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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Najip FC's season to forget

A Najip FC player (white) looks on after falling during a recent DST Super League match against Indera SC. Najip ended the season without a point to their name.Picture: BT file
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THROUGHOUT the history of football in the Sultanate, there have been good teams and there have been teams that make fans wonder how they ever made it into the national league.

Some teams have all the luck, and some... Well, they don't seem to have any luck at all.

Finishing at the bottom of the DST Super League without a point to their name, Najip FC scored only 11 goals and conceded an astonishing 76 in nine league matches.

They also set a record for the worst loss, falling 20-1 to newly crowned champions Indera Sports Club on January 26 at the Balapan Track & Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.

Can Najip turn their fortunes around when the DST Super League starts next season?

In a recent interview with The Brunei Times, team manager Najip Hj Moktal emphasised that the club is still alive and kicking.

"It is not the end of Najip as we are going to come back stronger next season," he said.

"What we are lacking in this tournament is experience. All the teams that competed in this league are well established teams and they have been around for so long," he said.

Established in 2009, Najip earned a promotion to the DST Super League after finishing second behind Liang Lumut Recreational Club Football Team (LLRC FT) in the DST National Football League in June, in which they recorded 15 points after five wins, one loss and one draw.

The manager is also hoping that a deeper and a younger squad will be better able to handle injuries in the future.

"We hope to retain some of the players that we have. But most likely I will make some changes in the squad and we will start to look for new players for next season soon,"continued Najip, who is also the team's head coach.

"If you look at all of our games, our players can play and they have the talent.

"They are as good as the other teams in the league, the only thing lacking is the mentality.

"Every time we went a goal down, the mood of the players started to go down... They started to panic.

"But maybe this was also because of the absence of several senior players due to injuries," he added.

Indera pipped the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) to the DST Super League title after nicking a 1-0 win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams finished the league tied on 22 points but Indera's superior goal difference was enough to land them their first league title since their formation 30 years ago.

The Brunei Times

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