Star Man – Rosmin Kamis, Brunei DPMM
DPMM picked up the title on the final day of last season, thrashing Balestier Khalsa 4-0 in front of more than 23,000 fans at Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium.
The triumph was all the more significant for Rosmin, who missed the boat on three occasions in the past.
In 2009, the Wasps were leading the S.League table when FIFA’s suspension of the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) meant they were unable to complete that season.
In 2012, they finished four points behind eventual winners Tampines Rovers before losing 2-1 to Tampines on the final day of the 2014 season, a result that saw the title going Warriors FC’s way instead.
The heartbreaks only contributed to making last term’s victory sweeter, however, with Rosmin telling FourFourTwo: “It feels absolutely great to finally win the title after so many missed opportunities.
“It’s a real big step for this club and also Brunei football.”
The 34-year-old was keen to attribute the success to coach Steve Kean, who managed to transform DPMM’s fortunes after just two seasons in charge and attain the S.League’s Coach of the Year award in the process.
“He’s been such a big influence on us since he arrived in late 2013,” Rosmin acknowledged.
“He changed everything here; mentally and physically, in terms of the way we train and also the experiences which he had learnt in the English Premier League.
I always use Aleksandar Duric as my example and how he can stay fit to play till he was over 40.
“It’s such an honour to have him at our club and we have to thank our chairman for bringing him here.”
After a year where he played 32 games in all competitions, Rosmin readily admitted it has not been easy for his body to recover in the off-season.
“It’s always hard for players at my age to recover, but I’m taking a lot of advice from the coach and the imports,” he continued.
“They taught me a lot in regards to how to maintain fitness levels when we’re aging. I always use Aleksandar Duric as my example and how he can stay fit to play till he was over 40.
“He’s a real role model for me.”
While many S.League teams have chopped and changed their squads for the upcoming 2016 season, DPMM have retained most of their playing personnel from last year.
The new three-foreigner rule meant Boris Raspudic and Joe Gamble were released, but the impressive trio of former Motherwell defender Brian McLean, Portuguese forward Paulo Sergio and last season’s S.League top scorer Rafael Ramazotti have been convinced to stay for another year.
In terms of Bruneian representation, stalwarts like Wardun Yusof, Azwan Saleh, Hendra Azam and Azwan Ali are still around.
And Rosmin believes the stability and continuity of the squad at DPMM will help them excel again in the new season.
“It’s good that we have McLean, Sergio and Rama back with us again,” he said. “They did so well for us last season and I hope they can keep up their level of performances.
“It’ll be a bit different compared to the past few years because we can only play three imports, but I believe it’s also a good opportunity for the locals to step up and show what they’re capable of.”
Rosmin confessed it would not be easy for DPMM to retain their crown considering the influx of former LionsXII players back into the S.League, but insists that factor cannot an alibi for failure.
“Of course we want to retain the title, but it’ll be very hard for us with all the best Singapore players coming back here,” he concluded.
“It’s not an excuse for us though, so we need to step up again and give even more effort than last year."
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