XN FT Eyeing More Glory At Brunei 7’s
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
XN FT are targeting a good run at tomorrow’s 7th Brunei 7’s International Soccer Challenge at the Berakas Sports Complex.
They completed a sweep of the Veteran Football Association (VFA) competitions this season by claiming all three trophies — Sumbangsih Cup, President’s Cup and FA Cup champions — and can add more silverware having entered teams for both categories at the Brunei 7’s; Veterans (40 years and above) and Grand Masters (50 years and above).
XN FT were ousted in the semi-finals of the Veterans category last year and are now drawn in Group B together with IKLS Veteran, Riwayat FC and Kingkaw FT during this weekend’s competition.
They are the defending champions of the Grand Masters category but have been given a difficult route this time around having been placed in Group A together with 2013 and 2014 champions Harimau Mega (HM) FC of Johor as well as SM FC and Terazza FC.
Despite the tough draw, XN FT manager Pg Isa Pg Hj Aliuddin is confident of making at least the final of the Grand Masters category.
“We are in a tough group as Harimau Mega will be a difficult team to play as they have won twice before. We will also be missing one of our key defenders (Ukoi Anam) for the competition,” Pg Isa told The Brunei Times yesterday.
“But having won all trophies this season, we’re confident we can at least reach the final of the Grand Masters category,” he added.
When asked about the Veterans category, Pg Isa replied: “We will just try our best.”
“The other teams are really strong and hopefully we will be able to make it to the final.
“We will have to see the passage we get. Hopefully we will also have Pg Sallehuddin (former national team and DPMM FC defender Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit) around as well,” he added.
XN FT beat Al Idrus FT 3-0 to clinch the Grand Masters category last year.
Meanwhile in the Veterans category, ITF beat Al-Idrus 5-4 on penalties after their final ended in a 2-2 draw.
Organised by the VFA, a total of 32 teams — 16 in each category separated into four groups — are contesting the annual tournament sanctioned by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and supported by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
Besides Harimau Mega, the other invited teams are Sarawak’s Wisma SRC, Losso 99 and Mevec Bukit Sari as well as Royal Sungai Ujong Club of Negeri Sembilan.
The winners of both categories will receive a $2,000 cash prize, challenge trophy and medals while the runner-up will get half the amount, trophy and medals.
Among the tournament’s objectives are to promote the country as a tourist destination and to provide an opportunity for veteran football players to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Held for the first time in 2010, the inaugural edition of the tournament attracted 10 teams each in the Veterans and Grand Masters category.
Entry is free and the public is invited to watch the games.
The Brunei Times