SINGAPORE, 10 JANUARY 2012 – Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Football Club, affectionately known in both Brunei Darussalam and Singapore as DPMM FC were formally welcomed back to the S.League, by A/P Ho Peng Kee, FAS Advisor this afternoon, as the 14th and final team that will compete in the 2012 Great Eastern YEO’S S.League.
The official signing ceremony was held at the Singapore Sports School on 10 January 2012, witnessed by His Royal Highness, Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, The Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office who is in Singapore on an official visit.
Regarded as the top football club in Brunei, DPMM FC did the double in 2002 with the Brunei Premier League and the Brunei Super Cup. They hit a rich vein of form in 2004 and claimed a treble by becoming league, FA Cup and Super Cup champions.
DPMM FC became the first Bruneian football club, to play in the S.League back in 2009.
In their inaugural season, they made a positive and immediate impact when they stunned league giants, Singapore Armed Forces FC in the FAS League Cup Final played at Jalan Besar Stadium in June with a full-time score of 1-1 before triumphing in the penalty shootout.
DPMM FC were also the first foreign team permitted by FAS to play their home matches at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium after they graciously agreed to underwrite the expenses of the local S.League teams traveling to Brunei.
DPMM FC made history when their home game against Singapore Armed Forces FC at Bandar Seri Begawan in the league saw a record 10,583 fans in the stadium.
His Royal Highness, Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, is a very passionate football fan and was once on the DPMM FC teamsheet as a goalkeeper. He always takes a keen and personal interest in his team and attends not only training sessions but also matches, whenever his schedule permits.
On the Asian front, they participated in the AFC Champions League in the 2002/2003 season and were part of the 2003 and 2005 ASEAN Club Championship.
DPMM FC have added some samba flavour into their team roster with two Brazilian imports, defender Tales dos Santos and forward, Rodrigo Gral for the upcoming season.
Croatian playmaker Ivan Jerkovic and Ghanaian striker Osman Bashiru complete the foreign line-up with the former returning to the club he first made his name with before joining S.League giants, Singapore Armed Forces FC for the 2011 season.
2009 League Cup winning coach, Vjeran Simunic will attempt to mastermind a winning return to the Singapore domestic competitions and with an impressive resume like his, DPMM FC will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.
Mr Zainudin Nordin, FAS President
“A number of foreign teams wanted to join the Great Eastern YEO’S S.League however we were clear that the applicant must satisfy our stringent selection criteria and procedure, and having carefully studied DPMM FC’s application, FAS are happy to welcome back DPMM FC to the 2013 S.League.
“DPMM FC’s enterprising and attacking style of play was a highlight of the 2009 season and I am very confident that DPMM will not only add value to the S.League as they showed in 2009 but also give Singaporeans an opportunity to witness exciting and competitive in the S.League.2012 season.”
Brunei DPMM FC Head Coach Vjeran Simunic
“I was very happy to hear the news initially that we are going to return to the S.League and will now prepare my team for the start of the season. The team is now in pre-season training and we are focusing on getting the players back to full fitness before the first game. We will also be playing a few friendly matches against Thailand club sides in preparation for the tournament.”