "marquee player" scheme, which was put together late last year by S-League Chief Executive Officer Lim Chin in an effort to significantly raise the profile of the competition among local football watchers.

While other clubs- most notably reigning S-League champions Tampines Rovers and Bruneian side DPMM FC - have been linked with a number of world class faces,it is the RHB Singapore Cup holders who have closed the first actual deal.

Swiftly lauded by his new colleagues, coach Salvaraj quipped that"one look at the airport I knew he was a true professional.

"I am well aware of the fact that I will have responsibilities to fulfill in the S-League and there will be expectations from the crowd,"he remarked.

"But I am ready to have the crowd come and I am looking forward to perform well in the league

"I think it is quite impossible for me to let the team win all by myself,thoughfootball is a team sport.

"What I can promise that i will give my very best performanceshelp to rally with the rest of the team and to work as a team to get good results."

"It is true that I am experienced I am 35 yeard old,"quipped Toda.

"I can help to mould with the younger players using my experience but I don't want to push my beliefs onto any of the younger players and insist they learn from me.

Selvaraj concluded by saying:"Toda is an Asian, he knows the game well at the higher level and he has produced alot of effort and intensity even in training.Plus we have other Japanese players here with him who will give alot in terms of ball play and that wil suit him very well."

"For me, I strongly feel that he will adapt to the style and the level of intensity into the team." 



Monday, October 22
DPMM FC keep hopes alive.

DPMM FC kept their Singapore League title hopes alive after a 2-1 win over Woodlands Wellington FC last night.

Though Gantar Djafril put the hosts ahead in the 26th minute, goals from team top-scorer Shahrazen Said, who has netted 13 times this season, and captain Rosmin Khamis gave the visitors all three points at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore,leaving them four points adrift of leaders and defending champions Tmpines Rovers FC but with a game in hand.

Brunei's only professional club need to end their season ith two must-win games against Hougang FC on Wednesday and Balestier Khalsa on Nov 2 and then hope for a slip up from Tampines when they close heir campaign with a Nov 1 clash against Malaysia Under-23 national team Harimau Muda.

DPMM FC Vjeran Simunic didn't exactly have an easy time preparing for last night's game against Woodlands as 12 of his players were on national duty for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF)qualifiers in Myanmar, while Brazilian centreback Ricarte dos Santos is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. 

The Croatian knew that dropped points would see Tampines retain their crown,which is why last night's win was all the sweeter.

"We are proud because now we have made the competition interesting ... Tampines would have been championsif we didn't win," said Simunic after the match.

"I'm very satisfied with the three points as its not easy to mount a comeback.

"We won our last three heading into tonight's game so the three-week break for the AFF qualifiers didn't help us.

"Santos is out but veteran Pg Sallehuddin did well to control the backline ...He's really good for us right now," said Simunic of the 1999 Malaysia Cup winner.Croatain midfielder Ivan Jerkovic missed a fifth minute penalty, which Simunic said affested the team's morale.

"It was the first time in his life he missed and the team were a little down after that."

They fell behind after a counter-attack from the Rams, who were searching their third win of the season.

But Shahrazen who was once again proved why he is held in such high regard by the club's fans after heading home the equaliser after connecting with a Sirol Hj Sahari freekick three minutes from halftime.

Rosmin then put DPMM infront after a pass from Hj Subhi in the 69th minute.Shahrazen's goal pushed him to joint second in the scrong table alongside Geylang's Jozef Kapalan and SAF's Miroslav Karoglan.Home United's Frederic Mendy looks certain to end the season as  top-scorer after finding the back of the net 20 times. 



Thursday, October 25
S-League title race goes down to the wire

DPMM FC are potentially one win away from claiming their maiden Singapore LEague title after beating Hougang 3-1 lst nught.

Though they have put themselves in prime position to lift the trophy for the first time, and make it a double after winning the Singapore League Cup in August, they still trail defending champions Tampines Rovers by a point and must hope for a slip up for the Stags when they play their last game against Harimau Muda. 

A Tampines win will mean DPMM will end the season at second, an amazing achievement nonetheless considering the team have not played competitive football in two years and their target at the start of the season was only a Top-5 finish.

DPMM face Balestier Khalsa in their last game of the season next Friday in the club's biggest home games in years, and the team have already said they will be counting on strong support from their fans to spur them on.

Tampines were scheduled to play Harimau Muda on Thursday but it is understood both games will kick-off simultaneously on Friday.

Like last Sunday's 2-1 win over Woodlands, DPMM were trailing before being forced to mount a comeback, Jordan Webb putting in the 25th minute before Patrick Silva made it 2-1 seven minutes from the restart.

Ampuan Nurul Azami, who replaced the suspended Hj Subhi Abdilah, would go on to repay coach Vjeran Simunic's trust in him by getting into the scoresheet on the hour-mark for his first goal of the season.

Speaking to the Brunei Times after the match, captain Rosmin Khamis said he was not going to be happy if he returned to Brunei with anything less than three points.

"We deserved to win," he insisted.

"Everyone gave their best to win the matchand I'd would like to congratulate all of them," added the central midfielder.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof praised his teammates fighting spirit after the win, and like Rosmin, felt there could only be one winner on the night.'

"It was not an easy game but our players keep on running and never gave up ...  We deserved to win," said wardun.

Left back Sairol Sahari mirrored Wardun's comments and said he was hoping to see the Hassanal Bolkiah  Stadium filled to capacity next week.

"We played all out tonight,"agreed Sairol.

"We never stopped fighting even though Hougang were leading at first.

"I'm proud of the team and I hope the supporters will come ou in droves to watch us play because they are part of the team as well," he pointed out. 

 



Thursday, December 20
Shahrazen brace not enough for DPMM FC

A brace by Shahrazen Said was not enough to save DPMM FC.

Brunei's only professional club team slipped to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Aceh United yesterday in the semifinals of the Governor Aceh Trophy in Indonesia.

Mahdi Senegal opened the scoring and gave Aceh Utd the league in the 13th minute.

Shahrazen cancelled out the opening goal after he netted from the spot in the 36th minute.

It remained 1-1 at the break and it was only in the 78th minute that the hosts got back infront through Defri Rizky.

While DPMM were in search of an equaliser,Ismed Sofyan killed off all chances by netting a third for Aceh in the 90th minute.

Shahrazen found the back of the net once again in injury time but it proved too late for the Bruneian side

DPMM FC still have a chance to finish on the podium as they take on Selangor in the third-place play off on Saturday. 



Thursday, January 10
DPMM FC in top form for S-League kick-off

DPMM FC are in fine form ahead of the upcoming Singapore League set to kick-off next month.

Brunei's only professional team are back in full training with the return of the head coach on Monday.

They had their first training session with the coach on Tuesday at their home ground, at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.

The regular local players are in good shape and are looking ahead to have a successful season.

Their topriority is to better their finish in last year's edition of the competition where they were runners-up last season.

"We hope to be fully preparedtp to the level we want. After our outing in Aceh, there is still some work to be done," said Rosmin Khamis, the captain of the DPMM FC yesterday.

"The locals have been together for a while now so we have to work on playing alongside the imports," he added.

"It will be competitive and Singapore teams with naturalised players may have an advantage.We are looking forward to the challenge though and we are looking at the possibilites of new things from our new import players as well," continued Rosmin.

Striker Shahrazen Said is hoping that he would be able to keep up his from after finishing as the team's top-scorer in the league with 13 goals to his name.

"We had light training with assistant coach before coach arrived.We need to maintain our fitness and we did our usual runs under the assistant coach," said Shahrazen.

"I hope that I will be able to maintain my scoring form.But the ultimate aim for us this season is to be able to win the S-League. We were close last season and I hope I wil br able to gel quickly with the new imports as well,"he added.

Leftback Sairol Sahri feels that they are ready for the challenge and is looking ahead to improving ahead of the competition.

"It has been so far so good in training ever since returning from Aceh. We took a break until the new year but we weren't exactly relaxing as we know that we need to keep our fitness even without the presence of coach,"said Sairol.

"Now the coach is back we are looking at our usual training and we ever managed to have a friendly against Jerudong yesterday,: he added.

Asked for his expectations for this year, the 29-year old replied: "I hope that we can do better than last season.We are required to maintain our performance but it is going to be tough especially with each team now allowd to have five imports.

"Someof the Singapore teams have got naturalised players which makes them even stronger.None of them will take anything lightly," he added.

One more slot is left to be decided as the team have confirmed four imports so far with the signing of Croatian defender Dino Drpic,Portuguese striker Joao Victor De Carvalho Moreira,Guadeloupean midfielder Stephen Auvray and Brazilian defender Tales Ricarte Dos Santos. 



Sunday, October 14
Maltese deadliest striker coming to DPMM for tests.

DPMM FC will be bringing another top striker from Brazil. He is Edison Luiz Dos Santos.Edison won the Maltese League top-scorer award in which he netted 23 goals last season for Hibernians FC.

Edison Luis Dos Santos established himself as one of the deadliest strikers in the Maltese Premier  League last season.The 26-year old only spent one season in the top Maltese league and will be finding his place playing in one of the top clubs in Asia.



Friday, October 12
Top Club Invites Soto,Jlateh.

Two in-form players on the local scene James Soto Roberts and Dominic Jlateh have been invited for trial by Brunei top outfit DPMM FC.

Soto who is currently with the senior national team of Liberia as they brace themselves for what can be termed a daunting task against a desperate Super Eagles of Nigeria in the second leg, final roundmatch of the Afcon qualifier on October,13, 2012, along with local top flight top-scorer Dominic Jlateh, who stunned the form book by netting in 20 goals for modest club Fatu FC, an unprecented feat in the Liberian top flight, are expected to be in brunei late November for the trial.

According to information on the club's website, the duo are set to join two other players, the veteran Portuguese winger cum midfielder Luiz Boa Morte formerly of English Premiership clubs Arsenal, West Ham and Fulham and the hardworking Nigerian defender Kennedy Chinwo of Dolphins for the trials in Brunei.

Though they are from Brunei, the club, dPMM FC, plays in the top flight of Singapore where they currently lie at the second spot with 42 points in the 13 teams league.With just three matches to go, the club is frantically in the hunt to invite new players as means of strengthening them for the next season.

Though it is reported on the club's website that Boa Morte will eb moving to the club on trial, the veteran recently signed with English side Chesterfield, and what will be the arrangement leading him to the Asian club remains unknown.

But Jlateh, who is the son of ex-Liberian international Aloysius Jlateh of now disbanded Great Bame and the current LPRC Oilers pacey winger James Soto Roberts can take full advantage of such opportunity as in all fairness,Liberian players cannot really attract clubs in the glamorous of leagues due to the country's low rankong, football-wise, as well in the low state of the country's football programme which has continuously made the various national teams virtually lacklustre.

 



Sunday, September 30
Gallant fightback by DPMM FC

Super-sub Adi Said kept Brunei DPMM in the running for their first ever S-League crown after netting a 91st minute winner to condemn Home Utd to a 3-2 defeat at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium lastnight.

Home Utd took the lead, admittedly, against the run of play in the 14th minute, when a long ball forward from the back was met by Frederic Mendy who, with his back towards goal,looped a header over the advancing Wardun, much to the dismay of the home supporters.

When it comes to match officials, Brunei DPMM FC never seem to get a rub of the green having conceded two dubious penalties in the match against Gomabk Utd, so it perhaps came as no surprise when Abd Malek Bashir awarded the Protectors a penalty on the stroke of half time for an alleged foul on Frederic Mendy inside the box.

Captain Shia Jia Yi stepped up to take the spot kick, sending Wardun the wrong way and finding the bottom right hand to establish a two-goal advantage going into the break.

After losing Tales dos Santos to injury in the first half, Brunei DPMM fans feared the worst when skipper Rosmin Khamis was brought off at half time with a reported fever.

However the introduction of Helmi Zambin chnaged the dynamics of the game, and Brunei DPMM resorted to a Stoke City-esque style of playing, hooting the ball into the box,and hoping for the best.

The best is exactly what happened, as a cross from the right was met by the header of Shahrazen Said, whose effort was deflected high into the air by Masreszwan Masturi, over Lionel Lewis, falling under the bar just in time to cross the line for DPMM's opener in the 49th minute.

Patrick da Silva would find the back of the net just minutes later, after he connected with a Subhi Abdilah cross, nodding the ball goalwards, and with Lionel Lewis rooted to his line, the crowd erupted as the ball found the side-netting for DPMM's equaliser.

As the fourth official indicated seven minutes of injury time, it appeared if both sides were more than happy to settle for a draw and as Adi Said ran onto the pitch after replacing his brother, Shahrazen, in the 89th minute, the 22 year old could surely not have pictured what would happened just moments later.

An Azwan Salleh freekick from the right was sent in with venom, and what appeared to be a straight forward catch, was fumbled by Lionel Lewis, allowing Adi to snatch a shot on goal, which was instinctively blocked by Lewis.

However, the ball fell back to Adi's feet, who made no mistake with his second bite of the apple, rolling the ball through the legs of a Home Utd defender who had stationed himself on the line for what would turn out to be DPMM FC's winner.

A jubilant Vjeran Simunic could not control his emotions after witnessing his side finally got the better of Home Utd, having failed to beat them on three previous occasions in the league.

"Its nice to be the coach of Brunei DPMM FC team.It has made Brunei fans happy after the bitter loss to Indonesia,"exclaimed Simunic.

"Every player was the man of the match for me.At half time I said to my team that we can beat them 10-2, we are the better team. I think Home is no longer a bogey team for DPMM FC.DPMM is now the bogey team for every team in the league."

A deflated Protectors head coach Lee Lim Saeng was seemingly lost for words after Home United's shock defeat, but what he did make clear was that it eas defesive errors that cost his side the match.

"We were leading 2-0, and then one of our defenders got injured, and was out of the defensive line, so we conceded too easily. In the first ahld we did well, but in the second half, we couldn't put our opportunities into the net,"bemoaned Lee.

"What can I do? That is football."



Saturday, September 29
DPMM FC can't relax, says Simunic.

Head coach Vjeran Simunic insists DPMM FC cannot afford a lapse in concentration when they meet Home United tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15pm.

I expect my players to play smart and not to lose focus when they play against Home United tomorrow.They're one of the stringest teams in the league and it is always difficult to play against them.But we always trust ourselves that we can always get the three points,"said Simunic.

Having won the Singapore League Cup last August by beating Geylsng as they became the first team to claim the trophy for the second time, the Croatian has set sight on winning the double by winning the S-League title this season.

"We are aining for the double this season.We won the Singapore League Cup in August and we still have chance to win the title.We were dissapointed that we did not have the chance to challenge for the S-League title after winning the Singapore League Cup two years ago because of the the FIFA suspension."

On current form, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that DPMM FC could actually win the league with their league season now back on track after winning their last two matches against Tanjong Pagar and Young Lions.

"I am sure the that the football fans are not happy following the Brunei National team defeat in the friendly match agaianst Indonesia. But I really hope that they will come for the game in full force, filling the stadium cheering DPMM FC."

"It is going to be one of the toughest games in the S-League for us. The referees for the past two games have made tmistakes and horrible decisions against us.We expect a good ferereeing tomorrow," the DPMM FC head coach said.

Tales Ricarte dos Santos is expected to start and featring in DPMM win over Tanjong Pagar last Sunday.Ivan Jerkovic has won the trust of the DPMM supporters after getting the name on the scoresheet in the past two games.Patrick da Silva recent form has significantly improved.Youngster Adi Said,Hendra Azam and Najib Tarif have shown rich promise in DPMM FC.

"Santos is back, he is in good shape now.He played against Tanjong Pagar last week.Sairol and Salleh will also be available for the game tomorrow."The line-up will going to be similar to lastweek's game against Tanjong Pagar. We got strong players on the bench like Adi and Helmi," added Simunic.

At the same time Shahrazen has taken his coring tally to 11 goals in the league while Azwan Salleh has gradually become one of the key players in DPMM title race this year. DPMM FC are now in the league with 39 points and they can move to second place if they beat Home United tonight.



Friday, September 14
DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic 'proud' of his team's victory.

"Today, we took three points against my favourite team, Young Lions.Benjamin Lee.El-Masri,Camara- they are excellent players.Young Lions are an excellent team.I have watched them many times, I have studied how they play; I am very proud today to win," he said.

The Croatian admitted that his side switched off to allowed the Young Lions to score, bu maintained he had faith his players' ability to turn things around.

"When you play against a strong team like Young Lions, you must accept that you wil concede.One time a player does not keep an eye on another player, you will be punished, and Benjamin score.

He continued,"They score, they had some chances .But I think in the last minutes, we dominated.We decided to go for 3 points, and we did that."

Simunic also hailed the efforts of defenders Pg Sallehuddin and Tales dos Santos, who have been soldiering on despite injuries.

"I am very happy for many of my players like Pg Sallehuddin who played after a long absence,(due to) an operation on his knee.I must say 'thank you'to Santos, because the doctor sais to him that he couldn't play for six weeks,but he played today."

He insisted that he was already focusing on his team's next match against Tanjing Pagar, as he brusged off talks about the league title.

"My mind is on tanjing Pagar.I respect them very much."

His counterpart,Robin Chitrakar, thought that his players did well despite the 'disappointment' loss.

"I thought we competed with DPMM very well;you can see from our teamsheet that we are really a young team, but we gave them a reall a good run for their money. I thought we competed well, even though we lost 3-1."

The Young Lions coach blamed the goals conceded on inexperience and lapses on concentration, and also tried to play down the red card shown to Shafiq Ghani.

"He was trying to go for the ball, but he got his timing all wrong." 



Thursday, November 1
Shahrazen: Winning the S-League is the true goal.

Shahrazen Said can end the Singapore League season second in the goal-scoring charts but the striker insists it won't mean a thing unless DPMM FC beat Tampines Rovers FC for the title in tomorrow's season0ender.

The country's only professional club is gearing up for its biggest match in history, facing Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tomorrow night in a must-win match if they are to lift the S-League trophy for the first time.

Defending champions and league leaders Tampines take on Harimau Muda at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the night's other game, and a slip-up from the Stags - combined with a DPMM win - will see the S-League trophy travel across the South China Sea.

Shahrazen is currently third with 13 goals, with Geylang's Jozef Kaplan and Miroslav Karoglan both on 14 and Home Utd'd Frederic Mendy leading the table with 20.

Mendy has the chance to add to his tally when Home take on the Young Lions tonight in the final game for the both sides.Kaplan and Karoglan also face off tonight in the last match of the season for both Geylang and SAF, where goals from either player will make Shahrazen's task all the more harder.

DPMM FC's striker though, stressed that he has other matters on his mind.

"I'm not really thinking about it," said Shahrazen last week when asked about what he felt about his goal-tally.

"The most important thing is that we beat Balestier and Tampines drop points...For me anything more than that is just good luck.

"I'm just doing my job as a striker ...If I have the chance to score, I take it.

"Finishing second in the table is just a bonus for me.

"I never expected to score 13 goals...If you had asked me at the start of the season,I didn't even think I would score 10.

"I scored nine goals in the last time we were in the S-League, and two of them were in the Singapore Cup," added Shahrazen

Though the 26 year old only netted once during DPMM FC'srun to the Singapore League crown in August, he couldn't have picked a better time than the final against Geylang, scoring the 36th minute opener before Azwan Salleh's 76th minute free-kick won the game.

The striker in the midst of a drought leading up to the August 11 final against Geylang, his last goal coming on May 5 when he bagged a brace in the 5-1 win against Hougang.

He hasn't had any problems findong the back of the net since then though, going on to score five goals in the team's seven league games leading up for tomorrow's title-decider.

Though he might lack the speed which was so vital to his rivh vein in form during the 2006/7MSL campaign, the striker remains just as clinical in front of goal and his ability to carve out space continues to mark him out as DPMM FC's most potent threat. 



Thursday, September 13
DPMM FC hungry for a victory.

DPMM FC will be looking for their first win in three league games when they take on the Young Lions tonight.

Currently third in the league with 33 points, DPMM FC trail leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers by six points and are four points behind second-placed Albirex Niigata.

Having led the -League for several weeks during the first round, their second round form has not been as agreeable - they have taken only four out of possible 18 points since the second round kicked off on June 15.

With the season slowly drawing to a close - there are only 6 matches left - Vjeran Simunic knows his men will have to maintain their focus over the next two months, especially with Harimau Muda, Home Utd and Balestier Khalsa all breathing down their necks.

"We want to take it game by game and hope for the best," said the DPMM FC coach.

"The Young Lions are a strong side with four good imports - defender Sirina Camara, left winger Sherif El-Masri, right winger Benjamin Kristofferson Lee and striker Jonathan Toto.

"The games between us have always been tough.They respect us like the national team and we feel the same way about them," added the Croatian.

The mutual respect is only natural.

After all, both camps will still remember that DPMM FC started out their debut league campaign in 2009 with a gritty 1-1 draw against the Young Lions- striker Abu Bakar Mahari the hero after coming up with a last minute equaliser.

The last time the two teams also provided more dying-minute drama, with Azwan Salleh's stunning long range injury time free-kick earning 1-0 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in berakas in april.

The midfielder, however, will not feature tonight after aggravating a knee injury during the 1-1 stalemate with Gombak on Aug 31.

"Azwan is a key player," admitted Simunic, who will field Helmi Zambin in his place.

"Salleh and Tales Ricarte were injured but they might be able to play.I'll have to see on the day.

"Captain Rosmin Khamis is also with us but he has a knock and hasn't trained.

"They are all recovering but they all want to play," he added.

Simunic can take some heart in the fact that Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru is back from suspension and midfielders Md Najib Tarif and Md Hendra Azam have been released by the national team. who are currently in Malaysia for a series of friendlies ahead of next month's ASEAN Football Federation _AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Myanmar. 



Friday, August 31
Injury-hit DPMM FC set for Gombak.

Injury to Brazilian centre-back Tales Ricarte dos Santos and suspended Ghanaian striker Osman Basiru will make for a changed starting-lineup when DPMM FC take on Gombak United tonight.

Add in the fact that veteran defender Pg Sallehuddin is still nursing a knock, and it would seem that Vjeran Simunic has his hands tied.

Not so.

I will start midfielder Hendra Azam and Adi Said, and put Rosmin Khamis as libero,"said the DPMM FC coach yesterday.

"It'll be a big test for the local players and I am sure they can do it.

"We put Helmi Zambin and Adi in the second half against Harimau Muda and they changed the game.We attacked Muda, pushed Mudaand were excellent from the 45th minute to 87th minute," he pointed out.

Though a disjointed DPMM FC manage to carve chances when they met the Under-23 team on Sunday, their failure to put them away ultimately cost them and they lost 2-1 in a 87th minute scramble.

