DPMM FC players are ‘hungry’ as they enter the early stages of pre-season training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium, Head Coach Adrian Pennock said yesterday.
The Gegar Gegar men returned for pre-season training on January 6 with Assistant Coach Moksen Mohammad and Fitness Coach Jason Moriarty leading the squad in Pennock’s absence during the first few training sessions.
Pennock has since taken charge of training after serving his quarantine following his return from the United Kingdom.
“The players came back very well. They look really sharp and hungry,” Pennock told the Bulletin after a training session yesterday.
The former Gillingham head coach also said that there will be opportunities for players from the reserve team to impress during training with first-team players.
“We invited some younger players to come up from the ‘B’ team because it will be great to get four or five jewels if we can. It will be a great opportunity for them to impress us,” he said. “I’ve said before we are an ageing squad, although I’ve got to say that the players came back so fit this pre-season.”
Despite an ageing squad, Pennock is pleased to see his players back for the pre-season fit.
“Players in their 30s have come back very fit and they looked after themselves during the break,” he said.
“I’m looking for young players and if we can get through and into the squad, that will be fantastic.”
The club has also received a boost with the return of foreign imports and a coaching team member during pre-season training.
DPMM FC defender Charlie Clough is among the familiar faces in training yesterday while forward Andrei Varankou is currently on quarantine after his break from Belarus. Goalkeeper Emerson is bound to arrive from Brazil this week and will join his teammates after serving his quarantine.
Meanwhile, goalkeeping coach Jorge Barbosa Ferreira will also resume his responsibilities on Friday after completing his quarantine following his return from Brazil.
Pennock also shared there are no immediate injury concerns during pre-season amid the wait for their competitive action.
“We have no injuries in pre-season at the moment. We have no muscle injuries all through the squad which is important,” he said.
“I think the training that we are doing is excellent and obviously the boys are working very hard in pre-season. If you look at our record since I’ve been here, muscle injuries have been very minimal,” Pennock added.
The 2019 Singapore Premier League champions have not played competitively since their 2-0 victory against Tampines Rovers on March 6 last year at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium. The result was eventually voided after they sit out the rest of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.