| Fadhil Yunus |
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has confirmed Steve Kean’s position as the head coach of the Brunei national team which is set to feature in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifying at Vientiane, Laos.
General Secretary of NFABD, Hj Mohd Zamri bin Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani has confirmed that the DPMM FC head coach will take over the reins of the national side for the regional qualifiers.
The head coach of DPMM FC will be joined by familiar colleagues in team manager Pg Hj Mohd Waslimin bin PSJ Pg Hj Abdul Momin and assistant manager Ali Hj Momin as well as, importantly, a familiar host of players at his disposal for the regional qualifiers.
Kean has shared 17 players from the DPMM FC roster drafted along with the additions of three players from the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) team whom had been promoted to the senior squad.
Kean added that he was honoured to be chosen as head coach and has aimed further not only to qualify and earn a place in the main draw but also to go a step further in the knockout stages.
But for now, Kean will be hoping to inspire his team to qualify for the AFF Suzuki Cup main draw, a feat the national team are yet to accomplish since making it to the group stage in Singapore in 1996.
Given that the head coach has been working with the majority of the players all year, Kean has asserted confidence that the players can function well as a unit for the qualifiers.
“In training over the past year, the local players have really adapted and got better each game. Now there are spaces to fill within the structure of our team, the local players that are picked to play will adapt really well and it won’t be as if it’s a new player,” Kean said.
There will be minimal problems, if any, in terms of match preparations and team’s cohesion as most of the players have been consistently performing competitively all season.
“They know the system and they know how we play. I think it will be an easy transition,” added Kean.
Even though they have not competed in friendly tournaments or have been involved in exhibition matches, they can count on their training sessions and the number of games they had all year as their preparation leading towards the international fixtures.
“We are probably better prepared than anybody else in a strange way,” he concluded.
The national team will depart for Vientiane today for their finishing touches in training before starting their campaign against Timor Leste on Sunday (Oct 12).