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Brunei DPMM FC
Pg Waslimin bin Pg Momin
Fax: +(673)-2431000
Suite 1, Level 1
Halimatul Sa'adiah Building, Gadong
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
  My Site News  

Friday, October 5
History-seekers DPMM out to ruin perfect Albirex.

Albirex Niigata FC (S) are looking for an unprecedented fourth straight RHB Singapore Cup triumph when they take on Brunei DPMM FC on Saturday evening at Jalan Besar Stadium.

The White Swans have won the Cup three times in a row and look set to retain the title,especially after going through the entire season unbeaten in all competitions.

However,DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber is calling on his squad to create hostory themselves by winning their first Singapore Cup.

"The opponents haven't lost any games;they are three-time champions of the Cup but this is football,anything can happen," Weber said.

"We can respect the opponents but that menas we have to play harder than them-thats respect."

At the other camp,Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga is refusing to take anything for granted despite his side's unblemished record, noting that their opponents are enjoying a good run of form.

"We do not think of any past records,"he said. "For us,what we achieved in the past remains in the past.Our players and ourselves will give our best.

"DPMM have been unbeaten for ten games and Rene Weber is a very good coach for DPMM.He has helped to improve a lot of players but we will prepare well and try to win."


Albirex head coach Yoshinaga: "Our players showed their mental strength and other strengths to win their last game,we have one more game and we want the players to give their best and win the final.

"Although there are no local clubs in the final, but we always considered ourselves a local club and we have a lot of Singaporean supporters.We will fight hard for the supporters to win the final."

DPMM head coach Rene Weber:"We hope to win the final and write our history into the books.

"Three days to recover before a match is tough, but it is tough for Albirex too.We must believe in more of our ability, and I hope to see that on Saturday.

"We want to forget about the last game.Its not impossible for us to win on Saturday." 


Thursday, October 4
DPMM thwart spirited Balestier in thriller to make Singapore Cup final.

Two late goals from Brunei DPMM saw them make the RHB Singapore Cup final wirh a 4-2 win on agreegate at the expense of Balestier Khalsa FC, following a 2-2 draw in the semifinal second leg on Wednesday evening at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Hazzuwan Halim and Huzaifah Aziz had helped the Tigers to draw level on aggregate with first-half goals, but the visitors came roaring back after the break with Shahrazen Said and Volodomyr Priyomov each netting once.

The hosts started with aplomb and created enough chances to score thrice in the opening ten minutes, but Vedran Mesec was denied by a great reflex save from Haimie Nyaring and Keegan Linderboom hit the bar with a header.

A wonderful delivery from Ahmad Syahir the found Hazzuwan unmarked inside the box, but the winger somehow put his header wide.

But the Tigers' pressure eventually paid off when Hazzuean eanrd a penaltymwhivh he duly dispatched with ease to reduce the deficit on 37 minutes.

It got better four minutes later, with Hazzuwan involved in the thick of action once again.A one-twobetween Huzaifah and Hazzuwan allowed the former to bear down on goal before slotting ther ball past Haimie to put Balestier level in the tie.

DPMM tried to impose themselves in the second half and Priyomov came close early on,before Azwan Ali forced Zaiful Nizam into a decent save and Adi Said blasted a free-kick narrowly over.

The hosts caved in the 78th minute when Shahrazen Said smacked the ball in after Brian McLean's header came off the bar.

It all went pear-shaped five minutes later after a lapse in the Balestier defense let DPMM in again.

A high ball was not dealt properly by Shaqi Sulaiman and Azwan Ali managed to nick it before gettinh a shot away.The ball toom a deflection off Zaiful and Shaqi before falling kindly for Priyomov, who tapped it into an empty net for his 21st goal of the season.

DPMM will take on Singapore Premier League champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) in the Cup final on Satirday after the Japanese side defeated Home United to win the other semifinal tie 4-2 on agreegate,whie Balestier will take on Home United  in the third/fourth-placing match earlier on the same day.


Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: "Nothing happened for them until the 79th minute.Everything was ok but in this kind of tempo,you cannot last the whole game.We started losing the shaope,but they didn't create much chances against us as well.One set-piece killed us at 2-1,we tried pushing for another goal and then we conceded once more and the game was over.

"I was a wasted opportunity as we could have scored three or four goals easily in the first half.Its noteasy to play the second half the same way...but its very sad.Now we have to fight for third...Lets move on and learn from this."


DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: "I was very sad about our team in the first half as we don't usually play that way.In the second half, we turned it around because...they believed in themselves and what they can do.We also had a better strategy in the second half.

"I'm happy.They deserve the win...At the start of the season,I said I came to do something this season so I hope to win the final and write our name into the history books." 


Saturday, September 29
Balestier, DPMM play out tepid draw ahead of Singapore Cup rematch.

There was no love between Balestier Khalsa FC and Brunei DPMM as they  played  out a 0-0 draw at Toa Payoh Stadium on Saturday night, before meeting again at the same venue in the second leg of the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals in four days' time.

Having lost the first leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal 2-0 three nights ago,Balestier were looking for positives in this game ahead of next Wednesday's second leg and they can take heart from stopping Ukrainian hit-man Volodomyr Priyomov from scoring.

The 32-year old was frustrated all night by Balestier's centreback pairing of Sahqi Slaiman and Nurullah Hussein and will need to score at least thrice in DPMM's final game on 9th October to overhaul current top scorer Shuhei Hoshino, who is on 19 goals.

Balestier were plucky in the opening exchanges and could scored after juts six minuytes,but Vedran Mesec was unable to put his dead ball on target.

DPMM did go close 10 minutes later when captain zwan Salleh's freekick was spilled into the path of Adi said, but the latter's follow-up went straight to Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam. 

Balestier continued to threaten, with Mesec in the thick of everything as the Croatain attacking midfielder thrashed two long-range efforts over thereafter.

Zaiful then did well to keep the scores level,as he fling his body to deny Abd Azizi Rahman point-blank range on 40 minutes after Priyomov's scuffed shot had fell into his path in the area.

The Tigers suffered a big blow going into halftime as New Zealander attacker Keegan Linderboom suffered an injury and had to be replaced by Noor Akid Nordin.

That meant they lost some headway in the second half while DPMM were seemingly happy to remain in second gear to preserve themselves for next week's Cup tie.

Rene Weber's men did go closing to snatching all three points away from Toa Payoh seven minutes from time, but substitute Abd Hariz Herman blasted wide from just outside the area.

It would eventually end as a goalless draw, with Balestier finishing the season in sixth place while DPMM can still dislodge Tampines Rovers from third with victory against Young Lions.


Thursday, September 27
Azwan Ali stunner helps DPMM punish wasteful Balestier in Singapore Cup semi.

Brunei DPMM took a giant step towards the 2018 RHB Singapore Cup final after a first-leg 2-0 win over Balesiter Khalsa FC at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Volodomyr Priyomov scored a debatable penalty to open the scoring before Azwan Ali struck a wonderful effort to seal victory for the visitors, who are hunting their first triumph in this tournamnet.

Balestier will feel done by the results as they had dictated play for most of the game until the spot-kick was awarded in the 68th minute.

The Tigers were remarkably composed in the opening stages of the game but they failed to capitalise on some gift-edged chances.

Keegan Linderboom failed to get the best of Haimie Nyaring after being played through by Hazzuwan Halim in the 11th minute,while the latter followed up with a team effort just moments later.

Another chance went begging in the 26th minute after Huzaifah Aziz drove down the glank and his cut-back found Hazzuwan in the box, but Hainie stood firm with a good save.

Linderboom will then wonder how he failed to score in the 33rd minute, Haimie fluffed his clearance towards Huzaifah and the midfielder cleverly played Linderboom through, only for the striker's low effort to crash off the right post.

The New Zealander continued to ebdure a torrid night,missing twice from close range after meeting superb deliveries by Huzaifah in the 35th and 53rd minute respectively.

The turning point of the game would arrive when Nurullah Hussein was adjudged to have handled Brian McLean's cross and Priyomov duly converted the resulting spot-kick.

If the first goalcame in a debatable manner, there was nothing Balestier could complain about for the second.

After failing to clear their lines,the ball fell to Shahrazen Said and he set up Awan Ali to curl a stunning striker into the top left corner from 25 yards.

Balestier will now have a mountsin to climb when both teams face off again in the second leg on 3 October at Toa Payoh Stadium.


DPMM Team Manager Hj Ali Momin: "Balestier are a good team,only their finishing was poor tonight;if they scored a goal in the first half, maybe it would be a different situation.

"For the first half, we were not doing well and I don't know what happened to our players.In the second half, we started to attack more after putting one more striker in the middle and that helped us to score.

"Balestier were playing well, they got the second ball faster than us and our players seemed to be second for everything and that's how Balestier attacked us.But luckily, their finishing was not on point and it was good for us.

"For us 2-0 is enough for the second leg.Its not much but its good to have a two-goal lead in the pocket, so if we are not doing well...its enough for us."

Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: "I am very disappointed with the score tonigt.The boys worked hard , we made chances and we should be ahead,very clearly,but we made mistakes and this happens in football."We wanted to attack, we wanted to win the game-we did not come here to wait for the second game and the boys did a great job.Only we made one mistake and our opponents punished us...we had many clear chances to go ahead.DPMM were second best for almost everything.

"Of course,when you are playing well and then you concede a soft penalty, everthing chnages.

"We never say die, we are going to Tao Payoh Stadium,we are going to score one goal and then step  by step we will get there,but we need to keep a clean sheet.

"I am very confident that the chnaces we missed, we will score them next Wednesday." 


Monday, September 24
Kraljevic's Balestier fired up to salvage pride for local sides against DPMM.

Balestier Khalsa FC Head Coach Marko Kraljevic wants his side to salvage some pride for local teams as they take on Brunei DPMM FC on Wednesday evening,26th September at Jalan Besar Stadium in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semifinal at 7.45 pm.

No local clubs have won any domestic silverware since Warriors FC's league triumph and Balestier's Sinagpore Cup success in 20114.

On the other hand, DPMM and Albirex Niigata FC (S) have been sweeping up accolade after accolade, with the White Swans successfully retaining their title this season already.

In fact, the last Singapore Cup final featured two foreign club, with Albirex beating Global Cebu to retain the trophy for a third season in a row.

Kraljevic could not hide his dismay at the current state of affairs,having been part of the local scene his Balestier Central days.

"We need to work harder and show the fans that we can be ebetter.Its not good for foreign teams to be in all the finals all the time," Kraljevic said.

"We need to raise our game and foir our boys to be more competitive."

The Tigers will have to fight to earn a spot in the season-ending final though,as DPMM demonstrated their might with an eventual 5-2 aggregate win over Warriors FC.

Azwan Ali and Volodomyr Priyomov were among the goals in DPMM's last game and Kraljevic highlighted them as threats to his team's hopes.

But he believes his side will need little motivation to take to the game to the DPMM and put on a show.

"This is a chance for a spot in the final, the boys won't need much motivation other than that.We are always ready and everyone is looking forward to the game," he declared.


Sunday, September 23
DPMM edge Tampines to renew top two hopes.

DPMM FC enhanced their prospects of finishing as runners-up in the Singapore Premier League after edging ine-man Tampines Rovers 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

The "Gegar-Gegar" men raced to a 2-0 lead following a second half double from Volodomyr Priyomov and though Daniel Bennett's 78th minute goal for the visitors handed a mini scare, the hosts saw the game out for a priceless win.

Volodomyr also enhanced his hopes for the top-scorer award after his surge of form saw him two goals behind leading marksman Shohei Hoshino of Albirex Niigata(S) and one behind Warrriors FC forward Jonatahn Behe.

The hosts came close in breaking the deadlock after Azwan Ali's decent effort clipped the bar.

the visitors carved a decent chance from outside the box after forward Taufik Suparno's effort sailed over the bar on the other end.DPMM FC forward Volodomy Pryiomov sliced his effort wide.

Yasir then arrowd his shot wide from range albeit little harm to the DPMM goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring.

Azwan Ali provided a fine ball into the middle but Volodomyr took a slighly heavy touch as Madhu Mohana was able to track him down and clear the danger.

Yasir got into the end of a Ryutaro Megumi cross but could not apply the perfect connection to trouble Haimie.

Azwan Ali curled a good drive outside the box but ended well wide off the far post despite Tampines goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari beaten.

Three minutes fater the restart,Volodomyr directed his header into the bottom corner after connecting from a Hendra Azam cross for his 16th goal of the season.

The Stags were reduced to ten men after Fahrudin Mustafic was sent off for a professional foul after Volodomyr Pryiomov outran him.

The lethal Ukrainian striking assassin doubled the lead with another header agter guiding the ball in the near post with Adi Said heaving a hand with another assist.

Tampines pulled one back after defender Daniel Bennett bear his marker to direct his header home.

The visitors' task of leaving with a point to their travel got even harder after Yasir became the second player to be shown the red card.

Ryutaro somehow found the way past the defence but was left with no room for a clear shot as DPMM put more bodies in the box.

The home side near;y killed the tie after Daniel Bennett could only clear into the path of Adi Said who saw his sot brush against the post.

But there were still late drama at the end as the hosts were reduced to ten men after Azwan Ali was sent off for a second bookable offence.




Thursday, September 20
DPMM cruise past Warriors into Singapore Cup semis.

Warriors FC's hopes of a first RHB Singapore Cup triumph since 2012 were dashed by Brunei DPMM in a resounding 3-0 defeat in the second leg of their first round tie at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on wednesday night.

The visitors came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg at Jalan Besar Stadium in late August, but it was a more straightforward affair this time.

Shahrazen Said and Azwan Ali Rahman put DPMM two goals up within the first 30 minites before Volodomyr Pryiomov added the icing on the cake late on in a game that was played in muddiy conditions.

Adi Said continued his imperious from this season with a wicked-wing cross that found the elder brother Shahrazen at the far post to head in. 

Warriors custodian Mukundan Maran kept his side in the game with a series of saves as the 20-year old turned away Azwan Ali's long-range strike on 14 minutes, before producing a stunning reflex save to top away Shahrazen's snapshot a minute later.

He then denied Azwan Ali twice,rushing out well to close the angle in the 21st minute before smothering a close-range effort five minutes later. 

The hosts did have couple of chances,but Fadhil Noh and Janathan Behe spurned their opportunities.

DPMM doubled their advantage on 28 minutes when Azwan Ali expertly turned past his marker in the box before trashing a clean shot past Mukundan from eight yards.

Hafiz Sulaiman's header off Tajeli Salamat freekick clipped the crossbar before going over as thr Warriors rallied, but they failed to convert any of the numerous chances they carved out.

Behe fired straight at Haimie from just outside the area on 47 minutes, before somehow lashing wide of the left-hand post from a similar distance 15 minutes later.

Khairul Nizam tehn failed to meet Behe;s cross with the goal gaping, before Haimie denied Behe again.

Substitute Ho Wai Loon then fired over from just inside the area on 80 minutes after Behe's shot was palmed away and he would turn villain soon after.

On the stroke of full time,Ho copped a straight red card for a horribly mistimed challenge on Azwan Ali and Priyomov smacked in the ensuing freekick from 30 yards to seal victory.

DPMM's night ended on a slightly sour note though as Head Caoch Rene Weber given his marching orders after an argument with the officials.

His team will face Balestier Khalsa in the semifinals,with the first leg at Jalan Besar Stadium on 26th September.


Warriors Head Coach Mirko Grabovac:"DPMM had a really good game with their attacking force.They made two goals in the first half, but we made some changes and were very good attacking-wise in the second half I don't know how we never scored a goal.If we had one goal back,it would be a different game.

"This DPMM teamis just too tough to beat and we just have to focus again for the league to finish in the top five."

DPMM Team Manager Ali Momin: "We were very happy with the way we played,especially in the first half where we controlled the game and scored two goals,we were disciplined in our defending to stop Warriors from scoring.

"For Weber's sending off Coach was angry with the referee's decision;usually he's very cool but today he lost control.These things happen.

"We have not won the Singapore Cup since joining the SPL, so thats our main target right now." 


Sunday, September 16
Priyomov double sinks Warriors in DPMM comeback.

Warrors FC fell to their second 2-1 defeat to Brunei DPMM for the season, with  a brace from Volodomyr Priyomov helping the visitors to turn tie around on Saturday evening at the Chao Chu Kang Stadium.

Warriors had taken the lead first through Kento Fukuda, but Warriors failed to keeo  the lead- the fourth time they have done so this season against DPMM.

The defeat means that they are virtually out of the running for the fourth spot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League table - they trail DPMM by six points with just two points to go in the season, while DPMM also have a game in hand.

It could possibly be a psychological blow for the Warriors'Singapore Cup hopes, they play DPMM again on Wednesday in the second leg of the first round, with the aggregate score at 2-2. 

Warriors had the brighter start to the game,with Jonathan Behe forcing Haimie Nyaring into a save rearly on.

But DPMM came very close to breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute through Azwan Ali,who pounced on a loose ball nea rthe halfway line and fired a first-time volley that crahed off the bar,.

A minute later, Najib Tarif sprung the offside trap but his effort from his weaker left foot wwas not enough to trouble Makundan Maran.

DPMM kept up the pressure and Mukundan was forced into a superb save with his leg to prevent Azwan Salleh's powerful effort from going in. From the resulting corner, Brian McLean nodded wide.

The young Warriors goalkeeper was once again called into action in the 22nd minute,after Adi Said was allowed to cut in and get a shot away.

Fadhil Noh then saw a volley curl narrowly wide,before Aziz Tamit screwed his shot with an open goal waiting,after Azwan Ali had picked him out with a freekick.The ball fell nicely for Adi and the forward caught it sweetly,only for Hafiz Sulaiman to block it right on the line.

DPMM were left to rue those misses,as Warriors found the net a couple of minites later.

Khairul Nizam managed to get onto the end of Shamil Sharif's floated freekick and smartly nodded it to the far post for Fukuda to score with a simple tap-in.

The lead lasted for just eight minutes though.Nobody tracked Priyomov's run as Azwan Ali floated in a free-kick and the Ukrainain flicked the ball into the net from point-blank rabge.

Shahrazen Said then spurned a glorious chance,smashing a rebound well over with Mukundan beaten.

Warriors started the second half brightly, with Amminul Emmran hitting the post with curling effort four minutes after the restart.

But DPMM slowly grew ascendancy and Prioyomov out them ahead in the 70th minute with a highly contentious effort.

A shot from Adi forced Mukundan with a decent save,but Azwan Salleh was first to the rebound and his pass found Priyomov to tap in,with the Warriors players claiming he was in an offside position.

The home side were almost gifted a goal in the 82nd minute, when HAimie allowed Suhaimi 's shot to slip through his grasp and bounce just wide of the goal.

From the resultign corner,Emmeric Ong planted a header just wide and DPMM were able to hold off Warriors for the remainign 10 minutes in the game.


 Warriors Head Caoch Mirko Grabovac:"I am frustrated...for the second goal,everybody can see the number 10  was on the line...he must be offisde.Again, the concentration was missing in the second half.

"They must be better in defending set-pieces.The set-pieces from them are very dangerous.Most of the game,they scored from there.Every time we practice it in training, but this still ahppens.We have to see how we can improve in two or three days.

"Sure, we will be chnaging something on Wednesday, bit I can't say it now.Nizam was fine, Shamil was ok today.Some of the players came from the national team, some had injury(so they didn't play today).We are going to see,but for sure we will change something.

"We had chances to score again...sometimes the players who are coming into the game from the bench have to prepare better.

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"It will be a different game on Wednesday-they have a good team It will be a game number five against them this season.

We played here before, the field is not so good.The main point is whn you beatan opponent, you know how they play but they also know how we play - and a knock out match is a different challenge.We lost two players today to injury...I hope they can play in the next game." 


Saturday, September 15
Warriors look to end SPL season on a high staring with DPMM.

A crucial match at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Saturday awaits for both Warriors and Brunei DPMM with the fourth spot in the Singapore Premier League at stake.

Warriors are currently on a five-game unbeaten run in the SPL, a strak that offers a glimmer of hope after a disastrous start to the season.

Currently occupying fifth spot,they are in with a shout of finishing the season in the top four - which would represent somewhat of a success considering that they were closer to the bottom three than the top four after the first round of season.

The only problem for the Warriors?Brunei DPMm currently sit in fourth spot with a three-point advantage and a game in hand.

That makes it paramount for the Warriors to secure a win for a top-four finish to happen for them.

The game also takes on more significant importance,given that Warriors will also be facing the s ame team next week in the second leg of the Singapore Cup quarterfinals.

In the first ;eg,Warriors led 2-0 before allowing DPMM to come back and draw,prompting Warriors head coach Mirko Grabovac to express his dissatisfaction with how his side threw their lead away.It was also a mirror of how the match between both sides at the start of the season unfolded.

Warriors defender Dalwinder Singh has called for his side to "not let this slip up again." 

"We will look at it positively ant that since we were 2-0 up,why not go one further and capitalise on the mistakes they make and make it count?" he said.

"We also will be wary about the threats they possess and they'll be capable of coming back, so we need to be tighter at the back as a team." 

Dalwinder also added that it doesn't matter whether its the league or the cup,for the team will strive to "go all out and take all the points" they can.

Meanwhile, DPMM head coach Rene Weber said that DPMM will not be holding back in either games.

"We have two decisive games and it is our target to finish in the best position we can in the league, as well as advance in the Singapore Cup to take on Balestier in the semifina;," he said.

"We will need to play both games with the same concentration because we want to be third or even second in the league and our main target is to go all the way to the cup final.

"We know it will be difficult.Both teams know each other and it is amust for us to play with some strategy." 



Friday, August 24
DPMM stage stirring comeback to hold Warriors in Singapore Cup.

Warriors FC threw away the opportunity to bring an advantage into the second leg of their first round RHB Singapore Cup tie against Brunei DPMM after being held to a 2-2 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

It looked like the four-time champions were crusing to victory after leading 2-0 goals from Jonathan Behe and Ignatius Ang,but DPMM produced a rousing comeback to earn a share of the spoils thanks to strikes from Brian McLean and Volodomyr Priyomov.

Of a five unbeaten streak in the SPL, Warriors started the game in confident fashionand managed to open the scoring after just eight minutes.

After Tajeli Selamat's solorun was halted by Ak Fakharazzi juat outside the area,Behe stepped to curl home a superb effort that nestled into the bottom right corner for his 18th goal in all competitions this season.

Priyomov then lashed into the side netting from 20 yards out,but it was the Warriors who grew from stregth and eventually doubled their advantage through a good team move on 35 minutes.

Receiving Tajeli's cross-field pass on the right,Emmeric Ong swiftly laid the ball off for Ammirul Emmran,who in turn releasing Ang.He needed just one touch to steady himself on the edge of the box, before friring a crisp shot into the left corner past the helpless DPMM goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring.

The visitirs comeback began on 65 minutes.After a half-cleared freekick fell to Azwan Ali Rahman,he was allowed to space to drive in a right-wing cross for Priyomov.The latter's first-time volley was tipped onto the post by Warriors custodian,Mukundaran Maran, but McLean was was on hand to tuck into an empty net to set up a nervy finale.

Encouraged, DPMM piled on the pressure in the dying stages and their efforts paid off in the 84th minute.

Adi Said wriggled freeof two defenders before teeing up Priyomov,whose snapshot from the edge of the area somehow evaded Mukundan and flew for his 14th goal in all competitions.

DPMM could have made it 3-2 two minutes later,but Mukundan redeemed himself by tipping Priyomov's spectacular left-footed volley from 20 yards onto the post.

It eventually ended all square and both sides meet again in the second leg at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Sptember 19 with thetie posed on a knife's edge.They will also faced each other in a league meeting at the same venus four days prior


DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"I told the players in the dressing room at halftime that "our team do not play like this'.We lost everything in the first half...we lost passes, we lost organisation. If Warriors scored more, we are finished.

"In the second half, we started to play football.Our goalkeeper took the balland started passing to the defenders,whereas in the first half we just played long balls.Im happy with that and now we have another game to play."

Warriors Head Caoch Mirko Gabovac:"In the first half we played well...But in the second half,we lost concentration and I don't know what happened.We should have been 3-0 or 4-0 up;we played very good soccer and created good chances.

"Im not happy that our fitness went down and we should played a more compact shape at 2-0 up.But I'm still happy with how we played and there's still a second leg to come." 

Thursday, August 16
DPMM and Young Lions shared the spoils.

The Young Lions held Brunei DPMM tp a 1-1 drae in a heated affair in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

The visitors opened the scoring through Shahrazen Said at the start of the second period, before Ikhsan Fandi leveled the score within two minutes from thr spot.

Ikhsan threatened within four minutes of the opening whistle when he unleashed a ferocous grounde rthat hit the right post, before gliding across goal behind goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring and out for a goal kick.

DPMM had the next opportunity when Brian Lean towered above the rest,off an Azwan Ali corner, only to see his header go narrowly wide.

The visitors had another glorious chance to take the lead on 22 minutes when aAzwan capitalized on a defensive lapse and was clean through on goal.Instead of taking a shot, he opted to lay it off for Volodomyr Priyomov who saw his shot palmed by an alert Zharfan Rohaizad.

It was Azwan who caused mayhem yet again on 28 minutes whe he released Shafie Efffendy, who failed to score from a tight angle as Zharfan closed him down.

DPMM's dominance was telling but Rene Weber's charges just failed to find that final touch in the attacking third and both teams went into the break with level terms.

The second half got off to a blistering start as DPMM scored the first goal within a minute of the restart.

Azwan released substitute Shahrazen Said down the left and the winger ghosted between two Young Lions defenders before curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner past a stranded Zharfan.

Barely two minutes later,Youg Lions substitute Haiqal Pashia was fouled by McLean in the box to allsos Ikhsan the chance to slot home his seventh goal of the season from the spot.

DPMM thought they had retaken the lead on 53 minutes when Shahrazen scored from a corner,but the referre ruled it out a foul on Zharfan.

Things began heating up as both teams were guilty of rash tackles,with Azwan's high boot on Syahrul Sazali the pick of the lot.

Tensions continued to build up with every passing minute as both beches were up on their feet,with tensions threatening to boil over.

Ikhsan almost scored his second in the 70th minute, but his brilliant turn failed to match ed by his shot that went into the sidenetting.

With nine minutes left on the clock,Shahrazen almost got the winner when he glided past three defenders only to thump the ball intot the Jalan Besar floodlights with only Zharfan to beat.

 The result left DPMM stuck in fourth place while the Young Lions stay seventh with their fifth draw of the campaign.


Young Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad:"This was a very physical game.Both sides played very hard, we know they are vying for second or third position but it was good to see my boys getting stuck in and match them. 

"In the first half,we had injury problems but we did a lot better in the second half.We played well in thr first 15 minutes but them allowed them to control.They are strong and physical but my boys never pulled back.

"With Pashia,he wasn't able to train yesterday but we knew he always has that 30 to 35 minuutes where he can do something special so we deliberately wanted to use him for the second half." 

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"My idea about the game is we lost too many goal-scoring chances in the last five games.For a team looking to be in the top four of the league, this is not ideal.

"Against Tampines, we lost three chances.Against Home Utd, we lost chances again.This game, we could have sealed the game in the first half with the chances we had.So my thougnis when you have the chance to score, you must score.

I speak this a lot with the players.If we don't create chances,soemthing is wrong but if you have two to three chances in each game and don't score, you don't get the result.

"The Young Lions are a young team and probably did better in this difficult period when we have five games in 15 days .We could have played better but we spent too much energy and there is not enough time to recover between each game." 



Saturday, July 21
Weber urges players to show strong mentality.

DPMM FC head coach has encouraged his charges to preserve a strong mentality which they demonstrated in their last league match ahead of the clash against Home United in the SPL at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium tonight.

The head coach wants his side to show the fighting spirit especially against the top teams adding the playing against them hellps elevate their performace into a higher level.

"I'm happy with how we play and how we fight especially in the second half against Tampines.We need to have a mentality where we fight," said Weber in an interview.

"We are improving in terms of teamwork and we can play better becausewe have the quality and the technical capacity.We can prepare the team to be strong because technical capacity is important in football.We can work more on the physical capacity with a good programme.

"I am happy with the way we play and I also hope that we do something in the cup,"he added.

Hendra Azam will be available for selection after missing the Tampines game through suspension following an accumulation of yellow cards.


Wednesday, July 4
Brunei DPMM foor Tampines to seal their sixth win of the season.

Vlodomyr Priyomov was the two-goal hero for the visitors at Our Tampines Hub,opening the scoring in the 40th minute before sealing the victory when he converted from the spot nine minutes after the restart.

With leaders Albirex Niigata (S) beating Hougang United 2-1 on the same evening,the Stags are now 14 points behind with just ten games left to go.

It could have, however, been a far different story had Tampines made the most of their chances in the second half.

They were not helped by the fairly lacklustre start they made to the game,which afforded their opponents control of proceedings in the opening 45.

DPMM duly broke the deadlock five minutes before the break when Mojtaba Mollasaraei's incisive pass sent Adi Said racing in behind the opposition defence.

Advancing into the box, Adi unselfishly squared the ball to Priyomov, who sent an emphatic finish into the top corner for his 10th goal of the campaign.

Just three minutes into the second half, the Bruneian outfitwere presented with a glorious opporti=unity to double their lead when Shameer Aziq was adjudged to have handled Adi's right-wing cross following an unfortunate bounce.

It was no surprise that Priyomov stepped up to the spot and he made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Syazwan Buhari the wrong way to pit his side further in front.

By now, the visitors were firmly in control of proceedings, but, to their credit,Tampines then turned it up a notch in a bid to get back into the contest.

Yasir Hanapi had Haimie Nyaring scampering to his near post with a free-kick into the side-netting in the 61st minute,before Khairul Amri had a couple of decent efforts but was just unable to find the target.

Then, a moment of controversy arose in the 72nd minute when Amri failed to cleanly connect with Fazrul Nawaz's flick-on,only for Haimie to fumble the ball and seemingly take it over the line.

But, with the linesman not flagging, the referee was left with no optionbut to wave away Tampines' vehement appeals.

Another appeal in the 81st minute, this time claiming for handball inside the area after another Amri attempt was blocled, was also dismissed.

The Stags finally awarded a penalty in injury timewhen Amri was felled inside the box by Helmi Zambin but Fazrul spurned the opportunity by blazing wildly wide,allowing DPMM to seal a result that could yet prove to be pivotal in the title race.

Tampines coach Jurgen Raab: "For me, its a big surprise how we played in the first half.Coming into this game on the bac of two wins,I expected us to start with confidence and make the next step in securing second place.We were in a position to enjoy the match but no one was willing to take a risk and I must say we played terribly.In the last half-hour,when we started to play,we actually showed the kind of football we're capable off but maybe in the end we didn't deserve anything from this game." 

Brunei DPMM coach Rene Weber:"The right word to use today is 'teamwork'.Particulaerly with the way we defended,it was a good performance because one of the areas we talked about is for the players to come back and help out in defense.And you saw that today with Adi and Mojtaba on the wings - they came back to help.Tampines are an experienced team and we knew it was a big challenge to win this game.Sotoday is good performance,but we can do better." 



Wednesday, July 4
Weber calls for good performance against Tampines.

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has called his charges to deliver a good performance ahead of their Singapore Premier League match against Tampines Rovers at the Tampines Hub in Singapore tonight.

DPMM,who have two games in hand over their next opponents, will be looking to reduce the gap with second-placed Tampines to seven points with victory.

Although Weber is only preparing his side to face the Satgs for the first time this season, he is already versed with how they will line-up with experienced duo Fahrudin Mudtafic and Daniel Bennett marshalling the defence.

"They play with three defenders with Mustafic and Bennett playing on the left side.I saw a lot of their games and their coach was also there when we played against Geylang," said Webb in an interview after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Monday.

"They know how we play but we also know how they play.They are an experienced team and they control the game especially the three defenders.They know how to keep the ball and organise the team."

Weber also acknowledged their strengths are not limited in defense with Japanese Ryutaro MEgumi and Jordan Webb lighting up the channels on the attacking front and was effusive in his praise of midfield maestro Yasir Hanapi.

"They have quality players and are experienced.They are showing this on the field because they have been winning and they are second on the table,"the former Under-20 Brazilian coach added.

However,Weber who was also former Atletico Mineiro assistant manager highlighted that the Stags can be stopped if they approach the game in the right manner.

"When we play against three defenders it is not easy because they organise the team and they put more players on our field.But they also give space to us for the counter-attack.

"There are many games in July but it is not about complaining.It is about going there to win.It is very important to get a good result and I know it will be a difficult game.In the league there are no easy games.

"We have good players and we have good quality here.We have some weaknesseswhich I want to improve but we are improving game by game.We will also get more confidence if we beat Tampines."

Weber also revealed that Tampines are the second best team in the league after current league leaders Albirex Niigata (S). 




Monday, June 25
DPMM strike late to deny Hougang second straight win.

Ukrainian forward Volodomyr Pryiomov struck 12 minutes from time to earn DPMM a 1-1 draw with bottom side Hougang United at the NAtional Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub on Sunday evening.

Hougang looks set to earn their second straight Great-Eastern Hyundai Singapore Premier Leafue win after Stanley Ng's first-half penalty, but they paid the proce for a jaded second-half performance as Priyomov struck a late equaliser.

Buoyed by their first win of the season last weekend,Hougang - led by Caretaker Head Coach Celment Two - displayed their new-found confidence in the opening stages by some slick football.

The Cheetahs could have scored as early as in the the seventh minute, but French-Italian forward Antoine Viterale's speculative 25-yard shot came off the crossbar.

They threatened again nine minutes later,with Viterale's curling shot pushed around the post by DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof after he was sent on goal by Ng.

Their pressure would pay off on 24 minutes as they were awarded a spot-kick due to anudge by DPMM centreback Abd Aziz Tamit on Viterale in the area.

That was the cue for an outrageous goal from Ng,who stepped up to smack in an audacious effort with his outside foot from 12 yards for his first goal in Cheetahs colours.

Despite having Fabian Kwok as a makeshift centreback alongside Adam Mitter due to Illyas Lee's suspension,Teo's side held their fort well in the first half with DPMM's first shot on target coming after 43 minutes.

Iranian forward Mojtaba Mollasaraei went on a good solorun,before seeing his shot from a tight angle denied by the legs of Hougang custodian Khairulhin Khalid.

DPMM emerged for the second half with much more vigour and could have levelled matters on 53 minutes, with Mollasaraei somehow tapping wide from Azwan Ali Rahman's inswinging corner.

DPMM went close again eight minutes later as Adi chipped wide with just Khairulhin to beat after being teed up by Azwan Ali.

Meanwhile,Hougang failed to replicate their energetic first-half performance and wated a number of good oppportunites to score.

One of these fell to Viterale on 73 minutes, but he headed wide from captain Nurilmi Jasni's right-wing cross.

They were made to pay for their profligacy five minutes later as DPMM grabbed a deserved eualiser.

Taking advantage of some slack Hougang defending,Priyomov checked inside his marker before slamming an unerring shot into the bottom left corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Rene Weber's side could have stolen all three points late on,but Khairulhin stood up strong in the dying stages.

The 26-year old denied Abd Azizi Rahman's close range on 81 minutes, before showing stunning reflexes to repel Azwan Ali's shot from point-blank range three minutes later to preserve the point.

The result meant DPMM climbed back to fifth spot with 15 points from 10 matches, while Hougang remained bottom with 7 points from 12 outings.


Hougang Caretaker Coach Clemet Teo:"I can't fault my boys.They improved leaps and bounds in terms of tactical awareness.The determination and work rate they put in...I can't fault them.We had chances to score, but unfortunately they did not materialise.

"Its the National Stadiumand everyone wants to prove themselves.Its once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some players to play here.There must be freedom in how we play...We could have slowed it down in the first half but thats our game plan - to move very quickly.

Before the last game against Balestier, I asked who was confident and Stanley was the first one to put his hands up.Players have to take responsibility and its good for Stanley to score tonight.Now the only direction for us is up.Its good that the players are now feeling confident and enjoying themselves."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"Its about one team playing and one team defending.I know they're fighting for points...They just defend, defend and waited for soem counter attacks.But we didn't play well in the first 45 minutes and im not very hapy with how we played.

"I talked about it in the dressing room -we were just looking at our opponents playing and we don't look to fight.Thats not the right way to play.In the second half,we came back better.

"Its difficult for us so far because we played eight out of ten games away.We have some games at home now and we must prepare the team well because other opponents are improving.Or target is always top four." 

Sunday, June 24
DPMM FC coach calls for players to perform under pressure.

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has called his charges to perform under pressure in their clasg against Hougang United in the SPL at the National Stadium in Singapore today.

DPMM FC resumed training on Monday following a short break on and is raring to build on their 6-2 success during their previous outing in Singapore.

"We must put the team under pressure becuase pressure makes the players play at a higher level.They must feel that they must win and when they put their mind into the game,they will improve," said Weber after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"We want to play good football but when we lose the ball,we must press our opponent and come back more quickly."

After six months at the helm, Weber said that he is currently overseeing the second stage of his team's development having moved from the first stage which was learning his squad.

Weber highlighted that the second stage involved working on the physical and technical organisation while the first stage was about understanding the team's organisation.

"I want to use the quality of the players and with power.I want to reach the top four target and I want to keep this position," the former Atletico Mineiro assistant manager said.

Weber also indicated the fringe or reserved players should be given the exposure to feature in competitive matches evident by the growing influence from the bench in recent matches.

The Brazilian has given opportunities to forward Azizi Ali Rahman, who is making his debut season, and winger Shafie Effendy to shine in the Singapore Premier League.

"In Brazil, we always say that we must put games in the shoulders of the players.They need to play more.Shafie can be a good player and he's young too.

"Azizi also come in now to the team.he has experience but he hasn't played before in a higher level.He can help our team," the coach said of the former ABDB player.

"You must prepare one full group with a strong mentality.The substitutes must also keep the level high,"Weber further added.

The head coach also acknowledged the sheer qualities of defender Yura Indera despite seeing his role limited from the bench. "Yura is a young player and has power,"he said.

The head coach will also be focussing on making sure his charges are better equipped with greater physical strength. "We must improve our physical part of the game to put pressure on our opponents.It is our target now," he added. 

Friday, June 22
Buoyed by first win, Hougang eye DPMM upset.

A belated first win of the season has lifted spirits in the Hougang United FC camp, but their next  task will be a difficult one as they take on Brunei DPMM at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub on Sunday evening, 24th June.The match will kick off at 5.30 pm.

At long last, Hougang's season finally got the lift-off that they desperately needed with their first victory in 11 tries last weekend in a hard-fought 1-0 away victory over Balestier Kahalsa.

Philippe Aw paid the price for a poor start to the season with three draws and seven defeats, making way for the management team that saw Clement Teo appointed as Caretaker Head Caoch and Salim Moin roped in as his Assistant.

The duo got off to an auspicious start as the Cheetahs put up a resolute defensive display - coupled with some goalkeeping heroics from Kahirulhin Khalid - and managed to prevail through a superb second-half header from captain Nurhilmi Jasni.

The result gave them a boost in their bid to avoid finishing bottom anf they are now just five points behind second-from-bottom Geylang International, with two games in hand.

A difficult clash against DPMMat the iconic Singapore Sports Hub on Sunday night is up next and Nurhilmi wants more of the same as they face the Bruneians for the first time this season. 

There are no drastic changes (despite Aw's dismissal);its just about getting the confidence back and enjoying our football,which coach Clement has emphasised on," the 31-year old said.

"To be honest, it wasn't our best performance against Balestier but our objective was t win and we did it.Its all about positive thinking now in the dressing room and we definitely want to collect more points to climb the table.

"DPMM's playing with a lot of confidence this year...But if we keep our belief and stay focused, we have every chance of stopping them.It'll be a great experience for all of us to play on a great pitch and we can admire it as much as we want,but the main objective to get a good result for the team."

DPM will not be short of confidence, having plundered 6 goals to defeat Geylang International 6-2 away the last time out.

The front three of Mojtaba Mollasaraei.Volodomyr Pryiomov and Adi Said has looked good this season, combining to devastating effect and finding themselves on the scoresheet against the Eagles.

While DPMM are now 5th with 14 points from nine games, they can close the gaps between them and second-placed Tampines Rovers to just two points if they win their two games in hand.

Goalkeeper Wardun yussof believes his side is poised for a strong finish this season,with 10 out of their 14 remainign games-after playing Hougang-scheduled at home.

"Of course, playing at home is a great advantage for us and we just need to keep focused for each games a s it comes," said the 36-year old.

"Indeed, our attack looks great with the imports linking up well with the locals.Let's no forget we have aslo Azwan Ali supporting them.We just have to keep playing our style of football.We have been more organized and more focused in fitness under Brazilian coach Rene Weber."

Based on head-to-head records,DPMM are definitely the favourites to win this one,having lst just twice in their last nine meetings. 



Monday, June 11
Super Adi Said spearheads DPMM rout of Geylang.

Brunei DPMM bounced back from last week's 5-0 mauling by Albirex Niigata (S) with an emphatic 6-2 thrashing of Geylang International at Bedok Stadium on Sunday night.

A goal apiece from Volodomyr Priyomov,Adi Said, Mojtaba Mollasaraei,Azwan Sallh and Helmi Zambin put DPMM into a comfortable 5-0 lead by 67 minutes thiught hey suffered a scare when when the hosts then pulled two back.

Fairoz Hasan and Shahwal Anuar gave the Eagles hope, but the visitors would guarantee victory late on through Adi Said's second goal of the night.

The result meant DPMM claimed their first win in four league matches, while it was only Geylang's second loss in their last six outings.

DPMM shot out of the blocks and broke the deadlock just after 6 minutes.

Off a through pass from adi,Priyomov held off Jufri Taha just inside the box before beating Geylang goalkeeper Zainol Gulam with a crisp low shot into the bottom left corner.

That was the 32-year old's eigth goal of the campaign as he ended a three-game barren run.

The visitors almost scored again three minutes later, with Azwan Salleh's 30-yarder being tpped onto the post by Zainol.

Geylang gradually settled in and were unlucky not to net in the 13th minute.A superb Fairoz flick sent Shawal racing through on goal, but the latter's left-footed volley crashed off the left-hand post.

Incredibly, the woodwork was rocked fro a third time in four minutes later.Priyomov found space to drive in a shot from a tight angle, but he was denied a second goal by the right-hand post.

Geylang created a flurry of chances for the rest of the first half, but were unable to put them away.

The best one came on 40 minutes when Sahwal expertly evaded Brian McLean after taking downFumiya Kogure's long ball, but shockingly fired over with just DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof to beat.

Zainol then made three saves to kepp DPMM at bay, but were unable to stop Rene Weber's men from doubling their lead on the stroke of half time.

The 26-year old managed to claw away Hendra Azam's corner,but Adi was on hand to convert the rebound into a gapping goal.

Things turned from bad to worse for the Eagles as they conceded a third just two minutes into the second half.

Adi whipped in a superb cross from the right for Mollasaraei,who marked his return from a three-game absence due to injury by heading in at the back post.

A fourth soon followed on 59 minutes.A corner was half-cleared into the path of Azwan, who thumed home a superb first-time volley from the edge of the box that ainol could only watch to fly into the top right corner.

It looked like the game was all over when DPMM made it 5-0 on 67 minutes, where Helmi was Johny on the spot to tap home his first goal since April 2013 after Zainol had parried Mollasaraei's close-range shot into his path.

However, Geylang refused to lie down and hit DPMM two quick-firee goals to set up a thrilling finale for the home fans.

On 70 minutes, substitute Ryson Yap dug out a superb cross from the left of Fairo to nod a neat header beyond Wardun.

Yap repeated the trick three minutes later with a left-footed cross that Kogure flicked on to the far poat, wherenShawal could not miss from a yard out.

However there was no miracle comeback for the Eagles as DPMM scored a sixth on 85 minutes to seal the three points.

Adi took down a left-wing cross and evaded two markers before thumping home a superb finish beyond the stranded Zainol to round off the night's scoring.


"Geylang Head Coach Hirotaka Usui: "I don't want to criticise the referee today,but he made mistakes many times.We should have a minimum of two penaltiesbut I don't want to throw the responsibilitu.

"My team's performance was not so good, especially in the opening minutes of each laf.There were some individual mistakes and I feel that my players were over-confident.They must be humble.I must create a serious atmosphere in training, just how like it is during games.

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: "I was expecting us to do a good game today.Against Young Lions, we did well in the second half to draw.Against Home United, we lost 1-3 to a good team and our performance was not so good.Against Albirex,they were just a team which is a level higher with 25 foreigners.

"Im happy that we returned to how we played earlier in the season, playing the ball and changing sides.Mojtaba came back and helped the team a lot, but I don't want to talk about one player;the whole team played well.Wardun played fine and he wasn't guilty for the two goals; he's a good professional who supports the team and helps 20-year old Haimie Nyaring.

"My target is still top four.Im just here for five months.If Im here longer,maybe I can target higher." 




Sunday, June 10
Revitalised Geylang take on DPMM.

Having won three out of their last four matches, Geylang nternational are feeling confident ahead of a tough Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League encounter against Brunei DPMM at Bedok Stadium on Sunday night, 10th June.The match will lick-off at 8.30 pm.

DPMM dished out a 4-1 thrashing when the two sides met in Bandar Seri Begawan in mid-April - a result that lifted them to second while Geylang were rock-bottom at that point.

Touted as possible title challengers before the season,DPMM's form has since taken a rapid decline.Just one win from the following five matches meant they have dropped all the way to sixth,with 11 points from eight outings.

As for Geylang,that result was the midway point of a five-game losing streak as they entered the month of Ma

rooted to the bottom.A 1-1 draw against Young Lions thereafter not just stemmed the rot, but has alos sparked an upturn in fortunes since.

Three wins in the following four games have seen them rise to seventh and allevaite fears of finishing borttom for the first time in their proud history.The Eagkles now have 11 points from as many games - just three points off third-placed Home United FC.

The mood is now upbeat in the Geylang camp and they are feeling bullish ahead of a tough run of fixtures, which see them face Home United and Albirex Niigata (S) after hosting DPMM.

"Our upcoming games will be abig challenge for us," acknowledged Japanese midfielder Yuki Ichikawa who has led the team superbly in the continued absence of club skipper Anders Aplin.

"But our team have been training hard and improving day by day,so all of us are ready to show what we are capable of.We've become more positive over the months and we're always in for a good challenge.We certainly have mothing to fear after our recent form."

It is slightly different over at DPMM after the psychological scar of a 5-0 mauling from Albirex  last Sunday.With a massive 22-point gap between them and the relentless White Swans,their title aspirations are all but gone even with three games in hand.

Volodomyr Priyomov caught the eye earlier with seven goals in his first five matches,but the former Shakhtar Donetsk hitman has hit a dry patch lately with none in the last three.

DPMm captain Shahrazen Said believes it is time for the rest of the team to pick up the goal-scoring burden and help the team to return to the upper echelons of the table.

"Why we were successful in the past was because every player was hungry to score," noted the 32-year old. "Imports, seniors and young players all playa part in helping the team.

"Its disappointing to lose to Albirex but we must forget that nightmare.For now, we just have to keep going, work hard and take care of our individual fitness.Our target is to be in the top four for this seeason." 


Monday, June 4
Albirex leads their way with 5 goals past DPMM

Albirex strolled to their 33rd straight home win with a 5-0 defeat of 10-man DPMM on Sunday evening at the Jurong East.

Captain Wataru Murofushi lead the way for the White Swans, with Taku Morinaga,Shuhei Hoshino and Ryuji Yamanaka joining him on the scoresheet.

The win was Albirex's second straight five-goal victory and also meant that they have 11 wins from 11 games, with no signs of slowing down just yet.

DPMM, on the other hand, dropped to sixth on the table, behind Home United on goal difference after suffering their heaviest defeat of the season.

Coming into the game,DPMM had conceded six times in the opening 10 minutes- the most in the league- and that came to haunt them once again as Morinaga broke the deadlock just nine monutes in.

A low cross from Ryuji Yamanaka was not dealt with properly by centre-back Hanif Hamir and the ball fell invitingly for the litlte magician to slam past hapless Haimie Nyaring.

Albirex's next opportunity would only come in the 33rd minute fater Mrofushi picked out Morinaga with a wonderful pass but this time,Haimie made a fine stop with his outstretched legs.

Two minutes later,Kenya Takahashi hit the woodwork with a freekick from the edge of the box.

The hosts would double their lead 60 seconds later though,with Shuhei Hoshino turning Hanif on the edge of the box before slotting the ball into the bottom right after receiving the ball from Daiki Asaoka.

The lead was further extended 5 minutes later before the break as Mrufoshi lit up the night with a wonderful solo effort.

Receiving the ball from Asaoka in the middle of the park,it looked as though he was too far out to cause any real harm.But Murufoshi embarked on a wonderful run into the box, skipping past three challenges before firing a powerful effort that dipped into the top left corner.

Albirex began the second half in similar fashion, with Murofushi firing narrowly over a well-worked move frm the Japanese side.

DPMM had a decent chance ro reduce the deficit when Volodomyr Priyomov ran past Shuhei Sasahara in the 56th minute, only for Yosuke Nozawa to deny him.

The Ukrainian was it again just a minute later,but this time he could not keep his freekick down.

Morinaga then wasted a olden chnace to add on his tally after Albirex carved open the Bruneians with some brilliant build-up, before Asaoka saw his header of Takahashi's free-kick saved by Haimie.

Haimie continued to be kept busy by Hoshino and Morinaga, and the pressure got to the 2-year old goalkeeper on 74 minutes.

The youngster had come out for a long ball and fumbled it,gifting possession to Morinaga.In a moment of madness, he punched the diminutive midfielder in the chest, giving referee Farhad Mohd no choice but to brandish the red card.

Down a man, DPMM failed to cope with the continuous Albirex pressure.Another mistake at the backgave the league leaders their fourth of the night in the 79th minute, after Helmi Zambin's attempted clearance from a Morinaga;s cross deflected off Tamanaka into the DPMM goal.

Murufoshi got his second of the night with the last kick of the game, tapping the ball over the line after substitute goalie Wardun Yussof palmed Hoshino's header onto the Albirex's captain's path.


Albirex Head Caoch Kazuaki Yoshinaga:"Although we wn 5-0 tonight,I was not happy with some of the mistakes that the players made.It was just lucky that those shots we took  went in today and on another day, we may not be so lucky.There are some mistakes that I am not very happy with.I devise the strategies for this team and I have an idea how to stop my own team.

"I would like to correct some misconceptions.Opponents always say we have 25 players,but we have 21 and 19 are Japanese and two Singaporeans.With 21 players, we are unable to play 11 versus 11during training.This year,we also cut back alot of friendly matches but we do not have enough substitute has been a handicap for us this year.

"Another misconception is that we play with a Japanese style.I do not look to Japan my style.I take inspiration from European football.My idea is to train the Japanese players to be able to beat teams outisde of Japan.This s what my motivation and inspiration is from."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"We have played 8 games in the league, and six are away - this is not something that happens normally.Its true that we have given up too much goals in the beginning...I think maybe we have no concentration in the beginning.I have to point out that Albirex have better fitness-they have mostly foreign players, and they are some steps further ahead than other teams in the competition.I congratulate Albirex as they are doing well for a team of Under-23 players.

"I am sure we can play better .We lost two of the last three games...I expect us to come back to our level.We started very well in the beginning of the season, we have to do something about the situation we are in.We can definitely play better...I hope in the future we can do better." 



Saturday, June 2
No room for Albirex complacency against 'wonderful' DPMM foreign stars.

Brunei DPMM will be looking to bounce back from last week's defeat but it will be a huge task for them to do so against the perfect Abirex Niigata(S) in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League on Sunday,2 June at the Jurong East Stadium.

Another week in the SPL, another opportunity to ruin Albrex's perfect record.

The Japanese side have won 10 on the trot - the best start ever any club has had to a SPL season - and ghey are showing no signs of stopping yet.

Having won 31 consecutive games at the Jurong East, the leaders will be confident heading into the clash against DPMM this weekend.

But Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga is not entertaining any notion that his team can simply turn up and get three points from the game.

"It s impossible for us to play at high level all the time. Therefore, we must always keep our focus and stay grounded," he said.

"We must improve further.It is impossible to play at a high level with the current performance." 

Yoshinaga added that DPMM, whom they beat 2-0 earlier this season,cannot be taken lightly simply because their foreign players are "particularly wonderful".

However Rene Weber knoows that his side will have their work cut out. The Brazilian pointed out that while DPMM were able to match Albirex in the second half of their first meeting,hs players are fasting this time around.

"We have the team to beat them...but to win,we must play hard and be very organised," he said."We have to score from the chances that comes our way.If we able to score first, then it will be interesting to see how they deal with the situation."

The odds though are clearly stacked against the Bruneians, given that Albirex have won four straight matches against them and lost just once in the last 10 meetings.

Albirex will continue to miss centreback Shun Kumagai, who is recovering from a meniscus tear, as well as forward Adam Swandi, who is struggling from a knee problem.

DPMM's Iranian forward Mojtaba Mollasaraei missed the two last matches and it is unclear if he will be able to start against Albirex, although Weber has said that the full team will be available.


Albirex Head Coach Yoshinaga: "We are not interested in that (talk of title being a foregone conclusion already).We only improve by looking at the reality, and there is still a lot of work to be done for these boys."

DPMM Head Caoch Rene Weber:"Albirex are a very good team...they have the privelege no other clubs in Singapore have.They have 25 players coming from a top-four Asian country, so (There is)no surprise about their perfect record so far." 


Sunday, May 27
Home Utd back to swimming ways after dispatching DPMM

Title-chasing DPMM Home United got their first win in four Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League matches after a solid 3-1 success over Brunei DPMM at the Bishan Stadium on Saturday night.

Shakir Hamzah's early goal was cancelled out by Adi Said,but the Protectors reclaim the lead through Song Ui-Young late in the first half before substitute Sirina Camara sealed the points 15 minutes from time.

The result meant Home moved up to fifth with 11 points from eight games while DPMM dropped a position to fourth, with Home ahead due to a goal difference.

DPMM started off the more enterprising of the twp sides and could have scored after just eight minutes on the clock. 

Ukrainian hotshot Volodomyr Priyomov found space to drive in a close-range snapshot after Faizal Roslan had conceded possession in his own half,but his fierce effort was well denied by an alert Rudy Khairullah.

Surviving that let off, Home would goon the break the deadlock two minutes later.

With DPMM goalkeeper Haimie Nyaring not geting enough distance on his punch to clear Izzdin Shafiq's cross, Shakir was onto the loose ball in a flash before poking home a neat shot into the bottom right corner.

Aidi Sharin's men almost made it two on 17 minutes when Shahril Ishak put Song through on goal but Haimie pulled off a superb reflex save.

DPMM gradually got back into the game and duly levelled matters on the half-hour mark.

A superb bll over the top by captain Shahrazen Said picked out younger brother Adi, who took a touch to steady himself before firing a crisp left-footed shot into the bottom right corner for his fourth goal of the season.

DPM's joy was shortlived.Five minutes later,with the DPMM defence failing to cleartheir lines from a corner,Izzdin swung in a superb cross for Song to nod pastHsimie from six yards out for his 12th goalin all competitions this season.

DPMM went into the second half with renewed vigour and should have restored parity from a seond time nine minutes after the break.

Priyomov looked odds-on to convert from three yards after being teed up by Adi,but his shot was somehow blocked on the line by centreback Abdil Qaiyyim.

Home were, however, effective after the break that led to the killer goal.

After initiating releasing Shahril,Camara get the perfect return pass from the former and his effort tooka wicked deflection off DPMM cnetreback to go past a wrong-footed Haimie on 75 minutes.

DPMM face reigning champions Albirex Niigata(S)away next Sunday,3th June, while Home will get some breathing space before hsoting Young Lions on Wednesday 6th June.


Home Head Coach Aidil Sharin:"Its a satisfying win tonight, everyone worked hard and 95 percent of the team was performing - not just one or two players.They have to beleive they can beat any SPL team if they pt in the hard work.Im happy with the defesive part of our game - we didn't lose concentrationlike we did in our last three games and even managed to keep attacking towards the end.

Im happy for Suhairi Sabri who stepped in for the suspended Anumanthan.He only got three days to train, but he diid very well for us.Its not easy for him as he works in the day and its the fasting month.Its adifferent generation these days, you need to talk with these young players individually and not in front of everyone.My two coaches are doing a good job to help motivate them and improve their mental strength."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"I congratulate Home beacuse they have a good team and a good coach; thats why they are in the final in the AFC Cup.But Im not happy with the referee tonight.I don't always talk about the referee, this is perhaps the first and the last time im talking about this.Referees must be fair all around the world.Ayellow card is a yellow card, one guy- Cmara-had a yellow and he kicked agan; thatsa red card and maybe it would change the result!

"We played good football -side to side-but we didn't shoot enough...Our next game is a tough one against Albirex. They are a team who should be first beacuse they have 25 foreigners, we have three and other teams have two." 

Saturday, May 26
DPMM look to return to winning ways against Home.

DPMM FC are hoping to return to winning ways against Home United side in the Singapore Premier League at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM missed the chance to go second after the Young Lions draw in their last league apearance had could leapfrog Balestier Khalsa,who play on Sunday.

 The Brunei-based outfit are facing the AFC Cup Asean zone finalists who recently stunned Indonesian giants Persija Jakarta over two legs for a second time this season.

However, the Protectors have undergone a rough patch in the league having only managed two wins in seven matches and are third bototm in the Indonesian league.

DPMM will be looking to exploit their backline who alongise Geylang International have the worst defence in the league after shipping 20 goals.

Both sides have met earlier this season with DPMM enjoyinh a home win and it is no surprise that they will be looking for a repeat of such performance.

DPMM centreback Brian McLean will be hoping to give them a good fight as they did earlier this season during the six-goal thriller.

"It was a fair result against Young Lions, we didn't create a lot of opportunities for ourselves to score," McLean told the Football Association of Singapore(FAS) website.

"We are the masters of complicating things instead of doing the simple things well.Now we just need to focus on the recovery and get our mentality right for this tough, tough game,"

The Brunei side have a tough run of games which also includes against tabletoppers Albirex Niigata (S) next Sunday.

"We are in the midst of a tough run of away matches, but you can'y use it as a negative because thats the fixtures.No doubt Home  Utd are a quality team and thats why they are in the AFC Cup Zonal final,"said the former Hibernian man.

"But its up to us to replicate the way we played against them at home earlier this season and give them a good fight,"he added.

DPMM will have to buck the trend at the Bishan Stadium having not won in regulation time in their last six visits since their return to the Singapore Premier League in 2012.

However,Rene Weber's charges are unbeaten in their last four matches and have clawed their way back from faliling behind on three separate occasions. 

Thursday, May 24
Ikhsan stunner canceled by late strike as DPMM hold Young Lions.

The young Lons and Brunei DPMM had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday night.

Iksan Fandi opened the scoring with a superb half-volley in the 66th minute but a late goal by Adi Said salvaged a point for DPMM. 

The hosts were under heavy pressure from the start and were content to let the visitors see most of the ball, as they packed their half and relied on counter-attacks.

But despite dominating possession,DPMM barely had a sniff on goal and relied on shots from distance.

A well-worked move in the 6th minute could have paid off had Sahrazen hot the ball with more venom,but instead he scuffed it into the grateful arms of Zharfan Rohaizad.

Azwan Ali came close next in the 23rd minute, as he ran onto Volodomyr Priyomov's layoff and had a go from 18 yards out but a sprawling Zharfan was able to deny him.

A rare Young Lions foray forward saw Ikhsan deliver a good cross into the box bu Naufal Azman was just inches away from connecting at point-blank range.

A hopeful volley by adi then flew over the bar just two minutes before the half concluded, sending both teams into the dressing room level as a light dazzle started up.

In the second half, the Young Lions showed more attacking intent and substitute Haiqal Pasha somehow found the wrong side of the post despite having the goal at his mercy after DPMM failed to clear the lines.

They could have paid for that miss in the 50th minute, when Priyomov found himself with the ball at close range and went for goal by Zharfan produced a sublime save to thwart him.

Five minutes after the hour mark, Shahrazen Said failed to make his header count after a good delivery by Azwan to steer the ball towards the near post.

The opener finally arrived in the 66th minute. Ikhwan caught DPMM napping and stole the ball before unleashing a thunderbolt from distance for his second goal as many games.

Clearly in confident mood,the forward went for goal again from outside the box in the 75th minute abd was unlucky to see his low drive flash past the post.

The last ten minutes saw DPMM piling the pressure on as Zharfan pulled off another good save to deny Shahrazen  while Azwan Salleh's shot was deflected just wide.

Their effort finally paid off in the 87th minute when Sahfie Effendy was given plenty of space on the right and he picked out Adi, who finished off from close range.

There was still time for a winner , but Irfan Fandi failed to get his close-range header on target following Haiqal's crner in injury time.

Both teams have only two days to recuperate before playing again on Saturday,26 May as the Young Lions face Warriors FC at Jalan Besar Stadium while DPMM face Home United at Bishan Stadium.


Young Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad:"We could have won in the last five minutes, the boys worked really hard, but DPMM is a good footballing team.We closed down a lot of their players and they worked very hard...Our discipline and compactness kept us in the game.You can see the difference, comparing the experence of the DPMM team,but our players determined to get that result tonight."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"A draw is one point bit I am not happy about the result because we could have won the game.We must improve the team;they must be there to face different kind of solutions.I am sad as we could  win this game, not because the opponents don't deserve it,they are strong.I have no complaints about my team but we must play more football."



Tuesday, May 22
Young Lions seek landmark win against DPMM

Young Lions are set to face another daunting task at Jalan Besar Stadium as they take on Brunei DPMM in a Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League clash on Wedneday night, 23 May at 8.30pm.

By all accounts, three wins and a draw from 5 matches is a decent record from any side.

But that is not good enough for DPMM coach Rene Weber,who believes his side can achieve more a sthey aim to reclaim the league title they last won in 2015.

"Yes, I am happy about the team, but I tell them we cn do more," he explained. "They are training so strongly in a good way and have good techniques. Teshniques makes a differenceand we have it, but we just need to improve our organisation on the field."

DPMM's previous game was on May 13 a 2-1 win over Blestier Khalsa FC and the ten-day break gives them a clear advantage in terms of freshness against the Young Lions,who play for the third time in a week.

They will at least be galvanized by their comeback win against Hougang  Utd,where striker duo Ikhsan Fandi and Naufal Azman both netted.

Ikhsan in particular will be gunning for more, after breaking his SPL duck since he made his debut for Home Utd 20 games ago in 2016.

There is an opportunity for the Young Lions to make history too;since the Brunei's club re-entry into the domestic league in 2012,the Young Lions have failed tobeat them in 16 league encounters.


Young Lions midfielder: "It is definitely important for us to get the three points because that will only boost our morale and confidence. Plying our third game in one week is definitely a challenge, plus it is also during Ramadan time.

"But I believe this is not something unusual for us because the Hassanal Bolkiah topurnament,we played back to back games.It is important for us to recover well and be ready to fight again.It is a challenge but it will not be an issue for us."

DPMM Head Coach Weber: "I am expecting a difficult game against Young Lions as they have a young team and power.It will not be an easy game,but I hope to win because we are becoming stronger game by game, and playing good football as I like to be.We have no advantage over them,they are a young team and also we will play...two games also in three days, so it is no excuses for anyone." 

Monday, May 14
DPMM produced spirited comeback.

Brunei DPMM FC overcame a one-goal deficit to condemn Balestier Khalsa to a 2-1 loss in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League on Sunday night at Toa Payoh Stadium.

The Tigers took an early lead within two minutes of kick-off, with Brian McLean stabbiing his clearance straight at Hazzuwan Halim, who did supremely to rifle in the opener from just inside the box.

An instant response could have been made by DPMM at the other end, but Shahrazen Said could only drill his shot just wide of the post.

Content to protect their lead,Balestier sat back and were put under a sustained spell of pressure by DPMM./

But the hosts nearly doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, only for Hazzuwan to see his dipping freekick clear the bar.

Just after the half-hour mark,another counter nearly yielded dividends gor Balestier.Noor Akid Nordin drove his way down the left channel before finding Vedram Mesec, but the Croatian could only divert his effort past the post.

But DPMM came out a defferent side in the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 55th minute.

