| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC’s victory in their opening fixture of the AIA Singapore League provided them a confidence boost ahead of their first home game of the season against Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight.
The Gegar Gegar men appeared to be in high spirits heading into the clash against the Eagles with newly appointed Head Coach Adrian Pennock visibly pleased with the display his side had shown against Home United FC on day one.
“The spirits are very high. When you win games, it gives you confidence. The fitness levels were very good and we played with a good high intensity (against Home United). The football that we played were very good,” said Pennock in a match preview with the Weekend Bulletin after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
The former Gillingham manager explained that they could have won by a greater margin but overall was happy with how the final result turned out.
“Arguably we should have been maybe four or five nil up at halftime. We had some good chances but to go away and win 1-0 against Home United was a very good result. We’ll take that all day long. It is a good start to the season.” The head coach and his backroom staff has brought a feel-good factor as the mood in the camp has been vibrant since the commencement of pre-season training.
“From the first day of pre-season obviously until the current day now, the team spirit is very good. There is a togetherness here with the whole squad not just the 11 players that started on Sunday and the atmosphere is very good.”
The players have worked very hard particularly in training to earn a starting spot in the team which led to a healthy selection dilemma.
“It is just a shame I can’t pick 25 players for a game because everybody deserves to start. It is a very tough job for me because the players have put me in a good tough position. Every single training session is very good.”
The head coach, who boasts experience managing clubs in England’s lower leagues, raised the importance of the football fans as the heartbeat of the club.
“The fans are the heartbeat of the football club. The players move on, management move on, but the fans stay there forever. I’m really excited and I want the fans to get behind the players,” said Pennock.
The DPMM FC football-mad fans can expect a team who performs with desire and hunger as Pennock vowed that they will give their full effort to the cause.
“We are here to entertain the fans. Hopefully the fans enjoy the game and we get the three points and move on again. It is very important to put a good show and what I will promise you win, lose or draw, the boys will put 100 per cent in every single game we play.”
DPMM FC fullback Najib Tarif left the field on the stretcher during the Home United game after picking up an injury but it appeared not to be serious.
“It was just cramp. It was just fatigue more than anything else,” the head coach said.
“It is a tough job playing wingback. They put a good shift in. For the boys that we brought in, they came off the bench and I thought they were excellent. They came out ready, they were hungry and they were fighting for every ball.
“I was just really pleased for everybody connected to the club that we had a good start. Obviously it is very early days but what it does it lifts everybody and we are really looking forward to the home game (against Geylang International) on Saturday.”
DPMM FC central defender Wafi Aminuddin was a major doubt ahead of the game against Home United but he has since resumed training.
“Wafi (Aminuddin) is training today (Tuesday) which is good. He had a shoulder injury but he come through today’s session very well so again it is testament to the player and to the fitness coach Lindsay Davis,” said Pennock.
The head coach also revealed that it will be a tough game against Geylang who look to build on from their stunning 1-0 win over defending champions Albirex Niigata (S).
The head coach added, “To beat Albirex 1-0 in the first game of the season shows you that they improved a lot.”