Saturday, January 9, 2016

1-1 with Naga

Friendly Result: PPCFC 1 Nagaworld 1.
In this afternoon's pre-season friendly match at the RSN training pitch, both teams scored in the second period of three thirty-minute halves to end the game all-square at one goal apiece. PPCFC used more than thirty players, those on contracts and others on trial and it was one of the trialists, Khmer-Belgian Am Sovythang, who drilled in the equaliser for Crown on 55 minutes after Long Boran's corner was headed down by Michael Osei Tutu, another new face. The leveller came seven minutes after Naga took a fortunate lead when a 25-yard free-kick from Sun Sopanha looped off the back of Osei Tutu and nestled in the far corner, deceiving Spanish goalkeeper Abel Yebenes. Both PPCFC goalkeepers Yebenes and Keo Soksela had to save sharply on a couple of occasions, whilst Crown's best efforts in front of goal fell to Baldwin Ngwa, Kelechi George a couple of times, and Matthew Rhoda. 
New coach Oriol Mohedano spoke of his delight at the end of his first game in charge, a 1-1 draw with Nagaworld yesterday. "My last word to the players was to go out and 'enjoy' the game. Despite a low rhythm, I was pleased as the players tried to play football, and it was good because all players got game-time. I'm happy as we have something to work with and we can do something great. We have to work more on conditioning, but I prefer that the brain is fit, ready to work and understand what's required. I was happy with the mentality of each of the players, they are ready to work hard, but we must be patient. We are building up to 7 February and we need to peak at that time. Today it was a little like futsal with all the changes, but we had a plan to give everyone game-time, and even though some players only had 15 minutes, it's all part of our preparation for the season."

PPCFC are pleased to announce the signing of Spanish goalkeeper Abel Yebenes for the forthcoming season. Abel is 20 years old and has played for the Catalan 1st Division clubs UE Valls and CE El Catllar in Spain for the past two seasons. He was born in Reus in the province of Tarragona in the Catalonia region of northeast Spain and began playing football at the age of four. He spent ten years with his local team La Salle Reus before joining the Academy at Gimnastic de Tarragona, now in the 2nd tier of Spanish football. He spent four years with Nastic, the last two playing in the development squad where Crown's Oriol Mohedano was an assistant coach. His younger brother is also at the Gimnastic Academy. 

The Booyse signs on for 2 more years

PPCFC is very excited to announce that the club's number 11, Shane Booysen, who wowed the club's fans with his lightning quick feet and outstanding ball wizardry in his first season last year, has put pen to paper to sign a new contract for the next two years. After competing a season that included a personal goal tally of 24 goals and collecting his teammates' award as Most Valuable Player, not to mention the fans award for Goal of the Season (against AEU), the Cape Town-born fan's favourite has pledged himself to the club until the end of 2017. 
Shane has just returned to RSN from a break to see his family in South Africa and was delighted to sign for two more years. "Last year was the most dramatic season in my career, even the last day ended in drama. Overall it was a very good season, not only for me but for the team. I think together we grew a lot, with everything that happened it made us even closer, it made us champions not just as a team, but as individuals as well, because we had to overcome so much. For myself, it was a good season and I'm looking forward to doing the same and even adding more if I can. My contribution to the team was good, I did what I could, I set some personal goals, I achieved most of them, but overall, I think I could've done better. Knowing myself and knowing the potential of the team, I think we could've won the league easily, but due to the circumstances, we still managed to retain our title, which was the important result.
Looking forward, the upcoming All Star matches are a big bonus for me, having been selected for the team. I feel really honoured and very pleased to have this opportunity. I returned a bit late to pre-season training, so it's an interruption but at the same time it will give me match fitness and the experience of playing against the two highest-level clubs in Thailand. So it's all good. I played a friendly match against each team (Muangthong and Buriram) for my old club in Thailand, it was a good experience, so I know what to expect and I know what's expected of me as well. I'm looking forward to the games." 
Shane, now 27 years old, signed for Crown in March of last year, scoring two goals in his first friendly match against BBU in February, with head coach Sam Schweingruber saying at the time: “We are delighted Shane has signed with us, he was our target player to get on board. He is both experienced and talented and his outstanding technique has in the past weeks excited teammates, staff and fans." The excitement was to continue throughout the season. Shane was born in Cape Town, the second-largest city in South Africa and began playing football at Ajax Cape Town as a ten-year-old. Four years later he joined the full-time Hellenic FC Academy, one of the best in the country, for three years and appeared for the Western Province U-17s. In his mid-teens he moved to the country’s most successful club Mamelodi Sundowns and played for their reserves for two years before spells at Gleneden United, back to Ajax Cape Town and a loan stint in the National First Division with Ikapa Sporting. In March of 2014, he took the decision to pursue his career goals abroad, moved to Thailand and played regularly for Rbac Mittraphap and Bangkok Christian College-Tero in the Thai Regional League Division 2 before joining Crown.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Clean sweep for Academy