Shahrazen played a one-two with Azwan Salleh before laying it on a plate for league top scorer Volodomyr Priyomov to smash home from close range to make it 1-1/

Both Shahrazen and his brother would then missed several chances,but the latter etched his name onto the scoresheet in the 64th minute.

Helmi Zambin won a penalty, which Adi cooly converted to set DPMM on their way to a first win in six matches at Toa Payoh.

They were helped by theit brilliance of goalkeeoer Haimie Nyaring,who prevented an own goal by Helmi in the 86th minute,before making a superb one-handed save to tip away Mesec's stinging drive.

Hazzuwan had the last chanced of the game as he found space at the edge of the box,but he failed to find the mark as the Tigers fell to defeat. 



Balestier Head Coach Marko Kraljevic: "In the second half, they started putting pressure on us and were more aggressive.We conceded the goal and it was tough for the young boys as we were not able to hold the ball.We were unlucky not to equalise; it was good last 20 minutes for usbut it was too late...the one cleared off the line, one shot by Vedran and one shot by Hazzuwan, we made a lot of chances but luck is not on our side tonight."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"It was a very tough match, we suffered again in the beginningbut the final result is important.In the second half,we played like our team is capable of.I hope we can,in every game, play like how we played in the second half today." 


Saturday, May 12
DPMM look to end To a Payoh hoodoo against Balestier.

It will be a battle between two resurgent side at Toa Payoh Stadium om Sunday evening, 13 the May as third-placed Balestier Khalsa take on Brunei DPMM, two spots below them, in the Great Eastern Singapore Premier League.The match will kick offat 5.30pm.

2017 was preety much to forget for Balestier and DPMM as they finished third from bototm and second-last respectively.

A new campaign brings forth the opportunity to start afresh and both sides' fortunes have changed significantly this term.

Balestier sit third with 10 points from seven games,just nine points away from matching last year's tally.Much of the Tigers' successthis year can be attributed to the foreign attacking duo of Vedran Mesec and Keegan Linderboom.

In particular,the latter has impressed with his hold-up play and is the league's joint third top-scorer with four goals to his name.

However,one should not discount the work by the locals.Experienced goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam and roving right backFadli Kamis form the fulcrum of the team, while young players lke Shaqi Sulaiman and Noor Akid Noordin have stood out wth their fearless displays.

"The team spirit is great on and off the field; we're mostly always together wherever we go,"defender Sufianto Salleh said."Senior players like Zaiful and Raihan always keep the players on a high by motivating us and talking to us before the game.

"Coach Marko Kraljevic has trained us really hard from the first day of preseason and the team bonding we have off the field is showing in the strong performances on the field."

Meanwhile DPMM are in 5th with seven points from four -10 points off what they accumulated last season.Having a change a coach from Steve Kean to Rene Weber and a new foreign trio in the form of Volodomyr Priyomov,Mojtaba Mollasaraei and Brian McLean to replace Rafael Ramazotti,Daud Gazale and Vincdnt Salas seems to have done DPMM a world of good.

Former Shakhtar Donetsk man Priyomov has caught the eye with six goals,which has propelled him to the top of the scoring charts,while effervescent Iranian Mollasaraei has chipped in with two goals and three assists.

Long-serving forward Adi Said is enjoying himself in a three-proged attack as DPMM continue to rebuild under former Brazil Under-20 tactician Weber.

"We lost a great player in Ramazotti,but its good that we signed two new players from Ukraine and Iran," said the 27-year old,who is not into his seventh season with the club."They bring a different set of qualities to the team and I have to say its fun to link up with them in attack.

"Coach Rene's style is really different from Coach Kean's. He has good technical knowledge and his training is helping the team so far."

DPMM have a chance to close the gap between them and the frontrunners with a win, but history is agianst them - they have failed to win in six visits to Toa Payoh since returning to the SPL in 2012.

For Balestier, avoiding defeat will see them dislodge Tampines Rovers to go second in the table. 


Thursday, May 3
Warrors win-less misery continues as DPMM stage two-goal comeback.

Volodomyr Pryyomov netted a brace to lead the scoring charts and make it six games without a victory for the hosts.

Warriors have only themselves to blame after failing to win yet again in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League on Wednesday night.

Kento Fukuda and Sahil Suhaimi scored inside the opening eight minutes to give Warriors a two-goal cushion,but the Volodomyr Pryyomov hit back with a goal in each half to earn Brunei DPMM a 2-2 draw.

The result was also Warriors' fourth draw in six games and they stayed rooted in seventh spot, while DPMM moved to fourth.

Warrors opened the scoring on seven minutes after Jonathan Behe's freekick was diverted into the post by Sahil,with Fukuda getting to the rebound first to score.

Sahil turned scorer a minute later after being released by a delighful through-pass from Poh Yi Feng, cutting inside his marker from the right and then lashing a precise finish into the bottom left corner.

A silly foul from Tajeli Selamat - deputising for the susoended Emeric Ong at right back - gave DPMM a way back into the match on 36 minutes.

As the ball was bouncing away from the box, the 24-year old needlessly tugged Mojtaba Mollasaraei back toleave referee Muhammad Taqi with no choice but to point to the spot. The ensuing penalty was coolly converted by Pryyomov.

DPMM nearly found the equaliser two minutes before the break after an Adi Said cross found Mojtaba, but the Iranian rifled his shot over from eight yards.

The visitors started the second half on the attack, with brian McLean drawing a fine save from Fashah Iskandaw with a freekick while Azwan Ali fired over a good chance.

Warriors were then dealt with a blow on 55 minutes after Fukuda pulled up what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by Hafiz Sulaiman.

The visotors pressure finally paid off on 67 minutes when the Warriors failed to deal with a long ball and allowed Pryyomov to abg his second of the night with a header into the bottom corner.

But the Ukrainisn spurned an easy chance for a hat-trick - and a chance to take the lead - after heading wide from Awan Ali's cross from inside the six yard box.

At the other end,DPMM were let off with Shamil Sharif's freekick coming off the crossbar, while Delwinder Singh headed just over from a corner.

The visitors started to tire towards the end but the Warriors just could not get another break through,with both sides having to settle for a point each.


Warriors Head Coach Marko Grabovac:"My players must learn.Most if the game,we were the better team...the only problemis winning mentality.You can see how many mistakes we made in defence.Now we are starting to create chances with Behe back,but I still cannot believe how many mistakes we can make and how easily the opponents can score." 

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: "We started badly again and only started playing after 20 minutes.I'm happy about how we played in the second half,but Im not happy with the result;we could have won the game.I reminded my players that there is no easy game in the league.I hope we can play the way we did in the second half for the entire game in the future." 

Tuesday, May 1
DPMM to play tough away match against Warriors.

The Warriors will be seeking for a change of fortunes against Brunei DPMM, although the visiting side look like a tough matchup, having dismantled two local sides already.

Of the four meetings both sides had last season,Warriors emerged victorious in three games and plundered in 12 goals in the process.That included a 5-1 thrashing they handed to the Bruneians in the League Cup - a game they were vastly superior in all aspects.

But any expectations of similar results for the Choa Chu Kang-based side would be almost impossible, given the difference in fortunes both sides are experiencing now.

Warriors are currently enduring their worst-ever start tot the season since professional footnall was introduced back in 1996, having not won in five games and earning just three points.Their previous worst starts were three games without a victory, which occured in 2012 and 2016.

They enter the match on the back of a 2-1 loss to Balestier Khalsa on Sunday- a game which saw them getting dominated for large parts of the game.The only positive note for them was Jonathan Behe's return from injury,having missed four games since netting in the opening game of the season against Geylang.Even better, the French striker bagged a goal coming off the bench.

Grabovac called on his side to put the defeat against Balestier behind them and focus on DPMM now.

"How can you feel after losing a game?We must forget the game against Balestier and prepare for DPMM," said Grabovac, who led Warriors to two league titles and a Singapore Cup as a player between 1999 and 2002.

But if Warriors any hope of turning things around on Wednesday,they may find it tough to do so despite having home advantage.

Brunei DPMM are a rejuvenated side this year.They have won two of their opening three games convincingly,with the only blip a 2-0 defeat to champons Albirex Niigata(S) at the Jurong East.In their pair of wins, they scored 4 goals each and the total of eight goals scored are the most they have had in their opening three games since 2012,when they scored eight as well.

Half of those goals were scored by Volodomyr Pryyomov.The former Shakhtar Donetsk forward has hit the ground running and looks to be one of the early favourites for the topscorer award.He has also mde two of the three Singapore Premier League's team of the week.

Still, DPMM coach Rene Weber is wary of looking too much into the form guide.

"They are a big club.Sometimes big clubs do not start well in the league and its normal in football...they are a still a great club in Singapore," said the 56-year old Weber.

"We are going to face an opponent looking to win their first game.It will be hard."

Warriors will need to count on a superb start to the game if they want to earn a result,given that DPMM have conceded three of a total five goals in the opening 20 minutes.It is also well worth noting that DPMM have won six of the last 10 meetups between both teams.




Thursday, April 19
DPMM could have won bigger margin, says head coach Weber.

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has underlined the modesty of the scoreline against Geylang International FCduring an emphatic 4-1 win the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Tuesday night.

Weber indicated that his charges could have won by a bigger margin following a bombardment of attacks in the opening minutes of the game, putting the visitors on the back-foot.

"We did well and we played to win. I think the result could have been larger.We lost too many opportunities but whats important is the three points," Weber said in a port-match interview.

The Brazilian sets a top four target in the league adding that they will build on from their aspirations once they are in their whereabouts of the initial target.

"I am happy that the team played for the win.It is not because of luck as we had more opportunities.

"The players also made sacrifices; Brian made sacrifices, Hendra Azam with pain made sacrifices as well as well as Suhaimi who played with sacrifice.

"Sportsmen ought to make sacrifices to help the team.Today we did and I congratulate the players," he added.

Despite the magnitude of the victory,the coach stated that it was not an easy gameespecially dealing with the long ball approach from Geylang.

The team's new-look attacking workforce signalled promise and has gelled instantly with the foreign importsd impressing.

Despite each of his attacking optionshaving a hand in three of the goals, Weber, however, credited all the components of the team.

"I don't only talk of the offensive side of the game as the defence side as did well.I want to talk about our team as we had good teamwork today which is very important,"the head coach said.

Meanwhile his opponent number Geylang's head caoch Hirotaka Usui acknowledged the strength of the home side during the defeat.

"It is a very difficult game because DPMM have players with veru good ability and they are very strong," he said in a post-match interview.

The head coach identified local duo Azwan Ali and Adi Said as very skilled players,both of whom provided a constant threat during the game.

The Japanese, who replaced Noor Ali this term, admitted that the first goal they conceded was a setback before adding that they still amanged opportunities in the game.

"Te first goal caused us damage but we were able to create many opportunities especially in the second half so I have confidence," said Hirotaka. 

Wednesday, April 18
DMM cruise to 4-1 win over Geylang.

DPMM FC netted four golas in consecutive home matches after cruising to a 4-1 victory over Geylang International FC in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah Natonal Stadium last night.

The Brunei based outfit also exacted redemption with the same scoreline against the Eagles after they were beaten on home soil last season.

DPMM hit the post three times in a space of eight minutes with both coming from azwan Sallehwhile Volodomyr Pryyomov also came unstuck with his headr.

The visitors adopted a surprise tactical gameplay with creative playmaker Fumiya Kogure who bagged a hattrick here last season swapping positions with defender Anders Aplin.

DPMM winger Azwan Ali struck a fine shot after being set up by Adi Said but unfortunately hit the post before being denied again with Volodomyr creating te chance on a second occasion in the opening five minutes.

Nevertheless,the visitors succumbed to the relentless pressure as defender Zulfadli Zainal reliquished possession of the ball allowing Adi Said to capitalise and apply maximum punishment.

The forward had options with Volodomyr to his left but he was confident enough to take the shot and drive the ball home after giving the eyes to goalie Zainol Gulam.

Despite the barrage of attacks,Geylang somehow surprisingly found themselves back in the game after Suhaimi Sulau's attempted clearance was diverted unknowingly into the path of Muhammad Noor Ariff and into the net.

However, the hosts put their noses infront after Mojtaba Esmaeilzadeh turned home a powerful header after being set up by Adi.

The visitors who carved a rare chance in the midst of busy defence at the other end as Fairoz Hasan's shot was deflected of a home defender.

If the opportunities had been converted,Adi would sure be leading the assists and the forward seemed to be in charitable mood after yet another pinpoint cross which Volodomyr headed just wide.

DPMM enjoyed a good combination move with Mojtaba and Azwan Ali linking up well before Volodomyr smashed a shot rom a tight angle.

It was the same trio that contributed to the third goal as Volodomyr enjoyed the labour constructed from thr magnificient Mojtaba with the former tidily picking his spot leaving Zainol rooted from the spot in the 54th minute.

The hosts were riding on a good momentum as Volodomyr struck again a couple of minutes later with a neat header following a Hendra azam's cross beyond the reach of Zainol for his side's fourth of the game.

In the 65th minute, Azwan Ali teed up Volodomyr who shot low but this time Zainol was equal to the task.Suhaimi then delivered a dangerous cross into the box as Azwan Salleh's header slammed agains tthe crossbar.

At the end, DPMM maintained their composure after few dangerous attacks by Geylang, but the DPMM defenders were up to the task.The score remained 4-1 at the end of the game,as DPMM go up to econd in the league after three matches. 

Sunday, April 15
Albirex beat DPMM with two early goals.

Albirex Niigata (S) made it 28 straight wins at Jurong East Stadium after a 2--0 victory over Brunei DPMM on Saturday evening as they stayed top of the Great Eastern Hyundai Singapore Premier League standings.

In a match that was delayed for 30 minutes due to inclement weather, first half strikes from adam Swandi and Wataru Murofushi was enough for the reigning champions to record a third win in as many games.

In the basence of the injured McLean, the DPMM defence was torn apart as Adam capitalised on a poor clearance to net his first Albirex goal after meremy 40 seconds on the clock.

Murofushi then extended Albirex's lead in the fourth minute.After his run into the 18-yard box was unchecked, the Albirex skipper calmly slotted the ball past DPMM custodian Haimie Nyaring to leave the Brunei fans shell-shocked.

Murufoshi nearly doubled his tally on 11 minutes following a quick one-two with Adam,but he failed to divert the latter's cutback towards goal from cloas range.

The visitors then got an opportunity of their own at the other end three minutes later with Volodymyr Pryyomov hitting a shot straight at Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa.

DPMM came out of the interval with all guns blazing,but were unable to breach the Albirex backline led by Shun Kumaga and Kaishu Yamazaki.

Instead, it was Albirex who could have gone further ahead with Adam, Murufoshi and Shuhei Hoshino all shooting off target.

DPMM piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were unlucky not to pull one back.azwan Ali's effort was deflected out for a corner in the 71st minute, before Adi Said saw his half volley come off the body of teammate Pryyomov moments later.

Albirex hung on to claim maximum points in their opening home match, while Rene Weber's side slumped to their first defeat of the season.

Albirex next face Home United at Bishan Stadium on April 18 while DPMM host Geylang Internatonal FC a day earlier at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. 

What they said

Albirex Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: "Although we scored two quick goalstoday, I was not happywith the flow of the game in the first half.I told my players they didn't have a good game and I want them to improve and we will work on that on the training ground.

"Finishing is not the only thing I want them to work on.My players are very young and I need them to show more situational awareness and they need to improve on more aspects of the game.I want the players to not be satisfied with just the win or three points, but to look at their individual performances and how they can improve."

DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber:"Any team around the world would find it difficult to organise themselves after letting in two early goals,but we managed to do that after the first 15 minutes.I'm not happy abourt the result, but am encouraged with the second half display.

"There are no excuses for losing but I hope we can continue improving with more games undwr our belt.I was happy with the contribution of the two foreign strikers and I didn't want to risk McLean today because I could miss him for a longer period of time." 

Friday, April 13
Albirex wary of DPMM.

Albirex Niigata may have won their first two games of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season,but coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga believes that his young charges have yet to unleash their full potential.

Claiming the Community Shiled following a 2-1 victory over Tampines Rovers in the season-opener, the White Swans went on to beat Balestier Khalsa 1-0 last Sunday.

But, as the competition heats up,Albirex will face a severe test against DPMM at Jurong East Stadium tomorrow.

This season, DPMM have been allowed to sign three foreign players - one more than the six local senior clubs in the SPL - with no age restrictions.

That said, DPMM, who finished eighth on the nine-team table last year,have also sounded a warning to title contenders by beating Home United 4-2 last Saturday.

Yoshinaga told the New Paper after a training session yesterday morning: "I watched their game against Home United. I feel like their Ukrainian striker (Volodymyr Pryyomov) will make a huge impact on the team.

"DPMM played very well in their first game and,as compared to last year,they look more like a team."

Against the Protectors, Pryyomov, 32, scored two crucial golas, which Yoshinaga believes is a testament to the vital role he will play for the Bruneian outfit.

DPMM have also stregthened their squad with Iranian forward Mojtaba Mostafa,27 and defender Brian McLean, 32, in addition to the S-League's Young Player of the Yeat 2015 Azwan Ali and veteran goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

Unlike DPMM Yoshinaga's team are a largely Under-23 side,with the exception of veteran goalkeeper Yosuke Nazawa.But, when asked for his thoughts about different rules for different teams,Yoshinaga declined to comment.

Recalling their narrow victory against Balestier,Yoshinaga admitted that it was a lacklustre performance by his team.

Said the 50-year old: "There were obvious problems for us at both ends of the pitch,both in attack and defence.

"The penalty that we conceded was also uncalled for, although Balestier didn't score from that.But they had also many good chances against us.

"For us to score through an own goal, there's definitely a lot to work on from that game."

Despite that,Yoshinaga is happy with his team's progress.

"Although they started off slow, the team are improving day by day," he said.

"They've played only two games,so some players have not been able to show what they can do yet.

"It'll take some time to get the best out of them,but with more games under their belt,I'm sure we'll get  to where we want to be."

The White Swans are at the top of the SPL table,ahead of the Young Lions with one game in hand. But Yoshinaga insists he is not too bothered about their placing at this point.

He added: "As long as we keep improving each day, the position on the table will depict where we deserve to stand.

"Of course, towards the end of the season,we want to be on top." 

Sunday, April 8
DPMM usher new era with Home win.

DPMM FC ushered a new era under the tutelage of newly appointed head coach Rene Weber in style following a 4-2 win over Home United in their opening fixture of the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

DPMM FCnew Ukrainian striker Vlodymyr Pryyomov enjoyed a dream debut under underlying his scoring pedigree with a brace to firmly establish himself  as the main man upfront.

The Gegar Gegar men first foreign signing Majtba Esmaeielzadeh ended a roller coaster week in the best possible fashion after marking his debut with a goal.

DPMM FC local forward Adi Sadia and Mojtaba was originally in Weber's plans of first team selection  but after a surprise failure in the mandatort Yo-yo test led to their omission on their friendly on Monday possibly to allow them ample time for test ahead of a redo.

However the attacking duo who looks set to compliment a dynamic attacking force in a nerly assembled DPMM side, passed their test and was named in the matchday-quad.

With the sense of expectation, the home starting squad mirrored a sidd that featured against Sabah in  their final pre-season friendly with a couple of expected changes.

With the debate of who will partner McLean in the heart if defence, astring of fine performances has convinced Weber that Abdul Aziz Tamit was the ideal local paitring.

DPMM FC local recruits Suhaimi Anak Sulau and goalkeeper Haimie Anak Nyaring also made their debuts with the latter installed as the club's nuber one choice goalkeeper.

The hosts enjoyed a dream start after foreign import Vlodomyr Pryyomov opened the account with a neat finish in his debut in the 12th minute before Abdul Aziz double the lead two minutes later for his first goal since rejoining the club this year.

The visitors were punished after failing to clear succession of set-pieces as Vlodomyr nicked in to score his first goal of the club before Abd Aziz steered the ball home from close range fromt yet another corner.

the new era under newly appointed head coach Weber looked bright as DPMM found the third goal of the game with the Ukrainina on target on the 55th minute.

Mojtaba made it 4-0 for the hosts before before the Protectors finally got their name on the score-sheet albeit to an unfortunate own goal by Haimie.

Shahril Ishak netted in injury time but it was more of a consolation as DPMM stated the season with a win.



Friday, April 6
DPMM ready for the challenge.

Togetherness and the eagerness to succeed is crucial  for the individual players, in order to achieve three maximum points in their opening encounter against Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tomorrow night.

This was emphasized by the DPMM FC team manager,Md Ali Momin when being interviewed yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The players have to show their best ability that have been shown during their trip to Thailand, playing against AirForce Central and Thai Honda to achieve positivity against Home United tomorrow.

Speaking about their defeat on their friendly against Sabah,Md Ali explained the team wasted a lot of chances and hopes to improve their attacking.

Besides that, Md Ali also explained that the strategy after the DPMM friendly, the  DPMM head coach,Rene Weber concentrated fully on the attacking because it proves that during their friendly against Sabah, the finishing of the team was fairly poor.

"Besides that, what is being emphasized to the players this season is to win more possessions, playing more proactive and this hopes will bring compatibility for the players to control the ball better rather then losing possession from the opponents. The strategy will hopefully be a success," he added.

On the other hand,for this season with the absent of Rosmin Khamis in DPMM squad, Shahrazen Said will be the captain of the team if he is in the line-up. If he is not in the starting-11,Azwan Salleh will be given the nod to be the leader in the team.

According to Md Ali, the choice of the team captain is based on his ablity to lead, give a good moral and bring team as a unity. 

Friday, March 30
DPMM to play Sabah ahead of Singapore season.

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has hinted that his selection for the friendly match against Sabah FA at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Monday could be the same line-up in their Singapore Premier League opener against Home United.

The newly appointed head coach, whose squad came back from a training tour in Bangkok with two wins out of three games, revealed that he had a clear idea of his starting line-up. 

"I have a big idea about the teaam and I know more pf the players after working with them for more than two months," said Weber in an interview after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We have played three competitive games in Thailand which has a competitive and strong league.I think we are ready," the Brazilian added.

The head coach is also hoping for a good season fresh from their Bangkok training tour.

Asked if he has devised a specific strategy for the team, Weber revealed that they have their own strategy to start the match.

"We have already been trainingin the same way our strategy on how to start to play. Usually I don't like to change too much game by game but of course if I need to change it for improvement, I can change it.

"The team who go in the field against Sabah should be our team who start against Home United."

Weber added that in an event of unforeseen circumstances any changes maybe necessary.

"Of course,if something happens I can change. But the idea is we are ready and I have everything prepared," he added.

The former Brazil Under-20 national team manager also expressed his hopes of a good win before the home fans against Sabah.

Asked if he is already familiar with his players' stregths, the head coach indicated that he has developed a greater understanding about their traits not limited solely to their strengths but also their playing style.

"We also know who to substitute for because it is very important that we have 25 players.We muct be ready to change players if anything happens," the head coach added.

Weber confirmed that there are no injury concerns ahead of the Sabah friendly and hinted that Hendra Azam could be available after he was withdrawn from the starting 11 in the win against Kasetsart FC as precaution.

"Last game,we kept out Hendra because he received a kick but he is ready to play and I hope to put out our main team against Sabah," he said. 

Sunday, March 4
Weber satisfied with players' progress in pre-season training.

DPMM FC head coach Rene Weber has expressed contentment on the progress of his players in pre-season training ahead of the upcoming S-League which officially starts at the end of the month in Singapore.

DPMM will host Home United in their opening fixture of the season on April 7 at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium with their opponents currently sitting joint top of Group 1 in the AFC Cup.

The Protectors enjoyed a narrow 1-0 win over Myanmar's Shan United and held group favourites Ceres Negros to a credible 1-1 draw in the continental competition.

DPMM will then face reigning holders Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium on April 14.

Weber noted the progress of the new-look squad since taking over the reins in January and shared that the individual players are armes with good qualities in his short time there.

"We have good players with good qualities.We're preparing our league in Singapore on April 7where we start at home against Home United so we must start in a good way,"Weber  said in an interview in the Sunday Bulletin after their win in a football friendly against the Brunei HBT team yesterday.

The Brunei based outfit, who also kept a clean sheet in their friendly against MS ABDB wil no doubt be facing a much sterner test during their training tour to Bangkok on March 19.

The club will be kicking off their tour against Thai League 1 outfit Air Force Central at the Thupatemi Stadium in Bangkok on March 20 before meeting Thai League 2 teams Thai Honda FC at72nd Aniverssary Stadium on March 22 and Kasetsart Stadium at TOT Stadium in Chaeng Wattana on March 24th.

Air Force Central, who are still searchng for their first win after three games, were promoted were promoted to Thailand's top flight last season, while Thai Honda previously competed in the top tier last season but suffered relegation.

"We must be preparing on a high level to reach our target but I am happy here.The club is good and we have good condition to work.The players is doing what we asked them to doand I hope we can have a good season,"the coach asserted.

Asked about the style of football that he like his side to play, he highlighted that the duties must be shared between attack and defence.

"We must defend well and attack well.I don't want to play just to defend and just to attack," said Weber"We must do both things.We must attack with good organisaton but when we lose the ball, it is very important to come back and help and apply good pressure to the opponent."

The coach has already been made to aware of strong teams such as their first two opponents and added that they must improve their pressing and defending well.

"Thats why you work in both ways which is to defend and to attack.I think in football it is not just one way and also have ball play. When you lose the ball,there must be pressing."

The head coach was also informed of the impending arrival of centre back Brian McLean who was an important player when he represented the club three years ago.

"Brian knows the club and and the way how to play here,how is the competition,"he said.

With the experienced Northern Ireland defender almost inevitable to be selected as an automatic choice at centre back,the main question is who will be his pairing.

"I am looking now and we are in the beginning, I am choosing who will play beside him."

The Brazilian sounded potential candidates Abdul Aziz Tamit, Ak Yura Indera, Reduan Petra and Hanif Hamir to partner alongside McLean.

He emphasised that the import players must help the team and added that they can help the side.

The head coach hoped to bring healthy competition in all the positions to the squad, adding that players who perform well will be rewarded with playing time. 

Saturday, January 13
DPMM set to be allowed three foreigners as FAS compromise with local S-League clubs.

It appears Brunei DPMM will have an advantage on the field over local clubs in the upcomingS-League season, as far as foreign imports are concerned.

This issue of how many foreigners the Brunei club would be a llowed to sign was discussed at a meeting between Football Association of Singapore (FAS) top brass and local S-League club chairmen at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.

The Straits Times understands that the FAS pitched a compromise to allow DPMM to field three.It is understood the club chairmen agreed.Prior to last night's meeting,DPMM already had the freedom of not being bound to age restrictions over their local players.

The six local S-League clubs are allowed to sign only two imports and are also required to follow age restrictions for their squads and the teams that field.

Age restrictions have also been placed on the S-League's other foreign side, back-to-back champions Albirex Niigata.

After the meeting,FAS deputy president Bernard Tan told the Straits Times:"The negotiations are ongoing, but what I can say is that we are very close to an agreement.We have been consultative with all parties involved,because we want to make sure DPMM's participation in the S-LEagyue is meaningful for them and for us."

Tan added that the FAS valued DPMM's participation in the S-League,and highlighted their title win in 2015 and three League Cup triumphs as a sign of the quality they bring.

When asked if any local club chairmen raised any objection taht DPMM will have an advantage over them this season, Tan said: "I can tell you there was no problem."

Balestier Khalsa general manager Chen Tim Nee said:"There was a slide presented to all of us,Bernard explained the rationale (of the rule), and we all agreed.There was no unhappiness." Added Warriors FC genral manager Paul Pih:"All the clubs were supportive and agreeable to the suggestion.We don't see one extra foreigner as being a very big difference."

DPMM had takenissue with the S-League's announcement on Dec 18 that it ould reduce the number of imports each team are allowed, from three last year to two.

The club made moves to join either the MAlaysian and Indonesian domestic competitions this term but both plans failed to materialise.

DPMM head coach Rene Weber was then quoted by Brunei media,saying the club were allowed to sign 4 foreigners,with two under the age of 25.After last night,it appears a new number has been agreed upon.

 The S-League starts on March 31. 



Thursday, January 11
New DPMM FC coach calls for good football.

DPMM FC newly-appointed head coach Rene Weber has expressed his desire to assemble a team which plays good football and importantly register a victory ahead of the new season.

The Brunei-based outfit entered a new chapter at least in managerial terms as the Brazilian succeeds S-League title winning coach Steve Kean who served the club for four years.

DPMM FC are in the early stages of pre-season with the local players returning after a 40-day break while 12 foreign players are also currently on trial as they look to cement a spot in one of the four possible quotas.

Weber outlined his plans of how he would like his side perform in what could be a new-look side.

"I hope we can do a good season.My big task here is I want to play football and win. Sometimes you play beautiful football but don't win,"said Weber in an interview after a trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"Football is the best entertainment around the world.Everybody likes football so to bring the crowd to the stadium they must see good football," he further added.

"The main target is to play strong football and won the game.When you lose the ball,you must fight and with the ball, you play,"

He has also set a top-four target in the league adding that they will take it a game at a time.

With the players just returning froam a lengthy layoff,Weber is also cautious that players do not pick up any injury before the start of the season.

"We start step by step.I think after two weeks we can take some conditioning work and start to train more strongly, with more speed and power. Now we're just in the beginning and taking care of the injury.

"I don't want to lose players in the beginning.Around the worle we take care of this.

"The main point is I want DPMM to play very good football.This is our target," the former Brazil Under-20 national coach said.

Brunei is the fifth country outside Brazil in which Weber has stepped foot following experiences in Portugal,Peru, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

"I played and work in Portugal as a player and coach.After that I was in Peru as the main coach and then worked in Dubai,UAE for four years,"said the former Vitoria de Guimaraes midfielder.

Weber was also part of the coaching staff in the Qatar national team that tried to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The former Sao Paulo assistant also emphasised the importance of exposing young players into the team to enhance their education in football.

"We have around seven or eight under-23 players.We bring them in to see how they play to prepare them for the future."

Weber is excited with the prospect of managing his new club and also has heard that they were crowned champions in 2015.

"It is a very strong challenge for me. You have strong competition here in South East Asia. I hope to prepare young players for the future," he said.

DPMM FC has also roped in Luciano Ilha,who formed a seven-year partnership with Weber, as the new fitness coach. 

Sunday, December 31
Brunei club make U-turn after FAS considers to new rules but move draws flak.

Brunei DPMM have announced that they will continue to play in the S-League next season.

Last week, the club had posted on their website that they were exploring the possibility of leaving Singapore's professonal football league to join Indonesia's top-tier league.

CNN Indonesia reported that the club had met officials from the Football AssociationIndonesia last week to discuss the matter.

Sources had revealed that DPMM were concerned that the FAS S-League revamp plans on imposing age quotas and a reduction in the number of foreign players would hurt their ability to be competitive.

But on Monday,the 2015 S-League champions removed the post, announcing instead that they will stayin the competition for the next season,which starts in March.

The Straits Times understands that the U-turn came about as the FAS considers allowing DPMM to sign four foreign players -twice the number local clubs are allowed.

Sources also revealed that there will be no age restrictions placed on the rest of the playing roster.

This raised eyebrows within the football fraternity as the FAShad consulted local clubs on the matter and, if DPMM are given special concesson,that will appear to go against the natonal body's plans to focus on youth development.

An age quota aimed at giving younger players more exposure will be imposed on the six senior local clubs next season while Japanese side Albirex Niigata, the league's other foreign side, will also be subjected to restrictions.

For a 21-man squad, two-time defending champons Albirex must have nine Under-21 players,nine Under-23s and only one player of any age.They will also be allowed to sign two U-23 Singaporeans.

The FAS did not confirm the DPMM's announcement, but in response to ST's queries, a spokeman said: "In view of the announced changes to competition rules,the FAS is in discussions with DPMM on their participation in the 2018 domestic professonal league.

"An announcement will be made in due course."

But ST understands that some S-League clubs have called for the FAS to allow DPMM to field only two of their four imports at any time in a match,while others have requested that local clubs eb allowd to sign a third foreign player. 

Some in the fraternity believe that having four foreign players will give DPMM a huge advantage but Warriors FC general manager Paul Poh is unfazed.

"I can understand that the U-23 move is a Singapore development programme and we can't enforce it on Brunei DPMM if they feel that their youth is not ready," he said.

"We can work with the number of foreign players that they have been allowed to sign.They have been our partners for so long and we should move to keep them with us."

Poh is confident that S-League clubs can compete with DPMM because of a shift in players' mindsets.

"My personal view is that (with the new regulations) players now understand that they have to work hard.I believe that if they do,they can be good as a foreign player."

Others were not so competitive.

Speaking on condition on anonymity,a former S-League club official scoffed at the new rules.

"There's one set of rules for local clubs, one for the Young Lions,one for Albirex, and another for DPMM - they are making a mockery of the league," he sad.

'The league title will be a two-horse race between Albirex and DPMM because the rules for local clubs will definitely weaken them." 




Tuesday, August 22
Late Ramazotti brace rescues point for DPMM.

Brunei DPMM came from two goals down to hold Balestier Khalsa to a 2-2 draw in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Toa Payoh Stadium on Monday night,courtesy of a superbly-taken double by Brazilian front man Rafael Ramazotti.
Blaestier had looked set to collect their third win of the season after goals in each half from Huzaifah Aziz and Raihan Rahman put them two up on the hour mark.
However, Rmazotti scored twice in the space of 12 minutes thereafter to salvage a draw for DPMM.
Blaestier got off the best possible start by scoring after just six minutes.
Huziafah swept the leather into an empty net after DPMM custodian Ak Muizzuddin had fumbled a Hazzuwan Halim free kick.
The Tigers were absolutely dominant in the first half and should have added more golas before the break.
Hazzuwan Halim was running in the show and could have scored on 19 minutes when teed up by Nanda Linn Kyaw Chit, but was denied at point blank range by Muizzuddin.
The 23-year old then had an ambitious try from fully 30 yards out in the 37th minute which Muizzuddin had to stretch to keep out.
DPMM returned for the second half with much more vigour and should have levelled matters four minutes after the restart. 
Nurikhwan Othman looked odds-on to convert after Blaestier failed to clear their lines from a free kick, but snap shot was denied by a stunning reflex by Zaiful nizam.
Balestier then doubled their advantage on 60 minutes, when Raihan curling home a stupendous free kick after Jonathan Tan was brought down by Haizul Rani on the edge of the area.
DPMM coach Steve Kean reacted by introducing the Said brothers - Shahrazen and Adi - thereafter to give Ramazotti more support upfront, which reaped the dividends.
DPMM dully pulled one back in the 70th minute, with Ramazotti prodding in from close range after Balesteir's failure to defend another set-piece.
He should have scored again on 80th minutes when his header from Muiz Sisa's deep cross seemed destined for the top lect corner before Zaiful's diving intervention.
Nonetheless, the towering Brazilian would grab the equaliser two minutes later as he powered home a superb header into the bottom right corner from Shahrazen's teasing right-wing cross.
The visitors could have stolen all three points at the death if Nurikhwan had more composure to convert in front of goal after a half-cleared free kick.
Both sides eventually settled a point apiece,with Balestier staying at seventh with 10 points from 17 gmaes, while DPMM remained a spot lower with 5 points from 14.
Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kravljevic: "It happens when you're 2-0 up and the opponents put a little bit of pressure.We were in trouble when DPMM made the two substitutions, they were putting in crosses and we had trouble dealing with Ramazotti.
"But there's a lot of positives to take away. We were playing well and dominating the game,especially in the first half.We traind hard with the combination of Hazzuwan and Jonathan in attack.
"Its just that as a young team,we got to learn to deal with pressure. We were rushing in unnecessary situations like throw-ins when we were still leading."
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: "I'm actually disappointed with the result despite coming from two goals down to draw.We had enough chances to win the game, their keeper made three fantastic saves.
"I gave them a roasting at half time because heads went down after our keepr made a mistake for the first half.We could have prevented it if we had two or three defenders going back to the line and clear.
""In the second half, we put in the Said brothers and they gave Ramazotti the service.We pinned the Balestier defence back in their own box and it was like a training session.
"Out first half of the season was dreadful but I believe we can finish the season strongly." 

Tuesday, July 25
Shahfiq late strike sinks DPMM.

Substitute Shahfiq Ghani netted a late winner to give Geylang International a narrow 1-0 won over Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Monday night.

With the win, the Eagles leapfrogged Hougang Utd into fifth placed in the nine-team table on 21 points having played a game more than Warriors who take on Home Utd at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

On the other hand, the defeat was the tenth of the season for DPMM as they sit second from bottom with only 4 points from 12 games played.

The hosts had a chance to grab the lead in the 11th minute after Shahrazen Said headed Azwan Ali 's corner to the far post but Adi failed to get a touch to it.

Geylang went on the attack four mintes later but winger Gabriel Quak could obly head over.

Ricarda Sendra was on target in the 22nd minute but was foled by DPMM custodian Ak Mu'izzuddin who was there for the save.

Geylang goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari then denied Shahrazen and fortunately for them the ball ended at the wrong side of his right hand post.

The visotors came close to breaking the deadlock just before half time but Quak's effort was came off the upright.

Adi had a good opportunity to put the hosts in front three minutes after the interval but his shot went inches wide.

Quak sent  afreekick from the right to the far post on the hour mark but Sendra failed to connect on it before Azwan Ali volleyed over from inside the box at the other end moments  later.

Steve Kean's side were presented with an oportunity to open the scoring in the 62nd minute after Yuki Ichikawa had handled the ball inside the box.

Daud Gazele stepped up to take the ensuing spotkick but Syazwan Buhari dive low to his left to deny the former his first goal in DPMM colors.

Shahfiq was then introduced in the 66th minute after second half substitute Min thiha was  stretchered off after being on the pitch for less than 20 minutes.

DPMM had back-to-back with Adi heading straight at Syazwan before Azwan Ali put another over in a space of a minute.

However, it was the Eagles who went in front in the 81st minute after Faris Hameed was given space to dribble into the box from the left.

He then put the ball into the midle for Shafiz to hea dhome and claim all three points from the encounter.

Brunei DPMM Head Caoch Steve Kean:"The performance today was excellent. Looking at the chances of both teams,we had more.Obviously the penalty and that was the turning point.If you looked at the body language of Geylang after we missed they got a lift while we were down;up til that moment, we had more chances.

"I was on the other side of the pitch and was never really worried.The fact we lost the game is the reflection of how it has gone this season."

Geylang International Head Coach noor Ali: "I think it was a tough win.Brunie gave us a hard time.They were good with the high ball and got good players who really adapted with our playing style.But we came here t winand got the result.

"The performace is good as we came here without three kep players.Anders Aplin,Victor Cato and Shawal Anuar, who are from the first 11.I'm happy with the players wo came on and did their job. 


Tuesday, July 18
Warriors wary of DPMMs'resurgence.

Brunei DPMM's resurgence has given Warriors FC something to think about as the two sides face off in the New Paper League Cup semifinals at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

In the Great-Eastern Hyundai S.League, DPMM has endured a tough campaign with just one win and one draw from 11 matches as they currently lie second-from-bottom.

However, they have been a different kettle of fish altogether in this league campaign - winning twice and winining once to top Group B to progress into the last four, scoring 11 goals in the process.

That has given coach Steve Kean much needed confidence as they seek to win the tournament for a record fourth time,after winning in 2009,2012 and 2014.

"For us,the first priority was to get through the group to qualify for the semis and we did that," said the former Blackburn Rovers tactician.

"Now we just want to maintain this unbeaten run which is good for confidence.It may sound like a cliche, but we're taking it game by game so obviously we are thinking of the final yet."

On the other hand,Warrors FC did just enough to finish second in the Group A,which was termed as the 'Group of Death.'

After a stnning 4-3 comeback against Home United,they lost to cupholders Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 and thus needed a point in the last game to ensure progression.The uniformed outfit eventually secured a 2-2 draw against Hougang United a=t Hougang Stadium to pull through.

They are nor dreaming of winning the New Paper League Cup for the first time in history.

"Warriors have always been a club challengng for honours and the LEague Cup is of no exception," said the defender Emmeric Ong.

"We did our job of qualifying for the semifinals so now we have to go one furtehr step and to be in the final.That will be great for our team."

While Warriors have come up on topin the two head-to-head encounters so far this season,Ong refuses to take anything for granted as he takes DPMM's recent rise in form of consideration.

"I wouldn't say we are worried,its more of being wary," said the 26 year old , who has been preety right back."They've been playing well in the Cup which we're obviously aware of.

"The first gaem which we won 5-3 in Brunei was very open but they looked like a very different team when we beat them 1-0 at Chao Chu Keang early April.So it'll definitley be a very close affair again."

Warriors will miss firrst-choice goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at due to accumulating two yellow cards in the group stages, so either Basil Chan or Prime League Mukundan Maran will deputise in between the sticks.




Saturday, July 15
DPMM clip Eagles to finish top.

DPMM came from two goals down to share the spoils with Geylang International in a thrilling 3-3 draw in their The New Paper League Cup clash at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

With the result,DPMM progressed from Group B as winners with a superior goal difference after both theams are tied on seven points after three matches pkayed/

Having bagged a hat trick in their previous match against Tmapines,forward Ifwat Ismail was rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup.In addition,Geylang head ooach Noor Ali also handed starts to four other Prime League players namely Noor Ariff,Alfian Jamari,Juatin Sim and Haziq Raheem.

The game got off to a tentative start with DPMM having half-chances in the opening minutes of the game through Shahrazen Said and Khairul Anwar but they were unable to convert their chances.

DPMM would however go infront on 20 minutes through Adi Said who chested Azwan Salleh's cross-field pass before a curling a sweet left-footed shot which sailed into the far corner past a rooted Syazwan Buhari.

DPMM's joy were short-lived though, as Geylang pulled level just three minuted later with Cato sending a looping header over Ak Mu'izuddin to make it 1-1.

Maududi Helmi came close with a firm shot which flew wide of Syazwan's righ hand post in the 37th minute before Ifwat's header at the other end moments later was too weak to trouble Mu'izuddin.

Adi could have restored the lead for DPMM two minutes later before half-time but the 27-year old somehow fored wide from three yards as the Eagles defence heaved a sigh of relief.

Sandra shot straight at Mu'izuddin two minutes later into the second half and it was a warning sign failed to heed as the Argentinan put Geylang ahead for the first time in the match in the 49th minute.

Skipper Faritz Hameed's cross was half-cleared only as far as Sendra's volley on the turn looped over Mu'izuddin before going in off the underside of the bar.

Noor aridd then poked wide before the hour mark but there was no denying Geylang as Taufizq Ghani made it 3-1 from the spoit in the 67th minute after Hazwan Hamzah had handled in the box.

Steve Kean's side thre the kitchen sinl at geylang in a bit to equalise and could have done so in the 78th minute but Syazwan flew across to keep out Shahrazen's effort which was destined for the top corner.

Khairul Anwar blazed over with 8 minutes from time,but it was substitute Helmi Zambin who come to the rescie for DPMM as a clearance from a Geylang defender came off him before  flying past Syazwan in the 84th minute.

DPMM then had to endure a late onslaught from the designated visitors in the closing stages,with Noor Ariff anf Anders Aplin seeing their effortd kept out by Mu'izuddin as botht eams had to settle with a point each.

The semis will see geyklang take on holders Albirex Niigata, while DPMM face Warriots FC with both matches played on Tuesday,18th July.

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:"I admit the first half was poor, it was unlike us in this competition.We moved the ball too slowly, kept playing the ball backwards and never really asked questions of the Gaylang defence.

"The second half in contrast, was much better and even though it may have gone either way, I though we shaded the overall chances throughout.YOu could see that both sides came into wanting a win.

Geylang International Head Caoch Noor Ali:"I was pleased with the result as this was a game about giving the Prime League players a chance.It's good to see players really stepping up, which shows there is a good future for Singapore football.

"Haziq and Justin formed the backline led by Ichikawa and Faritz and they did well.They showed some inexperience but they wil learn from this and heopefully this may be a chance for them to play a higher level of football in time to come." 

Wednesday, July 12
DPMM dispatch Tigers to reach last four.

Three time champions Brunei DPMM are through to the New Paper League Cup semifinals after a straightforward 3-o victory over Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.

Leading at halftime through Azwan Ali's early strike and an Ashrul Syafeez own goal, DPMM went on to seal victory in the second half through Adi Said.

DPMM got off to the best possible start by scoring inside six minutes.

A great counter attack led by Maududi Helmi led to azwan Ali getting past his marker,before zipping a low shot beyond the despairing reach of Balestier goallkeeper Zaiful Nizam.

Balestier created a few promising openings thereafter, but was let down by some poor finishing.

First Myanmarese attacker Aung Kyaw Naing fired straight at DPMM custodian Ak Mu'izzuddin, before winger Jonathan Tan somehow fired wide just in front of the six -yard box.

Kyaw Naing then found space to drive a shot from the edge of the area, but the effort flew over the bar.

DPMM withstood the storm and created a few opportunities as well, with brothers Shahrazen and Adi taking their turns to test Zaiful.

DPMM eventually doubled their lead three minutes before half time, with Balestier centreback Ashrul unfortunately getting the last touch on Adi's shot from tight angle before the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Balestier tried to pull one back in the second half,but Raihan Rahman's 20-yard freekick sailed over while Tan was denied by Mu'izzuddin in the box.

Tigers coach MArko Kraljevic threw on Zulkhair Mustaffa to replace ineffectual Naing upfront after the hour mark,but there is no way past the DPMM defence led by Vincent Salas.

DPMM would go on the seal the victory in the 70th minute, with Adi clinically converting Shahrazen's cutback into the six-yard box as they marched into the last four.

Brunei DPMM Coach Steve Kean:"Things were changing even before this.We were playing well in the S.League, but we were nlucky to get results.We had a new goalkeeper, two new centre backs, a new right back and a new midfield combination, so we needed some timeand now we're coming into form.

"Ramazotti and Gazale are coming back from injury, but they're going to find it hard coming back into the team.The attackers are playing well and there's no point changing the starting eleven.

"In the last game against Geylang, we won't be resting; we'll try to play and win the game."

Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic;"Its very touugh for us,losing game after game.If we had converted one of those chances in the first half amd not concede just before halftime, it would be a different story.

"In the second half, we had some shots and some freekicks,but we can't win the game if we can't score Now we have problems in both attack and defence whivh we have to try to fix.

"We're now out, but Im still going to put the best line-up to play against Tampines because we still have pride to play for." 

Sunday, July 9
DPMM dispatch Tampines to move top.

Brunei DPMM got their The New Paper League Cup csmpsign off to a winning start after a comfortable 5-1 victory over Tampines Rovers in a Group B clash at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.

Maududi Hilmi Kasmi's doubel coupled with one each from Adi Said, Azwan Ali and Shahrazen Said rendered Jamil Ali's second-half immaterial as the three-time League Cup winners move top of Group B on goal difference.

With a majority of their first-team players given time off for the duration of the League Cup,Tampines head caoch Jurgen Raab handed starts to youngsters Danish Uwais and Faizal Raffi as well as the likes of Hafiz Rahim and Jamil Ali.

It was DPMM who started the match on the front foot and could have gone ahead but skipper Azwan Salleh saw his fierce shot from the dge of the box parried by Ta,pines custodain Joey Sim.

There was however nothing Sim could do to prevent DPMM from opening the scoring moments later.

A cross from the left by MAududi caught out the Tampines defence and Adi sneaked in behind to poke the ball past an onrushing Sim to put DPMm in front.

Adi spurned an opportunity to double the lead for Steve Kean's side in the 17ht minute as he contrived to fire wide at the far post with only the keeper to beat.

The designated visitors then pulled further away just after the half-hour mark when Azwan Ali's corner fell to midfielder Maududi who made no mistake from three yards.

It became 3-0 in the 41st minute as Azwan Ali latched onto a pass from Adi, raced through on goal unchallenged before hitting a firm left-footed shot past a hapless Sim to into half-time with a comfortable cushion.

DPMM continued from where they left off after the break as Shahrazen added a fourth,headed from off a right-wing cross from Maududi in the 48th minute to pile more misery to the Stags.

DPMM continued to threaten and Azwan Ali came close in the 55th minute but his effort flew wide of Sim's right-hand post.

Tampines started to coem out of their shell thereafter and pulled one back in the 67th minute with Jamil chipping the ball over a hardly untested Ak Mu'izzudin to reduce the deficit.

DPMM would however seal victory four minutes later when Maududi smartly back heeled the loose ball past Sim after a corner was half-cleared by the Tampines defence for his second of the night.

The result snapped a eight-game winless streak for DPMM who face Balestier Khalsa in their next match at the Jalan Besar on Tuesday night, 11th July while its back to the drawing board for Tampines who take on eastern rivals Geylang International at Jurong West Stadium on the same day.

Tampines Head Coach Jurgen Raab: "If you saw my starting line-up today,It was not my best team.But Iam using the League Cup as an opportunity to give the other players in the team like the Prime League players and fringe players a chance to play.I therefore take responsibility for the result.

"I am not disappointed with the result although I felt we should have done better on certain occasions.That said,the team has convinced me that they can play a good style of footbal as its not easy to play like that when you are 3-0 down at halftime."

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:"Its been long overdue but a win that was coming.We finally oput away the chances we created although it was disappointing we failed to keep a clean sheet.

"The performance from the team has gradually been improving with the back four and goalkeeper doing well today.This result puts us in a good position and hopefully we can qualify for the semifinals." 

Monday, July 3
Ridhuan fires Warriors to victory.

Warriors returned to winning ways in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S-League after edging Brunei DPMM 1-0 at Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Sunday night.

Ridhuan Mohammad's second-half strike was enough for the nine-time league champions to snatch a two-match winless run in the league as they notched their seventh victory of the season.

Warriors paraded new signing Andrei-Cosmin Ciolacu who spearheaded the attack with skipper Shahril Ishak in support but bottled a first half penalty as he missed the chance to open his accounts for his new club.

But it was Ciolacu who nearly opened the scoring after two minutes but nodded wide off Emmeric Ong's cross from the right.

DPMM would go on to dominate exchanges thereafter with captain Azwan Salleh coming close, firing inches off Zainol Gulam's left-hand post on three minutes before his attempt flew wide in the 20th minute.

Ciolacu was then denied by Ak Mu'izuddin at the near post in the 25th minute after being slipped through by Jordan Webb but the hosts were handed the opportunity to take the lead two minutes later.

However, Ciolacu could only send his penalty against the post after Shaiful Eash was adjodged to have been felled by Mu'izzudin in the box.

Zainol ca,e to the rescue of the Warriors just after the half-hour mark,brilliantly denying substitute Shahrazen Said with his legs after the latter was put through on goal by Azwan Ali.

There was one final chance for DPMM in the first half but Adi Said's header across the face of goals was cleared by Kento Fakuda before it could reach an unmarked Azwan Ali lurking at the far post.

The deadlock was broken eight minutes after the restart with Webb flaoting a delightful cross from the left to Ridhuan to nod home at the far post and put Warriors in front.

Shaiful could have further extended the lead for the hosts in the 63rd minute but his goalbound freekick was clawd away to safety by Mu'izzudin.

Zainol kept Warriors in the game in the 77th minute as he kept out Adi's curling shot from a tight angle with his outstretched foot.

Ridhuan could have sealed victory for Warriors six minutes from time but volleyed narrowly wide over from another Webb left wing cross.

DPMM then had a penalty shout turned down deep into stoppage time after Fukuda appeared to have handled a cross in the box but the referee turned down a deaf ear to all appeals as Warriors hung for an important victory.

Warriors FC Head Coach Razif Onn:"I'm very much relieved and it was a great win today, especially fater coming into the back of a defeat to Tampines and a draw against Young Lions."

"It was a hard-fought game,as DPMM had their chances to score as well."

"I was happy with Ciolacu'sperformance but I think he could have done more individually. Its however good to see that he is getting th shots and had a couple of good chances.He needs to settle down before I can have high expectations of him." 

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:" I don't think we were unlucky and I don't think luck had anything to do with the result.

"The players did very well in both halves and I think we deserved at least a point,if not three.I was delighted with the local players and I cannot fault any of their play.If we continue playing like that, I'm confident we can get a positive result soon.

"Mu'izzudin was excellent today.He came out to collect crosses with confidence and was calm,even making that good save from Shaiful.He can only get better from here." 



Friday, May 26
Rampant Protectors see off DPMM in thriller.

Home United are hot on Albirex Niigata (S) heels at the summit of the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League after an impressive performance, defeating Brunei DPMM 9-3 at Bishan Stadium on Thursday night.

Faris Ramli as at his stunning best, netting four goals, while assisting three others as teammates Stipe Plezibat, Khairul Nizam, Adam Swandi and Song Uiyoung also got their nmaes on the scoresheet for the hosts.

DPMM had Rafael Ramazotti, Shahrazen Said and Adi Said to reduce their deficit,but it was Home who would ease to a comfortable victory and seal all three points in this encounter.

It has been a crucial,yet congested week for Aidil Sharin's side who are in their quest to finish top of the S.League, while battling in the AFC Cup Zonal semifinals in midweek.

Yet the Bishan-based side,who are one foot in the final,made no mistake in their S-League commitments to push on both fronts.

Both teams kicked-off the first half with vicious intent to get their noses in front.

The visitors made their first attempt to prise an opening four minutes when wide man Azwan Ali flight a dangerous cross from the left to pick up adi in the box, only to be denied by Hassan Sunny whi was right on point when he sprung to intercept with a save.

It had been the worst possible start in Steve Kean's regime as DPMM coach this season and their woes were compounded when the Protectors scored six within the space of 25 minutes before halftime.

Home broke the deadlock after 21 minutes when Shamil Sharif delivered a delightful cross for Faris to take a first touch before elevating his shot past the onrushing Alizanda Sitom to take the lead.

Faris clinched his second nine minutes later, tapping in a low cross for Plazibat who timed his delivery to perfection from the right flank.

The pair would switch roles three minutes later as Faris became provider when he picked up a loose ball in the penalty box to coonect with Palzibat who rolled the bal past Alizanda at his far post.

The Protecors nimber nine did score his second just moments later as Faris once again dinked a clever ball from the middle for Plazibat to run in and chip over Alizanda,making it 4-0 in the 36th minute.

But the Singapore international was not done yet as he produced another assist for Nizam,delatying his run from a Home counter attack, to slot in a  apss to his club and International teammate to plac ethe bal into the bottom corner.

Faris did eventually seal his hattrick on the stroke of halftime as he darted from the 12-yard box for the Protectors to lead by six at the break.

Aidil's side picked up exactly where they ahd left off after the restart and went further ahead when Adam blast in a finish from close range after teeing up with Faris's cross before DPMM would cause a few moments of concern when Ramazotti broke through the Home's defence with a simple finish to get their fight back underway.

On the other hand,Song would restore Home's seven goal cushion as his shot behind the box took a deflection off Ramazotti,finding its way into the net,before Faris rounded the goalkeeper to score his fourth.

 Just past the hour mark and both sides would make changes on their own, Steve Kean was despearte to bring in players to score at the front, while Aidil was keen on resting key players for their next AFC cup match in midweek.

DPMM substitute impact Shahrazen would put Kean's faith in him to good effect as he ghosted into the box to punish Hassanin conceding his second, before his provider Adi salmmed his freekick from 20 yards to seal the final scoreline at 9-3.

Home United Head Coach Aidil Sharin:"Playing with DPMM isn't always easy as they have talented foreign players.I didn't expect us to score nine goals, but the boys gave everything they got and the important thing is the three points.

"Its a big win which will help us in our confidence level in the AFC cup this coming Tuesda, but we are not going to be over confident.

"I'm also not really concern with the three goals conceded as we are an attacking team and I've made no changes to bring in young players in the 60th minute to rest players for the AFC." 

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:"I'm gutted for the players.We've worked hard for the past two weeks.We didn't thought it was an easy scoring against us.

"But we didn't deserve any point.We were very open and each time the ball went forward,we had our hearts in our mouth because we actualy don't have defenders and we're struggling in defence.

"Sometimes you have to rebuild a team and for the last three years, we've won most of our games but we've lost a couple of players and had to replace midfielders to defenders.

"Its unfair to criticise our midfielders who had to draw back as defenders but we need to get in local defenders to help at the back this transfer." 

Sunday, May 14
Spirited Young Lions earn hard-fought point.

Garena Young Lions notched their first point of the 2017 Great Eastern Hyundai S.League season after holding DPMM to a goalless draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.

It was an end-to-end game with chances aplenty,but the two teams were ultimately let down by their profigacy in front of goal as they shared the spoils in an exciting affair.

The hosts started the match brightly and could have opened the scoring after seven minutes but Muhaimin Suhaimi nodded narrowly wide off a Ryan Syaffiq cross.

Meanwhile the Young Lions defence hardly allowed the DPMM attackers a sniff at goal and was marshalled well by the trio of captain Shahrin Saberin, Ilyas Lee and Faizal Roslan - the latter two were making their first starts of the season.

Young Lions goalkeeper HAirul Syirhan was called into action for the first time on 18 minutes as he made an unorthodox save with his legs to keep out Hendra Azam's fierce shot.

After cutting in from the left,Syaffiq's effort whistled just over the bar after the half-hour mark before Rosmin Khamis'cross was nearly deflected into goal by the head of Azwan in the 33rd minute.

V.Selvaraj's charges should have gone ahead six minutes after the restart when Wardun falpped at Rusyaidi's right-wing cross.The ball then fell kindly to left-back Syahrul Sazali who balated over from close range.

Lee came to the rescue of the Young Luons in the 58th minute, as the defender raced in time to clear off the line with the header after Azwan's chip had beaten an onrushing Hairul.

:Azwan came close again in the 66th minute when he powered a shot on goal which came off the bar after it took a deflection off the fingertips of Hairul.

A glut of scoring chances followed thereafter but none were able to find a way into the back of the net.

Young Lions substitute Haiqal Pashia capitalised on a deensive error to drag his shot wide in the 84th minute before an unmarked Azwan skied his effort at the far post off a crorner two minutes later.

With just seconds remaining,Taufik Suparno could have become the hero for the Young Lions but the forward contrived to fire wide with only just the goalkeeper to beat.

The result made no difference to the league standings, as DPMM remain eigth with 4 points while the Young Lions are one spot below.

Garena Young Lions Assistant Coach Robbie Servais: "Yes, the game could have gone either way but we are ahppy with our first point of the season today;it was a deserved one although I admit it felt like three to us.

"We were well-prepared and didn't let the the results prior to this game to bring down the morale of the players.We were fired up knowing that we stood a chance as we had studied the opponents well.

We tried to play possession-based football, which is starting to become the stly Young Lions play. We mnaged to dominate more and ran lesser than the opponent whivh helped us at the end of the game."

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: "The good thing for us today was that the result stoped a bad sequence although I'm disappointed we didn't get the three points."

"We shaded the game,especially in terms of chances.Azwan Ali had one which came off the bar, Rosmin fired over while Ramazotti had two headers which were unlucky not to have gone in.

"But credit to the Young Lions,they were hard to break down with three centrebacks and two wing-backs who constantly pressed us." 

Saturday, May 13
DPMM and Young Lions search for a win.

Garena Young Lions will br looking for their first win of the 2017 Great eastern-Hyundai S-League when they take on DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.

The developmental side find themselves in ninth spot after seven games played, while DPMM are one place above with only one win to account for.

The Young Lions have however shown signs of improvement in recent games and came close to a point against Tampines Rovers the last time out, only to concede in the final minute of the game.

"Honestly,that defeat was tough to swallow becuase I felt we deserve a draw in that game," said the Young Lions captain Sahrin Sahberin.

"But we lacked concentration n the final minutes which costs us the valuable point.So we need to learn to stay focus and make sure we keep our peformance at a high level until the final whistle."

According to Shahrin,learning from their mistakes and then applying it on the training ground has been one of the key reasons behind their resuegence.

"For sure we have improved and cut out our silly mistakes game by game because we watched our past matches and analysed our mistakes so as not to repeat it again," explained Shahrin.

"The reason is simply due to the confidence we gain as a team after each match because even though we are a team full of youngsters,I believe we can still give the other teams in the league a run for their money."

While Shahrin believe it is the perfect time to take on the stuggling DPMM,he has cautioned his teammates not to be complacent and to be on their toes.

"Yes, they just have only won one match,getting a win on Saturday night will surely boost our morale as a team, " said the 22-year old.

"While we are still in search for that vitla three points,we must stil be aware that they are also will not want to be the first team to lose against us."

For DPMM head coach Steve Kean, The Scot feels that his team is currently severely lacking in confidence after their loss to Tampines in their last game and is hopeful that a win will change that.

"I thought we deserved at a least a  draw tonight,judging from a second half display," Kean said after the 1-0 loss to the Stags,

"In the first half,we gave too much space for Tampines and they dictated the game.We sorted things out in the second half and were tighter in the second half and there was just one team controlling the team and that was us.

"We just have to keep working. We've got good players but what we are lacking at the moment is confidence." 


Saturday, April 29
DPMM fall to Tampines at home.

Brunei DPMM's slump in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S-League continued after a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Tampines Rovers in Bandar Seri Begawan on Friday night.

The Stags condemned the struggling Brunei-based outfit to their fourth consecutive defeat of the season, leaving them with only one victory to their name after seven matches played.

The result leaves DPMM thirteen points adrift league leaders Albirex Niigata(S) having played a game more than the Japanese outfit.

Ivan Dzoniwho has been proving to be Tampines's leading man in attack since the departures of Jordan Webb, marquee signing Jermaine Pennant and Billy Mehmet, opened the scoring in the third minute.

The Croatian was allowed space and he produced a clean strike which flew past Wardun Yussof,in goal for DPMM.

Tampines captain Fahrudin Mustafic was taking no prisoners when he decided to clear the ball with an assured header after Hendra Azam had threatened to find the target from a free-kick.

Hendra then curled a free-kick from a more central position but saw his shot sail straight into the arms of Tampines Rovers goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud before the creative midfielder's attempt rolled harmlessly wide.

Rafael ramazotti sent Azwan Ali clean through on goal but the latter's touch was heavy and allowed Izwan to collect the loose ball on the half hour mark.

Izwan's night however came to premature and thereafter after he collided with Azwan Ali and the Singapore international had to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Second-choice Joey Sim was then brought on and he had some work to do, making a superb save minutes from the break to deny Mehmet in his first significant contribution for Tampines.

Moments after the restart, Dzoni connected well with Ryutaro Megumi's low cross but Wardun managed to keep out hiss goal-bound effort from close range.

Shahdan Sulaiman then saw his free-kick deflected off a DPMM player in the 56th minute before Shakir Hamzah's firm header was tipped away to safety by Wardun from the ensuing corner.

The hosts conjured a good sequence of play as Ramazotti chested down a good ball but Maududi Helmi Kasmi's shot was crucially blocked by the evrgreen Daniel Bennett.

Tsmpines threatened again in the 74th minute as the influential Dzoni lst his marker before firing a low shot but Wardun came to the rescue once again.

With Azwan Ali putting up a good work on the final third, Azwan Salleh breached the Tampines defence as he skipped past a Tampines player but was denied by Sim.

Ramazotti produced a looping header in an attempt to rescue his side from defeat in the closing stages but Sim's flexibility ensured that Tampines walked away with all three points.

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:I thought we deserved at least a draw tonight, judging from the second-half display.

"In the first half,we gave too much space to Tampined and they dictated the game.We sorted things out at half-time and we were tighter in the second-half and there was only one team controlling the team and that was us.

"We just have to keep working.We've got good players but what we are lacking at the moment is confidence."

Tampines Head Coach Juergen Raab:"We knew it was going to be tough playing DPMM who are in a difficult situation,having won only one in six matches.

"We expected them to go all out for the win, but I was pleased with the style my team pull out today.We controled the first half.I saw good build-up and confidence.

"DPMM had the better chances in the second half and it was difficult but I thought it was a deserved win for us." 

Wednesday, April 26
Kean hopeful of DPMM resurgence.

Brunei DPMM will be looking to return to winning ways in the 2017 Eastern-Hyundai when they host Tampines Rovers in Brunei on Friday night.

After their 2-0 defeat to Geylang the last time out,Steve Kean's side - who sit second from bottom - have already lost five games and are making their worst start to ant S-League season.

