DPMM FC coach Steve Kean posing for a photo after last night's friendly against Kelantan. Picture: BT/Saiful Omar
DPMM FC striker Rodrigo Tosi (C) in a June 2013 file photo. Picture: BT/Saiful Omar
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean yesterday revealed he will be basing his attack around striker Rodrigo Tosi this season.
Tosi is the only one of five import players from the previous season who was offered a new contract to continue with the club this season - the Brazilian currently in his second stint with the club after spending a year with DPMM FC during the 2005/2006 Malaysian Super League season.
He rejoined Brunei's only professional club last June, and has played well enough for the club to place their trust in him.
"The most important thing for us is that our main guy who I want to play as the striker this year, Rodrigo Tosi, I wanted to try keep him on as long as possible tonight," said Kean after last night's friendly match against Kelantan.
"We are looking also our front three (of trial players) Frederic Nimani, Nathan Fontaine and Andrea Augusto Mendoza.
"So because we only had 90 minutes, I spoke to them before the match and told them they would all play 30 minutes," said Kean, adding that the club might try and organise another friendluy game against a local team before the Singapore League season starts.
DPMM FC take on Albirex in their season-opener on Feb 22 and then face Warriors FC in their first home game six days later.
The club also made an appearance in the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup last week, where they won their first game 3-1 against Nakhon Si Heritage on Friday before losing to Phuket FC 2-0 on Sunday.
Kean officially joined Brunei's only professional club on Nov 27, taking over from Vjeran Simunic.
Shortly after signing his contract, he pointed out that he wanted to work on building a defensively stronger team.
It seems to have worked as he called last night's organisation "excellent".
"The first aspect for this time of the season is fitness. Yesterday we did a double session and made sure that all the players, and not just the ones that played tonight, are all physically ready for the start of the season," he said after the game at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
"The second thing we have been working on is defensive organisation, and I thought tonight that the back-four, the goalkeeper and the midfield four.
"All the organistation behind the ball, you know, was excellent - and it limited the opposition to a few half-chances but no shots on target, so that's very encouraging.
"And out of the, I don't know how many, maybe 20 shots we had. I was hoping they (the fans) would see one or two goals because I think we deserved them.
"I would really like to publicly thank the fans.
"It's always nice to win but I feel sorry for the fans. They were superb, got right behind the team and were really positive. I think that energy transmitted to the players and we were excellent tonight," said Kean, adding he might go to watch Albirex in a friendly in Singapore tonight.
Kelantan coach Steve Darby went into the game without expecting to walk away with anything, saying that his main objective was to see how his players that have had less time on the field performan.
"I thought that we would be beaten tonight, I don't mean badly or stupidly," said Darby in an interview following the match.
"The results were irrelevant to me, win, lose or draw, because we came to look at performances. For us it's worth it that our reserves and our young players got 90 minutes.
"The first half, the starting 11. They hadn't played all year. As they tired out in the second half, we had to bring on three of the seniors players.
"But the first half I thought our goalkeeper was outstanding. I mean you got to be honest, that could have been 4-0. They rose tonight, and I was delighted with their performance.
With Kelantan's next match seeing them take on Sabah in the Malaysia FA Cup on Tuesday, Darby said he has spotted certain players that he can now trust on the field to do the job.
"You don't know until they play, and this friendly serves the purpose of coming in and doing that job," he said. "They were great, I'm really proud of them and their attitude. The senior players helped the juniors... It was excellent."