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Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Football - Rosanan pledges his best

By Benny Ang

Three imports blended in with a last-minute group of local players put together five days before the start of the tournament is hardly the best preparation for a football team looking to make a mark.

Yet that is precisely the situation facing Rosanan Samak, coach of the BAFA XI for the Visit Brunei League Champions Invitational Cup 2001.

His team were put together in the space of hours after it was revealed that Mick Jones' Malaysia Cup squad would be unable to play in the tournament, their playoffs priority prohibiting them from doing so.

Only two days from now, Rosanan's team will take to the field against Pahang in the opening match of the tournament with a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding how his team will perform.

Said the BAFA XI coach: "It's hard to expect anything from the players after they've only been together five days. The players have had very little time to play with each other and it may take time, time that we do not have."

This is in stark contrast to the way that DPMM FC, the other Brunei team in the tournament, have approached the tournament.

Having been together for some six months now, DPMM have enjoyed a thoroughly professional build-up highlighted by the tour of Singapore some weeks ago where they performed admirably against some of Singapore's best.

With five imports in their ranks, DPMM have the most foreigners amongst all the other teams in the tournament with some teams not even bringing any.

Nevertheless, all negatives aside, Rosanan issues one promise and that is his side will try their very best in all of their matches.

"We will try our very best to do well for BAFA and Brunei. We have players mixed in from Kota Rangers, Kasuka and other teams and in five days it's hard to assess how well we are going to do.

"But we will give it our best and hopefully the Brunei public can be proud of us," added Rosanan.

As far as match preparation goes, Rosanan will have just two minor friendlies, one yesterday and one today which may be enough for the coach to evaluate the level of his players.

As for his latest import Mohd Sufian Samsu Bari, this tournament will be a great chance for him to showcase his talents given that he intends to find a permanent contract in Malaysia.

"I hope that this tournament will give me good experience as well as exposure. I'm still young and I hope that teams like Selangor or Pahang can see my abilities in this tournament," said Sufian.

With age on his side, Sufian isn't that desperate for first-team action and admits that a jump to the Selangor youth side might suit him better at this stage of his career.

After just one training session, it is hard for the Malaysian to give an assessment of his team mates but was more than satisfied that they would acquit themselves well in the tournament.

"The team's quite good but I think more time to settle down would be better. Playing just a few times with them will not make us a proper team. It takes time and hopefully we can play as a team when the tournament arrives," added Sufian.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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