However, Kean believed that better days are coming and it is a matter of time before DPMM bounce back.

"Some things are going against us at the moment and we are through a tough spell at the moment,"he said of the 2015 E.League champions.

"Its not really falling for us but we just have to work through it."

Reflecting on the loss to the Eagles, the former Blackburn Rovers manager added: "But we have to accept that the first goal's poor and thats two mistakes that cost us."

"We have to work on our basic defending. When the ball's there to be cleared, you clear it."

Having conceded 14 goals so far,Kean admits that his side's team defensive frailties are clear to see but has vowed to work on that.

"What we can do whne defending the crosses is to first of all, you stop it from coming in," said the Scot."When it does come in,we must make sure we head it out of the red zone which is just on the edge of the box.

"If you don't do that, you run the risk of having to defend second phase - which means volleys or one-two.So defensive headers need to go out and beyond the danger area.This gives the guys the chancd to pick the ball up for us to break forward."

Tampines, on the other hand, come into this after a last-gasp 1-0 win Garena Young Lions last Sunday.

It seemed like the two teams had to settle for a point each but forward Khairul amri popped up with the winner deep into injury time to help Stags keep pace with leaders Albirex Niigata (S).

Raab will however be without the services of his talismanic forward who, along midfielder San Yong Chan, will be suspended for this one.

Despite their unavailablity, the German is confident that the rest of his players can step up and eliver.

"If Amri is not in the team,we have to look at what we can do," said Raab.

"We will find a solution, something the team has shown in the past.We've had so many problems with injuries but we have always found a solution.

"But we have managed to close the gap to the top teams,and thats the most important thing." 

Friday, April 21
Eagles soar with victory over DPMM

Geylang International notched their second won on the trot in the 2017 Eastern-Hyundai S.League after a comfortable 2-0 victory over DPMM at the Bedok Stadium on Thursday night.

Shahfiq Ghani and Victor Coto struck on either side of half time as the resukt saw the Eagles move joint-thid with Home Utd on 10 points.

Geylang started the match brightly and got their noses in front after 13 minutes with an unmarked Shahfiq blasting home from close range after a cut back from Stanley Ng.

The visotors could have levelled matters three minutes later but Yura Indera could only send his header straight at Syazwan Bukhari.

Ricardo Sendra then nealry doubled Geylang's lead on 22 minutes but his first-touch off a Shahfiq freekick delivery left much to be desired as Wardun Yussof collected the loose ball.

At the other end,Rafael ramazotti had the ball in the net after nodding home from a set-piece but it was ruled out for offside.

Shahfiq then had two attempts on goal on 31st nd 42nd minute but they were unable to trouble Wardun, who was reinstated back into the DPMM starting line-up.

Ramazotti could have reduced the deficit on the stroke of halftime whne he rose highest to meet a corner but headed over the bar instead.

Billy Mehmet stung the palms of Syazwan three minutes fater the restart but it was Geylang who extended their advantage in the 52nd minute.

After Shahfiq was brough down by Yura in the box,Coto stepped up to convert the resulting penalty for his second goal of the season.

Seven minutes later,Ramazotti set was et up by Awan Ali inside the box but Anders Aplin put in a vital last-ditch to deny the Brazilian forward.

Azwan then nearly pulled one back for DPMM fifteen minutes from time with a dipping effort but Syazwan did well to recover and tipped the ball over for a corner.

Substitute Shawal Anuar fired over in the closing stages but it mattered little as Hasrin Jailani's side collected all three points that were on offer.

Geylang International Head Coach Hasrin Jailani:"Everyone did well today, we more or less controlled the the game and did very well defensively.We know they have two tall strikers and we mamanged to close them down, but at the same time we could not afford to let their players go down the flanks.

"I feel relieved at the end of the daybut there's stil a long way to go.We've got another 2 games to finish off first round.Most importantly, the win helped boost the confidence of the team."

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:"I thought we gace away the two goals.To be honest,the first goal from the touchline was too easy and the second, the defender(Yura) should learn that he has to clear the ball at first opportunity.

"I felt certain parts of the game we gave geylang too much time on the ball and we should do better in that aspect.We have to adapt our tactics according to the opposition but now its back home and back to hard work." 

Monday, April 17
Leaky DPMM FC 'must defend as a team'.

DPMM FC head caoch Steve Kean has indicated from his charges looked susceptible to conceding the goals during the 5-3 home defeat to Warriors FCon Saturday evening.

While Kean elaborated that he has no doubt that his side are capable of popping up with goals from all around the pitch, he felt that his side looked likely in concede in anytime during the game.

The head coach highlighted the absence of protection for his players from referee Jansen Foo and certain calls which went against their favour which subsequently led to Warriors' goal.

"We were expecting a foul on Ramazotti and we don't get it.Thet cleared the ball and got up and scored.I thought it was a clear foul.And then the second one when they get another goal it played up to Ramazotti, he took a lovely touch on his chest and we get a a foul against it.And then they played forward and score," said Kean in an interview in a post-match interview.

"I get confused when I see some of the decisions from the referee because it looks like our forwards don't really get a lot of protection and anytine that the opposition defence playing against we've got guys that got stud markd at the back, on the neck  and on the head."

"We're looking just the same protection not anymore than the opposition,"he added.

The head coach also lamented his side's defending which has been a recurring theme this season.

"We didn't defend well.We defended poorly especially Jordan Webb's goalwhere he takes it and he was on the touch line for a long time.He's showed good skills but we've got to tackle better and we've got to defend mych better as a team."

"And at the moment we always look like scoring but tonight we look like conceding goals as well which means more hard work on the training groundand we need to turn this bad run around just with hard work."

The former Blackburn Rovers manager also stressed the importance of defending better as a team.

"We know as a team we have to do better and obviously individually and collectively on the defeding side we have to defend better because we can't get to a stage where we have to score six to win a game at home."

Kean added that with a quality frontline they ae capable of getting the goals but similarly the goals scored against them looks to be flooding in as well."

"We do always look like scoring but at the moment we look like conceding goals and thats the bit first of all we've got to put right then we move forward again."

Asking how much defensive work would be required in training,Kean replied: "A lot.We can do the analysis on each of the goals and there's a coaching session to be done on each one of the goals.We can't concede goals so easily but as I've said there were two decisons in there that put us in the back-foot."

"We were in bad position because expected to get freekicks but we should be in a position where we don't expect anything and get our organistion behind the ball better and thats what we'll be doing when we get to the training ground again tomorrow,"the head coach concluded. 

Sunday, April 16
Warriors overcome DPMM in thrilling affair.

Warriors continued their unbeaten run to the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League campaign with a thrilling 5-3 win over Brunei DPMM last night.

The victory sent the Warriors joint top with defending chanpions Albirex Niigata(S) with 13 points after five games into the season.

Jordan Webb netted a brace while Kento Fukuda,Ridhuan Mohammad and Joel Tsibamba notched a goal each in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

On the other hand,Rafael Ramazotti bagged a double while Billy Mehmet scored the other for DPMM.

The hosts were top for the opening 20 minutes but it was the Warriors who had the first real chance of the match.

After doing all the work on the right flank, Webb put the ball across the face of goal for Tsibamba but the latter somehow missed the tap in from point blank range.

However, he made up for it five minutes later after sending Webb through on goal to fire past DPMM custodian Alizanda Sitom for the lead.

The momentum shifted in favour of the visitors with DPMM struggling to keep possession of the ball.

In turn,DPMM equalised on the stroke of halftime after Ramazotti's headed home Hendra Azam's ball into the box.

The Warriors could have restored their advantage inside the opening minute of the second half after Webb set up Tshibamba but he skied his shot from 1o yards out.

Webb would net his second of the game in the 55th minute after playing a good one-two with a team-mate before finishing low past Alizanda.

Nurikhwan Othman almost replied three minutes later with a cracking long range shot, only to be denied by the crossbar.

DPMM levelled in the 62nd minute with MEhmet bulging the net from just inside the area.

Warriors regained the lead 11 minutes later after Alizanda lunched a freekick from the left only to come off another player,allowing Fukuda the simplest of tap-ins.

The visitors created a two-goal cushion in the 81st minute after Shahril Ishak put the ball across the face of goal for substitute Ridhuan to fire home.

DPMM kept themselves in the game with Ramazotti heading home his second of the match three minutes later.

Tshibamba then put the matxh to bed three minutes later after he faked initial shot to skip past his marker before slotting the ball past Alizanda to end the Warriors' seven-game run without a win against DPMM.

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:We know as a team we have to do better - both individually and collectively; we have to defend better.It shouldn't get a stage where we need six goals to win at home.

"That couldn't happen.We always look like we will score but also look like conceding.That is the first of all that we need to put right.We will move forward again and the good thing is we got another game in five days."

Warriors Head COach Razif Onn: "It was a thrilling game.I was a bit shocked that after we scored,DPMM played well, in fact, I watched them in the past few matches and this is one of the best they have played.

"Unfortunately our attacking power is much better than what they did and thats why we managed five goals in 90 minutes.I have to thank my players, coming back to take the lead is not easy.They played their hearts out." 

Friday, April 14
DPMM determined to halt rut.

Haivng registered just one win in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League so far,Brunei DPMM will be determined to put an end to that run when they host Warriors FC in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday night.

DPMM have lost three of their four matches played,falling to Home,Albirex and Balestier Khalsa as they lie second from bottom in a nine-team S.League.

With only four scored and already seven leaked on the otjer end, the Scot is under no illusion that his team has to improve.

"With the exception of our 2-0 win against Hougang United, where we kept a clean sheet,we'be been defensively poor this year," Kean lamented.

"Statistically, it means nothing for us at the moment; the amount of shots on target to goals is poor. We need to get more blocks, be much more stubborn because thats what really costing us at the moment."

Kean also believes better supply has to be provided in order for his strikers Rafael Ramazotti and Billy Mehmet to find the net.

"Whe you have Rafael Ramazotti and Mehmet upfront,you have to give them service," he said.

"Our crossing was poor, the wingbacks have to get forward more and get to the final third of the pitch because I think it odes become predictable whne we keep slinging the ball in from the middle.

"It has to be in final third when we eventually get behind the defence and if we csn get up the sides and behind the fullbacks. Thats where Ramazotti,Mehmet and Azwan Ali can come from the back - thats a different prospect altogether."

With DPMM's first choice goalkeeper Wardun Yusof out for the past two matches. Alizanda Sitom got thrust into action where he featured against Hougang and Balestier.

Having impressed over the two games,Kean was effusive in his praise for the 47-year old shotstopper and admits it is giving him a pleasent selection headache.

"He's a good goalkeeper and has done well whenever called upon," he said. "He's fast and agile and although he's a little smaller than Wardun, he's good for someone of his age.

"He's a genuine contender to push Wardun all the wayand its up to Wardun when he gets back in again - he has to keep his standards high.I believe that even if you're old but fit enough, you should be able to as well."

Despite the current form, Kean is unfazed and confident that DPMM have the ability to recover from their early season slump.

"We are way a better side than this and we are too a good a team to perform like that week in week out," he said.

"What we need to do now is to get back to the trainign ground, improve on the way we cross and moce the ball around.We also have to learn to play with a different dimension.We are normally not like that as we give the defences several problems.

"I'm sure we will bounce back."


Saturday, April 8
Balestier came from behind to overcome DPMM.

Balestier notched their second victory on the trot in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S-League as they came from a goal down to beat Brunei DPMM 2-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night.

DPMM took the lead through Rafael Ramazotti,but two goals in the space of four minutes second -half minutes from Hazzuwan Halim and Raihan Rahman was enough for Balestier to earn all three points.

The first chance of note came nine minutes in when Azwan Ali latched onto a knockdown from Billy Mehmet on the edge if the penalty box, but coud only blast it over.

Balestier's Shah Hiril then spotted DPMM goalkeeper Alizanda Sitom off his line before unleashing attempt which just cleared the bar.

The designated visotors would however get their noses in front in the 21st minute when a penalty was awarded after Hanafi Salleh dragged Ramazotti down from behind in the box.

Ramazotti dusted himself off and sent Zaiful nizam the wrong way from the spot for his second goal of the season.

Finding themselves a goal down,Balestier came storming back and took the game to DPMM.

The 2014 Singapore Cup winners could have levelled matters in the 38th minute when Aung Kyaw Naing tooka shiot on the turn but Alizanda tipped the ball over for a corner.

The Tigers came close again two minutes later when Fadli Kamis rose highest to meet Hazzuwan's corner but sent a header just over.

Tajeli Salamat then should have equalised a minute before the break when he got onto the end of a left-wing cross but somehow nodded wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Balestier continued from where they left off and were eventually rewarded in the 56th minute.

Tking advantage of a defensive lapse at the back,Hazzuwan proceeded to lob the ball over a haplessAlizanda for the equaliser.

The Tigers thenwent in front for the first time on the hour markwith Raihan curling home a sublime freekick which found the top corner,leaving Alizanda with no chance.

In a bid to rescue the tie,DPMM head coach brought on Helmi Zambin and Adi Said to add more firepower upfront.

The latter nearly made an impact minutesafter coming on,but drilled a low shot wide after cutting in from the left in the 72nd minute.

Alizanda then had to be alert to come off his line to deny Kyaw Naing on 81 minutes before Ramazotti volleyed over from close range two minutes later.

DPMM were reduced to ten menfour minutes from time when Azwan Salleh was given his marching orders after a second bookable offence.

There was one final chance for DPMM to steal a point deep into injury time but Ramazotti's header was hacked off the line as Balestier hung on to move up to sixth in the standings.

Balestier Khalsa Head Coach Marko Kraljevic:"We couldn't drop too deep as they have two tall strikers who can cuae problems and my plan was to push up the pitch as much as possible to put them away from the 18-yard box.

"We played well today but I thought we should have finished off the chances we had created throughout the game." 

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean:"We never played well tonight and we were poor defensively.

"We didn't pass the ball quickly enough, even in the first half when we were one goal up.We took too many touches and because of that,Blaestier could get in and make tackles and blocks;we seemed a bit sluggish and slow in moving the ball around." 



Friday, April 7
Kean cautious of Balestier set plays.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean will be cautious with the danger posed by Blaestier Khalsa in set plays when the pair clash in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The head coach stressed the importance of avoiding needless fouls and conceding corners.

Kean has acknowledged the stregths of the Tigers despite languishing in a lowly 8th place.

Balestier Khalsa head coach Marko Kraljevic's philisophy is alien to the Scotsman having featured against them on numerous occasions during the years.

"Marko's teams are always organised.They're quite direct so I don't expect them to be building the ball too much from the back and try to start the play," said Kean in an interview after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Wednesday.

"They get the ball forward and they're good at it. They're good at picking up the second balls and they're very dangerous on set plays.

"We need to stay on our feet and not make silly fouls around the box or give simple corners away because they're really dangerous."

When quesstiones if it will be different mentality of coping with the pressure in registering their first away win of the season, Kean has indicated that he is not overly concerned.

"Its like any game. As soon as you get a victory then the confidence comes back into the side.Its amazing what a victory does.

"We didn't play bad at all against Home Utd and Albirex but we didn't get points and obviously that brings then a little nervousness inside the team.

"But I think getting the victory the other evening against Hougang you can see now all the confidence flooding back to the eam so its just about recevering and now trying to get back-to-back wins and lets try go on an nbeaten run and try get that run to last as long as possible."

The Scotsman is not deeply concerned by the lack of chances especially with the abundance of quality in attack.

He said his main focus lies in having his ream record a clean sheet.

"The biggest thing that we need to have in the very front of our mind of the whole team is lets get another clean sheet because I'm always confident that we'll get chances.

"You've got Billy Mehmet,Ramazooti and Azwan ali who can strike the ball really well with Azwan Ali and Azam.

"We can score from crossed because we're so tall. The biggest focus and the biggest approach to the game is can we make sure that we start with a clean sheet obviously if we do I think we'll win," the former Blackburn Rovers manager added.

The head coach also also labelled his attacking players "as god as anyone in the league" after commending the physical presence of both Mehmet and Ramazotti.

Kean also confirmed that there are no injury concerns ahead of the league clash. 


Thursday, April 6
Tigers wary of DPMMs' threat.

Balestier Khalsa will take on Brunei DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night as both clubs look to kickstart their stuttering start to their Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League 2017 campaign.

Both clubs have only one win after four games this season and have found goals hard to come by, with DPMM only finding the back of the net thrice and the Tigers only twice.

The Tigers halted their three-game losing streak after grinding out a 1-0 victory over Garena Young Lions in their last game.

According to centreback Ashrul Syafeeq, it was a result which gave the team amuch-needed shot in the arm.

"The win definitely gave us confidence because we lost the first three matches, which I felt we could have at least come out with something," said the 23-year old.

"Everyone is now motivated for the next game. We know we got to keep improving and stay level-headed."

Similarly,DPMM put behind their losses to Albirex and Home Utd as they returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Hougang in Bandar Seri Begawan.

While Asrul is cautious about underestimating Steve Kean's charges despite their poor form, he is optimistic that the Tigers can spring a surprise on Friday night.

"Its going to be tough playing against them but I think its the best time especially after having won your last game which definitely lifted the team spirit," expalined Ashrul.

Echoing Ashrul's sentiments was Balestier coach MArko Kraljevic, who believes that DPMM are still a quality side and the Tigers will have to work doubly hard to prevent defeat to DPMM.

"Even though they have only one win like us,I won't say we are evenly-matched because they have been really unlucky in their games," the German-born Croatain expalined.

"I watched their games against Home and Albirex, and I felt they were very unlucky to lose those games so I think they are the favourites for this game.

"The win against the Young Lions gave us confidence, which is important, becuae when you lose games,the players lose confidence as well. Now, they are smiling and enjoying themselves, which is all part of football.

"We have to stop their front three of Azwan Ali,Rafael Ramazotti and Billy Mehmet because they are very dangerous.If we can do that, half of the job is done."

Another reason for the change of mood in the Tigers' camp is the arrival of former Youth Olympic games bronze medalist Hanafi Akhbar, who has added creativity to Balestier's midfield.

The 22-year old came on at half time in the Tigers' win against Young Lions, starting off the move that led to his team's winner.

"I'm really excited to play with Hanafi because I have seem him play previously when I was in the NFA (National Football Academy) where he performed tremendously well," Ashrul enthused."He gives us that extra quality and can change the game once he is on form."

While Kraljevic feels that it is still too soon for Hanafi to start a game, the coach confirmed that the midfielder will play a part on Friday,albeit off the bench.

"I don't think Hanafi is ready to start a game yet because he just finished National Service and will need more game time," Kraljevc explained.

"But he will play a part in the game against DPMM and depending on how the game goes, I might need him earlier." 



Monday, April 3
DPMM secure first victory of the season against Cheetahs.

Brunei DPMM picked up their first win in the Eastern-Hyundai S.League with a 2-0 win over Hougang Utd on Sunday night.

Billy Mehmet and Hendra Azamnetted early and late in the opening half to seal all three points for the Brunei side at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

DPMM had a great start as they grabbed the lead in the ninth minute after Mehmet slotted home a Hendra Azam long ball over the top.

Azwan Ali tried his luck from 20 yards out five minutes later but his effort floated wide.

Rafael Ramazotti had an opportunity just after the half hour mark after getting at the end of a Maududi Hilmi Kasmi cross but headed wide.

Hougang Utd should have equalised in the 35th minute after Pablo Aracil connected on Fumiya Kogure's ball into the box but DPMM custodian Alizanda Sitom, who became the oldest player to ever lace up in the competition at 47 years old,denied him from close range.

Ramazotti rose highest to head Najib Tarif's cross from the left five minutes later but it went over the bar.

DPMM doubled their lead in first half injury time after Hendra Azam unleashed a powerful strike from just outside the box to beat Khairulhin Khalid in goal for Hougang.

The hosts could have added another eight minutes after the interval but Azwan Ali's effort from close range was blocked for a corner.

A good string of passes resulted in Hougang United skipper Azhar Sairudin firing a shot from 12 yards out two minutes later but skyrocketed his attempt.

The visotors saw plenty of the ball and should have pulled one back in the 74th minure but Kogure's freekick from the edge if the box was denied by the left post.

Kogure came close again four minutes from time with his strike from just inside the box but once again watched it bounce off the left post to his dismay.

Brunei DPMM Head Coach Steve Kean: It is good to get our first three points of the season because in previous games we have played well enoigh and in my opinion have at least four points in the table but we never.It was vital we got three points tonight.

"What was even more pleasing is that we got a clean sheet.In the manner which we defended.In the last three weeks the emphasis of our training is about defending.It was pleasing to get the three points and the cleansheet is the icing of the cake."

Hougang United Coach Philippe Aw:"We knew that Billy and Ramazotti are good strikers but I thought most of the time we keep them quiet.But we allowed Billy to score in the first 10 minutes and DPMM scored another at stroke of half time.

"Timing of the goals crucial.If it was 1-0 it would have been better.Even at 2-0 I thought we could come back in the second half the boys gave it their all.We hit the post twice, we had chances but just couldn't find the first goal." 

Sunday, April 2
Kean doubles down on defensive woes

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has stressed the importance of overcoming their defensive woes after seeing his side leak five goals in the last two matches ahead of the crucial match against Hougang Utd in the S.League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

The head coach has also underscored the need to win every game at home especially a club with aspirations of winning the S.League title.

The Gegar Gegar men go into the match 10 points adrift of league leaders Albirex Niigata(S) - who snatched a 2-2 draw against Home Utd in a top-of-the-table clash last night- and need to colect three points to stay in touch with the title contenders.

"You try to cover every aspect in attacking possession, defending, every aspect of the game you've covered in pre-season," said Kean.

"We need to work on winning back our confidence knowing that we can defend not only as a back unit and the goalkeeper but also as a whole team defending better.

"Our stats are preety horrific.The first two games there have been only seven shots on target and five goals against," he continued.

"It didn't take long for me to sit down and scatch my head and wonder what we have to work on

"We have to go back of the basics of defending and making sure our organistion behind the ball especially when our attacking is right and we don't get done by any silly counter-attacks.And then when we do have to defend we have to throw our body on the line and block.

"Evrry single time the opposition has the ball we'll make sure that the goalkeeper doesn't have to make a save because we get blocks and we get tackles, we push them wide and we make them difficult for them to get opportunities on goal."

With their latest acquisition Zeljko Savic signing a short term contract as immediate replacement for the injured Francois Marque, Kean admitted that it is difficult for a player to adapt quickly especially in a frame of a defender.

However, Kean highlighted that decent players can still enjoy success which is evident with the arrival of Paulo Sergio when he was brought on in following a premature injury to Craig Fagan.

"Good players adopt quickly and he has a couple of good weeks with us. He made sure that after he signed his contracthe didn't go home.

He waited and embedded himself in and got a lot of sessions under his belt so he knows his teammates, he knows the way we play and he knows what we've expected of him.

"He's a good player and Im sure he deals in his sstride,"the fomrer Blachburn Rovers manager added.

Savic has been well-known to possess good leadership and qualities during his stint in Europe and Kean highlighted that verbal communication could be the key towards channelling instructions with the fellow defence.

The head coach added that the defenders are quiet and like to be led by somebody else with past players like Brian McLean and Boris Raspudic playing a key role as the voice of the team.

"We've always had central defenders that lead and command so his (Savic) experience s going to be vital.

"He can communicate and control the backline when we're going to drop off, when we're going to squeeze up and then it will be up to the two central defenders each side of them to take the lead off him because he's got the experience and he's got the maturity."

Kean has also emphasised the importance not to concede easy or poor goals and make it difficult for opposition to breach their defence and goal.

"We need to be more dominant in our defending and make sure that if somebody's going to score a goal,it has to be a wonder goal.It can't just be an easy give and if you look back on the five goals we've conceded from a defensive point of view a lot of them have been poor goals.

"Its not a case where somebody's hit one from 35 metres and into the top corner so thats something Im convinced we will be better tomorrow night,"the head coach concluded.

There are no injury concerns ahead of the crucial tie against a side which they boast a fine record historically having won four in the last five league meetings between the two sides. 

Saturday, April 1
Kwok believes Hougang can upset the odds.

Hougang Utd will be looking to pile more misery on Brunei DPMM in the Great Eastern-Hyundai's S.League when the two teams face off in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday night.

DPMM have yet to register a win, after a 3-1 and 2-0 loss to Home Utd and Albirex Niigata (S) respectively in their first two games of the season.

In contrast, the Cheetahs have picked up six points out of a possible nine after victories over Geylang International and Garena Young Lions.

According to Hougang midfielder Fabian Kwok,the Bruneians' poor form could be a boost to Hougang.He also believes that it will help them beat Steve Kean's charges on their home turf.

"It is definitely a good time to play DPMM because they are struggling to pick up results. While they are strong at their home ground, we are on a high with two wins out of three," said Kwok.

"We have the upper hand so hopefuly we can continue to build on it."

For a club that has finished in the doldrums of the league table for the last few seasons, Philippe Aw's side now find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the upper echelons of the standings.

However, Kwok is keen to stress that it is still very early in the season and has urged his teammates to 'take it one game at a time.'

"There is a saying - it is not how you start but how you finish," Kwok enthused.

"It is great that we are starting well early into the season and we will focus on getting the results along the way."

In spite of their losing streak, DPMM go into this as a slight favourites, albeit on paper. The 2015 S.League winners have yet to suffer a defeat to the Cheetahs in their past five meetings in the league.

While the statistics do not favour Hougang,Kwok is adamant that the Cheetahs can spring a surprise on Sunday night,as long as they stick to Aw's philisophy of playiang attacking football.

"They have tall strikers so we have to be cautious about that.However,we have many good ball players this season and a game plan on playing better football as a whole," said Kwok.

"We will stick to our style of play and not make it a wasted trip to Brunei." 

Friday, March 24
DPMM signs Serbian Zeljko Savic.

DPMM has signed Serbian centreback Zeljko Savic.This is the 29-year old first venture in Asia and he is thrilled to have earned a contract with the Sultanate's only professional club.

"I am delighted to be in Asia and even prouder to be a player of the best club in the S-League.When my intermediary,Trebol Sports International informed me of the opportunity,I quickly spoke to some friends who have already played in Asia.They told me about the lifestyle in Asia and of course, all the positive stuff about DPMM. I immediately informed my intermediary that I am on standby to leave anytime.

When the former PS Kemi centrebackhad his first training session, he knew he had joined the right club.

"The other 2 foreign players in the teamhad gone through pre-season and team bonding activities so I was afraid that it would be difficult for me to adapt.However the players, coaches and management made me  feel so comfortable and welcome that it was a sif I had joined before the season had started."

Besides playing in his native Serbia,Zeljko had carved out a promising caareer in Finland helping SJK Seinajoki capture their maiden Finnish Veikkausliiga (top division) title in 2015 and the League Cup a year before. He hopes that this experience will prove invaluable this season. 

"I am very impressed by the work rate of my teammates during training as everyone will fight for every ball until the last minute.This desire to win is very important and I happen to be of the same breed.I will fight and give my best in every training session and every game.The club has entrusted me to provide leadership and guidance to the defence and they can be assured that I will do a good job. I want to help DPMM finish in the top 3 positions of the league because it deserves to be."

Team manager,Ali Momin laid down the club's expectations of the Serbian."We hope Zeljko can motivate our local players in every game and help our defence concede lesser goals this season." The 1.85tall stopper welcomes the pressure of leading the team with the other 2 imports,despite coming from a different playing style.

"I must admit that the football played here is different from Finland's.It is more direct football over here and all players are always looking to pusg forward to exact more danger on the opposition's goal. In Europe, I have played many big games  and they come with a lot of tension, pressure and expectations. Fortunately I thrive on these factors because this is what makes football the best job in the world."

"We must also not forgot that we are incredibly priveleged to work under the tutelage of Steve Kean. He has so much to impart and share and I am looking forward to working with him on the pitch every day." 


Friday, March 10
High-flying White Swans notch this straight win.

Second-half strikes from Ryuya Motoda and Ryota Nakai were enough for Albirex Niigata (S) as they beat Brunei DPMM 2-0 at the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday night.

It was the White Swans' third victory on the trot in the Great EasternHyundai S-League as the result also saw them replaced Home Utd at the summit and go three points clear.

Both sides made personnel changes for the match,with Yuuki Yamanouchi and Tomoki Menda coming in for Motoda and Shoichiro Sakamoto for Albirex,while Yura Indera took the place for the injured Francois MArque for DPMM.

The first-half was a tightly-contested affair, with the first chance of note coming on nine minutes,but Azwan Salleh's effort from 20 yards was comfortably caught by Albirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa.

At the other end three minutes later, Tsubasa Sano could have put the hosts ahead,but scuffed on the edge of the six-yard box after he was teed up by Kento Nagasaki.

DPMM were presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring just before the half hour mark.Billy Mehmet rose highest to meet Rosmin Khamis' right wing cross,but saw his header came off the foot of the post.

Rafael ramazotti then headed wide in the 37th minute, before Yuuki Yamanouchi gazed the bar with a cross-shot from a tight angle on the stroke of half-time.

After the restart,Albirex were unlucky not to ahve scored as Yasutaka Yanagi and Takuya AKiyama were both denied by Wardun and the woordowk on 50th and 51st minutes respectively.

In the 71st minutes, substitute Shochiro Sakamoto came close whne he left his man for dead down the right before cutting in, but his low drive at the goal found only the side-netting.

The deadlock was however, brokenwith sixteen minutes remaining. Motoda - who had only been on the pitch for three minutes - made a late run into the box to connect with with Naofumi Tanaka's cross from the left before sending a diving header past Wardun to put Albirex in front.

Try as they might,but all hopes of a DPMM comeback were extinguished when Nakai netted three minutes from time.Taking down a long ball, the 22-year old then slotted past on onrushing Wardun to seal the victory for Albirex.

In an attempt to salvage something from the game,DPMM head coach Steve Kean brought on brothers Shahrazen Said and Adi Said shortly after, but it was in vain as Albirex hung on for the three points.


Albirex Niigata (S) head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga: "We didn't attack well in the first half but made some adjustments to the players' positions in the second half and we managed to attack more incisively.

"Against a team playing with three centre-backs,its important to the players to show their flexibility at playing a number of positions so as to adapt to my tactics for any team that come along."

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean:"We created good chances, and Billy were unlucky in the first half with the header.The two goals we gave away were really poor,we had all the chances.If you don't get goals, you don't get the three points- as imple as that.

"We can't concede five goals in ywo gamesbut we have had similar bad runs in the past.Its back to the training ground for us and we go again." 

Thursday, March 9
Kean confident ahead of Albirex tie.

FPMM FC head coach Steve Kean firmly believes his side, can over come Albirex Niigata (S) if they could match or improve their statistics from their last home defeat in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S-League at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The head coach acknowledged that his charges have boasted 62% of the possession and credited the imperious form of Home Utd shot-stoper Hassan Sunny.

"If we do that every game, then we 'll win 80 or 90 per cent of the gsmes.If we cintrol the game against Albirex the same, get the same statistics, then I'm sure we can get points against the Albirex tea,," said Kean an interview after a training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

Asked om how desperate the players are to bounce back after the defeat if home, Kean said they were massively disappointed especially after performing well.

"We feel little bit not cheated from the referee or the opponent but maybe we feel that we deserved something from that first game. Maybe that give us a different hunger or different appetite to go on and get something from this game and I hope it does."

"The training if anything to go by has been excellent since the Home Utd game so we look forward to travel tomorrow," he continued.

Despite the exit of key players from their title-winning including Tatsuro Inui and Atsushi Kawata, Kean is wary if the threat of emerging players with the trio of fresh faces in Ryota Nakai,Tsubasa Sano anf Shoichro Sakamoto already making huge impressions.

"They have young players that play with freedom and we know that. They're actually just as dangerous as established players." the Scotsman added.

"Even though we don't know much about what I've seen about them when they played against Tampines, they were excellent."

"They were fluid, they moved around, they rotated and they didn't fix in one position which Albires always do so they're a tough team to play against."

"But if we play like what we did in the secongd half against Home I'm sure we can do well."

Kean also likened the Japanese sattelite team to having a similar playing style as Arsenal of the Premier League.

"I would always say to our boys that it is like playing against Arsenal in the UK."

"They don't really like to cross the ball too much.They want to coem out of the line, the want to play little one-twos, they want to threat passes, they want to keep possession and thats the way we always treat them."

"They're a proper footballing side so we're geared up to play against them and we're trained really well."

the head coach remained constant in his views that the reigning holders as title contenders despite the raft of changes which saw Kazuaki Yoshinaga replacing NAoki Naruo in the hotseat.

"Yes,always, we have to. They're not only won one competition. the've won the lot. Ven though they've got some new players we have to see them as title contenders especially when they won the first game.

"Mometum is a massive thing in football and we onyl need to see that from any other league in the world.If you've got the mometum and you win the first game , then you got the belief."

"It doesn't matter that if its new players or new coach so you've got to try and break that," he said.

Kean had earlier said that they produce a good [erformace histirically against the current chsmpions.

"We always play well against them and it is always close we've got an added incentive because we feel thet we should've got something from the first game if not only a point maybe three points."

"We've got something to prove and we're fired up.I can tell our fans one thing it won't be an easy game against Albirex," the former Blackburn Rovers manger concluded. 

Monday, March 6
DPMM FC's Keen rues wasted chances, leaky defence.

DPMM FC head coach said their lacky ruthlessness in front of goal proved their downfall in the 3-1 S-League defeat to Home Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Friday.

"Im not looking forward at these statistics because I can count in my own mind that we had seven shots to eight shots on target but managed only one goal," said Kean in a post-match interview.

Kean also underlined the need to eradicate their defensive frailties.

"I think they had five shots on target and ended up getting three goals.Statistically, we had to do better, we have to be more ruthless in their box and we have to defend in our box.

"Ultimately,that's what football is all about.It's about the two 18-yard boxes.

"When we had our chances,we didn't really put right them away.

"When they had theirs, we didn't defend properly."

The hea dcoach credited the players for an imrpoved showing in the second half after making the on-form goalkeeper Hassan Sunny and the Home Utd backline under constant pressure.

"But when the third goal was in,we had ourselves a lot to do,"he added.

The head coach also lamented their passing, which lacked conviction, saying it was a "stark contrast t their ability to keep the ball well."

"Sometimes, even when we were not under pressure, we were turning around and losing the ball to the opposition.

"I don't know if it was because of the first-game nerves or the pressure of chasing the game."

Kean also highlighted the need to finish off the opposition when mometum was in their favour.

"It is disappointing but we need to pick ourselves up because the next game comes very quickly.

"We have to get back up on the training ground and set things right."

DPMM defender Francois Marque, who is nursing a muscle injury, is doubtful for the next fixture against Albirex Niigata (S)but Kean is hopeful that the long break would help him in his recovery.

The head coach pointed out how Maududi Helmi and Azwan Salleh proved to be the main outlets in providing service to the four forwards.

"Before halftiem we didn't look like we were going to score, so we had to tthen go with four strikers. 

"We had to play attackers Dudi and PAram out of position in the fullback roles.

"We were just really trying to get the ball in the front four as often as possible and get ourselves back in the game.

"We put the goalkeeper under a lot of pressure so I give credit to the players."

Its dissapointing because we've had a great pre-season.This really knocks us back, but we've just have to get on with it,"he said.

Kean also explained behind his decision to keep winger Maududi Hilmi for the full match despite losing his marker in Home Utd's third goal.

"Dudi has been exceptional last season.In any position, when he is asked to play,he's fantastic, which is why I wanted to keep him on the pitch."

"He might have lost his marker, but there's plenty of times he's created goals at the other end of the pitch."

"It was a bad night for us but we'll get better," the former Blackburn Rovers manager added. 


Saturday, March 4
Protectors continue perfect start to the season.

Home United made it two wins out of two in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S-League after a 3-1 victory over Brunei DPMM at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Saturday night.

Stipe Plazibat netted a double to give the Protectors a 2-0 lead at halftime before Rafael Ramazotti pulled one back in the second half. Faris Ramli then scored the third to seal the win for Home.

Brunei DPMM had a chance insode the opening minute after Azwan Ali Rahman made a good run into the box, but saw his shot saved by Home United custodian Hassan Sunny.

Faris got a shot away from outside the box in the sixth minute, but it went straight to DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

Home were awarded a penalty two minutes later after DPMMs'French defender Francois Marque tripped Khairul Nizam in the box.

Plazibat then stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards out to give the visotors the lead.

Ramazotti was on target in the 15th minute after heading a cross from the right, but it was comfortably saved by Hassan.

the reignung S-League topscorer got his head of Billy Mehmet's cross ten minutes later, but Hassan pulled off yet another super stop.

The hosts were forced to make a change in the 31st minute after Marque pulled a muscle, with the Frenchman making way for Yura Indera Putra.

DPMM came close again the next minute,but Reduan Petra's header at the far post was tipped over by Hassan.

The Protectors extended their lead in the 37th minute after Song Uiyong sent a nice through ball for Plazibat.

The Croatian forward defended off the onrushing Wardun before slotting the ball into an empty net for the sixth of the season.

The hosts could have pulled one back heading into the break,but Ramazotti missed the target from close range.

The 2015 S-League champions sent on brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said in place of Reduan and Najib Tarif immediately after half-time in search of goals.

Shahrazen got into the action immediately with a shot on target, but Hassan was there to keep his effort out.

Another chance went on begging for DPMM on the 489th minute as Hassan produced another glorious save to stop Mehmet.

DPMM finally pulled one back in the 59th minute, as Ramazotti headed home Hendra Azam's corner from close range.

Mehmet should have got into the scoresheet and levelled matters nine minutes later,but Hassan dived at full stretch to prevent the former's shot from going into the bottom corner.

Home eventually got their third in the 76th minute as Faris connected with a low cross from the right at the far post to put the game to bed.

Home united head coach Aidil Shahrin: "To win an away game especially against Brunei DPMM is not easy.

"For the past few years, the record is that we have not won here.Today we did it because the players have been putting in a lot of commitment and their fitness is good.Hopefully they will continue from here.

 Brinei DPMM head coach Steve Kean: "I'm not looking forward to seeing the statistics.I can count in my mind that we had seven to eight shots on target and we only got one goal. I think they had five and ended up with three goals." 



Friday, March 3
DPMM all set to hit ground running.

DPMM FC are determined to kick off their season with the first league match of the season of the S-League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium against overnight league leaders Home Utd after eight weeks of pre-season training.

The Gegar Gegar men are the final team to start their campaign with the teams already playing their first fixture following the season opener between Albirex Niigata (S) and Tampines Rovers at the end of last month.

DPMM's head coach Steve Kean watched two games during his side's wait for the season involving the Tampines and the Albirex game and the Home Utd's 6-1 rout at the expense of the Garena Young Lions at the Bishan Stadium.

"I don't think we've been ever any more ready for a season. We've now had eight weeks and we can't wait for the season to start,"said DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"I know it will be a tough game but if we can play anywhereclose to our level then we won't have any problems for the whole season," he continued.

The head coach also hinted that Reduan Petara may start in a place of Ak Yura Indera as part of a potential three-men defence with Francois Marque set to be handed a debut.

Kean has highlighted the speed and experience which the new defender could bring to the plate.

Meanwhile, club captain Rosmin Khamis looks to continue to play at defensive role at the back which he frequently occupied last season.

The club new signing Billy Mehmet also looks to poised to from partnership with striker Rafael Ramazotti while Azwan Ali could play an integral part in providing service.

Kean will be wary of the threat that main striker Stipe Plazibat poses who have proven to be a antural replacement for Ken Ilso who joined Kedah FA in the Malaysian Super League.

The Croatian plundered four goals in a single game in the annihilation of the Young Lions and has scored at DPMM's home ground last season for former club Hougang Utd.

"They got goals and their main striker scoring four. They've got Camara making penetrating runs as he always does from the fullback position.

"What they really do well is they switch play and they got the ball down on one side and get the ball in midfield.They move teams around and they move Young Lions around and offensiveky that's their biggest asset of the game," he continued.

"They played really open and they switched play a lot and created a lot of space. Technically, they're confident on the ball."

furtermore the head coach believes the imports have settled really quickly after the preseason training which included four friendly matches during the Bangkok tour.

"I feel that we're in a much better level than probably we were two years ago.We've no excuses now and we can't maon about bad pre-season or no competitive games."

"We've had everything and that is credit to the club. We can't complain and now we've got to deliver as a group of players and technical staff.

"We've got to deliver the results because we're really ready," the former Blackburn Rovers manager added.

The head coach continued that they will be better prepared to nullify the threat of Home Utd's front two with an extra man adding that they will not be any shortage for cover.

The player tasked to be the most forward on the final third of the pitch will be anyone's guess as either Billy Mehmet and Rafael Ramazotti could occuoy the position given their free role.

"They'll move around so I don't know where they're going to go.I'm hoping the opposition not know where they'll go because they've got a free role to rotate as a three."

"In all honesty Billy sometimes likes to come as a number 10.Juan (Azwan Ali) likes to come as a number 10and sometimes Rafa likes to come towards the ball so we've got a fluid nature in our attacking role where one comes the other one goes."

"I think it will be very hard for the opposition to deal with our front three this year," he concluded. 


Thursday, February 23
Kean delighted with squad passing fitness test.

DPMM FC will have a full squad to choose from in the upcoming S.League season after every single player successfully passed the mandatory 2.4km fitness test which was conducted at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday afternoon.

The selected 25-man squad needed to undertake a fitness test undr nne minutes and 30 seconds which is compulsory as a precondition of playing in the S-League as representatives from Singapore were present to brief groups of players.

Fortunately,DPMM head coach Steve Kean will have no such worries with fitness concerns and he eblievess their recent Bangkok trip was testament of their readiness of competitive football.

"It showed their fitness test levels that we're pushing and it shows that with pre-season the fact that we went away to Thailand., the fact we've had now by the end of the week,seven whole weeks and still we got one week to go.Eight weeks of preseason, we got a very high fitness level so we're delighted with today," said Kean in an interview after the fitness test yesterday.

The head coach explained the good work that they had done in training including small sided games while avoiding injury,though there was onyl a minor concern with new recruit Francois Marque.

"We've got one player that has got a stiff back but we've not had any muscle injuries.So that shows that their muscles and fitness levels are at a peak performance."

The former Basel defender missed training on Tuesday and was a llowed a couple of days rest as he looked to recover from a back problem.

But he had no problem cruising to the finish during the fitness test and even helped inspire Azam to cross the line.

"We let him relax for a couple of days and had intensive treatment over the last few days at the National Stadium with our physio,"Kean said.

Kean further stressed that the mandatory fitness test is not a competition and was glad to see that all players had passed the test.

"The objective of today is to help to be a team and if you can do it the quickest ever but somebody's struggling, it shows the mark of the team spirit.Some of them were staying in the back trying to push along their team-mates.

"I don't even care who's first as long as everybody gets through it and we showed great togetherness staying with somebody who was struggling and pulled them along.That shows the good team ethic that we've got."

The fomrer Blackburn Rovers manager further added that the players got fitter every year with the players who did not meet the times last year succeeded in the first time of asking this year.

The head coach also admitted that he is not a big fan of the mandatory fitness test which is not made compulsory in the other national leagues.

"If being honest,I'm not a lover of the six-lap, 2.4 km test.If you can do the test, I don't think that has a correlation with football any longer.

"I think the S-League is the only league that actually does a test.I don't know if there'd any other league in the world that does a test.

"And if you don't pass the test,you don't play in the league but thats the rules and we've got to repect the rules.

"We've got through it so thats good," Kean siad whose side will be facing Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 3. 

Friday, February 10
A new experience which I welcome( from the article)

Francois Marque (33 years old) leaves the Mont with immediate effect.He will discover the championship in Singapore.

Surprise at FC Le Mont Tuesdaymorning training: Francois Marque was on the sidelines,wearing a very elegant coat with a fur collar. The great French defender, former holder of FC Basel.He will be looking forward to play in the S-League.

 Fancois, you came to bid farewell to your teammates?

That's exactly it, yes. I'm not going to make big speeches. Its not my style, but just say goodbye to everyone.

So your Saturday gameat Wil was the last one with Le Mont?

Yes. I will fly in a few days to Asia.There are just a few documents left to sign, but everything is settled. I went to Brunei for 2 weeks and everythng went well.There were eight central defenders in test, so I had to be convincing, especially as I'm already 33 years old.Afterwards, I had to discuss with Le Mont, since I still had six months of contract.

You were released then? 

Yes.And I want to thank everyone, they were understanding. At my age, it was difficultfor Le Mont to claim compensation.I leave and I rejoice this new experience in a continent which I know nothing.

You played in Germany,Corsica, Switzerland...But Singapore is something else.Does not change you?

No as I said, I rejoice very much.I am curious, my family is with me, so all is well.But everything will change, for sure, especially in football.The templates are not the same, the players out there are smaller, more dynamic.I will have to adapt my style of play, which is quite physical.But do not worry.

You go to which club to the fact?

I signed a year at Brunei DPMM FC, which is a club from Brunei.But a little like Vaduz in Switzerland, my new team is attached to another championship,in this case that of Singapore.Its special,nut it suits me well.I already realized that the infrastructure was on top. Last year, they finished third, which was a bit disappointing for them.The new season begins early March and the goal is clear; we aim for the tile.

And financially, is it interesting?

It is ok,ther are no complaints.The club is owned by the son of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest men in the world. There are ways of course,but we are not in excess either. 


Saturday, February 4
DPMM FC to kick off S-League on March 3

DPMM FC will begin their S-League campaign against Home Utd at home at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 3 following the release of the S-League schedule.

The Gegar Gegar men will start their first away match against reigning champions Albirex Niigata(S) at the Jurong East Stadium on MArch 9.

The 2015 winners will not be seeing league action until April 1 when they entertain Hougang Uniited which appointed former Home head coach Philippe Aw as their new head coach.

The Brunei-based outfit then face a tricky away tie against Balestier Khalsa at the Jalan Besar Stadium on April 7.

Steve Kean's men will play Warriors on April 15 at home before embarking on April 28 before concluding round one fixtures away against Garena Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on May 13.

Albirex, who completed a stunning quadruple last year,will slug it out with Tampines Rovers, who finished runners-up both in the S-League and Singapore Cup to the Japanese satellite side, for the first silverware of the year in the Community Shiled on February 26. 

Saturday, February 4
DPMM FC attacking duo excite manager.

DPMM FC  team manager Ali Momin has lauded the newly-formed partnership of new signing Bily Mehmet and first choice striker Rafael Ramazotti during their recent concluded pre-season Bangkok tour.

The 2015 S-League winners registered four draws, three of which ended 2-2 against Navy FC,Rayong FC and Chainat FC, before completing the tour with a 1-1 draw against newly-promoted Kasetsart FC.

The warm-up games provided the head coach opportunity to experiment what could possibly the main attacking force this season with the club's forward Ramazotti pairing up with Mehmet who joined the Brunei outfit from Tampines Rovers.

With the season on the horizon,Ali highlighted the exciting partnership among the duo with the prolific Brazilian raking 4 goals in consecutive matches.

"Ramazotti and Mehmet have proven to be an exciting combination. With the quality of plays that have been displayed, we hope that Ramazotti will emerge as top scorer of the S-League again this year," said the team manager.

The former Gainare Tottori man scooped back-to-back top scorer awards which helped his club propel to their maiden league title in 2015 and third the following year leaving the club convinced that he is the perfect choice to lead the team this season.

The team manager also expressed his pride on the players' performances during the Bangkok tour.

"The players have shown good performance and discipline for the whole match. It indocates a good sign to the team," he said.

Furthermore, Ali emphasised that the players have stepped up their quality of play and encouragingly a good level of confidence.


Sunday, October 2
DPMM lies on 2nd place,but Tampines have 2 games in hand.

Tampines Rovers failed to close the gap with Albirex Niigata(S) at the top of the Great easter-Yeos' S.League table after they suffereda 1-0 loss to defending champions Brunei DPMM at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night.

Azwan Ali scored the all important goal to seal three points for Steve Kean charges and the win saw DPMM leapfrogged to second -spot in the standings with 41 points.

Tampines dropped a spot to third, a point behind DPMM but with two games in hand compared to the Brunei outfit.

DPMM started the match with an attacking mentality and took the lead just four minutes into the match.Rafael Ramazotti's low drive ball across goal found Azwan in the penlaty box and the latter connected with th ball to send it past the hapless Izwan Mahbud.

Down by a goal early in the match,Tampines restarted the game offensively and they almost came close to an equaliser twice soon after. 

First,Jordan Webb's attempt on goal was well saved by the DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.Former Liverpool and Arsenal player Jermaine Pennant then tried his luck from distance but his stringing shot flew inches off the target.

With Akbar Nawas charges pouring forward in numbers, the visitors deployed most of their players in their own half to defend their lead and were restricted to pumping the ball upfield towards lone striker Rafael Ramazotti and relying on the counter-attacks.

Before the half-time interval,DPMM were awarded a freekick near the penalty box but Paulo Sergio's effort were deflected off the Tampines' wall.

Tampines continue the dominate proceedings after the interval but they were either met with a resolute DPMM defence or were denied by the bar.Yasir Hanapi was left frustrated in the 60th minute as he was denied a goal by the crossbar.

But it was not all the Stags as DPMM went on a counter a minute later. It was a goalmouth scramble but the hosts were fortunate to came away unscathed.

Ramazotti's effort was fisted away by Izwan but the loose ball fell to hendra Azam, who took a crack on gaol ball.Luckily for Tampines, Afiq Yunos was quick to react and headed the ball away to safety on the goal-line.

Although coach Akbar brought an experienced campaigners Fabian Kwok and Fahrudin Mustaficin the latter stages of the match in the hope of stregthening the midfield and to seek a way back into the match,DPMM held onto their lead to seal maximum points.

Tampines Rovers head coach Akbar Nawas:"We only have got ourselves to balme and we had kicked ourselves in the foot for not converting our cjances.We took things lightly,became complacent and made mistakes that we should not think we can get away from.

"In football, we don't get that luxury all the time and it is unacceptable to pass the ball in the middle and get caught.

"We have trained on how to work on the ball and even from the very first minute of the game,I have asked the players to concentrate and focus right from the start."

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean:"The team defended really well especially in the end when Tampines had nothing to lose and had thrown everything forward.We showed the desire not to give up and another pleasing aspect was seeing my creative players from the front, coming back to defend,right from the start.

"When we came here,we hadsome psychological block , that we can't beat Tampines.But Isaid why not, when we are a good team.

"We know how Tampines was going to play, we know Jermaine Pennantand we know how he was going to have a touch on the ball and I felt our defenders had done really well tonight.

"We're still going to second, even though we have onr game left, and with the form we are in,I am sure we can go on and win our next game." 

Saturday, October 1
DPMM eyeing second.

Steve Kean stressed the importance of DPMM Fc finishing second in the S-League ahead of tonight's game against Tampines Rovers tonight.

DPMM are currently third on 38 points, two points behind Tampines - who are ahead by 4 goals and have two games in hand - going into tonight's clash at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

"It is very important for us to finish second this season because you want to always keep progressing," DPMM FC coach Steve Kean told the Brunei Times prior to theit departure for Singapore yesterday for their second last game of the season.

"It has been a disappointment for us  this season in cup cmpetitions, so if we can finish second this season, then it is an indication that we are still moving forward," he added.

DPMM 2-0 to Albirex in the League Cup final in July and were knocked out in the quarterfinal of the Singapore Cup 5-3 n agrregate to ceres La Salle from the Philippines the same month.

"Everybody knows we have been playing very well at the moment.We have won 11 of our last 13 games now,"continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Tomorrow's(tonight's) game is going to be very important for us if we want to finish second.

I don't know why but in the past, we always ahd a phycological block playing Tampines thinking that we cannot beat them...But I am sure they will be worried because we are currently a team in form,"he added.

Tampines won 4-3 the last time both sides met in June in Singapore.DPMM lost at home to the Stags in March, falling 2-1.

Midfielders Paulo Sergiuo and Azwan Ali Rahman will be back after missing the Young Lions encounter on Monday night due to minor injuries, but the club will be without the service of captain Rosmin Hj Khamis and Maududi Hilmi Kasmi tonight due to suspension. 

Paulo and Azwan Ali will be back and obviously we will miss Bobby and Maududi...But this gives the opportunity for the others to step up," added the Scotsman. 

Wednesday, September 28
Kean rues missed opportunity

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they miised a golden chance to better their goal difference in the S-League after a 5-3 victory over the Young Lions on Monday night.

The Brunei side looked to set to cruise to an easy win havinh opened up a four-goal lead just 30 minutes into the match.

However the Young Lions responded with three goals without repky in 15 minutes after the interval setting up a thrilling finish before Rafael Ramazotti put the game to bed with a spot kick - to complete his second hattrick of the season - in stoppage time.

DPMM are chasing a second placee finish in the competition and are now on 38 points.Thery are two points behind Tampines Rovers FC, are are now ahead by four goals and have two games in hand, going into their clash in Singapore on Saturday.

"Our overall play was excellent for the first 30 minutes and after that we were below par.It is a shame as our goal difference would have healthier," said Kean in a post match conference.

"Tonight that might coint as a point if we manage to beat Tampines and Balestier in our last game.

Their(Tampines) goal difference is betetr than us and that is missws opportunity tonight," added the Scotsman.

The Young Lions switched to playing three upfront after the break and we were applyuing pressure high up the pitch,resulting in three goals.

DPMM were taking one two many touches each time they had possession and were giving the ball away cheaply.

Kean felt they sorely missed the duo of Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio and Azwan Ali Rahman through injury.

"I felt we missed them,certainly in the second half, when we need people to get on the ball and dribble up the pitch," said Kean.

"We didn't seem to get orselves up the pitch.We found ourselves pinned to our own half and found it difficult to go up.

"They (Young Lions) had nothing to lose and were not going to let us dictate like play like we did ion the first 30 minutes.

"Their coach siad to them to press up higher,and when they did,we had difficulty releasing passes with quality.

"As a result, there werwe alot of transitions of possession then we found ourselves in a sticky situations," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Young Lions coach PAtrick Hesse felt that the change in strategy was necessary to prevent DPMM getting the ball up to their target man Ramazotti.

"We wanted to block the three defenders because all the long bals to ramazotti came from them," said Hesse.

"We decided to press and left space at the back, but it was not a problem since the have not time to play the ball to Ramazotti,"he added.

The Frenchman feklt that their second half comeback should have warranted them at least a point from the encounter and he heopes that his charges carry the momentum forward.

"DPMM were better in the half and I thought we made it interesting to play in the second half,"said Hesse.

"We had good opportunites and there was a possibility for a draw.It was good for the young players and they need to use this second half to continue the progress.

"They showed they can play good football and for me,that is very important," 


Tuesday, September 27
DPMM given a scare.

DPMM suffered a scare and were forced to work hard for a 5-3 victory over the Young Lions in their final home game of the Singapore League season last night.

The game looked over just half an hour in with DPMM Fcleading by a four-goal margin agains tthe basement dwellers at the HassanalHowever, the Brunei side took their foot off the pedal and Young Lions netted thrice without reply 15 minutes into the second half to set up a thrilling finish before Rafael Ramazotti put the game to bed from the penalty spot - completing his second hattrick of the season.

Last night's game was a tale of two halves and DPMM coach Steve Kean foresaw what was coming from the Singapore development side.

"It was a Jekyll and Hyde situation. We were exceptional in the first 30-35 minutes but way below our standard in the second half," said Kean in a post match interview.

"I smelt it coming to be honest. The lst five minutes in the first half we were a little lazy and we let the Young Lions get a grip.

"We never moved the ball as quick as we did.I said to the lads at half time to forget the score and to go out and win the second half.

"The Young Lions don't care if it is 4-0,5-0 or 6-0.They play with spirit and as soon as they got the first goal,their confidence came flooding back in.Suddenly we were on the back foot holding on," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM came out firing on all cylinders and found the opener in the fourth minute with Brian McLean noddinghome an Azwan Salleh freekick.

Ramazotti then netted a quick a double to give the hosts a three-goal cushion inside 10 minutes - heading home crosses from the left by Azwan and McLean.

The Brunei side scored the fourth goal at the half hour mark after Shahrazen Said put the ball into the box from the right and it was bundled home by Maududi Hilmi from close range.

The visitors did get opportunity in the opening half with substitute Syafeeq Faruk going for the lob from the edge of the box, but DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof tipped it over.

The Young Lions switched from playing one to three - skipper Khairul Amri,Jonathan Tan and Syafeeq - up front after the interval and it paid off immediately.

The Ypung Lons pulled one back just over 20 seconds in after Hami Syahin sent Shafeeq through on goal to slot past Wardun.

DPMM were struggling with the high pressing by their opponents and were giving the ball away cheaply, taking one too many touched each time they had possession.

Khairul volleyed home from inside the box minutes later before adding another on the hour mark with his attempt from inside the box to make it 4-3.

The DPMm backline was also getting outpaced and had difficulty dealing with the long balls by the Young Lions going forward.

The visitors were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet again despite being on top for most of the second half before DPMM regained control in the final 5 minutes.

Ramazotti then scored the vital fifth goal after getting tripped by Christopher Van Huizen inside the box in stoppage time and converting the ensuing penalty.

The ball brought his tally to 20 goals, and he now has a five-goal lead over the duo of Jonathan Behe and Ken Ilso in the race for the top-scorer award. 


Monday, September 26
DPMM confident in last home battle.

DPMM wil continue their chase for a second place finish in the league when they host the Garena Young Lions in their final home game of the season today at the Hassanal Bolkaih NAtional Stadium in Berakas.

DPMM haven't had much rest coming off a 3-1 win over Home Utd on Friday night.

DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that there is no problem having to play another game so close.

"There are two ways to look at it.You can there is not enough time to recover but when you are winning it gives you that a little bit more energy," said Kean after a training session yesterday.

"We have had two really good recovery sessions and now we are ready to go again.We got to look at physical aspect as we are a very fit and well conditioned side," he added.

"It shouldn't give us too many problems in the first 75 minutes except maybe later on in the game.

"But we can freshen up like we did the other night as we got a strong bench.We are looking forward to get another 3 points," continued Kean.

On paper, it might seem like an easy win for DPMM as they are currently in their best run of the season having lost only once in their last 11 matches in all competitions, while Young Lions are rooted at the bottom of the league.

DPMM won 4-1 the last time the two teams met in the sultanate on April 8 while the Young Lions fared much better and held DPMM to a 1-1 draaw in their last meeting at the Jalan Besar.

Kean remains wary against the Singapore side despite the record.

"Like i always said they don't really care.They come and play open football. Even when losing they don't really get depressed and just keep playing," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"As a development team, each player is trying to show they are developing. It is not really about the results and scores. It is about whetehr they are getting better as individuals to progress to the next level.That is always dangerous.We need to approach like we're playing Albirex,Home or Tampines.We never disrespect teams and always do our tactical work.If we play our maximum we will be too strong for them," he added.

"More importantly we need to keep the ball better than we did in the second half of the last game.We gave the ball too cheaply that allowed Home Utd to come back," continued Kean.

The DPMM coach also hopes they will eb able to give their fans a treat in their final gsme at the venue this season.

"Hopefully, we can continue out good run and give the fans more to cheer about.I thought the other night in the first half we were exceptional even thoigh we only score one goa," said Kean.

"We should have been four up at half time.Hopefully we can play like that but be more ruthless and give fans in our last home game a good three points and some goals to cheer about," he concluded.

The Scotsman will be reshuffling his squad which will see left-back Abd Muiz Sisa make his debut after joining his side in June to replace the injures Sairol Hj Sahari.

Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Shaharazen Said have also been given the nod to start with the latter replacing the injured Paulo Sergio, who is out with a back spasms. 


Saturday, September 24
DPMM beat Home

DPMM maintained their chances of a second place finish in the Singapore League after a 3-1 victory over Home United last night.

the Bruneian side- who reliinquished their S-League crown after league leaders Albirex Niigata(S) 1-0 win over Geylang last few days-  are now on 35 points and are only 5 points adrift of second-placed Tampines Rovers who have a game in hand.

All three of DPMM's import players- Paulo Sergio,Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean- got on the scoresheet while Ken Ilso netted the consolation goal for Home United.

Despite trailong 1-0,Home Utd were in control for most of the second half until DPMM scored their second gosl when Ramazotti pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Eko Pradana -who gave away a penalty which the Brazilian later converted to brung his tally to a league-high 17 goals.

DPMM are currently on the best run of the season having only lost once ---a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex Niiigata(S) in the final of the Singapore League Cup on July 30 --in their last 11 matches in all competitions.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that it was an unusual match but knew they had the 3 points in the bag after building a three-goal cushion thanks to a McLeah header.

"I thought it was a strange game.I felt we had most of the chances in the first half and I was disappointed to only to be up 1-0.It probably should have been three or four goals at halftime," said Kean during the post match press conference.

"Nornally we get much better in the second half but it was the flip side tonight.

"I felt that the points were ours after the third goal, even though we were neervy after they scored," continued the Scotsman.

It was mostly DPMM in the opening half and they almost broke the deadlock in the 10th minute after Azwan Salleh unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards out only be denied by the right post.

Ramazotti got a good chance off a corner in the 31st minute but his header was just off the mark.

DPMM should have scored the opener in the 36 th minute but Ramazotti;s effort was cleared off the line by Shamil Sharif for a corner.

The Bruneian side then scored off the ensuing corner with Ramazottu putting the ball into the six-yard box for Sergio to poke home.

Ramazotti came close again in the 42nd minite but his header brushed the crossbar on the way out.

Home United came out of the tunnel a different side and almost equalised just a minute after the interval.

ilso made a deep run into the box before cutting back for Azhar Sairudin insode the six-yard box but Wardun was there to cover the shot.

Ilso was on target from inside the box in the 52nd minute but his effort was parried away by DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.The bsll fell for Azhar but he put the rebound over.

The Danish forward sent a freekick from 25 yards out into the bottom right corner in the 62nd minute but it was kept out by Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after Ramazotti dispossessed Home United custodian Eko on a back pass and was eventually brought down.

The Brazilain made no mistake from 12 yards out , and his striker eased the pressure on the hosts.

DPMM then confirned their eigth home win of the season after McLean headed in a MdHendra Azam corner in the 76th minute.

Mahathir Azeman, who was on the pitch for barely a minute, won a penalty after he was brought down by Reduan Petara in the 83rd minute.

Ilso converted from the spot for his 15th of the campaign to make it 3-1.

The Pretectors went forward again three minutes later but Wardun closed down Mahathir's attempt from inside the box.

Home United finished the game with 10 men having used all three substitutions after Ilso dislocated his right shoulder the next minute.

DPMM will be back in action on Monday in their final home game of the season against the Young Lions. 



Friday, September 23
DPMM FC host Home

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said they have to win their next two games for a chance to finish second in the Singapore League.

The Brunei side, who have lstonce in their last ten games in all competitions, are oficially dethroned as S-League champions after Albirex edged Geylang International FC 1-0 at the Jurong East Stadium last night.

DPMM will host Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight followed by a meeting against the Young Lions at the same venue on Monday.

They will then travel to Singapore to take on Tampines at the Jurong West Stadium next Saturday and will enter the match two points apart from the Stags should they beat Home and the Young Lions. 

"For us to finish second, we must win these next two games before the Tampines game.If we don't,the gap will be too much," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"It is a big game.If we can beat Home, they will find it difficult to catch us.

"It has been a long time coming and we are looking forward to it.We've got our energy back as we had a few days off after our last match on August 26.

"Now we have trained really hard and the boys justwant to play now.It is training, but it is nothing like the real things.We are really looking forward to tomorrow(Friday)," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have the edge against the Protectors this season having won two and dropped the other in their first three meetings.

The Brunei side won the first encounter 2-1 on March 11 before falling to a 5-0 at the Bishan Stadium on May 19.

DPMM then knocked Home out of the League Cup with a 1-0 victory in the semis on July 26.

However, things have changed since thenas Aidil Shahrin - took over from Philipe Aw as the head coach at the end of July, with Aw taking charge of the club's youth team.

Despite the change,Kean expects yet another tough outing against the Protectors.

"It will eb slightly more difficult because they've got a new coach.I don't know if he will put a different slant on the game or tactically try to put his mark on it," said Kean.

"I won't imagine too much change...I'm surprised Philippe is back in youth development as he has done a great job.

