THE Brunei National football team have failed to win a single match at the recent Suzuki Cup.
Based on our football development programme for so many years, Brunei should have been on top compared to the likes of Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste and the Philippines.
But results from the recent tournament make it look the other way round.
What has happened to ‘Projek Ikan Pusu’? Where are the players who have graduated from Brunei Sport School (BSS)?
It seems once they graduated they became ordinary players as there is no top class football league in the country for them to test their skills.
Obviously in Brunei Darussalam one could not make a living from football but for the country to produce a good footballer we need to have a top-class football league.
It’s high time we made sports, not only football, an industry that creates enthusiasm and passion and attracts citizens of this country.
Brunei Darussalam should have its own professional or semi-professional football league – say BND-Premier League.
Brunei Darussalam can start probably with the following (see box, below)
Teams from Brunei-Muara, Belait, Tutong and Temburong will be sponsored by the government, by their respective Youth and Sports Department, District Offices and Municipal Department.
Big companies and government-owned companies should also be part of the big picture.
All players will sign contracts to play with a club for a period of two years and will be paid a reasonable amount of allowance.
All teams should be encouraged to recruite quality foreign players.
This is to make the standard of the league high.
Players working with the government should be allowed to play with any of the government-sponsored teams on a part-time basis where basically they will be given clearance to leave office for training and matches. They will be given a minimum allowance probably based on the number of days they commit themselves.
A team each from Limbang and Miri could be invited to increase the competitiveness of the league and expose our players to others from outside Brunei.
Once we have this league it is easy to pick quality players to represent our national team for tournaments such as HBT, SUKMA, SEA Games and Suzuki Cup.
Focus on these tournaments before dreaming for the likes of Asian Cup, Olympics and World Cup.
Players who graduate from BSS can be channelled into these teams of their choice based on the offer they get from the teams.
All qualified coaches can apply for coaching jobs for any of these teams.
At the end of the day all related activities done for the development of football in this country will be beneficial.
Of course, the implementation of this project is not going to be easy but with proper planning, marketing and coordination amongst stakeholders this project can be done.
Brunei Yakin! We can do it. Do it on a trial basis first.
– Concerned Seasoned Athletes