| Fadhil Yunus |
S LEAGUE title-winning defender Brian McLean will be returning for a second spell with DPMM FC after the club announced his imminent return on their website as the third and final foreign import signing for the upcoming S League season.
The Northern Ireland defender will link up with Iran’s Mojtaba Esmaielzadeh and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Pryyomov in the 25-man squad to complement a host of new local faces.
In similar fashion as Pryyomov, whose arrival was announced 24 hours earlier, McLean’s inclusion came as a surprise as he was not in the initial shortlist of players which had undergone a trial since last month.
However, the choice of recruiting a foreign defender was somewhat expected as the club have already made their approach for firepower in the attacking department.
The experienced defender, who last featured for Icelandic club IBV, played an instrumental role in DPMM FC’s title-winning charge in 2015 alongside Boris Raspudic.
The former Preston North End defender, who experienced League One football, England’s third tier, also contributed on the opposite end of the field with two goals to his name.
McLean, who also boasted experience playing in the Scottish Premier League with Motherwell, Falkirk and Dundee United, spent two seasons with the Brunei-based outfit and was a constant performer having made 46 league appearances.
The 32-year old will help tidy up DPMM FC’s defence though it is interesting to see who will be his pairing with Yura Indera Putera a potential partner having been switched to a defensive role last season.
The defender’s return to the squad ended an intensive search for foreign imports after more than a month of trials at the club’s training ground at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
Tatsuro Inui, a former Albirex Niigata (S) player and Jordan Mintah, a Kaya FC forward who made his mark as one of the leading scorers in the Philippines top flight had been linked with the club.
Also in the shortlist were Michal Hamulak, a prolific forward who bagged 22 goals in 28 games for Partizan Bardejov in the second tier of Slovakian football and Norichio Nieveld, a centre back who boasted more than 70 appearances for a Go Ahead Eagles a second division Dutch club.
Completing the short-list were Jamaica’s Dicoy Williams of Harbour View FC and RoPS midfielder Pablo Gonzales as well as Croatia’s Karlo Kesinovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina-born Austrian footballer Toni Tipuric and Brazilian Eleilson.