LAST year, the Brunei Dra-gons were one of the favou-rites in their maiden outing in the Penang Sports Club (PSC) International Soccer 7’s veteran’s football tournament.
But the team from the oil- rich sultanate fell at the semi-final stage, going out on penalties to Hong Kong All Stars.
This year, the Brunei Dragons returned with a vengeance, more prepared to face the challenges thrown at them in the annual 7-a-side three-day competition for players aged 35 years and above.
The team made up of former Brunei internationals who featured in the Malaysian league, in-cluding feared striker Brian Bothwell, got it right and went all the way to lift the champions’ trophy.
The Brunei Dragons stunned pre-tournament favourites Soccer Experience 2-1 in the final played at the PSC grounds on Sunday.
Mohd Rosanan Samak was the toast of the Borneo team by grabbing both the goals in the final against a formidable side made up of players from four continents.
Dane John Gronbech pulled a goal back for Soccer Experience but it was not enough to save his team boasting a star-studded line-up that included the likes of Scott Ollerenshaw (Australia), Martin Tierney (Scotland) and Alan Bajkusa (Bosnia). They had to from settle for the runners-up spot.
“All of us played together for Brunei before. We know each other very well so we had a very good understanding on the pitch.
“We were disappointed with our semi-final exit last year, so we had a more thorough preparation period prior to competing in Pe-nang,” said the Brunei Dragons skipper Zaini Tumih.
Zaini added that he and his teammates would definite- ly return next year to defend their title.
“Although we have been competing in the PSC veteran 7’s for two years only, we enjoy being here as it is a high quality tournament featuring former stars of the game.
“It is also a good opportunity for veteran players to catch up with old friends and have a good time while competing for glory,” added the Brunei Dragons skipper.
Taiping CRC won the plate final after edging out Penang outfit Wildfire FC 2-1.
For this year's tournament, PSC introduced a Masters competition which was opened to players aged 45 years and above.
The hosts emerged the inaugural Masters champions, after eking out a 1-0 victory over Ulu Klang Recreation Club in the final.
Harjit Singh was the toast of PSC after scoring the only goal in the final.
Results (all finals):
Main competition: Brunei Dra-gons bt Soccer Experience 2-1
Plate: Taiping Chinese Recreation Club bt Wildfire Football Club 2-1
Masters: Penang Sports Club bt Ulu Klang Recreation Club 1-0
The competing teams:
Royal Selangor Club, Taiping CRC, Ulu Klang RC, Bukit Jambul FC, Perak CRC, Federal Territory Chinese, Port Rangers Klang, Asterix FC, Malacca Club, Melo- dy Jaya FC, Penang Sports Club, Hong Kong Stars FC, Brunei Old Stars FC, Brunei Dragons, Indosing Isei Singapore, Essex La Sallians, Kurnia FC Medan, Medan FC, Malaysian Grasshoppers, Villa 2000 FC, Soccer Experience, Sin-gapore Cricket Club, Sungai Ujong Club.