"We always find it difficult to play Home because they are organised and have been well coached," he added.

The DPMM coach also pointed out that they will have to pointed out that they will have to watch out for their Home forward Ken Ilso and leftback Sirina Camara.

Home coach Aidil expects a difficult matchup but hopes to claim all three points to close in on third spot.

"Every game is crucial for us now but it is not going to be easy.Of course we want to bring back the three point," said Aidil in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"Every team is pushing even harder than before because of the third spot.At the end of the day ,everyone wants the three points," he added.

The Protectors are on a high after coming away with a 1-0 victory over the Stags on Sept 10 - but Aidil said his charges will not be overconfident despite the win.

"Definitely confidence is a good thing, but not overconfidence.We know that DPMM are a strong team,especially when they are at home," said Aidil.

"You have to be careful of their strengths and too overconfident just because we won against Tampines last game," he concluded.


Thursday, September 15
Ramazotti eyeing topscorer award.

DPMM FC's Rafael Ramazotti has set his sights on the S-League topscorer award for the second straight season.

The 28-year old bagged the award after tallying 21 goals in their title winning season last year.

The Brazilian forward is currently leading the charts with 16 goals to his name followeed by the trio of Jonathan Behe,Ken Ilso and Stipe Plazibat with two goals fewer.

"I always give it a fight to do my best when I play for DPMM.I want to score because it will help the team," said Ramazotti in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

"My teammates help me a lot too and I couldn't have done it without them.I didn't score 16 goals alone.

"Since we can't win the title,I want to be the topscorer again.This will be a good finish if I can win," he added.

"DPMM will finish without any silverware this season having lost in the final of the League Cup and were dumped out in the quarters of the Singapore Cup.

Mathematically,they still have an opportunity to retain the S-League title as they are 12 points back from leaders Albirex Niigata(S) FC.

However, they have to win their remaining four fixtures combined with a meltdown by the Japanese outfits to drop their next five games and for second-placed Tampines Rovers to drop points.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is aining to finsih second as they are only eight points adrift from the Stags.

The Brunei side are currently on their best run of the season having only lost once in their last 10 games - a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Albirex in the final of the Singapore League Cup on July 30 - in all competitions.

They last saw action on August 26 when they came from behind to edge Hougang Utd 2-1 after a Ramazotti double at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMM will resume their campaign against Home Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium next Friday.

They will then host the Garena Young Lions three days later before travelling to Singapore to face Tampines on October 1.

Ramazotti felt that the break came at a wrong time but hopes they will be able to complete their campaign strongly.

"At the start of the season we were fighting to win the title and that was the most important for us," said the striker.

"If we could have played like how we did in the last 12 games earlier in the season,we would have had a chance.But we lost it and not it will be good if we can finish in second place,"he added."The break is not good for us because we played really well having won eight,drawn one and lost one in the last 10 games.It is amazing statistics.

"Thr league stopped and then after three matches we have to stop again. Everybody knows it is hard. We will jst play because there is nothing that we can change," he concluded. 

Saturday, August 27
Ramazotti double sinks Cheetahs as DPMM stay third.

Hougang United spurned an excellent opportunity to go third after defeat to Brunei DPMM in Friday night's televised game at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It all looked good for the Cheetahs as they led 1-0 at halftime courtesy of Stipe Plazibat's 9th minute opener.

The Croatian forward's shot was deflected home by DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis from close range, after a neat cutback by Iqbal Hussain.

Plazibat almost scored again four minutes later wenrt he went through on goal via Iqbal's knock-on, but his his resulting shot crashed off the crossbar before going out of play.

DPMM then went close on 21 minutes,with azwan Ali's shot getting a deflection off Huzaifah Aziz before htting the angle of post and bar.

Hougang was then forced to make a defensive reshuffle just before the break, with Fairo Hasan replacing the injured Delwinder Singh.

Midfielder M.Anumanthan was pushed back into defence to partner Raihan Rahman as a result, but the duo was unable to stop DPMM from scoring the equaliser on 51 minutes.

Brazilian hotshot Rafael Ramazotti slotted home the rebound after seeing his initial shot was parried by Houhang goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.

The towering hit man was at it again just a minute later as he outjumped the onrushing Ridhuan to hea dhome Azwan Salleh's deep cross into an empty net and put his side ahead.

It was a lead that DPMM never relinquished,although Hougang had their chances in the final 30 minutes.

On the 64th minute,Fumiya Kogure blazed over from six yards out after Plazibat's miscued shot fell inadverntly into his path.

Then on 81 minutes,Iqbal went through on goal via Anumanthan's defence-splitting pass, but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof pulled off a superb reflex save deny the former.

Two minuts later, the duo combined again with Anumanthan putting in a teasing ball into the six-yard box which captain Jozef Kaplan just failed to get the vital touch.

The Cheetahs would pay for their wastefulness as the final whistle soon sounded off to signal a DPMM victory.

Hougang United head coach K.Balagumaran:Delwinder's injury was key.We were a little disorganized at the start of the second half, with both goals coming from individual mistakes.

"For the first goal,Fairoz should have put the ball out and there was no communication.For the second goal, my goalkeeper was out of position.

"The team fought till the last minute and we created enough chances.If we had taken them, we could have won the game.Now its anybody's game for the top three."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:The first half was dreadful and Hougang were miles better than us.We were too deep,not passing the ball enough,no width and did not make any crosses.

"It was a total contrast in the second half.I also have to give credit to my captain Rosmin; he did a man-to-man marking job on Hougang's best player, their no.8 Kogure.Once we took him out,it became easier for us.

"We haven't given up on finishing second.If Albirex win the next couple of games,Tampines might start focusing on other competitions.We want to keep this winning run going." 

Friday, August 26
Key game for DPMM

DPMM FC will face Hougang United tonight in an match which might decide which team finishes third in this season's Singapore League.

S-League defending champions DPMM are on their best run of the season having only lost one of their last nine games in all competitions -  the Singapore League Cup final against Albirex late July.

Hougang are also in good formhaving won four and losing one of their last five games - including a 2-1 victory over Tampines last Wednesday.

Kean expects the match to be another gringer but is glad that they will be playing at the Jalan Besar Stadium - their favourite ground in Singapore.

"Hougang are on form and are creating problems.The Japanese player from Albirex,Kogure was excellent against Tampines," said Kean after Wednesday's training session.

"They've got good players and have a belief about them that they can win.Ther reaction after the Tampines game was as if they won the leaague.They have a good spirit about them.

"It will be a really tough match but we are glad it will be at the Jalan Besar Stadium...It has been like a second home for us over the last three years and there are very few gamesthat we have lost there.

"We enjoy playing there as the surface is always the same unless of a downpour.It allows us to play our passing game.

"It has been a good ground for us. Let us play our footballand I'm sure they will be wary and cautious of playing us with the form that we are in," continued the Scotsman.

Both sides have met a total of three times this season with the first a 0-0 stalemate on March 4.

DPMM won the last two meetings the latest a 2-0 victory in the group stage of the Singapore League Cup on July 17.

"It( the last win) seems a long time ago.They have picked up their form and are having a great season.They are up there on merit,"said Kean.

"We just need to treat this game like we are playing against Albirex,Tampines,Warriors or any of the bigger teams.

"No disrespect to them,but they will be happy to finish third," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Changes will have to be made to the DPMM starting line-upas centreback Ak Yura Indera Putera will be serving a one-game suspension.

The duo of Reduan Hj Petara and Aminuddin Zakwan will be given their first starts of the season alongside skipper Rosmin Khamis and Brian McLean in the backline.

Kean has complete faith in giving players the start if they train well.

"They give me a lot of good problems because during the week when they train well, if somebody injured or suspended,it is a fight to see who gets a place in the first team," he said. 

Saturday, August 20
DPMM beat Warriors

DPMM FC pickedup a resounding 3-0 victory over the free-falling Warriors FC to move back up to third in the S-League last night.

The hosts grabbed the lead after an own goal by Warriors skipper Zulfadli Zainal in the opening half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Rafael Ramazotti doubled the advantage after the break before Paulo Sergio put the icing on the cake late into added time.

DPMM coach Steve Kean credited his charges for a wel job done - especially in the first half.

"Credit has to go to them. They worked ever so hard in the second half and got behind the Warriors defebce much more," said Kean in a post conference after the win.

"Obviously they had to once the first goal in and pushed the fullbacks on a little bit."Azwan Ali and Sergio got behind the fullbacks much better and really, Wardun didn't have that much to do," he added.

"It was mostly us in the second half and it was good to have a young Amin to come on with a good penetrating run and cut it back for PAulo to score.

"Overall it was a nice steady performance," continued the Scotsman.

The Warriors came out with intent but it was DPMM who came close to scoring in the eigth minute after Ramazotti nodded down for Sergio to split two defenders - but Kento Fukuda made a timely challenge to put the ball out.

The Brunei side went forward again in the 11th minute after Azwan Ali got into the box before pulling back for Maududi Hilmi, but the later couldn't put enough on his shot to trouble Warriors goalkeepr Yazid Yasin.

The visitors were on target in the 19th minute with Hafiz Nor firing from inside the box but only straight to Wardun Yussof.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the 26th minute off a counterattack after Azwan Ali's shot was poked home by Zulfadli.

Wardun was given his first test three minutes later with Shaiful Esah blasting his free-kick on goal but the former was to his equal.

Azwan Ali delivered a free-kick from the right to the far-post but Brian McLean headed jsut wide in the 33rd minute.

Warriors really only threatened on set pieces as they were not getting good runs at the back with French striker Jonathan Behe missing through injury and Croatian forward Nikola Rak serving a one game supension.

Shaiful Esah came close and just miised the target in the 44th minute as his free-kick from the edge of the box sailed inches over the bar.

DPMM should have doubled their lead just before the half-time whiste.

Azwan Ali was sent on goal on the left but he unselfishly passes the ball to Sergio in the middle,instead of firing on goal, resulting in Yazid coming close to close down the shot.

The Warriors let an opportunityslip in the 53rd minute after Marijan Suto got on a free header off a Shaiful Esah freekick but he couldn't place it on target.

Hafiz Rahim made a good run down the right three minutes but only could fire on the side netting.

It was all DPMM after that as Sergio fired a free-kick from 20 yards on goal on the hour mark but was punched away by Yazid.

The Portuguese forward came close again two minutes later but he blasted his effort from inside the box against the right post.

DPMM finally doubled the lead the next minute after Ramazottu headed home Azwan Ali's corner.

The Warrors simply couldn't pieces things together as Wardun was left with not much to do in between the DPMM sticks.

Azwan Ali continued to torment the Warriors back line as he made his way into the box before shooting at goal in the 83rd minute but his effort was kept out by Yzid.

Ramazotti should have got his second of the game in added time but his attempt form 12 yards out was denied by Yazid.Substitute Aminuddin Zakwan then made a good penetrating run against the Warriors defence before cutting it back for Sergio in the middle to fire home to complete the convincing victory. 

Friday, August 19
DPMM wary of Warriors.

DPMM are wary of the threat posed by a slumping Warriors FC in their S-League encounter tonight at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side are in good formhaving only dropped one game - a 2-0 loss to Albirex Niigata in the final of the Singapore League Cup - in their last 8 matches.

In contrast, Warriors have lost 6 straight matches including 4 in the Singapore League Cup with their kast win coming on June 23 against Hougang United.

DPMM coach Steve Kean, though, believes the nine-time champions can still pounce at any time.

"This will be a tough game as they are coming off a bad run.They are a team at the back of five straight losses and they don't care how they end the sequence,"said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"I've seen some of their games and they didn't deserve to lose all of them.It is a tricky game and it is always tough to play an opponent on a bad run just a swell as a team on a good run," he added.

"We got to take the form and confidence that we had over the last number of games.We've also got the advantage of having Paulo back and Azwan Ali is back in form," continued the Scotsman.

"They are a very good attacking side and are dangerous on setplays.You've got striker Jonathan Behe peeling around the backpost and he is good in the air," said Kean.

"They are attacking more and on the flipside they are more open at the back.If we can take care of the first attack,hopefully we can spring up on them with a counterattack," added the Scotsman.

The battlt to finish third in the nine-team competition is heating up as DPMm occupy fourth position with 26 points. 


Friday, August 12
DPMM selvedge a pint against the Eagles.

Defending champions Brunei DPMM remained in third spot after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Geylang International at Bedok Stadium on Thursday night.

Geylang had taken the lead in the first half through Roberto Camarasa, but DPMM produced a spirited fightback after the break and eventually get a share of the spoils through substitute Azwan Ali.

The home side settled into things preety quickly and opened the scoring after just five minutes, with Camarasa's header from Sahil Suhaimi's inswinging corner providing too hot for DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof to handle.

The Eagles almost doubled the lead seven minutes later with Shawal Anuar going through on goal, but Wardun did well to close down the former.

Geylang continued to create opportunities upfront, woth Sahil Suhaimi and Stanley Ng both going close before DPMM managed to find their first shot on target through Azwan Salleh. 

Trailing 1-0 at half time,DPMM coach Steve Kean swooped to bring on Azwan Ali and Ahahrazen Said for MAududi Hilmi and Adi Said for the second 45 minutes.

That gave DPMM more attacking impetus as they began to find more joy in the attacking thirs.

Rosmin Khamis - pushed up into midfield after playing as a centre-back in the first half - lashed just wide from the edge of the box, before Hendra  forced Geylang custodian Szaywan Buhari into a sprawling save.

The defending champions finally got the equaliser that they craved for 19 minutes before the end. Both substitutes were involved with Shaharazen skinning his marker before squaring across for Azwan Ali to fire home first-time pass a helpless Syazwan.

Kean's side almost stole all three points late on through a goalmouth scramble, but Danirl Bennett was on hand to stop the ball from going over the line.

Both sides eventually had to settle for the draw, which was perhaps a good reflection of how the game went.

Geylang International head coach Hasrin Jailani: "We played well in the first half and created few chances,which we should have put into the net.

"In the second half, we dipped and their goal came out of the blue.We could have defended better and cleared the ball away, instead of letting it bobble around.

"A top-three finish is still on target.Now we start to keep winning and we need maximum points from our last six games.Our next game is against Albirex Niigata and hopefully Mark Hartmann come back in time to play."

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean:"We were very poor in the first half.Normally we are closer to the opposition but we made it quite easy for Geylang to play.

"We charged from a back five to a back four in the second half, bot an extra player in midfield to dictate play and had the better chances.The substitutes also made a big difference;Azwan Ali came back into form and Shahrazen is always a handful with his power."

"It was a good comeback and we were quite disappointed not to nick the three points at the end." 

Thursday, August 11
DPMM can't be complacent.

There is no room for complacency when DPMM face Geylang International FC in the S-League at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The Brunei side are riding high after dispatching leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah  Stadium last Friday.

The reigning champions are enjoying their best spell of the season with sox wins in their last seven games in all competitions, and DPMm coach Steve Kean hopes that they can keep up their form against Geylang.

Geylang are four points behind DPMM in the league and are two spots below.

"It is tricky," said Kean after a trainign session on Tuesday.

"We are playing well and our form is good.The task now is to maintain that and sometimes it is easy to get a bit complacent.

"To think,Look at the table to see where Geylang are and where Albirex are. Now that we have beaten Albirex means we will automatically beat Geylang...That is never the case," added the Scotsman.

"We always have to maintain our standard.If we drop them,we will drop points aginst Geylang.

"If we maintain the form that we are in, aplication and work rate put in past few games, we will be confident.We can never be complacent or take our foot off the gas," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Kean has been busy making tweaks to his side and he hopes that his players will eb able to carry out hsi training ground instructions on the pitch tonight.

"We have been busy working on moving the ball quicker because I felt that at times we struggled to do soespecially in the two ties aggainst Albirex is when they pressed us,"said Kean.

"Sometimes we took two touches when there is only time for one..Or we took three when there is only time for two.

"The main focus this week has been to try and move the ballbefore the opponent gets a chance to get a block in.

"We have been working on one-touch passing movements and on the flipside,we worked on our pressing.

"We can do that better and it was a positive aspect against Albirex.If we can maintain that we will make it difficult for any team to string passes and beat us on possession.

"We beat Albirex on possession and it shows on our pressing is good.We have been maintaining to move it faster," continued the 48-year old.

The Eagles went on a three-game winning streak th claim the Singapore League Cup Plate before falling to the Satgs 2-1 in the league last Thursday.

One of the key reasons for their good performances has been the siging of Filipino Mark HArtmann late June.

He has found the back of the net in five of the eight appearances so far, including in three straight games.

Kean knows of the forward,who previously laced up for Global FC, but says tDPMM will have to watch out for other players too.

"I've seen him and the thing is with Geylang is they've got lots of good personnel," said Kean.

"Its tough going there because the opitch is normally hard.It is not conducive to passing the ball on the ground and we have to be more direct and get to the front.

"Geylang are a good team and we won't take them lightly.But it is about to keep the winning run going," he concluded. 

Saturday, August 6
DPMM beat Albirex

DPMM escaped with a 2-1 victory over Albirex Niigata(S) in the Singapore League last night to avoid a sweep for the season.

Rafael Ramazotti scored the opener from the spot in the opening half before Rui Kumada equalised early in the second half at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Ak Yura Indera Putra then netted his first goal of the season late on to snatch all three points.

"I think it is a long overdue this season gainst Albirex because we have played well in many of the games and not got anything,"said Kean in a post match interview.

"We deserved to get the three points tonight in the manner which we played," he added.

Albirex remains at the top on 38 points but Tampines Rovers are breathing down their necls just a point behind with only seven matches left to play.

The visitors produced the first shot on target in the fifth minute after Azwan Salleh gave the ball away in midfield.

Masaya Jitozono, who was suspended for the Singapore League Cup final,struck it well from almost 40 yards out but his effort was saved by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Wardun was called into action again two minutes later having to keep out Kumada's shot from going into the bottom right corner.

DPMM were on target in the nineth minute after Ramazotti hot a good shot from 20 yards out but it was kept out by by Albirex shotstopper and skipper Nosuke Nozawa.

Wardun was kept busy having to deal with Kento Nagasaki's shot in the 13th minute, after which Atsushi Kawata prodiced a good turn to get past two defenders the next minute but only fire straight at the veteran DPMM goalkeeper.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the 19th minute after Ramazotti connected on a Helmi Zambin cross from the right but his header was denied by the crossbar.

Kawata struck another effort from outside the box in the 24th minute but it went straight to Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after Maududi Helmi Kasmi chased down a backpass before being brought down by Nozawa inside the box.

Ramazotti then stepped up to convert the ensuing spotkick for his 13th goal of the season to join top with Ken Ilso of Home Utd in the scoring charts.

Adi Said produced a freekick from  almost 25 yards out on target in the 37th minute but was caught by Nozawa.

Md Hendra Azam sent a tricky cross from the left six minutes after the interval and it almost finished at the top right corner sox.

Immediately at the other end,a good loover the DPMM sent Kumada through on goal to fire past an onrushing Wardun to level the score at 1-1.

The White Swans should have taken the lead in the 61st minute after substitute Tomaki Menda sent Kumada through on goal but his attempt crashed off the upright.

Menda crossed the ball from the right for Kawat in the 73rd minute but Wardun did well to come off his line and close down the shot.

DPMM regained the lead in the 90th minute after Md Hendra Azam's corner was nodded on to the far post and poked home by Ak Yura.

The hosts could have put more icing on the cake in added after a good piece of skill by Azwan Ali Rahman to split two defenders before pulling back for Ramazotti, who blasted it over.


Friday, August 5
DPMM face Albirex

DPMM are loking to avoid getting swept by Albirex Niigata(S) when the two sides meet for the final time this season in a S-League game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

The league champions have lost all three meetings against the S-League leaders this term- the latest a 2-0 loss in the Singapore Cup final at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday.

DPMM coach Steve Kean believes that they will have to find a way past Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa for a chance of victory.

"We played well in the final.We had the best chances in the game and the difference eas that the goalkeeper made good saves," said Kean yesterday.

"When you get the chances, you need to take them...But I would say that to win this match we need to beat Nozawa- who in my opinion is the best goalie in the league.

"I think he is exceptional and he is the main reason why they best us in the last game.If you put virtually any other goalkeeper in,I think Adi's shot would have gone in to make it 1-1," he added referring to Saturday's final.

"He aslo come taking balls at the edge of the box in front of all the forwards.He is abig reason why they have done well this year," continued the Scotsman after DPMM's trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Kean felt that they were the better side against the current league leaders the last time out and hopes they can replicate the performance and improve on their finishing.

"If you take away the goals and just look on the actual game, I thought we played better than Albirex,"said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"One of the detials is the finishing. They finished and they are very ruthless.We never managed to finish our chances we had even though we had more than them.

"We just need to be sharper in front of goal and get back to the clean sheets. In the last tournament, except for the last game, Albirex were a different animal to the other teams.

"They are physically good, pressure well and move the ball quick and they've got good players all over the pitch.

"They don't ned a lot of opportunities to get on target as they showed that against Tampines, as they beat Tampines 4-0 in the semis of the League Cup," continued the 48-year old.

Another key player for Albirex is S-League joint topscorerAtsushi Kawata, who scored the second to kill off the Brunei's side chances to the Singapore League Cup final.

When asked how to contain him, Kean replied: "We need to be more aggressive and don't let him have two or three touches.

"As soon as he gets his first touch,we need to be right on top of him.If you don't then,he's got ability to manipulate the ball.When he turns and starts running at you it is all over," he added.

"He is too strong and technically he is too good.You need to engage himon the second touch.At times we were too loose on the marking with him and gave him too much space.The back three needs to be more aggressive with him."

Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio has been handed a two-game suspension for an off-the-ball incident after a straight red card against Hougang United in a Singapore League Cup Group A game last month. Md Hendra Azam is set to start in his place. 

Sunday, July 31
Albirex defeat DPMM to create history.

Holders Albirex Niigata (S) became the only side to attain back-to-back League Cup trophies in the history of the competition ater defeating Brunei DPMM 2-0 in the 2016 final at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.

The White Swans struggled to create a meaningful opportunity for much of the opening half as they failed to penetrate the well-drilled DPMMs' backline, but still headed into the break ahead through Rui Kumada's goal.

Atsushi Kawata then sealed victory for the visitors in the second period to help the Japanese side win their third League Cup, which is sponsored by the New Paper this year, and tie DPMM for the msot trophies won in the competition.

With playmaker Paulo Sergio restored to the starting lineup after serving his suspension,it was the designated hosts who took control early in the match, establishing their tempo and threatening occasionally on the counter-attack.

Their first opportunity arrived on 15 minutes when Helmi Zambin drifted in from the right and laid the ball to Azwan Salleh,who fired over from just outside the box, before Adi Said was played through on goalminutes later, but shot straight at Albirex custodian Yosuke Nozawa.

Ramazotti curved out space for himself on the edge of the 18-yard box on 21 minutes, but could only sent his effort into the arms og Nozawa.

Albirex almost break the deadlock against the run of play on 34 minutes when Tatsuro Inui played Kawata through on goal with a wonderful chip but the latter shot into the side-netting after rounding DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Kumada then gave the visitors the lead before the interval when he slipped as he shaped to shoot, but recovered in time to blast the ball beyond the reach of Wardun and into the top corner of the net.

It was a different side that emerged after the break and they soon took control of proccedings,coming close to extending teir lead on 58 minutes when Inui stabbed his shot narrowly wide after meeting Kawata's cross.

Kawata volleyed wide soon after when stretching to meet Mikiya Yamada's cross on 62 minutes, before Wardun parried Kento Nagasaki's close-range effort and Najib Tarif cleared Naofumi Tanak's follow-up sihot off the line.

DPMM had a golden opportunity to equalise on 68 minutes when Adi was played through on goal, but Nozawa produced a top-drawer save to deny the forward.

There were further chances for DPMM to pull level subsequently, but the match drifted out of their reach on 80 minutes when Kawata dived to meet Nagasaki's corner-kick at the far post and headed the ball home to crush the DPMMs' hopes.


Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:We are disappointed because we had the better chances in the first half until they scored their first goal.

"With 20 minutes to go, we put in an attacking player to chase the game, but credit to the goalkeeper, we made a great save to deny Adi.

"If we had scored that, it would have been 1-1 ansd we would have been on the ascendency and pushed them a little extra." 

Albirex Niigata (S)ci coach Nozawa Naruo:"It was a very tough game becayse it was the final and the first goal it was very important for us because DPMM were playing better till then.

"We are allowed them to create chances, so it wasn't very impressed with our defending even though we managed to deal with the high balls as Kazuke was winning everything in the air." 

Saturday, July 30
DPMM and Albirex meet in the battle of champions.

Two champions will meet on Saturday night in the New Paper League Cup final at the Jalan Besar Stadium as holders Albirex Niigata (S) look to retain their ttle against cureent Eastern yeo's S-League holders Brunei DPMM.

It has beena perfect year for the White Swans on all fronts thus far,topping their League Cup group and qualifying for the sefinals with a game to spare.

The JApanese side are also currently leading the pack at the summit of the SLeague table and are also in the RHB Singapore Cup semifinals.

With a chance to win the trble this season at stake,Albirex coach Naoki Naruo is eager to achive that feat and has said that motivation is high at the club as they prepare to win the League Cup for the second straight year.

No clubs have managed to achive a back to back League Cup win in nine years history of the competition and if the White Swans retain the title on Saturday night, they will tie DPMM's record of three League Cups won.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean has warned that the White Swans are a dangerous side,but is quietly confident that his charges can neutralise the Japanese side.

The League Cup is also the only trophy DPMM have a shot of winning this season,after seeing their hopes odf retaining the S-League title Evaporate and getting knocked of the Singapore Cup by Ceres La Salle.

Kean has also made decided to make a tactical switch mid-way through this season after watching his side shipping in tons of goals,going from an attacking 5-3-2 formation which DPMM won the title with, to a counter-attack attacking 3-5-2 formation.

That has allowed DPMM to keep three clean sheets in their last five matches and they are currently on a four-game winning run,which they are looking to extend with the return of playmaker Paulo Sergio from suspension.

They have a lot of players who can move the ball on the ground quickly and they have so much technical abilities that they can find a pass even in tight situations,"said the Scot.

"So we need to be tighter at the back and we have shown that we are now dangerous on the counter-attack.

"It is good that we have Paulo Sergio back now because it helps us in our attack and gives the opposition much more to think about."

Albirex will miss the services of influential midfielder Masaya Jitozono, while DPMM will be without Yura Indera Putra as both players serve their suspensions. 


Thursday, July 28
DPMM target record Cup win.

Brunei DPMM are just 90 minutes away from etching their names into the record books.

The Bruneian outift,who won the trophy previously in 2009, 2012 and 2014,booked their spot in the final of this year's The New Paper League Cup after they scraped past Home Utd 1-0 in the semifinal last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.They are now one win from a record fourth triumph.

DPMM will square off against Albirex Niigata in the final on Saturday after the Japanese defeated Tampines Rovers 4-0 in the other semifinal played in Jurong West.

DPMM, the defending Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League champions,have had a season to forget up to this point,having crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup and lying 16 points adrift of league leaders Albirex with eight games left.

But their performances in the League Cup have been encouraging and coach Steve Kean wants his charges to carry their good form into Saturday's final,and the remainder of the S-League season.

"Ironically, it was the game against Home Utd in May that made us change our style of play," the former Blackburn Rovers manager said.

"We got smashed by five and that was the turning point to how we approached games and credit to the players who have been working hard in training.

"I am sure Home would agree that we were hard to break down today and I am delighted we have made it into the final.

"Now, we expect to win games whenever we play and to keep clean sheets. We are confident that we can win this competition."

When asked which side were favourites, Akbar - whose side went down 2-1 to DPMM in a TNP Leaguie Cup group-stage game last Thursday - said: "Albirex, straight up."

"Form-wise, and also because their work ethic is fantastic.

"They defend as a team,attack as a team and they work very hard in transition.

"But DPMM have a very good coach in Steve Kean.

"They also have very good players like Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti, so Albirex will do well to take note of them."

Albirex coach Naoki Naruothanked his counterpart, and said: "of course, we are going out to win on Saturday.

"In football, you can't predict the result, but our players are in very good condition and I think we can get a good result."


Wednesday, July 27
DPMM grind out victory over Protectors to reach final.

Brunei DPMM will meet Albirex Niigata (S) in the New Paper League Cup 2016 final after overcoming Home Utd 1-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night in the semi-final.

Having been thrashed 5-0 by the Pretectors in their previous meeting, the designated hosts came into the match with a game-plan to pack the 18-yard box every time they lost the ball and force Home to play on the wings.

It worked to great effect as DPMM nullify every attack by their opponents and it was only the poor finishing hy Home that prevented them for overturning Rafael Ramazotti's opener for the Bruneians.

Home coach Philippe Aw had promised before the game that the Protectors would continue playing their entertaining football as the club seeked to claim their first ever League Cup and true enough, the visotors did not disappoint.

It too just six minutes for the protectors to create an opening when Juma'at Jantan found Ken Ilso with his clearance and the Dane dribbled past two defenders to put in aa low cross for Sufianto Salleh, who was unbale to get a touch on the ball at full-stretch.

Home came close again five minutes later when Ilso and Shamil Sharof exchange a few quick passes outside the box before the latter met the Dane's return pass and curled a shot narrowly wide from eightyards out.

The hosts carved out an opportunity on 19 minutes when Helmi Zambin sold Sufianto the dummy on the right flank before drifting in and firing a shot at goal that was parried away by Home custodian Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

Another goal build-up play hy Home on the counter three minutes later nearly resulted on the opening goal when Aqhari Abdullah and Ilso combined to send Song Uiyoung through on goal, but the Korean could only shoot straight at DPMM custodian ardun Yussof.

DPMM then broke the deadlock on 27 minutes after Home failed to clear their lines when Adi Said's ferocious drive clattered off the crossbar.The ball dropped to Ak Fakharazzi, who laid it off for Ramazotti to clinically drill a shot into the bottom cornr from close range.

Home wasted a glorious chance to pull level after the break when Juma'at sent in a low cross for Sufianto on 58 minutes, but the latter stabbed the ball wide despite just being inches away from the goal.

The visitors continued to probe and nearly found the equaliseron 73 minutes when Aqhari found Shamil with a lofted pass into the 18-yard box but Wardun pulled off a brilliant save to deny the latter at close range before Najib Tarif cleared the ball off the line.

By now,DPMM were defending so well and preventing Home from making incisive runs nd passes into the box,that Ilso had to drop to the flanks to create space for himself and send in crosses for his teammates which were dealt with easily by DPMM.

DPMM could have doubled the leadin stoppage time when Adi sent in a tempting cross for Shahrazen Said,who met the ball first time with a powerful header, but Hyrulnizam made a good save


Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:We were hard to break down tonight and when you have Ken Ilso going out the flanks to get the ball because there were no space,you are doing right things.

We are normally very offensive, but after the 5-0 loss to Home, we have to change from five to three at the back as well as our approach to games.

"Credit to the players who worked hard on the training ground to carry out the game plan."

Home United coach Philippe Aw:"We created so many chances and we were just waiting for one to fall.If you don't score,you don't win games."We didn't play well in the first half because we played alot of long balls and we changed that in the second half and we created problems for them." 

Tuesday, July 26
DPMM eyeing final.

An In-Form DPMM FC will be eyeing a berth in the Singapore League Cup final when they face Home Utd in the semi-finals at the Jalan Besar Satdium in Singapore tonight.

the last time both sides met saw DPMM fall their worst defeat in the league with a 5-0 thrashing at the Bishan Stadium on May 19.

However, the Brunei side have turned things around and are enjoying their best runs of the season with four straight victories.

DPMM coach Steve Kean believes they ahve got what it takes to make it to Saturday's title decider.

"It was a long time ago (the loss to hoem Utd)and we have a lot of good performances since then," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium in Sunday.

"That is slightly at the back of the mind, but more in a motivational way in that they beat us beavily.

"I think we have changed since then.It was very obvious waht we had to do, and we spent a lot of hours on the trainign ground trying to make sure we are harder to break down.

We are in good form and we have won our last four matches.We haven't evne conceded a goal on open play in this competition.At this stage of the competition,teams will want to avoid us.

"The fact they (Home)beat us before,and we have beat them many time before...I don't see that as any major problem," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have switched from playing a a back four to a back-five,with skipper Rosmin Khamis- who wil return froma one-game suspension moved to a central defensive role.

Home Utd haven't been as successful since last month-winning only one and drawing three of their last nine games.

Regardless Kean remains wary and believes god defence will settle the tie.

"This game is about who defends better -  and it is not just the defenders and goalkeeper," warned the fomrer Blackburn Rovers manager.

"When we don't have the ball,it is down to organisation and discipline to get into shape.

"Both teams have got quick players and can play on the break,so it is important for us to keep hold off the ball," said the 48-year old.

Kean also paid tribute to DPMM's former Under-19 captain Md Azim Izamuddin for his impact in the last match against Tampines.

Scoring the 86th minute winner after pouncing on a mistake from Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim,Kean hopes that he will be a shining example to the rest of the youth.

"I've been talking to the team for months and that we have to give minutes to the players.We can't just say they've got potential,"said Kean.

"We put him (Azim)in at the right time.He plays with no fear and always want the ball.

"He played in a match with good players on the pitch and he took it on himself to charge the goalkeeper for the block and score the game winner.

"A year ago he as playing school football - and now he just scored a winner to bring us into the semis.

"I hope it inspirs the other young players, not only in the team but in the whole country," concluded Kean. 

Friday, July 22
DPMM top of the group and will play runners-up in Group B in the semis

Tampines Rovers eight-match winning streak came to an end on Thursday night as DPMM won 2-1 to finish top of Group A in the New Paper League Cup/

DPMM substitute Azim Izamuddin proved to the hero as he scored the winner in the 86th minute, after Tampines Billy Mehmet had cancelled Adi Said's first half opener. 

Tampines had started off the better side and almost scored on 16 minutes,with Gautam Selvamany raking the left hand post from close range after striding onto Mehmet's defece-splitting pass.

DPMM showed how it should be done eight minutes later, with Adi producing a stupendous bending free kick from 20 yards out that went in off the crossbar.

Steve Kean's charges could have gone into the halftime break 2-0 up, but Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim puleed off a stunning save to deny Brian McLean's goal-bound header from point-blank range.

Tampines came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with Saifullah Akbar hitting a powerful volley from outside the area that DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof had to stretch to tip over.

The game was then disrupted for more than half an hour due to the Lightning Warning System (LWS), before resuming in the 60th minute the Stags refusing to cower.

Akbar's charges were eventually rewarded for their determination as they found the equaliser 15 minutes later.

When Jufri Taha was impeded by a clumsy Yura Indera Putera challenge inside the area, Mehmer stepped up to send Wardun the wrong way from 12 yards out to restore parity.

However, the Stags were unbale to hold out for a draw as they allowed DPMM to grab a fortuitous winner in the dying minutes.

Sim failed to adjust his feet in time to clear after receiving a back-pass from Noh Rahman, with Azim nipping the ball off him before prodding gleefully into an empty net for the match winner.

This result menat DPMM topped Group A and will meet the runners-up of Group B in the first semifinal, while Tampines finished second and will meet the winners of Group B in the other semi-final.

Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean: "I'm delighted with the result; we showed that there's more than one way to win a game.Tampines were setting the ball better; we were poor in that aspect and we just could not penetrate without Paulo.

"But we were dogged and tough to break down; we did what we had to do.Sometimes when you're playing badly, you can still win by earning that little bit of luck.After a very terrible spell at the start of the season, we have won four on the bounce now and we have to keep going."

Tampines Rovers head coach Akhbar Nawas:"I wasn't countng the number of games unbeaten because there's where you lose focus.Who doesn't want a history of unbeaten records?But I wanted them to play football.

"I told the players before the game that the result is for me to take;what I want to see is the performance.The younger players lose out a bit physically, but they played their hearts out and they gave DPMM a run for their money untl the second goal.

"I'm sure Joey will be disappointed with himself for that mistake, but the team and I will back him up." 

Thursday, July 21
DPMM aim to top group.

Short handed DPMM FC are looking to finish top of their group in the Singapore League Cup when they face Tampines Rovers FC tonight.

Both Group A teams have already booked their berths in the semifinals after two victories,with DPMM topping topping ahead of the Stags due to a better goal difference.

DPMM only require a draw from tonight's encounter at the Jalan Besar Stadium to finish as group winners.

However, the three-time champions will be contesting the match without influntial Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio after a red card in the previous fixture against Hougang United on Sunday - leaving him to dwell for a two-game suspensio.

Skipper Rosmin Khamis will also be suspended after he picked up his second yellow of the tournament in the same game.

Regardless DPMM coach Steve Kean is looking to field his strongest possible side against the Stags.

"We will field the strongest team we can and try to win the game," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times.

"We want to top the group.It is not about who we will playin the semis but is more about keeping our momentum.

We don't want to go into the semifinals with a defeat.Phychologically we want to go and win all our games,"added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Despite being shorthanded,Kean is confident the others can step-up.

He(Sergio) has been so good for us in the first two games and we really need to get to the final,"said the Scotsman.

"He has played out his skin and it is a big loss for us considering how good he has played.The good thing is that the others have been playing well too."We will miss Paulo but we've got others.Rafa(Ramazotti) has been excellent,Adi has been contributing and Joni(Shahrazen) has done well and even though he has a broken finger.

"Juan (Azwan Ali) was out for a couple of games so we will see if he can bounce back," continued Kean.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin will also definitely be missed as he has been playing as a central defender during the Singapore League Cup - leading to back-to-back cleansheets for the first time this season. 

Monday, July 18
Spot-on DPMM overcome Housing to reach semis.

Paulo Sergio and Rafael Ramazotti  both converted from the spot to help Brunei DPMM defeat Hougang 2-0 at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday night and seal their passage into the last four of the New Paper League Cup 2016.

In a rather equal first-half, both sides had chances to break the deadlock but were let down by their own wastefulness.

DPMM attacker Seegio sent a 20-yard free kick just over on five minutes, while Hougang's Iqbal Hussein fired over disappointingly from close range after being sut up by Fumiya Kogure in the 16th minute.

The home side had another two excellent chances to break the deadlock, but captain Jozef Kaplan could only fire straight at DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and Wahyudi Wahid was unbale to adjust feet in time to convert Raihan Rahman's teasing cross.

DPMM rode their luck and went ahead on 43 minutes, with Sergio sending Hougang custodian Ridhuan Barudin the wrong way from the spot after Faliq Sudhir was adjudged to have handled from a corner.

Hougang top scorer Stipe Plazibat was then introduced shortly after the restart, but it was DPMM who went the closest on 64 minutes with Ramazotti's overhead flashing jsut wide on the left-hand post.

DPMM continued to dominate matters, with Ramazotti's first seeing his snapshot tipped over by Ridhuan, before having a 'goal' ruled out for offside.

It looked like the tide was about to turn on 77 minutes when DPMM went down to 10 men,with Sergio dismissed to what looked like a stamp on Raihan off-the-ball.

Houhang could have levelled things up 10 minutes later when Wahyudi's deep cross eluded everyone on the DMM box, but Iqbal was not decisive enough to convert.

DPMM duly sealed the 3 points a minute from time, with Ramazotti making no mistakes from 12 yards out after Fairoz Hasan was given a straihgt red for bringing down substitute Shahrazen Said in the area.

The reuslt meant Steve Kean's men joined Tampines Rovers in qualifying out of Group B with a game to spare,while Hougang and Warriors have the consolation of going through to the Plate semifinals.


Houagng Utd coach K..Balagumaran: Last game we conceded two penalties and it happened again today.Whatever decision, as a team we have to stay focused and not get distracted.

"We're still lacking a bit on that part;we were arguing with the referee and all.If after DPMM's sending off; we had stayed focus and took advantgae of the numerical advantage,we could have equalised.

"Overall we played quite well and gave players a chance to play.Ridhuan pulled off a brilliant save.Afiq did well at both left midfield and left back and Faliq did ok on his debut.We still have the Plate competition and we'l begoing for it."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: Sometimes when upi get a downpour before the game, the pitch can be really slippery.The players were losing their footing.In such conditions,sometimes you end up getting contact with challenges that usually we do not get.

"Paulo's re card took the shine off a good night for us because he;s not that type of player to stick his studs into someone's face or head.Its frustrating to lose him for two matches."

"Nonetheless its been good for us;we're scoring goals and we've kept two clean sheets.We're not going to rest anyone for the final group game against Tampines.There is a good break till Thursday for us to recover and we're going to fill our strongest side." 


Sunday, July 17
DPMM face Hougang.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khami is determined to win the Singapore LEague Cup this year.

The mist successful team in the competition , three time winners DPMM FC will face Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium in Group A tonight and a win could guarantte them a passage in the next round of the tournament.

In an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday, the club's skipper Rosmin Khamis said that the League Cup will be the DPMM FC only chance of silverware this season following their lacklustre camapaign in the Singapore Cup and the Singapore League.

"We really need to win this tournament after missing out on the Singapore Cup and but again we need to respect our opponent and focus on winning the game tonight,"said Rosmin.

All the players are in a good spirit after the win against Warriors and we have been doing a lot of recovery session since then.

"At the start of the season, we were aiming to win all the competitions,but again football is football...we need to work even harder in the future.

Everyone in the club is determined to win this tournament...everything going well at the moment and we just need to do our best," he added.

Azwan Ali Rahman, who missed the game on Wednesday following an ankle injury he sustained during last month's match against Young Lions, is hoping to make it back in time for the Singapore League next next match.

"I hope we will be able to win tonight and book a place in  the next round, because I really want to win this tournament for the fourth time," said Azwan Ali yesterday.

"I am recovering at the moment but I am still not 100 per cent fit to play but I am always ready to come on if needed.With Azwan Ali missing the game tonight,Adi will be playing in his place in the left flank assisting in the attack.

"Adi is a great player...he got the pace,skill and everything...he scored against Hougang and I am very happy for him,"continued Azwan.

"I hope he will be able to continue his good form and help us to win this tournament and at the same time keeping the club's standard high," he added. 

Friday, July 15
Kean lauds tactical change.

A good tactical change in the second half resulted in DPMM FC's 4-0 thumping of Warriors in their Singapore League Cup Group A opener on Wednesday night.

After a goaless opening half,DPMM coach Steve Kean moved an extra man to midfield to ensure more bsll movement allowing the three-time winners to open the floodgates at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

"There was no passing rhythm in the first half and we had till the 43rd minute to sting together five consecutive passes," said Kean at the post match conference.

"In the secong half, we changed tactically to put an extra in midfield and get the ball in wider,

"That worked with Paulo showing some good movement to score the first goal," added the Scotsman.

Knocked out of the Singapore Cup in the quarterfinals and 16 points adrift from the S-League leaders Albirex Niigata with eight matches left, the former Blackburn Rovers manager offers their only realistic chance of a trophy this season.

"Its been a tough season of transition for us but the team is improving as the season progresses,"said Kean who coached DPMM to their maiden S-League title last season.

"To be the first club to win this competition four times will be a bog boost for us," he added.

Sergio bagged the opener in the 62nd minute before Adi Said doubled the lead 6 minutes later.

Rafael Ramazotti added a brace late on to complete the comfortable win for the defending league champions.

Warriors caretaker,Razif Onn felt that the changes made by DPMM,coupled with fatigue on their side, led to their downfall.

"We managed to close down on Ramazotti and Sergio in the first half. As long as you can contain them, its quite safe," he explained.

But in the second half,DPMM changed their style of play and played more passes on the ground.

"That created a lot of confusion for my defence and that's how we conceded the first goal.

"Fatigue then set in to cause lapses in concentration so we ended up conceding more goals," he added. 


Thursday, July 14
DPMM FC a foot away to go through to the League Cup semifinals.

DPMM opened their Singapore League Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Warriors FC in their Group A opener last night.

All the goal came in the second half for the three-time champions,with rafael Ramazotti netting a double while the duo of PAulo Sergio and Adi Said got their names on the scoresheet with one each at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Sergio had the first chance of the game when he took out two defenders in the fifth minute with a neat sidestep but fired wide of the right post.

The defending S-Leaague champions came close again four minutes later after Maududi Hilmi KAsmi struck a volley from 30 yards out but it just went over the bar.

Sergio set up Ramazotti inside the box in the 16th minute but he couldn't get a touch to the ball.

The Brazilian forward then got his head on a Najib Tarif's cross on the half hour mark but it went wide.

The Brunei side had two more chances just before the half-time whistle to get their noses in front.

Sergio struck a free-kick from 25 yards which sailed over the bar and ramazotti then had a header saved by Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin.

That was his last action of the match after being subbed off to make way for Zainol gulam at the start of the second half.

DPMM continued on the attack and Adi connected on a Sergio corner in the 55th minute but his effort from point-blank range was tipped over by Zainol.

They finally break the deadlock in the 62nd minute after a good one-two by Sergio and Ramazotti saw the former firing into the bottom right corner.

The lead was doubled six minutes later after Ramazotti teed up Adi for an easy finsih.

It was 3-0 in the 78th minute after Adi sent a cross for Ramazotti to flick home from close range.

Warriors had a chance to pull one back in the 89th minute after Nikola Rak delivered a cross, but MArijan Suto's shot was not enough to trouble DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM completed the win just before the final whistle with Adi the producer once again, resulting in Ramazotti rising the highest to head past Zainol for his second of the game. 


Wednesday, July 13
DPMM start Singapore League Cup tonight.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is pinning all his hopes in the Singapore League Cup for a chance of a silverware this season.

The most successful team in the competition, three time winners DPMM will kick-off their Group A campaign against Warrors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

Left with only the Singapore League Cup,Kean believes that a win tonight against the Warriors will put them in a commanding competition in their four team group.

DPMM will face Hougang at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday before ending their group stage play with a meeting against Tampines on July 21.

"We are looking forward to this tournament and it a good chance to win something this year," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times on Monday.

"We take confidence in our last game as we played very well, especially in the second half when DPMM scored all the goals.Ceres basically has 8 imports.

"We have to win the first two gams because playing in a knockout phase competition like this,the first game is the first important.You have to go out and get a victory.If you can secure one win then you are almost there.

"If you lose the first game,then all the pressure is on you.I think this is the game we have to focus on and get all three points,"continued the Scotsman,who bagged his first piece of silverware in the same tournament two years ago.

DPMM have fared well against the Warriors in both their meetings in the S-LEague this season.

"I have watched them play.They are still a good side with good players.Warriors may have different coach with different outlook of the game, but its mostly the same players," he added.

The club will be staying in the Lions City for the duration of the competition,which Kean naturally feels will work in their favour.

It is a massive disadvantage with the number of flights we have to do. You get dehydrated and it takes energy out of you," said Kean.

The Brunei side have all their players available for selection while the Warriors are missing the duo of Madhu Mohana and Hafiz Nor due to national duty. 

Thursday, July 7
DPMM start League Cup next Wednesday.

DPMM FC will kick off their Singapore Cup Group A campaign against Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore next Wednesday.

The most successful team in the competition , three-time winners DPMM FC, will then play Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium four days later.

The side will complete the group stage with a meeting against Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar on July 21.

Holders Albirex Niigata (S),Balestier Khalsa,Home Utd and Geylang International FC make up Group B.

The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals while the bottom two will move on to compete in the Plate competition.

The competition may be the only real chance of any silverware this season for the Singapore League defending champions after bowing out of the Singapore Cup on Sunday. 

Monday, July 4
Ceres hold off DPMM fightback to progress into semis.

Philippines invitee Ceres La Salle lost 3-2 to Brunei DPMM in the second leg of their quarter-final tie, but still won 5-3 on agreegate to progress into the last four of the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup.

After winning the first leg 3-0, Ceres pulled further ahead via golas in each half by Stephen Schrock and Bienvenido Morejon at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM fought back well with goals from Shahrazen Said, Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean to win the game on the night, but it was not enough to prevent them from crashing out of the competition.

Ceres stamped their authority early in the game and core just after 16 minutes, with Schrovk thumping home a brilliant first-time volley after Jeffrey Christaens had headed Jalsor Soriano's deep cross into the path.

The reigning United Football League (UFL) champons then extended their lead in the 53rd minute as Spanish wide man Morejon managed to spot DPMM goalie Wardun Yussof off the line ebfore producing a tunning chip that sailed into goal from 18 yards out.

Credit to DPMM, they did not let their heads down despite the five-goal deficit on agreegate and duly pulled one back just a minute later. Halftime substitute Shaharazen controlled Azwan Salleh's longball well in the box before firing Ceres custodian Louie Casas to hand his side a lifeline.

DPMM dre level on the night on 63 minutes,with Brazilian frontman Ramazotti heading home Adi Said's accurate right-wong cross.

Steve Kean's side kept pushing forward in the dying moments of the game and grabbed anither goal on the stroke of full time. Paulo Sergio's freekick picked out McLean, who rose the highest in the box to nod past the outstretched left arm of Casas.

However it was too late as the S-League champions' wait for a first-ever Singapore Cup continues. 

Sunday, July 3
Kean confident of DPMM comeback.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his team can overturn a three-goal deficit as his side take on Ceres-La Salle FC of the Philippines in the second leg quarter-final tonight.

DPMM lost the first leg 3-0 to the Ceres on Thursday, and thet have a mountain to climl if they want to advance to the last four.

Kean refuses to give up hope and believes they can pull off a comeback in the second leg at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

"We found it difficult to get close to Ceres and get a grip on the game in the first half. We could not string three to four passes together," explained Kean.

The second half gave us some good encouragement though.We put more pressure in the middle and started to ask afew questions.

If we start the second leg in the same manner, then maybe we have a chance to come back," he added.

The S-League champions had a host of key players missing in the first leg,with both midfielders Hendra Azam and Paulo Sergio serving a one-match suspension. 

"We will get (Paulo) Sergio back (from suspension) on Sunday so it will be good for us," added the Scotsman. 

Friday, July 1
Three and easy for classy Ceres.

Philippines invitee Ceres La Salle showed a real statement of intent by thrashing S-League champions DPMM 3-0 in the first leg of their RHB Singapore Cup quarter-final tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday night.

An early opener by Manuel Ott and a brace by star man Stephan Schrock saw the United Football League champions run out convincing winners,leaving DPMM with a mountain to climb for the second leg.

Ceres started on the front foot, creating a couple of promising openings before breaking the deadock on 15 minutes.

A clever Bienvenido Morejon through ball led to Ott advancing on goal and the latter wasted little time in riffling home a first-time finish from 15 yards out.

DPMM struggled to assert their authority on the game and duly went two behind 11 minutes later.

Former Hoffenheim man Schrock evaded a couple of defenders with some neat control,before lashing home a stunner from 20 yards out that left DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof grasping at thin air.

DPMM tried to hit back before the break,but Azwan Salleh's delightful voley was tiped wide by Ceres custodian Louie Casas,while Maududi showed somehow flashed his effort wide after going through on goal.

Steve Kean then thre the Said brothers,Shahrazen and Adi,for the second half to add more bite in attack, but the ceres defence held firm to repel their threat.

Captain rosmin Khamis went the closest on 65 minutes as his shot from outside the area almost dipped into goal before Casas bulled off a superb acrobatic save.

That paved the way for the cCeres to push forward and get the vital third goal seven minutes later. A superb right-wing cross by Patrick Reichelt laid it on a platter for Schrock to convert first-time from close range for his second goal for the night.

The game ended on a slightly low note for the Philippines outfit though, with Ott giving the marching orders late for an altercation with Rafael Ramazotti.

Nonetheless a three-goal margin means DPMM got it all to do in Sunday's second leg at the same venue.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "In the first half, we found it difficult to get close to ceres and get a grip on the game.We could not sstring three to four passes together.

"The second half gave us some good encouragement though.We put more pressure in the middle and started to ask a few questions.

"If we start the second leg in the same manner, maybe we have a chance to come back.We will get Paulo back from suspension for that game too which will be good for us."

Ceres La Salle coach Ali Bernard: "The third goal's very important for us becuase it gives us some breathing space for thr second leg.I wasn't amused before that because the players were playing some exhibition football;I told them to concentrate on playing simple.

"A 3-0 lead is good but we have to remember DPMM is a very strong opponent.We have to hold them in the first 20-25 minutes of the second leg;hopefully they willl get frustrated by then." 

Thursday, June 30
Kean expects thought fight from Ceres.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean expects a tough challenge from United Football League(UFL) reigning champions Ceres-La Salle FC of the Philippines when the two team clash in the Singapore Cup quarter-final first leg tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM finished third in the competition the past two seasons,winiing bronze last year after a 3-1 win over another Filipino side,Global FC, in the third-place playoff in November.

"We deserved that 4-1 league victory against Balestier last week, a convincing win and we are getting a little bit closer to Tampines and Albirex (S) in the table," said Kean on Tuesday, referring to the league game last Friday.

"But for now, we need to focus on another competition  -   the Singapore Cup.

"I have watched Ceres' 3-1 win over the Garena Young Lions- and I would expect a very tough test against them tomorrow night (tonight).

"They are a very technical side and I can tell out match against them will feel like matches against Albirex.

"Both teams will try to keep the ballbefore pasing it,so I will be expecting a good game against them.

"I am not particularly worried about their recent 16-0 win in their UFL match against Pasargad FC.

"Sure it gives them good confidence,but they were up against a team in their own domestic league that is at the bottom of the league."

"However, I do think the local players from the Philippines in general are good.

"I give them my respect and I think there could be a similarity in terms of gameplay between Ceres and Global FC.

"We have seen it in the on-going Euros that teams do not have to come from a strong football nation to go far.

"As long as there's determination, any team will pose a challenge," added the Scotsman.

The second leg will kick-off three days later at the same venue. 



Saturday, June 25
Ramazotti-inspired DPMM thrash Tigers.

Rafael Ramazotti grabbed his first hat-trick of the season to help S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM thrash Balestier Khalsa 4-1 on Friday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.

The emphatic victory was DPMM's first after three games and moved them to third place in the league table,which gives Steve Kean's charges a good chance of finishing in the top half of the table as their hopes of retaining the title have vanished.

The Tigers started brightly and found success attacking down DPMM left flank early in the game.One such foray almost produced a result in the eigth minute when Fadhil Noh broke free and clipped a dangerous cross into the six yard box, which Miroslav Kristic missed, but not Ho Wai Loon.

The left-back took his shot on the volley, but DPMm custodian Wardun Yussof got down well to push away the fierce drive.

DPMM on the other hand, struggled to create a meaningful opportunity for much of the opening half,but took the lead against the run of play in the 18th mnite when Ramazotti climbed above Nurullah Hussein to meet Azwan Salleh's cross and headed the ball into the top corner of the net.

The goal seemed to rejuvenate the visitors and they duly doubled the lead in the 30th minute when Paulo Sergio kept a loose ball alive before threading an eye of the needle pass to an unmarked Ramazotti , who skipped past Ho to calmly slot the ball past the Tigers custodian Zaiful Nizam.

Balestier conceded again just 4 minutes into the second period when they failed to deal with Azwan Ali's corner and Sergio stabbed the ball home to make it 3-0 to DPMM.

Azwan Salleh should have added a fourth in the 52nd minute when after being played through on goal by his namesake Azwan Ali as DPMM broke on the counter, but the former blasted his ball high and wide with only Zaiful to beat. 

The Tigers were thrown a lifeline when Kristic was brought down by Wardun after being sent through on goal and Emir Lotinac smashed the resulting spotkick into the bottom corner of the net.

A brilliant reactive save from Wardun in the 70th minute kept out Fadli Kamis's b

Brunei DPMM coach ullet header afetr the defender had rose the highest to meet substitute Jamil Ali's freelick as Balestier continued to findways to further reduced the deficit.

The match however,was well and truly over for the Tigers nine minutes later when they caught on the break again and Ramazotti tapped home the rebound after Zaiful had saved Maududi's initial shot.

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic: "I was a disappointing result for us because we were too slow and failed to apply pressure on them.

"We were doing well at the back at the beginning of the season, but now we have starting losing concentration and making some individual mistakes,which have cost us in losses, like this game."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "The most pleasing thing about this game was that Balestier found it difficult to break us down.

"We limited them to very few chances in the box,obviously there were going to get a few chances, but we have worked on being hard to beat and it paid off today." 

Friday, June 24
DPMM look to end winless streak.

DPMM are looking to end their three-game winless run in the Singapore League when they face Balestier Khalsa FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM are currently sixth in the nine-team table with 19 points and want to get back to winning ways, especially having to play the first leg of their Singapore Cup quarterfinal clash against the Philippine outfits Ceres La Slle next Thursday - a competition that DPMM coach Steve Kean has set his sights on.

"Sometimes you get spells like these in the season,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We don't want to put pressure on ourselves and say that this a must-won game.We just need to stick to the gameplan.

"This game is totally different from the Young Lions who don't care about the score,and they improved near the end of the game.

"In contrast,Balestier are direct and like to put the ball into the box. They will put crosses in and question our defenders.

"We have to make sure we don't get sucked into their way of playing.

"We are a side that like to pass while they don't care about possession.

"We just need to stick to our way of playing and we will do well," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager,

The club have found it hard to cope in defence this season with the departure of Bosnian Boris Raspudic due to the reduction in the S-League import quota from five to three.

Having let in 26 goals last season,they have already allowed 27 this term - a worrying statistic for the defending champions.

In addition,they have not kept a clean sheet in any of their previous 11 games.

DPMM are coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against a bottom side Garena Young Lions on Sunday.

They had several chances to put the game away in the opening half but failed to do so.

Kean reiterated that they will need to finish off their chances when they come.

"The boys felt bad after the game,especially since we had enough chances in the first half to build a big lead," said the Scotsman.

"The thing is that a team like young Lions will get a head of steam and come at you.

"That happened and I told the boys after that game that we deserved something against Tampines,and it was the same for Young Lions.

"We just need to be more ruthless in front of goal,especially we=hen we are in control for vast periods of the game.

"We need to capitalise on our chances," he stressed.

DPMM stayed back in the Lion City after the encounter to ensure that they will be game ready for the Tigers.

"To do almost 6 hours of flight in 6 days is too much.It is the fasting month and the boys will feel dehydrated with no fluids in the days time,"explained Kean.

"They will have more tasks when they are back home.

"But now they get to concentrate on rest and recuperate to be physically better before the next game," he concluded.

Kick off is at 8pm. 

Thursday, June 23
DPMM drawn in Group A in the New Paper Cup 2016.

The New Paper League Cup 2016 draw was conducted on wednesday afternoon at the Singapore Press Holdings and saw eight teams split into two different groups in an open draw.

This year's edition will see the top two teams from each group progress to the semifinal stage of the competition,while the bottom two teams each group will compete against each other in the Plate semifinals.

Great Eastern Yeo's S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM, who won the competition in 2014, will have to get passt Warriors FC,Tampines Rovers and Hougang United in Group A if they intend to win the League Cup again.

In Group B, which many are calling the "Group of Death", defending chamions Albirex Niigata (S)'s journey to retain their title will start against the likes of Home Utd, Geylang International and 2013 winners Blaestier Khalsa.

Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic admitted after the draw that he was hoping to avoid Albirex, who are currently sitting at the top of the S.League table and a side they lost to in the League Cup final last year.

The Croatian however,is keen to make the finals again this year and continue Balestier's tradion of doing well in the competition.

"When you have Albirex in your group, it will be tough because they are currently the best team in the S.League,"Kralajevic told

"I was hoping to avoid them, but hopefully,they will not be able to maintain their form when the competition starts.

"I think the three of us(Home,Geylang and Balestier) will fight for second position and hopefully,our good form in the competition will continue."

For Warrors, the League Cup represents a chance to win at least one trophy this year according to midfielder Emmeric Ong,even tough nine-times S.League champions have been struggling in the S.League so far this season.

"I think for this competition,it doesn't matter where our league stading is. This competition,everybody starts on a clean slate," said Ong.

"Even though we are in the same group as Tampines and DPMM,plus Hougang who have been performing well in the league this year,we all have an equal chance.

"Warriors have been histirically a big club and we have shown that we can produce results when it mattered and we will do our best in this competition."

The competition will be held from the 11th to 30th July and the fixtures will be announced at a later date. 

Wednesday, June 22
DPMM dismiss Ramazotti transfer rumour.

Singapore League defending champions DPMM FC insist Thai side Chainat FC have not contacted them about a deal for striker Rafael Ramazotti.

Football Channel Asia reported that Brazilian Ramazotti,the S-League's top-scorer last season with 21 goals, is set to join Thai outfit Chainat FC.

The stated that Chainat FC,who are second from the bottom in the Thai Premier League table, want to add more firepower to their attack in a bid to help them maintain their top-flight status.

According to the website, Football Channel Asia are the international editon of Football Channel - Japan's leading website for football analysis and insight.

In an interview with the Brunei Times,DPMM club manager Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin Hj Abd Momin dismissed the report.

"We do not know anything about this... We are currently in Singapore  and we have not received any iffers or information what-soever," he said.

"There have been no formal approaches made by anyone, so I think the report is just a rumour.

"Ramazotti is still with the team.There are matches to play and the team is foucused on training," added the club manager. 

Monday, June 20
Bullish Young Lions snatch a point of DPMM

A confident and dominant performance by the Garena Young Lions saw the youngest team in the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League come from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw against defending champions Brunei DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

It was a remarkable showing by the Young Lions, as the hosts recovered from a 6-1 thrashing by Tampines Rovers in their last game to give DPMM a hard time with their high energy and possession-based style of play.

The visitors tested Benjamin Bertrand inside three minutes of the game when the French custodian hard to gwt down well to parry away Paulo Sergio's close-range shot.

The Young Lions carved out an opening themselves two minutes later when a nice mazy run by Kahirul Amri took him past a sea od defenders and into the 18-yard box, but the captain sent his effort striahgt into the arms of DPMM keeper Wardun Yussof.

Hazim Haiz could have given the hosts the lead in the 13th minute after being played through on goal by Shannon Stephen, but the striker's cheeky lob over Wardun from 20 yards out went wide.

The hosts came close range again three minute when Firdaus Kasman tried a long-range effort from 20-yards out after DPMM fai to clear their lines from an Amri free-kick,but Wardun saw the ball all the way and saved comfortably.

Adam Swandi seemed to certain to score in the 21st minute afterr Fareez Farhan's corner fell to him,but his first attempt was blocked at close-range by Wardun, before his follow-up was turned for another corner.

DPMM had struggled to create a meaningful oportunity after their early chance, made the Young Lions pay fr their profligacy in the 32nd minutre when Ramazotti and Azwan Ali exchanged a quick one-two on the edge of the areabefore the Brazilian volleyed the ball home.

The Bruneians could have doubled the lead four minutes later when Maududi Helmi met Najib's Tarif's cross at the near post, but was unable to direct his shot towards goal.

Maududi had another chance to put his side ahead a  minute before the interval after Najib's cross fell to him on the edge of the 18-yard box, but saw his pile driver pushed away by Bertrand.

The Young Lions continued to dominate after the break and registered their first sight at goal in the second period in the 47th minute when Amri made a neat turn in the box and receiving a pass from debutant Dhukilan Jeevamani,but shot straight at Wardun.

The hosts had another glorious opportunity to pull level in the 53rd minute nu Hazim's shot flashed wide of the far post after beating Najib for pace.

Hami Syahin, who had came on for Joshua Pereira at half time,then draw sharp save from Wardun a minute after the hour mark after being sent through on goal by Amri.

The substitute subsequently turned provider in the 67th minute, sending in a cross to the far post for Fareez,who squared the bal for Hazim to stab home from close-range to equlaise for the Young Lions.

DPMM were let off the hook in the 77th minute when Aminuddin Zakwan misjudged Stephen;s pass and allowed Muhaimin Suhaimi to run through on goal, but the Young Lions player shot straight at Wardun.

The Young Lions had a chance to steal all three points in stoppage time when Hazim picked out an unmarked Amri in the box with an exquisite pass, but the latter fired straight at Wardun after moving the ball to his right foot to shoot. 

Sunday, June 19
DPMM FC face Young Lions.

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways when they face off against bottom side Garena Young Lions in the S-League at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore today.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they have ironed out their issues and are approaching the match-up on a positive note.

"We have trained really well and have gone through a lot of good stuffs.Obvviously we have conceded nine goals but we can only get the positives out of each game," said Kean fater a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Friday night.

There was a dramatic improvement from the Home Utd game to the one against Tampines where we had enough chances.We didn't deserve to win but we also doesn't deserve to lose.

