DPMM FC pose for a group photo upon their arrival at Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday. DPMM FC were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup following their 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final on Friday. Picture: BT/ Md Asdeny Yakub
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is greeted by fans after returning to Brunei. DPMM FC beat Tanjong Pagar United FC 2-0 in the Singapore League Cup final on Friday. Picture: BT/ Md Asdeny Yakub
DPMM FC's Boris Raspudic poses with the Singapore League Cup trophy upon touching down at the Berakas International Airport yesterday. Picture: BT/ Md Asdeny Yakub
Singapore League Cup champions DPMM FC landed home to a hero's welcome yesterday with fans, friends and family members waiting for their arrival at the International Airport in Berakas.
The Sultanate's only professional football club were crowned champions of the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 victory over Tanjong Pagar FC in the final on Friday, with Boris Raspudic and Adi Said both finding the net for the club at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Winning the Cup was a new experience for head coach Steve Kean and the new players such as Raspudic who joined this season. But despite senior players like captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis, Sairol Hj Sahari, Wardun Yussof and Hj Muhd Subhi Hj Abdillah Bakir winning the tournament for the third time now - after triumphs in 2009 and 2012 - the feeling is still just as special.
"Even though I have won this tournament three times, it is always good to win and I feel that this year's victory meant a lot to me," said Hj Muhd Subhi in an interview with The Brunei Times. "It is a great personal achievement for me and for the club," he said. "For the young and new players, I hope this can motivate them to do much better in the future.
"To be honest, to be able to win the tournament three times is not easy and I hope that this will help push everyone to work harder and become better," added the midfielder. Goalkeeper Wardun echoed his teammate's sentiment, saying that the victory this year was the most outstanding. "It was the best moment for me in my career as a footballer to win it for the third time," said Wardun.
"We were very unlucky last year (after losing 4-0 in the final to Balestier Khalsa FC) but we managed to come back stronger this time round," said Wardun, who injured his thighs after colliding with the post in the final 10 minutes of the game but managed to hang on until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Sairol and captain Rosmin have already turned their attention on the other two tournaments the team are competing in this year - the Singapore League (S-League) and Singapore Cup. DPMM FC currently lead the S-League and are in the semi-finals of the Singapore Cup for the first time.
"Players come and go, and for the younger players this is a very good experience for them," said Sairol. "But we do not stop here as we still have two other tournaments to play. We must continue working very hard and hopefully achieve a treble this year," said Sairol. "We have had a very good start this year," said Rosmin.
"We have two more (tournaments) to go and I hope we can will all of them this year. "I would like to thank coach Steve Kean who gave us a lot of support during the fasting month, and it was very thoughtful of him to join us in fasting since last week just to experience how we feel during the month.
"Also to the import players and the teammates who have been working very hard for this victory, I hope that we can continue this until the end of the season," added the captain.
Present to welcome the team back yesterday were Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid Hj Mohd Jaafar and Vice President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof Abu Bakar.