Dos Santos' substitution for what looked to be a knee injury seven minutes earlier played a povotal part in the goal, as both coaches admitted after the match.

Simunic doesn't think the pair of home losses have affected the player confidence.

With the team third in the league and seven points adrift of Tampines Rovers, who beat Home United 2-0 last night, there is still time to make a charge in the table with seven games left in the season and DPMM enjoying a game in hand over their rivals.

"We won the Singapore Cup recently and had a break for Hari Raya...so it was not the best time for us to meet Harimau Muda," said the Croatian.

"The players still feel they can challenge the top teams,but we need a win to get back on our way."

"Gombak are a tough team to play and they have experienced players in their mid to late 20's, sais Simunic, who picked out Singaporean defender Gabriel Aikhena, and winger Mustaqim Manzur as Gombak's biggest threats.

Though the Gombak hot seat is the first in the league for K.Balagumaran, the coach is no stranger to the S-League having spent the past year ahead of youth development at Tampines.

"I've worked with many players at the youth level so I know these players and they know my football philidophy," he said yesterday.

"Ilike to build from the back, keep possession, and I don't encourage long balls.Our only problem is don't have any good finisher, a goal poacher.

"We've been playing attractive football but without results," noted Balagumaran, whose team sits 10th.

Recalling the 3-0 loss the last time the two teams met, the coach also highlighted a solid defense will be just as important as good finishing.And though he was aware of DPMM FC's recent home slump, Balagumaran felt that three in a row might be too much to ask. 



Monday, August 27
Harimau Muda too good for DPMM FC.

Outclasses and outplayed, DPMM FC Fell to their second straight home defeat last night when they lost 2-1 to a slick and suave Harimau Muda side.

The game marked DPMM FC's first match since they captured the Singapore League Cup for the second time on August 11 but it was the Malaysian Under-23s who were riding a wave of confidence, dominating their hosts with their captivating one-touch passing and intelligent off-the-ball movement.

Though the game was dubbed DPMM FC's "Hari Raya Open House", their midfield simply failed to show up and entertain their guests at the hassanal Bolkiah Stadium, and unable to keep possession or string any numbers of passes together, equally nept at moving the ball forward or linking up on the offense when it mattered the most.

Denied time and space, DPMM FC's poor marking and positioning also made it an uncharacteristic performance from brunei's only professional side - who at least can be lucky that they have Friday's Gombak game on friday to make amends for their mistakes.

With their main rivalsall dropping points last week, DPMM FC who remain third on the table-will be gutted to have been unble to capitalise on their opponents slip-up.

The impressive Wan Zack haikal gave the visitors a deserved 26th minute lead after shooting from a tight angle and beating Wardun at his near post, and though Shahrazen would even the scored seconds after the restart when latching onto an Ivan Jerkovic pass, DPMM were unable to sustain the kind of attacking momentum they are capable of.

Towering centre back Tales Ricarte dos Santos was forced to leave the game in the 80th minute after an injury and his presence ws sorely missed when Wan Zaharulnizam powered home a 87th minute winner after some static defending inside  the box. 

"We deserved a draw with the chances we created," claimed DPMM FC coach,Vjeran Simunic.

"Maybe it was because of Hari Raya ... Open houses ... But Harimau Muda are an excellent team.They were fresh, they were hungry.They can be champions," noted the Croatian grimly.

His counterpart was nderstandably happier.

"We lost our last two games so its good to have three points back," said Ong Kim Swee.

"We showed our calibre today despite not having some key players.I'd win the league if I had all my players fit," said the coach, who agreed that dos Santos' injury contributed to the win.

Setting the tone for the rest of the tie, Wardun has to coome off his line to clear a threat from D.Saarvindran after just a minute.

Wan Zaharulnizam hit the side-netting in the seventh minute and DPMM's Azwan Salleh's free-kick was easily saved by Izham Tarmizi, the goalkeeper effectively dealing with any crosses and corners throughout the game.

Though the hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure after the 15-minute mark, a throughball to Wan Zaclk who was creating all sorts of trouble on the right flank - saw the unmarked midfielder rifle home a shot pass Wardun.

Simunic had seen enough and threw on Shahrazen's brother Adi for Osmanb Basiru - who was already on a yellow card.

DPMM FC skipper Rosmin Khamis shot straight at Izham in the 43rd minute and dos Santos's header which hit the side netting tow minutes later was all the DPMM fans had to savour at first half highlights.

They were still finding the sits when Shahrazen netted straight after the kick-off,Jerkovic laying off a long-ball to the striker for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Making his home debut, striker Patrick da Silva's best chance came off a 51st minute header from an Adi cross - though the crows was more animated when Shahrazen produced a diving save from Izham after stealing the ball off Wan zack pulling the trigger theten minutes later.

More slick passing opened space for substitute Thamil Arasu in the 65th minute, and though his shot was wide off the left post, it proved that Harimau Muda could strike anytime.

Hj Subhi was through on gaol in the 71st minute but took one touch too many, with da Silva shooting straight at izham six minutes later.

They were made to pay when Wan Zack beat his marker on the right, put in a cross which was made by Sahul Azwari, who then moved along to Wan Zaharulnizam- who would not miss from hardly two yards out, with the referee dismissing accusations of off-side.

Though da Silva had a 89th minute free-kick which Izham saved at the top-right corner, and Shahrazen came close to scoring from inside the box but had his shot stopped before colliding with the glovesman, a draw would have been too big a Hari Raya gift to ask. 

 



Sunday, August 26
DPMM FC out to tame Harimau Muda

Vjeran Simunic knows that a win against Harimau Muda at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium tonight will see DPMM FC close the gap on the S-League leaders Albirex Niigata to just two points with only seven games left to play.

"If we win this game, it is going to be a big motivation for us to win the league.Albirex Niigata were held to a goaless draw by Home United.Tampines were held to a 1-1 draw.This is good news for us but we need to win against Harimau Muda,"said the DPMM FC coach.

"The players are in full confidence after winning the Singapore League Cup.They are hungry for more football and we have made some preparations before the game.This is a very big game and it is going to be a very big test for usand I am expecting twenty-thousand people coming for the game tomorrow,"said Simunic.

"Harimau Muda is one of the strongest team in the league. They are hungry to play and it is going to be tough.All their players are coming back from injuries and they will have their full squad now," added the Croatian.

With their last win coming all the way back on July 13th against Tanjong Pagar,Harimau Muda coach Ong Kim Swee is keen to get a win but he is well aware of the threats his opponents can pose.

"We are not settling for a draw and I am sure DPMM FC will go out to win.But I know it won't be easy for us and more over it is always difficult to play in Brunei especially with their supporters behind them.They just won the Singapore League Cup recently and I am sure the players are highly motivated now,"he said.

"I just got all my players back from Hari Raya celebrations and we only had few days of training.I hope the players will be able to maintain their focus, discipline and be positive in the game," he added. 



Friday, October 26
Bringing football fever back

It was as if football had never left Brunei.

Despite Brunei serving a two year ban by FIFA from international football, DPMM FC find themselves neck and neck with Tampines Rovers in the race for the S-LEague title.

The Football Association Brunei Darusslam was deregistered from the Registrar of Societies in November,2008 for failing to submit its activity and financial reports as requested. 

It was then suspended by FIFA for government interference during its executive commitee meeting in September,2009.

The ban was lifted on May,30th 2011 thanks to the normalisation committee, which was chaird by HRH Prince Hj Sufri, who is now the Honourary President of the new Association,National Football association of Brunei Darussalam.

Defending champions Tampines currently lead the Bruneian side by one point with both teams have a fianl game to play.

Both teams will take to the field on Friday with DPMM taking on Balestier Khalsa while the Stage play Harimau Muda.

A win alone will ot be enough for DPMM to hoist the trophy, they will be praying for Tampines to slip-up.

A Tampines win will mean DPMM end the season at second, an impressive feat for a squad that have been missing from professional football in two years.

But DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic has set eyes on victory in their final match of the season at home.

"In the last 23 games, we were never relaxed.We played 200% in every game," said Simunic.

He attributed Wednesday's 3-1 win over Hougang as one of the most crucial.

"The win makes us concentrate more ans we must not lose our confidence," said the head coach.

"Hougang was a wonderful team...we were under a lot of pressure but we showed why we are one of the best teams in the region,"he said.

But the coach knows the fate of his team lies in the hands of under-powered Harimau Muda, currentl missing a number of players called up for national duty.

"Tampines have really god players and if harimau Muda does not play their full team... the match between these 2 clubs wil be a 50-50," said Simunic.

The Croatian added that even if they were to finish the season as runner-ups, it would be a fantastic result for the team whose target was to secire a Top-5 finsih.

Simunic also used the opportunity to call out all Bruneian fans to provide their full support for the club come Friday.

"For this last game, I expect at least 30,000 or more people to come and support the team," he said. 



Monday, August 13
Simunic fulfils promise

Fulfilling his pledge to help DPMM FC relieve their past glory, Vjeran Simunic returned to brunei yesterday with a profound sense of accomplishment knowing that he has kept his word.

Simunic, who is in his second spell at the club, cemented his reputation as DPMM FC's greatest coach after overseeing their 2-0 win over Geylang United in the S-LEague Cup final on Saturday as they became the first team to claim the trophy for the second time. 

If the 2009mSingapore League Cup victory was the highlight of his first stint at the club, their sunsequent from the S-League months later as a result of FIFA's now-lifted suspension on the Sultanate was certainly the lowest point of his 17 months in charge.

The Croatian was forced to return home for another coaching job after DPMM's league adventure came to a premature halt in 2009, going on to Vietnam a year later. 

It was during a holiday back in Brunei last July that he insisted the team could still challenge for trophies, and now he has proved himself right.

"Nobody in the world can can do what we have done," announced the effervescent Simunic afrer leading the team out at the Brunei International Airport's arrival hall.

"We haven't been playing for three years and go back into the S-League...It is a trong league with many foreign players,sometimes seven or eight per team.

"But we have always played with a lot of Bruneiansso this win is something that the whole country can be proud of.We have fantastic talent.

"I promised when I first came back from Vietnam we would bring glory to the team once again!Like I said then my aim was to bring the team back to the level that we were in 2009

"I'm happy I was able to deliver on my promise of one trophy this season  ... The players, the fans, the management...We all deserve this.

"The League Cup is like a small S-League, and for me,I value this trophy just like the S-League.Now we'll hoping to win that too.

"Iy wasn't easy but we can see now that all our sacrifices over the oast 11 months have paid off.

"I want to thank the Crown Prince and the management for trusting in us and the coaching staff," he added.

Noy only as he promised the club-and himself - that he would win another trophy, the veteran coach has made another vow, this one to his players.

"Never in my whole life have I been without a moustache and I promised the players I would shave it off if we won the League Cup, so I'm going to do it later," he smiled. 

"A moustache ... I can grow it back in a month .But a trophy ...

"What happens if we win the S-League? I might go bald!" he laughed. 

Compared to the response the tam got upon their return in 2009, yesterday's was decidedly quiet - with the welcoming crowd made up of mostly family members and few curious onlookers. 

But in an airport reverbing with the sounds of hadrahs, Simunic didn't mind that the mob greeting him was a lot less crazier than three years ago.

With their S-LEague season back on track after a slow start to the second round - they dropped from first to third after losing all three opening games and scoring only one goal- Simunic believes their Singapore LEague Cup success is just the remedy the club needs to regain their mojo.

"The first time is always the best," he said when asked what he though of the relatively muted reception when compared in 2009.

"Now we have a better atmosphere for the S-LEague ... and I expect to see 100,000 people at our next home game," he grinned.

The Harimau Muda tie promises to be a must-watch considering the physical encounter which played out the only time they met on March,22nd.The 1-1 draw was the first time that the Malaysian surrendered their clean sheet in the league but was more remembered for Simunic being sent to the stands in the dying minutes.

But all thoughts of that game were forgotten yesterday, with the Singapore LEague Cup win the only thing on his mind.

It has been a long road to the final, and though he has had to make numerous sacrificesas the coach of the country's most notable club, the Croatian insists it has been worth it.

"You know, yesterday(Saturday) was my mother's 87th birthday, and there was a big party. Everyone was there except for me," he sighed.

"She called me and told me to make sure to give her something to remember.

"I still haven't seen my new-born grandchild...But those are the kind of sacrifices I have to make in this job. The players trust me,and for me, that means more than money." 



Monday, September 24
DPMM FC climb to second place afrer win.

As Ivan Jerkovic brace inspired DPMM FC shift to second in the S-League after a 3-0 win over Tanjong Pagar FC last night.

The team's top-scorer Shahrazen Said netted his 11th goal of the season in the 65th minute at the Queenstown Stadium before the Croatian netted a quick-fire brace in the 79th and 82nd minute.

Trailing league leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers - who were held against Gombak on Saturday night - by seven points, the title is still mathematically possible for the League Cup champions- who have four more games left to play.

The Croatian felt his team's training has been disrupted by the release of 12 players for the national team for the next month's ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki cup qualifiers in Myanmar, making the win even more sweeter.

"I think it is one of the hardest game in six months," insisted Simunic.

"Tanjong Pagar played a fantastic game, just like the one in Brunei.

"They were very motivated and very good.They gave 200% but we gave 300%.

"It was very big fight and I'm very proud of the team.

"We won our last two games so now we're in good form ahead of our next game against Home Unites," he added.

DPMM FC face Home Utd on Sunday - the last league match until the competition takes a break for the ASEAN Football Federation(AFF)Suzuki cup qualifiers in Myanmar. 

 



Sunday, August 12
DPMM are the champs

DPMM FC recorded a clinical 2-0 win over geylang United on Saturday to claim their second Singapore League Cup title.

In a game the Eagles dominated but failed to convert their chances, the Bruneian outfit outfit took the lead in the 36th minute when Shahrazen Said glanced a perfect header into the far corner, before Azwan Salleh wrapped up the win 14 minutes from time with a exquisite freekick.

The match also marked an unfortunate end to ammagical run from Geylang,  the Great eastern YEO's league's bottom side, who alsohad several refereeing decisions go against them.

Having seen his side continue their stunning run in the competition with a 2-0 win over champions Tampines Rovers on wednesday, Eagles coach V.Kanan made just one change to his starting X1 by bringing South Korean Mun Seung-Man for Nurhazwan Norasikin.

However, it was Geylang who created the first half-chance in the tenth minute when a missed header by Tales dos Santos allowed Jozef Kaplan to sneak in behind the defence, nut his ball back into the box was just beyond the reach of Mun and Michael King.

Three minutes later, it was DPMM's turn to threaten when Patrick found space inside the box after being picked out by a long ball over the top, but Ridhuan Barudin stood tall and kept out the Brazilian's effort from a tight angle. 

Despite being ten places behind their opponents in the league, the Eagles were actually looking the more dangerous of the two sides and DPMM keeper Wardun had to make a flying save in the 23rd minute after King whipped in a dangerous freekick that was glanced towards his own goal by Rosmin Kamis.

Five minutes later King looked to have broken the offside trap after being sent clear by a brilliant through-ball from Kaplan, only to be halted by the linesman's flag, although replays proved otherwise.

Another call then went against Geylang on the half-hour mark when referee Sukhbir /singh waved play on after Dos Santos claterred into the back os Shah Hirul insode the box, and they had even more reason to feel aggrieved as DPMM edged ahead after 6 minutes after.

Picking up possession just outside the area, Shahrazen played a neat ball out to the left to Azwan before making his way up to the six-yard box, when he met a resultant cross with a terrific glancing header that nestled inside the far corner.

A minute before the break,Kaplan wasted an excellent chance to equalise when he failed to keep his effort on target after Stefan Milojevic broke down the left and swung in a deep ball to the far post, before the Eagles had a benalty turned down three minutes into the second half after Mun Seungman fell under a dos Dantos challenge, and instead picked up a yellow card for his efforts.

By now DPMM were to deal with tremendous pressure from their opponents and they had the woodwork to thank for keeping their lead intact in the 52nd minute when Milojevic cut in from the right and curled a blime left-footed effort back off the cross-bar.

The French forward who had been impressive since moving to the Bedok stadium in mid-season, then tried his luck again in the 74th minute- this time from 26 yards= and was unlucky to see another excellent attempt just sail over the far corner.

Two minutes later,DPMM all but killed the contest when, against the runof play, they earned a freekick on the right flank,when Azwan went straight for goal and proceeded to send in a swerving shot that dipped just under the crossbar and in off the fsr post.

To geylang's credit, they refused to give in and both Kaplan and King cam close to pulling one back; he former failing to prod home a left-wing cross from eight yards, before the latter skied an attempt in a one-on-one situation with Wardun.

But despie their valiant efforts, there was no fairy tale ending for the eagles as it was the DPMM players who raised their hands triumphantly in the air as the final whistle went. 



Wednesday, August 8
DPMM FC book final berth.

Vjeran Simunic's men are now just one win away from being crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup.

The Bruneian side eliminated familiar foes Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)FC 2-0 in an epic semi-final battle lastnight at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM FC finally avenged their loss against the warriors after the latter handed DPMM FC their first home loss of the season at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

"It was a revenge. It feels very good to win against one of the top teams in Singapore.We lost to SAF twice before and we learnt from our mistakes and we played very well in the game," said Simunic.

"We are very happy with the winand this is a big result for Brunei Football.We are very happy to win for the big boss, the Crown Princeand for the football fans in the country," added the head coach.

"All of the playersare the men of the match tonight.All the playersfrom goalkeeper Wardun Yussof, at the goalpost to Osman Bashiru upfront, were fantastic tonight.They were excellent and they worked very hard."

DPMM FC started brightly when brazilian Tales dos Santos opened the scoring after connecting on a corner-kick from Azwan Salleh in the 10th minute.

SAFFC were doing much of the defending in the second half with DPMM holding on to the ball for much of the time but they were unable to create many clear-cut chances as the warriors did a great job of keeping the ball away from their goal.

The game was heading for a nervous final 10 minutes until the Said brothers worked their magic.

Shahrazen Said dribbled past two defenders just outside the box before sending the ball across for his younger brother Adi said who calmly slot the ball past goalie Sharil Jantan to seal the win in the 79th minute.

DPMM FC will face either Tampines or Geylang Utd in the final on Saturday, with the two teams facing off in the second semi-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium today. 



Tuesday, October 2
Dolphins' Kennedy Chinwo for trials in Brunei,Luis Boa Morte CONFIRMED coming

The former Junior international is set for trials with a club in Asia after so many years in the Nigerian League.

Former U-20 star Kennedy Chimezie Chinwo will undergo trials with Singapore Premier League side,DPMM in the coming days, an agent of the Nigerian has revealed.

Chinwo presently plays for Dolphins of Port Harcourt in the Nigerian Premier League but would become  a player of the Brunei club if he impresses during the test games that would be arranged for him.

The representative of the player, Hasan Egilmez told Goal.com that with the experience and quality possessed by Chinwo, he should not have any problem convincing DPMM officials of his readiness to be offered a contract.

He added that the stint Chinwo had at a time in Moldova has also given him an edge even before lacing his boots for the club.

"I am delighted to announce to you that Kennedy Chinwo will be going to Brunei to have a trial with DPMM a club in the Premier League division."

I don't have any doubt in my mind that Chinwo would convince  DPMM officials with his experience and quality having played in the Moldovan league," Egilmez, who is a Turkish German agent said.

Chinwo will be the second high profile Nigerian being linked with a move to DPMM after NPL highest goal scorr for 2011/2012 season, Sibi Gwar recently declared interest in a switch to the top ASEAN nation's club.

Former Fulham and West Ham player,Luis Boa Morte has agreed with the conditions offered and ready to come for tests in November.  

 



Saturday, November 10
S-League announce changes for 2013.

The 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S-League campaign will see the introduction of several new features, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have confirmed.

In a press conference at the association's headquarters at the Jalan Besar Stadium,S-League CEO Lim Chin revealed Singapore's topflight will only be contested by 12 teams next season, after Gombak Utd, who finished ninth this year, confirmed they will be pulling out for at least a year due to financial worries.

The teams will play one another one a home-and-away basis, as they did this year, but following those 22 matches,the table will be split into half, where the top six and bottom six will then play each another once more to decide the final standings.

This has raised the possibility of the seventh-placed team ending the two-and-a-half rounds of fixtures with more points than the sixth-placed team, but still be consigned to a bottom-half finish.

S-League clubs will now be allowed to sign five foreign players, including a "star player" similar to the marquee player rule that exists in the Major League Soccer in the United States, as well as Australia's Hyundai A-League.

In addition, the S-League have declared they will be providing clubs who manage a famous name as their "star player" with financial support in terms of wages.

The beep test, the league's mandatory fitness test that all outfield players were required to pass,has now been replaced by a 2.4 km run. All players will need to pass the test to be eligible to play, although goalkeepers will have a different passing mark.

Finally, the FAS did announce the prize money for the 2-13 season has been raised. This year's champions Tampines Rovers picked up S$150,000 but their successors next year will stand to bag a S$250,000 paycheck. 



Thursday, August 9
Its DPMM FC vs Geylang in the final.

It has been three long years but Brunei's only professional club is once again back in the final of the Singapore League Cup.

DPMM FC, champions in 2009's edition of the tournament, will take to the field againsy Geylang United for the crown at 8.45pm on Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Geylang United defeated Tampines Rovers 2-0 in their semi-final last night.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic said that his players sre keeping a cool head ahead of their biggest match this year.

"The players are in a relaxed mood ahead of the final. They have been fantastic in their last two matches against SAFFC and Home United," said the coach.

"All players should be available for the final match except for Pg Salleh.We are not sure with the condition with Osman, we hope he can make it into the game,"he added.

The 23-year old Ghanain striker was stretched off and replaced by Helmi zambin in the game against SAFFC, following a challenge for a high ball with Daniel Bennett.

Facing Geylang United for the first time since their 3-1 victory last month, Simunic said he was encouraged by the recent form of his team, but was, at the same time, aware by the threat posed by Geylang.

"Defeating SAF was not easy, they are a very good team ,and now we are looking forward to the final.We beat Home Utd and we beat SAFFC and it was a good preparation ahead of the final," said Simunic.

"Geylang is a very different team now, they have new import players from Argentina and have a very young goalkeeper. It will be a very different game for us and it is going to be difficult.

" We will give evrything to win the game and hope the fans will come down to Singapore to support our team in the final," he added.

DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said meanwhile confessed that he had hoped to play Tampines Rovers in the final.

"We played Geylang before and they were very difficult to play against.They have a lot of good young players," said Shahrazen.

"People in Singapore are expecting Tampines to be in the final because of their reputation,profiles and all that...but it is not as simple as they think.

"Geylang's style of play are different from Tampines and in my opinion, they are more difficult to play against. But we are ready for this gameand the players are in a very good spirit after the win against SAFFC,"he added. 



