DPMM to hand trials to Jeffers, Ashfaq

Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League outfit DPMM FC have announced they will be handing trials to ex-Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers and Maldives international Ali Ashfaq next month.

The Bruneian side are set for a complete overhaul after a disappointing 2013, which has seen them consigned to a bottom-half finish in the league and lose in the Starhub League Cup final to Balestier Khalsa.

Already, they have secured the services of a big-name coach after announcing the capture of former Blackburn boss Steve Kean, who will replace Croatian Vjeran Simunic.

And on Tuesday, the club also confirmed on their official website that three players will be having trials in November, with the most notable name being that of Jeffers, a one-time England international who has played for Barclays Premier League sides Everton and Arsenal.

After breaking onto the scene as a 16-year-old with Everton, Jeffers’ career has been in a downward spiral ever since he joined the Gunners and he has had spells in the A-League with Newcastle Jets and Maltese side Floriana.

The striker was last on the books of League Two outfit Accrington Stanley but, given he’s only 32, DPMM will be hoping he still has plenty to offer should he join them.

Another player that will be trialing with the club is a less-famous name, but one that will be familiar with those involved in South Asian football.

New Radiant star Ashfaq, who is already regarded as the finest footballer his country has ever produced, will also be back at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in November in view of earning a permanent move.

The 28-year-old has scored 36 goals for his national team, including ten at the recent 2013 SAFF Championship, and was part of the New Radiant side that reached the quarter-finals of this season’s AFC Cup.

Ashfaq had a short spell with DPMM in 2007/08, when they were still playing in the Malaysia Super League, and netted twice in seven appearances.

The last player that DPMM announced would be trialing with them is ex-Malaga defender Daniel Orozco.

The club also confirmed they are looking to keep Brazilian playmaker Rodrigo Tosi at the club for another year, while announcing they would be looking to get a “star marquee” player under the S.League’s marquee player rule.

DPMM’s big-name signing for this season was striker Ivan Bosnjak, who was part of the Croatia side that completed at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but he failed to make an impression and was released midway through the campaign.


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