DPMM FC duo earn first call-ups

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC duo Hakeme Yazid bin Said and Hanif Farhan bin Azman received their first national call-ups during the nine-day training camp in conjunction with the FIFA calendar at the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Football Field from October 5-13.

The duo has been promoted into the senior team having previously turned up for the under-23 side which competed in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Manila, Philippines last December.

DPMM FC’s club management broke the news to the talented duo about a week before the start of the training camp. Hakeme Yazid made history after becoming the second youngest goal-scorer in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) last season while Hanif Farhan made his debut in the SPL in March.

“I feel proud and excited after being called up for the national team especially because I’m still young,” said Hakeme Yazid in an interview with the Bulletin during their final training session on Tuesday.

Hakeme Yazid was selected alongside familiar faces including his DPMM FC teammates as well as his national teammates at under-23 level.

Hanif Farhan bin Azman (C) and his teammates during the national call-up. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

He said, “Alhamdulillah, teamwork have gone up. After all, we have trained together at club level and there are also players who I have played with during the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.”

The 17-year-old said they will return to their club following the end of the training camp.

Hanif Farhan caught the eye of DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock after impressing for the ‘B’ team in the Brunei Premier League last year.

The 19-year-old enjoyed his breakthrough in his club career when he started in the 2-0 home win against Tampines Rovers FC in March and has since taken the step-up from under-23 level to the senior side in less than a year.

“I can’t believe it as I have never participated in major tournaments before this. There are so many players in Brunei and I did not expect to be selected,” said Hanif Farhan.

Hanif Farhan, who was converted into a midfielder, was given his big break when he signed a contract to play in the SPL.

“Initially, I play in left midfield but my club’s head coach (Adrian Pennock) puts me in centre midfield.”

He has played in centre midfield since the pre-season friendly match at the Jerudong Mini Stadium and the Cambodia tour earlier this year.

Hanif Farhan was tasked to play left back during national training having been familiar with the role as a member of the SEA Games squad last year.

He also shared that his senior teammates also provided advice for the national call-up before adding his hopes to join prestigious tournaments in the future.

Meanwhile, DPMM FC defender Wafi Aminuddin, who is one of the players called for international duty during the World Cup qualifiers against Mongolia last year, was also called up during the training camp.

Wafi came on as a substitute for the national team during the second leg of the World Cup qualifiers against Mongolia at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in June last year.

“I am honoured to be called up for national training. My hard work has certainly paid off,” said Wafi Aminuddin.

“The intensity is different so we have to quickly adapt and learn from the senior players.”

Like Hakeme Yazid and Hanif Farhan, Wafi also trained with familiar faces though there were also players who play for other clubs in the Brunei Super League (BSL).

On the similarities with club training, he said, “There is not much difference in terms of intensity as there are a lot of players from DPMM FC. But there are also players from other clubs so we have to adapt to their ability and playing style.”

Wafi, who was part of the national team that played in the Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup in Banda Aceh, Indonesia in 2017, also shared that the training camp focussed mainly on defending.