DPMM FC's Shahrazen Said in action against the Young Lions during an earlier Singapore League match. Shahrazen was one of four DPMM FC players who passed the Cooper test in under nine minutes. BT file
DPMM FC players are good to go for their Singapore League opener on Saturday against Albirex Niigata (S) FC at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.
A mandatory fitness test was held at the Mini Stadium in Jerudong on Sunday to determine if the players were eligible to compete in the league and Ampuan Nurul Azami was the only player who failed.
Known as the Cooper test, players were made to cover a distance of 2.4km in under 10 minutes. The passing mark was set at 10:15 last season.
The new 15-second improvement in standard was brought about as only five per cent of the total S-League playing population clocked 10 minutes or more during tests conducted last year.
The assessment marks a move away from the much-criticised beep test which was used by the S-League in 2012.
A gauge of cardiovascular fitness, the multistage beep test required the players to run between 20m spaced cones, with their speed increasing in accordance to increasing beeps.
"Ampuan was sick on the day and he will do the second test next week. Other than that, we are all good to go for the match against Albirex," said DPMM FC striker Shahrazen Said in an interview with The Brunei Times last night.
The team's import players impressed with Joseph Gamble, Roberto Alviz and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic completing the test in under nine minutes. Shahrazen was the only local player to manage the task.
The four players were given a $100 reward for their achievement.
"All the players are physically ready and fit for the league and I hope that the team will be able to gel and unite throughout the season," said Shahrazen.
DPMM FC will play Warriors FC in their second game on February 28 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas before travelling to Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore to play Home United on March 13.
They next host defending champions Tampines Rover FC on March 23.
The club confirmed on Tuesday that they will be getting Irish striker Roy O'Donovan to join the other imports - Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi, midfielders Gamble (Ireland) and Alviz (Croatia) and Bosnian defender Raspudic.
The former Sunderland striker, who is set to arrive from English League Two (fourth division) side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM FC for more than a week last month.
Steve Kean, the former manager of Blackburn Rovers, will be leading the Sultanate's only professional club this season following the dismissal of Croatian Vjeran Simunic.
Kean got a first-hand look at O'Donovan before DPMM FC left to Thailand to compete in a pre-season friendly tournament, the 2014 Phuket Saksee Cup.
DPMM FC defeated Nakhon Si Heritage 3-1 in their first match on Jan 25 before falling 2-0 to Phuket FC a day later.
Their only other pre-season friendly was on Jan 31 when they played to a 0-0 draw against Malaysia FA Cup titleholders Kelantan at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
DPMM FC finished runners-up in the 2012 edition of the S-League, winning the League Cup for a second time.
It was their best finish to date.
Their 2013 campaign was not as successful, finishing eighth and falling to a 4-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa FC in the League Cup final in September.