Steve Kean, the former manager of Blackburn Rovers, faced a challenging period in England but has since found redemption in Asia. Currently, he is leading Brunei DPMM to the top of the S.League in Singapore, gaining respect and popularity throughout Southeast Asia.
During his two-year tenure with Blackburn, Kean had to confront frequent fan protests and relentless criticism from the media. These obstacles ultimately led to his dismissal in 2012 after the team’s relegation from the Premier League. However, Kean made an unexpected move to Southeast Asia, signing a one-year deal with Brunei for the current season.
Since joining Brunei DPMM, Kean has successfully guided the team to an impressive record of 10 wins in their first 12 league matches. As a result, they currently hold a significant seven-point lead at the top of the 12-team division. Kean’s early accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, with reports suggesting that wealthier clubs in Thailand have expressed interest in acquiring his services.
Nevertheless, Brunei DPMM has made it clear that they have no intention of letting Kean go. The club’s official, Pg Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abdul Momin, dismissed the speculation, affirming that “Steve Kean is still the head coach for DPMM FC, and he is still under contract with us.” Momin emphasized the team’s focus on their football and downplayed the rumors, suggesting that they were intended to cause disruption.
The remarkable rise of Brunei DPMM to the top of the league, following their eighth-place finish last season, can be partially attributed to the goalscoring prowess of Roy O’Donovan, a former Sunderland and Coventry City striker. O’Donovan, signed by Kean along with fellow countryman Joe Gamble, has attracted attention from Thai clubs due to his impressive tally of 11 goals this season.
The success of Brunei DPMM under Steve Kean’s leadership stands as a testament to his coaching abilities and his talent for revitalizing a team. Despite the challenges he faced in England, Kean has discovered a new lease of life in Southeast Asia, leaving behind the derision and criticism that once plagued his career.
Steve Kean’s journey from being derided in England to becoming a respected figure in Asia showcases the resilience and determination of a skilled coach. His achievements with Brunei DPMM highlight his capacity to transform a team’s fortunes and solidify his reputation in a different footballing landscape.