Sunday, August 5
Simunic savours shootout success.

DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic was delighted after progressing to the semi-finals of the Singapore League Cup with a penalty shootut win over Home Utd on Saturday.

Indra Sahdan Daud gave Home the lead in the 48th minute but Brazilian defender Tales dos Santos equalised for the visitors in the 90th minute, and with no further goals in extra-time, the match then went to penalties.

And with the score 3-2 in DPMM's favour after misses by Home duo Kenji arai and Indra, Shahrazen stepped up and wrongfooted Lionel Lewis to send the Bruneian outfit through to a semi-final clash with SAFFC next Tuesday.

Speaking after the game, Simunic admitted e was pleased with his side's progress to the last four, especially given the opposition they were up against.

"I'm very happy we have qualified to the semifinals," the Croat said. "Especially becuase Home are a top team in terms of quality and personalities."

"We respect Home very much- Before tonight, we have played them 4 times and lost 4 times."

Being a former goalkeeper,Simunic was able to appreciate the saves Wardun Yussofmade to deny Arai and Indra in the shoot-out.

"I'm very happy with Wardun," he added. "e made some excellent saves."

And he admitted winning on penalties is always going to be down on luck, the DPMM boss insists they were a bit of good fortune.

"O course we were lucky today [Saturday]but before this, we've been very unlucky," simunic continued.

"In our last five games, we had no luck but today [Saturday] it favoured us.I felt the draw was a fair result and the penalty shootout is always going to be a a gamble.

Despite the dissapointment of bowing out of the competition they were expected to challenge for,Home United coach Lee Lim-saeng insisted he was not unhappy with the result or the performance of his players.

"I really appreciate the effortand passion all the players showed," the ex-Korea Republic international said.

"We had lots of chances bit could only score one.DPMM had only two chances but scored - this is football.

"Every player did their best and I want to thank them for their efforts.We just have to accept the result."

While the Protectors once again failed to record a clean sheet, the backline did show signs of improvement and Lee revealed the presence of goalkeeper Lionel Lewis, who was struggled with an ankle injury recently, was vital.

"Lionel came in and he really helped the defensive line," he added. "He is crucial in this aspect."

"The defence is slowly getting better but Lionel is definitely important for our organisation at the back."

 



Saturday, August 11
Can DPMM FC repeat S-League Cup success?

DPMM FC are looking to relieve the glory from three years ago at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

They wlll be going back to the very sane venue to take on Geylang United in the final of the Singapore Cup today.

Brunei's only professional club became the first foreign side to lift the trophy of the competition back in 2009.

 Hougang United won it last year for the Singapore team.

This year DPMM FC defeated familiar foes SAFFC 2-0 in their semifianal encounter on Tuesday while Geylang booked their berth after a 2-0 victory over Tampines Rovers a day after.

Despite Geylang United being at the basement of the 13-team table of the league,DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic believes that the game can go either way.

"It will be a 50-50 matchup but it is a good opportunity for us to win," said Simunic in an interview yesterday.

"They(Geylang)are at the bottom of the table but this is a different competition.They showed that they could beat the top teams.They have scored four in a row and scored eight goals," he added.

Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru is expected to lace up for the final despite being stretchered offin the semi-finals.

"Osman is alright to play. He may not be 100 per cent but he has a big desire to be on the field. We will let him play and hopefully he will able to do well," said Simunic.

"We need him in a big game.But we will be missing Pg Sallehuddin after he picked up an injury in the quarter finals,"he added.

The Croatian also highlighted how both teams deserve to be in the final during a pre-match conference yesterday in Singapore.

"I think both teams deserve this moment to be in the final especially Geylang after four victories in a row.Even ourselves deserve to be in the final after we overplayed teams like Home and SAF," said Simunic.

"I think the final will be a very tough game and I hope that fans and people will enjoy the game. Gylang are a top-five team in the S-League.At the moment thay have changed lots of players and are now a nice team," he added.

"We must respect a team who won four games in 14 days and only conceded one goal.It is not easy to beat Balestier,Gombak,Albirex and tampnes all in a row," continued the Croatian.

Simunis also pointed out that it was his desire to play against Tampines instead of the in-form Geylang side, who have proven to be the best team in the competition thus far

The momentum is with the Eagles who haven't had the need to play into extra time nor go into penalties.

Eagles haed coach Kanan Vedhamuthu felt that the hard work is paying off since he took over the club in March.

"When I took over, we sstarted everything again,We worked very hard for the five months and all the hard work put in has paid off in League Cup," siad Kanan.

"This will be special for us because we are not doing well in the league.This is the only cup give some pride for the club,"he added.

"Geylang is one of the top club in the league.Being at the bottom of the table is not good.We want to do well in the Cup and we want to win tomorrow,"concluded Kanan.

The final kicks off at 8.45pm. 

 



Thursday, July 19
DPMM FC continue slide

DPMM FC slumped to their third straight league loss when they fell 2-0 to Albirex Niigata last night, with the tides definitely having turned for the Bruneians after leading the table for most of the cmapaign.

A brac from Yasuhiro Yamakoshi, who scored in the 33rd minute and 85th minute at the Jurong East Stadium, was enough to put the Japanese side to the top of the table-where they displace defending champions Tampines Rovers with their fifth win in a row.

Combined with Home Utd's 7-3 win against Geylang in last night other tie, the result means DPMM have now slipped to fourth with their fourth loss in the league.

The slump - which has concided with the departure of Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral late May -is all the more worrying considering they have only scored a goal in their last four games.

Teh recent run of form has been the worst Jjeran Simunic has seen his men go through during his two spells in charge of the club,and speaking after last night's loss, the Croatian was noticeably dejected.

"This is what we've been afraid of since this is tough schedule," said the coach referring to the past few games that the side has been forced to play against the traditional powerhouses of Singapore football.

"I expected a game like this.Now Albirex is on top and they can be the new champions.

"Captain rosmin Khamis was close to scoring an equaliser in the second half but the goalkeeper pulled off a fantastic save.It could have been  a draw bit we conceeded a second goal and when you loss 2-0 you can't say much.

"The only mistake we did in the first half ...it led to the goal.

"Wepushed like usual and attacked them in the second ...held them inside their box.But they went on a counter-attack and scored the second," he explained.

The match aslso marked the debut of brazilain striker Patrick da Silva who was signed on the S-League transfer deadline.

"I think he didn't play that bad but he needs more time to adapt," said Simunic.

They face geylang Utd next on Saturday, knowing full and well the team will still be reeling after lasy night's loss to Home Utd- who had French striker Frederic Mendy to thank after he scored a six-minute second half hat-trick. 



Thursday, August 2
SAF shot down DPMM

While DPMM FC's 2-0 loss to SAF FC hasn't exactly derailed their Singapore League Cup title hopes, last night's result has handed them tougher road to the final.

Champions in 2009 Brunei's only professional club have now lost their last two encounters against the eight time S-League Champions- though the first time the two teams met in February, DPMM FC came out 2-1 on top.

It was a different story when they met in the League cup though, Fazrul Nawaz giving the hosts a 29th minute lead at the Yishun and alif Shafaein's 90th minute striker securing the win.

Despite the significance of the match - DPMM beat SAF to clinch the 2009 edition on penalties, and more recently SAF handed DPMM their first home loss of the season-DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic felt the match had little bearing considering both teams had already qualified in the last eight.

Brunei's only professional club will now meet Home Utd in Saturday's quarter-finals after they beat Hougang 2-0 in last night's other match. 



Wednesday, August 1
DPMM brace for SAF shootout

Despite the history surrounding the tie, Vjeran Simunic insists DPMM aren't feeling the pressure ahead of their Singapore League clash against SAF FC tonight.

DPMM FC beat SAF 4-3 on penalties to lift the League Cup back in 2009, the victory- which was the first by any foreign team in the competition- their most memorable trophy to date. 

It is the Warriors who have been enjoying the bragging rights as of late though their 2-1 won over DPMM  on June 23 handing the hosts their first home loss of the season at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

But with Sunday's 1-0 win over fellow Group rivals Tanjong Pagar sealing their slot in the quarter-finals-where they will be joined by SAF who beat the same opponents 3-0 - Simunic doesn't feel tonight's match at the Yishun Stadium is worth fretting about.

"This game isn't going to decide which teams go through to the quarters, it will only decide which team is first and second," said the DPMM FC coach yesterday.

"But we ares till going to put a strong team out...and we still want to do our best," insisted the Croatian.

Whoever wins tonight will take on Group C's runners-up, either Home or Hougang- the two teams facing each other tonight as well.

The most successful team in Singapore football, eight team S-League champions,SAF have turned the corner after a slow start to the season's campaign, with Simunic admitting as much.

"As we saw against SAF, they are a much better than in the first round," he noted.

"But we will play a good game, a strong game," insisted the bench-boss.

Winning the midfield battle will be the key tonight, especially considering how DPMM FC were outclassed in the centre of the park during the 2-1 loss.

The team never really got their passing game going, and chances for strikers were few and far between-  the only bright note being Adi Said's first goal of the club.

Opting for long balls against SAF, it was a tactic which simply didn't work against an organised backline marshalled by Singapore international Daniel Bennett and Marin Vidosevic - who produced an impressive performance on his debut.

Last season's S-League top-scorer with 33 goals, Mislav Karoglan will also be one to watch out for tonight.

The quarter-finals on Saturday will be contested in a straight knock-out format, with all four ties set to be played on the same day. 

 



Wednesday, October 24
'There is no room for erre'

DPMM FC can't afford to lose tonight's S-League game against Hougang United if they are to stay in contention for their first league title.

The club trials defending champions Tampines Rovers by four points but have a game in hand and have top hope the Stags don't collect maximum points in their last game of the season against Harimau Muda next Thursday.

DPMM FC, the reigning League Cup champions, close out their campaign against Balestier Khalsa next Friday, but Simunic is not thinking that far ahead.

"This is one of our biggest games of the season for us," said the DPMM FC coach ahead of tonight's tie at the Hougang Stadium.

"I am very satisfied and proud that we are involved in the battle of the top spot ... We are the only club that can dethrone Tampines now.

"We need to win or draw/If we lose we cannnot be champions.

"If we win, we finish second.Even if we don't, we are sure to finish fourth - which is better than our target of a Top-5 finish at the start of the season," said the CRoatian.

Apart from Brazilian centreback Tales Ricarte dos Santos who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, midfielder Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir is also unavailable because of suspension after picking up his fourth yellow in his last game.

Ampuan Nurul Azmi Ampuan Hussin is set to replace Hj Subhi in starting line-up.

Six other players-wtriker Shahrazen Said, midfielders Ivan Jerkovic and Helmi zambin, defenders Sairol Sahriand goalkeeper Wardun Yussof- are walking a tight-rope as they are all on three yellow cards and one will rule them out of the season-ender against Balestier. 



Monday, July 30
Subhi tames the Jaguars

Hj Mohd Subhi's seventh minute strike was enough to put DPMM FC into the quarter finals of the Singapore League Cup after beating Tanjong Pagar 1-0 last night.

Handing the Jaguars their second loss of the tournament after after a 3-0 defeat to SAF FC on Thursday, last night's result means DPMM FC and SAF FC are into Saturday's last eight at the expense of Tanjong Pagar - who with two losses as many games will have to settle for the Plate Competition as one of the four bottom teams in the four groups.

Playing in the first match of the League Cup, Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic helped give DPMM a dream start after lashing n a dangerous free-kick into the box at the Queenstown Stadium.

Though Brazilian centreback Tales Dos Santos had his shot saved by the goalkeeper, right back Hj Subhi Abdilah was the quickest to react -giving the visitors a lead they would fight to hold on until the final whistle.

"It was a typical DPMM free-kick...but then drama until the end," said Vjeran Simunic after the game.

"We had three or four excellent chances to scoreafter that but we didn't. and we suffered as a result.

"Tanjong Pagar are hard to beat since they have many good foreign players Bayonne ...They call him Zlatan Ibrahimovic of te team.

"But I'm happy woth how we played now there is no pressure on us," added the Croatian.

DPMM take on SAF FC in their second Group A game on Wednesday, the match at the Yishun stadium deciding which team will top the group.

The group winners will take on Group C runners-up, either Home Utd or Hougang United -  the two teams set to face off on the same night. 

 



Sunday, July 29
Brunei take on Tanjong Pagar in the League Cup.

Brunei DPMM FC kick off their Singapore League Cup campaign tonight with a game against Tanjong Pagar Utd tonight at the Queenstown Stadium tonight.

DPMM FC are no strangers to the S-League Cup scene, having registered their last success by lifting the trophy back in 2009, after claiming the trophy back in 2009, and they will be hoping history plays in their favour when they meet the Warriors again in their group match few days time. 

Brazilain import, Patrick da Silva grabbed the headlines last week with his first two goals for the club since signing on the dotted line during the mid-season transfer window on Jun 29.

 Team Manager,Ali Hj Momin was perhaps the most relieved to see Brunei DPMM FC's summer addition finally rediscovers his goalscoring form during a pivotak part of the season where every goal will be every worth its weight in gold.

"Patrick is finally blending with the team.Last game he showed us how good he is, and that now gives us another option of scoring,"Ali Momin said of Da Silva

Equally as impressed was head coach Vjeran Simunic, who insisted that the striker had big boots to fill following the departureof compatriot,Rodrigo Grahl.

"He replaced Rodrigo, who is a very good player," remarked Simunic.

"We hope he can score more goalsand help our team with more games,"added the Croatian.

Asked whether the S-League Cupwould be a distraction from the club's wavering title hopes, Ali Mpmin responded by saying: "The S-League Cup is a good way for us to build confidence. After losing three straight games,our team morale was low, but last week's win has raised our confidence a bit."

DPMM FC has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the s-League campaign, and the addition of the Patrick nicknamed "Hulk" could be anymore beneficial, as healthy competition for a starting berth and hopefully bring out the best from the Merah Hitam.

"Every team needs at least five good strikers, and PAtrick is one of them.Adi must wait and will take his chance off the bench," commented Simunic. 



Saturday, September 1
Down but surely not out.

Two penalties, one red card, and a whole lot of emotion - at the end of the night, all it made was one miserable point for DMM FC.

Ten men DPMM were made to work for last night's draw with Gombak United, the result, a bitter pill for Vjeran Simunic's men to swallow after Shahrulrizal Rahman was sent to the showers in the 54th minute by referee W.Ravisanthiran who only after consulting the linesmen and a fourth official, felt the right back deserved a straight red after bringing dow, Julien Durand and preventing the scoring opportunity, which onyl video replays will confirm at the edge of the box inside.

Despite left back SairoSahri also backtraining after captain and makeshift libero Rosmin Khamis lost the ball in midfield, and like Sahrulrizal, was involved in stopping Durand- meaning the right back was not the last man - did not matter to the Singaporean ref.

The Hassanal Bolkaih Stadium rose as onw when Wardun saved Mustaqin Manzur's penalty but might have been to much to ask from the goalie to save the second.

Rosmin brought down Ahmad Suhaimi in the 80th minute, the substitute perhaps reacting too dramatically to contact - though ravisanthiran didn't hesitate to pointing to the spot this time.

Gombak's team captain Gabriel Aikhena confidently stepped up to convert the visitor's second penalty, shooting low and to the right as Wardun dived to the same left.

The penalty cancelled out a superb 48th minute opener from Shahrazen Said, the striker netting his 10th goal of the season after a pass from Ivan Jerkovic and letting rip from outside the box - with Gombak goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam unable to prevent the shot from nestling in the top left cormer.

The draw mans that DPMM now have a dismal record of one win, 1 draw and 4 losses to show from their last 6 games, the poor point tally coinciding with their first match of the second round, a 1-0 loss to Tampines.

The draw also left DPMM coach Simunic fuming at the opposition bench at the final whistle, shouting at the members of the Gombak bench and declaring that the resulat was tainted.

"My players are heros!," he declaredafter he had settled down.

"All my players deserved an excellent mark.

Wardun saved the first penalty and I am soory he didn't saved the second.

Maybe now we have lost the chance for a double but we are still alive.Football in Brunei will never die!

"We played with only two imports against a team with plenty of imports ... Agian, we were very unlucky with the decisions," conceded the Croatian, though Md Hendra Azam  certainly made his mark in the midfield and Shahrazen's brother,Adi was a threat throughout.

Simunic would later go on to congratulate his counterpart K.Balagumaran at the tunel, shaking his hand, sarcastically retorted that they were a team capable of a Top-5 finish.

"I think the way the game went, we deserved at least a point," admitted Balagumaran.

"From my angle, I thought they were both penalties...But there are always plus and munuses for everybody makes mistakes," he added.

DPMM midfielder Azwan Salleh cleard a Durand shot off the line in the 14th minute, and just seconds later the Frechman would shhot over the bar,

Relying too heavily on long balls forwaed, DPMM didn't link up well on the attack - especially wiith a well organised defence marshalled by aikhena.

Gombak, on the other hand, defended stoutly in the half and looked to play on the counter and released Durand whenever possible.

Adi had two chances before the half, as did Jerkovic and Hendra.

DPMM FC remained composed despite Shahrurizal's dismissal, with Gombak failing to pressure the hosts after they were down to 10 men and happy tolimit themselves to pots from long-range.

Ahmed came close to grabbing a winner for the visitors in the 84th minute and at the other end, Jerkovic mistimed a 90th minute volley before Durand had a tame effort saved.

 



Sunday, July 22
DPMM back on track

DPMM FC snapped a three-game losing streak and finally got back to winning ways.

The Sultanate's only professional club defeated basement dwellers Geylang Utd 3-1 in the league last night at the Bedok Stadium.

In their first win in over two months, new signing brazilian forward Patrick da Silva notched a brace in what was his second appearance for the team.

It was a setback for DPMM before the start as hitman Shahrazen Said picked up an injury during warm up.His younger brother took over his place in the starting line-up.

Veteran Og Sallehuddin was given the role as captain with the absence of Rosmin Khamis who picked up his fourth yellow in the previous match.

It was Brunei who first struck via defener tales Ricarte dos Santos in the 30th minute.

With Adi Said and Hj Md Subhi wreaking havoc in the defence at the near post during DPMM FC corner, Dos Santos was left free to shoot.

His first attempt was blocked was blocked by Geylang goalkeepr Md Yazid but he made not mistake in the rebound.

After making his little impact in his debut last wednesday against the Tampines,Da Silva netted his first goal in the 51st minute.

He then gave DPMM a three goal cushion after finding the back of the net in the 53rd minute, in similar fashion to his first goal which started out from midfield.

Geylang managed to pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 80th minute.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic was relieved that they manage to notch all three points since they are eyeing a top-five finish by the end of the season.

"It was a long time since we tested victory and we knew how important this game is.We would be in troubel if we lost,"said Simunic in an interview yesterday.

"Everyone played their role and did well.The two strikers (Osman and ds Sailva) worked together really well tonight. Geylang had nothing to lose and made it a tight battle," he said.

"We are finally in a good mood again and we are ready for the big battle again till the end of the season," continued the Croatian. 

 



Sunday, August 19
DPMM FC join Sibi Gwar chase.

Turkey's Super Lig. team Samsunspor are the latest club keen to sign leading scorer in the Nigeria Premier League Sibi Gwar, his agent has disclosed.

The Niger Tornadoes striker has scored 16 goals for the season and his representative Bright Okafor told MTNFootball.com that Samsunspor are the latest team to show interest to sign the player.

He said," Sibi is the hottest striker in Nigeria now and many teams have shown interest in him. KAA Gent in Belgium as well as Brunei DPMM FC have shown interest in signing him.

"Sibi Gwar received an offer for trial from Bnei Yahuda of the Israeli Super League team and was to travel last week, but he turned down becuase he wants to represent Nigeria in the friendly against Niger Republic," revealed the confidant.

"This is the first time he is getting national team recognition so he does not want to miss it for anything. He believes it will increase his rating and can give him better deal if he had the chance to play for Eagles and do well."

"It is obvious Sibi won't play in Nigeria next season but his destination is not known yet."

DPMM FC are trying to invite him for tryouts around the end of November as for preparation for the next season. 



Saturday, July 21
DPMM FC desperately seeking a league victory.

DPMM FC take on bottom of the table Geylang United in the S-League tonight looking for their first win in two months.

Fans will have to go back to May 1o for the last time Brunei's most renowned football club were in the win column beating Balestier Khalsa 3-1 in the as the league's first round drew to a close.

But their fortunes have suffered since then, and losing all four of their competitive games and scoring only one during that period, the team find themselves in uncharted territory.

DPMM FC beat Geylang 4-1 the last time the two games met, with Tales Ricarte and Helmi Zambin opening their scoring for the club at the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium on March,16.

While they are usually in confidence mood heading into such an encounter, considering their recent run, tobight's match at the Bedok Stadium is hardly three points in the bag for DPMM FC.

"This is football, anything can happen," warned left back Sairol Sahari yesterday.

"We don't take any game lightly ...  We're always going out there to try our best.

"Even though they are at the bottom of the league ... they also want to try and beat us. 



Wednesday, July 18
Simunic keen to beat Albirex to top spot.

After back-to-back defeats caused them to lose top spot in the league, Bruneian outfit DPMM FC will be keen to claim it back quickly when they take on high-flying Albirex Niigata at Jurong East Stadium Wednesday evening.

Singaporean powerhouses Tampines Rovers and SAF were the two teams that did the damaga against the Bruneians, with their respective 1-0 and 2-1 victories against a side that, at one point, seemed invicible.

The defeat at the Warriors' hands was particularly hard to take, as it cam at the hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Brunei, where DPMM had been undefeated for almost three full years.

That match was played at the end of June, and although the bruneians kept their top ranking then, the complexion of the league has changed in little under a month.

Albirex snatched top spot from them last week, thanks to a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Woodlands,which was the White Swans fourth in a row.Kaichi Sugiyama's  charges are also on an unbeaten run in the league that stretches al the way back to the start of April. 

That run is now eight matches long as the newer Albirex players look to outdo their colleagues last year, who had led the club to the best league finish in their history.

With such a record, it is no wonder DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic acknowledged the quality Albirex have shwon.

The usually-loud Croat has even taken the unusual measure of trying a place as the underdogs heading into the match.

"I've always said that Albirex are a very good team and they will challenge for the title,"he claimed in an interview on the eve of the match.

"Before the start of the league,"'ve said it, and now they are holding top spot.They have now unbeaten in eight matches and have even beaten Tampines and SAFFC, who defeated us.

"It will be very difficult but we can try our best tomorrow,"

Still Simunic and his men can take heart,knowing they have already beaten the Japanese once this year, grabbing a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Grahl had apparently fallen with the club management but his departure has left Simunic lacking some much-needed bite in attack.

