Bandar Seri Begawan - Pascal Chimbonda, James Gilbert Robinson and Maxime Belouet touched down in the sultanate yesterday and will be on trial with Brunei's only professional team, Brunei DPMM FC, for the best part of a fortnight as they look to impress head coach Vjeran Simunic and his backroom staff Chimbonda, 33, was released from League One outfit, Doncaster. Rovers, at the end of last season, and has come to Brunei seeking a change of environment and a fresh start.
"It's beautiful and hot compared to England, and I'm here for a couple of days so we'll see how it goes. I wanted a new challenge, and I've heard a lot of good things about Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei," remarked Chimbonda.
The Frenchman, who can play anywhere across the back four, plied his trade in the English Premier League for six years, enjoying stints with Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers.
The 33-year old was joined at the Mini Stadium in Jerudong yesterday by his compatriot, Maxime Belouet, who plays primarily as a midfielder.
Belouet needed no introduction to Brunei DPMM FC, or the S League, having helped Etoile FC to a 5th place finish in the 2011 season.
The 26-year old enjoyed a one-year spell with I-League side, Salgaocar FC, for the 2011-2012 season, during which the Greens finished 6th.
This year's set of trial players also sees the return of James Gilbert Robinson, who will be looking to fill one of the five available import slots on the Brunei DPMM FC team roster, having missed out on a place last season due to injury.
The Liverpool-born midfielder has represented Crewe Alexandra, Accrington Stanley and Altrincham in his native England, but for the last six years, has been playing in Australia During his time down under, the 30-year old pulled on the colours of Richmond SC, Melbourne Victory, Marconi Stallions, Perth Glory, North Queensland and most recently, Oakleigh Cannons.
"I came here last year (on trial), but I got injured," said Robinson.
"It's similar to where I was in North Queensland, so the weather isn't going to be an issue at all," he added.
Asked what he hoped to achieve with the club should he be given the greenlight, the Crewe Youth Academy graduate was keen to pick up where the club had left off last season.
"Obviously to build on last year's success, and hopefully go a bit further and take it from there.
Nigerians Akanbi Moernikeji Toyosi and Chinwo Kennedy Chimezie landed in the capital last night ahead of their trials with the club, and were also joined by Brunei DPMM FC's former samba star, Tiago Dos Santos Roberto, and his compatriot, Fabio Da Silva Costa Marinho.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin