New DPMM FC head coach Pennock hails local players’ ability

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

NEWLY appointed DPMM FC Head Coach Adrian Pennock heaped praise on the technical ability of the local players as they stepped up their preparations in pre-season training ahead of the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) season.

“Technically, they are very good with their feet. Obviously, it is a little bit different here than back in England,” said Pennock in an interview with the Bulletin after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.

“At home in England, the players are a little bit bigger and stronger, but what they lack with size they make up with endeavour and work rate.”

“There are very good footballers here in Brunei but we just got to have the balance of getting a winning formula and hopefully we have a very good season,” he added.

The newly appointed head coach, making his first coaching stint in Asia, is also pleased with their progress during the short time they had together.

DPMM FC players during a training session. – FADHIL YUNUS

“The players have been responding very well (to training) and they have been excellent. We have been having two or three sessions per day.”

The players first reported for pre-season training in early December last year where the newly appointed head coach Adrian Pennock underwent his first session in his new role.

During that time, the club conducted rounds of trials and eventually acquired the services of Charlie Clough, Blake Ricciuto and Andrey Varankow as foreign imports.

“When we started pre-season, we gave them (the players) tests before I went back home to England. They had fat tests, weigh-ins, jump tests and other small tests,” said Pennock when asked about the first days of pre-season training at the Sultanate.

“We just try to get them more conditioned and get them stronger not for a body builder but for an athlete,” he added.

Emphasis has been placed towards optimising the players’ level of fitness as pre-season encompasses hilly runs in the jungle and swimming to supplement the gym work.

“I’m not too worried with the ball work in the first two weeks. The first two weeks is more concerned with the conditioning and fitness levels, and obviously running, gym work and light ball sessions,” the former Stoke City first team coach said.

A normal day at the office for the players will be hilly runs in the jungle before doing laps in the swimming pool at the Swimming Pool of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex as well as training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

Other sessions will see the players working out in the gym before moving to the pool for swimming where Pennock shared sports-related benefits.

He said, “We find that the pool is very good because you can have good stretches and there will be more recovery sessions in the pool.”

With squad selection for the Singapore Premier League yet to be finalised, there are currently 27 local players in training hoping to secure a spot in the team.

“Everybody is here to impress and they are at the moment. Nobody has let me down,” said the former Gillingham player.