The PPCFC Academy and community boys, celebrated their clean sweep success at the 7 Makara Youth Cup tournament hosted by Boeungket Angkor at Premium Sport Club today. All three age category finals, at U-12, U-14 and U-17 were won by the PPCFC teams and the youngsters celebrated their success with club president Rithy Samnang, when they returned to RSN Stadium. A special mention to Yim Makara (U-12) and Ros Darapich (U-14) who won the Golden Boot in their age groups as the tournament's leading scorers.
These are the results from today's successful 7 Makara Youth Cup played at Premium Sport Club and organised by Boeungket, where PPCFC teams won all three age categories. In the U-12 section, PPCFC entered two teams, one from the Academy and one community team. Well done to all of our young players and to our coaches on their successful tournament.
PPCFC A U-12: 
vs 3G W4-0: vs Zaman W6-1: vs Boeungket W6-1; vs CIA 1 W2-1 (semi): PPCFC B W5-2 (final). Top scorer: Yim Makara - 11 goals.
PPCFC U-14:
vs MIS W3-2: vs CIA W5-2: vs WIS W3-0: vs 3G W6-1 (semi): vs 3G W1-0 (final). Top scorer: Ros Darapich - 7 goals.
PPCFC U-17:
vs Boeungket A D0-0: vs Boeungket B W1-0: vs Fansport W2-0: vs CIA W12-0: vs Ping Peang W7-1: vs Fansport W2-1 (semi): vs Boeungket A W2-1 (final). Top scorer: Pov Ponvuthy - 8 goals.

Oriol joins PPCFC

Oriol Mohedano
ORIOL MOHEDANO APPOINTED AS HEAD COACH
PPCFC is very pleased to announce the appointment of Oriol Mohedano as the club’s First-Team Head Coach. With Sam Schweingruber unable to undertake his duties for the immediate future, Oriol will be in charge of the team as they prepare for the start of the new 2016 Metfone C-League (our first MCL game is on 7 February) and Hun Sen Cup campaigns. 
Oriol was born in Barcelona in Spain, he is 29 years old, and is a UEFA A-License coach with playing experience in his home country and a coaching pedigree that has seen him enjoy roles in Spain, Switzerland and Finland before this, his first coaching position in Asia. A 1-year contract has been agreed.
As a defensive player, he represented junior club Penye Cornella before joining Club Atletic Roda de Bara in the Catalan First Division in Spain (the 5th tier of Spanish football), but a broken leg ended his playing career prematurely at the age of 23. His interest in coaching grew quickly, starting his UEFA C-License as a youth coach with UE Cornella, where he stayed for three years, before a return to CA Roda de Bara for just over a year, and then moving to Segunga Division club, Club Gimnastic de Tarragona (2nd tier of Spanish football) for three more years, and guided the U-18s to the Catalan Championship. It was at Nastic, one of the oldest clubs in Spain, that he gained his UEFA A-License award. In July 2014, Oriol moved to join Servette FC in Geneva, Switzerland for a year and was assistant coach to the U-18 Swiss championship-winning team. He recently spent three months as the assistant coach at FC Legirus Inter in Finland before joining PPCFC.
In taking on the role at Crown, Oriol commented: “I have been speaking to Sam (Schweingruber) for the past six months about our mutual passion for football, its methodology and about working together to share the workload at PPCFC. I see this as a natural step in progressing my coaching career, I am always seeking to improve myself and I am ready for the responsibility that this role will bring. This club has a clear identity, with a very young squad and I am motivated to develop the youngsters. I too am a young coach and I’m happy with this opportunity to join a club with such high ambitions, this is a great club, recognized as the best in Cambodia and my target is to continue to produce high quality football. I’m not shy, I have no limits and I will aim as high as possible.
“I recognize that football is a spectacle, like a theater for people to come and enjoy, I want there to be a common feeling between the players and the fans. I promise we will work hard and we need the fans to support us and help us to victory. When the relationship is good, it’s a fantastic feeling, magical, like a family, so I ask the fans to be ready, we want to give them something to love, something beautiful.”

