Kasuka FC chosen to represent Brunei in AFC Cup

Fadhil Yunus

Kasuka FC have been chosen to represent Brunei Darussalam in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup for the 2021 season, National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) announced yesterday.

The national football governing body said in social media, “NFABD would like to congratulate Kasuka FC for being chosen by the AFC to represent Brunei Darussalam in the upcoming AFC Cup 2021.

The Brunei-Muara District outfit will only be the second club after Indera SC in January 2020 to represent the country at the Asian-level competition.

The football club, who were promoted to the Brunei Super League in 2016, will also make their debut in the second-tier continental cup competition.

The club – along with Indera SC, DPMM FC and Kota Ranger FC – have already boosted their hopes of selection late last year after meeting the AFC Club Licensing entry requirements.

Kasuka FC emerged runners-up in the previous instalment of the Brunei’s top flight in the 2018/2019 season, a latest sign of their progress after finishing in seventh and fourth positions in previous years.

File photo shows Football Association of Brunei Darussalam President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan presenting an AFC Club Licensing Certificate to a Kasuka FC representative. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

With only two games completed, they jointly led the league table last year with Kota Ranger FC before it was postponed and subsequent cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kasuka bolstered their squad in preparation for the domestic season last year following the acquisitions of Ghanaian midfielder Franck Yapo and Liberian forward Leon Taylor as well as local winger Asri Aspar from fierce rivals Indera SC.

Striker Hanif Aiman Adanan has also capped an excellent season in 2018/2019 by claiming the top scorer accolade with 16 goals.

Despite the absence of competitive action due to the pandemic, the club has been actively training and attending gym sessions to work on strength and conditioning.

Recently, the club stepped up the fitness of the players after training which merely focussed on speed and endurance was conducted away from the pitch.

Last December, the club comprising committee members, coaches and players met to discuss the direction of football in the country for 2021.

The Brunei-based outfit are likely to enter the play-off phase alongside Hun Sen Cup winners Visakha from Cambodia, Lao Premier League champions Lao Toyota and Copa FFTL winners Lalenok United from Timor Leste, all of whom are potential opponents.