Professional football leagues in the Far East, Africa and the Arab world tend to serve as safe havens for failed football managers in Europe. As if to prove this maxim, Steve Kean has just guided Brunei DPMM to the S League title in Singapore.
If only Venky's had given him a chance to prove what he could do at Blackburn Rovers.
Among his charges, there is an ex-League of Ireland star and twice capped Republic of Ireland international in Joe Gamble.
Along with fellow ex-Cork City player Roy O'Donovan, Gamble signed for the team ahead of the 2014 season. O'Donovan hit 27 goals for Brunei in 2014 but moved on to Mitra Kukar FC for 2015. Brunei finished runners-up in 2014 but Kean decided to release all foreign players excepting Boris Raspudic and Gamble.
They almost threw away the League this year, losing two of their last four matches but a 4-0 win yesterday sealed the title. Gamble was an instrumental figure in their title triumph.
The geographically learned among you will have noted at this point that Brunei is not in Singapore, but in Malaysia. The S League has an open door policy towards teams from Malaysia and Japan.
Fantastic feeling to be crowned champions,to make history as the first DPMM FC to do us& share d moment with my kids pic.twitter.com/48Z0PV3MU2
— Joe Gamble (@joegamblejoe) November 21, 2015