His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and the Chairman of DPMM FC last night attended the 20th anniversary of the establishment of DPMM FC Reunion Dinner at the Royal Berkshire Hall and the Tarindak D’Polo of the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club.
Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman; Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah; Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul Muntaqim ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah; Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Anak Muneerah Madhul Bolkiah binti Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah; Yang Teramat Mulia Pengiran Muda Muhammad Aiman ibni Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak ‘Abdul Raqiib bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim; Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak ‘Abdul Haseeb bin Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Raqeeqah Raayatul Bolqiah binti Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim were also present.
Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Maharaja Setia Laila Diraja Sahibul Irshad Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Rahim bin Pengiran Indera Mahkota Pengiran Anak (Dr) Kemaludin Al-Haj, Vice Chairman of DPMM FC was also in attendance.
His Royal Highness joined the current and former players and management of DPMM FC for a group photo and interacted with them.
In his opening remarks, General Manager of DPMM FC Mohamad Ali bin Haji Momin said, “Reflecting on the history of the DPMM Football Club, the establishment of this club has spanned 20 years. The club was first registered in the year 2000.”
DPMM Football Club first started as a college football team which is Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College in 1994. The team was only established to take part in competitions in the college. All players during that time were classmates of His Royal Highness.
After the end of the school period, the team became active in organising friendly matches against teams who were playing in the Brunei League. Since the team was capable to compete against teams in the Brunei League, the desire for the DPMM Football Club to be officially registered arose in the year 2000. The club began to play professionally where they joined the Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore leagues.
Since then, the club enjoyed numerous accomplishments including, among others, being crowned winners of the Brunei League in 2002 and 2004 as well as the FA Cup in 2004, emerging as winners of the Brunei Invitational Cup in 2004 after they defeated a giant club from Thailand, Bec Tero Sasana 1-0.
The club was also entrusted to represent the country to compete in the Malaysia League for the 2005- 2006 season and gained entry to the Malaysia Super League the next year. DPMM FC’s local player Sharazen bin Said was also named joint top scorer alongside Kieta Mandjou, an import player in the Malaysian league.
In 2009, DPMM FC began their journey in the Singapore league where they recorded history by being the first overseas team to win the Singapore League Cup three times.
The club also recently won the Singapore league title in the 2019 season to add on to their maiden triumph in 2015.
Mohammad Ali added, “As a member of the DPMM Football Club, we should be proud of the achievements that we have carved from the beginning until now. DPMM FC have already been recognised not only in the Asean region but also outside the Asean region.”
Meanwhile, former DPMM FC player Rene Kumar ranked winning the Singapore League Cup trophy in 2009 as one of his fondest memories during his five-year spell with the club.
The Croatian was one of the players who participated in leagues in all three countries, having joined the club in 2005.
“I have great memories of my time in DPMM FC and in Brunei. I’m very happy to be here and to be invited by the Crown Prince to join this reunion dinner. For me, it’s like a dream come true to come back to Brunei.”
Kumar, who marshalled the club’s defence during his time with the club, played under the guidance of former coaches Ranko Buketa and Vjeran Simunic.