Brunei football community welcomes the return of S.League with festival

DPMM FC’s players, staff and supporters gathered for an afternoon of fun ahead of their seasonal home debut
Cesare Polenghi

More than thousand gathered at the Mini Stadium Jerudong, just outside Bandar Seri Begawan, for the S.League DPMM FC Football festival 2013.

The event was the chance for DPMM FC, the Bruneian team playing in the S.League, to introduce their 2013 squad to their supporters, ahead of their home debut that is scheduled for this coming Friday, March 1.

S.League CEO Lim Chin flew over from Singapore to give a short opening speech, during which he remarked how the local team has been a welcome addition to the S.League and deservedly won the Singapore League Cup in 2012.

"We have brought here today all three S.League trophies to display," Mr. Lim addressed the Bruneians team and supporters. "You have won [the Singapore League Cup] last year, you need two more to complete your collection!"

DPMM FC and Brunei national team coach Vjeran Simunic was moderately optimistic as he spoke to "What I care about is for the team to play as good as we did last year, and eventually results will come."

"I know that the club management has great expectations, but in football it's easier to rise to the top than to actually stay up there; look at what just happened to Barcelona [who  last week were unexpectedly beaten by Milan]."

"The level of the S.League has improved a lot from the last season,” added the Croatian. “There are of course the 'three giants'; Home, Tampines and Warriors. But all teams have added good players. We want to compete for titles, and we'll be at our best as soon as our new foreign players begin to fit into our game."

After the ceremony, the day continued with a U12 tournament played by local teams. The boys and their coaches were greeted before kick-off by Mr. Lim and the Vice Chairman of DPMM FC, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim. Each kid received an 'Our S.League' t-shirt.

The day ended with the young players, their parents, coaches and the DPMM players all mingling together for pictures, to remember what was a great afternoon of football for Brunei and the S.League.

As Mr. Lim said in his speech: "Our countries, Brunei and Singapore, have a very good relationship, and I am glad we can express it also through our cooperation in football.”

DPMM FC, who have tied Home United 0-0 in Singapore last Thursday, will host Hougang United in the next round.