| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC will continue to build from their push that nearly landed them a coveted first championship title in the S League, according to head coach Steve Kean.
Last season S League runners-up are back in training mode in preparation for the new season and the club will be holding trials this Sunday as part of its youth development programme with the goal of producing the future generation.
DPMM FC spent most of the season at the top of the league and reached the furthest in their history in the Singapore Cup. Kean expressed his team’s desire to retain the Singapore League Cup they’ve won last July.
According to Kean, there has been activity during the closed season for the players although it was not necessarily at their training base – the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“We’ve worked very hard during the closed season. It is not the case that we had all the time off. We’ve not been here in Jerudong but the lads have been doing three sessions per week at the gym,” said Kean.
“Looking at today (in training), the lads came back very strong and very sharp but also refreshed.”
“Our expectations this year is to have a better season than last season,” added the head coach.
Kean is also looking to strengthen his squad with the arrivals of import players and could assemble a long list of names in midweek.
There are various players linked with the club and the latest name was former Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, who spent nine seasons at the south coast club.
So far two players have joined the rest of the squad and more are expected to come this week.
Kean said that 10 players will be taking part in a two-week trial looking to impress the coach and fill in the remaining three slots. The services of Boris Raspudic and Joe Gamble have been retained for the new season.
“We’ve got a spread across the board. We’re looking for some goalkeepers, defenders and strikers coming later on the week. For any club it is about looking at people to make sure you can strengthen the squad.”
In addition to bolstering the squad, the club is also keen to develop a youth side or a “B” team and introduce younger players including 16, 17 and 18 years old.
The coaching set-up will guide the youth team and imparting knowledge with the goal that one day they too can be future players of DPMM FC.
Kean added that such initiative was introduced 9 or 10 years ago where the previous intake had gone through the ranks to represent the colours of DPMM FC.
“We are looking forward to assemble a young team. It is just making sure that we get contact time for more players.”
The club is targeting of around 20 younger players that can train and play matches.
“As they progress and get older, they can then hopefully be part of the first- team squad”, he concluded.