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Friday, June 01, 2001

M-League - Norsillmy, Rosmini to bolster Brunei

As Brunei prepare for their rearranged three-match schedule starting tonight against the Police at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, coach Mick Jones has drafted in two extra players from the recent World Cup side to bolster his squad.

Jones had deliberately left some places open in his initial squad named to keep his options available to him and assess at the midway point just if and how many additional players he would want to register.

The two players Jones has opted to register are Abang Norsillmy Abang Hj Taha and Rosmini Hj Abd Kahar, both players featuring very prominently in the World Cup qualifying games just recently and now set to feature in the Malaysian League side also.

As a matter of fact, with captain and left-sided player Ak Sallehudin Pg Hj Damit suspended for tonight's match, Jones has already picked Rosmini to replace him, citing him as a ready-made replacement for the suspended skipper.

"Rosmini is someone we've had our eyes on for a while now. He is a natural left-sided player and we've needed someone to cover Salleh(uddin) for a long time now. His performances in the World Cup games showed that he has the temperament and skill to play at a high level," said Jones.

The thing that pleased Jones the most was the enthusiasm and eagerness of Rosmini to play and train with the squad.

Added the Brunei coach: "When he got back from the World Cup games, he called us and asked if we were ready to have him train with us and that kind of enthusiasm speaks volumes of the kind of person that he is."

The other player that was recalled into the squad needs no introduction as Abang Norsillmy has been a mainstay in the Brunei set-up until this season when job commitments prevented him from dedicating his full devotion to Jones' workouts.

But having made arrangements with his employers, Abang is now free again to resume his rightful place in the Malaysian League team and help the Wasps earn promotion to their rightful place in Premier One once again.

Jones was non-committal when asked if Abang would play tonight but made it clear in no uncertain terms that he would definitely feature at some time during the next three games.

"There is no doubt about the fact that Abang will play at some time during the next three games. He is a quality player whose versatility is unmatched by anyone and his ability to play in any position is a massive advantage to any coach."

Abang started his career for Brunei in the heart of the defence under David Booth but when given the nod to play either up front or in midfield as done so with the aplomb and coolness of a savvy veteran, his character and leadership affecting all those around him also.

There has been one sour point for Jones with the injury sustained by promising youngster Radzi Tamat in a cycling accident. Radzi, who made a big impact in his debut match against Kedah JKR on the right flank, broke his collarbone while cycling and will play no further part in the three crucial matches.

As for the games itself, Jones wants the full maximum of nine points and nothing else will suffice for the Englishman.

"It's our turn to play catch-up now and with the rest of the league stationary, it's absolutely vital that we aim for maximum points. I want the full nine points and no one will convince me that it is not possible.

"The players have to accept that my demands are high now and I believe that they are capable of winning the next three games outright. Now they have to believe it themselves.

"I truly believe that the next three games will show me a lot about my players and hopefully they will respond in the right way."

After tonight's match, Brunei travel to Malaysia to play KL Malay Mail away on Monday so the players will have little time to recuperate before they are thrown into the mix once again.

But with Jones fired up, the addition of the two players and the whole of Brunei counting on them, it's time for the players to step up and be counted for.

(By Benny Ang)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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