To make things a bit harder,powerfully-built defender Taled dos santos will be suspended for this tie after picking four yellows for the  season.

"Without Rodrigo we've lost two games," pointed out Simunic.

"I am daisppointed because we played well but just couldn't score against Tampines and SAF. We will also be without dos Santos so it will not be easy.

"We only have two foreigners, whikle other teams have more.It is not that i don't trust my local players,but they don't have much experience playing in the S-LEague."

Still despite their known abilities,Simunic persistently stuck by his public linethat he was not gunning for the championship.

"I am targeting for a top five finish,"he said.

"This year, the league is very good and there are many good teams contending for the championship.Even SAFFC can become champions!

"All teams can beat each other, and Ive always said DPMM will just challenge this year.We'll just fight every game."

Sugiyama, like his opposite number for the Wednesday's clash, declined to talk about the team's title chances, but unlike Simunic, who had alot to say about Albirex, the 40-yar old opted to avoid commenting on DPMM.

"For now, I want to think about my own team,"he toldsleague.com.

"while I am happy aboutthat we were able to go to the top of the table,I'm not thinking about that now.What is important is that we are at the top at the end.

"Till then,we need to play our good football and keep doing our best in every match.

"I am satisfied with the way the team's playing, but we can be much better and stronger."

That desire to keep getting better, even though they are performing so well, is waht keeps Albirex on their toes,and to get their fifth win in a row against one of the top teams would clearly send message about their intentions.

Making the summit of the table their own would also be the perfect way to head into the defence of their League Cup crown. 

Undoubtedly,this match will be a keenly-contested one, with Bruneians desperately hoping to avoid a third straight defeat, while Albirex look to do their fans proud by taking all three points against a much-heralded title rival. 



Wednesday, July 18
Make-or-break match for DPMM FC

DPMM's S-League match against Albirex Niigata tonight might just be the turning point to their season.

Not only they lost their last three competitive games, DPMM FC have scored only one goal during that period though Adi said's strike wasn't enough to prevent the team from surrendering their ubbeaten home record this season to SAF FC.

With nearly a month having passed since their home loss to the Warriors, the players knows that finding a way past the organised Japanese outfit at the Jurong East Stadium tonight will be a much-needed confodence booster - especially since they have another away game to geylang United this Saturday.

The team's top-scorer with 8 goals,Shahrazen Said admitted their poor form in the table and infront of goalhas been giving him sleepless nights lately.

"Thinking about it is making me stressed!" he groaned.

"The long break has had a huge affect on us...Training is the same as begore the league started - the problem is just the long break," he added.

Though DPMM beat Albirex 2-1 the last time the two teams net in March,Sairol Sahari knows the team can't afford to rest on the laurels.

"Its important for us to win against Albirex and Geylang because I think seven clubs have the chance to be on top," pointed out the left back.

"It has been a long break and we've only been playing each other during this time.

"I hope we can come up with a good result but i know it won't be easy - We'll have to work hard. I also hope we won't waste chances infront of goal because we've been traing hard at scoring," he stressed.

Though the goals have dried up since Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral left the club late May due to injury, his replacement Patrick Silva, who was signed on the S-LEague transfer deadlineon June 29th, might be given his first taste of Singapore football tonight.

The 27-year old Da Silva has averaged one goal every two games since lacing up as a professional in 1999 but it would be inwise to expect too much of the Brazilian on his debut,withe former Sydney forward himself insisting the regaining match-fitness after two and a half months out of action would be his biggest priority.

But talking to Shahrazenand Sairol,it appaers the tall striker has settled down well at the club.

"We will have to see how he does in his first match... but he has already showed us his ability and skill during training.I like the way he plays," noted Shahrazen.

"From what I have seen during his time with usI can say he will do well in the S-League.He's a good player and always follows the coach's orders," added Sairol. 



Tuesday, September 18
DPMM FC's Jerkovic hits Asian scoring milestone.

Ivan Jerkovic's 50th Asian goal couldn't have come at abetter time for the DPMM FC fan-favourite.

The Croatian central-midfielder netted the third goal during the 3-1 win over the Young Lions in their S-LEague match last week, the result was only their second in their seven games since the start of the second round in June.

The goal came after Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru pounced on a weak back pass to the Young Lions goalkeeper and laid the ball off to Jerkovic, with DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis and left back Sairol Sahari putting the visitors infront after benjamin Kristofferson Lee game the hosts a 64th minute lead at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Jerkovic started his journey in Asia back in 2006 when he signed for sarawak and netted four times, going on to play for Indonesian outfit Pelita Jaya (12 goals) and PDRM(3 goals) over the next two years.

His first stint with DPMM FC saw him net 12 times but the country's suspension in 2009- and DPMM FC's subsequent expulsion from the league-forced him to move to SAFFC, where he found the back of the net 15 times over the course of one and a half years.

He moved back to DPMM FC last year, and his fourth goal this season marked half a century of strikes for the 33-year old.

"Its very nice to have scored 50 goals ... I'm a midfielder, not a strier, but I stlll like attacking football," he said yesterday.

"Our tactics are now different from 2009.Rosmin and I now play more defensively because we have three strikers,so there's not much space to go forward.

"Back in 2009, we onl played with two strikers. So now I only have chances to score from free-kicks,penalties and long-range shots.

"I don't really set myself a target of goals at the start of the season though.

"When I was younger, I always wanted to score, but now winning trophies is the most important thing to me,"he admitted.

Winning trophies- he has two Singapore League Cup titles with DPMM FC - probably wasn't the first thing on his mind when he moved from Croatia to Kuching in 2006 though, explaining that it was more for a change of scenery than anything else.

"An agent from Malaysia tole me Sarawak were looking for a midfielder, so I signed a four-month contract and I thought I would leave after that.

But that's football,you never know what's going to happen." 



Friday, July 13
DPMM looking to regain S-League Cup.

DPMM FC will meet SAF FC and Tanjong Pagar Utd in the group stage of this year's Singapore League Cup.

The date and venues of the matches were not revealed during yesterday's draw in Singapore but it is known that 12 S-League teams divided into 4 groups will be competing  in this years event, with Harimau Muda the only team not in action.

SAF are not to be taken lightly though, the Warriors inflicting DPMM their first home loss this season last month when they beat them 2-1.

Despite SAF also enjoying the distinction of being the most successful Singapore club after winning the league with a record of 8 times, DPMM 's manager AliMomin had no problems with yesterday's draw.

"For me, all the clubs are at the same level,"said the ex-national player.

 "Of course SAF have strong imports and locals ... But for us it doesn't matter who we face - we will always try to do our best," he insisted.

To this day the 2009 Singapore LEague Cup victory which came after 4-3 penalty shoot-out against the Warriors, remains DPMM biggest international haul.

It also made them the only foreign side to lift the trophy, a feat made all the memorable considering it was DPMM FC's first year in the S-League.

No surprise then Ali feels the rest of the field will be keeping an eye on them.

"Of course there is pressure on us," he said.

"The other teams will all take us seriously and give their 100%, so it will be difficult," he noted.

The side has failed to win any of their past three competitive games, including the Singapore Cup defeat, but with Brazilain striker Patrick da Silva recently joining the team,three points in their next game - Wednesday's S-League match against Albirex - might just be on the cards. 



Sunday, July 1
New Brazilian muscle beefs up DPMM FC

DPMM FC signed Brazilian striker Patrick Roberto da Silva as their last import just as the S-League transfer window closed yesterday.

The 27-year old Da Silva started his career with Saao Paulo FC in 1999,going out to play in Mexico and Australia- where he scored 15 goals in 30 appearances for Sydney Utd from 2007 to 2009.

The tall striker replaces compatriot Rodrigo Gral as DPMM FC's fourth and final import, the 35-year old Rodrigo Gral having left the league table-toppers late May after a lingering knee injury.

A string of players have passed through the team's base at the Jeruding PArk Mini Stadium hoping to impress coach Vjeran Simunic during trials since Gral left, and it is undersstood Da Silva got the nod ahead of around 10 others.

The team have lost all three of their last matches since Gral left and the slump has been attributed to the side's relative lack of experience.

Speaking to the Brunei Times,Ali Hj Momin said that the Brazilian's know-how was a big reason the club put pen to paper yesterday and offered the striker contract until the end of the S-League season in November.

"We want his experience,"said the DPMM FC manager Ali Momin.

"He's been with us on trial for two weeks and though we had a lot of players here as well, management decided he was the one.

"We made rankings for all the players who have been on trial and he came out on top," he explained.Ali also said that though Da Silva is new to the region, the Brazilian will have more pressing things to worry about than the climate.

"The weather is not a problem for him,"said the 1999 Malaysia Cup champion player.

"That he blends in well with the locals and the others ...  That is the most important," he stressed.

Not only Gral's injury was a concern with DPMM FC, the former Jubilo Iwata found it hard to link up with the team's other strikers - so Da Silva's first task will be to prove that he can form a successful partnership with Shahrazen and Osman.

Da Silva is expected to make his debut during their next match against Albirex Niigata on July,18, though it all depends on whether DPMM FC can get his International Transfer Certificate(ITC) from Brazilian club Osvaldo Cruz.

Fourth in the league and two points adrift of DPMM FC, Albirex Niigata are a ptent threat to any team - and DPMM know they will need all hands on deck when they face the Japanese next month. 

 



Sunday, June 24
DPMM FC fall to 1st home loss

DPMM FC's unbeaten S-League home record came crumbling down last night, looking decidedly second-best throughout their 2-1 loss to SAF FC.

Never in any of their two S-League seasons have Brunei's premier club look at home, and though they still top the 13- team table, Tampines Rovers FC's 3-1 win over Balestier Khalsa in last night's other game means the defeding champions are now equal on points with DPMM second only because of goal difference.

With Home and Albirex just two points adrift, DPMM's next game on July 18 against Albirex away takes on more significance, as do their next two games, which will also be played in Singapore.

DPMM FC's third loss of the season, and their second in many matches, the team never really got their passing ging at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium and their striker forced suffered a sa result.

Eight time champions, SAF outruned DPMM's midfield most of the game, with Croatian Marin Vidosevic particularly impressve in the cnetre back role with several last-ditch tackles and key intrceptions.

SAF's Fazrul Nawaz opened the scoring in the 15th minute after connecting on a cross from Aliff Shafaein, and though Adi Said leveled the scores for the hosta after heading home a 33rd minute cross from Rosmin Khamis to net his first goal of the season,DPMM FC failed to sustain any offensive pressure in the second half.

A cross from Mislav Karoglan,last season's top scorer, was punched by Wardun in the 56th minute, but in anattempt to clear the ball,Hj Subhi Abdilah turned into his own net canceling out his good work to clear the ball off the line during SAF's previous attack.

Opting for long balls as the game wore on, DPMM FC created several chances in the dying minutes most notably through defender Tales dos Santos who hit the crossbar in injury time.

Vjeran Simunic seemed resigned to the loss and admitted that his team didn't deserve to win.

With the team losing their first round of the Singapore RHB Cup tie against Home last month, the side has now failed to win any of their past three competitive games, and DPMM FC's coach noted that every loss mena sa frop in confidence.

Its been three years ...We knew we would lose at home one day," said Simunic.

"We did a good job but it just wasn't our day.We created many chances in the last five minutes, we deserved to draw.

"We played with many long balls because the players wanted to score as soon as possible, but that is not our recognisable game.That was ot something we decided on.This team isn't as experienced as Tampines, SAF or Home Utd," added the Croatian.

Ashed why  he did not tell the players to discard their long ball tactic, Simunic only shrugged and replied, "They did not follow".

With Vidosevic and Danie Bennett thwarting any threat from long balls and crosses, and DPMM lacking their usual creativity in the middle of the park, there were always signs that the dreaded first defeat was on the cards.



Saturday, June 23
DPMM FC need all three points

THE PRESSURE is on and they know it.

DPMM FC face Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight, and with a tough series of three consecutive away games after this the first one against Albirex, DPMM FC cannot be satisfied with anything less than three points.

SF FC have one draw and two defeats to show from their three previous encounters with DPMM the most painful loss, the 4-3 penalty shoout-out defeat which handed DPMM FC the 2009 Singapore Cup.

Though he enjoyed his one and a half years playing for SAF FC, Ivan Jerkovic is leaving those fond memories in the dressing room tonight.

"Its nice to play again with some of my old friends...but this is a very, very important game, so we must forget whether we are friends or ot,"said the Croatian."The first thing on my mind is three points.

"Albirex won last night(Thursday) and now the gap is just two points, though we have a game in hand.

"If we win the gap will be five points and that will will be very important," he stressed.

The most successful Singaporean club, the Warriors have won the S-League a record of eight times and have only finished outside the Top 2 in three of the 16 S-League seasons.

But tis season's campaign hasn't been as noteworthy they currently sit seventh in the 13 team table, and with 18 points from 13 games and are a massive 11 points adrift of DPMM.

Jerkovic insists SAF FC are still a team to be reckoned with though.

"Thy have a great left-winger in Inui, who was named the S-League's best young player when he was at Albirex last season,"he pointed out.

"Thy have also have striker Mislav Karoglan, who was the league's top-scorer last season.He scored 33 goals in 33 games that's like something from the Playstation," he laughed.

SAF FC's coach Richard Bok wasn't laughing about his team's recent form.

Their last match last Sunday saw them lose 4-3 to Albirex, late goals by Yamokoshi Yasuhiro and Atsushi Shimono cancelling out a 3-1 lead the Warriors had build thanks in part to brace from Karoglan.

His side has scored 24 but let in 23 this season a far cry from DPMm FC, who have the best goal difference thiss eason after scoring 29 and letting in 12.

"We need to tighten up our defence," said Bok yesterday.

"DPMM are a very disciplined team, hardworking. They are well drilled defensively and are good at the back and also have some strong strikers in Osman,Shahrazen  and his brother Adi.

"As for Jerkovic, we parted ways amicably.He's a good lad and worked hard for us,"said the three-time S-League Coach of the Year winner. 



Tuesday, August 7
Shahrazen calls for repeat of Cup success.

Shahrazen Said believes DPMM FC's spirit can guide them to the Singapore League Cup final as they prepare to take on SAFFC in the semifinals tonight.

Shahrazen was again instrumental for DPMM FC in the quarterfinal penalty shoot-out triumph over Home United, as he stepped up to score the winning penalty on Saturday evening at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore.

Goalkeeper Wardun Yussof  became DPMM FC's hero after pulling out two saves in the shoot-out, and Shahrazen insists the team must now seize the opportunity to reclaim the League Cup that they have won in 2009.

"We are just two games away from winning the title. We won the cup back in 2009, we defeated SAFFC 5-4 on penalties and we are aiming in winning the title again this year," said Shahrazen.

"The preparation ahead of the semi-final match has been good. The mood is great and the players are in a high spirit ahead of the game. I am not sure I will be able to score this time around, but I will do my best to help the team to win the game in anyway possible, that is most important," added the 2006/7 Malaysian Super League top goalscorer.

Pg Md Waslimin, the DPMM FC club manager, meanwhile told the Brunei Times that the squad are ready ahead of the semi-final match against SAF tonight. However DPMM FC will be without experienced defender Pg Sallehuddin Damit, who sustained injury against Home United on Saturday. 

"It will be a 50-50 game. SAF is a good team and they have good midfielders. I am expecting our midfielders to work extra hard in the game, he added.

 



Tuesday, June 19
DPMM not in awe of SAF

Vjeran Simunic believes its too early to talk about Singapore Armed Forces FC's two new Croatian imports.

The record eight time Singapore League champions recently signed Marin Jonjic and Marin Vidosevic the duo joining former Tanjong Pagar creative midfielder Aliff Shafaein as the Warriors three new names on the team list at the start of the second round of the S-League.

Both first-timers to the region, Jonjic, a 20-year old winger, and Vidosevic, came from the same club in croatia, second division side NK Imotski.

Though the expectations on their shoulders may be high, DPMM FC's Croatian coach thinks the duo need time to prove themselves.

"I know them but its not correct for me to say they are good, not good," noted Simunic yesterday.

"They will need time to adjust (to Asia)just like other players," said the coach, who has experience coaching in Croatia.

S-League leaders DPMMFC host SAF on Saturday, when Brunei's only professional club looking to shed the memories of last week's 1-0 defeat to Tampines Rovers.

Gligor Gligorov scored his first competitive goal for Tampines by capitalising on a minute mix-up in DPMM FC's defence late into regulation time, and Simunic is still seething about the manner of the defeat.

The S-League website rported that Gligorov had sn his initial shot pushed away by Wardun, but the defence did not notice the ball was still in play.

Tampines 42-year old captain Aleksander Duric and Ahmed Latiff Khamarudin had not given up on the attack, and after battling to make sure the ball stayed in play, sent it back into the box from the left where Gligorov steered it home.

"We didn't go to Singapore to draw. We went to win, but we deserved to draw," Simunic said.

"The last few minuted I was shouting to them all to cencentrate. I think we lack the same sort of experience other big teams have," he added.

Though Ivan Jerkovic is also familiar with his compatriots Jonjic and Vidosevic and believes they can help SAF move up the table from an uncharacteristic seventh the DPMM FC midfielder was just as eager to tlak about the Tampines game.

"I still can't believe it," sighed the Croatian.

"This happened last time too and I thought we 'd have learnt from these mistakes,"he said, referring to their season opener against Tampines when the Stags snatched a 2-2 draw after another late goal.

"SAF have now 5 imports and since only 4 can play.I think Jonjic who is younger will play in the Prime League and will be called up in case of suspension.

"I don't really know much about them though I've spent so many years playing in Asia," added the former SAF and Pelita Jaya FC(Indonesia Super League) midfielder. 

 



Saturday, June 16
Gligorov the hero as Stags edge DPMM.

Gligor Gligorov's goal a minute from time saw tampines Rovers climb to second in the Great eastern-YEO's League with an entertaining 1-0 win over leaders DPMM FC.

The Republic of Macedonia headed n from close range with injury time beckoning to get his side off to the perfect start after the summer break whereas DPMM could count themselves slightly unlucky, having seena n effort bounce off the post just before half-time.

The match began in thrilling fashion with less than a minute on the clock.Basiru Osman stormed past Imran Sahib and Anaz Hadee on the left bwfore crossing for Shahrazen whose header failed to hit the target.the subsequent loose ball fell to Ivan Jerkovic and Sasa Draven had to be alert to tip the midfielder's goal-bound from 25 yards out over.

Tampines had an even better chance to take the lead in the eigth minute, when Jamil Ali's lovely ball - played with the outside of his right foot, found Aleksander Duric completely unmarked six yards from goal, but the striker perhaps still rusty after the break, made a hash of his shot.

After such a frenetic start, the match settled down into a rhythmwith both sides playing some eye-catching display.Showing what basiru has done, he could do better.Adi Said embarked on a magnificient jinking run on the left in the 17th minute,leaving three Stags in his wake before entering the area.Having done all the hard work, and with only Sasa to beat, the forward hit his shot into the hedges behind the Tampines goal.

The pattern of cut and thrust continued with Ismadu Mukhtar's final ball to Duric just a tad to heavy after the two men had evxhanged a brilliant one-two on the edge of the area before a precision crossfield ball from Shahrazen forced Benoit Croissant into a last ditch clearance in the 27th minute with Helmi Zambin lurking just behind.

Having saved his side, Crissant almost brought disaster upon them six minutes later, when his misplaced headed pass to Ismaidi just outside the Tampines allowed Helmi to nip in, but the Frenchman did well to recover quickly and force the winger to shoot wide.Having flirted with danger, the home side uped the temp, carving out some great chances but failing to take any of them.

First Duric tumed Tales daos Santos superbly inside the area, only to see his shot saved by Wardun Yusof, before teeing up Ahmad Latiff with a cushioned header, but the midfielder's 20-yard striker flew inches over.Croissant who had been so heavily involved the game them intercepted a pass from Rosmin to launch a lightning counter by finding Gligorov on the right.The playmaker floated in a teasing ball that would have found Duric if not for the 6'5 Dos Santos.

Tampines were almost made to pay for maong the most of their opportunites in the final minute of injury time when Shahrazn's curling cross right in between the backline and the keeper saw Adi nip from the other flank and head the ball past Sasa, who was caught in no-man's land. The small bur raucous Brunei contingent rose as one in anticipation of a goal, only to let out groans of disappointment as it bounced back off the left post before being cleared by Mustafic.

Perhaps disheartened by that desperate piece of luck, the visitors seemed to goo off the boil after the break,allowing the Stags midfield to dictate proceedings.The home side should have gone ahead in the 59th minute when a superb dead-ball delivery from Gligorov found Sead Hadzibulic free on the far post, but the striker somehow managed to hit the keeper's leg with his free header two yards from goal.It was a narrow escape for DPMM, but perhaps deserved after their own misfortune just before the break.

Gligorov then won a free-kick of his own less than five minutes later;but Mustafic's well-struck effort fizzed over the bar.Tampines were piling on the pressure with only a last-gasp Dos Santos block preventing Imran's shot from finding the net bfore Gligorov's sweetly timedshot from all of 30 yards out skimmed the crossbar.The visitors themselves had failed to really test the defence in the second half thus far, with shots into the side netting from rosmin and Azwan their only notable attacks.

But as the match entered the final ten minutes, Vjeran Simunic's men started to spend more and more time in the opposition half.However the Stag's backline, helped ably by the likes of Latiff, Gligorov and Duric reduced them to shooting balnks from distance.It seems like a tame end to what had for themost part been an open and entertaining game.Gligorov had other ideas though.

When yet another DPMM attack broke down,Stags attacked swiftly down the centre before the 25-year old let fly with a ferocious shot that Wardun turned behind.

Or so it seemed.

Even as the visitors began to amble back to their positions tinking it was a goal-kick.Duric rushed to keep the ball in play and centered towards Gligor who had by then charged back into the area.Yussof and Shahrulrizal both made desperate lunges to stop the pass, but it struck Wardun before looping ober Gligorov who headed in from less than six inches out.

There was barely anytime for the shellshocked leaders to regroup before the referee blow his whistle, to send Tampines into second spot only three points behind their opponents. 

 

 

 



Friday, June 15
DPMM FC out to break Tampines curse football.

Can DPMM FC break the spell against Tmpines Rovers FC?

Brunei's only rofessional football team will resume their campaign in the S-League against the defending champions today at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC have never beaten the Stags in their previous four meetings one loss and three draws.

Their last was a 2-2 draw in their season opener on February 12 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

It was a good result considering that prior to that game, DPMM's last competitive game dated back to September,2009.

DPMM, who are currently at the summit of the league with 29 points from 12 games, know that it will be a tall task to upend their opponents especially since they boast more than four import players.

