DPMM hire former EPL coach Kean

DPMM hire former EPL coach Kean
Brunei DPMM players celebrating their win over Geylang United in the Starhub League Cup final held at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 11 August 2012.

It has taken 18 years but the S-League is finally set for the arrival of its first former English Premier League coach.

Yesterday, Brunei DPMM confirmed that former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean will succeed Croat Vjeran Simunic at the end of the current season.

Club manager Waslimin Momin said the move was made "to change our playing style".

Under reigning Coach of the Year Simunic, DPMM are known for a direct approach which involves playing long balls upfield for their attackers to chase.

That landed them the League Cup in 2009 and 2012 as well as a runners-up berth in the league last term. However, they have struggled this year and will finish in the bottom half of the 12-team standings.

Tasked with improving their fortunes, Kean is likely to favour the same short-passing game he attempted to introduce at Rovers.

He will, however, be hoping to fare better with his new team than during a deeply unpopular 21-month spell at Ewood Park which included relegation to the second-tier Championship in May last year.

The 46-year-old Scot was forced to resign four months later and has been out of a job since.

His arrival in Bandar Seri Begawan could be followed by another EPL alumnus - former Everton and Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers. According to DPMM's official website, the 32-year-old - a goal-scorer on the occasion of his sole appearance for the England national team in 2003 - is due to arrive for a trial next month.

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