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bayon beaten

Match Result: PPCFC 7 Bayon Wanderers 2 (Friendly).
In their first outing since winning the Metfone title, PPCFC beat amateur team Bayon Wanderers 7-2 at RSN Stadium this afternoon, in their firstpre-season practice match. Um Tola netted a hat-trick with Orn Chanpolin, In Sodavid, Kim Chhaya and Chhuot Senteang each scoring a goal.
For the record, the goals were scored by Tola 3 (11, 13, 16 mins), Chanpolin (25), Sodavid (35), Chhaya (47), Senteang (52). Bayon scored on 78 and 85 minutes.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tony's hat-trick

Tony and his 3 Championship trophies
Who better to show off the last 3 Metfone C-League Championship trophies won by PPCFC, than the central defender who played a major role in ensuring those trophies became the property of Crown, the ever-popular Odion 'Tony' Obadin. Nigerian-born Tony joined the club in November 2010 and was a rock in the heart of our defence as we won the league title in 2011, as well as being runners-up in the AFC President's Cup that same year. Back to back championships duly arrived in 2014 and again this year as Tony celebrated a hat-trick of successes. A great example to his teammates and the club's Academy youngsters, that loyalty to one club can bring richly-deserved rewards. A real player's player.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

PPCFC in 2016

The 2016 Metfone C-League fixtures were published recently, though this list of matches is provisional and may change. We post them for information purposes only, pending formal confirmation by the Football Federation.
1st Round:
Sunday 7 Feb vs Boeungket @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 14 Feb vs Nagaworld @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 21 Feb vs Cambodian Tiger @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 28 Feb vs CMAC @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 26 Mar vs Army @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 2 Apr vs AEU @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 10 Apr vs Kirivong @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 23 Apr vs Western @ Venue to be confirmed 3.30pm
Saturday 30 Apr vs BBU @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 7 May vs National Police@ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 21 May vs Svay Rieng @ Svay Rieng Stadium 6pm
2nd Round:
Saturday 11 Jun vs Cambodian Tiger @ Western Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 18 Jun vs Nagaworld @ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 25 Jun vs Svay Rieng @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 2 Jul vs CMAC @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 9 Jul vs Army @ Army Stadium 3.30pm
Sunday 17 Jul vs AEU @ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Sunday 24 Jul vs Kirivong @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 31 Jul Final – Hun Sen Cup @ Olympic Stadium
Saturday 6 Aug vs Western @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 20 Aug vs BBU @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 27 Aug vs National Police @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 11 Sep vs Boeungket @ Venue to be confirmed 3.30pm.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Messi back in the fold

PPCFC midfielder Ouk Sothy, known to all by his nickname Messi, is aiming to be back, fit and ready for the new Metfone C-League season that will kick-off on 7 February. "I so regret that I couldn't help my team last season, I desperately wanted to play, so it was annoying to watch every game from the sidelines. My knee injury, that I got in May, meant I missed the whole season, so it was very frustrating, but I was so pleased that my teammates won the championship again, as we did the year before. I was very happy for them." In 2014 Sothy was a key element of the team that collected their first championship title under coach Sam Schweingruber. In May of this year, he was training with the Cambodia national team when he felt a severe pain in his knee whilst playing a friendly match against the African All-Stars. A visit to Vietnam diagnosed the injury as an anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) and an operation to repair the damage was performed by Dr Heng. Recovery from an ACL injury is notoriously slow and Sothy began the long road to fitness with physical therapy including muscle-strengthening and stability exercises. He eventually managed a few minutes in a practice match just before the end-of-season break so he's looking forward to the resumption of training tomorrow, to put his own fitness to the test. When asked about the influx of young Academy players into the team, he said: "I am so happy for them, it's a great opportunity. They are young but they already have international experience, and are very good players." It will be a welcome sight to see Sothy challenging for a place in the Crown starting line-up again, we have missed him.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 results review