We conceded goals but the plus side is that we never crumbled.When we are behind we never felt sorry for ourselves and got back into the game.Those are positive signs and it is a much better team performace,"he added.

"The biggest reflection is that we need to work harder to score against.If it was Dmitri PAyet shot into the top corner or Luca Modric volley then fine.

"But the goals we conceding at the moment are basic straight forward mistakes.It is too easy to get through us and that is main aspect of training all week,"continued the fomrr Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have enjoyed plenty of success against the Young Lions winning nine of their 11 meetings with the other two ending in draws.

Their last encounter saw DPMm FC cruise to a 4-1 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on April 8.

In addition the Young Lions are coming off a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tampines on Tuesday but Kean is wary of how they will bounce back from such a result.

"They have been improving but they got a spanking the last time out and it shows how Tampines are right on their game,"said the Scotsman.

"We need to be careful when someone gets a beating because they got more motivation to get themselves going against.

"I'm confident with the work we put in that we can continue to make chances to win,"he added.

"More importantly we need to be much more stubborn on the defensive side of the game,I believe we can get a result,"concluded Kean.

Kick off is at 8 pm. 

Sunday, June 12
Stags edge seven-goal thriller as DPMM's see title hopes dissipate.

Title hopefuls Tampines Rovers cut the gap between themselves and Great Eastern Yeo's S-League leaders Albirex Niigata to seven points, after edging Brunei DPMM 4-3 at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday night.

Former Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant scored the match-winning goal for the Stags 11 minutes from time, after DPMM had come from behind thrice to draw level in the game.

The floodgates opned in the 37th minute when Jordan Webb did well down the right byline to set up Fazrul Nawaz for an easy finish from close range to put themselves into the lead.

However, it took just six minutes for DPMM to respond, with the mercurial Hendr Azam bending a superb left-footed shot from just outside the six-yard box which left Tampines goalkeeper Joey Sim rooted to the spot.

Tampines ended the first half 2-1 up though,when Webb rose the highest to head home Pennant's freekick from the right.

DPMM showed a spirited response after the break and duly grabbed the equaliser again on 57 minutes.A neat set-piece played ino the area by Azwan Ali Laid it on a platter for Brazilian hotshot Rafael Ramazotti to head in off the right-hand post.

That joy proved to be short-lived as the Stags went ahead once again six minutes later when substitute Hafiz Sujad's superb low cross from the left found Billy Mehmet,who simply could not miss from two yards out.

The Stags were unable to keep their concentration at the back thereafter as they allowed DPMM to restore parity for the third time on the night on 70 minutes.

Some slack defending from Afiq Yunus allowed Paulo Sergio to steal the ball off him, before Ramazotti was left in acres of space to fire past a stranded Joey.

DPMM were unable to hold out for the point though,as Tampines found a fourth goal nine minutes later.

After playing a neat one-two with Hafiz, Pennant found himself free inside the DPMM area and needed no invitation to slot the ball beyond the onrushing Wardun to restore his side's lead.

Taht was enough to turn a point into three as Akbar Nawas got off to a winning start in his reign as Tampines coach.

Tampines coach Akbar Nawas" "It was nice to attack and score four goals, but as you can see,this was a really hard-fought won for us.I though this game could have gone either way.

"Credit has to go to DPMM for coming out to fight every ball and that put us on the back foot a few times.It was a positive result for us in the end, but we are still very much a work in progress.

"This win definitely took some load of pressure off me because there were so much said in the build-up being my first game in charge.Hopefully we can better some aspects of our game, but its important to recover now because we have four games in 13 days."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "I'm disappointed because we did not deserve to lose on the chances we have created.After we lose 5-0 to Home, I told the lads they got to find the energy and motivation to get to the top again after going a goal down.

"Today we saw dramatic improvement in our attacking play and what we've been workjing on the past few weeks;getting the second balls and gaining possession back.Its just that we are not defending well as a team and thats our next challenge."

"To win the league is very difficult for us now, but we are hoping to start a clean slate and do well in the cup competitions." 

Saturday, June 11
DPMM face Tampines,

DPMM FC will resume their Singapore League campaign against a new-look Tampines Rovers today at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

The encounter will  be the first for the Stags without V.Sundramoorthy in the dugout after hwe was unveiled as the caretaker head coach of the Singapore national team on May 27.

Akhbar Nawas,who was the assistant coach of Tampines since last year,has taken over the reins to lead the team.

DPMM coach Steve Kean doesn't know what to expect from the five time S-League champions this time around and reiterated that the focus is more on themselves.The Stags won their first encounter this season after a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on MArch 19.

"They got a new coach and new assistant so you never know. Maybe there will be a different style of play with a different sytem. We don't know," said Kean in an terview ith the Brunei Times at the Jeruding Mini Stadium on Thursday.

"It is always diffucult playing agaunst them because they are a top team.Therr may be more motivation for them with a new management team.

"But we are not even thinking about them. We are focused on ourselves after a poor performance," he added.

"We need to make sure we are back on track no matter if we play against Tampines,Albirex or a team near the bottom. 

It is about us improi=ving and things are looking good strangely(three weeks after the last game). Normally I would give them time off as I did last year and the year before.

"We have normally done well with the break coming up but we haven't.So we can't have any time off and we don't deserve time off.We needed to put things right on the training ground and have done that. Hopefully this will be a turnaround," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM have recorded five losses so far this season, the same number they had enroute to the title last year.

Their biggest factor was their defence then but they are unable to keep things tight having conceded a total of 22 goals so far.

"It is not about the defence or the goalkeeper.It is before it even gets to that," said Kean.

"We won the championship last year where it was hard to go to our defence. We were pressing from the front and were horrible in midfield when opposition had ball. That is what we got to get back to,:added the Scotsman.

Tampines, who will face I-League champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup, are sitting in second position 10 points adrift from Albirex.

New coach Akbar will be looking to make changes by taking a more positve approach as opposed to his predecessor.

"The main thing I would like to achieve in the next 6 months is to increase our attacking mentality," as Akbar as quoted on TODAY

 "The statistics show that tampines are always in the lower ranks when it comes to attacking play while increasing the goal tally would be a bonus.I want us to create more chance and change our mentality as a whole," he added

Kick off is at 8pm. 

Friday, June 3
Kean denies Leeds rumours.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean yesterday dispelled rumours that he was posted to take over the Championship side Leeds United.

The Englisg second-tier club were without a manager after the sacking of Steve Evans on Wednesday, and it was reported on Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb  that former Blackburn Rovers boss Keaan was the favourite to succeed at Elland Road after holding talks with Leeds Italian owner Massimo Cellino.

Former Swansea manager Garry Monk was then appointed as Leeds manager yesterday - the cub's seventh in three years.

However Kean denied he has ever spoken to anyone at Leeds and stated he is happy staying in the Sultanate.

"Its that time of the year, isn't it? In Europe, clubs make changes and there is always speculation on who is moving," said Kean after training session yesterday at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"I've never spoken at the (Leeds United)owner...I don't even know if the Italin gentleman is still the owner.I have never spoken to anybody at Leeds in any capacity.

"At anytime when I ahve come in contact with football clubs I have always let the (DPMM) management know.I have not spoken to anybody at Leeds.

"I will be the first to let the club knows if I have any contact with other clubs. To be honest,there was contact last week from another club in Asia.

"The club asked me to take over next year.I immediately let the management know that I'm happy here and would like to stay next season.

"Maybe my name is on a list somewhere and it got out. But I certainly haven't spoken to anybody from the club.

"I'm under contract and I'm very happy here.I'm focused on us getting ahead for oue next game," continued the fomer Blackburn Rovers manager.

This is the second time that Kean has been linked with another club since his arrival in the sultanate in November 2013.

It was reported back in May 2014 that the Scotsman was on his way to Thai Premier League side PTT Rayong.

Kean then dismissed the claims and believed that that it was just a way to disrupt DPMM's performances.

DPMm will resume their S-League campaign with a meeting against Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium on June 11. 

Friday, May 20
Home Utd thrash DPMM 5-0

High-flying Home Utd cruised to their fourth victory on the trot as they dismantled defending champions Brunei DPMM with the scoreline of 5-0 at Bishan Stadium on Thursday night.

The contrast in performances was startling as the host played with confidence and swagger, entertaining the crowd with inventive passes amd flicks while DPMM looked like a shadow of themselves without the suspended Paulo Sergio.

With Azwan Ali stuttering in the middle of the park,Brunei DPMM found it difficult to navigate past Home United's Tight defense. 

The visotors had a brilliant chance to seize the lead right from kick off as a lapse in concentration by Home United defender Shahrin allowed Shahrazen to get his shot off inside the six-yard box, only to be denied by an alert Zulfairuz Rudy.

A brilliant solo effort by Azhar Sairudin gave Home Utd an early lead in the ninth minute. Picking the ball up near the halfway line, the nifty midfielder dribbled past a series of defenders before smashing the ball past Wardun Yussof from a tight angle.

Six minutes before half time,Home United struck again with the best team goal S-League have seen this season.The Protectors countered with razor sharp precision as Faris Ramli finished off the move through a first-time volley.

Although Home Utd looked shaky at the back during the early periods of second half, they recovered quickly to regain control of the game.

Danish hitman Ken Ilso puts up an exquisite performance in the second half with a brilliant brace on the counter while substitute Syahiran Miswan wrapped things up for the Bishan outfit with a goal six minutes from the final whistle.


Home United Coach Philippe Aw: " Credit to the boys, I think we sent out a signal of intent.Our season is on track and we can get better.

They gave us a run at the start but once we settled down,they found it difficult to match us.It could have been many more but we wil take five nil."

Brunei DPMM Coach Steve Kean:" Definitely disappointed. Probably the worst result but I am more concerned with the performance.

The performance of the players tonight do not deserve anything, they were second to everything.Basics which we usually do very well, we do not do any of it at all.

Fortunately we will have a long time to deal with it before our next match. The next time you see our team,we will be much better than that." 

Thursday, May 19
Steve Kean expects a tough test.

Steve Kean has warned his players that an in-form Home United will be a tough test for DPMM when the two sides clash in the Singapore League at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore tonight.

Defending champions DPMM have been struggling of late but are finally back to winning ways after snapping a three-game winless with a hard fought 3-2 victory over Hougang Utd at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium last Saturday.

DPMM had to work hard for a 2-1 win in their first meeting of the season on home soil on March 11, and DPMM coach Steve Kean wants his men to punish Home if they slip up tonight.

"For me they blow hot and cold," said Kean after Tuesday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"Sometimes they are really good, and when you look at the results, sometimes they are not.

"I actually think they are a really good team and one of the best teams last year.They are in false position because they drew too many games.

"Like us, they have been together a long timeand have a lot of young players that came through from the Prime League.

"They are always a tough opponent.I like the way they play amd they hare hard to play against, but we have showed we have a lot more resilience now.

Even in the last half an hour when we are chasing the game against Hougang, we dug something out whivh we haven't seen this year - a little bit more desire to do whatever it takes to get the points.

"That was nice to see that back in our game. We certainly had it last year and haven't seen much of it this year," added the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager is also more focused on points instead of performance.

"Sometimes when you play not to your maximum and get a result,it brings confidence," aid Kean.

"We are training well and much rather this week not play as good but get the points.

"If we can do both,then great. We want to keep the mmentum," he added.

The reigning champions will be without the suspended Paulo Sergio after the Portuguese forward picked up a yellow card in the last game.

The Protectors will be banking on their top-scorer,Ken Ilso,who has seven goals to his name so far in the campaign. He is in fine form after finding back of the net in Home's last four matches.

Kean, however,doesn't want to place much emphasis on the Dane and ward theat Home's entire squad can be a threat.

"They've got good imports and it is important to stop them,but I'm equally impressed with the local players -who are just dangerous," said Kean.

Speaking to ESPN, Home coach Philippe Aw lauded Azhar, whom he hopes will soon get his first call-up for the Singapore national team.

The trio of Azhar, Ilso and Faris Ramli have helped the Protectors surge up the tablewith their smart attacking play , and Aw is hoping they will eb able to make it four wins on the tot against DPMM.

"I'm very happy for Azharbecause he's shown he can last 95 minutes while still tackling and running,"Aw was quoted as saying on ESPN.

"I hope he continues like this and I hope,going forward,people give him a chance in the national team because we don't have many players in Singapore football that have his technical ability in finding the final ball.

"It was a battling display from the team and we really wanted this win. Someone told me three days ago that Home Utd hasn't won three games in a row since 2014 so it was something we spoke about,and I'm glad we broke the statistic.

"Now we have another important game against DPMM next Thursday and we want to keep this mometum going."

Kick off is at 7.30pm. 


Sunday, May 15
DPMM gring out win over Hougang.
DPMM FC snapped their three-game winless streak in the S-League with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Hougang United FC last night. Paulo Sergio and Azwan Salleh had given the reigning champions a two-goal cushion at halftime at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. Stipe Plazibat and Jazef Kaplan answered back for the Cheetahs in a span of five minutes after the break before substitute Shahrazen Said netted on to secure the hosts their first win of the second round campaign. DPMM got off to a bright start with Sergio on target with a striker from inside the box just 35 seconds in but his attempt was saved by Hougang goalkeeper Khairulhin Khalid. Plazibat had a chance for Hougang in the second minute at the other end but poked his effort wide inside the six-yard box. The hosts grabbed the lead in the ninth minute after Azwan Ali delivered a cross from the right to the far post and was headed home by Sergio. Rafael Ramazotti got at the end of an Azwan Salleh freekick on the right in the 15th minute but his header went past wide. Hougang skipper Kaplan drove a low shot from the edge of the box three minutes later but it ended at the wrong side of the post. DPMM doubled the lead in the 25th minute, after Sergio played a neat pass to send Azwan Salleh through on goal and the latter blasted it past Khairulhin to make it 2-0. The Brunei side continued to pour forward and got another opportunity in the 34th minute. Sergio launched a free-kick from 40 yards out into the box but Brian McLean couldn't keep his header on target. Sergio sent a cross from the left three minutes later but Ramazotti too couldn't put it on target. DPMM had another chance to add another in the 42nd minute but Azwan Salleh's effort from inside the box went straight to the Hougang custodian. The reigning champions had back-to-back chances in the 51st minute with Azwan Salleh striking the post and Ramazotti's header was saved by Khairulhin. In turn, Hougang pulled one back four minutes later after Plazibat placed his freekick from 25 yards out into the bottom corner. Substiture Iqbal Hussein should have done better two minutes later but he blasted form 12 yards out. Khairulhin pulled off another stop to dent Sergio in the 58th minute but at the other end Kaplan squeezed past two markers before putting the ball past Wardun for his first goal of the season to level matters. DPMM coach Steve Kean made two attacking changes by sending on both Shahrazen Said and Md Hendra Azam Md Noor in the 64th minute for Azwan Ali and Azwan Salleh respectively. The game could have gone either way but it was DPMM who went back in front in the 82nd minute with Sergio putting a good ball into the box from the right for Shahrazen to collect and fire past Khairulhin. Hougang pulled on the pressure and Kaplan tried to pick out Plazibat the next minute but McLean managed to intercept the pass to clear the danger. DPMM could have killed off the game in the 88th minute with Sergio crossing from the right for Ramazotti but the Brazilian somehow missed from point blank range.

Saturday, May 14
Kean eyeing unbeaten run.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean believes they will have to go unbeaten run until the end of the Singapore League season if they are to stand a chance at retaining their title. The side are looking to snap a three-game run without a win, which includes two straight losses at home, when they host Hougang United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight. "We need to build up momentum, and I think we need to go unbeaten until the end of the season - starting this weekend at home," said Kean after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. "We can't just be relaxed and think there are 13 games to go. In all honesty, we need to win 11 of them if we want to retain or go close to the title." We can't just think that we've still got the third round to make up points. Because we are so far off the top, we need to win starting - with this weekend," he added. DPMM have been playing well performance-wise, but failure to capitalise on their chances and keep up a clean sheet have come back to haunt them. Kean has been keeping his players game ready as they focus on the positives heading into the encounter against the Cheetahs. "I keep the players motivated by focusing on the performances. We haven't been picking up the points we deserve looking at the amount of chances," said Kean. "Through difficult times you have to focus on the positives and work on the reasons we are dropping points - which is obviously no clean sheets and too many chances and not scoring. "Sometimes you go through periods where you don't get what you deserve. We know now that we are running out of games if we want to retain the championship. "We put in another fantastic training week but there is no point training great during the week and not picking up maximum points. "We are football players and not trainers. I think we will get the points as we are really determined to start again," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager. Kean knows what to expect and has set out a game plan for this encounter. "Hougang are hard to break down and I think they were happy with a point in the last meeting. "We need to open up and be more explosive and expansive in the first part and get a head of steam to blast teams away certainly at home. "We need to intimidate them with lots of possession and lots of shots. That is the game plan for tomorrow," he added. Hougang coach K.Balahumaran has certainly turned the club's fortunes around after they finished at the bottom of the table last season. He is in a positive mood heading into the match after coming from behind for a 1-1 draw against Tampines Rovers last Wednesday. "We're doing alright in the league and we know where we stand last year and this year," said Balagumaran in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday. "The players are highly spirited after coming back with a 1-1 draw against Tampines despite going with a man down. "Hopefully our team can bring up the same performance, but we know DPMM are not an easy team. On their day, they can beat anybody. "We are not taking any chances. We still consider ourselves the underdogs against every team we play," he added. The Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium has ben an impenetrable fortress for Hougang as they have never taken maximum points out of Brunei. However, Balagumaran is not about records and believes they can upend their opponents. "We have never beat Balestier for five years and we have never beat Warriors on their home ground for five years - but we did so this year," said Balagumaran. "Things are changing and we are looking forward to a positive result," he concluded.

Saturday, May 7
Kean unhappy with attack.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said that his team have "lost a bit of confidence"in attack after only picking up one point from their last three games.

The defending champions looked ready to win their first away game of the Singapore League season against Warriors only to see the record nine-time champions salvage a 1-1 draw with a 89th minute equaliser.

It was the third consecutive game the Brunei side let in a goal in the final five minutes after losing 2-1 at home to both Albirex and Geylang International coming into this encounter.

Once again,Kean was left singing the same tune after watching his players squander several chances to score.

"We have lost a bit of confidence in front of goal.We were nervous towards the end and invited pressure on when there was no need,"Kean told the media after the game at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

"We need to work through this and try from somewhere to get three points. The most important thing is to take chances when we get them.

"It is tough to take,it is not even the late goal...We had so many chances to bury the game, not even in the second half but long before we missed the very last chance.

"We had enough to secure the three points much earlier in the game.

"But it was a double blow to concede a late goal and also to have the visions of all the chances that we had...We never managed to capitalise on them," added the Scotsman.

Kean praised Suto for his impact on Warriors for their never-say-die attitude.

"When you get a young one(Suto) who is thrown in, you don't have a scouting report as detailed as the other playersand it sets a challenge to your own defence," said Kean.

"At that stage if the game,the Warriors had nothing to lose.They were just trying to get the ball into the box and make a half chance from anywhere.

"Credit to them as they stuck with it, the game should have been out of sight before that,"he added.


Friday, May 6
Warrior's late goal selvages a point.

Marijan Suto netted a last-gasp equaliser as Warriors drew 1-1 with DPMM at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday evening.

The hosts were staring at a fourth straight defeat in the S-League, but the Warriors debutant struck with a minute left on the clock to steal a valuable point for his side after Paulo Sergio had opened the scoring for the defending champions. 

It was Warriors who dominated opening exchanges and they had a penalty call turned down after just seven minutes into the game.

Two minutes later,Suto set up Jonathan Behe nicely for a shot but the latter fired over from close range with only Wardun to beat.

The tide then swung in favour of the Bruneians as they peppered shots at the Warriors goal but were unable to find a way past Warriors' custodian Zainol Gulam who was deputising for the suspended Yazid Yasin.

An unmarked Sergio glanced a header wide in the 16th minute before his fierce drive on 23rd minute was parried by Zainol.

Barely a minute later, Zainol had to stretch to push away a shot from Azwan Ali before tipping away Rafael Ramazotti's header from a corner.

Zainol then produced arguably his best save of the game on the half-hour mark,excellently denying Azwan Salleh with his outstretched foot.

The hosts could have gotten the breakthrough just before the break had they been more clinical.

In the 39th minute,Hafiz Nor raced clear down the left before setting up Behe but the French forward somehow fired straight into the arms of Wardun instead.

The deadlock was finally broken 15 minutes after the restart when Ramazotti laid the ball perfectly for Sergio who rounded Zainol before slamming the ball home into an empty net.

The goal sparked the Warriors into life as they went in search of a response.

Prime League striker Suto could have made it 1-1 with a fierce shot on the turn, but saw his effort come off the bar in the 69th minute.

The woodwork then came to the rescue of DPMm again nine minutes from time as Poh Yi Feng hit the shot against the post from three yards out after Suto's shot was deflected into his path.

With the clock ticking down,DPMM thought they were on their way to celebrate their first away victory of the season, but the 19-year old Suto had other ideas as he got onto the end of superb cross from substitute Hafiz Rahim to send a header into the bottom right corner.

The visitors nearly stole a winner at the death but Ramazotti somehow prodded narrowly over after being picked out by Sergio as both sides settled for a point each.

Warriors FC coach Jorg Steinbrunner: "Overall I thought it was a good and entertaining game and both teams never took the foot off the pedal.The players looked engaged in the last couple of minutes and credit to the boys, they improved mentally.

I think its a decent debut for Marijan but of course there's always room for improvement."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean:"It was a tough result to take.We had so many chances to kill the game, but we didn't take them and the game should have ended even before the equaliser.

"We were nervous towards the end and that invited unneeded pressure onto us." 



Thursday, May 5
Kean wants a clean sheet.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean wants his players to keep a clean sheet when they face Warriors FC in the Singapore League (S-League) today-theyr first away fixture in two months after six consecutive matches at home.

It is now 10 games into the season the the defending champions have only managed one clean sheet so far - a 0-0 draw against Hougang United on March 4.

DPMM picked up their first win of their campaign after beating Warriors 3-1 at home on February 27..

In fact,Brunei's only professional side has won five of the seven meetings against Warriors - three of the wins coming in similar 3-1 scorelines.

However, DPMM FC have yet to win an away game this season. 

Kean is confident that his side will find the back of the net at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore and believes they should get maximum points if they don't concede.

"I know we will make chances.Hopefully the unit work we will have done with the attacking side for thw game will score," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tursday.

"Furst and foremost, I would like to come back with a clean sheet.If we do that, we shoula havre all three points," added the Scotsman.

DPMM are coming off back-to-back defeats for the first time of the season after slumpong to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Geylang International at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last Saturday - the first time the Eagles have gotten the better of the Brunei side on their home soil.

Kean is unfazed by the current situation and believes they will be able to bounce back.

"We know we are a good team. Good team go through different phases at different times of the season," said Kean.

"I would be much more worried if we weren't creating chances and didn't have control of the games.We have got those elements right.We just need to make sure around the box we are more ruthless, and we are desperate for some more clean sheets.

"We ahave shown that we had some difficult periods already this season and we have put some good results together.

"The disappointing thins is that from the last game is the late get a wicked deflection near the end was disappointing.

"But if you analyse the game like we always do, we created enough chances to win three games," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM haven't had problems creating chances but their conversion rate has come back to haunt them in games.

Kean is set to make some changes and hopes that it will help improve their game up front at goal.

"What I'm going to do the next couple of games is to change the shape a little bit. I feel as though we need a different spark up front and maybe just change the angles of the attacking unit a little bit,"s aid Kean.

DPMM have the upper hand in the battle against Warriors, having won 10 of the 17 played against each other.

With first goalkeeper Yazid Yasin suspended after being sent against Tampines in their 4-2 loss last Saturday,back-up goalkeeper Zainol Gulam is expected to make his first-ever S-League start - as reported in FourFourTwo Singapore magazine.

DPMM FC forward Paulo Sergio currently leads in assists with five, and Japanese centreback Kento Kakuda will be charged in marking the Portuguese.

In attack, Warriors have a potent striker in Jonathan Behe - the Frechman currently second in the S-League goal-scoring charts with seven goals.



Sunday, May 1
Eagles shock DPMM to return to winning ways.

Geylang International FC shocked defending champions Brunei DPMM 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Saturday night to end a five game winless streak.

The visitors were on the back foot earky as the Brunei side were looking forward to bounce back from last week's defeat against the current S-League leader Albirex Niigata (S)FC

Paulo Sergio returned to Brunei DPMM following a one-match suspension and the striker created a number of chances but was denied each time by Geylang's goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari.

Brilliant play between Helmi Zambin and Sergio resulted in Maududi Helmi Kasmi being set free at the near post, but captain Faritz Hameed made a vital block to keep Geylang in the game.

The Brunei side created a lot of chances in the first twenty minutes, but they could not find way past Geylang custodian Syazwan.

Geylang occasionally hit DPMM with couter attacks and their first real chance came in the 19th minute when Gabriel Quak set Sahil Suhaimi into the penalty area but the latter fired his shot just wide.

Azwan made a beautiful run down Geylang right flank,skipping past few defenders but the winger fired the ball wastefully wide.

The visitors instead got ahead in the 29th minute as the Brunei side caught naping, allowing Shahril Anuar to out the ball past Wardun yussof after being given a plenty of space to shoot.

The host responded just a minute later through Sergio who struck the framework with his header following a cross from the left.

Brunei DPMM came out in the second half to look for an equalizer and Sergio came close to find the net when was given plenty of space to shoot from outside the penalty box but his attempt went wide.

Geylang were defending very well to keep their 1-0 lead and it prompted Brunei DPMM head coach Steve Kean to make a number of changes.

Striker Shahrazen Said was brought in for Azwan Ali,meanwhile, defender Najib tarif made way for midfielder Md Hendra Azam Md Idris as they look to bolster their attack.

The changes paid off almost immediately when they were awarded the penalty just a few minutes later when Sergio was brought down forcefully by Faritz inside the penalty box.

Ramazotti stepped up to convert the penalty to score his sixth goal of the season for DPMM.

DPMM went out to look for the winner in the final 20 minutes but it was geylang who found the back of the net, when Faritz's shot from distance deflected off defender before making its way into the net.

Brunei DPMM FC coach Steve Kean: "We created like eight to nine chances in the first half.And that has really the pattern that we repeated tonight from last week's game against Albirex where we have most if the chances but we found ourselves behind."

Geylang International FC head coach Hasrin Jailani:"It was hard to win for us.It was not easy to come to Brunei and play aginst a good team."

"I think they come at us in the first half in the first 20 minutes, but that was the plan, we made sure that we were able to hold them with our defensive organisation."

Saturday, April 30
DPMM to bounce back

DPMM FC are looking to get back to winning ways in the S-League  when they face Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The reigning S-League champions fell 2-1 to current leaders Albirex Niigata (S)FC last week, but head coach Steve Kean believes there was nothing wrong with the team's performance in what was their third defeat of the season.

"It is very important to bounce back from last week's defeat,but the most important thing is to replicate the same performance,"said Kean after the team's training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We limited Albirex,the strongest team in the league, to next to nothing.They ran out of ideas because we defended so well and picked up all the second balls.

"I think the game against Albirex last week...If we take out the result,it was probably our best performance of the season so far even though we didn't win.

"You're always got to pick the positives,and if we can repeat our performace against Geylang, I am sure it will be very difficult for Geylang.

"Geylang in the last couple of matches...Their results were not so good.But they have also got a lot of experience with likes of Daniel Bennett in defence. They are a good side so we need to treat them with respect," insisted the Scotsman.

Although the gap between DPMM and Albirex could become a double-digit one next week, Kean is not concerned with the current S-League table.

"I am not worried at all," he said.

"The gap is the gap, but the most important thing is to maintain our performance and get back to winning way tomorrow.

"If we can maintain last week's performace,I am very sure we will pick up more points than Albirex by the time they come back to Brunei.

"I will be much more concerned if the level of performance wasn't here,but anybody who was at the match can see the reaction of the Albirex staff after the match.

"They were ecstatic that they got the point because they thought that they would be very pleased with a point. The fact that they got all three -  they couldn't believe that.

"I think we were better than themand we limited them to the penalty, and their only chance is when they got the goal," he added.

DPMM will welcome back Paulo Sergio and serving his one-game suspension, and Najib Tarif will once again deputise in the left bac role - replacing Sairol Sahari who ruptured hs left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on Monday.

Sergio will be back after the one match suspension which is big positive for us, and Najib will come in place for Sairol who is nurisng an injury," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It presents an opportunity for the others. Najib has been training very well and needs to grab the opportunity and try to establish himself.

"He has been playing left-back for the last four months because I need someone in that role.

"He hasn't been training as a winger at all this season, and I think he knows that his priority now is to defend," he added.

Geylang International have first-year coach Hasrin Jailani in the hot-seat, and the team have picked up 9 points and currently lie seventh.

The 2004 AFF Suzuki Cup winner said that he is relishing his position as coach but knows that his men have to pick up the pace if they are to achieve their target of bettering last season's eigth place finish.

"I'm enjoying coaching - and thats the most important thing.If I wasn't there there would be something wrong!," the former Singapore international told DPMM Matchday Magazine.

"Its a good challenge and a good experience for me... (But) there is a lot of work to do.

"Nine points is not enough after the first round of matches, and the players know we have to start collecting points every game," added the former Singapore international who was a member of Geylang's 2001 S-League winning side. 

Saturday, April 23
Albirex come from behind to beat DPMM.

Leaders Albirex Niigata (S) came from behind to stun defending champions Brunei DPMM 2-1 last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side deservingly grabbed the lead through Azwan Ali Rahman before Atsushi Kawata netted twice to give the White Swans all three points. 

Brunei DPMM had the first chance of the match in the eigth minute after Shahrazen Said chested down the bal to shoot only to see it end at the wrong side of the post.

They produced the first shot on target 10 minutes later with Shahrazen sending a cross from the right into the box but Rafael ramazotti headed straight into the hands of Albirex goalkeeper and shotstopper Yosuke Nazawa,

The hosts should have grabbed the lead the next minute but Azwan Salleh's shot from 25 yards out bounced the post.

The Brunei side had another chance in the 32nd minute but Maududi Kasmi's effort from the edge of the box floated over.

Brunei DPMM were top on the entire opening half as Albirex were unable to find a way through despite being patient in their build up play from the back.

Another opportunity went begging for Brunei DPMM four minutes intto the second half with Azwan Ali making a dazzling run to get past three markers before squaring Maududi at the edge of the box but the latter couldn't find the target.

Albirex went on attack in the 56th minute after Kento NAgasaki went down the left flankbefore putting ther ball into the middle nut none of his teammates were there to send it hiome.

The hosts went in front the next minute after Shahrazen sent a cross from the left into the box.It was nodded down by Ramazotti and Azwan Ali poked past Nazawa from close range.

They should have doubled the lead in the 65th minute but Ramazotti blasted his attempt over the edge of the box.

Instead, the White Swans pulled one back off a setpiece in the 72nd minute.

Kawata headed Nagasaki's corner for their first attempt on target and it slipped past the gloves of DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and into goal.

Kawata was close to adding a second just two minutes later but his shot from inside the 18-yard box hit the post.

The Japanese outfit were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute after Yura Indera pull down Kawata inside the box.

Kawata stepped up to score his ninth of the season from 12 yards out and ultimately put Albirex upfront.

The Brunei side had one final chance to salvage a point from the encounter in added time but Azwan Salleh's freekick from 25 yards out flaoted past the wall nut was dealt by Nazawa.


Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "It wasn't as if Albirex opend us up at all.They didn't all night.They expected us to push and leave a lot of space but we didn't and dropped off to protect the space.They kind of ran of out ideas.

"They never really had any penetration and never got behind us too much and two poor goals see us coming out of the game with no points."

Albirex Niigata FC (S) coach Naoki Naruo: "I'm very satisfied with today (Friday night) even though we didn't play good football.We didn't have enough mobility and show our style of football but managed to come back for the win.It is a very good result for us." 

Friday, April 22
Tough test for DPMM.

DPMM FC  face a tough test when they host joint S-League table toppers Albirex Niigata in the first match of the league's second round tonight.

The reigning S-League champions lost 3-2 to Albirex on February's season opener, a result which also saw the Japanese outfit - which won the Singapore League Cup last season - claim the Community Shield.

Both teams have been on a good run of form, with Albirex leading the table with 17 points and DPMM three points behind on fourth.

Despite their opening day defeat to the White Swans, DPMM Fc head coach Steve Kean believes that his charges are more prepared for tonight's game.

"We are much better this time...I think we are on the right peak in the last couple of matches and we showed that we can keep our intensity in the game for the whole duration," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"When you see in our first game against Albirex, especially in the first 45 minutes, we were very rusty, slow and very disjointed.

"What you see now, even in the last two matches, we were very much better, more sustained and we had more pressure and chances.

"This is what we need to do now as we know Albirex are a very good team.

"We need to be more clinical in front of goal, because you don't get many chances against Albirex.

"They are extremely quick on the counter-attack, so they are always dangerous.

We are probably dealing with the best counter-attacking side in the league.

"So we always need to be careful to close all the doors to prevent fast-breaks in case we lose the ball.

"This is areal football game where two teams are playing a similar style...Trying to keep the ball and control possession.

the team which is more patient and take their chances will obviously be the team that gets the three points," he added.

DPMM will be missing the services of striker Paulo Sergio due to suspension.

Shahrazen Said will provide to ssupport to Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali upfront.

Kean also said that Najib Tarif will play a part in the match for tonight, replacing Sairol Sahri.

"We will be playing three forwards.He(Shahrazen) will be the one on the right but he will b playiing higher up, it will be more of a 4-3-3 with Juan and Rafael being the other strikers, so it is very offensive," said Kean.

"He(Shahrazen) gives the opposition something to think about with his power, and his strength is that he is very good attacking the back post.

"If we can get the cross from the left hand side and even if it misses Rafael, we will have Shahrazen coming at the back post and he offers more of aerial threat rather than Paulo who is smaller and more technical so we got good options hers,"

Sairol is still feeling his groin, he is not going to make it this game so Najib will come in his place.

"Najib has been training very well and he is very quick and has good crossing so I have no doubts about him...He has been excellent," continued the Scotsman. 

"It is also very good to know that MacLean is getting better from the knee injury.He spoke to me in the field and said that now is the best he felt in about a month since the injury,so it is very good," he added.


Saturday, April 16
DPMM beat Balestier.

Ten-man DPMM FC registered back-to-back wins for the first time in the Singapore League(S-League) this season after dispatching Balestier Khalsa 3-1 last night.

The result means DPMM FC end the first round of the competition third with 14 points after eight matches, tied on points with Albirex Niigata (S) and Tampines Rovers.

Rafael Ramazotti and Azwan Ali Rahman found the back of the net in the first half.

Hazzuwan Halim pulled one back for the Tigers before Shahrazen Said netted the third for the Brunei side to secure maximum points at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

It was a bittersweet feeling for DPMM FC coach Steve Kean with the dismissal of Paulo Sergio late into added time.

Referee G.Letchman booked the Portuguese forward after he ran through a Balestier goal-kick late on, and the former brandished a second yellow after Sergio contested the call to resulting in him seeing the red.

"We're really happy with the points but the disappointing thing is that we now find ourselves missing Sergio," said Kean after the triumph.

"I don't think that when he runs through there is anything in the yellow.He knew that in his mind that he will miss the Albirex game and then he gets frustrated.

"I can't undestand why it was a yellow card and I've been in the game a long time. I don't see why that is possibly a yekllow card.That has left a bad taste in our mionth," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM should have broken the deadlock in the 15th minute after a good work by Sergio on the left to deliver the ball into the box.

Ramazotti got at the end of it but his header was denied by the upright. Azwan Ali pounced on the rebound but fired just wide.

The hosts came close again in the 25th minute after Sergio found Azwan Ali through, but his shot was parried away by the Balestier custodian and skipper Zaiful Nizam.

Another chance came begging six minutes later after Ramazotti's back heel sent Sergio through.

The Portuguese forward had his shot deflected to the far poast, but Azwan Ali somehow missed the target from just outside the six-yard box.

DPMM FC deservingly grabbed the lead the next minute after Ramazotti chested down Azwan Ali's ball from the to fire past Zaiful.

The advantage was doubled four minutes later with Azwan Ali bulging the net from the edge of the box.

Azwan Salleh almost added to the scoreline in the 40th minute but his shot from just outside the box was deflected just inches wide of goal.

Ramazotti rose the highest in ensuing corner but powered his header just over the crossbar.

DPMM were closing to adding to their tally just three minutes after the interval but Maududi Hilmi Kasmi's header bounced off the woodwork.

Jamil ALi had a good chance to grab one back for Balestier in the 59th minute but his shot went across the face of goal.

The Tigers came close the next minute but Zulkiffli 'Hassim watched his shot rattled the crossbar.

Immediateky at the other end,fazli Ayob put the ball across goal on the left for Hazzuwan to tap past Wardun to make it 2-1.

The Brunei side had back-to-back chances in the 69 and the 70th minutes after Sergio curled one just off the mark and Shahrazen struck to woodwork respectively.

Wardun came up with a good save in the 72nd minute after Fazli drilled a low shot at goal.

Ramazotti should have added another goal two minutes later.Zaiful denied him but the rebound fell to Shahrazen to slot it home to ensure the hosts claim all three points. 


Friday, April 15
DPMM host Balestier.

DPMM are gunning for their first back-to-back vicotries in this year's S-League season when they host an out-of-form Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

The Brunei side are coming off their third win of the season after beating the Garena Young Lions 4-1 last Friday.

It brings the defending champions tally to 11 points, and DPMM coach steve Kean is hoping they can end the first round on a high.

"It is a slow start to the first round and we had a major setback losing to Tampines," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"If we caan put back-to-back wins together, we will be able to see the confidence flooding back into the side.

i'm confident we will score, but we just have to make sure that we make it difficult fo Balestier to get any chances-never mind score!

"When you play against a team that stay in the box alot...It can cause problems.First and foremost, we have to defend properly," continued the Scotsman.

The Tigers are struggling with form to start the season and are still in search of their first triumph in the competition.

They are coming into the encounter with a five-game losing streak, including two in the AFC Cup - the latest a 3-0 setback to Kaya FC of the Philippines on Tuesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Kean remains cautious about the opponents and wants his charges not to slip-up against Balestier.

"We just have to make sure that we give Balestier the status and credit that they deserve," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Everybody is waiting for them to kick start their season," said Kean.

"This is a potential banana skin if we don't approach it right.We have to be on our A game and I'm confident we can bring home the points.

"We have to put 90 minutes to gether and we know their style.We've been working a alot this week on picking up second balls and tighten our defensive organisation on set plays," added Kean.

On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic fekt that having to play so many matches in a short span of time is taking its toll on the team.

We are not having a good start and we have had some injuries.The AFCCup is also taking a lot of energy from us," said Kraljevic in an interview yesterday.

"This is the fourth game in 12 days for us.We don't have a team with a big squad and thats why it has been tough," he added.

Regardless, Kraljevic remains optimistic and is hoping that they can get in the win column despite trouble finding the back of the net.

"Hopefully tomorrow will be our first win.You never now.Everytime we lose 1-0 or finish the match in a draw, we could have won these games," said the Croatian.

"We had few chances and could have made it.We have lots of problems upfront and even Miro(slav Kristic) who had 16 last season hasn't scored yet.

"But everyday we work on our attacking third.So far it is getting better but there is still alot of work to be done." 


Saturday, April 9
DPMM beat Young Lions.

DPMM FC moved up to fourth in the S-League after a 4-1 win over the Garena Young Lions last night.

DPMM FC's Maud

"udi Helmi Kasmi scored the opener at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium before Fareez Faarahn netted the equaliser just before halftime.

Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergi got their names on the score sheet in the second half while Amirul Adli recorded an own goal.

DPMM coach Steve Kean was pleased with the team's performace, especially after the interval.

"Paulo was excellent and Ramazotti is back to being a real handful and that is good to see," said Kean after the triumph. 

"I didn't like to single everybody out. It was a great team performance in the second half.

"We were back to our standards in the second half even though we let ourselves down the last 25 minutes of the first half.

"It was good to see us scoring again but it was too bad we couldn't keep a scoring sheet,"he added.

The hosts made one chage in the line-up from their previous match,leaving our Brian McLean to see Abd Aziz Tamit start alongside Ak Yura Indera  Yunos in the heart of defence.

Kean put plenty of emphasis on starting off aggressively and his charges responded stringly with a fourth minute opener.

Sergio whipped in a cross from the right to the far post and Ramazotti headed down for Maududi to score from point blank range.

The hosts almost doubled the lead in the 13th minute but Sergio's freekick from just outside the box was denied by the crossbar.

At the other end, Fareez took a ball down the left flaank but only could fire to the side netting in the 25th minute.

DPMM got another chance the next minute after Ramazotti rose the highest but bulleted his header just wide.

The Young Lions almost equalised in the 44th minute after a corner bounced off Ak Yura and just wide of his own net.

The Singapore Under-21 levelled the next minute after a ball was played forward to Shannon Stephens.

DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof came off his line to close down his shot but Stephen put the ball to his right for Fareez to fire into an empty net.

Fareez got a good chance to put the Young Lions in front three minutes after the interval but his shot from inside the box was denied by Wardun.

The rebound fell for Fareez again but he put it over,

Instead,DPMM regained the lead two minutes later woth Ramazotti heading home Azwan Ali Rahman's corner.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the 58th minute after a poor clearance by Benjamin Bertrand to give the ball to Ramazotti on the right.The Brazilian then played a cross to Sergio, but instead Amirul slid the ball in for an own goal to make it 3-1.

Bertrand produced a double save in the 61st and the 63rd minutes to deny Sergio and Ramazotti respectively.

The Brunei side were awarded a penalty after Amirul was judged to have brought down Paulo Sergio inside the box in the 81st minute, and the Portuguese forward then stepped up to put the icing of the cake from 12 yards out. 

Friday, April 8
DPMM face Young Lions.

DPMM FC spring back into action after a three-week league break when they host bottom side Garena Young Lions tonight.

Their last match was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tampines Rovers on MArch 19, leaving the none-team table with eight points from six matches.

DPMm coach Steve Kean felt that training has been excellent and emphasised the importance of getting off to fast starts.

"We want to be more aggressive in the early part of the game because in the last few games we have started slowly and allowed the opposition to get a foothold," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Min Stadium.

"We want to start this game lke we did in our final game last season against Balestier Khalsa.We need to be very aggressive,press really high and get the ball back as quickly as possible.

"We need to impose our own momentum and intensity in the game from the first minute and not at halftime,"he added.

"It is too late when we wait to be one or two goals down like we did against Tampines.The second half was good,but we gave ourselves too much to do.The players know that.

"Now we're not thinkng about second half- but we are thinking about the first few minutes and starting the game really well,"continued the Scotsman.

The Young Lions head into the match with a six-game losing streak as their only positive result sa far was a 1-0 opening day win against Balestier Khalsa.

They put up a commendable performance on Sunday but fell 2-1 at the hands of Tampines at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Kean watched the game and knows what to look out for.

"They are very good in the wide areas.They are very quick and switch play very well," said Kean.

"We need to be careful when their full-backs join n with ther wide men.Our wide players have to come back to make sure it is 2v2 and not 2v1.

"Against Tampines, they switched play a lot and got a lot of joy down the wide areas," he explained.

"That is the aspect of their game that they are very good at.We need to first of all pressure on the ball in midfield.

"Sometimes they are going to get out, but our wide men can help our fullbacks," continued the DPMM coach.

DPMM have had plenty of success against the youth team,wnning eight and drawing two of their 10 meetings.

Despite their good record,Kean remains wary of their opponents.

"They are a young team and even though they don't have many points at the moment.They will improve as the season goes on," noted the former Blachbirn Rovers manager.

"They've got lots of new players and we've got to make sure it is not tomororw night that they improve.

"It is about us and trying to get ourselves back to the top of the league," he concluded. 


Sunday, March 20
10-man Stags end DPMM's perfect home record.

Tampines Rovers ended Great Eastern Yeo's S.League defending champions Brunei DPMM perfect home record on Saturday nighr at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, after handing the hosts a 2-1 defeat.

The DPMMS' two wins so far this season had been acheived on home soil and they were looking for  third consecutive home victory coming into the game, but two quick-fire goals from Billy Mehmet and Jordan Webb in the first-half meant that they spent the rest of the game trying to salvage a point.

Rafael Ramazotti grabbed one back for the hosts in the second period, but it proved to be mere consolation even though the Stags were made to defend for the final 20 minutes of the game after Afiq Yunos was sent off for his second booking of the night.

The visitors came out firing on all cylinders and broke the deadlock in the fourth minute after Mehmet headed home a cross from Christopher Van Huizen.

DPMM almost equalised four minutes later, but Ramazotti could only watch his header bounce just wide of the mark.

Instead, the Stags doubled their advantage in the 15th minute froom a set-piece.Van Huizen fired a free-kick from the left for Webb to head past DPMM shotstopper Wardun Yussof.

Paulo Sergio managed to split the Tampines defence with a good chip in the 25th minute to send Azwan Salleh through,but Izwan was there to deny him.

Brian McLean got on the end of the ensuing corner but the ball landed on top of the net.

Sergio almost made Tampines pay after gifting the ball away in their own half two minutes later, but the Portuguese forward fired just wide from the edge of the box.

Tampines should have added another goal to their tally in the 38th minute after Webb and Fazrul Nawaz played a neat one-two for the latter to pull back for Van Huizen,who was denied by Wardun.

The hosts could have gone into the break with only a goal down, but Azwan Ali couldn't place his shot at the far post on target on the 44th minute.

Shahrazen Said and Najib Tarif were sent on after half-time in place of Maududi Kasmi and Sairol Sahri respectively in search for more attacking options.

Ramazotti took a shot on the turn from inside the box in the 54th minute but the Brazilian's shot went straight to Izwan.

DPMM pulled one back five minutes later after Ramazotti headed home Sergio's freelick from the left.

Tampines were made to defend against the DPMM's onslaught and to make matters worse,Afiq were sent off for his second yellow card in the 71st minute after fouling Sergio during a counter-attack.

DPMM almost equalised in the 86th minute after a good ball by Nur Ikhwan Othman into the box was headed by Azwan Ali towards the bottom right corner, but Izwan dived down to keep the ball out.

Nukhwan tried one from range a minute later but Izwan did well to catch his effort, before Singapore No.1 goalkeeper ensured his side took home all three points by denying Azwan Ali inside the box in the 90th minute.

Tampines Rovers coach V. Sundramoorthy: "We had around 15 more minutes(after the red card).Tactically we needed to change something so I brought in Mustafic to stabilise with his experience behind as he can hold the fort.

"We removed one striker and played with only one.The boys have done well especially my goalkeeper. He made two great saves and that's the most important thing." 

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "We didn't perform, we didn't pass and we didn't have any tempo about our play in the first half.We made changes 9at halftime) but I could have taken anybody off.

"I would say the whole team was playing under par. On the flipside, we are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team where we were excellent in the second half.We took the game to Tampines and created chances.

"They were only holding on at the end and any team that is going to score, it was looking like us. I believe if we got a goal we would have gone to get a third goal." 

Saturday, March 19
DPMM FC host Tampines.

DPMM FC welcome title favourites Tampines Rovers in the second of their six-game home stretch in the Singapore League tonight.

The reigning champions are currently second in the nine-team league, tied on eight points with both leaders Albirex Niigata (S) and Warriors FC.

The Jaapanese outfit succumbed to their first defeat of the season after slumping to a 2-0 loss to the Warriors last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Tampines, who were runners-up last season, have made big changes to their squad after picking up eight players from the disbanded Lions XII side - only keeping five players from last season's side.

Goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, who helped Singapore to a 0-0 draw against Japan in the World Cup qualifiers in June last year, is between the Stags' sticks.

On Paper, they are the team to beat in the competition and DPMM FC coach Steve Kean knows what they are up against.

"Obviously their front unit is a big threat and they try to be solid ebhind the ball," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"They are stubborn in defence and go for quick breaks. We know it will be difficult to break them down.

"They can be dangerous on the counter-attack and I don't see them coming to be open and expansive.

"At the moment it seems the way they are setting the stall up is working for them," continued the Scotsman.

The Brunei side are coming off a good week of training in preparation for the encounter and Kean feel they have finally reached their top fitness.

"Training has been good and it was very intense in the first part of the week with double sessions on Mnday and Wednesday," said Kean.

"I feel that our physical level is now at the peak. It was impossible to get to that in pre-season, but after a few  weeks into the season we are there now," said Kean.

Kean highlighted that the grass was an issue and hopes that it will be different this tim around.

"What happened in the first half of the last match was that we weren't moving the ball quickly enough. It is not excuse but fact that the grass was too long at the stadium," said Kean.

"It took the boys 45 minutes to adjust. We have mentioned to the grounds staff and have addressed them to cut the pitch shorter.

"The surface in Jerudong is fantastic and we like to move the ball quick. When we don't, we struggle to find any rhythm.

"We did it in the second half, and we finished the game strongly. We showsd that we can adapt and improve and is always better to finish the game strongly," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand, Tampines have only played three S-League games so far - and are still unbeaten.

Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy feels that his side is fully prepared despite having lesser time to recover.

"We have a big squad and I feel thet we can cope with this. We need to juggle these games. It is still early days and we will try to get some results under our belt,"said Sundram.

"DPMM are almost the same team as last season and we know their strengths and weaknesses. But it will be dependent on the day how my team performs.That is important.

"We are confident we can come here and try to win the game. We are preparaed and the boys are raring to go We got a lot of new players but hopefully we can pull off a good result," concluded Sundramoorthy. 




Saturday, March 12
DPMM up to second.

DPMM FC shrugged off a poor first half performance to secure a 2-1 comeback victory over Home Utd in the S-League to move second last night.

Ambroise Begue gave Home the lead before Rafael Ramazotti equalised from the penalty spotin the first half.

Azwan Ali netted the winner after the break to ensure DPMM kick-off their sig-game home stretch on a winning note.

The triumph propels the reigning champions from fourth to second in the nine-team table, tied on 8 points with leaders Albirex Niigata(S) FC but having played a game more. 

Home, meanwhile, are at the bottom of the table with two points from four games.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt they weren't at their best but was pleased to notch maximum points.

"The good thing is taht we managed to grind it out even though it wasn't an attractive second half display from us," said Kean in the post match interview.

"I felt that we played well in the first four games and should have more points.

"But tonight (Friday night) we didn't really play as well as we normally do and get the points.

 "That is a good signthat you can turn it on in the second half and do much better to get the points against a very good Home United team," concluded the Scotsman.

Both sides came out playing with a similar game plan - pressing high up on the pitch when without the ball an moving the ball to keep possession.

Azhar Sairuddin priduced the first shot on target from the edge of the box in the ninth minute but it went straight o DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

Sirina Camara delivered a dangerous ball into the box three minutes later but none of the Home players were there for a simple tap in.

Home grabbed the lead in the 19th minuteafter an initial shot by Azhar was blocked by Ak Yura Indera Putera, only to drop nice for Begue to score from close range.

It took the wind out of DPMM 's sails and Home could have added another just four minutes later.

A good through ball by Ken Ilso sent Khairul Nizam through, but the latter's effort - which was heading towards the bottom corner - was saved by Wardun.

Ilso picked out Aqhari Abdullah inside the six-yard box in the 26th minute  but somehow his shot was deflected over the bar.

Ilso had a shot saved by Wardun two minutes later and the Dane was on target again in the 31srt minute after he connected on a Begue cross, but his effort was denied by Wardun.

DPMM were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute after Brian McLean was fouled by Camara while defending a set-piece.

Ramazotti stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards out to make it 1-1.

Home skipper Juma'at Jantan sent a cross from the right two minutes after the interval but Azhar failed to capitalise inside the six-yard box.

The Protectors threatened again in the 55th minute with Khairul Nizam firing from inside the box but it was too weak to trouble Wardun.

Juma'at launched a pile-driver from 40 yards out four minutes later but it was caught by WArdun.

DPMM made a double chage by sending in Shahrazen Said and Md Najib Tarif in place of Maududi Hilmi and Sairol Sahari respectively in the 63rd minute.

It proved to be the fifference and the hosts grabbed the lead after Sergio found an unmarked Azwan Ali to head past Home custodian Zulfairuz Rudy in the 72nd minute.

Home almost responded immediately but substitute Irfan Fandi's effort was deflected over.

The visitors came forward again four minutes later but Aqhari fired just wide from 25 yards out.

At the other end, Sergio missed the mark from a deadball situation in the 77th minute.

Camara crossed for Irfan from the left five minutes later but he was off target.

Ilso unleashed a good shot at goal in the 84th minute but Wardun once again was to his equal.

DPMM could have killed off the match in the 87th minute after Sergio dribbled into the box from the left but only could fire to the side netting.

Home had a chance to grab a point out of the match two minutes later with Ilso firing a free-kick into the bottom right corner, but Wardun kept his effort out to seal all three points.

DPMM will next host Tampines Rovers next Saturday in the second of six straight home matches. 


Friday, March 11
Key run for DPMM FC.

DPMM FC will kick-off their six-game home stretch in the S-League against bogey team Home United at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The reigning S-League champions' title defence is off to a rocky start after notching only one win and two draws in four games.

The six-game home stretch may very well work to their benefit as their only victory so far came on home soil after a 3-1 triumph over Warriors FC on Feb 27.

It isn't that the side haven't been playing well, its just that they have been unable to kill off their chances.

On a positive note, they are coming off their first cleansheet of the season after a 0-0 stalemate against Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium last Saturday.

"In matches we played especially in the away fixtures, we created lots of chances but at times we were leaving the back door open," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We are focused on getting a cleansheet but we have also to be little more ruthless in front of goal.

"All we've done this week is crossing and finishing. I feel that when we get our chances , we have to finish them off so that we can get the pressure off ourselves.

"We will try to be sharp and finish off our chances around the box and get or noses in front in this game," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM haven't got a good record against the Protectors, winning only two out of their 10 meetings since Kean's arrival in November 2013.

Kean expects yet another tough outing against the Protectors.

"This will be a tough game and we must give them respect. We don't have good record against them so we need to e our toes and make sure that we approach the game as if we are meeting Tampines or the Warriors," said Kean.

"We have to first of all know how they are going to play. They like to keep the ball, build up possession and play through each section of the pitch.

"If we don't get close to them in the middle third, they can really hurt us.This isgame we need to get really tight on them - especially in the middle third to prevent any penetrating passes," added Kean.

DPMM will welcome back centreback Brian McLean from a knee injury and skipper Rosmin Khamis is also deemed fit for the encounter.

On the other hand,Hoem United coach  Philippe Aw is expecting another exciting encounter between the two teams.

"I hope it'll be a good game for us, we go into every game wanting to play good football and entertain gans," said Aw in an interview yesterday.

"Tomorrow(Friday)will be no different ans we also want to win the game,"he added.

"We played three games and the performances were good enough to win but we didn't.Its not a true reflection of our ability," said Aw.

"We are confident because its not that we played badly. It's just that we have been playing well and creating more chances than our opponents but we couldn't finish.

"We firmly believe that we can create more chances and we need to finish them to win games," he concluded. 


Saturday, March 5
DPMM and Hougang to goalless stalemate

Hougang remained sixth-placed with 4 points after a goalless draw against Brunei DPMM at Hougang Stadium on Friday night.

Despite both sides having a plethora of chances to score throughout the game, tehy failed to convert them when it mattered.

The hosts started well when they created their first chance barely three mintes into the game when Faiz Salleh tried a shot from inside the box, but a DPMM defender was quick to volley the ball away.

Faiz had another chance to break the deadlock to the Cheetahs in the 21st minute, but he failed to convert a pass from Stipe Plazibat who had made a run from the left after being played through by Jozef Kaplan.

Azwan Ali them wasted a DPMM's second freekick of the night in the 22nd minute, sending his free-kick straight into the arms of Hougang's custodian Khairulhin Khalid.

The Cheetahs had another golden opportunity to open the scoring again minutes later when captain Kaplan made a quick turn from inside the box, but saw his snap-shot hit the woodwork instead.

DPMm subsequently wasted their own opportunity to draw first blood after Rafael Ramazotti's defence-splitting passs ent Paulo Sergio through on goal. However,Khairulhin was alert to the danger and collected the ball comfortably.

The visitors began the second-half the brighter of the two sides, when Ramazotti launced a ferocious shot from inside the box, but Nazrul Nazari was quick to volley away the ball.

Hougang United coach K.Balagumaran decide that the Cheetahs needed more spark upfront and made the first substitution of the game when he brought in midfielder Fumiya Kogure for Adi Hudzaifi in the 56th minute.

Instead, it was the visitors that continueto threaten as Azwan a good chance to break the deadlock with a pass from Sergio just in front of the goal 10 minutes from time, but saw his effort hacked away by substitute Delwinder Singh. 

Hougang United coach, K.Balagumaran: "DPMM probably come with a gameplan.They were sitting back deep  and they tried to counter attack.

"They probably they knew we will come at them so a point would be good for them but if you asked me, it's not fair for me to take a point from this game."

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean: "I thinkwe had the best chances to win the game, even though they thought that the goal was a goal but I've looked at it again and I think it was offisde and it was an early flag.

"We are slightly disappointed with a point, to think that we had enough chances to win the game." 


Friday, March 4
Kean: First goal vital.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean emphasised the importance of drawing first bolld in their away fixtures in the S-Leagueas they travel to face Hougang United tonight.

The S-League titleholders are currently fourth in the nine-team table while Hougang are fifth ahead of tonight's game at the Hougang Stadium.

Speaking to the media after Wednesday's trainign session, Kean stressed the need to maintain their focus even if they fall behind.

"We have got to make sure we are more positive on the road because after this game we've got six consecutive games in Brunei - which is great," said Kean at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

If you can score the first goal then you are in control. If you don't, especially away from home, you are chasing the game...

"The first goal is vitaland important away from home," he stressed.

"When we score the first goal, confidence floods into the team- but when we go a goal behind, we can lose our way for 10-15 minutes ansd look like we will concede again straight after.

"We need to make sure we work harder to get the first goal to get our noses in front and be more ruthless with the early chances that we get," continued the Scotsman.

The reigning champions are on a high after coming off their first home win of the season after a 3-1 victory over title contenders Warriors FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

For Kean, the win was more than just putting up three points on the board.

"We won our first game and we are playing well. There is no reason to have no confidence as we have played against some good sides," said Kean.

"We have played well from the start of the second half of the Albirex game.Every other minute we have played well.

"We should have more on the board but we can only take control of the next game," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM FC have couple of doubts for the game with Maududi Hilmi (dead leg), skipper Rosmin Khamis (hamstring), while Brian McLean will miss this gamethrough knee injury.

Regardless, Kean wants the mathces to come thick and fast.

On the other hand, Hougang are coming off a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Tampines Rovers last Friday.

Kean doesn't exactly knows what to expect from the opponents and is focused on his players.

"I've seen bits and pieces of them.Its weird this season because every side is different," said Kean.

"The match reports from last year,apart from individual player reports, we might as well scrap them.

"We can only just make sure we do what we do on the trainign ground.

"Our defensive side is much better last game and I know we will always score. We are at a good place at the moment."



Sunday, February 28
DPMM clinch first victory of the season.

Reigning Singapore League champions DPMM FC barged into the win column after a 3-1 victory over Warriors FC last night.

All the damage was done in the first half with the trio of Brian McLean,Maududi Helmi Kasmi and Azwan Salleh getting their names on the scoresheet in their first triumph in three matches - moving them up to fourth position on four points tied with Tampines Rovers, who have a game in hand , in the nine-team table.

On the other hand, Jonathan Behe netted early in the second half for the Warrors in a losing effort at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

DPMM got off the best of starts and grabbed the lead in the sixth minute.

Azwan Ali crled a tricky corner kick resulting in WArriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin getting a hand to it only to fall nicely for McLean to tap in from close range.

Warriors did get the ball in the net in the 13th minute but Syaqir Sulaiman was flagged for offside,

DPMM FC almost doubled the lead four minutes later after Azwan Ali's from 40 yards out missed everyone but bounced inches wide off the post.

Another chance came begging in the 19th minute but Rafael Ramazotti headed just wide.

Warriors were on target on the 22nd minute with Faazli Jaffar firing form inside the box but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof dived down to keep the ball out.

DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis coonected on a header off a corner in the 25th minute but it was not enough to trouble Yazid.

The hosts doubled their advantage in the 27th minute with PAulo Sergio setting up Maududi Helmi to blast past Yazid Yasin from inside the box.

Ti was 3-0 two minutes later with Azwan Salleh unleashing a thunderbolt from over 20 yards out to bulge the net.

Warriors had back-to-back chances to get back into the tie in the 37th minute but Kento Fukuda's header was deflected just wide.

Jonathan Behe got a free header at the far post off the ensuing corner but couldn't place it on target.

DPMM were pressing high up the pitch and could have added to the scoresheet in the 39th minute but Azwan Ali's effort from over 20 yards bounced off the woodwork.

Warriors just got one back two minutes later after the interval with with good work to Behe down the left to fire off Wardun from close range.

Behe got ina similar position in the 58th minute but this time his effort met the side netting.

At the othetr end, Sergio get the better of Poh Yi Feng before curling his shot from the edge of the box over.

Things got a little hectic as things got physical with the whistle not getting blown.

DPMM manager Ali Hj Momin was even sent to the stands in the 69th minute for contesting with referee Sukhbir Singh foa a hand-ball incident.

Behe got another opportunity in the 75th minute after beating Sairol Sahari but his shot was off the mark.

DPMM almost added to the scoresheet the next minute with Sergio setting up Azwan Ali down the middle but the latter's shot was saved by Yazid.

Behe placed two shots on target in the 80th and the 82nd minutes but Wardun was to his equal to deny him twice.

Substitute Shaiful Esah struck a freeekick from 25 yards requiring Wardun to tip over in the 90th minute.

Warriors were awarded a penalty on the ensuing corner kick as Azwan Salleh was judged to have handled the ball inside the box.

Behe stepped up to take the spot kick but his attempt was saved by Wardun.



Saturday, February 27
Kean wants patient play.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean wants to see some patient play from his charges when they take on Warriors FC in their first home game of the Singapore League season tonight.

The Brunei side are without a win after a 3-2 loss to Albirex Niigata (S) and a 1-1 stalemate against 10-man Geylang International FC.

Kean felt that their performances warranted more and hopes they can keep up with a gppd showing at the Hassanl Bolkiah National Stadium.

"We need to focus on performances because I think we had good performances," said Kean after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The points will come... You don't want to end upbuilding a monster that is not really thereand geta little anxious and uptight.

"Most teams that come to Brunei sit at the edge of the box and try to hit us on the break. We have to be conscious and not commit too many bodies forward to leave ourselves open at the back.

"Even though it might be difficult to break down, weneed to be patient to move the ball from wing to wing to try to stretch them.

"If we are patient and swing them around, the openings will come.

We've got quality players throughout the pitch that can open up any team. We are confident but not over-confident," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

The Warriors have only played one full game so far, a 2-2 draw against Home Utdon February 14.

Kean feels that this may be an advantage for his side.

"Now it is an advantage  for us because to improve our rhythm and tempo in our matches straight from the second half against Albirex," said Kean.

"In the first half we were not at match pace, but this is an advantage as we had more minutes under our belt," said Kean

On the other hand, Warriors coach Jorge Steinbrunner is infazed by the lack of matches and felt that it was in their favour with the return of defender Shaiful esah and midfielder Redhuan Muhammas from injury.

"It was a good intensive game against Home Utd and we got a few injuries then, but lookng sat the positives now, it gave us time to get those injured players back," said Steinbrunner in an interview yesterday.

"If the game against Tampines had gone ahead with the conditions, no one would have benefited out of it - with possibly more players getting injured.

"It is still early in the season and we didn't have a game for two weeks but, we've had two weeks of training sessions," added the German.

When you look a tthe league this year, at any stage one team will sit out for a week with a nine-team league," continued the former Geylang coach.

Steibrunner is also expecting a tight encounter against the hosts.

"Each time I've played against Steve Kean's team, the match has been entertaining nd the games are tight. It is good technical football and I don't expect anything else tomorrow.

