| James Kon |
ADI bin Said, the prolific striker for the Brunei national football team, departed for Malaysia at Brunei International Airport yesterday to pursue an overseas career, after signing a one-year contract as an import with Universiti Teknologi MARA Football Club (UiTM FC).
The 28-year-old is aiming to play in the starting first eleven of UiTM FC, in Malaysia’s second-tier football league.
In an interview with the Weekend Bulletin, the former Brunei DPMM FC striker said, “This is my first time in a new club in Malaysia, and I will try my best to gain a spot in the starting eleven. I hope to use my experience of playing with Brunei to do my best for UiTM FC.”
He added, “I hope that many more Brunei footballers will be open to pursue an overseas career. It’s difficult to leave my family and my teammates, whom I’ve been with for a long time.”
Adi started off his football career at Majra in 2007, before moving to DPMM FC in 2012. He also played a pivotal role in helping the Brunei national squad to lift the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy.
The striker enjoyed his best last season with 11 goals and 11 assists, as DPMM FC finished third in the league.
During the try-out in Malaysia last week, Adi impressed the coaching staff and management of UiTM FC, which led to the signing of a one-year contract with the club.
He recalled, “I didn’t know if I could make the cut. There were 11 people during the tryout, and I was the only player who was selected.”
Meanwhile, Azwan Ali, who plays in midfield for DPMM FC and the Brunei national team, is also heading to UiTM for a tryout, in hopes of getting to play alongside Adi.
Adi’s family members and several local footballers were present to send him off.
Shahrazen bin Said, Adi’s older brother who also plays for DPMM FC and who nearly joined India’s Sporting Clube de Goa in 2011, said, “It’s a dream come true for Adi. He always wanted to play in overseas club.”
His parting words of advice to his younger brother: “Make our country and family proud, and get along with your teammates.”
A local football fan, who was among those present at the airport, said, “Adi’s success is proof that Bruneian footballers are capable of playing with overseas clubs.”