"They basically have six import players with with two of them naturalised foreigners.We are short one import and we will play eight locals," said Simunic in an interview witht eh Times before departure at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.

I'm proud of that for our country and we believe taht we can challenge a big team like Tampines,"he added.

Despite not being able to to get on the winning end against the Stags yet,Simunic believes that they may bale to do it.

"We could have won or loss all three matches which resulted in a draw.They were 50-50 games.Tampines are one of the top teams in the league and have played good football for years,"said Simunic, whose target is to finish in the Top-5 this season. 

In contrast,we are quite new to the league and we are up to challenge them.The team have done a good job over the past nine months by looking at our performance and hopefully results will come," added the Croatian mentor.

"We may be at the top of the league for now, but we face a horrible schedule for the next 5 games where we can either lose or win all," continued the 57-year old.

Another cause for concern for the Croatian mentor is that right back Hj Subhi Abdilah has been ruled out of the matchup due to injury.

"He is one of our main players and this will be a factor for us.I'm still in a dilemma on who I'll play.Maybe the experienced Salleh," stressed Simunic.

"We have not replaced as import as well since Rodrigo's departure but we might let Adi see some action alongside his brother Shahrazen,"he added.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm. 

 

 



Saturday, June 9
DPMM FC have Sabah test

DPMM FC and Sabah are relishing the opportunity to go head-to-head tonight.

The two teams meet in a friendly at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15 pm today, with the match the first seriuos test Vjeran Simunic will have before DPMM FC prepare to resume their league campaign against defending champions Tampines Rovers on Friday.

"At the moment we only have the opportunity to play against Brunei league sides...Of course, we play among each other but that can get boring," said Simunic yesterday.

"I support the Malaysian leagues and I've watched Sabah on television.I know they have agood team, but some of their players are injured so they can't play tomorrow(today). 

"All the teams in Malaysia are a good challenge for us and I hope in the future we can have more friendlies against Sabah-maybe once a month,"added the Croatian.

Justin Ganai was just as receptive of the idea, the Sabah coach saying that he appreciated the invite DPMM FC sent them for the friendly.

"We're all very happy to be here.We too need a friendly match like this," said Ganai.

"I've heard DPMM FC have been doing very well, at the top of the S-League.

"I don't know about their players though," said Ganai.

Sabah are currently 10th in the MSL with 28 points from 26 games.

Speaking on the issue of the 3 foreign playerscuurently on trials with the club,Simunic said they all have their work cut out for them.

"Its not easy since Bruneian players have increased their level,their fitness.Its not like before," said Simunic.

They have probably improved 40-50 per cent since 2007.

"I may play some of the trial players against Sabah, but I must concentrate on the game against tampines - I must field my first-11 players.

"After all, even if the players are signed they can't be registered in time to play against Tampines," he added. 



Thursday, June 7
Sabah test for Brunei DPMM FC

Brunei DPMM FC will be playing Sabah in a friendly match which will be held at Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium on Saturday at 8.15pm.

The purpose of the friendly is to give both teams the relevant preparation for the commencement of the second half of their respective seasons in the S-League and the Malaysian Super League.

Coach Vjeran Simunic had previously stressed the need for friendly games against foreign teams during the break, and the opportunity to identify any week links in the teams and fortify them has presented itself which will ensure DPMM FC will be ready to defend their lead at the top of the table when their league campaign continues on June 15 against defending champions Tampines Rovers. 

Brunei DPMM have collected 29 points from a possible 36, and sit 5 points clear of Home Utd. Brunei DPMM have scored a staggering 29 goals, making them the league's top-scorers, and have conceded just 11 goals in 12 matches,a record bettered only by sixth placed Balestier Khlasa.

On the other hand, Sabah have had comparatively less success in the MSL. Sabah sit 11th in the table and have mustered only 19 points from 17 matches.

The team from Malaysia had no trouble finding the net, scoring 21 goals; however their defence has let them down this season after conceding 26 goals during this year's campaign, leaving them with a goal difference of minus 5.

 



Wednesday, May 23
DPMM FC part ways with Gral

Brunei DPMM confirmed on Monday that Rodrigo Gral would be leaving the club following a knee injury which will rule him out for an indefinite period of time.

The Brazilian forward joined DPMM before the league started back in February,2012 and scored four goals in 11 appearances during his five-month spell in the Sultanate.

In a phone interview with the Bulletin,Ali Hj Momin, the DPMM team managerconfirmed that the injury Rodrigo sustained midway thriugh the season was the reason for his departure.

"We can confirm that rodrigowill be leaving the club.We spoke to him, and he informedus that his injury required an operation that would require a while to recover.He will be flying back to Brazil this week,"remarked the team manager.

It will be a loss to the club with a player of his talent, but his departure means there will be a chance with the younger players like Adi and Najib to come through,"he added.

Rodrigo's departure couldn't have come at worse time, with Brunei's sole representatives in the S-League currently looking to defend their five-point lead at the top.

The departure means the team will have bring in several new players for trials, before going through the pain-staking procedure of whittling the candidates down to just one, who then have to pass all the requirements put forward by the Football Association of Singapore, which head coach cemented on during an interview at DPMM's training ground last week.

Brunei DPMM have currently confirmed that there are six inbound players who will be put through the paces in the coming weeks during a wecome month's break from S-League action.

The club have reverted to Rodrigo samba roots in bringing in former Sydney Utd striker Patrick da Silva from Brazil.Brunei DPMM have also brought in the 2008 Nigerian Premier League Golden Boot winner,Sibi Gwar, as they look to fill the void left by Rodrigo.

Trinidad and Tobago international,Devon Jorslin,Malian striker Ousmane Goita of Moroccan football club Hassania Agadir,Tunisia forward Abdelmajid Belgacem and AshantiGold SC's top-scorer last season,Yakubu Mohammad complete the list of candidtaes who will be looking to impress during the trials,and perhaps be the ones to fire Brunei DPMM FC to the S-League  title in their comeback season.

 



Sunday, May 20
DPMM FC's loss blessing in disguise

DPMM FC's latest loss to Home Utd has left themselves with more time to focus of their main aim this season - a Top-5-finish in the Singapore League.

Brunei's most dominant football club fell to their fourth loss in many games to the Singapore Cup titleholders last thursday,and the 1-0 first round defeat means the Protectors have now established themselves as DPMM FC's bogey team.

But S-League table-toppers have already put the result behind them-easy to do when they enjoy a five-point lead over second placed Home Utd and sfe in the knowledge they have the best goal difference in the league.

"Now we must concentrate in the league," said Ivan Jerkovic yesterday, whose strong play in central midfield has been a big part of the team's success.

"There are 12 games left and we have to take it one game at a time and do our best.

"Against Home Utd, we have many chances but didn't take them.They scored from the chance they had- but thats football," added the Croatian.

The team are set to enjoy a five-day break before training resumes next week, and their next game only on June 15, against Tampines Rovers at the Clementi Stadium- the players cannot be faulted for wanting to put their legs up for a bit.

Though he welcomed the break,Jerkovic said that the team have to be going full-stream ahead once the second round starts.

"Now without a game for one month... We have to continue where we left off," stated the midfield general,who was afraid the break would affect the team's momentum.

"When you stop, you have to start again...Play the same way.

"All the teams know we are at the top and they like to beat us.Tampines,SAFFC,Home...They're all hungry to win the title," he warned.

Agreeing the team now have to focus on the league,Sairol Sahri felt that the loss has given DPMM food for thought.

"We should use this as a lesson," said the left back.

"I don't know why but ...we've been played them four times and have never drawn," he said adding that DPMM have had no other problems against other S-League powerhouses sunsh as SAFFC or Tampines.

Talking to Md Subhi Abdilah Bakir, it didn't take long for him to point out the lessons he learnt from HomeUtd.

"They were just waiting for us,"said the right back.

"They played on the counter-attack.They usually play 4-4-2 but it was different ...They flooded more players in defence and midfield and just waited for us to make a mistake and that mistake cost us the game.

"We played well and followed coach's strategies and we had a lot of chances, but we were probably unlucky.

"It was our game for 90 minutes- I still think we were the better team." 

 

 

 



Friday, May 18
One goal decides it.

Home United overcame the absence throughsuspension of four key players and a second-half ejection to beat brunei DPMM 1-0 in the opening round of the 2012 RHB Singapore Cup, keeping alive their chances of claiming the coveted domestic trophy for a sixth time.

Already missing Great Eastern-Yeo's leaue leading scorer Frederic Mendy, prolific striker Shotaro Ihata, midfielder Shi Jiayi and Franklin Anzite to suspension, Home's face-off against the S-League leaders was compounded by the 55th minute red card shown to their mifdfielder Masrezwan Masturi for striking out Bruneian forward Shahrazen Said.

Apart from the red card, referee Sukhbir Singh also flashed five yellow cards in the tense encounter last night between the S-League's two top teams.

The Protectors are the only outfit to have beaten DPMM this season - 1-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium on April 19 - and it was deja vu for the 825 spectators at the Yishun Stadium.

The only goal came in the first half, which was looking like a dull affair until Home's 31-year old striker Qiu Li made a spirited run before cleverly slipping the ball ball to team-mate John Wilkinson to score.

With Home FC reduced to 10-men after Masrezwan's transgression,DPMM poured forward in search of parity but were kept out by a number of crucial saves from custodian Lionel LEwis.

Coach Vjeran Simunic was spotted throwing a water botlte in frustration at the end of the match,as he rued his team's missed chances.

"We made one mistake and that was enough for Home Utd.I congratulate them as they beat us today,"the Croatian told the media after the match.

"We played 10 attackers and created 10 chances.Lionel Lewis is the ebst goalkeeper in the S-League, and today, God and Lewis saved Home Utd."

As for Home coach Lee Lim Saeng, he was already ahead to the second round against SAFFC.

Said the Korean: "We were down to 10 men in the second half.It was not easy to keep up and I would like to thank my players.

"DPMM are a big team and it was very hard for us today.When our susppended players come back, we will have more confidence against SAFFC.I'm happy with the match and I hope they keep it up for the next game." 



Thursday, May 17
DPMM FC launch S'pre Cup campaign tonight.

Shahrazen Said doesn't think Rodrigo Gral's absence will hurt DPMM FC in their Singapore Cup opener against titleholders Home Utd tonight.

The misfiring Brazilian striker has been plagued by injury since joining the Singapore league leaders at the start of the season, and according to the club's website has now been released.

But talking to the Brunei Times, Shahrazen believes the team will still be able to function as a unit without the 35-year old, especially with younger brother Adi Said-more than capable of filling the Brazilain's boots at the Yishun Stadium.

"Now that Rodrigo is not with us, Adi will replace him so it will be both of us playing with Osman upfront," said the striker yesterday.

"I don't know playing without Rodrigo will affect us - we'll see after the game.

"He is very talented player and I have learnt a lot from him,"added Shahrazen.

Though Gral's class is unquestionable - he started his playing career with Ronaldinho in the Gremio youth team in the 1990'sand laced up for his country at the 2004 Olympics in Greece- the aging striker has been subject to the mixed reviews during his time at the Sultanate.

Often guilty of holding up play,Gral's dismissal just might be a blessing in disguise for DPMM - whose free-flowing attack has seen them top to the S-League scoring charts with 29 goals in 12 games.

Shahrazen, who is responsible for eight of those,was fully aware of the significance of tonight's game. 

Brunei's only professional club are flying high atop the S-League, but in Home Utd, they face a side that have proved to be a tough nut to crack. 

They have yet to beat Home Utd in any of their three previous attempts, suffering their only loss of the season against Home on April 19 - a 1-0 defeat.

But with Home Utd's star striker Frederic Mendy one of four players unavailable for tonight's gamedue to suspension, Sharazen believes the impetus is on DPMM to advance to the second round and set up a date with SAFFC - the army men beating Balestier Khalsa 6-5 on penalties on Monday night.

The news that Mendy will be sitting tonight's game out will eb a welcome boost for DPMM FC - his third minute goal that led to the loss last month.

Asked about the Frenchamn's impact,Shahrazen - who is joint-second in the S-League scoring table - felt that the striker was probably over-rated.

"For me, he is at the same level as the other foreign players in the league.I think if you compare him with Osman ... Osman's better,"he said cheekily.

"DPMM have never beat Home Utd so we must beat the record now.We must win this game.

"Four of their players aren't playing - Mendy is one of them - because they are carrying suspensions from last season's Singapore Cup.But they are a strong team even without those players,"added the 26-year old.

Shahrazen also said that Home United's two Japanese players, striker Shotaro Ihata and Kenji Arai, are also out with suspensions. 



Tuesday, May 15
Tackling Home away from home.

Singapore League(S-League)leaders DPMM FC will turn their attention to the Singapore Cup come Thursday.

DPMM FC face the Protectors at the Yishun stadium in Singapore at 7.45pm, where a win will see them take SAFFC, who beat Balestier Khalsa 6-5 on penalties after both teams drew 1-1 in regulation in the Cup's opener at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium last night.

"From today(Monday)...I've started preparing the team for Home Utd," said DPMM FC's head coach yesterday, whose team enjoy a five-point lead over second-placed Home Utd in the league.

"I've got to see who's available and who's not.

"Gral is injured so I have to concentrate on the players I have.I might put in Adior Fakharazzi in his place,"said the Croatian.

DPMM FC were easily to put aside any lingering memories of the loss to Home Utd by winning their next three games,gaining nine valuable games to help them solidify their status at S-League top-dogs after the end of the first round of 12 games.

He was a lso happy that the team had managed a league-best nine wins from 12 games.

"We're the best in all categories!We've got 29 points from 12 games.We have scored the most goals(29)and conceded the least(11),"said Simunic.

"This is like a dream for me.These are fantastic results and we deserve it - but we must keep our feet on the ground,"he added.He also noted that Shahrazen Said is second in the goal-scoring charts.

Shahrazen and Home Utd' Shotaro Ihata are tied on 8 goals while Mendy has 11. 



Friday, May 11
DPMM FC down Balestier.

DPMM FC came from a goal down to defeat Balestier Khalsa 3-1 in the Singapore League last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

The match signified the midway point of the season for DPMM and they sit at the top of the league with 29 points from 12 games.

Midfielder Ivan Jerkovic scored a brace for the Sultanate's only professional club in the victory.

Park Kang-Jin gave Balestier the lead through a corner which the ball curved in straight in.

Jerkovic then equalised in the 57th minute,from a freekick.

DPMM FC got the lead through forward Osman Basiru in the 74th minute.

DPMM went on the counterattack and Basiru would receive a good pass from Azwan Salleh to find the back of the net.

Basiru was once again involved in the third goal for DPMMjust before the final whistle.

However, it only got as far as Jerkovic who pounced on the rebound and slot home his second of the night to secure all three points for DPMM.

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic, was ecstatic with the win, especially since they were playing away from homeand that they put three goals past the best defensive team in the league.

Prior to the match-up, Balestier had only allowed seven goals in 11 matches while DPMM were the best offensive team with 26 goals.

"We needed a win because we have have a difficult schedule for the second half of the season.The battle of the top-five is still very close and it could still be anyone's win," said Simunic.

"We are not flying yet.We are still on the ground.My target was to get to the level that we were back in 2009 but I'm really happy that we have surpassed that,"he added.

"Now we can enjoy being on top for at least the next month with the league taking a break," he continued.

Simunic also commented on his bench players being key to the team after Ak Fakharazzi made his debut to the team at halftime for Brazilian Rodrigo Gral.

"He(Fakharazzi) did a great job.We have a lot of young players on the team and need our bench to be ready.We know that they need the playing time,"explained the 57-year old.

The croatian mentor also hoped that the team can continue their form and not disappoint their fans. 

 



Sunday, May 6
DPMM FC singng in rain.

DPMM FC gave their fans something to cheer about in the pouring rain last night.

DPMM FC extended their lead at the top of the table with a 5-1 demolition of Hougang United at the hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Local boys Shahrazen Said and Azwan Salleh netted a brace each in the victory.The fomer who is the team's top-scorer,took his tally to eight goals after the game.

DPMM FC enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half and were continuously on the attack.It finally paid off when Shahrazen broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 38th minute.

It started out with Hougang goalkeeper,Fadhil Salim,slipping on a goalkick-gifting DPMM possession.The ensuing throw-in resulted in a cross from the left which beat the whole Hougang backline and allowed Shahrazen to easily headed home from close range for the lead.

Set-piece specialist Azwan Salleh doubled the lead just before half-time with a free-kick from 45 metres out.His effort failed to meet anyone, but instead crossed the line to make it 2-0 after the break.

Hougang came out strong after the interval- creating various chances.Mamadou Diallo had a good opportunity with a header, but was saved by Wardun Yussof in between the DPMM sticks.

However, the visitors was caught by surprise when Azwan struck again in the 54th minute with a long attempt that slipped under fadhil to give DPMM a 3-0 cushion.

Brazilian forward Rogrigo Gral almost got his name on the scoresheet in the 57th minute after curling a free-kick over the wall, but was dealt with by Fadhil.

Shahrazen got his second of the night after Hougang failed to clear the corner - allowing the DPMM hitman to easily slot it home from inside the box in the 65th minute.

DPMM FC were caught napping in the 74th minute and Diallo made them pay after receiving a good throughball from Jordan Webb to make it 4-1.

Diallo found the back of the net again two minutes later on a similar move, but was flagged for offside.

The fifth goal for the home side was courtesy of an own goal by Hougang defender Lau Meng Meng after he turned in a cross by Helmi Zambin the 86th minute.

To add icing on the cake, Wardun saved a penalty by Webb in what was the last kick of the match.

DPMM FC head coach, Vjeran Simunic, was delighted and praised his players for the overwhelming performance.

"I'm happy that it was the locals who scored all the goal.This will show other countries that the country has got good players," said Simunic in an interview after the win.

"Everyone on the team is the man of the match.All played very good football and the whole team deserved it.We were already at the level where we were back in 2009, but the team are hungry and I know that we can be better," added the 57-year old Croatian.

Simunic also had some words for fans who didn't turn up for the game. "People sitting at home should come over and support the team.Its like watching our very own Premier League here at the stadium instead of on TV." 



Saturday, May 5
Croatians ready for battle.

Croatian neighbours will turn rivals in the S-League today.

DPMM FC's Croatian head coach Vjeran Simunic is hoping to upend his compatriot Nenad Bacina when the Bruneians host Hougang Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas today.

DPMM FC are still unbeaten at home with a record of five wins and one draw so far in the season.Th leatest was a 3-0 victory over Woodlands last Friday.

On paper the hosts should easily take all three points tonight from today's encounter.

However,Simunic will not take things lightly against Hougang Utd, who are on a four-game losing streak and currently sitting on 9th.

"It is not easy to stay on top because everyone else wants to put us down,"said Simunic at the pre-match Press Conference at the NFABD House in Berakas yesterday.

"We will treat every game like the World Cup final and never give up.We have moved forward from our loss against Home and we will do our best tomorrow(Saturday)," added the 57-year old Croatian.

"We respect Hougang becuase they are a good teamand they could have won their last four games.We expect a hard game,"he continued.

On the other hand his counterpart Bacina hopes that it will be third time lucky for him.

He had previously managed Woodlands and they lost both their games to DPMM.

"Hopefully tomorrow(Saturday)will be an exciting match.This is a great opportunity for the players to play infront of a big crowd," said Bacina.

"It is no secret, but DPMM are the main contenders in the league and they are at the top of the table.We did well in our four losses,but we just didn't get any points.We hope we can take away points from here," he added.

"We are in a good mood and are feeling confident.There should also be some pressure on the home team because we have nothing to lose,"continued the Croatian.

Hougang's biggest threat could come from their imports-forward Mamadou Diallo and midfielder Jordan Webb.The latter is the team's top-scorer with 7 goals to his name.

DPMM have no injury concerns, but risk getting suspensions shoild some of their players pick up yellow cards tonight. 

 



Wednesday, May 2
Cup: No Home jitters.

Vjeran Simunic has no qualms about meeting defending champions Home United in the first round of the Singapore Cup.

Home United inflicted S-League leaders DPMM FC their only loss of the campaign last month, though the Bruneians quickly bounced back from the 1-0 defeat on April 19 by beating Woodlands Wellington 3-0 last Friday.

Though Sunday's Singapore Cup draw made for some interesting headlines after 2009 Singapore League Cup champions,DPMM FC were pittedagainst Home Utd, the team's head coach seemed disinterestedwhen asked to comment on the tie-especially with the date and venue yet to be revealed.

"I don't know where we're playing," noted Simunic yesterday.

"I only want to concentrate on our next league game against Hougang United.

"I always treat all the teams the same- especially in a Cup competition.Its different because its just 90 minutes. 

"Its no problem for me ... Home,Balestier

"I'd have been a little happier if we had drawn the Cambodian team or Geylang or Tanjong Pagar-But I'm still happy.

"Anyway ... Hougang is still out biggest game," he insisted.

Though its understandablethe Croatian was thinking a tie against two of the S-League's worst teamsthis season would mean one leg in the next round,Tanjong Pagar have proved they cannot be underestimated.

The league 's basement dwellers,Tanjong Pagar shocked Home Utd 1-0 last week to show that fourth-placed Protectors aren't as invicible as some might think. 



Saturday, April 28
DMM back on top after 3-0 win.

DPMM FC gave Vjeran Simunic the perfect birthday present last night, cruising to a 3-0 win over Woodlands wellington to ince again move to the top of the league.

The Croatian turned 57 yesterday and his players made sure it was a day to remember, with Rodrigo Gral scoring a brace after Shahrazen put the hosts in the driving seat with a fourth minute goal.

Enjoying large spells of possession and play,they also enjoy a two-point lead over Balestier.

The team would celebrate the final whistle by showering Simunic with water and portions of the Hassanal Bokliah Stadium joined the fun by singing him "Happy Birthday".

"I have never lost on my birthday!Never,"he proudly declared.

"This present is not only for me, but also for this beuatiful country.I think this is the most beautiful games of the season and the fans really enjoyed it,"he added.

The fans had every reason to enjoy DPMM FC's 10th game of the season -after all Shahrazen's sixth goal of the campaign gave DPMM added confidence to ride out their seventh win. 

The Woodlands defence gave Shahrazen too much space on the right flank,and cutting past his defender, the striker unleashed a left-foot shot from inside the box which caught Ahmaduhaq Che Omar flat-footed.

Helmi and Osman bashiru had attempts that sailed wide of the bar inside the first 10 minutes,and DPMM FC's shoot on sight policy helped pen the visitors into their own half for the rest of the period.

Shahrazen, who is now the team's top-scorer, proved he can provide assist as well when he created the second goal in the 28th minute-his cross from the right was met by a delicate touch from the unmarked Gral to redirect into the goal.