"It is DPMM FC's first home game of the season and I'm sure they want to do well in front of home fans and get a good result," said Steinbrunner.

Kick off is at 8.15pm.

Meanwhile, the duo of Md Aminuddin Zakwan and Md Hendra Azam passed the S-League mandatory fitness test yesterday and will be available to play today.

However, defender Amalul Ariffin and goalkeeper Suhandi Mahali are set to be released by the club. 


Sunday, February 21
Ten-men Eagles frustrate DPMM in stalemate

10-men Geylang International held defending champions Brunei DPMM to 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Bedok Stadium.

Substitute Sahil Suhaimi opened the scoring for the hosts in the 76th minute, but the Eagles were unable to hold on their lead as the visitors equalised one minute later through Rafael Ramazotti.

The draw meant that both sides are still without a win in their Great eastern Yeo's S.League 2016 campaign and they would have felt that they should have won the game if not for their profligacy in front of goal.

The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides struggled to get into the game as they failed to retain possession of the ball.

The match then saw its first clear-cut chance three minutes later when Maududi Hilmi Kasmi broke down the left flank and sent in a teasing cross for Azwan Ali, who sent his shot well wide of the mark.

Azwan was guilty of missing another gilt-edged chance in the 38th minute when he volleyed over another one of Maududi's cross.

The Eagles came out firing after the break rhrough, and could have opened the scoring through Gabriel Quak,who made a surging run down the left flank before unleashing a powerful shot that was punished away by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

Geylang's hoped of getting any out of the match took a huge blow when Amy Recha received a second yellow card for a lte challenge that was deemed too reckless for the referee's liking.

Despit egoing down to ten-men, the hosts refused to let their heads drop and broke the deadlock when a quick free-throw by Branko Cubrilo caught the DPMM defence napping, Sahil then stole in behind the defence to stab the ball home and give Geylang the lead.

However, the Eagles' joy were shortlived when DPMM found the equaliser immediately after the restart.

This time, it was geylang's defence that were guilty of ball-watching as they allowed Ramazotti to nod the ball past Eagles custodian Syazwan Buhari from a cross.

The Eagles almost snatched all three points in stoppage time, but Wardun pulled off a spectacular save to deny Sahil's free-kick that looked destined for the top left hand corner. 



Saturday, February 20
DPMM face Geylang.

DPMM FC are looking to bonce back when they face Geylang International FC in the S-League tonight.

The reigning S-League champions slipped to a 3-2 opening defeat in the Community Shield at the hands of Albirex Niigata(S) FC last Saturday.

DPMM didn't look their usual selves in the opening half but pcked up in the second to set up a tense finale.

After a week of busy preparation, Kean feels that they have ironed out their problems abd are ready for their match at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore.

"It feels like we are still in a phase of pre-season as we had double sessions on Monday and Wednesday. But we are really well preopared,"Kean told the Times yesterday.

"Like I said before the start of the season, it is going to be really competitive.We can't go into any game thinking it will be easier than the last game... They will all be difficult.

"But if we can produce the same second half performance like we did against Albirex from the first minute,i'm really confident that we can not only put a result together this week but put a string of good results together.

"It is really coming together now as we're looking good on the training ground.

"We need to make sure that we learn from the first game of the season where after they scored we felt sorry for ourselves for half an hour.

"We've no time to do that and we have to get on with that," continued the 48-year old Scotsman when met before the team's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Geylang managed to win two out of their four meetings last season, including a 4-2 victory in their group stage of the Singapore League Cup in July - which sent DPMM out. 

DPMM had problems keeping up with the Eagles counter-attacks last season, but Kean feels that tonight's game will be more about them capitalising on their change.

Their first thing is that we will have lots of attacking opportunities in this game because we are dynamic upfront," said the Scotsman.

"We showed that in the second half against Albirex, and now, we just need to make sure we had to punish our opponents when we are on top of our game.

"We also need to cut on individual mistakes and it wasn't as if there were fantastic team goals taht we conceded against Albirex," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will welcome back Rosmin Khamis after serving his one-game suspension, and Kean is gakd to have his skipper available in midfield.

"We missed Rosmin because he is a good organiser and you can always hear him on the pitch,"said Kean. "His anticipation on where to ball is going to bounce... That is an aspect we struggled in the last stages of the first half against Albirex.

They(Albirex) seemed to pick up all the little scraps and that is one of his best attributes. He can pick up the second ball, play it simple and attacks normally start from his picking them up." 

Tuesday, February 16
Kean optimistic despite defeat.

Things only can get better for DPMM FC after losing their S-League opener on Saturday night.

The defending chanpions uncharacteristically suffered a 3-2 loss at the hands of Albirex Niigata in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, where the visitors were second best for most of the first half before coming alive after the interval to set-up a tense finish.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that his charges were not form as they did not play in any pre-season games leading up to the opener.

"There was a bit of rustiness, but we had better intensity and we were much better in the second half," said Kean in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We have to give credit to our opposition because they were excellent. We started quite well and got control of the game, but when they scored the opening goal, we lost our way until half time.

"We were really poor as we were second to all the scraps and balls bouncing around in midfield.

"They had rhythm and were getting up with goal passing sequences. In contrast, every time we got the ball, we force it and gave it back.

"We couldn't get a foothald of the game but things becaame much better after bringing in Ayol (Khairul Anwar) and moving Paulo off the front.

"We started to put our passes together and that helped the back four move up the pitch - making everything much more compact.

"I was really hapy with the second half and had Azwan Ali freekick gone in, the least we would get would be a draw as we had them rattled near the end of the match.

"We will go again now that we got the first game out of the way.

"The first game is always not easyand especially against Albirex,who are energetic and a new team trying to impress their new coach.

"I can see them winning a lot of games early on, but we will be much better prepared for Geylang Int'l on Saturday," continued the Scotsman when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The match was the first time that the Brunei side have trailed by three goals since Kean's arrival in November,2013.

There has been plenty of talk on how the DPMM backline wil cope after Bosnian Boris Raspudic was released due to the foreign quota being reduced from five to three, and the load fell on centreback Abd Aziz Tamit to start.

It proved to be a rough outing for the Bruneian with the second and third goals coming off the player he was marking.

"We know Aziz is a great lad as far as his physical presence. He got caught out and lost his marker and he has to learn from that," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"He was ball watching and not the man.

"When you can't see the balland number of the shirt of who you are marking, then you're in the wrong position.

"We will continue to work on that but it is not only him as Brian McLean has only brrn back a few days.

"We need to get him tuned in.Its not that he made mistakes, but he will need the defensive repetitions to be mentally sharp again.

"We will do more defending and take care of the mistakes in the last match.We will put that to bed and work on a gameplan for Geylang," concluded Kean. 

DPMM will face Geylang at the Bedok Stadium on Saturday in Singapore. 

Sunday, February 14
Albirex signal title intent with emphatic win over champions DPMM.

Albirex Niigata (S) sent a very clear mesage to the rest of the Great Eastern Yeo's S.League clubs on Saturday night after they shocked defending champions Brunei DPMM 3-2 at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Winning the Great Eastern Community Shiled in the process, Albirex played with a very different style and system than the last year. Head coach Naoki Naruo set his team up in a 3-4-3 formation and clealy looked to attain more possesson from the team did in 2015.

The Japanese side began brighter and were first to threaten in the fourteenth minute froma a corner on the right side, but DPMM striker Ramazotti was aware enough at the near post to clear the danger.

Albirex continued to attack with their wingbacks at every opportunity, but it was forward KAmata who registered their first strike at goal. However, his effort flew wide of the mark.

However, DPMm stood firm and created an attack of their own in the sixth minute when Azwan Ali's good play out wide earned his side their first corner of the match.

But the 2015 Young Player of the Year delivered a poor cross which was cleared easily by the Albirex defence.

The Japanese side continued to dominate and finally found the breakthrough in the 16th minute when right-back Mikiya Yamada was left unmarked at the back post and he duly sent the ball into the back of the net.

The nippy Kento Nagasaki was a constant threat for Albirex, playing in a slightly deeper central midfiel role than last year.The Japanese number 10 always looked to advance and dominated the midfield alongside teammate Masaya Jitozono.

Albirex doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Nagasaki threaded a fantastic disguised pass into the feet of Kamata 12-yards out and the latter slotted the ball precisely past DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

DPMM almost pulled a goal back in the 38th minute after Paulo Sergio played Ramazotti thriugh on goal, but the lanky striker could only fire wide in what was quiet first half for last season top-scorer.

Needing a response from his side as they went into the break two goals down, DPMM head coach Steve Kean changed things around at half-time as he moved Sergio closer to Ramazotti in a change of system for the second half.

It looked to work to some degree as DPMM dominated possession aof the ball after the restart and had better build up play, with Sergio and Ramazotti finally combining well together.

In contrast, Albirex was more contented to sit back and defend their lead. But they showed their counter-attacking abilities in the 57th minute when a break led to acorner on the right side.

Nagasaki then whipeed in a curling cross and found defender Naohomo Tanaka, who flicked the ball on at the front post for Kento Fujihara to score from close range after the centre-back had made a storming run into the six-yard box.

Albirex goalkeeper Yosuke Nazawa subsequently gave DPMM a lifeline in the 65th minute when he completely missed the ball while attempting to clear a through pass.

The ball then found Azwan, who jumped easily over Nazawa's desperate sliding tackle to slot the ball into an empty net.

Tanak turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time after another failed clearance by Nazawa ricocheted into his path. However , the final whistle came shortly after, killing off DPMM's faint hopes of pulling level. 


Saturday, February 13
Albirex and DPMM out to send a message.

the naysayers have cast their doubts.

After sweeping all the domestic silverwareon offer last season, will Brunei DPMM and Albirex Niigata still rule local football again?

After all, both teams have undergone key changes in the closing season. 

As part of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League's new ruling in cutting down the number of foreign players from five to three, league campions DPMM have been forced to part with Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic and Irish midfielder Joe Gamble. 

RHB Singapore Cup and the New Paper League Cup winners Albirex, meanwhile, have parted company with head coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama, and only seven players from last year's successful squad have ben retained.

Both teams have a chance to show they still mean business this season, when they kick-off the S-League season in the Great Eastern Community Shield Match - which will double up as a competitive fixture - at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.

DPMM coach Steve Kean told the New Paper that replacing Raspudic and Gamble would be difficult, but nsisted his side were still "the team to beat" this season.

And he is confident his team can see off the White Swans tonight.

"You always try to win in your first game, and its always tough playing against Albirex," said the Scot, who previously managed Balckburn Rovers in the Premier League.

"They are one of the teams in the S-League I have a lot of respect for, because of the way they try to play their football. 

But I'm sure they're more worried about us that we are about them.

"We'll just go and play the way we like to play. Like I said before, thei squad have been together for a while and we're a very tight-knit squad."

Despite the departure of Raspudic and Gamble, Kean can still count on the attacking trident of Portuguese attacker Paulo Sergio, local boy Azwan Ali and last term's top-scorer Brazilian Rafael Ramazotti.

The trio combined for 35 goals last season -  a tally that betters the total mustered by Albitres (27),Hougang(28),Harimau Muda (29) and the Young Lions (30).

Albirex's miserable record in the scoring stats is something that new head coach Naoki Naruo has tried to fix with a combination of J-League talent and S.League experience.

He has signed 1.90m-tall targetman Kazuki Mine from second-tier Japanese side Kyoto Sanga, and brought back winger Tatsuro Inui, who scored 20 goals over 2 seasons with Albirex in 2012 and 2013, but spent the last three years at S-League clubs Warriors and Geylang International.

Said NAruo: "My philisophy is to get the most out of the stregths of my individual players, and play possession football.

"I also want my players to show hard work everywhere on th field, be it defending or attacking."

The 41-year old, who coached Albirex to a seventh-placed S-League finish in 2009, is targeting a win tonight.

"We are a very young team, so confidence is a very important factor for us," said Naruo.

"Winning this tough game will put us in a good position confidence-wise. DPMM will be very tough opponents, but my message to my players is to jsut believe in ourselves, to do our best and we can get the result we want." 

Saturday, February 13
DPMM FC start season.

Two fewer foreign players and a couple of new local faces, but reigning champions DPMM FC are ready to strart their Singapore League season aaginst Albirex Niigata (S) FC tonight.

S-League titleholders DPMM start their title defence against Singapore Cup holders Albirex in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore,and it is far from certain how DPMM will deal with their backline after the release of Bosnian backline Boris Raspudic and the late arrival of Brian McLean.

McLean only arrived back in the sultanate to join the team on Tuesday and he will have to adjust quickly as DPMM coach Steve Kean as entrusted Abdul Aziz Tamit to start alongside him in the season-opener which marks the first chance of the year for both teams to win silverware.

"We've had five really good weeks of work,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session on Thursday.

"Brian's wide delivered a baby girl early and he was in a different country and he only just made it back, but he is a very good pro as he was training everyday on his own.

"Even though he might not be 100 per cent match  fit, his experience will get him through with no problems," he added.

DPMM have promoted three Under-19 players-Md Na'im Hj Tarif,Md Azim Izamuddin Hj Suhaimi and Abd Hafiz Abd Rahim to the senior squad,but they will have to wait to get a taste of action.

Meanwhile, former Indera Sports Club player Md Nur Ikhwan Othman will be making his debut in DPMM colours as he will be given the start with skipper Rosmin Khamis suspended for the match.

"This gives Ikhwan an early opportunity in his first full season.He is a good player, has got good balance and can see a pass,"praised Kean.

"There is no hesitation to get him in because he has had a good pre-season," added the Scotsman.

Albirex - who also won the Singapore League Cup last season - are a revamped team with 16 new players on the roster as well as a new coach in Naoki Naruo - who was previously at the helm in 2009.

According to a report on the S-League website, the White Swans have retained key players like Atsushi Kawata,Kento Nagasaki and Rui Kamada.

The Japanese outfit have also welcomed back Tatsuro Inui, who will take over the vacant play-maker role after 2015 S-League Player of the Year Fumiya Kogure left for Hougang United.

Although Kean doesn't know what to expect , he believes his charges have got the edge.

"I have no idea how they will play but knowing the mentality of the club, I'm sure they won't move too far away from what they normally play," said Kean.

"They try to control the ball and they don't play direct football. They try and build it up through the back and middle leading to the front. I don't see that changing too much.

"It is a challenge because it is a new teamand it might take them a few weeks to gel.

"On the other hand, majority of our players have been together for two years so I think that is an advantage for us."

Kick-off is at 7.45pm and the full match will be telecasted live on RTB channel.


Sunday, February 7
No pressure at heart of defense:Kean.

DPMM FC's centre-half.Brian McLean will form a new partnership in the heart of defence after the end of Boris Raspudic's spell with the club and the associated pressure that comes with guiding the player beside him will be something he relished in the upcoming S-League season.

The local players who will now set to fill the gap vacated by Raspudic who currently plies his trade with Bosnia's Premier League outfit FK Borac Banja Luka, should be feeling less pressure in the fact that they have been in the squad for a couple of seasons and would be ready to start.

The loss of the influential Bosnian-Serb will give an opportunity to a local defender to stake a claim as a first-team regular with McLEan aptly positioned to ensure the replacement enjoys a smooth transition.

The defender will have no such problems sustaining the pressure that comes with the immediate need of being involved in the first team fold.

"One of the local players will play beside McLean. Its pressure that Brian wil enjoy because it lets him use his experience to help develop a young player.I don't think the lad will feel the pressure because he has been in the squad for a few years.Whoever selected to play there, will be ready," head coach Steve Kean said.

The release of the foreign players paved the way for the fringe players to step up the frame in already the highest standards that the team has set up following their title winning campaign.

"It gives an opportunity anytime that there is a suspension, injury and now a permanent move where Joe and Boris are no longer here," Kean said.

"We've been quite a settled  squad over the last two years and we hope that whoever is given the opportunity wil step up and make sure they can perform at high level because we've set very high standards for ourselves as a club," he added.

While Rosmin Khamis will retain the captaincy,the candidacy role is much in the air but there is no shortage of options with the leadership qualities that the senior players possess.

I've not decided this yet.We've got a lot of candidates for that and it is an important position becuae if Bobby is suspended or injured that person is very important,"he said.

"I will make that decision in the next few weeks,"added the Scotsman.

Kean hinted versatile player Azwan Alleh and Sairol Sahri as the strongest candidates to fill in case the absence of Rosmin from the side.

He described Azwan a 'very good talker' while Sairol, an experienced player 'a very good communicator'in the team. 

The title-chasing teams may have strengthened in the off-season with the dissolution of Lions XII from the Malaysian Super League giving clubs a glut of readily-available talents but there is no clear favourite of winning the 2016 title.

The arrival of many new players with the possibility of a newly assembled squad makes it a clean slate in the league and Kean added that it is not until the completion of the early rounds that couls serve any indication of the early pacesetters.

It is almost like new teams.Tampines have taken nine players from Lions XII and of course Jermaine Pennant.A lot of local players in Singapore have swapped clubs.Some of the import players have swapped clubs."

"A lof of the import players left.So at this stage it is really difficult to say who is going to be strong,"he said.

The Brunei-based outfit enters the final week of training ahead of their first competitive game of the season against Albirex Niigata (S) in the Community Shield on Saturday (Feb13) with the added incentive of three points in the S-League. 

Sunday, November 8
Kean happy pressure is off DPMM FC

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was pleased with his players' ability to put the pressure back on Tampines Rovers in the S-League title race.

The Brunei side are on the brink of capturing their maiden title after shrugging off defending champions Warriors FC 3-1 at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore on Friday night.

The victory knocked both Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata FC out of the title race while Tampines, who have two games in hand, will need three straight wins for a chance to lift the trophy.

DPMM are now on 49 points followed by Balestier with 44 points. Albirex, who have a game in hand,are third another two points back while the Stags are on 41 points.

Tampines will face off against Home Utd tonight before taking on the White Swans on Friday and completing their campaign on Nov 20 against Harimau Muda.

A single slip up in any of those fixtures will see the championship come to Brunei even before DPMM FC kick off their final match against Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium on Nov 21.

"We played really well especially in the first half. We did what we could do, and that is to put the pressure back on Tampines," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday when contacted.

"It is a big step for us to win the title as Tampines will have to take maximum points from their remaining matches, and having to play with onyl a couple of days rest is tough," added the Scotsman.

Just like the Brunei side, the Protectors and Albirex are also semi-finalists in the Singapore Cup which will resume on Nov 24.

Kean is gald that they are the sides standing in the way of the five-time league champions.

"I'm glad Home and Albirex are the team playing these two games. From y point of view, the coaches wouldn't want to rest their players for too long(before the S-Cup second leg)," said Kean.

"I don't see it happening since the 24th is still a long way and they would want the players to maintain the fitness," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will have a two-week break before their final league game, and Kean felt that it cam at the right time - especially since they have to play Home in the second leg of the Singapore Cup semi-finals three days later.

"We have played so many games and there are small injuries like Paulo with his hamstring, Sairol with a tight hamstring and Rosmin with a sore knee," said Kean.

"We need this time and make sure the players will be 100 per cent before the next game.

"Hopefully we won't need anything, and we hope the fans will come down for the big match," he added. 


Saturday, January 30
DPMM FC sponsors get on board for 2016.

DPMM FC held their annual sponsor signing ceremony for the upcoming League season yesterday.

The ceremony at the Red Jade Room of the Centrepoint Gadong was witnessed by DPMM FC vice-chairman PA Hj Abd Rahim PIM Pg Anak Kemaludin Al-Haj.

Representing DPMM were club manager Pg Hj Md Waslimin and marketing manager Hj Mumin Jaafarwhile representatives from Royal Brunei Airlines, Mitsubishi CorporationMaju Motors Sdn Bhd,Brunei Shell MArketing Co, Baiduri Bank, Hertz,Hua Huang Enterprise,Nazmi Textile Mall and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd signed on as sponsors.

DPMM also unveiled their new home jersey during the event.

However the squad for the season has not been finalised yet as the player signing ceremony was not conducted yesterday.

DPMM team manager Ali Momin revealed that they are retaining most of the players and yet to decide whether to go for a pre-season tour.

"The majority of the team are made up of the same imports and local imports with two or three new young players to fill in the rest of the slots," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times after tge signing ceremony yesterday.

"We are still selecting and will finalise the roster soon.

"We received invitations from neighbouring countries to play but we haven't decided where to go because of the limited time.

"There is only a short amount of time before the season starts so we can't go for long as well," continued Ali.

With the import quota reduced from five to three this season, the club have released Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic and Northern Ireland midfielder Joe Gamble.

The duo of Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergio are the only imports that are back in the Sultanate while Northern Ireland defender has yet to arrive in Brunei as he just became a father for the first time recently.

"I hope he can get fit as soon as possible.We know it is hard for him having his first baby and he is outside if the country," said Ali.

"Hopefully he will eb here in February before our first game," he added.

The DPMM manager went on express his appreciation and thanked the sponsors, the Department of Youth and Sports and NFABD for their continuous support.

DPMM kick-off this year's campaign on February 13 with a meeting against Singapore Cup holders Albirex Niigata (S) in the Community Shield at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which will eb also conted as their first league match of the season.

DPMM will also have their annaul Football Fanfare tomorrow at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

The event will begin at 8.45 am, and a total of 16 Under-11 teams will vie for top honours in the competition. 

Friday, January 22
Rafa, Paulo eager to reunite.

DPMM FC forwards Rafael ramazotti and Paulo Sergio are looking forward to joining forces once again for the upcoming Singapore League season.

The duo, who scored a totla of 34 goals between them last campaign, are the first two imports to arrive back at the sultanate for pre-season training with Northern Irish defender Brian McLean yet to arrive.

Ramazotti, who finished as the league's topscorer with 21 goals, is looking forward to another good season with the defending champions.

"I need to play with this guy (Sergio) in every club and country.We need to play together beccause we can help each other and it is good," said Ramazotti in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday after a training session at the Jerudong Mini stadium.

"It is good we finihsed last year with a good season. Now we will see what happens and we hope to get the same feeling again," he added.

"I don't have a target for goals but the first objective is to win the league again and support my club. Sure if I score, I can help, but most important is what we can achieve as a group," continued Ramazotti.

The 1.93m Brazilian striker also went on to thank everybody for supporting the club,especially in their final league game which saw them beat Balestier Khalsa 4-0 to lift the trophy for the first time at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 27.

Sergio praised Ramazotti for his qualities but also felt that it is a pity that the import qiota has been reduced from five to three this season.

"It is amazing to play with this guy. He has a lot of quality and I'm looking forward to have another good partnership with him this season," said Sergio, who produced 17 assists last season.

"He is tall, strong and is good with the ball. It is a pleasure for me to play with him again," he added.

The other import players Joe Gamble and Boris Raspudic helped a lot in getting the win.

"If they stayed with us, it would be a lot better - but we will keep working and condition ourselves entering the league," continued the Portuguese forward.

When asked on the target to defend the league title, Sergio replied: "This season, for sure it will be very hard for us to defend the title as other teams have made many transfers to stregthen their squad.

"This league is strong but we are here with this motivation in our mind that we want to be champions again," he concluded. 

DPMM will kick off their campaign against Singapore Cup winners Albirex Niigata (S) FC in the Community Shield on Feb 13 at the Jaaln Besar Stadium, which is also considered as their first league match.

They will then face Geylang International at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore six days later.

The Brunei side will play their first home game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium against Warriors on Feb 27. 

Saturday, January 16
DPMM and Albirex Niigata to kick-off the new S.League season.

The fixtures for what looms as an exciting 2016 S.League season have been released, with the Charity Shield match between league winners Brunei DPMM and Singapore Cup victors Albirex Niigata (S) set to kick-off the new campaign.

Scheduled for Saturday,February 13 at Jalan Besar Stadium,there will be much at stake for the two teams as the fixture will double as a league game and points will be counted.

This will be the first time the Charity Shield will be played between the two foreign sides. LAst year, Warriors FC ran out 1-0 winners against Balestier Khalsa, courtesy of Nicolas Velez's first-half goal/

Another three games will be played in the first round of fixtures.On Sunday, February 14, development side Young Lions will entertain Balestier Khalsa at Jalne Besar Stadium, while there will be an intriguing "Uniformed Derby" between Home United and Warrors FC over at Bishan Stadum.

Then On Monday, title favourites Tampines Rovers will host a revamped Geylang International side at the Jurong West Stadium in what could be the one of the most exciting 'Eastern Derbies' in years.

Due to the nine-team format,Hougang nited will sit out the first round of fixtures. Their first game of the 2016 season will be against Home United on Thursday,February 18 at Hougang Stadium.



Tuesday, December 1
Kean,Azwan win S-League accolades.

DPMM FC's Steve Kean and Azwan Ali Rahman were named Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year respectively during last night's 2015 Singapore League Awards last night.

Fpr Scottish coach Kean and midfielder Azwan, the awarsd were fitting reward for working hard all season - especially since they missed on both accolades last year after also being nominated.

And though Brazilian Rafael Ramazotti did not win any of the two awards he was nominated for -the Player of the Year and the Goal of the Year award -the DPMm striker did win the Golden Boot award after scoring 21 goals in DPMM's victorious S-League campaign.

Albirex Niigata (S) FC's Fumiya Kogure was named Player of the Year,beating competition Ramazotti,Singapore International Fazrul Nawaz (Warriors FC) and Danish footballer Ken Ilso(Home United).

Kean was up against 2014 winner Marko Kraljevic and V.Sundramoorthy of S-League's runners-up Tampines Rovers.

Besides Azwan, the other nominees in the Young Player of the Year category were Syazwan Bohari of the Young Lions,Nazirul Hashim of the Harimau Muda and Ignatius Ang (Balestier).

Eleven awards were handed out at the ceremony held at Marina Bay in Singapore. 

Sunday, November 29
'Having only three imports will dilute S-League'

Who will stay and who will go

DPMM FC may be coming off their best season to date after clinching their maiden S-League title last Saturday but the championship team may be not be able to stay together to defend their title.

It was previously reported on Channel NewsAsia that there will be a reduction in the qiota of the foreigners for S-League clubs from five to three next season.

The foreign players have played important roles throughout the season to ensure they finish at the top but the 3-1 won over the Philippines' Global FC in the Singapore Cup third-place playiff on Friday might just be the final game for some of them.Joe Gamble felt that the reduction will hurt the quality of the competition.

"I think it is ridiculous. Having only three imports in each team will dilute the league," said Gamble in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"That is a professional league and not an amateur league. Strong guys and weaker guys don't.That is a fact of life," he added.

"I would say the same if I was seeing things from the outside. If you are good enough,you play and if not, you don't," continued the Irishman.

Defender Brian McLean is disappointed should the quota be reduced and is hoping to be around.

"There are 6 foreigners now and that is a big concern when it is down to three. I would love to stay another year as the coach and lads havebeen great," said McLean.

"The talents is beginning to come through and it is great to pick up the trophy.I'm disappointed that it will be down to three,"he added.

"It will be frustrating and interesting to see what will happen in the upcoming months,"continued the Scotsman.

Paulo Sergio, who replaced Criag Fagan at the end of March,is not thinking about where he will end up now.

"I don't know about it yet, but it was fantastic season fir us," said the Portuguese forward.

"We deserved the league title and I thought we were good enough to win the Singapore Cup as well,"he added.

Fagan who has been handling the DPMM Under-19 side, felt that it will be unpredictable on what will happen just yet.

"It was a great experience and I'm disappointed to get injured.But it is still good to be involved and being part of it,"said the former Hull City striker.

"You never know what will happen in football.I don't know where I will be next season but I'm concentraing on what we have done so far and enjoy the moment.

"What will be, will be.I have enjoyed it and everone has been good to me.If I'm here next season,then excellent.If not,then I wish the club all the best," he added.

"I have learned so much from the coach I will be able to take it into a coaching role or back to playing again.Either way it is good with me," said Fagan.

Brazilain striker Rafael Ramazotti reflected on the season and was gald to be able to make such an impact. 

"It was a fantastic season and is the best of my careerin terms of numbers.I didn't miss a single game and the best thing is that we won the league. That is most important," said Ramazotti.

"It is fantastic that we get to write our name in Brunei and DPMM FC history.I'm also happy to win top-scorer award and get nominated for both Goal of the Year and Best Player categories." he added.

Last but not least, Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic is glad to be part of the team over the two years and hopes more success will follow.

"In the two years, we got one league cup,one league runner-up and one league title.I'm happy because I know we did better than last year," said Raspudic.

"Sometimes you need time and the coach cannot show you everything in a year. Normally it requires years to build a team but I just hope for more success the following year," he concluded. 


Saturday, November 28
Kean praises players.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean heaped praised on his players for a job well done after they finished off their best season to date.

The team defeated the Philippines' Global FC 3-1 in the Singapore Cup third-place play-off, yesterday after capturing their maiden S-League title last Saturday.

"I'm very pleased because it is always a long off season.It is always nice to finish on a high and fine energy from somewhere," said Kean in a post match interview.

"It has been a long season for us and the lads really need a good rest. I think emotionally as well from the last league game, where we had the biggest crowd in the club's history...It saps the energy," he added.

"But the players have been absolutely fantastic and gave every singel ounce if energy.They have improved and it has been a good season for us," continued the Scotsman.

The former Blackburn Rovers manager also felt that the bar has been set high for them and expects a tougher season ahead with new rules set to be implemented.

"Like I said to the boys, sometimes it is not about who you play against, it is about playing to your standards, and we have set them high," said the DPMM coach.

"We will continue to try and improve. It is going to be difficult as the league will be much more competitive  with more players available for the clubs in Singapore to snap up," added Kean in reference to the LionsXII out of the Malaysian Super League next season.

"The quota of the foreign players reducing will see everybody become more competitive, but I think in the long run it will be good for the league," he continued. 

Friday, November 27
DPMM FC,Global face off for third place.

Singapore League champions DPMM are looking to finish off  the year with another win when they face off against Global FC of the Philippines in the Singapore Cup third place play-off at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore today.

The Brunei side were denied a double losing 4-3 on agreegate to Home United in the semifinals.

DPMM FC coach steve Kean is disappointed not to be playing for the title but is looking to cap off the season with a win.

"We'd rather be playing in the final than - in the third/fourth placing match and we are disappointed about that because we had a good season," said Kean in the press conference yesterday.

"We are going to try to finish off as best as we can,but we know its going to be a tough game because Blobal are a very good side.

"We are disappointed with our performance against Home United the other night.We are disappointed with the result because I thought we played well enough to at least take it to extra time.

"We got a controversy goal disallowed in the last minute that would take it to extra time so we don't really to motivate the players because we have set very, very high standards.

"They know now that no matter what game it is and what time of the season it is, they have to try to perform to at least that standard, maybe even more.

"So the motivation for us is to finish strong and play the way we did most of the season,"continued the Scotsman.

DPMm skipper Rosmin Khamis said the team is upbeat but knows it will be a tough outing despite hammering Global 7-0 in their last meeting last year.

"The team is eager to win every match as usual.We are still motivated and we want to finish the season with a win tomorrow against Global," said Rosmin.

"I believe they arer a different team and it will eb a tough match since they are one of the top teams in the Philippines," he added.

Regardlessof the outcome Rosmin is still satisfied with the overall achievements by the club this year.

"It is still a brilliant season as everybody knows how difficult it is to win the league.It will remain as one of the best moments for us," said the 34-year old.

"I hope we can continue to be much better in every match,and competitions for next year," he added.

On the other hand, Global coach Leigh MAson is also looking to end a winning mote.

 "We are looking for a strong finish to the season and have the added incentive that Kean's side are top of the S-League, so its a good benchmark for us," said Manson in yesterday's press conference.

"We prefer to play in the final, but is good challnege for the players and its something that we always strive because we  always want to raise our levels. 

"We are excited to be playing the league's new champions tomorrow afternoon," he added.

The match will kick-off at 5pm and will be available through live streaming on VOXSPORTS. 

Wednesday, November 25
DPMM FC denied double.

SIngapore League champions DPMM FC were denied a double after losing 2-0 to Home United in the second leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal last night.

Goals from Azhar Sairudin and substitute Imran Sahib in either half gave the Protectors a 4-3 agreegate victory over the Brunei side at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore.

Home will face Albirex Niigata (S) FC, who beat Global United of the Philippines 2-1 at the Jurong East Stadium - and 3-1 on agreegate  in the final.

The third-place playoff will be contested earlier in the afternoon at 5pm.

DPMM FC  were given a let off in the second minute after Stanley Ng was brought down by Sairol Sahari inside the box, but no penalty was given.

However the DPMM FC left back injured himself from the challenge and had to make way for Azwan Salleh.

DPMM were on target on the 15th minute courtesy of a Paulo Sergio volleyfrom the dge of the box but he was denied by the Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan.

The hists grabbed the lead in the 22nd minute after DPMM failed to clear the ball, resulting in Ken Ilso getting his shot blocked by Boris Raspudic but it droped for Azhar to poke it gome from six yards out.

On the restart, Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir blasted one from the edge of the box but was deflected over.Joe Gamble sent in a good cross to the far post in the 32nd minute but Sergio couldn't get a good shot at it and went wide.

Home were on target again in the 42nd minute with Azhar firing from range but only straight to Wardun.

DPMM kept plenty of possession in the second half but were unable to muster up a clear-cut chance, and the Protectors grabbed the winner in the 80th minute after a good run  by Ng down the left into the box before cutting back to Imran to finish from close range.

DPMM poured forward amd found the back of the net after substitute Shahrazen Said headed home a set-piece but was flagged outside.

The Brunei side almost forced into extra time with substitute Najib Tarif rifling a low shot from inside the box but Shahril produced a spectacular save to send the six times champions into the final for the second straight year. 

Tuesday, November 24
DPMM want to keep momentum going.

Newly crowned Singapore League champions DPMM FC are looking to carry their title-winning momentum into their second leg semifinal against Home Utd in the Singapore Cup tonight.

The side are coming off their best performance of the season with a 4-0 beating of  Balestier Khalsa on Saturday night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium that they carry their good form into the encounter at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore despite only getting few days rest. 

"I thinknow we have got the momentum with a great title winning season.But it has been difficult because we've got only a couple of days," said Kean in an interview after a light training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"We didn't do much in training today and are just recovering.Hopefully from that good feeling and spirit, we will find energy from somewhere to get us into the final.

"We will try to do the diuble as the lads have got real determination and desire to do it," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have a 3-2 advantage from the first leg but Kean insists they are heading into the match only thunking about another victory."We are going in with a 0-0 mindset.I think every game is different so we cannot go into this game trying to be defensive,"said Kean.

 "That is not us anyway.We need to do what we did the other day against Balestier and try and go and win it," he added.

Home were the side that stopped DPMM from getting into the final of the competition last year after letting a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 in the second leg- 4-3 on agreegate.

Kean feels that patience will be the key factor against Home.

"We are a technical side who like to pass the balland they are the same. It will be a game with very few long balls," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It will be down to the team which is patient enough and circulates the ball.It is a different challenge as Balestier are very direct,big with set plays and very physical,"he added.

The other semifinal will see the Philippines' Global FC and Albirex Niigata(S) battle it out at the Jurong East Stadium.

The latter have a one-goal advantage after winning 1-0 in the first leg.Both games will kick off at 7.30pm. 

Sunday, November 22
DPMM FC triumph.

Third time's the charm for DPMm as they clinched their maiden S-League title with a 4-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa last night.

Having finished runners-up in 2012 and last year,DPMM only became the second foreign side with Etole FC of France being the other, to win the competition.

Pulo Sergio netted a hat-trick in the first half before Rafael Ramazotti netted one late on, to finish as the league's top-scorer with 21 goals to his name, in the victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that ot was one of the best performances from his charges all season and hailed Paulo Sergio for his showing.

"I do think that it is one of the best performances.It is always nice to leave that to the one that really matters,"said Kean after the triumph.

"Not only is he(Sergio) a difference maker,it is his work off the ball.He was absolutely outstanding.

"When you got a player in your team with that quality and got everything, I'm delighted he finished off the season like this," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

When asked on how we summed up the season, Kean replied: "I think we've matured a lot as a team. "We are the fittest team, showed tactically and technically we can keep the ball and cause teams problems no matter what they do whatever they are physical or they play on the counter attack," he added.

"We are beginning to understand all of that and we have improved as a club over the past couple of seasons," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM came out firing on all cylinders and grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with Sergio's shot from inside the box deflected off Emir Lotinac past Balestier goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.

The advantage was doubled five minutes later with Ramazotti sending Sergio through and the Portuguese forward cleverly chipped Zaiful.

Ramazotti was sent through on goal in first half injury time and the Brazilain rounded Zaiful but Sergio got the ball first to blast it home to complete his hat-trick.

Sergio had a chance to add to his tally two minutes after the interval but his shot from outside the box went straight to Zaiful.

Skipper Rosmin Khamis chipped the ball to Ramazotti through on goal in the 56th minutes but the ball was cleared away by a Balestier defender just before firing from close range.

The Tigers were completely taken out of the stride by the DPMm defence and were unable to play their usula long ball tactics.

The hosts held the ball well and completed the rout in the 86th minute with Sergio putting the ball in the middle to see Ramazotti slot home from inside the box.

On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic flet DPMM were simply the better team.

"Congratulations to DPMM for winning the championship.They deserved it and I think they were the best team in the league this year," said Kraljevic.

"They were hungrier and had more fighting spirit.

They worked really hard and we conceded one goal.We needed to win to finish top three and we opened the game a little which allowed them to get behind us," he added.

"We lost the ball in the danger area and they scored the second.The third goal in the last minute of the first half killed the game. "We tried passing the ball but it wasn't working.DPMM were faster and better than us.They were just the better team," concluded the Croatian.

DPMM will now shift their focus to their Singapore Cup semifinal second leg against Home Utd at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday. 


Saturday, November 21
DPMM eyeing first S-League title tonight.

DPMM FC are using last season's heartbreak as the extra push to win the Singapore League title for the first time when they host Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8.15pm in their season-ender tonight.

The side suffered the biggest slip up the league has ever seen last year after they were unable to take advantage of their eight-point lead at the top of the table going into the final round.

The finished runners-up after losing five of their last seven games - including a 2-0 loss to Tampines Rovers in a must-win match of the final day, allowing Warriors FC to claim the title.

Title contenders Tampines Rovers, who are only two points behind, will kick-off against Harimau Muda at the same time at the Jurong West Stadium, and only victory will suffice for the S-League championsif they are to make it title number six tonight.

Winning by a two goal margin will see them to lift the trophy should DPMM be held to a draw.

"When you have been so disappointed, you have to carry that the whole close season, it is a horrible feeling," said DPMM coach Steve Kean after a trainign session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"I hope that provides the extra little bit of motivation to make sure that this year we will finish and enjoy the close season.

"We are hungry and ready.There is a real appetite to win this game," continued Kean.

The 2012 title race went down the wire as well- and there was disappointment for DPMM who ended second to Tampines after dropping 2-0 to Balestier in a must-win game on home soil, with the Stags winning the trophy after Fahrudin Mustaficconverted a penalty to give them a 1-0 win against Harimau Muda.

DPMM are up for difficult task tonight as Balestier are the only side to have beaten DPMM both home and away thus far this season.The Tigers inflicted the first defeat on DPMM with a 2-1 victory on May 1 and won by the same scoreline on their second encounter on August 29.

Kean knows what to expect from Balestier and hopes his charges can deliver.

"It is not a case where Balestier will come here to play any different to what has been successful for them," said the Scotsman.

"We know they are going to be direct,aggressive and physical - but what we must focus on is to be patient with the ball.

"We want to dominate possession and make sure that for the majority for each half, we have more possession-which means we deal with fewer long balls and set plays," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"It is about us that we can play at our maximum...Pass the ball,keep the ball and create chances.

"When our front three of Ramazotti,Sergio and Azwan Ali, I don't think there is a more potent threat in the league.It is about getting the ball to them with quality, and not just smashing it so that they can finish,"continued the 48-year old.

On the other hand,Balestier Khalsa Marko Kraljevic is aiming for a top-three finish ahead of Albirex Niigata.

"Our main priority is a top-three finish.It is a good achievement if we can do it,"Kraljevic told the Times yesterday.

"If before the season started I knew if we would finish the top-three, I would be very happy.We're close to it.

"There is a big chance for us as the boys are in a good fighting spirit.Teamwork has also been a big part of our success and that ifs that has got us to where we are.

"We have to watch out for Azwan Ali,Paulo and Rafa...their key players in attacking.

"They are also dangerous in their set pieces with Raspudic and McLean coming forward.We will have to careful against them.

"We have beaten them two times this seasonand they are within their first title.There is a lot of pressure on them.

"But no team can come here being confident.DPMM are top of the table and they have got the advantage,"added the Croatian.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm and entrance is free of charge.Free t-shirts will also be handed out on a first come, first serve basis while stocks last. 



Friday, November 13
DPMM can claim title tonight.

DPMM can clinch their maiden Singapore League title if Tampines Rovers fail to beat Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium tonight.

The Stags, who are on 44 points- five behind leaders DPMM - and have a agame in hand, will require maximum points to bring the title race down the wire with a game remaining.

Albirex are a further two points back and looking for a top-three finish.

DPMM will host Balestier Khalsa in their final league game of the season next Saturday at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium.

Should Tampines beat both Albirex and Harimau Muda in their season-ender next Friday, they will end the season with 50 points.

DPMM are currently on 49 points and would need to beat Balestier Khalsa to secure the trophy without the title to be decided on goal difference.

The 2012 title race went down the wire and DPMM had to settle for second to Tampines after dropping to Balestier in a must-win game for them on home soil.

The Japanese outfit, who won the Singapoire League Cup in July, have proven to be tough opposition for Tampines.

The Stags have only got the better of the White Swans once in five matches over the past two seasons,while their other meetings have ended in draws.

The Stags will be dependent on their potent strike force of Mateo Roskam and Rodrigo Tosi to lead the way. Roskam has got 13 goals while former DPMM striker has 12.

However, it will be no easy task to break down the White Swans as they are the best defensive team in the competition - having only conceded 16 goals in 25 matches. 


Saturday, November 7
Win puts DPMM one game away from title.

Brunei DPMM have one hand on the Great Eastern-Yeo's league trophy after dispatching Warriors 3-1 at the Chao Chu Kang Stadium on Friday evening.

Their victory means that second and third-placed Balestier Khalsa and Albirex Niigata are out for the title, although fourt-placed Tampines Rovers still stand a mathematical chance of catching the Bruneians.

DPMM will need to win their final game of the season against the Tigers to wrap up the title, although they can do so earlier should Tampines fail to win any of their games remaining.

DPMM got off to the best possible start in the match, taking the lead just after eight minutes through Paulo Sergio.

Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong made a mess of his clearance and sent it straight to Sergio, who made no mistake by slotting it into the net.

The lead was doubled 13 minutes later,through another mistake from the hosts.

Emmeric Ong lost the ball to Azwan Ali deep inside Warriors half, and the latter got the ball to Sergio, who sent Rafael Ramazotti thriugh to fire home his 20th league goal of the season.

Warriors could have pulled one back in the 31st minute, but Miroslav Pejic's deflected effort landed inches wide of the goal instead.

It was almost 3-0 before half-time when Azwan's shot was palmed out by Daniel Ong towards the onrushing Maududi Hilmi, but the midfielder smashed it over instead.

DPMM then hit the post two minutes later after the restart through Azwan, after Warriors failed to clear a Sergio low cross.

Daniel Ong was called into action once more three minutes later, this time catching Joseph Gamble's shot from just outside the box, but there was nothing he could do to prevent a third goal in the 58th minute.

Surrounded by players inside the box, the goalkeeper was powerless against Raspudic's bullet header after ho got onto the end of Azwan's corner.

Both Maududi and Ramazotti wasted excellent chanxces midway through the second half, as DPMM continued to rip apart the Warriors' backline.

The hosts pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left on the clock when Brian McLean diverted Thomas Beattie's cross past the hapless Wardun Yussof.

But any hopes of a comeback proved a task too tough, as they struggled to break down the solid DPMM defence before referee Muhammad Taqi blew the full-time whistle. 

Friday, November 6
DPMM in driver's seat.

It is straightforward for DPMM now- win two games and the Singapore League title is theirs for the first time.

The Brunei side are back in the driver's seat after Balestier Khalsa edged Tampines 4-3 at the Toa Payoh Stadium last night.

The Tigers who are now second on 44 points, closed the gap on the league leaders to two points with only one game remaining- a second-ending meeting agaisnt DPMM at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 21.

Brunei's only professional team can knock Balestier and Albirex out the title race with a win over the defending champions Warriors FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium tonight.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that Balestier's win over Tampines was a plus for them and that victory against Warriors might be enough to lift the title.

"It was a good result,"said Kean in an interview last night.

"What we need to do know is play with a calm head and not get too excited.

"If we win tomorrow,it could be enough before we get to the last match as Tampines would have played their game in hand- so we know what to do," he added.

However, there has been a big change as Alex Weaver is no longer the head coach.

When asked on what to watch out for, Kean replied: "Warriors have got nothing to lose and the danger is that they got a new coach.

"They will have a different way of playing and can be unpredictable.

"It is all about us.We were excellent in the first half against Geylang and in the last 15 minutes.

"We will respect our opponents and we just have to play at our maximum," concluded the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Azwan Ali Rahman will return after serving a one game suspension for his fourth yellow card of the season. 



Thursday, November 5
Kean focused on future.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was disappointed with Tuesday night's league set-back against Geylang International and wants to put the loss behind him.

The visitors were made to rue a missed chance to extend the lead at the top of the table after losing 2-1 at the Bedok Stadium.

The defeat has put the league leaders' quest for their maoden S-League title in jeopardy with two games remaining as they acan notch a maximum of 52 points.

Title contenders Tampines Rovers meanwhile have four games remaining and winning all their remaining fixtures will give them 53 points.

DPMM FC will take on Warriors FC tomorrow before ending the season against Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Nov 21, and Kean insists the team has to focus on winning the remaining two matches.

"We have two games to play and we will set out to win them both - and I am in no doubt whatsoever that we are capable of doung precisely that,"said Kean in an email.

"I take the confidence from the effort and performance level of the players week in and week out throughout the season.

"That consistency has put us top of the league and even after a couple of unforeseen results, I would rather be in our position than anyone else's.

It would obviously have been more straightforward had we been able to take points from the last two games, but that is already history.

"We must focis onlt on the challenges ahead, strive for six points and see where that leaves us.

"I also believe that to have a big game next up is just what we need, and Warriors will prove a stern test.

"Our lads must go out there and show what they have shown for the vast majority of the campaign -skill, determination and a collective desire to success.

"I know what they are capable of. They too know what they are capable of,and now we want to see it twice more as we strive to clinch a historic title for DPMM," he concluded. 


Tuesday, November 3
DPMM FC looking to close in on S-League title.

DPMM FC are looking to make huge strides in their quest for a maiden Singapore League title by notching maximum points in their next two away fixtures.

They face bototm side Geylang International today at the Bedok Stadium before taking on defending champions Warriors FCat the Choa Chu Kang three days later.

Tampines played out a 0-0 stalemate against titleholders Warriors at the Jurong West Stadium last night but have a game in hand-with the resukt pushing them from third to second in ther 10-team table.

"It is a big, big week," said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean after Sunday's training session at the Jeruding Park Mini Stadium.

"If we can get the points that I think we can,it will be a historic week because we will be making strides to get the championship brought back to Brunei.

"We know anytime anybody plays against us, they are going to try and raise their game - but is about playing at our maximum.

"If we play at our maximum we know we can beat anybody.

"At this crucial time,we need to enjoy the pressure on usto go and win the game.These are the games we want to play and not the games that don't mean anything.

"We can go on to win a championship.I'm really confident that we can go on to get two positive results before we can come back to Brunei," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM fell 4-2 to Geylang in the group stage of the Singapore LEague Cup back in July.

However, DPMM then got one over Geylang beating them 3-1 in their last league meeting in the first week of August.

"We looked at that game(that we lost) and the way they attacked," said Kean.

They are very bright on the counter-attack as they attack from a real narrow position to get behind the main striker," said Kean.

"We have done a lot of work on that this week.

"We had a great week, as good as a week for a long, long time after coming from a disappointing result but a good performance," he added, referring to their 1-0 loss to Tampines Rovers last Wednesday.

DPMM received a big boost with Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio back in the lineup after recovering from his hamstring injury.

"The physio and the medical staff ave worked really hard to get him back.He is looking sharp and it is a big boost to get him back," said Kean.

"It is not only his goals but his set up play.He has provided a lot of assists to Rafa and he really can teorment the best of defenders," he added.

However,the Brunei side will be without Azwan Ali Rahman as he is serving a one-game suspension.

"We will bring Azam back into the side,I think he has trained really well and he will come back and play," said the 48-year old.

"He gives good quality in a game where we have to keep the ball and be patient.

"With his diagonal passes, we can get good service for Rafa,: he concluded.



Thursday, October 29
Title race blown open.

The Singapore League title race has been blown wide open after leaders DPMM slipped to their second home defeat of the season after losing 1-0 to Tampines Rovers last night.

Naeem Rahimi scored the solitary goal in the 75th minute to hand DPMM to their first goalessgame at the venue of the season.

Substitute Ridhuan Mohamad sent a cross from the right into the box but it wasn't dealt by Boris Raspudic and the ball landed for Naeem to blast past DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof.

"We are disappointed as it opens the title race again,but I still wouldn't swap the position we are in," said DPMM FC coach Steve Kean.

Tampines coach Sundrammorthy, meanwhile, insisted that DPMM are still favourites to win the title.

"DPMM are still in the driving seat and are six points ahead,but we see anything is possible," he said."We have some tough games ahead and will do our best.

"The boys fought very hard and the goalkeeper was outstanding.He is one of the reasons we won," said Sundram.

DPMM were given a chance to get back in the game after Naeem was sent off for his second yellow card seven minutes later and should have equalised in the 88th minute after Rafael Ramazotti headed down for Joe Gamble to volley home from inside the box but Tampines custodian Pacheco produced a fantastic save. 

The Brazilian shotstopper pulled off another save to keep out DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis freekick from the edge of the box into the bottom corner two minutes later.

There was drama towards the end with Noh Alam Shah at the centre of it once again.

The Tampines forward seemed to ahve thrown at elbow at Azwan Ali Rahman in stoppage time  -  resulting in both sides coming togetherm

Kan felt that Noh should have been sent off for his actions.

"The deliberate elbow on azwan Ali right at the end that caused all the problems," said Kean.

"I was shouting to the players that we need the minutes and didn't need to get involved in that.It was a blatant elbow and it should be punished by a red," he insisted.

DPMM got off to a quick start with a chance for Maududi Helmi in the second minute, but his freekick from just outside the box sailed wide,Gamble found space from 20 yards out in the eigth minutebut his effort went wide.

Maududi strick one from the same distance the next minute but Pacheco dived down for the save.

DPMM should have taken the lead in the 13th minute after a good run by Aminuddin Zakwan down the middle to set up Awan Ali, but latter narrowly missed the target,

The hosts went on target again three minutes later after Raspudic connected on Aminuddin's cross from the right but was saved by PAcheco.

Tampines had a chance in the 24th minute after Shaiful Esah struck his freekick from the edge of the box into the wall.Fahrudin Mustafic got on the rebound but couldn't place it on target.

The visitors settled down into the game and Ismadi Mukhtar attempted a wide from 25 yards five minutes later - but only straight at Wardun.

Shaiful tried another set-piece, this time from almost 40 yards out, but Wardun easily saved.

The Stags had a good chance in the 56th minute after a good diagonal ball but Fabian Kwok was met by Rodrigo Tosi, but was off the mark.

The second half was littered with fouls, with referee Muhd Taqi showing yellows for almost every offence.

DPMM next face basement dwellers Geylang International FC at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore on Tuesday. 

Wednesday, October 28
DPMM face Tampines in 'biggest game of season'.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean feels that tonight's match against Tampines Rovers will be his biggest game to date at the club since he joined in November 2013.

The S-League leaders wil have one hand on the trophy should they overcome the Stags in their fifth meeting of the season - they met twice in the quarterfinals of the S-Cup.

Balestier Khalsa, who dropped off the pace after falling to Home Utd on Monday night, are second with 40 points having played a game more. "This is the biggest game...not only for the season but for the club over the past two seasons,"Kean told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"If we win tomorrow, it is almost mathematically impossible for Balestier to catch us.

"Even though Tampines might have a game in hand, it will be hard to catch us if we play at our best.

"We are in a strong position and the fans have been brilliant.We will hope they will come out to cheer on and get the tempo going.

"The confidence of the team is high.We quickly got the setback against Home Utd out of our system and had good wins against Hougang and Harimau Muda for 6 points ," continued the Scotsman.

The Sultanate's only professional team will be without Paulo sergio as he is serving his one game suspension after picking up his seventh yellow card of the season against Harimau Muda last Friday.

Azwan Ali is set to play the forward position in his place while Helmi Zambin will be inserted in the right back moving Aminuddin Zakwan in midfield.

"Sergio is suspended but it may be a blessing in disguise as he reinjured his hamstring again," said Kean.

"It may not be as bad but the doctors have ruled him out for this game.Hlemi is quick and has got the pace while Amin is adaptable and is playing in his original position in midfield.

"Azwan has played in that position a couple of times in the season and he can use his pace there.It brings a good balance to the side," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Helmi will be given his seventh start of the season, including in the 2-0 win over the Stags on May 10, and is looking to put up a strong performance.

"There is some pressure but now I'm all ready to take this opportunity," said Helmi.

"Tampines are a strong team with very good players.We have to watch out for them as they are really good with their ball movement.

"This is the most importnat game of the season and it is a must win match for us," he added.

On the other hand, Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy felt that only victory will be enough for them to stay in the title race.

"It is the biggest game of the season and if we can beat DPMM then we can open up the league again," said Sundramoorthy.

"There are no two ways...we must go out there to win this game," he added.

Sundramoorthy is unfazed by the task at hand and the five-time S-League champions are hoping to come out on top with maximum points.

"Balestier have beaten them and we have beaten them last season.So I believe on the day performance is very important," said the former Singapore national player.

"We are confident and well-prepared,a nd the boys are looking forward to the game," he added.

When asked about how they managed to turn their season around, Sundramoorthy replied: "Any team needs time when there is change of some players.

"The team needed to gel and the boys believed in themselves.We were lucky in the early stages as we were making chances but not scoring,". Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

Friday, October 23
Rosmin: A win is a win.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Khamis yesterday urged his teammates to keep their winning momentum going into tonight's S-League match against Harimau Muda.

The club defeated Hougang Utd 2-1 on Tuesday following a disappointing 4-4 draw against Home Utd on Saturday, after tonight's tie, the league leaders will be looking for maximum points when they face against the Malaysian's Under-22 team at the Hang Jebat Stadium at 8pm.

"From now on we need all the three points from each of the remaining mathces,"said Rosmin in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

"That is our focus and I hope we can carry on our good form after the win against Hougang.

"We need three points. It doesn't matter how we do it and whether its a preety game or not...A win is a win," he insisted.

DPMM host Tampines next Wednesday, and Rosmin said it is important to keep the players fresh for every match.

"Our preparatu=ions have been good...We are focusing on light training and recovery and we are trying to keep everyone fresh and injury-free.

"So far there have been no injuries and all the players should be ready for tomorrow's game,"said Rosmin.

They beat Harimau Muda in their first match of the season at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 1 and they also beat them 2-0 when they hosted the Malaysians on Sept 12.

"It will be another tough gametomorrow," continued Rosmin.

"We need to fight until the end and we are not taking any chance.We need to step up our game mentally and physically," he stressed.



Tuesday, October 20
DPMM eager to avoid more slip-ups.

DPMM FC are looking to avoid more slip-ups in the league when they face-off Hougang Utd at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The league leaders are coming off a 4-4 draw against Home United on Saturday at home - amatch which the Brunei side should have won after taking a 3-1 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Instead now they are level on points with Balestier Khalsa after the Tigers beat the Young Lions 1-0 at the Toa Payoh Stadium last night.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said they have gone through the routine of fixing things and are ready to bounce back.

"Yesterday we were a bit dejected as we had three points and those two slipped through our fingers," said Kean in an interview after a training session at the Jerudong Park Mini Stadium.

"But overall the actual performance to the game, if you take out those crazy minutes, was good.

"We have analysed the game and the bit we examined the most was after we made ot 3-1 and there were absolutely no indication at all that Home United would get back in the game.

"They haven't had any waves of attack or any sustained pressure, but from nowhere, we had a crazy 10 minutes.

"We analysed that and we looked at all their goals. They were all preventable and there is no big debate.

"It was just pointing out the slight mistakes and making sure that we do all the good things that we have done in the second half," he added.

"The real pleasing thing is that when we went a goal behindnear the end, we showed determiantion to get back into the game.

"At the end it might be a very big point at this stage of the season and we are still in a strong position," continued the Scotsman.

The last meeting between the two sides at the end of July ended in a 1-1 draw, and before that,, the Cheetahs managed to stun the Brunei side 1-0 in the Singapore Cup.

"The remaining matches are all difficult at this stage because everybody raises their game as we are sitting at the top of the league," said Kean. "We just need to play at our maximum because if we don't, we won't get all the three points.

"It has been shown this year that teams, regardless of where they are in the table, can produce upsets.We need to make sure that doesn't happen," he added.

DPMM have five players one yellow card from suspension, and Kean emphasised the importance of avaoiding silly bookings.

"If you take a card for tackle which the referee deems a bad tackle for whatever reason,that is fine as this is a contact sport," said Kean."The ones we want to avoid are those for dissent, kicking the ball away or time wasting.

"Any of that we got to do without. The boys already know about that,"concluded the former Blackburn Rovers manager. 

Saturday, October 17
Sergio boost for DPMM

Paulo Sergio has been cleared to play when leaders DPMM FC face off against Home United in the S-League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15 tonight.

The Portuguese forward has been bogged down by a recurring hamstring injury which he suffered in August and had to be substituted at half time in the first leg of the Singapore Cup semifinal agianst Home on Oct 2.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to have Sergio, who found the back of the net four times in the past six games in all competitions,back to the lineup ahead of the match against the Protectors.

"All credit to him and especially the medical staff who have worked very hard over the past 10 days to get his hamstring recovered," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a trainign session yesterday.

"He is at 100 per cent but he might not be bale to play the whole game a s he will need to be careful near the end. He is looking sharp and its always good to have him back.

"What he brings is real energy in the front line and it is where we start to defend from. He always puts the defenderd under pressure and makes them rush the passes," he added.

"When we get the ball, he is so dynamic and explosive to cause problems in behind the defence.It is definitely nice to have him back on the pitch and he is the main provider for Rafael Ramazotti," continued the Scotsman.

It will not be an easy task against Home as the last two S-League encounters this season ended with both teams sharing the spoils - a 2-2 draw at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on March 21 followed by a 0-0 tsalemate at the Yishun on July 22.

DPMM did get the better of the Protectors with a 3-2 result at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, ending a 10-game unbeaten run for the Protectors in all competitions.

"We have to make sure we get more possession.In the previous game we surrendered possession quite easily," said Kean.

"We didn't hold on the ball like our normal quality. We were trying to force the game a litle bit we weretrying to get in win one pass.Against a team like Home, you need the secure the first few passes then push them back.

"Psychologically, playing at home we want to get the ball and get the crowd behind us,"Added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Home are a good side on the counter attack but our defending, as a team not just the defensive unit, has been good.

"It isn't something we focused too much on and we try to be us who will have the ball more.

'We will work really hard to get it back high up the pitch," continued Kean.

Home coach Philippe Aw is gald to be playing the Brunei side once again soon and is looking to prevent them from running away further at the top of the table.

"In a way,its good we are playing them again so fast," hetold DPMM Matchday Magazine."The team areall very disappointed as we knew that was a game we should not have lost because of our performance. The boys know it.

"So its good that we're playing DPMM again.

"They are trying to run away with the league but we're not giving up on it and we're going to Brunei to grab three points," he added

The Protectors will be without the suspended Sirina Camara for the encounter. 


Saturday, October 3
DPMM ends Home's four-month unbeaten run.

Brunei DPMM put a halt to Home United's unbeaten streak after a Singapore Cup semifinal first leg 3-2 win at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening.

The Protectors had not lost agame since 22 June, where they went down 2-0 to Albirex Niigata (S) in the Starhub League Cup.

Against DPMM, their unbeaten run record in all competitions looked intact with both sides tied at 2-2.

That was until Rafael Ramazotti popped up with a alte winner in the 86th minute, to give DPMM a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg.

However, Hoem will have every right to feel aggrieved about the result after dominating the game and creating a buckload of chances.

DPMM took an early lead when Paulo Sergio stole in to slot the ball past Home goalkeeper Shahril Jantan in the eigth minute.

But they were soon placed under immense pressure by the Protectorsm and credit had to go to goalkeeper Wardun Yussof for keeping DPMM in the lead.

Ambroise could have levelled matters in the 18th minute but he lashed wide in front of goal while Ken was denied by Wardun minutes later.

The goalkeeper continued his fine performance after the break by denying Azhar Sairudin and Ilso again.

Wardun's goal was finally breached in the 56th minute, as Azhar beat him with a low shot shot from the dge of the box into the bottom corner. 

Home then took the lead two minutes later, as Ambroise Begue connected with Ken Ilso's cutback to rifle the ball home.

The Protectors joy barely lasted five minutes though, with a blunder by Shahril giving DPMM their equaliser.

The goalkeeper appeared to have had Azwan Ali's freekick covered, but the ball somehow squirmedunder him.

Both sides apperared to be heading for a draw, until Ramazotti managed to head in Maududi Helmi's cross to break the Protectors' hearts. 

Tuesday, September 29
Rosmin: We don't think about 'bogey teams'.

Though the Pretectors are riding in a 10-game unbeaten streak in all competitions heading into the encounter, DPMM FCskipper Rosmin Khamis believes they can beat them if they stick to playing good football.

"We are focused on the semifinals. In game nowadays, we don't think about what people call a 'bogey team'," said Rosmin in an interview with the Times yesterday.

"We of course know Home are a decent team,but if we keep doing what we have been doing the last few games and play at our best, we can achieve what we want.

"If we can perform wellI'm sure we can beat anybody," continued the DPMM skipper.

"The side has been creating plenty of chances but have been unable to find their scoring boots.

It maybe be cause of concern, but Rosmin believes that they are ready this time around.

"Training has been the same but we haver been working more on our finishing to improve our sharpness in front of goal," said the captain. 

Monday, September 28
Protectors in good shape ahead of Sg Cup blockbuster against DPMM.

Home United are in good form as they look to move one step closer to winning the RHB Singapore Cup by seeing off Brunei DPMM in this week's semifinals.

On the back of a ten-game undefeated run in all competitions, the Protectors face off against DPMM at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday, with the return encounter scheduled three days later at the Yishun.

Despite their recent form, their progress has been hampered in recent weeks by the haze currently engulfing Singapore and the region.

First, their Great Eastern Yeo's S.League meeting with Geylang International was postponed due to unplayable conditions two weeks ago, before last Wednesday's game against Tampines Rovers was called off as the Protectors were in possession of a 2-1 lead at the break.

 Still, Home coach Philippe Aw believes there were many positives from that display which will bodes well for them as they look to see off DPMM in the coming weeks.

We have these two huge matches coming up and if had beaten Tampines, of course it would have been a big boost for us," he said.

"But we can still take heart from the way we had played and were on course for victory.

"Now, we'll go into the Singapore Cup semifinals looking to give DPMM two very tough games and hopefully it'll be us that progress." 

Should Home reach the final,it is shaping up to be an extremely hectic period for them as the 2015 season reaches its climax, especially given that they will have to replay their two matches against Geylang and Tampines.

Nonetheless, Aw believes the Protectors will be well equipped to handle the challenge, having dealt with a fixture pileup for much of the season. He added: "This season, our fixtures have been this way. On several occasions, we've had to play two games in four daysso the players are all used to it .We'll be ready for it when it comes."

Both sides have met twice already in the league this season and have canceled each other out on both occasions.

Hoem grabbed a late equaliser to force a 2-2 draw at the Sulatan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium back in March, before the two teams played out a 0-0 draw at the Yishun Stadium in July. 

Wednesday, September 23
Rosmin settles it right at the death.