A look at PPCFC's Metfone C-League Results in 2015:
>> 1st Round <<
Thu 2 July vs BOEUNGKET ANGKOR @ RSN Stadium – DREW 0-0
Sun 5 July vs NAGAWORLD @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-2 : Booysen 2, Bisan 2
Thu 9 July vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ RSN Stadium – WON 3-1 : Matnorotin, Bisan 2
Sun 12 July vs ASIA EUROPE @ RSN Stadium – WON 6-1 : Bisan 2, Sokpheng, Makara, Sokthorn, Koroma
Wed 15 July vs ARMY @ RSN Stadium – WON 2-0 : Bisan, Booysen
Sat 18 July vs CMAC @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-1 : Booysen, Thierry, Sokthorn, Bisan
Thu 23 July vs KIRIVONG @ Tonle Bati – WON 5-2 : Bisan 3, Booysen 2
Sat 25 July vs WESTERN @ Western – WON 5-3 : Booysen 3, Bisan 2
Wed 29 July vs BBU @ RSN Stadium – WON 1-0 : Booysen
Sat 1 Aug vs NATIONAL POLICE @ RSN Stadium – Drew 1-1 : OG
Wed 5 Aug vs SVAY RIENG @ Svay Rieng – WON 3-1 : Sokpheng, Makara, Suhana
>> 2nd Round <<
Sat 8 Aug vs SVAY RIENG @ RSN Stadium – WON 7-1 : Bisan 4, Booysen 2, Koroma
Wed 12 Aug vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic – WON 1-0 : Booysen
Sat 15 Aug vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ Western – DREW 0-0
Sat 12 Sep vs ASIA EUROPE @ RSN Stadium – WON 6-0 : Makara 2, Booysen 2, Sokpheng, Obadin
Wed 16 Sep vs ARMY @ Army Stadium – LOST 0-3
Sat 19 Sep vs CMAC @ Olympic – WON 10-1 : Booysen 4, Bisan 2, Sokpheng 2, Dani, OG
Thu 24 Sep vs KIRIVONG @ RSN Stadium – LOST 1-2 : Sokpheng
Sat 26 Sep vs WESTERN @ RSN Stadium – WON 10-0 : Sokpheng 3, Bisan 3, Booysen 2, Makara 2
Wed 30 Sep vs BBU @ Olympic – WON 4-0 : Sokpheng 2, Sodavid, Thierry
Sat 17 Oct vs NATIONAL POLICE @ RSN Stadium – WON 2-1 : Sokthorn, Sokpheng
Thu 22 Oct vs BOEUNGKET ANGKOR @ Army Stadium – LOST 2-4 : Booysen, Bisan.
Championship Play-offs:
Sun 25 Oct vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-1 : Sodavid, Thierry, Obadin, Sokthorn (Semi-Final).
Wed 28 Oct vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ Western – WON 2-1 : Obadin, Booysen (Semi-Final).
Sun 22 Nov vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic Stadium – WON 2-0 : Bisan, Booysen (Final 1st Leg)
Sat 12 Dec vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic Stadium – LOST 1-3 : Thierry (pen). Aggregate 3-3 over two legs. PPCFC won 3-2 on Penalties: Thierry, Boris, Baek – to win MCL Championship (Final 2nd Leg).

Xmas Day tourney

Around 40 of the PPCFC community youngsters enjoyed a Christmas Day five-a-side friendly tournament at RSN Stadium, arranged by their coaches Channou, Pisey and Nipha. These youngsters, some as young as 6 years old, can be found on the futsal courts at RSN most afternoons, receiving coaching and support from our coaches but most of all, having lots of fun learning and playing football. A big thank you to our coaches as well as the supportive parents and the young boys and girls themselves. We will be expanding our community involvement in the near future and we'll bring you more news about that as soon as we can.

Friday, December 25, 2015

MCL 2016

The Football Federation confirmed today that the 2016 MCL season will take place from 6 February to 11 September. The champions will be decided under normal league format rules, with first-past-the-post; so play-offs will not be used. The foreigner rule has changed so that each club can sign and play 4 foreign players in a match, but one must be from the AFC region. A 2nd Division will operate from April to June with 6 teams, with an emphasis on youth as 50% of the players must be U-21. Promotion and relegation between the two divisions will be possible. The Hun Sen Cup will be played between February and the end of July, with provincial qualifiers joining the 12 MCL clubs in the second round group stage. From 8-18 January, the Cambodia national team will be in Bangladesh taking part in the 2016 Bangabandhu Cup. 29 players have been named in the provisional squad. This invitation tournament takes place whilst all MCL clubs are in pre-season preparation for the new season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Coach in hospital

