Former DPMM FC coach Steve Kean joins Melbourne Victory

Fadhil Yunus

Former DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean has been appointed as the assistant coach of Melbourne Victory for the upcoming 2020-2021 A-League season.

Kean will join head coach Grant Brebner and his team after three years away from club duties since his four-year spell with the Brunei-based outfit ended.

The former Premier League manager was known for his time with Blackburn Rovers and also served as an assistant coach for Fulham, Reading and Real Sociedad in Spain’s La Liga.

Kean said, “Grant (Brebner) and I have had honest conversations about what we need to do over the pre-season to get the team ready for another big campaign in the A-League.”

The 53-year-old Scotsman masterminded the Gegar Gegar men to their maiden Singapore league (then S League) title in 2015 and was also named as the Coach of the Year in the S League Awards Night.

File photo shows Steve Kean in the dugout during a DPMM FC’s Singapore League match. PHOTO: SINGAPORE LEAGUE

In his first season in charge of the Brunei-based outfit, he guided them to victory in the Singapore League Cup after a 2-0 win against Tanjong Pagar United in the final at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Kean and his charges came close towards achieving a historic double that season but a 2-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers FC in the final league match handed the title to Warriors FC.

Despite losing former Premier League player Craig Fagan through a long-term injury in the following season, the acquisition of Paulo Sergio proved a masterstroke as a series of excellent performances helped them to the title.

Former DPMM FC star Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir also broke through to the first team under Kean’s guidance with the midfielder subsequently enjoying a consistent run during his breakthrough season.

Kean has also made a number of key decisions during the club’s title-winning season notably deploying the attacking-minded Azwan Salleh into a defensive role.

His contributions in supporting the partnership of former teammates Boris Raspudic and Brian McLean helped clinch a crucial clean sheet in the 2-0 win against Harimau Muda.

Kean’s coaching instincts were further demonstrated as he introduced fringe players Maududi Hilmi Kasmi and Helmi Zambin in the starting line-up for a decent run of games, having taken notice of their performances during the latter stage of the season.

The Scotsman also served as the head coach of the Brunei Darussalam national team during the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers in 2014.