Brunei DPMM captain Rosmin Khamis struck a last-minute winner to help his side see off Court Young Lions on Tuesday evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Boris Raspudic gave DPMM the lead initially with a 40th minute opener until Shameer Aziq cancelled it out with a beautiful striker Midway through the second half.

That set the stage up for Rosmin to settle the contest deep into injury-time.

Steve Kean's men had started the game brightly and could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute but Paulo Sergio struck the post after getting behind the static Young Lions backline.

Azwan Ali forced Syazwan Buhari into a save four minutes later, while Sergio missed the target once more with an attempted lob over the Young Lions goalkeeper. 

The hosts were struggling to get out of their half as DPMM pegged them back, and had to defend in numbers.

Both Maududi Hilmi and Fafael Rammazotti missed the targets as well, before Ammirul Emmran produced a good block to prevent Ramazottifrom turning a header goalwards.

But the Young Lions' resistance were finally broken five minutes before the break, when Ramazotti drew away Syazwan's attention before squaring for the unmarked Boris Raspudic to tap into the empty net.

Ramazotti could have doubled the lead right before the halftime whistle, but fired narrowly wide instead when it was easier to score.

The Yoing Lions came out of the break determined to get back into the game, and it showed as they immediately went on the attack.

However, their final pass was lacking and it often meant they were unable to create clear-cut chances.

It was always going to take something special for the Young Lions to breach the DPMM defence and right winger Shameer provided that moment of magic in the 74th minute.

Latching onto a brilliant passfrom Afiq Noor, the 20-year old took a touch before sending the ball into the top corner with Wardun Yussof left grasping at thin air as he made a futile attempt to make a save.

Two minutes later, Afiq had a decent chance himself bit could not keep his shot down.

The visitors went all out in search at the winner, but were failed by four excellent stops from Syazwan.

First , he denied Ramazotti with his legs before tipping Raspudic's header from a corner.

Two minutes later, he come our quickly off his line to prevent Sergio from scoring as he broke into the box, before stopping Shahrazen Said's fierce shot.

But there was nothing Syazwan could have done to prevent the goal as full-time loomed.

As Shahrazen broke down the left past Fadli Kamis, Syazwan come off his line to narrow down the angle only for the DPMM substitute to square it to the unmarked Rosmin, who blasted the ball into the roof of the net for the winner.



Tuesday, September 22
DPMM,Young Lions clash.

S-League leaders DPMM FC are looking to continue their good form when they take on the Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore tonight.

DPMM FCcoach Steve Kean is not looking at past results and is confident his players can find the back of the net after coming off a 0-0 draw against Albirex Niigata(S) on Wednesday.

"We never take young teams lightly," insisted Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"It doesn't matter where they are in the table or what the score was the last game.

"They play with enthusiasm and freshness, and if you are not on it then they can coem on and they can embarrass you as we know they've got a lot of good individuals.

"We are confident as we are a good unit at the moment and confident we can put in a good performance like the last game against Albirex with the same amount of chances.

"We have been practising our finishing and I'm confident we can get some goals this week," continued the Scotsman.

It will be no easy task as the Young Lions are coming off a surprise 1-0 win over Tampines Rovers FC on Saturday.

It was the Young Lions fifth win in 17 games, and the result prompted Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy to say that the Stags no longer have a say in the title race.

DPMM FC, meanwhile have picked up four clean sheets in their last five matches - with Kean attributing the statistic to their aggressive pressing.

"The thing is when you are aggressive in front,the actual defending unit does less.They only need to defend three or four waves of attack the whole game," said Kean.

"Defence starts from the front and thaat is a big factor as to why we got more clean sheets.

"I think the opposition find it very hard to penetrate and get into the final third."We are focused on our pressing and making sure we are aggressive when the opposition got the ball.We don't let the opposition team get any type of rhythm.

"I thought we did that well the last game, and that has been the secret for us.

Winning the ball high up the pitch shows how aggressive we have been.

"We touched on that again this week and maintain our patterns to get in front of goal.

That has the thing that stood out the most and that we have to work on.

"We are creating the chances, but we need to be more ruthless in front of goal," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Rafael Ramazotti has been stuck with 14 goals to his name in the league and Fazrul Nazwaz now joins him at the top of the goal scoring charts on the same number.

The Brazilian striker hasn't found the back of the net the past four matches is hoping to get back on track.

"I need to keep working and be better. It is good when we have chances and bad if we don't have it,"said Ramazotti.

"I have scored many times this season...But the most important thing is that we win together.

"It is not about myself.If I score then good, but if I can't then I will run and fight for the team,"he added.

"I will help in any form possible for the team.

"Sure, I want to score every game, but most importantly I want to win the league and hopefully be the top scorer as well,"concluded the Brazilian.

Joe Gamble will return in the line-up after serving a two-game suspension but the duo of Md Hendra Azam and Reduan Petara is out with injury.

Meanwhile, the Young Lions will eb without Jordan Webb after picking up a red card late against Tampines.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm and the full match will be telecasted live on RTB2. 

Thursday, September 17
White Swans fail to close gap on DPMM

Second-placed Albirex Niigata failed to reduce league leaders Brunei DPMM's lead at the top after both sides played out a scoreless draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The draw allowed DPMM to maintain their four-point lead over Albirex and Warriors FC at the top of the Great Eastern YEO's League table, with eight games remaining.

It could have been a different outcome had DPMM converted one of the numerous chances they had in the game, but instead their pfoligacy saw them failing to score for the first time in nine matches.

DPMM could have gone ahead as early as the third minute, but topscorer Rafael Ramazotti failed to find the target after getting behind the defence.

Eight minutes later, Yasuke Mazawa was forced into a big save after centre-back Brian McLean connected superbly with Azwan Ali's corner.

Ramazotti missed another decent opportunity in the 17th minute, before Maududi Hilmi volleyed narrowly wide after the Brazilian striker had set him up.

A brilliant one-twobetween Azwan and Sergio then saw the latter with a great opportunity, but he struck straight at Nazawa instead.

Sergio then turned creator just before halftime when he sent Ramazotti racing through, only for the striker to fire a tame shot at the Albirex custodian.

DPMM's profligacy carried on in the second half, and Sergio headed narrowly wide from close range after Azwan Salleh found him lurking inside the box with a fantastic cross.

A rare chance for Albirex came in the 64th minute, but Atsushi Kawata screwed his shot wide from a promising position.

Nazawa was called into action once more, this time to keep out a curling effort by Sergio from the edge of the area.

DPMM could have been punished for their wastefulness right at the death after McLean advertently headed the ball to Shun Anaba inside the DPMM's penalty box.

However, the Japanese midfielder sliced his volley agonisingly wide to the relief of the DPMM bench, as the game ended in a stalemate. 

Sunday, September 13
DPMM go 4 points clear at the top of S-League.

DPMM moved four points clear at the top of the S-League after a 2-0 victory over Harimau Muda last night.

The duo of Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Paulo Sergio found the back of the net in either half to seal all three poi ts at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Brunei side are now at 35 points from 18 games followed by Albirex Niigata in second placed heading into the final third of the season.

DPMM almost opened the scoring in the fourth minute with Rosmin Khamis getting at the end of a PAulo Sergio freekick from the left but the ball went over.

They got another chance from a set piece five minutes later with Sergio delivering for Boris Raspudic at the far post but the Bosnian couldn't get a touch to it.

Harimau Muda skipper Nazirul Hashim attempted a 30-yard freekick at goal in the 16th minute but his attempt floated over.

The visotors were on target in the 28th minute but the header off a corner went straight to Wardun Yusof.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the 31st minute after Azwan Salleh delivered the ball into the box for Sergio, who took a quick one touch pass to send Maududi through on goal to slot it home.

The hosts got similar attempt four minutes kater but Azwan couldn't get right touch at the far post.

Harimau Muda were on target again in the 39th minute with Ashmawi Yakin driving a low shiot from ust inside the box but was saved by Wardun.

At the other end, Sergio fired a goal from inside the box was denied by custodain Ramadan Hamid.

DPMM had back-to-back chances to add to the tally in the first half stoppage time.

Ramadhan fumbled an Azwan free-kick but none of the players reacted quickly enough to pounce on the rebound and Rafael Ramazotti just missed of the bottom of far post just with a shot on his right foot to sum up the opening half.

DPMM had a chance to double the lead just three minutes after the interval but Ramdhan kept out Sergio's attempt from the edge of the box.

Harimau Muda picked up their game and pressed their opponents to gain more ball possession.

They should have equalised in the 59th minute after Ridzuan Abdunloh Pula broke through on the left and Wardun came off his line to close down the shot.

The ball went across the goal but Akhir Bakari only manged to find the side netting at the far post.

Another opportunity came bagging for Harimau Muda in the 67th minute with Ridzuan putitng a cross into the box but Akhir couln't keep his header on target.

DPMM doubled their lead in the 73rd minute with Sergio whipping a freekick from 25 yards out that beat everyone.

The Portuguese forward delivered another dangerous deadball from the left 6 minutes later and was chested down by Ramazotti but blasted over.

Tp of the table clash is next for the Brunei side as they face off against Albirex at the Jalan besar Stadium on Wednesday. 




Saturday, September 12
DPMM looking to extend league.

DPMM FC are looking to extend their lead at the top of the S-League when they host Harimau Muda tonight.

The Brunei side, who are on 32 points from 17 matches, will finally play their game in hand from second placed Albirex Niigata, who are just a point back.

Albirex were scheduled to centest Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar in Singapore on Thursday but the match was postponed due to hazy conditions.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to finally play their game in hand and feels that his side is recharged after their last match two weeks ago.

"I think it is good that was game was postponed last night.It is beneficial to us provided we win," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"The break was good as it came at the right time.It is never nice to lose a game before you go into a break,but it gives you  chance to replenish your energy.

We have been training nearly everyday for seven weeks and I gave the boys a five-day break even though it was not on soncecutive days,"he added.

"We did quite a lot of fitness work and I never really gave them a lot of the ball. I starved them with the ball to work on both the technical and tactical sides,and they now look really fresh and hungry," continued the Scotsman.

DPMM have a favourable record against over Harimau Muda and have won the last three meetings - the last game win courtesy of a Ramazotti hat-trick in the season opener on March 1.

Regardless,Kean expects strong opposition from the Malaysians- especially since they have beaten Warriors and Albirex away from home.

"This game is very much like the Young Lions game. Like any young team, they don't get disheartened," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"They will keep coming at you and play with no fear. They are energetic,pass the ball, and run off the ball very well.We will need to play at our best again,"he stressed.

The hosts will be without the duo of Azwan Ali and Joe Gamble through suspension, with Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Azwan Saaleh set to play at their place.

"They both have trained well,Maududi has been fantastic in games when he has come on as a substitute and had an impact," said Kean.

"It is unfortunate for Azwan especially after scoring a wonderful goal in the last home game start.He took that well and trained really well," added the 47-year old.

On the other hand,Harimau Muda coach Razip Ismail expects a difficult task to upend their opponents but feels positive.

"DPMM are a tough opponent, and during my time we have never beaten them," said Razip.

"We know how difficult it is to play themon their home ground but anything can happen in footballIt is not impossible.

"We have picked up most of our points away from home and we will need to be at our best.We will try to get at least a point from the game," concluded the Malaysian.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

Sunday, August 30
Tigers assert title credentials after beating DPMM

Balestier Khalsa underlined their status as genuine title challengers for the S-League following a 2-1 win over league leaders DPMM.

The win reduced the gap between Balestier and DPMM to 3 points, as the Tigers climbed to third spot, level with Warriors on 209 points but ahead on superior goal difference.

Balestier could have easily enjoyed a comfortable lead by the end of the first half, but they failed to put away the chances that came their way.

Zulkiffli Hassim blasted over from close range in the first minute, while Miroslav Kristic screwed his shot wide from six yards out after breaking free of the backline in the seventh minute.

The hosts did open the scoring in the 13th minute, with Robert Pericic on hand to tuck away a rebound after Wardun Yussof had parried Yusiskandar Yusop's shot.

However, they continued to be wasteful in front of goal, with Ignatius Ang balzing over from just inside the box in the 18th minute.

Kristic was also guilty of missing a gilt-edged opportunity as he hit the woodwork after Ang had found him with a sweet cut-back just before halftime.

On the other hand,DPMM were struggling to test Zaiful Nizam apart from a Rafael ramazotti effort in the 28th minute which the custodian did well to push it away.

Shahrazen Said had a glorious opportunity to level matters in the 57th minute, but he sent his effort wide after having only Zaiful to beat.

This allowed Balestier to double their advantage in the 59th minute, with Kristic beating three defenders to get away a shot which went via the spot.

DPMM's misery were then further compounded in the 79th minute, with Joe Gamble receiving his marching orders following an illegal tackle.

Enjoying the numerical superiority, Balestier were able to pur forward in numbers but Krisric and And spurned the chances that cam their way during the final moments of the game.

Their miises proved inconsequential even though Paulo Sergio scored right at the death, as the referee soon blew for the final whistle. 

Saturday, August 29
DPMM face Tigers test.

DPMM will be looking to extend their winning streak to four games in the S-League when they face-off against Balestier Khalsa at the Toa Payoh Stadium in Singapore today.

The Tigers are one of only two sides - with Albirex Niigata (S) being the other - to inflict defeat on DPMM in the league this season after coming away with a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The last three wins for DPMM have come on home ground but coach Steve Kean is unfazed by playing the away fixture and is in confident mood.

"No matter whether we are playing home or away, we got to make sure we do all the basic things. At the moment we are passing the ball well and pressing really well," said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Thursday. 

"We are looking solid behind the ball and we actually picked up more points away than home last season.

"We just got to make sure we don't get sloppy and complacent.Every game is a new one and it doesn't mean that when we play well,we automatically think that we turn up and things are going to happen," he added.

"Everybody got to have an impact and have a fresh mind going into each game.This will be a really tough match but we are confident to keep the momentum going.

"We need to eb like where we were in first half against the Young Lions.We need to be at our best to get all three points," continued the Scotsman.

Kean also knows the threat the Tigers pose but assured that they are ready for the challenge.

"We always know what to expect with Balestier. I think from the physical aspect they are a big and powerful side," said Kean.

"They play the ball forward very early.They try to get the ball into the box as early as possible.They are dangerous on setplaysand that is an aspect of the game we have to be careful with by not giving cheap freekicks away.Competing for the first and second balls is key in this match," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM will be missing the services of Azwan Ali Rahman, who will eb serving a two-game suspension, after a straight red against the Young Lions.

Shahrazen Said will be re-inserted back into the starting line-upafter putting up commendable performances playing in place of an injured Paulo Sergio in recent weeks.

Kickoff is at 7.30pm and is available for live streaming on 

Monday, August 24
DPMM return to summit with comfortable win.

Ten-man DPMM clinched all three points to go back top at the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League after beating Courts Young Lions 2-0 last night.

Paulo Sergio found the back of the net just seven minutes in on his return to the starting lineup after recovering from a hamstring injury, before Joe Gamble added another top separate the two sides at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

DPMM produded a dominant showing right from kick-off and took the lead after Sergio won a free lock-off 25 yards out from goal.

The Portuguese struck it into the top corner leaving Courts Young Lions custodian Syazwan Buhari with nio chance despite getting a slight touch to it.

The Brunei side should have doubled their lead in the 18th minute after good pressure by Azwan Ali Rahman to win the ball from Sheikh Abdul Hadi. However, the former decided not to go it all alone and put the ball to his left for Rafael Ramazotti, who never got a shot off.

Azwan Ali produced a nutmeg on Amirul Adi two minutes later before firing at goal, byt Syazwan produced a good stop.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 26th minute after Syazwan denied Sergio and the rebound dropped for Joe Gamble. His initial attempt bounced off the upright but the Irishman made no mistake at the second time of asking.

S-League top-scorer Rafael ramazotti could have extended the lead further, but somehow missed the target from 15 yards in the 32nd minute after Sergio had set him up.

The visitors were let off the hook two minutes later when Azwan Ali , who presented with a one-on-one situation, but failed to beat Syazwan , who produced a good save.

DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Tussof was called into action in the 37th minute, with Adam Swandi putting one on target inside the box. The rebound fell kindly for Sherif El-Masri, the Canadian put it wide.

At the other end, Ramazotti had another opportunity to get on the soresheet, but was denied by Syazwan once more.

Things took a bad turn for DPMM on the stroke of halftime after Azwan Ali received his marching orders.The winger get tangled up with M.Anumathan while chasing the ball and lashed out with an elbow, leaving referee Md Syahir with no other choice but to send him off.

It took the wind out of the sials for DPMM, and they were forced to play much more defensive game.Steve Kean's charges spent plenty of time in their own halfafter the restart as a result, although they were never really troubled in front of goal by their opponents.

Jordan Webb should have done better in the 63rd minute after making a run into the box, but could not keep his shot on target.

Sergio had a good chanceto add to the scoresheet after picking up a poor back pass by Anumathan to go one-on-one with Syazwan in the 74th minute.The DPMM forward was dragged down inside the penalty box by the Young Lions defender and thought he earned the penalty, but was not given.

DPMM were on the attack again 4 minutes later with Sergio sending cross for Gamble insode the box, but the Irishman fired wide.

Sherif attempted a 35-yard freekick at goal in the 81st minute in an ambitious effort, and it flew straight at Wardun's arms.

The former tried to get to his anme on the scoresheet again in stoppage time with a desperate bicycle kick, but it went wide instead.

With the victory, DPMM are now firmly on top of the league standings with 32 points, and opened up a two-point lead over Albirex, who have already played a game more. 

Sunday, August 23
DPMM FC welcome back Sergio

DPMm FC will welcome back Paulo Sergio to the starting line-up for their S-League match against the Young Lions at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The Portuguese forward has beem ou of action since picking up a hamstring injury againat Tampines Rovers on Aug 1 and is eager to get back on the pitch.

"I'm prepared and ready. The team have done a fantastic job in preparing for this match," said Sergio in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session at the Jeruding Mini Stadium.

"This is an important game for us as we have two games in hand , who are on 29 points while DPMM are a point behind and a win will send us to the top of the table,"he added.

"But we know the Young Lions are a good team with quality players. We respect them but we want to get this win,"continued Sergio.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to have his import player back in action and also paid tribute to Shahrazen Said for filling in during the Portuguese's absence.

"When you got a player (Sergio) with this quality and pace, he can cuase havoc. It is good to have him back,"said Kean.

"Shahrazen deputised for Paulo when he was out injured and has done very well. It is unfortunate for him not to start this game but I believed he will be involved in some stage,"added the Scot.

The Young Lions are coming off a 3-1 win over Geylang International on Thursday which sent them off the foot of the table.

Kean is wary of the type of challenge posed by the Under-3 side after drawing 1-1 in their first meeting of the season on July 26, where DPMM were made to play a amn down for over an hour.

"They got even better as they played with no fear like any young enthusiastic team. They always want the ball and play good football," said Kean.

"No matter if they are behind, they don't get down and beat themselves up.Thry will just keep coming.

"It will be a dangerous game for us and we need to be as good or better than against the Warriors  to ensure we get the three points," he added.

It is the first time in Brunei for Young Lions coach Juergen Raab and he expects a tough outing - though the German to get at least a point of out of the match.

"After you win a match,it is always a good thing for the team as the confidence level is good,"said Raab.

"But what we know is that tomorrow will be hard match for us. Getting a draw here will be a big success for us," he added.

When asked on what to watch for against the hosts, Raab pointed out the height advantage that DPMM possess.

"They have a really good striker in Ramazotti, who is a tall player with a good header. That will be a problem for us," said Raab, who took over as the head coach after the SEA Games in June.

"They also have a good midfield in Joe Gamble as well as experienced playes in defence. It will be important task for us to try and prevent them from delivering too many crosses to Ramazotti,"he added.

"It will be dangerous to give away set pieces around the corners but we will try and play the style of football like we did in the second half of our last game where we did very well," concluded the German.




Thursday, August 20
DPMM beat title rivals.

DPMM FC stamped their authority over S-League defending champions Warriors FC by beating them 2-0 to move to the top of the table last night.

S-League top-scorer Rafael Ramazotti opened the scoring in the 21st minute after rifling in a shot from inside the box for his 14th goal of the season, and second half substitute Adi Said scored in the dying seconds to secure the three points a t the Hasaanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The hosts dominated proceedings from the first whistle and had good chance to break the deadlock in the 13th minute.

A good ball by Md Hendra Azam found Shahrazen Said down the right, and the forward dribbled the ball into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.

DPMM grabbed the lead in the 21st minute after Md Hendra Azam intercepted a ball in midfield before launching it cross-field to the left for Azwan Ali.

The latter dribbled in before cutting it back for Ramazotti to balst home from 12 yards.

Shahrazen fired on the turn from just inside the box in the 38th minute but it went straight it Warriors goalkeeper Daniel Ong.

Md Hendra Azam tried his luck from just over 20 yards out the next minute but the ball floated just over the bar.

At the other end, the Warriors got a good opportunity after Syaqir Sulaiman was given a free header but couldn't get it on target.

Ramazotti could have added to his tally in the 45th minute with an overhead kick at the end of Azwan Ali's cross from the right, but Ong was able to deal with it.

The Warriors appealed for a penalty before the half time break after judging a DPMM player to haev handled the ball in the box, but the pleas to referee Farhad Mohd were to no avail.

DPMM should have been doubled their lead in the 57th minute after Sairol Sahari sent a ball from the left for an unmarked Shahrazen into the box, but the forward headed his attempt over.

Nicolas Velez, who was playing his last game for the Warriors got the better of Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir before firing at goal two minutes later-but DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussofwas his equal for a good save.

The Warriors almost levelled in the 76th minute after Brian McLean slipped on a clearance, allowing Fazrul Nawaz to pull the ball back for Velez.The Argentinian fired a low shot to the bottom corner but Wardun down to his left to keep the ball out.

DPMM had a good chance to kill off the game from a counter attack in the 86th minute with Rosmin Khamis sending Adi on his way.

The forward got past two markers before chipping the ball for Ramazotti to volley home  but Shahul Rayyan, who came on in place of an injured Ong at ahlftime went full stretch to top it over.

The hosts did get their second goal just before the final whistle which started with Ramazotti holding the ball wide before playing playing it wide to Azwan Ali.

The latter wasn't closed down and dribbled into the box on  the left to lure Shahul out before placing it to the middle for Adi to slot the ball into the empty net.

DPMM will next host the Young Lions on Sunday. 



Wednesday, August 19
DPMM, Warriors set for crucial clash.

Both DPMM coach Steve Kean and his Warriors FC counterpart, Alex Weaver see the importance of getting a positive result when the two teams clash at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium at 8.15 tonight.

The defending S-League champions Warriors are currently second in the 10-team table with 28 points while the Brunei side are 2 points behind with a game in hand.

With Albirex leading the pack with 29 points, Kean belives that tonight's match against one of their title rivals will be important in deciding who will win the S-League.

"This is a good opportunity to get one up against one of the top teams which I'm convinced will br up near at the top until the end of the season," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

"Even though there is still a long way to go in the season, it is very important to pick up the three points.

"We've got the home advantage and are playing well."

"Overall, we drew a lot of games but have since picked up victories and are in the semifinals  of the Singapore Cup," added the Scot.

Weaver felt that the season might just go down the wire.

"It is not going to decide anything at this stage, but it is important because every win is important," said Weaver.

"We all know how close it is going to be at the end of the season and I think everyone ealises that it will go down the wire again like last year.

"The points you pick up now against teams at the top are crucial and we are coming here for a positive result," continued Weaver.

Kean has helped his side regroup to ensure that they are fully focused for the match.

"I really just reminded them how well we did in the first leg.I thought we did really well and controlled the game," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"When we played the way we did in the first game, the players are confidence to each other and trusted each other with the ball," he added.

The matchup will also be the last for the reigning Young Player of the Year Nicolas Vele before the striker joins Indian Super League side North East Utd and Kean is wary of the threat the Argentinian can pose.

"He is an excellent player who will be sadly missed,and from our point of view, we want to be careful and won't want him injured," said Kean.

"We're not sure if he will start or come on as a substitute but he is a a quality player and we will need to mark him tightly.

"He is always aware of his strengths, is technically excellent and has great pace,"continued the Scotsman. 



Friday, August 14
DPMM advance into semis despite narrow defeat.

Brunei DPMM became the first team to make it into the semfinals of the RHB Singapore Cup after dispatching Tampines Rovers 3-2 on agreegate.

Agoal in injury time from Ismadi Mukhtar helped the Stags to emerge 1-0 victors from the second leg on Thursday evening, but the hosts could not overturn a two-goal deficit from the 3-1 deficit in the first leg.

It could all have been over for Tampines in the tie with barely five minutes played after Rafael ramazotti nod a long punt from Wardun Yussof to send Shahrazen Said through.

The striker's shot was pushed away by Tampines Goalkeeper Rodrigo Pacheco with his fingertips.

However, trailing 3-1 from the first leg, the onus was on Tampines to attack instead, and it showed with DPMM pegged in their own half.

But the Stags struggled to create clear chances, with most of their opportunities coming from outside the box instead.

A Shaiful eash cross in the 28th minute allowed MAteo Roskam a rare sniff at DPMM's goal, but the towering striker headed over poorly.

Chances continued to be at a premium for both sides going into the second half, with DPMM seemingly content to defend their two-goal cushion in numbers.

Rodrigo Tosi did get onto the end of a Shaiful Esah corner in the 51st minute, and another incisive run into the box from the left saw him fired the ball across the face of the goal wih Wardun rooted to his spot.

PAcheco then made a mess out of what seemed like a routine save from Ramazotti's header by pushing it onto the unaware Mustafic Fahrudin, before the ball rolled by inches wide of the post.

Substitute Noh Alam Shah almost scored in the 73rd minute when he fired the ball towards the bottom corner after Raskam found him with a cutback, but Wardun got his fingertips to it to deny the striker.

Three minutes into injury time, Tampines were awarded a penalty after Tosi was brought down by Josepg Gamble inside the box.Captain Mustafic fired the spotkick straight at Wardun, but Ismadi reacted quickest to convert the rebound and handed Tampines a glimpse of hope.

But a last-ditched tackle from Raspudic inside the DPMM box foiled Jamil Ali right at the death after Tampines won the ball from the restart,as the visitors hed on to move into the semis. 


Thursday, August 13
Kean files complaint with S-League.

DPMM coach Steve Kean has filed a complaint with the S-League after accusing Tampines Rovers striker Noh Alam Shah of spitting on his face at the end of their Singapore Cup quarter-final first leg on Monday.

Kean told the press after the 3-1 victory at the Jalan Besar Stadium that it was the first time he had experienced something like that in his 20 years as a professional coach,and the Scot hoped that the rightful authorities will take action over the incident.

"We have filed a complaint with the S-League This is the first time that I have encountered something like this in all my years of football and I hope it will be dealt with," said Kean in an interview woth the Times yesterday.

"It is not about getting annybody susoended but the behaviour is something I have never seen before and this has spoilt what was a good game.

"I hpe there were cameras that caught it. We are not simply trying to get anybody in trouble but it is for  the better of the game in the future," continued Kean.

Regardless his charges are focused on the second leg encounter at the Juring West Stadium tonight.

"It is far from over,Tampines threw everything at us, but we were also unlucky not to have scored on the break," said Kean.

"There is 90 minutes left. I believe that we can score again and they will think they can too.It will be an open game," added the former Blackburn manager.

The Stags will be without Croatain Roberto Alviz after he was red carded in the 82nd minute for carrying off former team mate Awan Ali Rahman who was down with the cramps.

Kean felt there was no disputing the midfielder's red card.

"It is up to the referee to decide what to do next...Whether to ask the player to get up or to get treatment," said Kean.

"Obviously if you pick someone up, we will get in trouble.There is no argument to that.You can worsen the injury of the player," he added.

DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis feels that anything can still happemn but he is ready for the challenge.

"What we need to do is to be at our best and avoid making mistakes," said Rosmin.

"We also need to avoid conceding freekicks,"

"They have got good height but we will be prepared for that.All we need is to focus on ourselves," he added.

When asked about the absence of Alviz,Rosmin replied: "It will be a huge miss for them but its not only about him, I think whoever replaces him wil want to show something."

Brian McLean,Azwan Ali and Rafael Ramazotti scored DPMM's goals in the first leg.



Tuesday, August 11
DPMM hold advantage over Stags after first leg.

Brunei DPMM secured a 3-1 victory over Tampines Rovers in the first leg of the RHB Singapore Cup quarter-finals at Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night.

Two early goals laid the foundations for the important win, first through Brian McLean and then Azwan Ali as the Bruneians raced into an early lead.

Predrag Pacuca pulled a goal back for the Stags in the 15th minute, but it proved to be mere consolation for the Stags in the end as Rafael Ramazotti increased DPMM's lead two minutes after the break.

The fans had barely settled down into their seats in the fourth minute when Azwan sent in a free-kick that evaded a host of Tampines players to find McLean and he headed home DPMM's first chance of the game.

The Stags could have found the equaliser just three minutes later when Rodrigo Tosi made a darting run into the penalty box from the halfway line and let fly a piledriver at the near post. However, the bgig Brazilian's shot was blocked and booted out for a corner.

Tampines fell behind again when a mistake by Jufri Taha in the 12th minute allowed Azwan to nick the ball off him before advancing towards the Stags' goal.

With only Tampines custodian Rodrigo Pacheco to beat, the Bruneian made no mistake in slotting the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box.

Taampines managed to pull one back three minutes later when an unmarked Pacuca rose the highest to meet Roberto Alviz's corner and power a firm header home.

The chance dried up after that as both teams tried to dominate play and littered the half with hard tackles that forced the referee to stop play on many occassions.

DPMM only managed to stretch their lead further in the 48th minute when Hendra Azam's pin-point cross from the right found Ramazotti.

The Brazilian swivelled away from his marker before Powering a bullet header past a stranded Pacheco to make it 3-1.

DPMM custodian Wardun Yusof's agility was then put to test on the hour mark as the goalkeeper had to pull off a brilliant save to tip away Alviz's dipping free-kick that looked destined to the top corner.

Wardu was in action again six minutes later when he was required to thwart Isa Halim's rasping drive from a similar position, this time tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Tampines' misery was compunded further in the 82nd minute when Alviz was ent off by referee Jensen Foo for dissent after he tried to carry an injured DPMM player off the field.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Stags poured forward in search of a second goal to reduce the deficit but DPMM were able to hold on to their two-goal advantage for the second leg. 

Monday, August 10
Confident DPMM set for Tampines Rovers clash today.

DPMM FC are in a good mood heading into the first leg of their Songapore Cup quarterfinal clash against Tampines Rovers today at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that his charges are in confident mood and it is good to have played against the Stags recently where they played out to a 1-1 draw last Saturday."I think it really is an advantage to play them so soon.It is difficult for both clubs because the games have been close," said Kean to the Brunei Times after a training session on Saturday.

"We know they can score and and that we can score against them. We're in good form ourselves at the moment especially the front unit of Rafael Ramazotti,Azwan Ali and Shahrazen Said.They are creating a lot of chances and managing to score," he added.

Like in our last game to score three. We are looking like goals are coming from midfield and we are dangerous from set plays.

"We can use the pace of Azwan Alitogether with Shahrazen,"the coach said.

We are looking forward to play Tampines and hopefully we can get ourselves into the semifinals,"continued the Scotsman.

Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy are looking to work on their weaknesses and expects a good encounter.

"This is another game in the Singapore Cup and it will be interesting when we play DPMM.

"I think the boys will be motivated to win this cup,"said Sundarmoorthy to the S-League after their loss to the Warriors.

"But we have to work on our weaknesses;the closing down outside the box should have been better tonight(on Friday)and not allowing for players to shoot freely," he added.

"We also need to keep focus until the final whistle, for 84 minutes we were okay," the coach said.

"We need to go back and watch the video and see where things went wrong and try to work on it," the coach said.

"Thats the best we can do," concluded Sundramoorthy.

The kickoff is at 7.30pm.

The second leg will be contested three days later at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.

DPMM produced their best finish in the competition last year fater edging the Stags 2-1 in the third-place playoff. 

Thursday, August 6
DPMM top of summit

DPMM ended their fivematch winless streak and shot to the top of the S-League with a 3-1 win over Geylang International last night.

On the other hand, the loss condemns Geylang to the bottom of the table and they are tied on 12 points with Young Lions, who havr a better goal difference and three games in hand.

Joe Gamble put into the box but Rafael Ramazotti couldn't steer his header on target.

Azwan Salleh, who was given his first start in over four months, tried to lob one from outside the box but the ball landed on the roof of the net in the fifth minute.

DPMM broke the deadlock in the eighth minute after Gamble put Azwan Ali Rahman through on goal.He rounded Geylang goalkeeper Yazid Yasin before putting the ball into the empty net.

Jozef Kapaln had a cjance for the Eagles after making a good run to the edge of the box, but his shot finished at the wrong side of the left post in the 15th minute.

Brian McLean had a good chance to doubel the lead for the hosts two minutes later after getting at the end of a 35-yard freekick by Gamblr at the far post but missed the target,

Hafiz Osman got a free header for Geylang off a corner in the 21st minute but he couldn't keep his attempt down.

At the other end, Azwan Ali overshot his pass to Shahrazen - allowinh Yazid to come off his line to colect the ball.

Ramazotti set himself up for a volley outside the box but it floated over in the 25th minute.

Despite being a man down with defender Yuki Ichikawa receiving the treatment at the sidelines, the Eagles equalised in the 32nd minute when Kaplan was put through before placing the ball for Shawal Anuar to put it past Wardun Yusof from inside the box.

DPMM almost replied immediately with Shaharazen firing on turn form the edge of the box, but Yazid dived down to his right to keep the ball out.

The hosts got back in front after Azwan Salleh was given space and produced a stunner from 20 yards out to make it 2-1.

It took three minutes after the interval for DPMM to get on the scoresheet again.

Azwan Ali got the ball at the edge if the Geylng box before firing at goal.Yazid kept the attempt out but Ramazotti pounced on the rebound from close range to bring his tally to a league high 13 goals.

Hafiz Nor made a good run to get past 2 markers in the 58th minute but his ball was whacked out of danger.

Geylang enjoyed plenty of possesion but couldn't find the goal that would put them back in the match.

Kaplan managed to find space but produced a tame shot in the 78th minute and was it easy for Wardun to handle.

The Eagles got another chance in the 87th minute after Boris Raspudic gave away a freekick at the edge of the box.

Tatsuro Inui struck the ensuing free-kick over the wall and on target, but it was parried away by Wardun to see the Brunei side to claim all three points. 

DPMM will now turn their attention to the Singapore Cup where they will take on Tampines in a two-legged quarterfinals to be contested on August 10 and 13. 

Wednesday, August 5
Sergio out indefinitely.

DPMM FC were dealt a heavy blow with Portuguese striker Paulo Sergio out indefinitely due to a hamstring injury.

Sergio, who was brought in to replace English forward Craig Fagan because of an ACL tear in March, picked up the injury in the game against Tampines on Saturday.

"He felt tightness in the hamstring at ahlftime against Tampines but wanted to carry on,"said a disappointed Steve Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

 "He has had a scan and there is a little tear in his hamstring.He will get another scan tomorrow to know how long he will be out for and we will definitely miss him,"added the DPMM coach.

DPMM have a chance to move top of the standings on goal difference if they can grab all three points against Geylang, who are tied at the bottom with 12 points.

Kean felt that it was an advantage to play them recently and his charges are prepped up for the encounter.

"I think we can turn things around as it it is a big advantage to have played them so recently.Thry are very tight and have got many players at midfield who are good on the break," said Kean.

"They don't really try to keep possession and have no worries when they don't have the ball," he added.

"They are quite happy and win it for a chance to go on the break.Tehy will play deep near the box and counter-attack.That is what we have been working on," continued the Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand,Gyelang have lost three straight games in the competition and coach Jorg Steinbrunner is hoping that things will turn around for the better.

They will have a full squad with defender Hafiz Osman back from a two-game suspension and Castanheira rested for the last three games due to injury.

"It doesn't mean that with Hafiz and Bruno back we will have a more positive result," said Steinbrunner.

"We just have to keep performing like we did in the last three games.

"We played wll the last three games but the resukts didn't go our way. Looking at the performances, it has been encouraging but not as good as during the League Cup.

At the moment, the players are working hard and hopefully we can turn things around.Tehy can see what they are capable of," added the German.

"We will need to cut out individual defensive mistakes tomorrow so that will help increase our performance.

"We should get some points out of the match if we don't simply concede goals," he concluded.

Kick-off is at 8.15pm. 


Sunday, August 2
DPMM draw again as Tampines winning streak comes to end.

DPMM drew their fourth successive game as Tampines fought back in the second half to hold them on Saturday evening at the Jurong West Stadium.

DPM took the lead in the fifth minute through Shahrazen Said, before Tampines equalised throughMateo Roskam inside the first 10 minutes of the second period.

The result meant that both Stags and DPMM lost out on the three points needed to close the gap on Warriors FC on the top of the table while Tampines three-match winning run came to an end.

It took just five minutes for deadlock to be broken, after DPMM sliced open the Tampines backline.

Rafael Ramazotti flicked a ball on for Paulo Sergio and he ran at the Stags' goal before threading a nice through pass for Shahrazen to guide inside the bottom corner after taking a touch.

Tampines had a penalty five minutes later after Firdaus Idros was brought down from behind by Aminuddin Zakhwan inside the box, but DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof produced a superb save to stop Fahrudin Mustafic's spot-kick.

The chances dried up thereafter and tempers almost bolied over after several hard fouls on the pitch, with Mustafic and Isa Halim both shown yellow cards.

Just before half-time, Shahrazen had two golden opportunites to extend the lead after being played behind by Ramazotti and Azwan Ali, but he failed to connect with the ball for the first attempt, befire firing inches wide when it was easier to score for the second.

Tampines came out roaring after the break and in the 51st minute, Firdaus saw his cross-shot shave the post with Wardun rooted to his spot after he got the better of Aminuddin once again.

The hosts got the equaliser they were searching for just three minutes later, with Roskam netting his fifth goal in the last four league games.

The goal however, was all about Ridhuan Mohamad after the winger won the ball in midfield and went on a surging run past Sairol Sahari before setting Roskam up for a tap in.

The striker was guilty of a poor shot in the 66th minute though, as he headed over from close range.

A counter attack fro DPMM saw Shahrazen was presented with another great chance, but he was foiled by Pacheco despite having all the time and space in the world.

DPMM then suffered a scare almost three-quarters into the match, Alviz picked the rebound from Roskam's shot and drew Wardun out of his six-yard box before leaving it off for Roskam with the goal gaping, only for the Croatain to slam his shot against McLean's outstretched leg.

A flick-on from Ramzotti sent Shahrazen galloping through before firing a first-time shot,but Tampines keeper Rodrigo Pacheco proved equal to it.

With time winding down, Tampines piled on the pressure and Tosi managed to get onto the end of a Jamil Ali corner, but sent his header crashing into the wrong side of the post instead, as the game ended in a draw. 

Saturday, August 1
DPMM looking to get back on track.

DPMM FC will be looking to get their S-League season back on track when they face an in-form Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium tonight.

The Brunei side have started the second round of the competition with three straight draws beginning with a 0-0 stalemate against Home Utd in July 22.

They dropped points in the next two with a 1-1 against bottom side Young Lions four days later and Hougang Utd on Wednesday.

Coincidentally, DPMM's last win was on May 10 a 2-0 triumph over Tampines on home ground.

Both teams hace gone through totally different paths with DPMM unable to geta awin since then - four straight matches - while the Stags haven't lost, picking up three straight triumphs.

Most impressively they did sp without conceding and have found the back of the net eight times.Mateo Raskam got his anme on the scoresheet in all three games.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean highlighted that they will have to improve on their finishing after watching his charges miss their chance to go top on Wednesday.

"At the moment we lack confidence in front of goal.Teh strikers are thinking about the missed chances or the goals they should have scored,"said Kean after the match against Hougang.

"What they need to do is to forget and move on to the next game.We will get abck to training  to work on our crossing, shooting and finishing," he added.

"We want the strikers to get back the feel good factor as well as work on getting rid of the little mistakes," continued the Scotsman.

Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio will be available for selection after returning from a one-game suspension.


Thursday, July 30
Kean: We were not ruthless enough.

Wasteful DPMM FC missed their chance to go top of the S-League after being held to a 1-1 draw against Hougang United last night.

DPMM FC have now gone four games in a row without a win, losing one and drew three in a row in their few outings.

They took a deserving lead in the first half courtesy of Azwan Ali Rahman but it was cancelled out by Vuk Sotirovic after the interval to see both teams take a point each.

It is the third straight draw and coach Steve Kean felt their failure to convert chances resulted in their downfall.

"On the balance of play and on the balance of chances, we probably have e nough attempts and chances to win three games...Never mind one," said Kean.

"The opposition didn't have any corners and really had one shot on goal and they scored.That is the dissapointing thing.

"Our build-up play and possessionwere good and we were controlling the game from ther middle of the pitch.When we got into the box we were just not ruthless enough.

"As we missed chances and the game went on, our opposition knew they were still in the game and hoped they could get a counter-attack, which they did.And really, their only shot on target went in at the near post.

"It was a poor goal from our point of view and we should have been five to six goals up then.

"What we really need to do know quickly with games coming up is to better in both boxes.We need to score more goals and be ruthless at other end.We are just not putting the game to bed," continued the Scotsman.

It has been over two months since DPMM played on home soil and they got off to a strong start through Azwan Ali - who should have grabbed the lead in the second minute after he made a good run into the box before seeing his hot bounce off the crossbar.

They came close again five minutes later after a good ball by Sairol Sahari into the box was headed down to the path of Shahrazen Said, but the latter couldn't put a good touch in it. 

DPMM deservingly broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute after Azwan Ali had his initial attempt inside the box blocked by Murshadad , but he struck with it to fire home the rebound for the lead.

Teh advantage should be doubled two minutes later with rafael Ramazotti getting at the end of Shahrazen Said's crossfrom the right,but it went over the bar.

Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir set up Md Hendra Azam at edge of box two minutes after the break, but his effort was kept out by Hougang Goalie Ridhuan Barudin at full stretch.

The Cheetahs equalised in the 69th minute off a counter-attack with Sotirovic getting the better of Sairol before firing past wardun at the near post.

Azwan Ali almost put DPMM back in front in the 89th minute but Ridhuan dived down for the save.Hougang were under heavy pressure in injury time and Ridhuan once again came to the visitors' rescue to deny Azwan Ali from close range.

DPMM will next face Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium on Saturday. 

Wednesday, July 29
DPMM FC eye summit.

DPMM FC have a chance to move to the top of the S-League should they overcome Hougang Utd at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium in Berakas tonight.

The side are currently third with 21 points, and a victory will seethem leapfrog Albirex Niigata and tie with leaders Warriors FC, but top them due to a better goal difference.

However, DPMM haven't been in their best form of late and are without a victory in their last three league matches.

DPMM coach Steve Kean is gald to finally get a home game and is in confident mood to turn things around.

"It will be a good incentive. It has been a long time since we've been top of the league," said Kean after yesterday's training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

"We want to get back to the top and we obviously would have like to pick up more points in our last two games," he added.

"Our home crowd is superb and the fan club gets behind us.We are looking forward to get back to winning ways and give the fans something to cheer about," continued Kean.

The hosts will be without Paulo Sergio after the Portuguese pucked up his fourth yellow card of the season in the previous game.

Shahrazen Said will get his first start of the season with his younger brother Adi is also out after getting a red card in the last match.

"I have alwayas said to the local strikers that it is the hardest position to play because we got import strikers who narmally play,"said Kean.

Now through suspension,Shahrazen wil get the opportunity.

It is not a case where he needs to go and score goals.He just needs to do well and play well for the team,"he added.

DPMM have a good overall record over Hougang, winning six and drew twice out of the ten meetings dating back in 2012.

"I don't read much on the history as far as games.Sometimes you have certain games you do well against.I'm confident we can get all three points," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

On the other hand, Hougang coach Salim Moin knows it will eb a tough affair coming into Brunei despite winning the last meeting.

"I know we beat them in the League Cup but that was a different competition.In cup comepetitons,teams play each other only once but this is a league and the teams will eb fighting for league positions," said Salim.

"I saw them draw 0-0 with Home Utd in the league and they were rusty after a long break.

"They also had no momentum but it will be different in Brunei with the atmosphere in the stadium.

"They will have the support behind them so we will be definitely be very cautious when we come here to play," he added.

"Key players didn't play against Home and DPMM had trouble creating chances but overall their performance was quite interesting to see.

"They still have their same style of play and are a very high in tempo.They play their ball to their target man Rafael Ramazotti and he holds into the ball and runs into space.

"The whole team has a very good understanding with each other and thats very important."

Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

Monday, July 27
Gutsy Young Lions hold DPMM

A brave Court Young Lions side came from behind to hold DPMM to a 1-1 draw at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening.

The visitors had led through Rafael Ramazotti's 18th minute penlaty before Young Lions forward Sherif El-Masri scorehis first goal of the season to secure a point for his side.

Both teams also finsihed the game with ten men, after Adi Said was ent off for violent conductin the first half while Amirul Adi received his marching orders after earning a second yellow card for dissent five minutes from time.

The Young Lions had came into this game looking to maontain their impressive display from the previous game,from the previous game, ehre they beat Warriors 2-0 at the Woodlands.

And they nearly got off to a good start when El-Masri intercepted a pass to initiate a counter before releasing Jordan Webb in the third minute.However DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussoff was equal to the striker's effort.

Adam Swandi then provided Amy Recha woth a glorious bal ball but from close range, but the striker drove his shot wideof the post in the 14th minute.

The hosts were made to rue thir misses in the 18th minute as Fadli Kamis gave away a penalty after using his hand to block a cross. Ramazotti duly stepped up to score his 12th goal of the season to give DPMMt the lead. 

However DPMM soon found themselves in trouble and a aman down as Adi was dismissed after the referee spotted him flinging his elbow into Sheikh Abdul Hadi's face in the 26th minute.

Despite their numerical advantage DPMM still managed to create several scoring opportunities by going on the counter and Young Lions custodian Syazwan buhari was called upn twice to deny Ramazotti.

As half time loomed, the Young Lions came close to an equaliser with Wardun at full stretch to tip away Adam's shot onto the woodwork.

After the break, the Young Lions proceeded to dominate possession but DPMM still looked more dangerous on the break. On several occassions, Sheikh and Adi were required to put in brave challenges to halt DPMM's counterattacks.

at the DPMM end, Fadli nearly made amends for his mistake in the 63rd minute , but he headed over from close range after Adam found him with a free-kick on the left.

The visitors responded with a similar attack in the 66th minute, only for Syazwan to deny Azwan Ali with a good stop.

Two minutes later, both sides suffered the agony of hitting the post with Sergio smashing his shot onto the woodwork before Young Lions defender suffered a similar fate at the other end.

The equalising goal came in te 79th minutewhen El-Masri met Adam's corner to power a header into the back of the net.

The hosts then had a chance to score the winner in the 84th minute, but substitute Danail Razali's drive was tipped away by Wardun.

As the final whistle drew closer, Adli found himself given his marching orders in the 85th minute after he earned a second yellow for dissent. 

Sunday, July 26
DPMM face Young Lions challenge at S-League.

DPMM FC are wary of the threat posed by S-League basement dwellers, the Young Lions when they face off today at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Young Lions showed they were no pushovers as they produced a surprise 2-0 win over defending champions and leaders Warriors FC on Thursday at the Woodlands Stadium.

The Singapore Under-23 side made plenty of changes to the roster after the SEA games last month and Juergen Raab had taken over office as the head coach after the resignation of Aide Iskandar.

The most notable addition to the roster is ths attacking midfielder Jordan Webb. The 27-year old returned to the team after more than 7 months and was the biggest factor in the triumph over the Warrors scoring one and creating the other.

Ragardless, DPMM skipper Rosmin Khamis is only focused on themselves and only got victory on their minds.

"We just need to win. The Young Lions are like a new team and brought in some new players since the arrival of their new coach," said Rosmin when contacted.

"We cannot take it easy against them since they can beat a tough team like the Warriors," he added.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was pleased with the showing of his charges against the Protectors especially defensively in the second half.

Rosmin thought that it was no more just defence and hopes that they can carry the momentum forward.

"Everyone played better that night and it wasn't only defence.We will never take it easy,"concluded the DPMM skipper.

Brunei's only professional team will welcome back Azwan Ali Rahman from suspension while Brian McLEan will serve his second of a two-game suspension.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm. 

Thursday, July 23
Protectors and DPMM play out scoreless draw.

An inability to convert their chances saw both Home United and DPMM finishing with a 0-0 draw on Wedneday evening at the Yishun Stadium.

The Great Eastern-Yeo's League match was a fairly drab affair, with neither side really troubling the opposition's goalkeeper as they hardly created any clear-cut chances.

Even when the chances came, neither team could put them away as they both went away with a point each.

Amost 28 minutes was played out before the game witnessed the first real chance of the evening. Abdil Qayyim rose heghest to meet Sairudin's freekick and beat DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof but his header was cleared off the line by Boris Raspudic.

From the resulting corner, R.Aaravin headed over despite being unmarked.

Two minutes later, DPMM had a golden opportunity themselves as Hendra Azam picked Maududi Hilmi's run into the box with a cross, but the winger's attempt was well-saved by Home custodian Shahril Jantan.

Chances continued to be at a premium, although the hosts did have an effort on goal seven minutes into the second period.

Home defender Ang Zhi Wei went on the overlap and sent a cross into the danger area for Kamel Ramdani but the latter could only divert his header straight at Wardun.

DPMM's striker Ramazotti then wasted a glorious chance in the 69th minute after his sidefooted Najib Tarif's cross just inches wide.

Moments later, he forced Shahril into a superb save with a shot just inside the area.

Into the last 10 minutes, the towering Brazilian had another go after Paulo Sergio set him up nicely but once again he missed the target by inches.

The Protectors were given a chance to clinch all three points right at the death, but Abdil nodded a Ken Ilso freekick into the side netting instead to leave both teams settling for a point. 

Wednesday, July 22
DPMM kick off tough schedule against Home Utd.

DPMM are bracing tough schedule ahead.

Brunei's only professional tean kick off the second round with a meeting against Home United at the Yishun Stadium at 7.30 pm.

It will be the start of a compact schedule for the side as they wil face the Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday and they will then face Hougang Utd three days later before taking on Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West on August 1.

They will kick off their Singapore Cup campaign against Tampines in the two-legged quarterfinals on August 10 and 13.

The team has been putting in a lot of work despite the fasting month of Ramadan, and coach Steve Kean is sure they are prepared for the tough task ahead.

"We are really prepared ...Tactically and physically.The only thing that has been missing is match practice, and we have spent a lot of hours on training ground," said Kean in an interview after Friday's training session.

"Hopefully we have ironed out all our problems on both sides of the pitch.

We need to be converting chances like we should and avoid making individual mistakes," he added.

DPMM will be missing the dup of Azwan Ali Rahman and defender Brian McLean against Home due to suspensions but will welcome back Joe Gamble.

Kean is glad to have the Irishman back to the lineup but felt that his charges will have to be careful to avoid any setbacks in the future.

Itis good to have Gamble back and I also mentioned that we have to cut out these discipline problems," said the former Blackburn manager.

"We are suffering  whenever we are missing any players for selection. I spoke to the players candidly about these discipline problems.

"You can excused a badly time tackle, but we can't excuse any type of yellow or red cards for speaking back to refereesor any type of misdemeanors like that.

"It is not accepted and players will be heavily fined with any troubles with the referee in the future," concluded Kean. 

Friday, July 3
DPMM out of League Cup.

A Hat-trick from Bruneo Castanheira helped Geylang International finish top of Group A in the New Paper League Cup and advance into the semifinals.

Castanheira struck once in the first-half before scoring two more in the next as Geylang defeated DPMM 4-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday.

It was an enthralling game between both sides, with the first-half already seeing four goals.

Both sides were evely matched throughout the first 15 minutes, until Geylang broke the deadlock in the 15th minute.

Following a challenge in the air with Rafael Ramazotti, Hafiz Osman went down on the pitch and required treatment. The visitors stopped play as a result, but Geylang players chose to play on and when Tatsuro Inui eventually found Castanheira just outside the box, the striker curled one into the top corner for the opener.

The Eagles doubled their lead just seven minutes later, this time  through their captain Kaplan.

The Slovakian was allowed to latch onto Inui's threaded pass after a mix-up between DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof and defender Boris Raspudic saw them both leave the ball for each other. The number 17 needed no further invitation to slam home the ball into the empty net.

Just when Geylang thought they were cruising into the semi-finals,DPMM came back with two goals in eight minutes.

A Paulo Sergio free-kick from 25 yards out left Yazid Yasin sytranded in the 30th minute, before Rafael ramazotti shrugged off Anaz Hadee in the 38th minute to head Najib's Tarif's set-piece delivery into the bootm corner for the equaliser.

After the restart, Sergio had two good chances, but his shot in the 56th minutewas blocked by Hafiz Osman, before his attempt to catch Yazid Yasin off the line went wide.

Geylang then provided a sign of things to come with a quick counterattack that saw Castanheira play Kaplan through, but the latter shot way over instead.

There was to be no denying Geylang however, as Castanheira scored twice to complete his hat-trick in the next three minutes.

A delight ful through ball from Kaplan on the counter saw the Japanese left in a one-on-one situation, and he made no mistake by slotting past Wardun for Geylang to retake the lead.

Barely two minutes later, Brian Mc Lean hit the crossbar with a header from the corner and the Eagles launched a counter immediately.

Once again, Kaplan threaded a perfect pass theough his strike partner, who found the back of the net to give the teama two-goal cushion.

DPMM refused to give up and created a number of chances, but Ramazotti was unable to add to his tally, as he missed three attempts.

Aminuddin Zakwan forced Yazid into another brilliant save right at the death, before Rosmin Khamis fored way over, as Geylang held on to advance at the expenses of the defending League Cup champions. 



Sunday, June 28
Kean: We set out to score a goal every 15 minutes.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean felt that his charges should have been more clinical in front of goal despite a 5-0 victory over Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) in the New Paper League Cup.

Rafael Ramazotti scored a brace while Maududi Helmi Kasmi, Brian McLean and Paulo Sergio grabbed one goal each to ensure that the Bruneians bounced back from their shock 1-0 defeat to Hougang Utd in their first Group a match. 

However, the scoreline could have been much wider as they missed more chances than the goals they scored. 

"I think the first objective was not only to win the game, but try to score more than Geylang did against SRC," said the Scot, referring to the Eagles' 4-0 victory over SRC.

"I set a target for the players to try and get a goal every 15 minutes and that's how we managed to get the first goal. 

"However, after the first goal, we stopped a little bit. We stopped pressing and we stopped moving the ball quickly."

"We still feel abit greedy because upon reflection of the game, we could probably have scored more.

In contrast, SRC team manger S.Mogan had nothing but praise for his team because even though they are officially out of the competition.

"I am a very proud of the boys because they played well against a foreign club like DPMM," he said.

"We played better than we did against Geylang because we were more disciplined in our defending and our passes were good today.

"As amateurs, to come to this level to play, is a very good exposure for the boys.We will take this as a learning opportunity because it will help us when we play in our league games." 


Saturday, June 27
Rosmin: We have to win.

DPMM FC captain Rosmin Hj Khamis knows they cannot afford another slip-up when they face Singapore Recreation Club in their second Singapore League Cup Group A game tonight.

The defending champions and record three-time winners went down 1-0 to Hougang in thier first game on Tuesday and now need to win their next two games to qualify for the next round - with the club rounding off their final stage play against Geylang International FC next Thursday.

Rosmin said DPMM FC cannot be overconfident when the two sides meet at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

"We have to win, that's what the players are thinking about,"Rosmin told the Brunei Times yesterday.

"We can't take it easy though...we have to respect them.

"The two clubs have not met before but I know two or three of the players before who played in the S-League before," added the captain. 

He was lacing up for second-tier Malaysian Premier League side Putrajaya SPA prior to his move to SRC - who signed the Nigerian-born centreback specifically for the League Cup.

"I spoke to the bys  (about DPMM)...Yes, they are a big team, but we have must have that belief," he was quoted as saying on ESPN.

"They are thinking of bouncing and will never give up; at the other end of the day, we will just keep fighting.

"Hopefully we can get a point - that is what we are looking for, just a point.

"If we can win, get the three points by chance, taht would be great," added the 32 year old who has over 60 caps for Singapore.



Thursday, June 25
'Hougang deserved to win.'

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean felt that Hougang United were simply the better team after their 1-0 defeat in the Group A of the Singapore League Cup on Tuesday night.

The Cheetahs were dumped out in the first round of the Singapore Cup, unveiled 5 new signings from the June transfer window for the match against Hougang.

It paid dividends instantly with debutant Serbain striker Vuk Sotirovic netting the only goal to secure the win in the opener.

"Hougang with the new players is not the Hougang that played the first round of the S-League," said Kean to the S-League.

"It is virtually a new team and they deserved to win because they were better than us in every aspect.

"The mistake tonight was we didn't get competitive enough.We didn't do some of the horrible things tonight, like picking up the second balls or making sure we won the 50-50 tackles," added the Scotsman.

"Because of that, we ended up finding that we didn't have as much possession as we normally do," continued Kean.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti, who is the S-League topscorer was not his usual self squandering a couple of chances.

Kean didn't blame his forward and is looking to bounce back for their next match against Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) on Saturday.

"We looked rusty, because normally Ramazotti puts the chances in. Maybe thats just because we haven't had enough games," said Kean.

"What we'll do now is to get back to the training ground and nail down the basics and put a little bit of confidence back in the team," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Geylang International currently top the group after cruising past SRC 4-0 on the same night.

The Eagles will face Hougang on Saturday and regardless of the result,DPMM have to win their last 2 matches in order to progress into the semifinals of the competition.

"I'm optimisitic because its a group of 4," said Kean.

"I know we can improve on tonight's performance,and if we can improve then we have a good chance of getting back to our level where we can score goals and cause teams more problems," he added.

On the other hand, Hougang coach Salim Moin was pleased with the showing of his charges.

"The boys knows that the League Cup is a different ball game so I told them we expect to get some results," said Salim, who was sent to the stands for unsportsmanlike behaviour before the final whistle.

"I'm very pleased with the team's performance. We were bale to score a goal and also created a few chances," he added.

"I enjoed seeing how we created chances and putting it in the target area.Overall I'm satisfied,"he concluded 

Wednesday, June 24
Cheetahs battle to victory.

It was a debut to remember for Vuk Sotirovic as he struck to give Hougang United a precious 1-0 win over DPMM of the New Paper League Cup.

The Serbian was one of several additions to a new-look Hougang team and took little time to make his impact.

Picking up a loose ball just outside the area in the 21st minute, the striker took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot beyond the despairing dive of DPMM goslkeeper Wardun yussof.

DPMM had dominated possession in the opening stages, with Hougang struggling to get the ball into their opponent's half.

The first clear chance of the match came in the eigth minute when DPMM's Rosmin Khamis headed a cross from Adi Said just over the bar.

Hougang seemed content to sit back and contain the early DPMM pressure and try to hit them on the break.

This approach almost paid off as early as the 12th minute when striker Diego Gama displayed impressive strength to hold off his marker and managed to get a shot that flew inches wide.

DPMM forward Rafael Ramazotti missed a gilt-edged chance to put the ball away side ahead, firing wide despite finding himself with plenty if time and space in the box.

It proved to be a frustrating night for the Brunei team, who failed to score in a match for the first time since July last year, and especially for the Brazilian, who faltered in front of goal despite enjoying opportunities to bring his side level.

A minute after Sotirovic's goal, he missed the chance to make an instant reply, wasting another golden opportunity.

Peeling away from his marker, he got on the receiving end of a ball played in by winger Azwn Ali but sent his shot wide from close range.

Sotirovic then early doubled his tally in the 32nd minute after some brilliant footwork to leave two DPMM defenders in his wake, leaving himself with only Wardun infront of him.However, the 32-year old only managed to fire his shot straaight into the receving arms of the goalie.

Sotirovic continued to pose problems for the DPMM defence in the second half with his power and trickery,a and was unfortunate to see another powerful drive from long range sail just over in the 55th minute.

For much of the remainder of the match,DPMM switched to a more direct approach, sending long balls up to the towering Ramazotti in their efforts to draw level.

Despite the Brazilain dominating in the air, his team were unable to equalise due to solid defece work by Hougang and resolute goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin.

The Hougang custodiandenied Ramazotti in the 68th minute, making a full-length dive to his left to keep out the striker's goal-bound header.

From that point, DPMM continued to probe the Cheetahs' defence but were unable to find the decisive goal.

The reult puts Hougang in a good position in Group A ahead of their matches with Geylang International and Singapore Recreation Club while DPMM will undoubtedly have to improve if they are to make the second round. 

Tuesday, June 23
DPMM start League Cup defence against Hougang.

Three-time champions and titleholders DPMM will open their Singapore LEague Cup defence with a meeting against a new-look Hougang United FC tonight.

Ninth in the 10-team League and out of the Singapore Cup in the first round, the Cheetahs are looking to overturn their dismal season with five new signings in the June transfer window.

Foreign players Francisco Salvador,Renshi Yamaguchi,Manato Takahashi and Shunsuke Nakatake- as well as Singaporean Matthew Abraham- have all been shown the exit and they have been replaced by Carlos Delgado,Diego Gama,Atsushi Shimono, Vok Sotirovic and Delwinder Singh.

DPMM coach Steve Kean expects a tough outing considering the changes made to the opponents' roster ahead of their Group A at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore.

"I see they've got 5 new players," said Kean in an interview before the team's departure to the Lions City yesterday.

"They had a poor start in the League and went out in the early round of the Singapore Cup, so I suppose they felt changes need to happen.

"This is a new team that we are up against we shoudn't look at where they are in the S-League table.

"We know even with a one-player change,never mind five or six...It changes the complexion of the team .We know that this opening game will be tough.

"But we have completed four really quality weeks of training and we're ready to go again," continued the Scotsman.

Kean gave his charges a 10-day break after their last match on the 14th May, before completing 4 weeks of training ahead of match.

The Brunei side were not able to set up friendly matches against other teams from outside the country and had to make do with local teams MS ABDB and one against  the national team before their friendly against Singapore.

Kean is confident they can make it out of the group stage and all the way into the final once again this year after handed a favourable draw - with Geylang International FC and Singapore Recreation Club being the other two teams in the group.

"I'm very confident. I wouldn't say we are a better team, but a much better balanced side.

"We've got pace and a goal scoring threat up front, and got real quality in wide areas," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"Brian McLean has set up a great partnership with Boris.

"We are playing well and we will be the team to beat because of what we have done last year.

"We are the team everyone wants to beat.I'm happy that in the first phase of the tournament, we've got  the group with 4 teams.

"I'm glad we are drawn in Group A as we need games.

"Others don't probably need them , as they had more league games, cup matches and some even competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup," concluded Kean.

DPMM FC, who are the most successful team in the competition, will play SRC on Saturday followed by a meeting against Geylang International on July 2. 

Saturday, June 13
All matches tough:Kean

Defending champions of the League Cup,DPMM FC , were drawn in Group A with the Singapore Recreational Club,Geylang International and Hougang United in the New Paper League Cup.

Head coach of Brunei DPMM Steve Kean in an interview yesterday on the grouping said: "I don't think its an easy draw. We do have an advantage in a group of 4 teams where we have 50 per cent of chances going through."

"We know that all the matches will be tough because we are the defending champions and we are the team that everyone wants to beat.

"We are looking forward to defending our crown and we are confident of lifting the League Cup again this year by adding Rafael Ramazotti and Brian McLean with Paulo Sergio of Portugal.They are good addition to the squad," Kean added.

Besides the imports, he said:"The local players have also improved and have been exceptional.We have really a strong squad."

Although the matches will kick off during the fasting month, Kean has reassured that the performance of DPMM will not be affected.

Kean said last year the team became stringer as the tournament went on during the fasting month because the players took the right proteins and supplements. 

Friday, June 12
DPMM in Group A.

Defending Champions DPMM FC have been handed a favourable draw in the Singapore League yesterday.