Club Statement: Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber was involved in a road accident last night and is expected to spend the rest of the week in hospital under observation, in order to recover from his injuries. Our thoughts are with Sam at this time and we would ask our fans to respect his privacy.
20 Dec: Coach Sam Schweingruber is now in Bangkok Hospital to continue his recovery following last Tuesday's accident. Thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes and kind thoughts, it's much appreciated. Sam guided PPCFC to their second successive Metfone C-League Championship last weekend in just three years with the club. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sam speaks

Moments after the final whistle, PPCFC head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his views on the Championship Final victory, a 3-2 win on penalties after a 1-3 reversal in the 120 minutes of the second leg. "The first-half was good, we looked in control, they had one chance from a corner, other than that we had some half chances, looked solid - it was a good 1st-half performance. I was quite happy. Second-half we started nervously, I thought the substitution made by Naga was a good one and we gave a goal away in the first ten minutes of the second period. It was a shocker, a gift to Naga and it kicked us. We started to look even more nervous, not in control, we got back with a penalty and looked more dangerous but not really good enough and ended up conceding two poor goals, especially the third one in the 90th minute, which was just rubbish. 
Extra time was poor too, I thought both teams looked tired, though we were the one team looking to do something, Naga were just hoping to win on penalties. It was a bit strange. I don't think they had one single chance in the thirty minutes apart from a free-kick that we failed to clear. I didn't feel we had it in us to win unfortunately and there was not enough time between the short breaks to give the team the direction they needed.
We were launching the ball long too much and couldn't work off the second ball. We didn't plan this at all. So for most of the time we looked horrible. So I introduced George Bisan for extra time as we were giving the ball away again and again. It went wrong when we gave the first goal away. Quite a few players were in shock as we were obviously the better team, we were pressing, playing the better football and in comfortable control. They get a goal out of nowhere and it all changed.
As for the penalties, we had a penalty shoot-out once in training. We were in a good enough position not to go to penalties and I didn't want to give my team the idea that we were planning on penalties. But yes we had it in mind. Three saves is always enough to win a shoot-out but we shouldn't have missed two though. Before the penalties I wondered if he (Keo Soksela) could actually do it and it turned out he was absolutely amazing and saved us the game."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Crown are Champions, again

PPCFC vs Naga, 3-2 win on penalties: back row, LtoR: Obadin, Makara, Baek, Thierry, Soksela, Boris (capt). Front row: Chanpolin, Sokthorn, Sodavid, Dani, Booysen - click to enlarge.
12 December 2015: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Nagaworld 3 [after extra time. PPCFC won 3-2 on penalties] (Metfone C-League Championship Final 2nd leg).
Phnom Penh Crown made heavy weather of winning their second consecutive Metfone Championship, having brought a 2-0 1st leg win to the main event, but held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out with teenage goalkeeper Keo Soksela showing maturity beyond his years. The game began with Crown edging the first-half with Va Sokthorn going close on a couple of occasions, Shane Booysen toe-poking an effort wide of the mark, whilst Nhim Sovannara headed a corner against the upright for Naga. Nine minutes after the half-time break and Naga took the lead when In Sodavid’s backpass allowed Kouch Sokumpheak to challenge Soksela and the loose ball was buried by Sun Sovannrithy. Sokthorn and Booysen were denied by Samrith Seiha at the other end but a handball against Sovannrithy from Sodavid’s blast gave Bin Thierry the leveller from the penalty spot on 73 minutes. Just 4 minutes later Sokumpheak steered in Prak Chanratana’s headed cross to return the lead to Naga. Crown were struggling to find their rhythm and Leng Makara stopped a drive on the goal-line with his body before final minute heartbreak as Yongsun Baek was adjudged to have handled a shot and Sokumpheak stepped up in injury time to rifle the ball home from the spot. That made it 3-1 to Naga and 3-3 on aggregate.
Extra time of thirty minutes was without incident of note until Barry Lelouma’s floated free-kick missed everyone and bounced just clear of the cross-bar. Crown’s best chance came on 114 minutes as Baek powerfully headed Sokthorn’s free-kick onto the bar and the referee waved aways appeals that the ball had bounced behind the line. Onto penalty kicks to decide who would be the champions. Soksela saved Naga’s opening spot-kick from Fukasawa and then Thierry planted in his effort. Kazuaki Ban scored but Sokthorn missed the target, only for Sokumpheak to score. Kok Boris scored with ease, but ex-PPC Khim Borey found Soksela’s feet hard to beat, as did Odion Obadin, who was stopped by Seiha. Another glorious Soksela save denied Lelouma and up-stepped Baek to settle the Championship with a well-struck spot-kick to make it 3-2. Cue the celebrations on the pitch and among the massed ranks of Crown fans at the stadium. 

