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Friday, May 11, 2001

World Cup Football - Jeffrey to replace Wardun

With Brunei's promising young goalkeeper Wardun Yussoff suspended for this Saturday's World Cup qualifying match against India, coach Zainuddin Hj Kassim is turning to a familiar face for help.

Jeffrey Mohammad, a veteran of several Malaysia League and Cup seasons for Brunei, has been drafted in to the squad and Zainuddin has given the nod for Jeffrey to start this weekend.

"Wardun is suspended for one game and will be back for the away game against India. He will definitely travel with us but for now, Jeffrey will get the start. He is an experienced keeper and will do a good job for us," said Zainuddin.

The vote of confidence from the coach will give Jeffrey a boost that he so needs having struggled to make his mark in the Malaysian League side with Alizanda Sitom in such fine form.

Jeffrey is part of Brunei's most famous football family with Irwan and Sufri currently playing in the Malaysian League side and Moksen now assistant coach to Mick Jones, also in the Malaysian League side.

Jeffrey's start this weekend comes despite the presence of another veteran Ibrahim Abu Bakar in the squad. Ibrahim, like Jeffrey, has a lot of games under his belt and is a vastly experienced goalkeeper but Zainuddin's decision to play Jeffrey is probably the right one under the circumstances.

Wardun will be missed though as his heroics on the recent away trip to UAE and Yemen was instrumental in keeping the scoreline down to a minimum.

As for the rest of the team, Zainuddin did not wish to give too much away but did allude to the fact that the priority for his team will once again be defending as he did not feel that his team could keep up with the professionals of the India team.

"They are professionals and they are a good side. If you can beat UAE then you have to be a good side. That's why I have already stressed the importance of good defending to my players. They need to be disciplined," added Zainuddin.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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