Lacking composure into the goal,Woodlands only troubled Wardun in the 25th minute when he reushed out to close the angles after Shamsurin was stringed a through left from Farizal Basri.

Osman should have grabbed his 5th of the season after the restart, but with only Ahmaduhaq to beat, fired wide of the left post.DPMM lacked the same sort of urgency they played with in the first half,  but Woodlands weren't able to capitalise on their opponents lull in concentration.

They were made to pay for it in the 63rd minute when Gral easily converted a penalty after Helmi was felled inside the box by Edward Tan,and though the hosts created more chances -Shahrazen alone had three-the team were unable to find the net again. 



Friday, April 27
Birthday boss Simunic wants a birthday gift.

Vjeran Simunic prefers to look at DPMM FC's first loss of the season as a blessing in disguise.

Second in the league, the Bruneian behemoths face Woodland Wellington in their 10th match of the season tonight-the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium playing host to the game.

A win will see the hosts displace Balestier Khalsa- who are one point above them on 21 and have played one more game than the Bruneians-but DPMM's head coach still had his mind on last week's 1-0 defeat to Home Utd.

"We needed to lose a game.You learn more after losing one game than winning 10,"he pondered."Every coach needs to know how his players react after a loss, especially those that have never played in the S-League before."

"Now its very important that we win tomorrow.Tomorrow is my birthday, so we must win-I don't like to be sad on my birthday,"he grinned during yesterday's Press conference in Berakas.

"Woodlands are the first oponents we lost to when we first started,"reminded the Croatian.

"They are a big name...a big team.There is no easy game for DPMM FC...All teams come here to win,"said the coach.

Clemet Teo readily agreed with Simunic."It doesn't matter how far we travel and where we play, the aim is always to win,"insisted Woodlands assistant coach.

"There might be a blacklash after their first loss- plus their players will want to give Simunic a birthday present.

"Playing here boost players morale-they shouldn't be nervous," noted Tan when asked what he thought about playing at the s-League's largest venue.

Woodlands will be without right winger Goh Swee Swee who was shown a red card during their 2-1 loss against harimau Muda,

Australian forward Hussein akil might be out due to injury while Trinidad & Tobago defender Fabien Lewis is currently in the US.

DPMM FC, though have no injury or suspensions concerns so sealing all three points should be on top of their minds tonight. 

 



Friday, April 20
French fries DPMM FC

The Home Utd curse continue to haunt DPMM FC.

The Brunei teams; eight game unbeaten run came to an end last night after they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

A third minute strike by French forward Frederic Mendy was enogh to give Home Utd another famous win over DPMM lastnight.

DPMM Fc right back Shahrulrizal Rahman failed to clear the ball from midfield which gave th Frenchman space to slot it home with is left foot under the arms of Wardun Yusof.

DPMM FC had a first half to forget-recording only one shot on target in the opening half and it was through a set-piece.Midfielder Azwan Salleh struck a free-kick from outside the box just to see it saved by Home utd goalkeeper Lionel lewis.

DPMM FC were not creating chances and suffered another blow when team's top-scorer Md Shahrazen had to be taken out in the 41st minute.

Shahrazen,who had a fever, was replaced by younger brother Adi Said, who was making his scond appearance for his new club.

DPMM FC came out playing better football in after the interval, but it was the Protectors who had a chance on the hour mark.Mendy almost had a brace, but his shot was easi;y saved by Wardun.

Adi should have equalised in the 3rd minute, but he failed to connect with Jerkovic's cross into the penalty box.

DPMM's best chance came in the 78th minute, but the header by Osamn bashiru was parred away by Lewis.

Substitute, Abu Bakar Mahari had the last chance for DPMMin the 93rd minute. He found space, but skied the ball.

DPMM FC's team manager, Mohd Ali Momin, felt it was just not their night.

"Nothing was going for us and we conceded an early goal from a mistake.We were on the back foot in the half, but I thought we were the better team in the second half," said Ali.

"We pushed forward but couldn't score.We know a loss will come but we didn't expect to lose this game.Just one mistake that led to a goal killed off our confidence,but we have to credit our opponentsas well as they are a good team,"he added.

On the early substitutionin the first half, the manager replied: "We had to take Shahrazen out early because he had a fever and we couldn't push him any further." 



Thursday, April 19
Lee calls for Home to close in on DPMM

Home Utd will be looking to close the gap between themselves and the Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League leaders DPMM when the two sides meet on Thursday.

DPMM are currently top of the table after picking up 20 points in the opening eight games, while Home, one of the pre-season favourites for the title, are currently five points behind in fifth. 

However, having had a break from their hectic fixture scheduel after receiving a bye in the last round of the league,Protectors coaoch Lee Lim-saeng admits his players are looking refreshed and flying high after last Wednesday's come-from-behind win against Yangon Utd in the AFC Cup.

"We've had two days rest-I watched some players in training yesterday,"Lee told ESPNSTAR."Their condition looked very good, and it appears they have recovered from the busy spells of fixtures".

"The morale of players are high at the moment, especially after beating Yangon in our last game.

"We were losing in the first half but cam back to win in the second- it isn't always easy to produce such a performance."

Home also received a boost on the injury over the past week after it was revealed Rosman Sulaiman,Masrezwan Masturi and Rhysh Roshan Rai are back in training." 

"Rosman,Masrezwan and Roshan rejoined the team yesterday and I was happy to see them back,"Lee revealed.

"I'm not sure if they'll be involved on thursday. I'll have to assess their condition." 

"They will not probably start, but I'm expecting them to feature at some point in the second half,"

And while DPMM remain the only unbeaten team left in the league, Lee has no doubts his charges will be able to defeat them on Thursday, after watching them inflict a first loss on Harimau Muda two weeks ago.

Furthermore, the former Korea Republic international is unsure if the Brunei outfit will be able to sustain their title challenge throughout the whole campaign. 

They are a good side, but Harimau Muda were also unbeaten before they played us, and we beat them 2-1.

"We need to catch up with DPMM and we cannot afford to be overconfident, but we should beat them. Hopefully the players show a good performance." 

"I don't think DPMM can challenge till the end of the season.They will definitely encounter problems at some point of the campaign."

Nonetheless Lee is expecting the league leaders to pose some problems to his side, and believes a team effort is necessary if the Protectors are to keep out DPMM's attacking trio of Shahrazen Said, Osman Basiru and Rodrigo Gral. 

"They(DPMM) are very fit and their foreigners are very strong,"he added."Sometimes one individual cannot handle a particular attacker.

"Thats why I'm looking for us to cover one another and to play together as a team.

"We need to cover any gaps that may appear in defence and if we can do so, I think we can cope with DPMM's attck."

Home will have to keep a keen eye out on Shahrazen in particular, who has already netted five goals this season, including a brace in DPMM's 3-2 win over Tanjong Pagar.



Thursday, April 19
Simunic claims no pressure against Protectors

Bruneian side DPMM FC are flyinh high at the top of the league after nine weeks of action, boasting the only remaining unbeaten record with 6 wins and 2 draws.

Standing in their way for their next trip, though, are Home Utd- a name that inspires fear and caution among the oil-rich sultanate.

Just two weeks ago, Home had accounted for Malaysia's harimau Muda, themselves without a loss in the league prior to their trip to Bishan.

After an impressive start that had seen them unbeaten in 11 games back in 2009, including their 1st round of their RHB Cup, the Bruneians were sent crashing down to earth at the Clementi, where Home had been based at the time.

They had come into that game looking to simply collect another routine scalp,but the Protectors, coached bu PN Svaji at the time, had other ideas as N.Morikami and K.Ludoovcikcombined to break their proud record.

That loss had some repercussions for DPMM's title hopes, at least before the records were technically expunged late in the season following FIFA's expulsion to Brunei.

Then of course there was that 1-6 defeat at Bandar seri Begawan, a result many Bruneians would rather forget in a hurry, when three DPMM players were sent-off that time.

The sense of dejavu that haunts DPMM, as they prepare for their third meeting with Home Utd at the Jalan Besar this thursday, was something Vjeran Simunic showed clear concern about as he spoke to the sleague.com.

"We are now in similar situation as we were back in 2009,"said the croat after running his team's training session on Wednesday.

"Back in 2009, every club underestimated us, as we could give surprise after surprise.Now everyone respects us, and all the teams refuse to take us lightly when they play against us."

They survived a near-scare last Friday when Tanjong Pagar pulled two goals back in the 2nd half after falling three goals behind, setting up a frantic finish at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium 

"Tanjong Pagar gave me a big headache when they pulled two goals back, and Adi can give Basiru and his brother Shahrazen competition upfront."

Turning to the attention on his side's bogey team, Simunic reckoned Home will be by far the sternest test of their title's aspirations.

"We are proud to have chance to play againast a team like Home,"he said, eagerly playing up the opposition.

"They have more than 11 excellent players which makes it difficult for every coach to select every game.

"They do not have weak positions and boast 6 foreigners- 2 French, 2 Japanese,John Wilkinson and Chinese immigrant Qiu Li.Tjeir strong players are Sho Jiayi and Idros, and Lionel Lewis is an exceptional goalie.

"But we are not under any pressure.After tomorrow, we might remian unbeaten, which will make this week the same as any other week."

 

 



Saturday, April 14
Taming S'pore Jaguars

DPMM FC regained their S-League lead last night but they were given a run for their money after Tanjong Pagar scored two goals in the space of three minutes in a nervy 3-2 result.

Shahrazen Said bagged a brace in the win for the hosts- who were 2-0 up inside 22 minutes- to become the team's join top-scorer with Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru on four goals.DPMM FC earned a three-goal cushion when Hj Md Subhi connected a cross from rosmin, but guilt-edged oportunities after that nearly haunt them.

Tanjong Pagar's hitman Takaya Kawanabe pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after referee Sukhbir Singh mysteriously gave the visitors a spot-kick with what looked to be a tug on an opponent's shirt by defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos- who was later given ayellow card fro arguing.

Still stunned DPMM let in another goal when the one-handed Asraf Rashid shot from outside the box, his striker deflecting off dos Santos to leave DPMM even more shell-shocked.A draw for Tanjong Pagar, who are 12th in the league, suddenly seemed likely.

But veteran defender Pg Sallehuddin Pg Damit sas soon in for Helmi Zambin, who started in place for injured striker Rodrigo Gral, and the 39-year old player's calmness in the centre of the park- playing just behind Rosmin and Jerkovic helpned DPMM ensure more possession.

Shahrazen Said's brother,Adi Said also made his debut in the 90th minute.

A win is still a win though, and Vjeran Simunic was glad to have dethroned Balestier Khalsa - who edged wounded giants SAFFC to rise to the summit last Thursday.

"This grass.Its special," smiled the DPMM coach pointing to the field.

"We have never lost in the league playing at home.I don't consider that 6-1 loss to Home Utd in 2009(when the team were down to 8 men)as a defeat.

"The fans has brought us on top and they have kept us on top.We are doing this together," insisted the Croatian after a rain-drenched match.

The team;s togetherness was on display as early as the 6th minute when leftback Sairol Sahri sent in a cross that was headed home by Shahrazen with the team going on to celebrate as one.

Osman was largely responsible for the second goal, racing half the length of the right flank and putting in an inch perfect cross to Shahrazen, who tapped in from close range to make it seem to easy for the soon-to-be league leaders once more.

Kawanabe scared goalkeeper Wardun Yussof with a stinging shot in the 31st minute and Helmi had two chances to add to the lead before the half wore out- the second a candidate for the miss of the season after the 25-year old Bruneian failed to hit the target with the goalie out of his line and the goal at his mercy.

Hj Subhi's second of the campaign had the Tanjong Pagardefence balming each other, though they regrouped well minutes later to keep out a goal-bound shot by Shahrazen.

The striker was denied a hat-trick when shooting inches wide off the left post from inside the box, while midfielder Azwan Salleh's audacious striker from the centre circle nearly punished Shansudin for being out of his line.

The visitors would gain an unlikely lifeline when Singh awarede a sinply illogical penalty and one that must go down as one of the softest fouls in the stadium has ever witnessed.

Many in the stadium were still complaining aloud when Kawanabe netted, but there was no denying the visitors deserved the second goal and one which caught the back-pedalling hosts off-guard.

But instilled with a new-found sense of urgency, DPMM FC would start getting their passing game back in order to see out the win. 



Friday, April 13
Do not wake him up.

Just like in every good dream, Vjeran Simunic doesn't want to wake up.

DPMM FC's head coach has masterminded the club's ascent to the summit of the league table- ahardly meteoric rise considering the team also briefly led the league in their debut season in 2009 untilthey were forced to pull out due to FIFA's suspension.

With the side hosting Tanjong Pagar tonight,Simunic beleives their history-making run, thy are the only unbeaten side in the league-will be a story that will live long in memory.

"Every Bruneian needs to enjoy this dream and I hope it never ends.Our unbeaten run ...This is something that every Bruneian must be happy about.

Now that Harimau Muda lost their first game to Home Utd last Sunday,we are the only unbeaten side, and we're proud of that.

"Our long unbeaten run is being challenged by every team.They are eager to play in our stadium,which is the best in the S-League.

"We had a horrible schedulewith our first gamesand I want us to end the first round(of 12 games)the best we can.The pressure is definitely on us, but we must not lose our head.

"At the start of the season, the management set us a target of a Top 5 finish...I knew, it was not easy.We could have lost our first four games and confidence wil be low. 

"We are here because of our hard work.We build our confidence game by game,and like I always say,fortune favours the courageous,"added the croatian.

Courage and confidence are two things the club are not short supply of this season,with the side improving every gane and being boosted by the inclusion of five players from the HBT.

Rodrigo will missed the game tonight, which might leave the door open for Adi Said, the 21-year old brother of Shahrazen, who might make his debut for tonight though the face the HBT player awardee has only practised with the team for just over a wwek might work against his favour.

Eleventh in the league with a return of four ppoints from seven games,Tanjong Pagar's sole win of the season came when defender Hafiz Osman netted the only goal against Home Utd.

Hafiz is one of the two defenders the club have brought to partner captain Delwinder Singh at the back, the other being Jonathan Xu.The South Korean forward duo of Lee Joo-Sang and Jang In-Jun are also new faces in the team and DPMM FC will be fully aware of the threat the duo can pose tonight. 



Thursday, April 12
DPMM FC 's Grahl fighting to be fit.

DPMM FC Forward Rodrigo grahl is a doubt for Friday night's home game against Tanjong Pagar Utd.Ali Momin,DPMM team manager told the bulletin.

The brazilian picked up the right to his right thigh initially when DPMM faced Harimau Muda at the Jalan Besar Stadium last month, and has since received injections on a couple of occasions ans seen himself substituted before the end of some games due to the  niggling injury.

"We're not sure how serious the injury is," commented Ali in a phone interview.

"He hasn't been training with us for thw last two days(Sunday and Monday), but he returned to training today(Wednesday)."

"We will see how he is feeling tomorrowbefore we make a decisionfor the game,"he added.

Whilst the injury may be a a tactical blow for head coach Vjeran Simunic, others will benefit from Grahl's misfortune, namely Brunei's top-scorer and HBT player of the tournament,Adi Said,Shahraen's younger brother who only signed last week for DPMM.

"Adi will be on the bench," DPMM's team manager confirmed.

The opportunity for Adi is an exciting prospect for the tens of thousands of DPMM fans,and although it may have come sooner than he had expected, the mishap could play into DPMM's advantage.

His pace, movement and aerial threat present a new dimension to the former S-League champions, and his hunger and work ethic are an added bonus.

If nurtured appropriately, Adi could be very easily established himself as a regular in DPMM FC's starting line-up alongside brother Shahrazen and import Osman basiru. 

 

 



Sunday, April 8
An Easter gift for Simunic.

DPMM FC's slim 1-0 win over the Court Young Lions was extra special for Vjeran Simunic.

The team's head coah was resigned to a goalless draw against the league's bottom side until Azwan Salleh's stunning free-kick deep into injury time handed the hosts all three points to cement their status at the top of the league."I told my players to give me a present because I'm alone for Easter- my family is in Croatia - so now I'm very happy,"he smiled.

I knew their goalkeeper is small so we trained for free-kicks...I told Azwan to shoot on target if he had a chance and it was a very good free-kick.

"I think we showed that we deserved to win and the boys deserve to be on top.

"Now we're a little tired mentally because we did not expect to be fighting for the top spot at the start of the season.

"Before we were the hunters- now we're the hunted!

"Its easier to go to the top than to stay at the top.Now the whole league wants to push us down and they expect us to lose.But destiny is in our hands," he added after Friday's win.

The Croatian refused to balem his players for failing to break down their opponents earlier, instead insisting that the Young Lions - the Singapore Under-23 team - were punching well above their weight.

After a lacklustre first half,Simunic told his players to close the Young Lions down better in the second period and imagine that "they were playing against a top team like SAFFC or Tampines."

To the casula observer, the tie hardly looked like one between the league leaders against the basement dwellers- though Simunic had always maintained the Young Lions were capable of pulling an upset.

And indeed, DPMM fans will remember how their side needed another last minute goal against the young Lions, this time by Abu Bakar Mahari, to salvage a 1-1 draw in 2009.

"We've been unbeaten here for a long time, but I knew one day we would lose...Maybe tonight, maybe the next night,"said Simunic.

"The Young Lions are a good team and now I think my players trustme when I warned them it would be a tough game.

"I was worried about wingers Sherif El-Masri,Benjamin Kristofferson and Jonathan Toto.They are very good players  and they will have a very good career with the Young Lions-especially El-Masri who is in the canadian Olympic team,"he added.

Though he refused to blame Shazwan for the goal,Young Lions handler Robin chitrakar felt his team should have gone away with a share of points.

But despite being rooted at the bottom of the league, the former Singapore international believes that his players have a promising future ahead of them.

"Its painful for us ... Definitely disappointing,"he said."The boys performed well and were organised,but they didn't take their chances.Coming here is not easy, but we played better than I expected.

"We lose like this everytime,but I don' t think its because we're not mentally strong.The boys have prepared well and we're the youngest team in the leagueso we definitely need team.

"The referee didn't give the foul which led to the free-kick, it was the linesman who called it.But those things happen in football,you never know what can happen until the final whistle,"he added.

DPMM FC's next game is against Tanjong Pagar United at the Hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium on Friday. 



Saturday, April 7
Azwan, the Lions tamer.

Azwan Salleh's magical injury-time free-kick sealed a dramatic 1-0 win for DPMM FC over the Young Lions last night, the team fifth win in the league season consolidating their position at the top of the table.

Basement dewellers with only a point to their name, Singapore's national Under-23 team looked destined for a deserved draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stdium after frustrating the league leaders with their determined defending.

But the linesman spotted a foul in the dying seconds aup stepped Azwan, whose striker means DPMM FC now enjoy a two point lead over Balestier Khalsa.

The entire Young Lions team returned inside the box for the set-piece, but it was all for nothing as Azwan's 30-yard free-kick gloriously sailed over the crows and past goalkeeper Shazwan Bakhari's right, with the stadium instantly erupting to celebrate Azwan's first goal of the season.

DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic likened Azwan to Brazilian defender Roberto carlos after the match, and though the midfielder didin't mention anything about the left-legged legend's powerful shots, he admitted he did enjoy a bit of the limelight.

"It was the last minute so I wanted to be the hero," grinned the 24-year old, whose team mates hosted him onto their shoulders after the final whistle.

"I didn't save the game - the whole team did," said Azwan, adding that he ment for it to be a a cross into the box.

Saving the game was on top of every fan's minds last night as the goalless stalemate- which would be the first time the team failed to find the net all season - was bound to feel like a defeat than a draw.

The team were thwarted time and again by an organised Young Lions back-line,but their biggest problem - especially in the half- was creating chances.

DPMM just couldn't get their passing game going and a dull and dreary opener saw chances few and far between.

The Young Lions attacking trio of left winger,Sherif El-Masri, right winger Benjamin Kristofferson and striker Jonathan Toto proved to be a threat throughout the tie, with El-Masri in particular menace with his dazzling dribbling. 

DPMM FC's Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru looked lively in the opening minutes, but he would suffer from a lack of service with the half best chances falling to Hj Subhi Abdilah Bakir, whose header from an Azwan cross was off the mark.

DPMM FC centreback Shahrulrizal Rahman had two headers which missed their mark in the second half and Basiru watched his header bounce back into play after hitting the bar.

Faris Ramli should have given the visitors the lead in the 72nd minute but didn't connect on an El-Masri cross, amiss which would come back to haunt them with Azwan's howler. 



Friday, April 6
DPMM wary of wounded Lions.

DPMM FC believed the young Lions still have a lot of roar in them despite being tied to the foot of the league.

Table-toppers DPMM face the Singapore Under-23 side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight in what DPMM FC coach Vjeran Simunic has billed as a battle between two nations.

And with Singapore head coach - and Simunic's close friend- Raddy avramovic overseeing the team's last 3 games and in town for tonights tie, the Croatian knows the Young Lions means business.

"For me, Singapore is the best team in the region,"insisted Simunic during yesterday's pre-match conference.

"The YoungLions are a good teamand with canadian Sherif El-Masri- a former Home Utd player- in the side they are even better.

"We want to continue our best performances and ...I think we can pick up a good result.

"Eight teams can be champions now.And the Lions have played two games less, so I know the battle for the top 5 spots will be very tight,"he added.

Young Lions head coach Robin Chitrakar, who was also in charge during the HBT, didn't feel his team deserved to be stuck to the bottom of the leagueand was adamant his team will be fighting for the three points tonight.

"We're a young team but we're not push-overs,"he declared."Its possible to beat them but it will be very tough...They have a good coach, a well organised teamand some very talented players, its going to be an uphill task."

DPMM FC have a full force to choose from though the Young Lions will be without injured striker Navin Vanu and midfielder iqbal Hamid Hussain.

 



Thursday, April 5
"Fab 5"joins DPMM FC

DPMM FC's newest batch of players know they face an uphill task to break into the first team.

Five players who shone during the Hasaanal Bolkiah's Trophy campaign officially signed for DPMM FC yesterday, which ebded with a 2-0 win over Indonesia in the final.

There was talk striker Adi Said would join DPMM FC after winning the best player award at the HBT and the 21-year old was relieved he could put an end to the rumours and team up with his brother Shahrazen.

"I'm really happy to finally be a DPMM FC player,"said the former Majra player.

"I can improve my game playing here.Its going to be hard to adjust and get some playing time...But I'm sure I can do it if I try my best.

"I've trained with the team for three times so far and I've enjoyed it,"he added.

Md Hendra Azam as a DPMM FC player before even before the HBT started but he was no illusion that he would be guaranteed any playing time.

"It'll take some time to break into the first team though .. Maybe two years,"said the 23 year old midfielder.