Champions for the 2nd successive season

Awards galore

At last night's celebration awards ceremony at Bottoms Up club, Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber handed out a series of awards to his Championship-winning team. These included the following: Without doubt we have the best goal celebrations of any team in the Metfone C-League. Whether it's George Bisan's amazing double somersault, Shane Booysen's somersault and groovy dance routine or Odion Obadin's knee-sliding with pure joy, we all enjoy our goal celebrations. So it was very fitting that we recognised that with framed pictures of their routines for the three goalscorers. Let's hope for even more enjoyable goal celebrations next season.
Goalscoring is the key to any teams' success and PPCFC are fortunate to have two fantastic players who have both enjoyed a great season in front of goal. With 24 goals each, Shane Booysen and George Bisan were joint Golden Boot award winners at our Bottoms Up celebration. Fabulous work from these two good friends and housemates. 
One of the most precious awards for professional players is the Most Valuable Player award, selected by their own teammates, and the landslide winner this season was our South African ball wizard, Shane Booysen. Well done Shane for a memorable season in every way.
Shane Booysen also collected the award for the Best Goal of the Season against AEU, as well as Most Yellow Cards, an honour he shared with Bin Thierry, who also won the Best Set Piece award. Keo Sokpheng received the Fans Choice as the season's Most Valuable Player, voted by the fans on Facebook. Most Improved Player went to Leng Makara, In Sodavid carried off the Young Player, Most Assists went tp Keo Sokpheng and George Bisan, Best Tackle to club captain Kok Boris and Best Assist to Keo Sokpheng for his weaving run past 7 players against National Police.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Equal Play Festival

Equal Play Festival at RSN
We have just completed a 3-day Equal Play Festival at RSN Stadium, organised by Phnom Penh Crown, SALT Academy, streetfootballworld and the German Federal Foreign Office, where over 200 youngsters between the ages of 10-14, from all over Cambodia,  enjoyed a mixed-gender football tournament and life skills workshops to promote equal opportunities for girls and boys on and off the pitch.  The final evening saw a series of cultural performances presented by the children and a big thank you to everyone that made the Festival such a great success for all involved.  Honoured guests included the German Ambassador, Joachim Baron von Marschall, Crown President Rithy Samnang, Monika Staab, the German Foreign Office Football Ambassador, as well as some of the Crown first-team players who did a Q&A as well as skills sessions with the youngsters.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crown nose ahead with 1st leg win

