Bio FT players and officials posing after clinching the TelBru Futsal Premier Cup 2015 championship title at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas in this Sept 26, 2015 file photo. The team face Kota Junior in the first match of the Takaful Brunei Futsal Super League tonight. Picture: BT file
BY AK FAUZI PG SALLEH
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN - KOTA Junior will kick-off their Takaful Brunei Futsal Super League title defence with a Sumbangsih Cup match against Bio Futsal Team tonight.
The game at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas also serves as an opener for the new season. The match starts at 8pm. Kota Junior were convincing champions of last year’s tournament after winning nine games and only losing one throughout the season.
“To defend the title will be our priority this year, so we need to stay competitive,” said Kota Junior manager Steven Yeo in an interview with The Brunei Times recently.
“We have prepared well for the game against Bio FT so we will see how it goes tomorrow,” he said, adding that Kota Junior have been training since December.
Yeo explained that the club retained most of their players from last season – though they have made a few new additions with an eye to the future.
“Players like Faizul Jefrey (Hj Zaini) and Maiziri Maidin have been the backbone for the team for many years… It is important to keep them around if we want to stay competitive, but we also need players to replace them one day,” said Yeo.
“So this year, we have signed three new young players for the club.
“PBDB Futsal Team Belait, Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB), Arbisyam FT and Shah United are our closest challengers.
“These teams have retained most of their players from last season... So we expect them to be more organised and united than others.
“Arbisyam and Shah United have got some good players with good technique, and PBDB have got a pool of young talents.
“MS ABDB recently called up some of their senior players for the team, so we don’t know what is going to happen - but it’s definitely going to be very interesting,” he added.
“We thought that the league is going to start early in the year, so we prepared quite early but it is good for the team,” added Yeo.
Last year’s Futsal Premier League champions Bio FT are expecting nothing but a tough challenge from Kota Junior in the encounter.
“Kota Junior are a well-known futsal club and they have some national and experienced players in the team, so we expect a tough bout tomorrow,” said Bio FT manager Mohd Zahrin Ahamad yesterday.
“This is our first time competing at the country’s highest level, and I hope my players can keep their focus and give their best.
“We will be missing key player Mohd Ikhwanuddin Hj Jali for this match because of suspension in the last match of the season last year, but we still have Muhd Nur Bazli Besar and Mohd Khairul Saifuddin Hj Zulkifli for this game,” he added.
Muhd Nur Bazli scored the winning goal for Bio FT when they defeated Star Madang FC in the Futsal Premeir League final last year.
Organised by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), the 11-team tournament also includes Street United FT, RizFiz Futsal Team, First Five FT, Pega Star FT and Brunei Futsal Under-23.
-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times