"Bit if I have the chance I will definitely take it."

"I'm happy because I can further my football career and I hope the fans can give the same support they gave during the HBT,"said Hendra.

The HBT team captain, Md Najob Tarif was relishing the opportunity to link up with some familiar faces.

"This is the best club in Brunei,"gushed the midfielder.

"I have played with some of the players before, like Sairol Sahri in NBT,Hj Subhi in AM Gunners and Helmi Zambin and Azwan Salleh during the 2006 Sukma Games.

"Even before I was offered to play for DPMM FC, but now I feel ready.

"Even if I don't play,I'm not goig to let that affect my confidence. Instead it'll make me work harder,"added the 24-year old policeman.

Defender Reduan Petra also believed it wouldn't be easy to break into the first 11.

"I want to try to get some playing time and improve myself by playing overseas," said the 24-year old.

"I'm new to the club so it would take some time though,"added the former Indera player.

Goalie Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi might have the easiest job when compared with the other four- he only has to fight with Wardun Yusof for a jersey.

"Its great to be playing for this club becuase we represent Brunei,"he added.

DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic want to give his new playersant false hopes, and with the club leadingthe 13-team table, its easy to see why he doesn't want to change the winning formula.

"I'm happy with the first eleven now,"said the Croatian.

"Even if I have Messi, where would I put him? How can I change the team?I'm an honest coach.

"But I'm very happy with the challenge they will be giving the other players.

"The team has been together for six months so far this current batch.I'd think they need month to prepare with us.

"All the players can each play five or six positions so its veey good for the team,"he added.

DPMM FC take on basement dwellers Young Lions at the hassanal Bolkaih National Stadium in Berakas on Friday. 



Tuesday, April 3
Ong warns DPMM: We are coming after you.

Fresh from moving second in the league, Harimau Muda coach Ong Kim Swee has warned DPMM FC to start watching their backs.

The Young Tigers recorded a hard-fought win over SAF FC at the Choa Chu Kang on Sunday, a result which saw them pull level with DPMM at the top of the table, although they are currently second on number of goals.

The fact that both sides are currently top of the league is even more interesting beacuse of the heated clash between the two just two weeks ago, which ended in a verbal spat between Ong and DPMM counterpart Vjeran Simunic.

And Ong was in no mood to hold back after Sunday's game when asked if he has set sights on overtaking the Bruneian opponents.

"We'll be catching them(DPMM)all the way,"Ong declared."Don't worry, we'll be catching them for sure."

The former Malaysia international was also bemused by Simunic's comments his side would be able to win the league even without their foreign signings.

"He(Simunic) has been saying that even without the foreigners he can still win the league," Ong added.

"But he's still using four of them, and I'm still using my 21-year olds."

One of the stars for Harimau Muda on Sunday was Wan Zack haikal, who had previously subject to criticism from his coach after a disappointing display against Courts Young Lions last week.

However he was back to his best against the Warriors, scoring the opener after a fantastic solo run, before laying on the winner for Ahmed Hazwan with an intelligent pass.

And Ond admits he was pleased with the way his young star bounced back from criticism.

"They are boys and will make mistakes,"Ong added. "But at the same time they must learn.

"Today(Sunday), he came back with one of his usual performances, which is wahat he want."

Despite having to do without captain Mahali Jasli and regular starters Affize Faisal and Irfan Fazali,Ong's charges still managed to more than match their more experienced opponents, something he believes bodes well for the team's prospects.

"Affize, Mahali and Irfan were all out injured," Ong explained.

"When somebody is injured another player gets the chance to play, and when they get their chance they prove their worth.

"Its a good sign for our back-up players."

The Young Tigers will face another test of their credentials on Sunday when they travel to the Bishan Stadium to face last season's runners-up Home United. 



Tuesday, April 3
1-hit wonders they are not.

Vjeran Simunic is keeping his feet firmly rooted to the ground despite DPMM FC heading the S-League after a lengthy absence.

DPMM FC have surprosed the league with their stunning start to the season, their four wins and two draws from six games seeing them top the 13-team table.

The suspension in 2009 has since been lifted and Simunis admitted his team's desire to prove a point, that they can once again be a force to be reckoned with is the main reason they kead the table.

"We must be happy.We have been playing fantastic but we can always be better. We know our defects,"insisted the coach yesterday.

"People are jealous.I understand.But we must be arrogant.We have a lot of space to develop, lot of space to push forward.

"But we are always prepared to lose.After the first round in June, I can tell you exactly where we are.

"Its nice to be on top now.We ahave shown we are capable of challenging any team around us and its something that has made Bruneins ahppy - and the players deserve this.

"We are hungry to show what we did three years ago was not a one-time thing.We can be consistent.

"FIFA's decision to susoend Brunei was like an earthquake for us.I saw some players cry.

"We thought that if we were given the chance to compete again ...God has helped us now, now look wahat has happened.

"We have strong faith, love and friendship with this club.

"The whole club, from the top to the bottom, we work together as one machine," beamed the Croatian.

Simunic, who has been at the helm of 25 clubs in a career which started in 1993, said he was always worried how the team would fare after such a long break in competitive football.

The team have improved from game to game, and the lack of focus which led to Tampines coming back to steal a late 2-2 draw looks to be a thing of the past.

Apart from their good chemistry abd composition, DPMM FC's fitness has also contributed to their current success.

And the fact they have enjoyed this rich vein of form without eight players who have failed their beep tests - the S-League's mandatory test of cardiovascular fitness - makes the feat all the more impressive.

"When we started rge season I was worried how we would perform after three years out ... How we could be on the same road as other teams that had not had a break.

"If you have a Ferrari in a garage for three years, how can it drive well?

"I knew with the horrible schedule we had, we could have very well lost all three games and it would have been bad for our confidence.

"This is all much better than we expected. It means we have worked hard to prepare for the league.

"My players never complain Going from the airport straight to training, or training twice a day.They never complain.This shows their professionalism,"he added.

DPMM FC's next game is on Friday against basement dwellers YoungLions at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 



Thursday, May 10
Tigers aim to roar back against DPMM

It is a case of onwards and upwards for Balestier Khalsa coach Darren Stewart ahaead of tonight's Great-Eastern-YEO's S.League match with DPMM FC.

Balestier enter the eagerly anticipated tussle with Vjeran Simunic's charges determined to get themselves back on track after last weekend's surprise defeat of Tanjong Pagar.

Sunday's narrow 1-0 loss courtesy of Takaya Kawanabe's 67th minute penalty, brought an abrupt end to the Tigers impressive winning streak, and saw table-topping DPMM extend the gap between themselves and Balestier- who are still riding high in fourth spot-to six points.

Despite the setback,Stewart has declared that the Tanjong blip is now well and truly behind his side, as they look to round off the first half of a so far successful league campaign in style.

"What can we do about the Tanjong result?" the amiable Australian said after a lively Wednesday evening training session.

"I told the boys that the longer we moan and think about dropping of points, the harder it would be to get ourselves up for the next game.Because of that it really hasn't taken much to get them up for the DPMM game.

"Balestier long-term injury victims Goran Subara and Ridwan Jamil will miss out against DPMM, as will Ruhaizad Ismaildue to suspension.

However,Tengku Mushadad is yet-due to play through the pain barrier to a potentila operation on his left knee during the mid-season break, while balestier also look to be boosted by the return of liverwire forward Zulkiffli Hassim after a lengthy five-game ban.

"Zulkiffli was flying before he got the suspension," Stewart said of Balestier's number 12 whose last game was in last April.

"He has trained exceedingly hard during the long time he has been absent.He canadd enthusiasm and pace to the team and there's no doubt thatbhe is on form.In fact of the four years,I have known Zulkiffli.I have never known him more confident that he is at the moment."

DPMM arrive in singapore having only lost once this season and Stewart,while playing down any notion that Thursday's fixture could go some way towards deciding the destiny of the 2012 S-League title, is acutely aware of the threat DPMM will pose the Toa Payoh Stadium outfit.

"DPMM are a hardworking team, they are physical and they have good imports, especially Shahrazen Said who is playing very well," the former gombak Utd coach explained.

"They are top of the league, and although that is partly to do with the tremendous home advantage they have in Brunei,they are a tough team to beat anywhere.

"However I think it is far too early to judge whether or not the result will have abearing on who wins the S-League because there is so long to go.Instead, I prefer to look as it as a gauge of how well we can bounce back from our last game," Stewart concluded. 



Saturday, March 31
DPMM FC tame Bulls

DPMM FC kept their unbeaten record last night when they beay Gombak 3-0 to move back on top.

Gombak started out the better team and dominated the first 20 minutes of the game.DPMM FCwere struggling to rein the bulls, but soon after found their rhythm to hit back.

The Bruneians started to create chances and eventually took the lead after playing more organised football at both ends of the field DPMM took the lead through an own goal by Walid Lounis, who headed the ball into his own net from a Hj Subhi cross.

Striker Shahrazen Said doubled DPMM FC's lead in the 37th minute after connecting on  a cross by Brazilian import Rodrigo Gral.Osman Bashru also get on the scoresheet after a good solo effort in the 50th minute.

The Ghanaian hitman dribbled into the box from the right and unleashed a powerful shot to be Zaiful Nizam in between the Gombak sticks to make it 3-0.

The win was even sweeter as both head coach Vjeran Simunic and goalie coach Zainol Ariffin were imposing one match bans.

Ilham Jais took over the duties of handling the team and was proud of the boys performance.

"Eveyone in the team did a good job.The players gave more than a 100%out there in the game.I have to credit them for the win,"said Ilham.

"Overall, we are happy with all three points and it is a bonus that we kept a clean sheet in the vicotry,"he added. 

"Everything went well for us and  I thought we played fantastic football at both the offensive and defensive ends,"continued Ilham.

DPMM made two subs in last nights game with midfielder Sairol Sahri replaced by Helmi Zambin in the 69th minute while Ak Fakhrazzi taking over the duties from Shahrazen in the 89th minute.

"I'm happy with the changes .They adapted to the game quickly and even managed to create few chances,"said Ilham.

"Now we are already concentrating on our next game against the Young Lions,"he concluded. 



Friday, March 30
Protecting their 100% record

DPMM FC's unbeaten S-League run topped Shahrazen Said's mind ahed of tonight's game against Gomabk United tonight.

The unbeaten record is one they share with Harimau Muda and both sides dodged determination to maintain the status quo went a long way in explaining the feisty draw when they met last Thursday, when DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic was sent to the stands - and hence wil not bo on the bench for tonight's match.

Gombak, whose only win came on March 9 when they beat Tanjong Pagar 3-0, head into tonight's game as underdogs -though the tie in Jurong West Stadium, might have more to it than meets the eye.

"We have to do the same thing we've been doing in the previous matches ... Give more than 100% to get the three points and hold our unbeaten record," said the striker yesterday.

"Right now,I'm not sure which Gombak players will be a threat...Though we must focus on the five imports," added Shahrazen, who has netted twice in the team's five games so far.

A high scoring draw will also be enough for the visitors to leave the Jurong West Stadium at the summit of the league,and a lot of that will depend on how well Simunic's forward three can link up.

Shahrazen has been playing well with Bashru, whose surging runs down the flanks-usually on the left- almost always end up with a foul on the ghanaian.

The team's top-scorer with 3 goals, Basiru will know that he will be a marked man tonight.

Shahrazen is no push-over either, finishing joint top-scorer during the MSL 2006/7 season with 21 goals to prove his status as one of the region's top marksmen.

Though DPMM have netted 11 times this season, the attacking trio of basiru,Shahrazen and Gral have hardly set the league on fire.

It is easier said than done though, considering Basiru and Gral are in their first seasons with the club.

Gral has been getting some mixed reviews since joining,but the former Jubilo iwata man has proved worth with timely contributions.

The Brazilian nettedDPMM's only goal during the fiery 1-1 draw against Harimau Muda,opening his scoring accounts for the club by scoring the winer in the 2-1 result over then league leaders Albirex Niigata on Marcgh 11 in another crucial game. 



Thursday, March 29
Adi Said has a dream

National striker Adi Said brought Brunei great joy when he inspired the country to its first ever Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy title on March 9.

Scoring in each of the five matches he played in- including to second goal to help Brunei beat the Indonesians 2-0, it is little surprise that adi has now become the hot preperty in Brunei football.

Rumour has it that Brunei's only professional club DPMM also ceveted his services.

Despite this Adi claimed he was on his way to DPMM FC.

"It has always been my dream to play for DPMM FC...and that dream has finally come true,"he told the Brunei Times during in an interview on Monday night.

The 22-year old striker then added,"I played my last game for Majra on Sunday becuase my name is registered with the NFABD but I have already handed my passport and ID to DPMM FC to register at S-League."

"I took my first beep test for DPMM FC this month and I am waiting for the second test."

"I was told that DPMM can still sign four players...,"said Adi whose elder brother Shahrazen is also playing for DPMM FC.

There was a meeting between DPMM Fc team manager Ali Momin and a representative of Majra regarding my future this afternoon," said Adi.

"The final decision is mine...both Majra and DPMM will respect any decision.And I choose to play for DPMM FC.

"It has always been my dream to play for DPMM FC.In fact when my brother first went for tryout with DPMM FC.I was with him.He was picked to play, and I wasn't.

"My parents and my brothers, wspecially Shahrazen are very supportive of may career.I hope everything will go well and I get to play alongside my brother in the S-League," said Ad.

"This is abig opportunity for me.I've spoken to Majra officials and they are ok with it.This is for the best.I want to improve myself as a footbaler and move on to the next level,"he added. 



Sunday, September 23
DPMM FC must not slip a point

DPMM FC cam move to second in the Singapore League if they beat Tanjong Pagar at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore tonight.

"We have no choice ...We have to win this game,"Pg Waslimin, the DPMM club manager said to the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We can't look down on Tanjong Pagar despite them being lower on the table than us," warned the club manager who must have remembered how Tanjong Pagar set up a nervy finish by coming back from 3-0 to s-2 during the last meeting back in April.

The team have been bolsteres by the return of midfield Azwan Salleh who missed the 3-1 win over the Young Lions on Sep 13 due to knee injury.

Right back Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman, however, will play no part as he is serving the second of his two-match ban picked up during the 1-1 draw against Gombak on Aug 31. 

Gombak FC delivered some good news for DPMM FC and the rest of the trailing bunch after holding leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers 1-1 draw last night. 



Saturday, March 24
Scoring his way into fans' hearts.

Though he has yet to fully capture the hearts of DPMM FC fans, Rodrigo Gral deserves all the credit coming his way.

One of the three new imports roped in this season, the experienced Brazilian striker's 58th minute goal helped DPMM FCto a 1-1 draw against Harimau Muda in Singapore on Thursday night, a draw which was enough to propel the Brunei team from second to first in the S-League.

Gral used to ply his trade at Japanese heavyweights Jubilo Iwata and Yokohama F.Marinos and his strike- which was the first goal Harimau Muda have conceded all season- has gone a long way in silencing his critics.

"Gral's goal was important," admitted DPMM FC club manager Pg Waslimin last night.

"It was really beautiful-perhaps even goal of the week,"he added.

Latching to a lobbed pass from Ghanaian striker Osman Basiru, the 35-year old gral beat his marker and rifled a half-volley past a stunned Md Izham Termizi.

An increasingly physocal match would see the DPMM FC players at the wrong end of some crunching tackles, and with coach Vjeran Simunic and goalkeeper coach Zainol Ariffin Jumat unhappy with the lack of cards,duo ended the game watching from the stands.

DPMM FC take on Gombak Utd at the Jurong West stadium and Pg Waslimin could not say if Simunic would be on the bench.

"We're not sure yet-we're still waiting for the match report,"said Pg Waslimin."Harimau Muda are a young team with a high levelof fitness and we had a number of players injured in the second half.

"As I'm sure you saw on television,there were a lot of fouls committed on our players...Osman,Rosmin.

"The coaching staff wasn't too happy with that." 

 



Friday, March 23
DPMM FC back to top after draw.

DPMM FC moved back to the top of the league despite being held to a 1-1 draw against a gutsy Harimau Muda last night.

Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral got DPMM FC in front with a powerful ahot in the 58th minute, but influential midfielder Gary Robbat would draw level courtesy of a screamer from outside the box nine munutes later, with reising tensions in the dying minutes seeing DPMM FC haed coach Simunic send to the stands.

The Young Tigers ended the game with a ferocious assault, but DPMM did well to keep their opponents at bay at the Jalan Besar Stadium - the draw maintaining both teams undefeated record and keeping Harimau Muda at fifth.

The result pushes DPMM FC to topof the league, tied on points with Balestier Khalsa but enjoying a better goal difference.

DPMM FC started brightly last night with a header from Hj Subhi in the third minute.Ghanaian striker Osman bashirucreated the game's best chance when he stole the ball off Wan Zack Haikal in the 21st minute, though he was unable to capitalise.

Through on goal, he raced down the left flank but took too long on the ball, with Wan Zack making amends by booting it out for a corner.

Centre back Md Fadli Sas prevented the tireless Basiru from shooting during another one-on-one against goalkeeper Tarmizi in the 36th minute and it was evident the Malaysians were suffering from a lack of cohesion.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yusof had to be alertas ever though,as he will attest from the stinging dipping freekick which Wan Zack fired deep in the first half.

The Bruneians were outsmarting and outmuscling the Malaysians in the middle of the park,and though Robbat pit in a tireless performance and tried to find space for his teammates,there was only so much he could do.

The skillful Wan Zack proved the be a tricky customer down the flank with his pace and dribbling, but Sairol Sahri had the danger-man covered.

Basiru,who leads the team scored three goals so far,didn't get on the mark last night but provided a vital assist for Gral, who has now scored 2 goals in five matches.

The Ghanaian's though ball to the Brazilain was met by an emphatic finish which left Md Izzam rooted to the spot, and though the 35-year old had a chance to make it 2-0, he was a bit too slow to react to a pass from Hj Subhi inside the box- which Sairol heading wide off a corner seconds later.

Ong Kim Swee had seen enough and the harimau Muda handler sent in striker Thamil Arasu and midfielder Muhamad Nazmi to shake things up in the 64th minute.

The changes bore fruit soon enough.

Robbat evaded his marker outside the box and unleashed a furious cannon ball which Wardun initially got his gloves on but found too hot to handle, with Malaysians firmly on the front foot in the minutes to come.

Arasu had an attempt which was inches wide off right post in the 71st minute and a md fadli tackle on Bashire three minutes later had the DPMM bench up in arms - though the centre-back did get the ball before felling the striker.

DPMM FC centreback Tales Ricarte's mistimed tackle on Arasu should have resulted in an 88th minute penslty and pilling on the pressure.D.Saarvindran was unlucky to see his long range bounce off the left post in the 88th minute.

The midfielder also had a tame attempt gobbled up Wardun in injury time, during which dos Santos's header off Ivan Jerkovic's free-kick was easily saved. 



Thursday, March 22
DPMM FC hope to keep top form in S-League

DPMM FC are looking to contimue their impressive start in the league as they take on Harimau Muda today at the Jalan Besar Stadiumin Singapore.

The club are in a confident mood after coming off a 4-1 rout of basement dwellers Geylang Utd last Friday at home.

That victory allowed them to move to the summit before Balestier Khalsa left it till late to score a 2-0 win over Woodlands last Sunday.

It will be an interesting affair between these two as both are the newcomersa nd both have yet to lose a match.

DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic knows that their match against the Malaysians is a tough test and the Croatian is looking forward to the challenge.

"It is like an international matchgoing up against another country.They are a top team playing together for four years or so and under professional coaches.They are an excellent team but we must reach our level of our game,"said Simunic in an interview with the Brunei times yesterday.

We have had a good run in the four matches and we need to continue to do so.From there I believe we can have a good fight.Chances are quite eqial," Simunic added.

"We had some problems with injuries with our match against Albirexbut everyone has recovered.Everyone is looking forward for a chance to play against a big team," said the Croatian.

Asked whether they are confident of picking uo all three points,Simunic replied: "We're not thinking about the points at the moment but more towards the way we play.We'll take it from game-to-game  and we need to continuously perform because it is a long season," he said.

We'll be happy with points and at this moment there are at least eight teams that can finish top five," he added.

"We expect a full stadium and hopfully we can have a good game after having some nice memories from before," said Simunic.

DPMM FC midfielder Ivan Jerkovic feels that it is important that the team keepstheir focus throughout the match against the Malaysian side.

"I'm scares about the small games.Playing in the big games, the concentration is always there," said Jerkovic.

"See during the second half against Geylang ...  we were 2-0 up but they scored a goal and we could easily made another mistake and let them equalise," he added.

"Against Harimau Mudawe must play our gamelike usual.They are a young team and they can run so we must concentrate," the Croatian continued.

"We know there are no easy gsmes in the S-League.If we play our gamewe can win.We must concentrate from our first minute,"he addded.

Left winger Sairol Sahari, who has been converted to left back this season,also expects a tough outing against the Malaysian side.

"Harimau Muda as we know are a young team and have good ability.Some of them trained at Slovakia and will represent represent for the Olympics," said Sairol.

"We know it'll be tough but we'll do our best,"he added.

The match kicks off at 7.45 pm and will be telecast live on Astro 801 channel. 



Tuesday, March 20
DPMM FC: We are family.

There's a healthy buzz going around DPMM FC and its obvious why.

They might be second but DPMM FC have a game in hand over their next rivals - Balestier, third placed Albirex and fourth placed Home Utd are all on five games.

Sure, they have played only four games, but few would have predicted that DPMM FCwould reach such lofty heights - after all they were making their return to the S-League after a two-year layoff and had only one real friendly match prior to their campaign opener on Feb 12.

Their encouraging start marks them out as genuine title contenders and Ivan jerkovic feels the bond between the players is a big reason they have been successful thus far.

We are like family-thats the truth," said the Croatian midfielder who used to play for SAF FC before joining DPMM FC in February.

"When I play in Singapore I didn't see that, but when I came back to DPMMit was the same as in 2009.The foreign players and the locals are friends- in Singapore it is not like that.

"One for all and all for one - that's DPMM FC's point"

"It was great to top the league and it was an important game for us becuase Geylang has lost their first three games and we knew they were coming to Brunei to try to get a draw or a win. 

"Topping the league shows that anything is possible ... we can beat any club in Singapore,"he added.

Could they win the title?Only if they fight until the end of the season, he replied.

"The most important thing is to take it game by game," he insisted.

"All of us wants to be champions- that's every footballers dream," said Jerkovic.

Left-winger Sairol Sahri - who has been leftback this season - agreed that the team were like family and said the team did well to overcome a gruelling schedule plua the introduction of three new imports.

"I didn't expect to be top because the first three games were very tough - but we did it because of our teamwork," he said.

