The former Blackburn Rovers boss finally put pen to paper for his new S.League club, and took to the field immediately to oversee his new chargesThe long-awaited signing of Steve Kean was completed by Brunei DPMM on Wednesday, November 27 at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
The former Blackburn Rovers boss had been revealed by Goal Singapore as the new Head Coach of the S.League club in late October, and the signing drew strong interest from S.League and European football fans, something Kean himself noted in an interview with The Brunei Times.
“I am delighted to be here and respectful of the club for inviting me, and I know there is a lot of buzz not only here but also in Singapore and I’m positive there is going to be a boom in Asia in the coming years," he told the Brunei daily following a press conference for his official signing.
“I won’t be surprised if more coaches from Europe come to Asia as it has gotten more competitive the last few years."
The signing ceremony was attended by club manager Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, as well as vice-chairman YAM Pg Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pg Anak Haji Abdul Rahim Pg Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj and High Commissioner of Singapore His Excellency Jaya Ratnam.
DPMM who finished eighth and lost the League Cup 4-0 to Balestier Khalsa, are in the midst of a renewal process, after a disappointing season, which followed their runners-up finish the year before and success in the League Cup, under previous coach Vjeran Simunic.
Kean took his team on their first training session soon after the signing ceremony, stamping his determination on improving the fortunes of the club.
“The statistics don’t lie and there have been a lot of goals conceded in the last 15 minutes," he told The Brunei Times, having watched his new club in action in their last game of the season.
“So the focus on pre-season is to be solid at the back, but not take anything away from their attacking flair. I still want to see the attacking side of DPMM FC but we conceded too many goals last season, though I’m not really blaming the defenders."
With, several high-profile names on trial at the club, including former England international, Francis Jeffers, Kean has emphasised a need to focus on local players, and also stated his desire to learn Malay to help in communication.
"Some of our younger players have fantastic technical abilities and they are our future," he added.
"I used to be an academy director and I like to develop younger players and push them into the first team. If I can do that here, DPMM FC will have a bright future."
Several former internationals, including Jeffers, are currently on trial at DPMM, with four foreign slots up for grabs, as Rodrigo Tosi has been retained for the new season.
The new S.League season will kick-off early 2014 with no changes in team line-up announced so far, and the current 2.5 round system of games also to be retained.