DPMM FC, three time winners and the most successful team in the competition, are placed in Group A together with Hougang Utd, Geylang International Fc, and Singapore Recreational Club in the tournament, which will run from June 19-July 12.

On the other hand, Group B is the "Group of Death" consisting of Balestier Khalsa FC,Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers FC.

Albirex Niigata (S),Home United FC and Sporting Westlake FC make up Group C.

DPMM FC manager Ali Hj Momin felt that the draw is good and they will not underestimate any of the opponents.

"It is a good draw for us but the pressure is also on us as the defending champions," said Ali in an interview after the draw at the Singapore Press Holdings Auditorium at the Toa Payoh North.

"We were afraid the players might take it easy because on paper we have a good chance, but it is not easy to retain the cup since no team has done so.

"We will have to watch out especially for Geylang because they tend to do well in the tournament," he added.

"Singapore Recreational Club are no hanging arounds because we are unfamiliar with them,"continued Ali.

When asked on how preparations going,Ali replied," We have been busy preparing like it is the pre-season.We do lose a bit of momentum after a month-long break.

"All we maanged were three friendlies against local clubs.We couldn't arrage for foreign clubs as they were busy with their own league as well,"he added.

The top teams of Group A will progress to the semifinals while only the winners of Groups B and C will advance.

The winners of Group A will face off against the winners of Group C while the team top of Group D will contest against runner-up of Group A.

The champion will walk away with $30,000 while runnerss-up half the amount.

DPMM clinched the title last year with a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar United at the Jalan Besar Stadium. 



Monday, June 1
Former DPMM striker O'Donovan has joined Central Coast Mariners on a two-year deal.

O'Donovan, who played under Steve Kean at DPMM, makes the move to the A-League saying he is "hungry to do well".

"I'm very excited and looking forward to playing in the A-League and representing the Central Coast Mariners.I was up there last week and its a beautiful place and looks like a terrific place to play football,"O'Donovan said.

"It's [the A-League] a well-respected league and its a league that I've always felt that I wanted to be a part of and now I'm now very proud to say that I am a Central Coast Mariners player.

"Playing with Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career. Roy Keane was an idol of mine growing up and it was terrific to play under him and to play at that level of football was an incredible learning curve for me.

"I'm hungry to do well at the Central Coast Mariners. I consider myself as a number nine, I like to play off the shoulder of the last defender and being a nuisance to central defenders and hopefully a goalscorer."

Friday, May 15
We didn't deserve to lose.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean thought his side should have taken maximum points against Albirex Niigata (S) on Thursday evening.

The Japanese side emerged victorious despite falling behind initailly, with Rion Taki cqncelling out Rafael Ramazotti's opener before Atsushi Kawata netted the winner from the spot.

It was DPMM's second defeat of the seasob, and their first against Albirex in 8 games in all competitions.

The result left DPMM 4 points behind leaders Albirex in the league table, although they have 2 games in hand.

"I would have been disappointed with a draw, I thought we did enough to win the game. But to get nothing from the game, I'm really disappointed,"Kean said at the post-match press conference after the game.

 "But I think, the pivotal point of the game was the sending off.

"Having said that, we've got a great first round of games and we will enjoy the break and come back and we'll kick on again."

Kean also reserved praise for Albirex's 35-year old Yosuke Nazawa, who produced several big saves to stop DPMM from adding on further goals.

"You've got to give credit to the goalkeeper," Kean stated.

"He's put his fingertips earlier on for Ramazotti's header. It was a wonderful save for the overhead kick from Adi Said.

"Credit to Albirex who really defended the lead very well.We just feel on the balance of chances, or possession, we deserve something from the game.

"You get nights when you do lesser than that [and earn a result], and we've done enough to get three points today le alone one."

On the other hand, Albirex coach Tatsuya Okuyama believed his team were capable of defeating DPMM right from the start, but he is expecting an improvement from his charges.

"DPMM are a very strong team, but we expected this result - to beat them,"Okuyama said.

"For the first goal something unbelievable happened.We didn't expect the goal, but we kept on fighting against them and got the two goals to win.

"Throughout the game against DPMM,each player understands what the team have to do, and they are getting better, today I want to sayits [the player's performance] not 100%, I want more improvement as its only 60%."

Likewise, the Japanese coach felt Nazawa was a key factor in the team's win.

"Every game, he has helped us a lot,"Okuyama explained. "Today's performance from the team is 60%, but his performance has been 100% in all other games." 

Friday, May 15
Albirex came from behind to down DPMM

Albirex Niigata (S) came from behind to defeat Brunei DPMM 2-1 at the Jurong East Stadium on Thursday evening to retake the lead at the top of the league table.

A goal apiece from Rion Taki and Atsushi Kawata overturned Rafael Raamazotti's opener in a game which saw DPMM end the game with tem men after Brian McLean was sent off for a last-man foul.

The win was also Albirex's first in 8 games against DPMM. It was however a fairly even contest throughout.

Both sides hardly created any chances in the first half, with the real chance of the game coming over in the 18th minute.

Shotaro ihata then headed over from Kento Nagasaki's free-kick minutes later, before Atsushi Kawata shot way over after being given acres of space outside.

A miskick from DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof dropped for Kento Nagasaki just after the half-hpur mark, but the goalkeeper recovered in time to push the forward's effort away.

It was a different affair in the second half, with DPMM taking the lead just 2 minutes later.

A meek cross from Paulo Sergio was spilled by Albirex keeper Yosuke Nazawa, and the lurking Ramazotti needed no further invitation to scire his 11th goal of the season.

But the lead lasted for only 8 minutes, with the hosts equalising through Taki.

A cross-field from right back Rui Kamada reached Kawata on the left and his driven cross was stabbed home by Taki at the near post.

That gave Albirex the momentum in the game and Shun Inaba almost made it 2-0 on the counter but he saw his effort from 20 yards go narrowly wide.

Hendra Azam then saw his effort blocked by Yamada before Sairol Sahari shot straight at Nazawa.

Aquick counter attack in the 78th minute got Albirex their second goal through a penalty, after Kawata was bundled over by Brian McLean inside the area.

The Scottish defender received his marching orders before Kawata slammed home the spot-kick for the winning goal.

Nazawa was required to produce two big saves from point-blank range nine minutes from time,palming away Ramazotti's header before using his body to block Sergio's effort from the rebound.

That was as close as it got for the Bruneians, who fell to their second defeat in three games. 


Thursday, May 14
DPMM,Albirex clash.

Despite having the chance to top the Singapore League if they beat Albirex Niigata tonight,DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is entertaining no such thoughts.

On paper, DPMM have the advantage as they have won eight of their eleven meetings against Albirex- who won the remaining three fixtures.

When asked if the opportunity to lead the league has been a theme in his pre-match talks against the Japanese outfit,Kean's answer was simple.

"No," said the Scotsman minutes before boarding their flight to Singapore yesterday evening.

"The most important thing is that we respect our opponent as they're a good side.

"Albirex are focused on keeping possession and keeping hold of the ball, so during training we've worked a lot on our organisation and structure behind the ball," he added.

The fact that Albirex have the meanest defence in the league - they have let in a miserly three goals in ten games -mean DPMM striker Rafael Ramazotti and Paulo Sergio will have their work cut out for them.

Both got on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over Tampines Roverson Sunday night - the Bruneian side's first ever S-League win over the Stags - but Kean has told his players to expect a different animal when they face Albirex tonight. 

"Its going to be a different game. Tampines are very different and are more direct," he said.

Tonight's other game will see seventh placed Home United host Hougang United at the Yishun Stadium in Singapore. 

Both games will kick-off at 7.30 

Monday, May 11
Azwan Ali made a big mistake

DPMM FC finally get a win over Tampines in the S-League but ut was overshadowed by a red card to Azwan Ali Rahman in the second half.

In a bizarre turn of events, the midfielder was caught in an argument with his teammate Boris Raspudic and it resulted in the former launching his boot in the direction of the Bosnian defender.

It was disappointment for the home fans to witness it but DPMM coach Steve Kean assures that it is a one off incident.

"The hardest period of the game was when we lost a man which was a bizarre incident.I haven't seen that in football for a long time and I haven't seen anything like that before," said Kean. 

"I have spoken to the players involved.Best thing we got in our team is the togetherness and team spirit.To be totally honest I see the point of Boris because okay we think it is a foul but Azwan Ali's got to kick the ball out and then go down for treatment.

"He (Azwan Ali) is a wonderful player and I told him not to let himself get caught up with something like that," he added.

"I always tell him when he played really well and always tell him when he made a big mistake.Tonight(Sunday night) he made a big mistake.

"He is good enough to bounce back and sadly we will miss him.That is an unfortunate instance that will never happen again," continued the Scotsman.

It was the fifth straight match that Tampines have gone without a win but head coach V.Sundramoorthy fwlt that they dominated proceedings and should have got something out of the encounter.

"We had a lot of possession and create chances. In football, possession and chances don't win you games.Goals win you games," said Sundramoorthy.

"We should blame ourselves for not scoring as we had our chances.We should have won or at least get a draw but it is unfortunate.

"We don't deserve to be where we are because coming to Brunei and dominating the game, not many teams can do that," he added.

"We need to pick ourselves up.It is still the first round we will see what we can do and move on from there," concluded Sundramoorthy. 

Monday, May 11
Stags go down as DPMM return to winning ways.

Brunei DPMM beat Tsmpines 2-0 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium as they returnes to winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the season.

Prior to the game,DPMM had lost to Balestier Khalsa at home for their first loss of the sesson.

Most impressively it was achieved against a dominant Tampines performance and with a a man down in the last 20 minutes.

The Stags come out strongly and got their first chance in the eigth minute with Ismadi Mukhtar sending a  cross from the right into tje boxbut former DPMM hitman Rodrigo Tosi had his header deflected wide.

The hosts gave the ball away in their own half two minutes later and allowed Maeo Raskam space to fire from 30 yards but his efforts sailed inches wide of the left post.

Tampines got forward again in the 12th minute and Ismadi was put through on goal.However DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof closed down the shot.

The hosts should have taken the lead thre minutes later after Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti headed down a goal-kick to send Paulo Sergio through on goal.

The latter chipped the Tampines shot-stopper Joey Sim but his attempt was denied by the woodwork.

Brunei DPMM got in the flow of things and got another chance in the 20th minute with Sergio delivering the ball from the left to the middle but Azwan Ali Rahman put it over.

They broke the deadlock the next minute after Azwan Ali found the captain Rosmin Khamis making a run into the box.

Sim came off his line to deny Rosmin but the rebound fell to Ramazotti to fire home from the edge of the box. 

Md Hendra Azam Idris curled one on target in the 26th minute but it was caight by Sim. The DPMM midfielder put another attempt on target the next minute and Sim once again denied him.

The Stags should have equalised in the 29th minute after Firdaus Idros made a good run and evaded four defenders on the left before pulling it back for Roberto Alviz in the middle.

The Croatian midfielder unleashed a good shot but Wardun produced an equally good save.

Neither side produced much before DPMM won a penalty out just before the half-time whistle.

Tampines skipper Fahridin Mustafic was judged to have held down Ramazotti and prevented him from getting at the end of a cross from the right.

Sergio took the ensuing spot kick and made no mistake about it.

Tampines started the second half strongly and DPM w ere on the backfoot much of the way.

The Stags got a good opportunity in the 49th minute after Alviz placed a freekick 25 yards out to the top right but Wardun went full stretch to the save.

The DPMM custodian was having a good game as he denied Firdaus three minutes later and pushed over Tosi's header in the 56th minute.

Tampines dominated proceedings with plenty of ball possession and Jamil Ali should have done better in the 72nd minute after turning his marker inside out but he could not put his shot on target.

In a turn of events, DPMM were reduced to ten men with Azwan Ali given his marching orders for unsportmanlike behaviour.

Tampines threw and extra attackers in hopes of getting goals from the numerical advantage but the plan never materialised.

Instead, DPMM should have added the tally after Sim went off his line to cover Sergio on the left in the 90th minute.

The Portuguese forward pulled the ball back to the middle for Hendra Azam but somehow he put it wide. 


Sunday, May 10
DPMM keen to improve record against Tampines.

Wil DPMM finally get the better of Tampines Rovers in the S-LEague?

The Brunei side will host the Stags - a side they haven't beaten in all 7 meetings in the competition dating back in 2012 - today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

All three meetings ended 2-1 last season but DPMM did finally get the better of their opponents with a victory by the same scoreline in the third-place playoff of the Singapore Cup back in November.

DPMM head coach Steve Kean is one not to dwell with history and believes that his charges can upend his opponents again this tiem around.

"Sometimes we can have a team for whatever reason we feel we cannot do well against.That seems to be a mental attitude against Tampinesuntil we beat them last night," said KEan in an interview after a training session.

"We got that idea is out of our head now. We know they are a good side than we are lastyear," he added.

On a plus side,the hosts will welcome back Boris Raspudic back at the heart of defence and Kean feels that the Bosnian sweeper is a key factor to try and limit Tosi.

"I'm delighted to have him(Raspudic) back.He is a top defender and has really improved More than that now with the ball. he is very comfortable coming out to midfield and start out attacking plays," said Kean.

In a short space of time he has developed a great partnership with Brian McLean. To have him back I think makes us more solid in a tough game like this against two opponents we know very well," he added.

"So we know the attributes of Rodrigo and we know how good he is in the air.It is great to have Boris back," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Raspudic knows the responsibility that he hs to shoulder at the backline and is looking forward to facing his old teammate.

"I know him (Tosi) and he knows me.I know his qualities and everything... This is guy is dangerous," said Raspudic. 

"If you give him some space sure he will score the goal.We need to take care of the crosses because the quality from Rodrigo is from that," he added.

"We have to stop the crosses.We have to fight for ball possession to prevent him scoring the goal," continued Raspudic.

On the other hand,Tosi doesn't know what kind of reception to expect at the venue, where he scored 12 times last season, but is hoping to get his name on the scoresheet.

"It is good to be back because I had really some great times there.I know it is for busines bit it is a great feeling," said Tosi in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday,"I don't know what kind of reception I will get.Ithink it will be good.Maybe some supporters will be sad that I'm at other side.It is football and it happens even to top teams in the world,"he added. "I will play to my best to try and win for my club.Sadly I'm no longer in DPMM but hopefully I can score,"continued the Brazilian. 

Saturday, May 2
DPMM's unbeaten run comes to abrupt stop.

Balestier Khalsa FC inflicted on Brunei DPMM their first defeat of the season with a 2-1 victory at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The Croatian duo of Kristic Miroslav and Robert Pericic neteed in either half for the Tigers before Rafael Ramazotti scored a consolation, his ninth of the competition for the hosts.

Brunei DPMM got off to difficult start and were not looking like the side that have not lost a game yet.

Balestier were awarded a penalty after sweeper Brian McLEan was judged to have handled Poh Yifeng's *** in the eighth minute.

Kristic stepped up to take the spot-kick but was denied by DPMM custodian Wardun Yussof.

However, the Croatain was give second chance after DPMM players were judged to have entered the box before the initial kick. His second attempt hit the crossbar but still rebounded over the line.

DPMM were given a chance to get back on level terms after a penalty was won by home debutant Paulo Sergio in the 14th minute.

Ramazotti would take the spotkick but his shot was savd by skipper Zaiful Nizam between the sticks.

McLean then got at the end of a free-kick inside the box in the 27th minute and towered over both his markers to put it int th emiddle instead of firing at goal to test Zaiful.

Ramazotti looked to get at the end of a Sairol Sahari cross in the 35th minute and towered over both his markers but Zaiful did well to punch the ball.

Balestier got the perfect start to the second half after DPMM gave away the ball in a one-on-one situation.

The visitors gave away free-kicks in dangerous positions but they were fortunate DPMM could noot capitalise.

Steve Kean's last throw of the dice was to send on brothers Shahrazen and Adi Said in the 69th minute in place of Md Hendra Azam and Najib Tarif.

DPMM then got another chance in the next minute with Sergio delivering a cross from the left for Ramazotti.

The ball eventually fell to substitute Helmi Zambin but his shot was blocked on th line.

DPMM pushed forward for the equaliser and left back open at times, and Pericic should have punished them in the 88th minute but he blasted over from close range.

The Croatian got another chance two minutes later but once again put the ball over.

Balestier was reduced to ten men after left-back Ho Wai Loon was shown his second yellow for bringing down Sergio at the edge of the box in the first minute of injury time.

The Portuguese fired the ensuing freekick to the bottom left corner but Zaiful dived down to push it out.

The hosts had another opportunity to get a point out of the encounter after Ramazotti headed the ball to the left corner with two of his teammates chasing but they were unable to capitalise on it.




Friday, May 1
Rosmin, Ak Yura to start.

Undefeated DPMM will onyl have three imports for tonight's league match against Balestier Khalsa FC.

Irish midfielder Joe Gamble is serving the first of a two-game suspension for his straight red card against the Warriors last Friday while Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic picked up a hamstring injury.

DPMM coach Steve Kean has called on skipper Rosmin Khamis, 33, and Ak Yura Indera Putera , 19, to fill in the gaps -both of whom came on as substitutes in the 3-1 victory over Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

However, Rosmin will not be inserted in his usual role in midfield, with Kean opting to use him as a centre back in place of Raspudic, who has started all six games this season.

"I think Rosmin is calm and can use his experience as he is very good on the ball," said Kean in an interview after yesterday's training session.

"This will be another game where we have to be patient. If Balestier are not as aggressive and a re a little tired I expect them to play on the counter attack, so we need Rosmin's experience to circulate the ball with Brian.

"I'm sure he can do so comfortably as he has done well in training, excellent when in midfield and in the last game when he came on. He deserves a starting position.

The Tigers coach Marko Kraljevic doesn't think that they are at a disadvantage and is hoping they can get a positive result.

Tomorrow (Friday) we try to have a good result. We are going to have a good result.We are going to change from last game and have two foreign players(Tarik Cmajcanin and Robert Pericic) who didn't play that game," said Kraljevic.

"Yes, they (DPMM) are good team, playing at home, good home crowd but I think we can challenge them," he added.

"Sometimes I always think the more games you play, the better you get.I don't want to look for any excuse and just come out to win the match," continued Kraljevic.

When asked on whom to watch out, Kraljevic replied: "Everybody knows they got the tall striker(Ramazotti)and second striker(Paulo).

"In this league, if you give anybody space they will score.Everybody must be alert.Just like my team is about teamwork and not about individuals," he concluded.

Kick off is at 8.15pm, and fans can expect to see Sergio make his home debut after scoring four goals in his first three games for the club - all of which have been in Singapore.




Saturday, April 25
Ramazotti brace inspires DPMM victory.

Brunei DPMM continued their unbeaten rin in the S.League on Friday evening after defeating Warriors FC 3-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Two early goals from Rafael Ramazotti set the Bruneians on the way to victory before Paulo Sergio netted a penalty to wrap it up despite a spirited comeback from Warriors in the second half, which sae Nicolas Velez pull a goal back.

The league leaders almost had a perfect start to the game when Miroslav Pejic's left wing cross found its way to Velez at the far post after just 50 seconds.

However, the 2014 Young Player of the year somehow managed to miss from point-blank range despite being unmarked.

A minute later,Pejic forced DPMm goalkeeper Wardun Yussof into a save with an attempt from the edge of the box.The rebound fell to Fazrul Nawaz, who scuffed his shot before Velez's header was blocked.

The blistering start dd not pay off for the Warriors though, with DPMM taking the lead with their first shot of the game in the 7th minute.

Azwan Ali's accurate freekick from the right found Ramazotti, who rose above Marin Vidosevic to head past Daniel Ong.

Four minutes later, the Bruneians extended the lead. Apass from Kevin McCann was interceoted by Azwan Ali, who threaded the ball through for Ramazotti.The towering Brazilian made no mistake, slotting past Ong for his eigth of the season.

It was almost three after 20 minutes, but Ong denied Azwan's low drive from a tight angle superbly, before Sergio shot straight at the Warriors custodian minutes later.

Velez then shot straight at Wardun down the other end, while Ong once again prodced a save from sergio's effort after the striker turned Irwan Shah insode out twice.

A change at half-time saw Hafiz Rahim coem on to swing the momentum in the Warriors favour, as they pushed for a comeback. 

The defending champions almost reduced the deficit six minutes later after tge restart, but Fazrul shot wide after Velez played him through on the counter.

Hafiz and Peljic tested Wardun as well but the Bruneian keeper was equal to it on both occasons,before the Warriors finally scored in the 57th minute.

A shot from Kevin McCann was tipped over by Wardun, resulting in a corner which was played short,a nd Velez curled the ball in off the post to halve the deficit.

Hafiz had a golden opportunity to get the equaliser, but somehow side-footed fromm close range after Velez set him up superbly.

An off-the-ball incident which was erupted in the 71st minute and stopped play for several minutes saw both teams reduced to ten men with Joseph Gamble and Velez seeing red.

Warriors once again had a fantastic opportunity to pull level, but Pejic missed from two yards out after Wardun had parried Shi Jiayi's shot towards him.

Sergio wasted a great chance to seal the win for his team late on, shooting wide from a one-on-one situation after the ball broke for him in the 86th minute. 

But he redeemed himself in injury time, converting a penalty he earned to wrap up DPMM's fifth win of the season. 

Friday, April 24
DPMM face Warriors

DPMM will face their toughest test yet when they play S-League defending champions and current leaders Warriors FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

DPMMFC, who were runners-up to Warriors last season, are in good form and were the only unbeaten side left in the 10-team S-League.

DPMM coach Steve Kean exoects a difficult outing but is fully prepared for it.

"It will be a tough test for us.The warriors are the team at the top and the defending champions,"said Kean in an interview after Wednesday's training session.

They lost one game and went on a good spell. but they are coming up against a team in form-which is us.

"We're always confident because we have started the season well, but we know they have as well.

"The second 45 minutes against Geylang was the best we have had all season.

"The team is in very good form but we won't be over confident and respect our opponents as alwaays.

"After they lost one game against Albirex,they have picked up and have some very good performance," added Kean.

When asked on how they plan to contain the Warriors attackers, Kean replied:"I've been impressed with the partnership of Brian McLean and Boris Raspudic.We have ben limiting opposition together with Amin as the right back and Sairol in at the side."

"The back four and the keeper are a solid unit, but we try to play our strengths and attack.

"With the experience of those two(McLean and Raspudic) hopefully we can get another cleansheet because it was good to get one against Geylang," added the former Blackburn manager.

Kickoff is at 7.30pm 

Friday, April 17
Patience key to victory.

Brunei DPMM FC coach Steve Kean said his team's 1-0 victory over Geylang International on Thursday evening was all down to patience.

Geylang had adopted a defensive strategy for the meeting with DPMM, as they defended in numbers and attacked on the break.

The plan worked effectively, as DPMM struggled to create a clear-cut chances in the gme in the first half, and had resorted to shots from distance in order to break the deadlock.

However,DPMM stopped doing so after the break, as Kean instructed them to remain patient their build-up plays.

Their patient play eventually paid off in the 81st minute, with Paulo Sergio scoring the winner.

"The pleasing thing from my point of view was that from a frustrating first half where we didn't have many clear-cut chances, we never really panicked.

"We kept our patience in the second half.. the pleasing thing is that you see the stats we can see we had very high possessions in the second half, maybe 70%.

"Thats pleasing because the information I gave at halftime was not to panic."

Geylang International coach Jorg Steinebrunner was disappointed to lose the game, after believing his team had done enough to earn a point.

"We shouldn't have lost it,I think we did enough to get at least a point. I think tactically we played very well today," Steinebrunner expressed.

"It was our tactics to play Hafiz Osman as a free man behind the back four, it worked very well because we knew Brunei would put in a lot of long balls and have people running into space behind,we didn't see that today.

"Tactically we worked very well, we didb't give anything much away."

Steinbrunner hoped his team would learn from their defeat today, especially when it comes to conceding goals during the dying minutes of the game.

"The goal was a gift, where we had the ball in possession and then we lost the ball in our own half and then there were one or two runners and we didn't follow the runners and they scored the goal.

"Its tough to everyone, you saw that we went to toe to toe with one of the best teams in the league...performance -wise these are all encouraging things.

"But at the end of the day we need to make sure we stop making silly mistakes and then at least you get 2 points more on the board." 




Thursday, April 16
Kean calls for more patient play.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean knows that patience will the key for his side when they face Geylang International FC in the S-League tonight.

Speaking to the Brunei Times on Tuesday, Kean expects a difficult outing against Geylang at the Bedok Stadium in Singapore and insists the players should not be rush.

"We found it difficult against them last year because Geylang coach Jorg Steinbrunner organises them very well," said Kean when met at the Jerudiong Mini Stadium.

"Looking at their results,they are always in the games despite not getting as many points as they wish.

"They are tough to break down and that is the challenge for us.We are always looking to open up teams but we need to be more patient with the ball," added the Scotsman.

"At times in the last couple of matches we should have kept the ball instead of forcing the pass, and we gave it away.

"We have to take our time and swing it around.We also have to stay tight at the back because they are dangerous on the counter," continued Kean.

New signing Paulo Sergio has already impressed after notching two goals in his debut on April 4th.

Kean is pleased with the Portuguese striker and expects more from the club's new signing.

"He has settled down very well. He showed in a short time that he has gained a lot of awareness," said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"He is aware of space and is good in his decision making when with the ball.He is a good addition to the team," he added.

Sergio credited his teammates for his impact on his debut and is focused for the upcoming match.

"It was good first game(against Hougang).The most important thing is that I helped the team," said Sergio.

"We have another important game and we are up for it," he added.

When asked on how his partnership alongside Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti is coming along,he replied:"Very good.Rafa is a very good player and it is easy to play with him," he said of the league's top-scorer with 6 goals.

"He has helped me a lot.Not only him but the rest of my teammates have received me very well.That is very important," added the former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee.

Geylang skipper Jozef Kaplan has said the team are ready for tonight's outing against DPMM.

"We are preparing as usual for every game and we know that it will be a very tough game against DPMM as they are unbeaten in the league," Kaplan told the team's official website.

"...The Wasps will be another good challenge for us and we a re really looking forward to the game" he added. 

Sunday, April 5
Kean: Sergio's performance a warning to our rivals.

Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean believes Paulo Sergio's performance against Hougang Utd should serve as a warning to the rest of the league.

The Portuguese had only joined DPMM on transfer deadline day last week, but was selected to start against Hougang on Saturday evening.

Despite it being his debut, the 31-year old scored two goals and was a constant menace for Hougang defenders with his direct running as DPMM ran out 3-2 winners. Defender Brian Mc Lean scored the other goal.

Until Saturday evening, the source of DPMM's goals came from Rafael Ramazotti.

With Sergio chipping in with his share of the goals now, Kean felt that his team have sent a strong warning to their rivals to not underestimate his side's offense.

It was Rama (Ramazotti) who grabbed all the headlines for scoring the first 6 goals, but I think we showed tonight we are not just one-dimensional, so its not case of where we would cross for Ramazotti header," Kean said.

"It gives central defenders another obstacle to overcome."

The game against Hougang was DPMM's first away match of the season, but Kean was always confident his side would walk away with victory.

"Last year, we actually won more games in Singapore than we played in Brunei.So it was no surprise," Kean said.

"I thought we came off from a really tough start, it is never good when you concede a goal from aset play, and its even worse when its in the first minute.

"Maybe we were just a little bit mentally not focused enough, the first mistake was given a free-kick away.

We said earlier on the match, let's get a foothold on the match and not give any silly free-kicks away, which we did.

"We controlled most of the game, and it would have been really tough on us if we didn't have all three points." 

Sunday, April 5
Sergio special on debut gives DPMM win

A Paulo Sergio diuble on his DPMM FC debut paved the way for a 3-2 comeback victory  over Hougang Utd in the league last night.

The win at the Hougang Stadium sees DPMM stay unbeaten and move to the top of the 10-team table with 10 points from four matches.

According to the updates on the S-League twitter page, it was a disastrous start for the visitors after Kunihiko Yama***a headed home Shunsuke Nakatake's freekick in the opening minute,Sergio opened his account with the equaliser in the 13th minute.

Hougang got a chance in the 18th minute after Francisco ela put Fareez Farham through but he fired wide having only DPMM shotstopper Wardun Yussof to beat.

Rafael Ramazotti, who was named March's S-League Player of the Month earlier in the day, struck a powerful effort on goal but Hougang custodian Ridhuan Barudin was up to the task to parry his attempt in the 26th minute.

The pace of the match was slowed DPMM with DPMM taking a more cautious approach after taking the lead.

The Brunei side gained a two-goal cushion after defender Brian McLEan rose highest to head home Najib Tarif's cross in the 57th minute.

Ramazotti had a chance to add to the tally but watched his header off target in the 71st minute.

Hougang was given a lifeline after Ela curled a ball from the edge of the box into the top corner in the 87th minute to make it 3-2.

He trouble again the next minute but could only steer a header straight to Wardun seeing DPMM claim all three points from the encounter.



Saturday, April 4
March's S.League Player of the Month presented by VOXSPORTS- Rafael Ramazotti

Brunei DPMM's Rafael Ramazotti has been announced as the S.League Player Of The Month Presented by VOXSPORTS for the month of March.

Ramazotti, who is playing in his first S.League season after joining the Bruneian club at the start of the year, got off to a hot start with six goals in just three games, averaging an astonishing two goals per game.

In hid debut for DPMM, he scored a hat-trick against Harimau Muda, and is the only player to have gotten a hat-trick so far in 2015.

Ramazotti has tallied an average index score of 162.97, the highest among any players in the first week, he scored 197 points, the highest rcorded by any player so far in a single match.

The Brazilian has been quite accurate with his shooting as well, with 75% of his shots on target. He has also made full use of his height, winning 66% of his aerial duels.

All of DPMM's goals have come from Ramazotti so far, and his efforts have ensured that his team stay unbeaten so far this year.

Ramazotti's feats also means that he currently leads the goal-scoring chart.

The S-League Player of the Month Presented by VOXSPORTS awards will be presented to Ramazotti on 4th April, Saturday evening before the Hogang United vs Brunei DPMM match at the Hougang Stadium. 

Saturday, April 4
DPMM FC face away test.

DPMM FC are hoping to keep the momentum goingas they play their first away match of the S-League against Hougang Utd at the Hougang Stadium tonight.

DPMM played their last match on March 21 and coach Steve Kean said that the team-which has been bolstered by the arrival of Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio to replace the injured Craig Fagan-nas been prepared well during the break.

"It has been a great week,"said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times after yesterday's training session. 

"The lads have been fantastic and the intensity and tempo in training has been first class.

"It is good when you've got the momentum and are picking up points along the way.You want the game to come thick and fast.

"We have put plenty of work on the training ground and have focused on attacking patterns and defending crosses-both of which we feel could be improved," continued the Scotsman.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti has netted all six of DPMM's goals over their first three matches and hopes he can continue bagging in the goals.

"Sure, I wish to continue to score more goals but winning is more important. There is good confidence and we are looking to win every game," he said.

"I'm in good form but it is not just me.DPMM are in good form," said Ramazotti, who credited his teammates for the good start.

Hougang are still in search of their first victory of the season after having picking up three draws and a loss so far, but Kean expects them to be another tough test.

"Like I said at the beginning of the season, all the teams have improved -making it a tougher and a more competitive league," said Kean.

"We don't take anybody lightly and give the teams the respect they deserve.We are confident going to Singapore and results showed that last year we won more there than at home,"continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee Sergio is set to make his debut in DPMM colours but didn't train for the team for the past two days as he had to do the S-League's mandatory fitness test (Cooper test)on Thursday.

"He did the Copper test comfortably and he is very fit. He missed yesterday and today's sessions but has settled in very well and showed his quality straight away," said Kean. 

Sunday, March 29
DPMM FC find Sergio to replace injured Fagan.

DPMM FC have roped in former Sporting Lisbon academy trainee Paulo Sergio to replace the injured Craig Fagan for the rest pf the S-League season.

Fagan will be sidelined for the rest 6 months after a tear in his achilles tendon during last Saturday's draw with Home United and with the S-League having closed registration on Friday, the club could not afford to waste any time finding another import forward.

Despite yesterday's training session at the Mini Stadium only his second with his new teammates,Sergio said he will not need long to get used to playing with them.

"Football is easy...There's nothing special about it," he grinned when asked whether he would find hard to gel with so many new faces."I like playing with the ball at my feet and I'm sure I can help with my new team," he added.

Playing centrally, Sergio's intelligent movement and quick feet during yesterday's friendly against the MS ABDB helped set up a goal for midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman who scored at the far post after receiving a quick past from the Portuguese.

A product of the same academy which produced fame footballer such as Cristiano Ronaldo,Luis Figo,Nani, Ricardo Quaresma and Joao Moutinho, Sergio has already made an impression on DPMM coach Steve Kean.

"To get a quality on such short notice...It was real hard work by the management,"Kean said.

"Coming from such a fabled academy...He has high pedigree.His biggest attribute is that he's an all-around attacker and he can play as a shadow striker with Rafa on either wing.

"He has great control, pace and final pass and you can give him the ball anywhere.The signs are good," said the Scotsman. 

Friday, March 27
Tosi moves to Tampines.

Tampines Rover have snapped up ex-DPMM FC striker Rodrigo Tosi, with the Brazilian set for a reunion with former teammate Roberto Alviz at the S-League leaders.

Tosi finished last season as the S-League top-scorer but was surprisingly released by DPMM, who also chose to let midfield kingpin Alviz go.

Tosi netted 34 times in all competitions, 24 of them in the league- and was also nominated for the Best Player award in a successfuldebut season for Steve Kean in which DPMM won the Singapore LEague for a third time running,finished as S-League runners-up and claimed third in the Singapore Cup.

Speaking at the Singapore edition of football magazine FourFourTwo  yesterday,Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy-who also played a key role who persuading Alviz to return to the S-League with the Stags- was glad to have snagged one of the league's best players of 2014.

"For me, he's a really good inclusion into the squad,"Sundram said.

"We had injuries to our two foreign forwards ans we need the presence upfront.Tosi can do a good job; he can give us a lot since be scored 24 goals last season.

"It took us quite fast to convince him.

"He knows this is a famous club run by a good chairman in Mr.Teo Hock Seng and former teammate Roberto Alviz is also here to help him settle in.

"He just came over after a flight of almost 30 hours and we'll arrange him soon to take the 2.4km (mandatory fitness)test," added the former Lions XII and Negri Sembilan coach.

FourFourTwo also reported that Tosi replaces Haitian forward Fabrice Noel who scored the wiining goal in Tampines' season opener against Albirex Niigata but injured his hamstring in the second game against Young Lions causing him to miss the next two matches. 


Wednesday, March 25
Fagan out for six months.

English forward Craig Fagan will be out for at least six months after suffering a tear to the achilles tendon on his left foot, handling DPMM a huge blow just three games into their S-League campaign.

He picked up the injury in the first half of the match against Home Utd on Saturday United and had to be replaced by Adi Said in the 37th minute.

DPMM coach Steve Kean can only hope for a speedy recovery for the Englishman who underwent surgery yesterday morning.

"The good news is that he already had surgery and like any surgery the next most important thing is rehab," said the Scotsman in an interview with the Brunei Times after a training session yesterday at the Mini Stadium.

"It is a major blow firstly, for player and secondly, to us.We just have to make sure his rehab is good and that he can continue his career as soon as possible.

We want to wish Craig a speedy recovery.As a club we want to see if it is possiblefor us to recruit another player.

"We won't have another player for at least the next two weeks and this is an opportunity for other players to take," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

Fagan,32, last played for League One (English third-tier) side Gillingham before being released at the end of the 2013-14 season. 

Sunday, March 22
A point frustrates Kean and Aw.

Steve Kean and Philippe Aw believed that their respective teams should have walked away with all three points from their encounter last night.

The two coaches expressed their views after watching DPMM and Home United remain as the only two unbeaten teams in the S-League after 2-2 draw in Bandar Seri Begawan.

DPMM coach felt that they had done enough to win it but had only themselves to blame late on.

"We are disappointed not to take all three points but we are unbeaten and still have a game in hand,putting us in a strong position," said Kean.

"We have to learn to manage the game better in the last 20 minutes. We didn't take the sting out of the game and played a higher tempo than what was required which saw Home United got a hold of the ball,"added the DPMM coach.

"I thought we had enough possession of the ball and chances to see the game out. We put pressure on ourselves towards the end with the number of balls coming into the box.

"To be fair, Hoem put a lot of good quality into the box during that period and they sustained enough pressure to get a goal," he added.

His couterpart Aw felt that the turning point came just before the interval and they should not have conceded then.

"For me the game changer was that goal on the stroke of halftime,"Aw said.

"Our player was down so we kicked it out. We expected ball to come back to us but our opponents didn't.They continued playing and we conceded that goal."

Nonetheles, he was delighted with the showing of his charges.

"I'm happy with the performance of my team.We knew they had tall players and their No 19 (Rafael Ramazotti0 was good in the air,"said Aw."We created chances and we dominated the last 15 minutes. If you ask me,I'm disappointed  as we should have taken the three points today," he concluded. 

Sunday, March 22
DPMM FC,Home share spoils.

The encounter between two unbeaten teams in the S.League certainly live up to its billings.DPMM and Home Utd shared the spoils after a 2-2 draw in a high intensity matchup last night.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti netted both goals for the Brunei side, bringing his tally to six in the camapign, while Ken Ilso and Kamel Ramdani scored in either half for the Protectors.

DPMM made two changes to their starting line-up with the dup of Helmi Zambin and Sairol Sahari given their first startsof the season.It was a quiet encounter in the early stages and it was only in the 13th minute that DPMM got the first shot on goal through a Craig Fagan free-kick from 25 yards out but only straight to Home goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

They should got infront in the 29th minute but Brian McLean's header from close range was denied by Hyrulnizam.

Instead, Home broke the deadlock the next minute after Ilson held off his defender in the box before firing to the far post with his left foot on the turn for the lead.

The Danish forward almost doubled the Protectors lead 2 minutes later with a good attempt from 20 yards out but DPMM custodain Wardun Yusof did well to deny him.

DPMM were forced to make a change and brought on Adi Said in a place of Fagan in the 37th minuet due to injury.DPMM equalised right before the stroke of halftime with Boris launching a free-kick from the mid-way line into the Home box.Hyrulnizam tried to get a hand to it into the net to make it 1-1 at the interval.DPMM grabbed the lead on the hour mark with Sairol putting a cross in from the left for Ramazotti to head past Hyrulnizam. It was the last action for the former as Awan Ali Rahman was sent on right after in his place. Home almsot responded two minutes later but Wardun produced a good save to deny Ilso's freekick from 35 yards out.

DPMM should have doubled their advantgae in the 66th minute but Hyrulnizam produced a good save to deny Hendra Azam's long range strike.

Ramazotti bulge the net on the rebound but was flagged for offside.Home were desperate for a goal and pushing forward in numbers. They almost got a break through in the 72nd minute but Wardun denied Song Uiyong from inside the box.Ramdani pounced on the rebound but his attempt was cleared off the line by Raspudic. The visitors equalised in the 84th minute after a freekick from the left to the far-post was put back into the six-yard box.

Wardun got a hand to it but only to as far as Ramdani to fire it into the net to make it 2-2.Both teams was in search of the late winner but it was not meant to be as DPMm dropped their first points of the season in 3 matches. 



Saturday, March 21
Battle of the unbeaten

DPMM FC want to maintain their perfect league record but face tough opposition against the league's only other unbeaten side, Home United tonight.

DPMM FC, though, have two games in hand ahead of leaders Tampines Rovers, who are on 9 points.

Coach Steve Kean knows the difficulties in playing the Protectors and is hoping his charges will produce the goods at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight.

"The games in hand are no good if we don't win them.We are looking for a good victory and performance as we want to maintain a 100 per cent start to our season," said Kean in an interviewafter yesterday's training session yesterday.

"Every time we play Home Utdrecently has been tough.We watched them playing Tampines and they were very comfortable.

"They played very well and controlled the game They deserved to win.They attack very well with the front three and pass the ball well in midfield.

"They tend to dominate possessionlike we do and that is the main battle," continued Kean.

When asked on the availability of Ak Fakharazzi and Azwan Ali Rahman, both who picked injuries during the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday,Kean siad that Fakharazzi is doubtful while Azwan Ali has recovered over the past few days and will be available.

"We will get another two week break after this match and should be 100 percent by then," he added.

Coach Philip Aw, who took over the position after Lee Lim Saeng stepped down on Dec 5, is wary about DPMM FC's height advantage.

"All teams that come here expect a tough game," said Aw, who led Home 's Prime League team to an unbeaten record last season en route to wiining the title.

"They have 5 foreigners,of which four of them are very tall - and they will utilise these four at set pieces," he added.

DPMM have failed to register a win against the Protectors in their 4 past meetings, including 2 in the Singapore Cup and can be seen as a bogey team for the Brunei side.

Aw is not taking into account any of the past results though.

"Ths year is a new season.We could have been the bogey team in the past but we are a new team and they are also new.Anything can happen," said the former Home Utd player from 1999-2002.

"I don't beleive history will count for anything and I think that every game is different," he concluded.Kickoff is at 8.15pm. 

Sunday, March 8
Ramazotti continues hot form as DPMM notch second win.

Brunei DPMM bagged back-to-back wins to sstart their Great Eastern YEO's campaign after defeating Albirex Niigata FC 1-0 last night.

Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti notted the only goal of the match to separate the two sides at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Both teams got off to slow starts and it was Albirex who got the first chance of the match.

A defensive error by Azwan Salleh in the 12th minute allowed Atsushi Kawata to put on shot on target only for DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof to push it over the bar for a corner.

DPMM got their first attempt in the 23rd minute with Ramazotti firing on the turn from just inside the box but only in the hands of Albirex shot-stopper Yosuke Nazawa.

The Brunei side got another chance four minutes later but Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic ut his header just wide off the right post.

Azwan Salleh should have put DPMM in front the next minute after rifling a shot from outside the box only to watch the ball brush the top of the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken on the half hour mark after a back pass to Kento Fujihara was chased down by Azwan Ali.

The ball fell to the back allowing Ramazotti to slide home the ball past on onrushing Nazawa for his fourth of the season.

Ramazotti had back-to-back chances just before the halftime whistle.He could not steer his header on target for the first and got it wrong on the volley inside the box on a Craig Fagan cross.

Albirex almost equalised just 4 minutes after the restart courtesy of a free-kick by Kawata from 25 yards which required Wardun to dive down to his right to push it out for a corner.

Neither side produced much fo much of the second half till the 82nd minute after Nazwa failed to deal with a Joe Gamble free-kick into the box.

The ball fell nicely for Raspudic but the DPMM centre-back fired over.

Ramazotti should have added to his tally  in the 89th minute but was denied by the crossbar.

They cam close against the next minute but Aminuddin Zakwan fired straight at Kawata from inside the box. 

Saturday, March 7
DPMM FC set for battle.

DPMM FC face a stern test when they host Albirex Niigata in the league today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Results over the last year favour the Brunei side as they were victorious in all five meetings - two in the Singapore Cup quarterfinals - but DPMM coach Steve Kean believes that it will be another tough encounter.

"I expect a tough game. Even thoigh we got good results against them last season,they were one of the best sides in the leaague,"sai KEan in an interview after a training session yesterday.

"They are difficult to play against as they always try to dominate possession.They pass the ball well and technically very good.Thet are quick and fit.We have to make that we don't have the ball,we get in a tight and compact unit otherwise they can cut yo open," he added.

"We got good results before but we take nothing for grantedand will give them full respect.

"They are excellent club and I like their brand of football that they always play," continued the Scotsman.DPMM are in confident mood after coming off a strong showing following a 3-1 victory against Harimau Muda in their season opener last Sunday with Brazilian forward Rafael Ramazotti nothced a hat-trick in his debut.There are no injury worries for Kean except that forward Shahrazen Said suffered a cut to his head during training yesterday."I'm sure with few stitches and a bandage he should be available for selection,"said Kean. "It was good he got to come on the other night .He unsettles the defences when he comes on with his power and pressure. Hopefully he will be fine and everybody else is 100 percent fit,"he added.

Kean is alsohoping that they can get a good number of supporters to attend the game.

"It is nice for fans to see two consecutive games and get a feel for the team,"said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

"I hope we get a good crowd on Saturday. Hopefully we can get a few more people the face we started so well,"he added.On the other hand,Albirex assistant coach Tomoaki Sasaki expects a difficult outing but assures his charges are ready to do the battle. "In the last game against Tampines, we had problems on both sides (attack and defence).We will have to improve on both for this match," said Sasaki. "Tomorrow will be a tough game but we do have to confidence. DPMM are a very good side with tall and tough players,"he added. Kick off is at 8.15pm. 

Monday, March 2
Hat-trick hero Ramazotti stars in DPMM FC debut.

Rafael Ramazotti bagged a hat-trick in his debut as DPMM kicked off their Singapore League campaign with a 3-1 win over Harimau Muda.

The Brazilian striker opened the scoring in the 24th minute when he headed home midfielder Azwan Ali's corner from the right.

The 27-year old scored his second with a fantastic volley from 30-metres out before completed his hat-trick just eight 8 minutes after the restart in the second half.

"I am very happy...first game it is always difficult and hard to score...I think I was lucky this is a result of the training...hard training," said Ramazotti in an interview after the match.

Earlier in the first half striker Fagan almost gave DPMM the lead when he was picked unmarked inside the penalty box by Azwan Ali but the striker headed awfully wide.

DPMM dominated the possession from the start passing the ball around but they failed to get past the Harimau Muda defensive line.

Harimau Muda midfielder Sharul Igwan brought the first save of the game from Wardun after being allowed to run for far too long with the ball following a counter attack.

Harimau Muda goalkeeper Farhan Abu Bakar was called into action shortly midfielder Hendra Azam fired shot just inches wide from outside the penalty box.

DPMMfinally broke the deadlock when Ramazotti rose above everyone inside the penalty box to head in Azwan Ali's corner to give his team a 1-0 lead.

Harimau Muda were punished again in the 40th minute when they failed to clear long ball from DPMM own half-the ball fell right in front of Ramazotti and the striker slammed the ball first time straight into the net leaving goalkeeper Farhan no chance at all.DPMM contunued to control the game in the second half and they found the net again in the 53rd minute when midfielder Joe Gamble brilliantly picked Ramazotti on the left and the latter blasted the ball into the net with his left foot as he completed his hat-trick.

Harimau Muda did make a few chances notably when striker Kumaahran Saathsivamheader went just inches wide but apart from a couple of attempts from free-kicks and shot from outside the penalty box the home side did not manage to put much to trouble centrebacks Boris Raspudic and Brian McLean in defence. Harimau Muds however managed to pull one back in the 90th minute when Ridzuan Abdullah Punlo was given plenty of space from outside of the penalty box.

DPMM manager Steve Kean was ahppy with his team;s performance and the manager singled out Ramazotti for praise.

"I think what you've probably seen tonight is just a glimpse of what Rafa can bring to the club," said Steve Kean in the post match conference.

"He's obviously a fantastic player and he cans also score any type of goal...He scored with his left foot which was not his strongest and he's probably unlucky not to get another couple of goals.

"But what I must say is that its not just about Rafa tonight its also the service of the whole team and Craig also did very well and as did Azwan Ali...they were exceptional.

"We've got a lot of quality on the squad so its never just about one player but obviously Rafa will get the headlines because of his goals bit I thought the two central defenders tonight were exceptional(Raspudic and McLean)...they really pushed Harimau Muda high up the pitch and won lots of balls, especially in the first half.

"I'm really impressed with how the squad is coming together tonight as a team and a bigger picture the squad is very strong.

"We got a bit greedy wwhen we were 3-0 up, you want to score four and five goals, ans thats no disrespect for Harimau Muda when we're so far ahead in the game, wew ere hoping to put more goals in the tally, and we were a little bit annoyed that we didn't get a clean sheet but there was a deflection at the end and it was a tough one for Wardun," he added. 

Thursday, February 26
DPMM all set for new season.

DPMM FC are in fine form ahead oftheir season-opening S-League game against Harimau Muda on Sunday.

Speaking to the Brunei Times after the photo op,DPMM FC team manager Ali Momin hopes that the club can improve on their perfoamance from last season when they finished as S-League runners-up, Singapore League Cup champions and claimed third in the Singapore Cup.

"Our target is to become the S-League and the Singapore Cup champions as we never won those titles before," said Ali in an interview with the Brunei Times yesterday.

The club have signed three new foreign playersthis season:English forward Craig Fagan,Scottish defender Brian McLean and Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti.

They join Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic as the team's five imports for the new S-League season.When asked about the new imports,Ali replied: "We will have to see in their first match this Sunday.

"It is difficult to play in a competitive match compared to normal friendly.Due to their height advantage,I feel that the imports can help us to score and defend on set-pieces.

"Last season we conceded many goals from set pieces due to our players height," added the manager.

Striker Shahrazen echoed his manager's comments,saying that he hopes the club can top the S-League, retain the League Cup and make the Singapore Cup final.

"As a striker my job is to score for my team. I also have a target of how many goals I want to score,but it depends on how many matches I play," he added.

"About the new imports, I can see there is quality that Rafael and Fagan can give to our attack.Rafael has his height advantage while Fagan has experienced playing in the Premier League,"answered the striker when asked about the new imports.

Commenting on the new local young players,Shahrazen said: "I'm surprised they have quickly adapt to our playing style as our previous players needed longer time.I believe one or two of them can play in the first-11 this season,"Shahrazen's younger brother also shared his brother's hopes.

"My target for this season is the same as Shahrazen, but I really hope that we don't repeat last season's performance where we lost the league at the very last match," said the striker.

"I do not set any scoring targets but I hope I will be given trust to play more this season," he answerd when asked about his goal scoring target this season. 

Md Suhandi Mahali, who joins as a new goalkeeper, is hoping that he can improve his performance.

"I hope that I can improve and give healthy competition to the other goalkeepers," said the goalkeeper who played for MS ABDB for 7 years.

When asked about Steve Kean's trainign regime,"It is hard compared to my training at MS ABDB, but I'm ok with it."

The match against Harimau Muda is set for 8.15pm at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. 

Tuesday, February 17
DPMM FC players, sponsors sign contracts for new season.

Three new foreign playerswere among the team of 25 that inked their names onto DPMM FC contracts yesterday for the new S-League season.

English forward Craig Fagan, Northern Ireland defender Brian McLeanand Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti join Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic as the team's five imports for the new campaign which kicks off on March 1.

The signing ceremony at the Red Jade Room, Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong was witnessed by YAM Pg Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul irshad Pg Anak Hj Abd Rahim,DPMM FC vice-chairman, with representatives,from eight companies also signing on the dotted line.

Fagan,McLeanand Ramazotti are replacing last season's top-scorer Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi,Irish forward Roy O'Donovan and Croatian Roberto Alviz.

Fagan, 32, was previously at League One (English third-tier)side Gillingham but spent most of his career playing for Hull City from 2005-2007 and from 2008-2010 when they were in the Premier League.

McLean 29, has played for Falkirk,Dundee Utd and Ross County in the top-tier Scottish Premiership, while a Ramazotti, 26, last laced up for J-League Division 3 side Gainare Tottori last year.

A press release from his agent sid that Fagan has made a total of 80 appearances for EPL sides Birmingham  City,Hull City adn Derby County and has scored against the likes of Fulham,West Brom, Bolton Wanderers,Manchester Utd and Man City.

Speaking to the media, Fagan said he was pleased with the standard showed in the squad which finished as runners-up to Warriors FC last season.

"I really enjoy playing with this team.The standard here is really good and with the addition (of new players) we have this year,I hope we can amke a push for the championship this season," he said.

When ash=ked about working with former Blackburn manager Steve Kean, he replied,"It is good to work with an English manager and I am looking forward to every session.

"I've never played in Asia before, but I've watched football in all continents and I am looking forward to playing here,"added Fagan.

Mc Lean, who knew about DPMM after having conversation with Kean, also does not have any experience playing in Asia.

But like Fagan, his aim is to win titles for DPMM.

"This team is really fantastic and our preparation was really good," said the defender.

"The challenge for me here is the climate and I still have to adapt to it.My ultimate goal is to win the league and cup with the team," he added.

Ramazotti who played on J-League 3 side,Gainare Tottori is also happy to play in Brunei.

"They(the players) are very good guys and I like the city here," said Ramazotti.

When asked about the weather here, he responded: "I don't have a problem with the weather here since it is the same as in Brazil."

Representatives from Mitsubishi Corporation,Maju Motors Sdn Bhd, Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd, DST Group,Royal Brunei Airlines, Hertz, Hui Huang Enterprise and Sports Partnership Pte Ltd also signed on as sponsors. 


Thursday, February 12
Kean focusing on positives.

Steve Kean is trying to focis on the positives despite DPMM losing all three of their pre-season matches in Thailand.

Their final match was losing the Thai Premier outfit Suphanburi FC 2-1 at the Suphanburi Stadium.

However, DPMM coach Kean said the club got exactly what theu bargained for as the main aim of the trip was to test the players ahead of their S-League opener against Harimau Muda

"The idea of the Thailand trip was to get the most competitive games...befire some teams start their season," said Kean in an interview with the Brunei Times when mt after training session at the Mini Stadium.

"The Thailand season starts on Saturday and the teams are fully prepared.

"It was much better to play and stretch ourselves against them.We had other invitations to go to other parts of the world but we fwtlt his is the bets option so we can learn much more about our team.

"If we played a lesser team and won by a big margin, we won't really able to push ourselves defensivly or physically.

"The biggest thing is that we know what we need to work on before our campaign starts to ensure that we are ready.

"We were competitive against three very good sides and we got gradually got better with the games," continued the Scotsman, who helped the club finished second last year.

The latest inclusions into the squad - Md Khairul Anwar Abd Rahim,Reduan Hj Petara,Ak Yura Indera Putera Yunos and Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir - managed to impress the former Blackburn manager.

"I never like to single anyone out, but again like last year,the youngest lads were excellent," said Kean.

"They are capable of starting the first match.It is not a case where they are young but they are pushing the most experienced players on the team to start the season.

"There is good competition and it creates a nice environment where everyone's got tp be on their toes.Anyone in the squad can play the first game," continued the 47-year old.

Kean also said he was aware that the dates for the first round of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup will clash with DPMM FC's S-League schedule.

Brunei were drawn against Chinese Taipei during Tuesday's draw, and the national team will play the away fixture on March 12 and the home game on March 17 - with the bulk of the team sure to be drawn from DPMM, who slated to take on the young Lions on March 11 and Home Utd on March 18.

"We will talk to FAS to see if we can postpone our games," said Kean.

"We want the country to do well and we wouldn't want to play in the league when half the team is away," he concluded. 


Tuesday, January 27
Kean looking forward to season opener.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is happy with the progress of his charges and is looking forward to kicking the S-Leaague season off at home.

There is just over a month left until the team open their S-League campaign ob March  1 against Harimau Muda at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, with Kean saying that he is relishing the opportunity to start the season off against the Malaysian Under-22 team.

"It is always nice to start with a home game but we always like to going to Singapore as well," said Kean in aan interview with the Brunei Times after a training session yesterday.

"This year all 10 teams are a little bit stronger and have to play adifferent formar - three rounds no split rounds.

"I believe we can have a really good seaonand we are looking forward to kicking off as soon as we can.

"Training has been good and it has been a tough three weeks.We have been doing physical work with the ball and have done many sessions at the gym.

"The lads have put in a lot of hard work and they are shaping up very well, and the biggest thing I've noticed so far is that their physical level is mush higher compared to that at this time last year.

"The work they've put in during the off season has paid off as well as they are looking fit and sharp,"continued the Scotsman.

DPMM's first away game will be on March 7 against Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium before going against Young Lions four days later at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The S-League runners-up will then host Home United in their last match of the month on March 18.

DPMM had about a dozen foreign players on trial over the past two weeks but only one - Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti -remains in the Sultanate.

"The good thing is that last year at this time we were trying to assemble a squad that could challenge for all 3 competitions," said Kean.

"There were good imports and hopefully by the end of this week we will discuss the final selection and get all 5 imports signed on the dotted line," added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

DPMM were slated to play against the Indonesia Premier League outfit Persija Jakarta this week in a friendly but things didn't materialise.

"It has been difficult to get games.Initially we wanted to get a team from Indonesia to coem here but it didn't work out," said Kean.

"Another team from Indonesia wanted us to go there but I didn't want us to miss three to four days of training just to play one game.

"The good thing is that we've got 20 players and we get to play against each other at a high level. Sometimes it is just as good as playing against any other team.

"We didn't play many games last year as well and starting off well in the league. Training is the most important thing for us to get shape and structure," added the 47-year old.

DPMM are planning to head to Thailand for a pre-season competition next month.

Ramazotti is set to travel with the team to Thailand and the forward is hoping that he will able to impress to earn a berth in the roster.

"It is very nice here in Brunei.I like th club and the people here,"said the Brazilian.

"I like how Steve worksI've watched him back when he was still coaching in England and he is a good coach.

"I hope that I'll be able to help the club to be champions," concluded Ramazotti, who last plied his trade in Japanese third-tier side Gainare Tottori.


Saturday, January 24
DPMM to play Harimau Muda in season opener.

DPMM FC will start their 2015 S-League season with a clash against Harimau Muda on March 1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah NAtional Stadium in Berakas.

They will next face Albirex on March 7 at the Jurong East Stadium before meeting Young Lions at the Jalan BesarStadium on March 11.

DPMM FC will close the month with a home match against Home United on March 18.

The club's head coach Steve Kean has set his sights on a treble this season after coming off their best season to date by winning the League Cup,claiming runners-up spot in the Singapore League snd a third-place finish in the Singapore Cup.

Irish midfielder and Bosnian defender Boros Raspudic are the only two returning imports from last season.

The team recently trying out about 10 import players, but some of them are not ready or good enough to be signed.

DPMM will test another few players, among them former Inter Milan player Alvaro Recoba, Lebanese international Hussain Awada and top-scorer from the Lebanese League from Ivory Coast. 

The team also plan to head in Thailand in February for a pre-season friendly.

Saturday, January 17
DPMM in no hurry to pick players.

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean feels there is no need to rush into making decisions on the foreign players currently on trial with the club.

There are currently a tatla of 13 foreign players in the Sultanate on trial, who are looking to sign three imports to fill the S-League's five-import quota for every team.

Irish midfielder and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic are the only two returning imports from last season after the club surprisingly released top-scorer Rodrigo Tosi , Irish forward Roy O'Donovan and Roberto Alviz.

"Some of these players have barely been here a week and I would like to see them improve in the next couple of weeks,"said Kean after the team;s training on Monday.

"Hopefully there will be some players here we offer contracts to.If not, we will just have to invite more.

"Initially we were looking at confirming the three spots by the end of this week, but now we've got an extra two weeks with the league being pushed back a bit," he added. "We are always open and if we can't fill the quota then we will keep looking.We will not simply take anybody for the sake of it," continued the Scotsman.

Fans will be able to catch the team in action for the first time this time at the end of Januarywhen they take on IndonesianPremier LEague outfit Persija Jakarta at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Kean is anticipating a good backing for the Indonesia side and is looking forward for the friendly.

"We always expect a big crowd when any Indonesian team comes here to play.They are always energetic," said Kean,adding that Persija Jakarta would be a "tough team" to beat.

DPMM also plan to head to Thailand in February for 3 friendly matches. 

Wednesday, January 7
Import search starts again.

Some 10 foreignplayers are expected to be on trial with DPMM over the next few days.

Last year's Singapore League runner-up held their first training session of 2015 on Monday, with thwo of the players present on the pitch at the Jerudong Mini Stadium -Liberian international defender Parick Gerhardtand Congolese national team goalkeeper Barel Mouko.

Seven more players took to the field yesterday with the remaining player set to join the rest today.

Gerhardt plied his trade with Melbourne Heart in the A-League for the past three years before coming to try out in the Sultanate while Mouko was the backup goalkeeoer at French Ligue 1 club Lille.

Speaking to the Brunei Times on Monday,Swiss-born Gerhardt said he is enjoying his time here and is hoping to put on a good show.

"It is a good club. People are very friendly and very welcoming and the culture is also good," said Gerhardt.

"I was talking to my agent and he said it would be a good stop to come play here. I wanted to play in Asia and he said it is a good place to be. We will see what happens in the next few days," he continued.

Gamble said he is delighted to be back in the Sultanate and is expecting another great player for the team after 2014's campaign also reaped the Singapore League Cup and a third-place finish in the Singapore Cup -  the club's best season to date.

"Although it was a fantastic season we aredisappointed really at the final outcome," said Gamble.

"We could have won the league and had a good chance to win the Singapore Cup.

"We know that we can go to the distance and the players here know that we are capable of winning the league.

"We will carry on where we left off as we had a good strong last three games to end the season," continued Gamble.

The Irishman also felt that things are looking better to start off the New Year compared to last year.

"We are already at a good state coming into the first day of pre-season. We are at a good standard compared to last year," said Gamble.

"We were not able to train like this from day one (last year). I can say that we are 20-30 per cent better in terms of fitness and are mentally better prepared than last year," he concluded. 

Tuesday, January 6
Kean setting the bar high.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean wants to go one step further this year by winning the treble.

The Scotsman led the club to their best season to date last year in his first year in charge of finishing as runners-up in the Singapore League, champions in the Singapore League Cup and claiming third in the Singapore Cup.

This year, though, the target is all three cups. 

"My expectation is to have a better season than last," said Kean yesterday ahead of the S-League season which is expected to kick-off in March.

"Last season is excellent for us as we were on top of league most of the time, but unfortunately the week which mattered the most, we didn't win the game.

"Our first goal is to tryo to do better and win the S-League.We are proud to be the League Cup holders and we want to retain that.

"There is no shame in setting our goals very high. We will build and even stronger side this year," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager in an interview with the media after DPMM FC's first training session of the year at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Kean will be looking at shaping up a stronger defensive unit again this season - something that was lacking at the later stages of last year's campaign.

"Our aim is to concede fewer goals," said Kean.

"We will always score goals, but too many time especially away from home,we had to score three or four to win a game.

"If we score one goal away,it should be enough to win.

"We have to start a process from the back to ensure we get more clean sheets.

We have to be a team that is hard to score against, and it will be a good platform to build the rest of the side," continued Kean.

The team got over a month off from training at the pitch but they have been working hard at building up their physique at the Reebok Crossfit 673 gym .

"We have worked hard for the off-season," said Kean.

The lads have been going three sessions per week in the gym and they have come back string, sharp and are freshed.

It was not a case where we were playing 11 vs 11. The boys got time away from this place and got gaisn in their body with gym sessions," he added.

In terms of foreign players, DPMM will be looking at signing three other import players.

They have retained the duo of Irish midfielder Joe Gamble and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic from last season and Kean is expecting to find more quality imports to compliment the roster.

"We've got a spread across the board from goalkeepers to defenders and strikers as well as midfield players," said Kean.

"For any club it is about looking at people and making sure they can strengthen the squad.

"If they are not any better than what we have, we will look elsewhere.

"Every year we try to keep it fresh.

"We are always looking forward and we have to keep improving," concluded the Scotsman. 

DPMM are arranging to hold a friendly match against the Indonesian Premier League outfit,Persija Jakarta end of January before going to Thailand in February. 

Saturday, December 27
DPMM setting up youth squad.

Brunei DPMM will be setting up its youth squad next yearand is calling on young local footballers aged 17 to 18 years old to join the try-out on January 11,2015 at Jerudong Mini Stadium, the home of Brunei DPMM FC.

Ali Momin, Brunei DPMM FC team manger yesterday said," We are looking for young footballers to join Brunei DPMM to train and to take the place of retiring local players. It is the first time that we are establishing a youth team and I hope that talented footballers would not miss the opportunity to join the only professional club in Brunei."

This year, Brunei DPMM  toured various schools to promote the club and head coach Steve Kean had in numerous occasion welcomed the idea od setting up a Brunei DPMM youth squad and hopes that the students will join the club in the future.

Ali Momin said, " We are welcoming footballers aged 17 to 18 years old to attend the tryout on January 11. They can register at the Jerudong Mini Stadium at 7.30am on that day."

On the Brunei DPMM FC's squad for next year's S.League he said, "We have already two confirmed imports  -  Boris Raspudic and Joe Gamble. We are currently looking for another three imports to fill the remaining places. 

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 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 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. 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 i