DPMM FC Head Coach Adrian Pennock heaped praise on the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam.
“I think a lot of credit had got to go with the Minister of Health. He has done a fantastic job by keeping the virus at bay,” said Pennock during an interview with the Bulletin after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.
He added, “We respect the Minister of Health and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports’ decision because they’ve been right from day one. They’ve been very good.”
The club entered a fifth week since they resumed training but without the use of the ball in line with existing guidelines from the authorities.
“This is our fifth week now. The first couple of weeks were just like a pre-season. We’ve been doing like pre-season but with no footballs.”
The Gegar Gegar men have also followed the guideline on team sports whereby a limit of five players in a group has been capped.
Training has been identical with pre-season activities such as hill runs, trek walking, gym work and now swimming – which has been allowed recently – with social distancing in place.
Pennock is also effusive in his praise of his charges as the players returned to a form of training.
“The boys have been fantastic and they have been unbelievable. I love every single player because they worked so hard.”
With the squad comprising 22 players, improvised training arrangements saw limited numbers on the field with several groups being formed.
“We respect what the Minister of Health said about social distancing. We just do everything by the book and respect everybody’s decision.
“We want to get back to playing football but the health and safety of everybody connected to this country is more important.”
The Ipswich-born shared the first couple of weeks have been about “putting in a lot of mileage in the legs by doing a lot more long-distance running”.
“After the third or fourth week, we have been doing a lot sharper,” said Pennock as they shifted from merely running on a straight line.
Pennock also praised Fitness Coach Jason Moriarty, who joined the club in pre-season ahead of the currently-suspended Singapore Premier League (SPL).
“Jason Moriarty has been fantastic. Obviously it’s difficult for him and me not having any balls to work with. Jason has been first-class as well as all the staff here.”
He also spoke highly of Goalkeeping Coach Jorgeiraa who has found ways to train the goalkeepers without the use of the ball.
“Jorgeiraa has been having the goalkeepers once or twice a week where he pretended to have a ball and use a training disc as an example.”