PPCFC, back row, LtoR: Obadin, Soksela, Sokthorn, Makara, Thierry, Bisan, Boris (capt). Front row: C Pisa, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Booysen.
Sunday 22 November 2015 : Phnom Penh Crown 2 Nagaworld 0 (MCL Play-off Final, 1st Leg).
Crown got their noses firmly in front in the first leg of the Championship Play-off, with a well-deserved and comprehensive victory over Naga at the Olympic Stadium tonight. The game began at a pedestrian pace though a head injury to Keo Soksela, the teenager making his debut in goal for Crown, caused some concern on the bench. The youngster had already dived to his right to push aside a low free-kick from Barry Lelouma before a crack on his head from a Khim Borey challenge saw a five-minute stoppage whilst the bloodied head wound was treated. Defender Odion Obadin's goal-bound header was pushed out by Samrith Seiha and In Sodavid's attempt was cleared by Om Thavrak after a poor clearance.  Just before the half hour mark, Lelouma's shot on the turn went harmlessly wide and Kouch Sokumpheak's breakaway was blocked as Soksela was quickly out to the edge of his box with his arms outstretched.  The best chance of the game came on 38 minutes as Bin Thierry's free-kick was pushed out by Seiha and into the path of George Bisan, but his hurried blast into the ground bounced agonisingly over the cross-bar. Sodavid's quick ball found Shane  Booysen in space on the edge of the area but Seiha was down smartish to divert his whipped drive. Moments later, Bisan headed down Va Sokthorn's free-kick and Obadin's shot on the swivel was blocked by Seiha and Sun Sovannrithy. The first-half ended with Lelouma's 20-yard drive easily held by Soksela.
A Bisan shot was harmless enough after he was set-up by Bin Thierry's magic feet and then ten minutes after the interval, Crown took control with the first goal of the 1st leg. Bisan was lurking fifteen yards from goal and his forceful header looped in after Thierry's corner was headed into the air by Borey's clearance. Five minutes later the Nigerian hitman sent another header inches wide from Booysen's pass. A flurry of cautions included a booking for Om Thavrak for an off-the-ball trip on Bisan that prompted a mini flare-up, before Naga had to replace their goalkeeper, Seiha leaving the pitch with a knee injury. On 78 minutes, Thavrak tripped Sokthorn as he broke through, leaving referee Khuon Virak with no option but to brandish a second yellow card.  Booysen sent a long range drive wide before he combined with Sokthorn and lashed a shot against the upright at the end of a 60-yard run.  Bisan's neat chip to the far post gave Sodavid a sight of goal but his shot was turned aside at the foot of the post by the replacement keeper Phorn Rathana. A double substitution saw Keo Sokpheng introduced, and his final pass, from Sokthorn's incisive run on the left wing, gave Booysen space to cut inside and sent an unerring drive into the bottom corner for Crown's second with three seconds of normal time remaining.  In the five minutes of stoppage time, Booysen's long range effort was collected by Rathana and Yongsun Baek's shot, from Sokpheng's pass, went a foot wide of the upright. 2-nil and game over. Now the teams wait for the Play-off 2nd Leg on 12 December, also at Olympic Stadium.
Head coach Sam Schweingruber on the 2-0 victory over Nagaworld in the 1st leg of the Play-off Final. "We survived an unbelievably poor first fifteen minutes. We couldnt deal with the slow ball speed, we had so many intercepted passes. We didn't play at all the way we were hoping to play, we made life very difficult for ourselves. I'm not surprised as we had little time to work as a team with our national team players gone for three weeks, etc; we'd not had enough opportunities to work on these things. Nevertheless, we sorted it out, got into the game before half-time. We could've had a goal on the Thierry free-kick and rebound but from the 30th minute, I didn't feel Naga looked like scoring. We had everything covered.
We worked on set pieces yesterday, so I was happy that one of those worked out as it did, although not as we planned. Our speed and our runs made it very difficult for them to deal with it, they got a player sent off and from then, it was always going to be us.
There's still another game to go, we'll have a few days to relax and focus on recovery. Mentally, its been a tough two weeks, not just football-wise but with other events at the club. We'll be back for a determined two weeks, working extremely hard to be even better than today. While the result today was satisfying, the way we played wasn't, so I want us to do better." 
PPCFC vs Naga: Soksela (GK), Makara, C Pisa, Boris (Capt), Obadin, Thierry, Sokthorn (Dani 90+3), Chanpolin, Sodavid (Baek 86), Booysen, Bisan (Sokpheng 86). Subs (not used): Danny (GK), Boran, Tola, Yaneat. Bookings: Obadin, Bisan. Goals: Bisan (55), Booysen (90).

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PPCFC suspend 11

As of today, 8 November 2015, Phnom Penh Crown FC have suspended, for an indefinite period, the following players and officials from all football activities connected with the club:
Players:
Yok Ary, Thourng Da, Sary Matnorotin, Touch Sokheng, Ngoy Srin, Sos Suhana and San Ursaphea.
Officials:
Nguon Chansothea, Bouy Dary, Soeu Siha, Tes Sophat.
Statement from Mr Rithy Samnang, President of Phnom Penh Crown FC:
“I am extremely saddened to announce a severe punishment of an indefinite suspension from all club activities for 7 players and 4 officials of Phnom Penh Crown FC. These suspensions are for gross misconduct and a serious breach of their employment contracts by way of match manipulation and the deliberate harming of Phnom Penh Crown FC’s reputation. This included persuading said 1st-Team players to under-perform in key matches over the past two months, plans to hurt key foreign players in training, as well as using proxies and fake accounts to post negative and inflammatory comments and images on Facebook.
Honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of professional football and we will not tolerate any activities, for whatever reason, relating to the manipulation of football matches and the influencing of match results. Corruption and match manipulation are a poison within sport in general and in football in particular. We want football to be played in an atmosphere where supporters can trust the integrity of the players and the sincerity of the results.
The suspended players and officials have violated the principles of trust, loyalty and sportsmanship and we find this to be totally unacceptable behaviour.
This is an internal matter within Phnom Penh Crown FC and no other club, players or officials are implicated in this action.
This action has been taken with the full co-operation of the appropriate authorities.”

