As a football player entering the final season of his long and illustrious career, he can be forgiven if the final act includes switching clubs and embarking on a new challenge as they mount one final push before calling it an end.
The involvement of senior or ageing players certainly brings a multitude of benefits to a team, especially in providing advice and guiding the younger players, who are the present and future of the team.
Experienced players and veterans possess the competence to display good leadership and impart their knowledge and wisdom of tactics and techniques that can be used during matches.
For instance, the senior players – defined by countless seasons and experience of encountering various types of teams – can guide junior teammates with movements around the pitch when facing a certain situation. These so-called leaders can also be considered worthy alternatives to head coaches who play an equally imperative role of setting out instructions.
As the final season approaches, the veterans of the game may have limited time on the pitch compared to previous seasons but their influence in leading a team will be hugely positive.
Like previous seasons, there will be a number of seasoned and experienced veterans of the game making their final swansong for their respective clubs in the Brunei Super League 2023.
Perhaps the most profiled in the league – the country’s top tier football – is the arrival of Mohammad Shahrazen bin Said to Kasuka FC. The evergreen forward perhaps needs no introduction given his long list of accomplishments in both the domestic and overseas scene encompassing three countries.
Mohammad Shahrazen ended a 17-year spell with DPMM FC, having won various honours including two Singapore Premier League titles, the Singapore League Cup as well as a Golden Boot award when the club competed in the Malaysia Premier League.
His new employers will no doubt benefit from his vast experience and knowledge. The club has also recruited former DPMM FC players Adi Said, Hazwan Hamzah, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Nurasyraffahmi Norsamri and Maududi Hilmi Kasmi.
Mohammad Shahrazen, who earned a reputation as the all-time leading scorer for the national team, scored in his debut during the opening-day 4-0 win over MS PPDB at the Berakas Sports Complex last Friday.
He returned to the domestic scene where it all started in the early days of his career when he laced up for AH United between 2003 and 2005.
The 37-year-old will not be the solitary figure who amassed more than a decade of experience competitively. He will also not be the oldest player in the league this season especially with his goalkeeping teammate Azman Ilham bin Haji Mohammad Noor between the sticks.
Azman Ilham last featured for Kota Ranger from 2017 to 2021 before recently moving to rivals Kasuka FC last year. The 39-year-old is one of several players in the team who had previously represented DPMM FC.
He will provide healthy competition to Muhammad Danish Aiman Mardianni, who was first-choice during their season opener against the police personnel.
The goalkeeper, who had also been capped in the national team and proved a decent back-up during his time with DPMM FC, was also part of the team that won the Singapore league in 2015 as well as three league cups.
He also enjoyed considerable success with Kota Ranger FC after helping them to their maiden Brunei FA Cup title in the 2018-2019 season and the Sumbangsih Cup in the following season.
Another top-flight club Kota Ranger FC welcomed the acquisition of experienced midfielder Muhammad Hardyman bin Abdul Lamit. The 36-year old, who has a mixed career in both football and futsal, returned to the domestic scene in football after re-joining Kota Ranger five years since his departure from the club.
The former Brunei international was perhaps best known for his time with QAF FC, who were a major force in the country’s football scene during the late 2000s. The midfielder enjoyed an 11-year spell for QAF FC, having won three league titles and two league cup competitions.
He also played for Jerudong FC between 2015 and 2017, during which he was named team captain. With Hardyman and most of his teammates in search of a club at the end of the 2014 season, they joined Jerudong FC and went on to finish sixth in the league together.
Possibly the oldest player in the league, Afindi Yati bin Tuah will enter the 24th season as a competitive football player at the age of 40. The forward has shown no signs of stopping in the country’s top league following his move to Kota Ranger from Wijaya FC last season.
Having initially began his senior career with Kasuka FC in 1999 where he won five trophies, he has been somewhat portrayed as a journeyman playing for Sengkurong FC and NBT FC along the way.
He received his biggest break when he joined DPMM FC in the 2008 season, before moving again to QAF FC from 2012 to 2014.
Upon his return to Kasuka, he helped the club to a runners-up finish in the 2018-19 season, behind eventual winners MS ABDB.
The move attracted interest from Wijaya FC, which subsequently received his signature to play for the club for the 2020 season.
In Wijaya FC, club stalwarts Marhazif Ahmad and Jamrin Johari are both expected to be in the final swansong of their career after representing the club with distinction, loyalty and good service.
On the opening day of the season, Marhazif helped Wijaya to the top of the table after bagging a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Setia Perdana FC at the Batu Apoi Sports Complex in the Temburong District.