"Of course, at first it was hard playing with the new players becuase we didn't know their style bus after a while we got to learn how each other played.

"The national Under-21 team's Hassanal Bolkaih trophy victory has also motivated us,"he added.

DPMM FC's team manager Ali Hj Momin also pointed out that one of the reasons the tean has enjoyed early-season success was because the side had been together for many years.

"They are like family, even outside the field,"noted Ali.

They're a lot of reasons we've been so successful this eason, and, of course hard work is the most important..We also play with heart!

"Topping the league was a goo dsign for us and we can say that football in Brunei has not died despite not playing internationally for two years (during which FIFA suspended the Sultanate)." 



Sunday, March 18
DPMM FC deserve to be leaders:Rivals.

There was no doubt in V.Kanan's mind that Geylang were second best on Friday night.

Suffering their straight fourth loss of the league campaign by falling 4-1 to DPMM FC, the geylang coach admitted his men didn't give DPMM enough of a fight.

The result meant DPMM now sit preety atop the league table with 10 points from 4 games - and enjoy a game in hand over nearest rivals Home United.

"We conceded some silly goals," sighed Kanan, who was in charge of the team for the first time. 

"Nevertheless,DPMM FC played some good football and they deserved to win.

"The boys worked very hard and I thought at 2-1 we could have come back.

"But I'm proud of my team -this was their best performance in our 4 games," declared Kanan, who used to coach the club's prime leaguefor 10 years and led them to the title last season.

After a promising start Shahrazen Said got DPMM FC on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute with Ghanaian striker Osman bashiru netted his third goal of the season 12 minutes later.

The team had their foot of the gas in the second half and were punished for it when Hj Subhi lst the ball to Michael King inside the box.His last ditch tackle felled the former Burnley player and resulted in a penalty kick - whicj Josef Kaplan cooly slotted home.

The visitors would enjoy more possession after the goal and did well to create space on the flanks, setting up a nervy few minutes for the home fans.

But Tales Ricarte dos Santos connect on a superb freekick from croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic on the 78th minute, and they got a goal on the 88th minute when substitute Helmi Zambin's sersistence led to him heading home his own rebound after a scything cross-field pass from Azwan Salleh.

Brazilian striker Rodrigo Grahl had another quiet game for DPMM FC, which probably accounted for his substitution with Helmi six minutes from time.

Vjeran Simunic though, said there was more to it than met the eye.

"Grahl played with injections today (Friday)so I must say he is very prefessional - though it is risky,"said the DPMM FC coach.

"Helmi had an excellent goal - they were all excellent.

"My players gave 200%for this win.But Geylang, really worked hardtoo and I'm not sure how they last their last game 7-1," said the Croatian, adding that the team did not six changes from the side that self-destructed against Home Utd.

As confident as Simunic always is, he didn't want to answer questions on whether the team could maintain their good performance.He also didn't feel it was a problem that goalkeeper Wardun Yusof had not kept a clean sheet in any of their four games.

"Again, I'm happy with how we played just four days after our last game,"he said

"We survived a horrble schedule...If we got three draws from it I'd also be excited.

"We always fight from game to game.Even if we always win 3-1, 3-1 ... We'd still be champions.

"I'm very sorry for Wardun because this was a game h ecould have kept a clean sheet.

"But you must know, this is football,not a shopping centre." 



Saturday, March 17
4-star DPMM FC go top.

DPMM FC moved to the summit of the S-League after a seemingly convincing 4-1 win over Geylang last night, jumping five places and becoming the first team to break the 10-point barrier.

Though on paper the match agaunst the basement dwellers wasn't meant to trouble the team, it proved to be a different story - especially the visitors promisingly powered forward after pulling back to 2-1 with a Josef Kaplan penalty on the hour mark.

But weathering the storm, DPMM wouls add to their advantage with season-first goals from centreback Tales Ricarte dos Santos and substitute Helmi Zambin, the latter's 90th minute ensuring all three points at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Their third win in four games, the ever-confident Vjeran Simunic was in a buoyant mood after the match.

"Absolutely! I feel we deserve to be on top," said the DPMM coach.

"Its like in Formula 1-  we are now in pole position.I'm happy that we could one day be leading the league.

"The game is nothing surprising for me.I said it would be dangerous at 2-0 and a little mistake made it 2-1 ... But thats football," shrugged the Croatian.

With a 2-0 lead at the break, complacency started to creep into DPMM FC's game in the second half - with the "little mistake" coming when dos Santoas gave the ball away to an onrushing Michael King and brought the former Burnlwy player down on the box.

The Eagles would soar forward bolstered by the well-taken penalty, but King's 71st shot with his back to goal was the best opportunity they would get to even the scores - with Geylang failing to trouble goalkeeper Wardun Yusof for the rest of the match.

Sharazen opened the scoring in the 23rd minute but Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru did all the hard work.

Dribbling past three defenders on the left, he smashed a shot that bounced off the left post but was met with a half-volley from Shahrazen - the fan favouritepicking up his second goal of the season.

Capping off an encouraging combination on attacks from all three of DPMM forwards, the free-flowing second goalwas bound to pun on a smile to Simunic's face - where once again the team were able to exploit space on the left.

Shahrazen evaded his markers and squared the ball to Brazilain Rodrigo Grahl - who wisely laid it off to Bashiru.

Riffling the ball to the top of the net,his third in four games has now made him the team's top-scorer.

"I was confident I would score," grinned Basiru after the game."I think I have been getting better every game...I need to help the club," added the 23-year old hitman.

Dos Santos brought the team back from their second halfwhen the Brazilian headed home a pin-point freekick from Croatian midfielder Ivan Jerkovic in the 78th minute, and Simunic's decision to replace the ineffective Grahl for Helmi in the 84th minute paid off when the dimunitive 25-year old headed in his own rebound after searching a cross-field pass from midfielder Azwan Salleh. 



Friday, March 16
DPMM FC wary of Geylang.

DPMM FC will be taking nothing for granted in tonight's game against geylang Utd, despite the latter's 7-1 thumping at the hands of Home Utd, after DPMM head coach Vjeran Simunic labelled the Bedok-based club as 'dark horses'

Speaking during a press conference yesterday the DPMM FC head coach yesterday was wary of the threat opposed by Geylang, despite their poor start to the league.

"I respect Geylang very very much.Geylang is a team who won many many trophies.I have watched their last three games,and they have a very nice team.I don't understand what has happened inside their dressing roon."

Simunic was quick to highlight the situation DPMM find themselves in,having been absent from football scene for almost three years.Whilst DPMM's start to the league has been impressive, the head coach still feels there is room for improvement.

"We are in a special situation.We missed three years of football,so we can still improve ourselves.We will take it game by game,and we, as coaches are very happy.With each gamewe improve our game by 5% or 10%, so I hope my team will play better again this game."

V.Kana, the head coach of Geylang, returned the praise Simunic had for his team, with both coaches sharing an apparent mutual respect for one another,but was quick to dismiss any doubts his team had.

"As you know, we had lost our last three games,and now we are meeting DPMM FC, who are quite a good side.Their last three games, they have beat tough opponents SAF FC and Albirex.Playing them at their home stadium, infront of a big crowd,it will not be easy for us,nevertheless I think we won't give it to them easy.We will work hard and do our best to get something from Brunei,"said the Geylang coach.

When the possibility of DPMM leapfrogging Hougang United,Balestier Khalsa and Albirex to topthe S-League standingswith a win over Geylang tonightwas brought to his attention, Simunic refused to get drawn in on the matter.

"What is more important than points is that my team play a good game.Points never come without hard work and determination, so any resukt I can accept and respect, if my players play as they did against Albirex,or maybe  better."The DPMM coach was confident in the team he has and the football they play, with no significant injuriesahead of tonight's game.

"I cannit say DPMM FCwill eb champions, but of course I am not afraid of any teams in this area.My DPMM team can play against any team but also can lose against any team."

Simunic was not satisfied with the turnout last Sunday's encounter against Albirex, adn expecting a better turnout tonight, when DPMM lockhorns against Geylang.

"Last time I told you I am not happy with 10,000, because it is very team for this team because this team deserves more.How can 30,000 watching kids play when big teams like Geylang or Albirex come to Brunei.Tomorrow there must be 20,000 people." exclaimed Simunic. 



Monday, March 12
Coach praises Grahl's play.

Vjeran Simunic hailed Rodrigo Grahl's work ethic after the Brazilian scored the winner for DPMM FC in the league match against Albirex Niigata last night.

The 35-year old had a relatively quiet game in  front of goal but popped up in the 59th minute to secure a 2-1 win over the visitors- and his first goal of the season. 

"Rodrigo definitely deserved the goal.He has been working very hard over the 22 dayssince our last game," said DPMM FC's coach.

"Albirex are the number one favourites to be champions this year tonight we showed we were the better team.

"We won beacuse we ran and fought like them.Noow we have made the league more interesting ... if we lost, Albirex will eb champions.

"Three points is a big present for everyone.I'm a very happy coach," grinned Simunic.

H wasn't smiling abbout the turnout at the 28,000 capacity Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium though, saying he was disappointed only 10,000 people showed up.

The outspoken Croatian was also unhappy with what he perceived as rough play from Albirex.

"We were playing football -  they were playing rugby,"blasted the Croatian.

"They played very dirty.We don't-We played football 100 per cent. 

"They elbowed our players faces many times ... 15 maybe.Now I have a hospital in my dressing room," he complained.

Not to be undone,Albirex's team manager Koh Muri Tee had some choice words for Simunic.

"I would like to say his played like girls," he retorted when told Simunic felt his players played dirty.

"The way they fell down...It was disgraceful,"he added.

Despite it being the first time they dropped points all season, Koh didn't feel the result would weigh on their minds ahead of next game against harimau Muda on Sunday.

"I don't think the loss will affect our confidence ... Not at all,"he said.

"We were able to compete on an equal footing with a strong team for 90 minutes.I'm definitely happy with my players' performance.

"I've said that Brunei is a very difficult place to come to...A win is a bonus, a draw is good and a loss is nothing to be ashamed off." 



Sunday, March 11
DPMM FC take on Albirex Niigata tonight

Veteran Simunic is fully aware of the threat that Singapore League leaders Albirex Niigata will pose tonight.

The DPMM FC head coach has led his side to a 2-2 draw against titleholders Tampines Rovers in their first game and a 2-1 win over league giants SAF FC in their second game,so confidence should not be a problem for the players.

But they face perhaps the biggest test against the heralded Japanese outfit, who have picked up maximum points from three games.

Understandably, any team which scores 92 goals in three competitions last year cannot be looked down upon, but Simunic was the first European to play in Japan in the early 80's, is more than well informed about the side.

"If they win against us,they'll have 12 points ... They're almost champions!" claimed the Croatian yesterday.

"Japanese teams takes the best from Germany ... South America.Tehy are highly disciplined and never give up.

"Albirex play like Barcelona and have a good passing game.Their no.10,Sho Kamimura is like Messi.

"They also have a super-sub in their number 9, who came off the bench to score their winner against Woodlands in their last game.

"We must fight and run for every ball - just like Albirex.We must be smart and don't commit any mistakes.

"Albirex won the League Cup last year, made it to the final of the Singapore Cup and finished fourth only in the league because of a poor end to the season, so thet'll want to win more trophies this year," he added.

DPMM FC played their last game on Feb 19 - a lengthy lay-over which didn't sit too well with the coach.

"A 22-day break is not so good ... but its not so bad because I was able to go to Singapore and scout some matches,"said Simunic.

"The break has given us time to improve our fitness but it would have been better if we had the chance to continue after our excellent result against SAF," added the veteran coach.

DPMM FC have never lost to Albirex before, with their three previous encounters ending in two wins and a draw.

Like most football fans in Brunei, Simunic has been following Brunei's successful Hassanl Bolkiah Trophy(HBT)campaign where they won the Under-21 competition for the first time after a 2-0 win over Indonesia.

The former Bahrain coach siad that he hoped th victory will not only inspire DPMM FC but also their fans.

"The HBT has shown that people must be careful of Brunei,"he said.

"Brunei can be shoulder to shoulder against every country in the region."

"Once again Brunei fans can see a big team in town after all the Asean teams.Albirex are a strong Japanese side and they are a good challenge for us so I hope the fans will come out in strong numbers and show their heart for football." 



Monday, February 20
Birthday gift for Crown Prince.

DPMM FC yesterday delivered a belated birthday present to His Royal Highness Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince.

DPMM FC picked up their first win in over two years with a 2-1 victory over SAF(Singapore Armed Forces)in the league last night at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore.

The win came two days after HRH's 38th birthday.The Crown Prince is the chairman of DPMM FC.

DPMM FC started brightly when striker Osman bashiru opened the scoring after connecting on a corner kick in the 17th minute.

This is the second consecutive math that the Ghanaian forward has put his name on the scoresheet.

The match was evenly contested with both teams creating various chances.

But SAF FC had to wait until the 68th minute to find abreakthrough.Midfielder Tatsuro Inui equalised after leaving Wardun with no chance - scoring with a free-kick from 20 metres out.

The game was heading for a draw until Shahrazen Said worked his magic.

The Bruneian dribbled past two defenders in the box and beat goalkeeper Hasan Sunny in the 80th minute to seal the win.

DPMM head coach Vjeran simunic was delighted with the result - revealing that there was additional motivation to grab those three points.

"We promised the Crown Prince that we will for him," said Simunic after the win last night.

"It was important for us to repeat our performance just like the against Tampines,but I thought we did a little better tonight,"added the coach.

"We are happy to get points away from home and have four points from two games.We played a good game and beat an excellent team," continued the croatian.

What was more impressive was the fact that DPMM contested the match without six key playersthat found the back of the net 74 times last season.

"We fielded eight attacking playersand only two defenders.It is good so far that we can still play despite missing six defenders who are not match fit," said Simunic.

"I do hope that we can be a complete team soon and get the level that we were once were,"he added.

Last night's victory puts DPMM in fourth with 4 points.

DPMM will have a break before their next math which will be held on March 11against current table toppers Albirex Niigata at home.

"We have a break in between and we might meet a team who will go into the match still unbeaten," said Simunic. 



Sunday, February 19
Can DPMM FC gun down SAF FC?

Old foes are set to battle at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore today.

DPMM FC will be looking to extend their unbeaten run against the Singapore Armed Forces FC when they meet today.

They have played the Singapore giants five times and won four of thise ties.The other result was a draw.

Today's match, however, is going to be a tough trip for DPMM FC especially since this is their first away game for over two years.

But DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic is hopeful of another good performance - just like in their previous match against defending champions Tampines Rovers, last Sunday which ended a 2-2- draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.

"We will need to repeat the same performance and we showed last weekend against Tampines.We had a good game and it is important that we do it again", said Simunic during an interview yesterday.

"It is the wrong time to play against them as we are still missing 6 key players, but I do hope there will be no problem,"he added.

"It is definitely better to have a full line-up, but we will go out and do our best against them," said the Croatian.

The head coach said that key players like Yusof Salleh,Pg Sallehuddin Damit and Abang Norsuhilmy, who are still not match fit, were vital at the defensive end.

"We wexpect a lot from Sunday's match because we have always come up with good results against SAF FC," said Simunic.

But that could lead to bigger motivation for them- to seek revenge ... and they could be under pressure to get it done,"he added.

The coach is hoping that his side can pick up quickly and get back to their old pace.

"The problem is that we missed friendly games and during the early stages of the season the matches are being treated as prepartions for the entire season," explained Simunic.

"Oour bench needs more experience and we should be at the level that we want to be in the next three months," he added.

"I do hope we can get back to the level that we were two years ago and I believe we are on the right track.We need to be patient and we have to trust on ourselves to be where we want to be,"he concluded.

The match will kick off at 7.45pm. 



Tuesday, February 14
DPMM FC and the 12th man factor.

Tampines Rovers FC's head coach Steven Tan thinks that playing at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas is a tough task for any team.

Though scores of supporters have always descended on the home of Brunei football whenever DPMM FC play, Sunday night's tie against defending champions Tampines was another level.

Hardly surpeising considering the 2-2 draw was their first competitive game since September,2009 - the year theywon the League Cup in their debut season.

Though Tampines are the S-League titleholders, they are not used to playing in front of such an audience and it showed when they fell behind twice before midfielder Jamil Ali saved the day with an injury time equaliser.

Tan,who guided the Stags to the S-League crown in his first season as coach last year, was full of praise for the DPMM FC faithful.

"It was a good crowd, good atmosphere and good advertisement for foorball - especially in Brunei," the ex-Singapore national tole the Brunei Times after the match.

"Despite the rain I think there were more than 10,000 people here.

"It was a new atmosphere ...for some of the players,they were overawed by the occasion.

"It will not be easy for other teams coming here.DPMM FC are a tough fight, especially with this crowd," he insisted.

The Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium has always been a fortess for Vjeran Simunic's men - after they lost only once in their debut season in 2009.Of course  it was the 6-1 result to Home United on Aug 2 - a scoreline they didn't deserve since all three defenders were shown red cards.

DPMM FC's home games have always attracted large crowds and competing in 2009, Brunei's only professional club led the league in attendance records.

Back to Sunday night, the rain that started mid-way through the first half failed to dampen the spectators spirits, though it did affect Sasa Dreven.

The young Croatain goalkeeper was at fault for DPMM's second goal, a long range attempt from countryman Ivan Jerkovic which made it 2-1.

"Dreven misjudged plus the rain," said Tan,referring to the fact that playing conditions got worse midway through the half.

The S-League has introduced a new Mikasa ball this season,making the first time in a dozen years it has taken a change from tradition.The ball has been getting mixed reviews from DPMM players and it looks like they aren't the only ones. 

"It happens,it might slip during corners. 

"Its a new ball so it doesn't matter whether its Adidas,Nike ... its just am matter of getting use to it," added the 42-year old coach. 

Tan also added he refused to believe his side would return to Singapore without a point.

"I saw some of the boys had their heads down so I said we still got time ... We controlled the second half, he pointed out, an opinion that many at the stadium would agree.

"I knew we could equalise because we had been creating chances," he said, though he admitted " the whole team were avreage today(Sunday).

Understandably, hopes are high that this season will be another one for the highlight reels.

"We have to," he said when asked whether the team's aim was to retain their S-League crown.

"We are the defending champions." 



Monday, February 13
DPMM FC drop points

What should have been a fairy tale finish ended in frustration for DPMM FC last night.

Playing their first competitive match since September,2009, DPMM FC let in a aheat-wrenching injury time goal to let S-League title-holders Tampines steal a 2-2 draw.

Midfielder Jamil Ali's lob over Wardun Yussof was a sobering sight for the healthy crowd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, all eager to watch their team's S-League season opener.

With three corners in their first two minutes,DPMM FC didn't waste any time getting their fans on the edge of their seats and got in front after an Osman Basiru striker in the 38th minute.

Though Fahrudin Mustafic would equalise early in the second half, an error by Tapines shot-stopper Sasa dreven saw Ivan Jerkovic hand the hosts the 2-1 lead in the 69th minute- only for jamil to spoil the party.

Frustrated fans might have complained that Vjeran Simunic's decision to substitute two defenders in the last 10 minutes backfired, but the coach stuck to his guns.

"We changed them (Sairol Sahari and Shahrulrizal Abd Rahman) because they were injured," said the Croatian.

"We could win ... No, we deserved to win.We showed we're a good team and that Singapore must care about us.

We deserved the three points, but becuase of the beep test qualification, we are without key players Yusof Salleh and midfielder Abang Norsuhilmy Taha," he said referring to the mandatory fitness test that several players have been unable to pass.

Osman netted the opener when he pounced on defender Tales Ricarte dos Santos's shot that rebounded off the crossbar after a cornerkick from Azwan Salleh.

Not only was dos Santos a monster in the air, the Brazilian also kept a tight leash on Aleksander Duric, though the veteran striker was able to deliver a header which was easily saved by Wardun in the 44th minute and then saw Davor Piskor's shot sail wide of the left post a minute later.

But there was no denying Tampines in the 48th minute when Mustafic riffled a low freekick poast Wardun's left after Jerkovic had fouled Jamil outside the box.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis was a beast in the centre of the park with his ball-winning abilities and cool head - working well with his Croatian central midfield partner Jerkovic.

But overall, the team failed to create space and work the ball around a wellorganised Tampines back-line marshalled by mustafic.

Less than six yards out, Rodrigo Gral should have made it 2-1 to DPMM after receiving a Shahrazen Saidpass in the 62nd minute. But Dreven, who had a fine game in between the sticks, came off his line to save from close-range.

Basiru passed the ball to jerkovic, and with space and time, fired a 25-yard cannonball which his compatriot had a hand on but could not hold on to.

As opposed to Gral, Basiru was a menace throughout the game with his willingness to run at defenders and had a penalty claim dismissed in the 2nd minute.

Dos Santos proved his worth once again in the 77th minute with a goal-line clearance, but failing to keep the ball, the three points was always in threat. 

When jamil took advantage of some confusion in the box - after Sairol and Shahrulrizal's substitutes, Suhaime Yusof might not have known who to mark- there was nothing Simunic could do but just cover his face and turn away. 



Sunday, February 12
DPMM FC VS Tampines

Vjeran Simunic has just paid Tampines Rovers the ultimate compliment ahead of their S-League opener tonight.

"They are like the Singaporean Barcelona," said the DPMM FC coach yesterday.

"Alexander Duric and Fahrudin Mustafic are legends- they are maybe the best two players in Singapore

"Benoit Croissant is one of the best defenders in the league over the past seven to 10 yearsand the side also have a few good playerswho came from the Croatian first division... goalkeeper Sasa Dreven, midfielder Davor Piskor and Gligor Gligorov.

"Midfielders Jamil Ali,Imran Sahib, Ismadi Mukhtar have been involved in the national team so we all know tampines are a strong side," he added. 

Despite all the hype building up to the game against Tampines - Simunic seemed confident a win for DPMM FC was on the cards.

"We an speak about Tampines for 10 pages, but I don't want to think about that- - I want to think about my own team," he said.

"We always play well against big teamsand our fans are our 12th player.That will help us to make good performance,"added the DPMM coach.

Tampines team manager Zulkarnain Zainal admitted the Charity Shield win against Home Utd was a welcome boost ahead of their title defence, Gligorov and Piskor netted both the goals to help the Stags take home the first piece of silverware on offer this season, and Zulkarnaen believed the team was now fully preparedfor their first league game.

But though DPMM haven't played a competitive game in three years, the manager was talking anything for granted.

"We're ready," promised Zulkarnaen

"It won't be easy to retain our title we'll have to maintain our standard.

"We're expecting DPMM to fill a good side.You cannot underestimate them, they must be respec