DPMM FC’s new signings raring for S League action
| Jake Ten |
DPMM FC’s new signings have taken to life in the abode of peace like ducks to water as they look ahead to their first season in the Great Easter Yeo’s S League, which kicks off next month.
Portuguese striker Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira, Guadeloupe national team captain Stephane Auvray and Croatian defender Dino Drpic have all signed for the two-time S League Cup winners.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Tales dos Santos was the only import to be retained from last season’s roster, but a question mark still remains over the defender’s fitness as his fight to overcome a serious knee injury continues back in his native Brazil. There will be no cause for concern, however, as DPMM FC still have until the start of March before the transfer window shuts, should they need a replacement for the towering centre-half.
Speaking to the Bulletin ahead of yesterday’s training session; Joao was in good spirits, having spent the best part of two months adapting to his new surroundings.
“It’s been good. It’s a new challenge for me, and I’m still getting accustomed to the team,” explained Joao.
The 26-year old spent the early part of his career drifting between lower division sides in Spain and Portugal, with his biggest break coming in 2008, when he signed for Portuguese Primeira Liga side, Beira-Mar.
Moreira scored in both of DPMM FC’s games in the Aceh Governor’s Trophy in Banda Aceh, Indonesia last month before signing on the dotted line.
“It’s different playing here compared to Europe. It is more physical, but not as tactical. Here, you can get up to 12 chances to score, whereas in Europe, you only get two chances,” he said of his first taste of competitive football in Asia.
The striker may still be finding his feet, but Joao insists he will be looking to take some of the goal-scoring burden off the shoulders of his new strike partner, Shahrazen Said, who accounted for just over a quarter of DPMM FC’s goals in the league last season.
“Of course, I have come to DPMM FC to help score goals. I will do my best, but whether I score or a teammate scores, it doesn’t matter, as long as it benefits the team. They (the team) have made it easier for me and from what I can see at the moment, we have a good squad.”
Fellow new signing, Stephane Auvray, has also wasted no time in getting familiar with his teammates.
“Aside from Jimbo, I can have no complaints,” joked Stephane.
“I have been received very well, and when you are received well, of course it makes everything else easier.”
A defensive midfielder by trade, Stephane enjoyed stints in France and the United States of America, playing most recently for the New York Red Bulls alongside the likes of Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, but the 31-year old had been without a club since December 2011 before signing for DPMM FC.
Stephane insisted, however, that it will not prove to be a stumbling block as he looks to strike up a formidable partnership with Skipper Rosmin Kamis in the heart of DPMM FC’s midfield.
“I played with the national team last year, and spent some time training with a local club in Guadeloupe, so when I came here, I was already in the rhythm,” explained the dreadlocked Stephane.
“We (myself and Rosmin) have found that we complement each other. We speak a lot on the field, and we have the right state of mind in the sense of working for the team.”
Stephane made it clear he had not come to the kingdom of unexpected treasures in search of any personal accolades, but to do his best to help take the team to greater heights.
“What matters to me is that I do my best to help the team. We will all do our best. When everyone is playing at their best, we will get what we deserve to have. If we play our best, we won’t have any regrets at the end of the season.”
The midfielder was impressed by the level of football shown by the local players, and coming from a country with an almost identical population, Stephane was convinced that the size of a nation should not be used as a scale to measure the quality of players.
“There is quality everywhere. Every country has good players. I come from a small island, and from my experience, it doesn’t matter how small you are, but how much you love the game.”
Good with the ball at his feet or in the air, towering Croatian defender Dino Drpic will most certainly bring a new dimension to DPMM FC’s game.
The 31-year old pulled on the colours of Dinamo Zagreb 201 times during his nine-year spell, coming through the youth ranks of a club which has produced players with the calibre of Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and rising sensation Alen Halilovic before being transfer-listed for an off-the-field scandal.
“Everything is going well. I haven’t had any trouble settling in, and I hope it will continue in the same way,” said Drpic.
Whilst the 6ft 5in defender conceded that the style of play in Asia thus far was a lot easier than Europe, more specifically in terms of tactics, Drpic did not lose sight of the team’s collective ambition.
“With this team, maybe we can make one step forward, and hopefully win the league, but it is too early to be talking about that. We have to keep working because I can see a lot of potential, but there just is a lack of experience, which I hope I can help with.”
Dino will be joined by compatriot Ivan Bosnjak, who is set to arrive on Friday (Feb 1).
The Croatian striker was an 87th minute substitute for captain Dario Srna during Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Japan in the Group Stages of the 2006 world Cup in Germany and is set to be the club’s marquee signing.
The 33-year old, who has been capped 14 times for his country, scoring just once, can also boast playing in six of Croatia’s 2006 World Cup qualifying, playing both legs against Malta and Iceland and once against Hungary and Sweden.
Speaking ahead of the team’s trip to Vietnam on Feb 2 to play a string of friendlies, Head Coach Vjeran Simunic had little to say about his new recruits, suggesting that only time would tell if they were the missing ingredients for his title-winning formula.
“I am very curious to see how the friendly games (in Vietnam) go because playing against Bruneian teams shows me nothing,” opined the larger-than-life Croatian.
“We need a complete team, which we haven’t got yet, and we are just about to play our first friendlies. Our new signing (Ivan) is not here yet, and he has only trained with us a few times, so we will have to wait and see.”
“But from what I can see at the moment, they are good players, but I will be able to tell you more about them after I see them play in Vietnam.”