| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC recently acquired the services of experienced fitness coach Harzi Taoufik as the new assistant coach in charge of physical training in a move to take the physical performance of the players to the next level.
Taoufik’s arrival in the DPMM FC’s coaching staff has been partly influential to a serious of encouraging performances in recent matches culminating in their first victory since April 2 against Hougang United FC at the Hougang Stadium last month.
The assistant coach, who works closely with Moksen Mohammad, praised DPMM FC players adding that they could fit right in to any league in the world.
He said while most of the semi-professional players tick most of the boxes, what they need to work on and pay great deal of attention is individual technique.
Taoufik is also impressed with his new environment after a journey which spanned several continents and countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
“I’m very glad to work here with the DPMM FC players because they are friendly and are good people,” said Taoufik in an interview with the Bulletin.
“I’m very glad to work in Brunei because the country is very nice and beautiful. The people are very smart, kind and helpful and the players represent the image of the country,” he added.
The French coach said the players have responded well to his training methods, showed dedication in training and are willing to learn.
“They want to give their maximum and their best and I’m very glad to work with them,” continued Taoufik.
“We try to do a good job till the end of the season and I hope to improve the level. I saw that we improved the level especially in the game against Albirex Niigata (S).”
“We had three weeks to work hard and we did a very good job. I’m glad that the players responded to the training and any effort during training,” he said.
Taoufik has a colourful resume having played a key role with several teams in multiple leagues including Ligue 1 clubs Marseille and Auxerre and Ligue 2 club Grenoble before moving on to Etoile Sportive du Sahel in Tunisia and Zamalek SC in Egypt.
In big clubs, Taoufik shared that there are two or three physical coaches who work in collaboration led by a head performance coach.
He also worked with high-profile figures such as Philippe Troussier who guided Japan to the Asian Cup and Mido who is best known for his time in Tottenham and Middlesbrough in the English Premier League.
The assistant coach worked in the Chinese Premier League for a few seasons before embarking on a fresh challenge in Africa with Zamalek.
In Tunisia, he worked in Etoile Sportive du Sahel, a big club, which reached fourth place in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2007.
The assistant coach also laid out groundwork in shaping the psychology of players with outcomes hoped to be building trust with their team-mates.
Taoufik, whose professional career also took him to Al-Wehda Club in Saudi Arabia, believes that the current work with the players will bode well for the future next season.
“They have to understand that they have to work in such a way to get a better level and to improve their physical level. I believe today’s football is really high in intensity and we need to get a higher level of physical level.
“I believe that we didn’t get a chance against Albirex (1-0 loss) but we had a very good game there.
“I saw that the work that we did a few weeks ago was really good. We didn’t get a good chance because it’s football where sometimes you can be very good but you cannot win the game.
“I believe that we can finish good (the season) which is our goal. I hope that mentally the players will be strong and I believe now physically they’re ready. For me, there is no problem.”
Taoufik also highlighted that there are no concerns in terms of physiology of the local players adding that they possess the same capacity as any team or league in the world.
However, he underlined the need to improve the quality of youth players in Brunei to assist on work in developing an individual’s technique.