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Biggest ever deal

President Rithy Samnang and Smart CEO Thomas Hundt
Phnom Penh Crown sign what is believed to be the biggest sponsorship deal in domestic Cambodia League history as they join forces with telecoms giant Smart Axiata in a 3-year deal for an undisclosed sum. Smart will be the name on their jerseys from next season as well as joining Crown for community and CSR initiatives. Here's the 1st-Team joining in the press conference this afternoon at RSN.
The PPCFC 1st-Team at the press conference
PPCFC are proud to announce the signing today of a partnership agreement with Smart Axiata, who will become the official and exclusive telco partner of the club for the next 3 years. Club president Rithy Samnang said: "Phnom Penh Crown is very excited to welcome Smart Axiata as our main partner for the next three years. Not only will Smart become our main jersey sponsor, we are looking forward to working closely with them to develop football and sports-related community and social responsibility programs. Smart's ongoing commitment to support the communities they serve through their sporting, educational and public health projects, as part of their core company values, makes them the perfect partner for Phnom Penh Crown. Our club strives to make a real difference by developing our own youth academy, community and school programs and our involvement as agents for positive change in societal activities." 
The partnership was inked at a press conference at the club's RSN Stadium this afternoon attended by the media, Smart representatives and the Crown first-team squad. Smart's CEO Thomas Hundt added; " Smart and PPCFC share many common values. They are an outstanding club with an exceptional performance record... We are very happy to support this long-term vision from the club... This partnership is another of Smart's Major initiatives towards promoting community health while purposefully creating world-class football players." Smart already work closely with PPCFC and are this season sponsoring the PPCFC Academy in the Asia Champions Trophy. However, this new agreement takes the partnership to a new level, in what we see as exciting times ahead for PPCFC, Smart and Cambodian football.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Harry in the spotlight

Harry talks to Lim Pisoth
The spotlight falls on PPCFC Academy U-15 technical coordinator Harry Varley in this interview for the website, British Coaches Abroad Association @ http://www.britishcoachesabroad.com/meet-the-coach-harry-v…/ - Harry joined the club recently after experience at Shrewsbury Town, Sporting Khalsa Ladies and Coerver Coaching where he was technical coach (UK), academy development officer (Mexico), and regional director (New Zealand).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Making a point in Vietnam

Final score: PVF Academy (Vietnam) 2 PPCFC Academy 2 (U-18 ACT 2015).
A superb battling performance by the Crown Academy against last year's beaten finalists on their home turf in Vietnam, earned them a 2-2 draw with the visitors twice coming from behind. PVF scored first on 26 minutes with a fortunate header, which Ouk Sovann levelled 3 minutes after the break when his 30-yard free-kick from wide on the left deceived the goalkeeper and sneaked inside the far post. On 71 minutes, PVF went in front again with a rasping shot from outside the box, but substitute Umaru Samura came on and curled a 20-yard free-kick over the wall and into the PVF net for a 2nd equaliser on 81 minutes. A well-deserved and valuable ACT point for the Academy U-18s.
PPCFC line-up, back row, LtoR: Sovann, Soksela, Senteang, Jason, Titchhy, Sodavid (capt). Front row: Chanpolin, Suleiman, Noeut, Ponvuthy, Rozak.

PPCFC Academy technical director Tom Legg gave his thoughts after yesterday's 2-2 draw with PVF in Ho Chi Minh, which gave the PPCFC Academy their first away point of this year's U-18 Asia Champions Trophy. "Overall we are pleased with the result and performance from our young squad last night, we showed great desire and competitiveness from the first minute to the last. Its always a challenge playing away from home and considering the difficult conditions we faced leading up to the game, the players adapted very well. We had to make a few last minute changes to the game plan after the heavy rains and I was happy to see the players show their tactical flexibility to take on board and apply those changes.
Everyone that watched the game could see we carried much more of an attacking threat than PVF and we created a number of good goal-scoring opportunities, which is always pleasing when you are playing away from home.
Taking a step back and reviewing the last two performances from the players should go some way to show that we are not in this competition to simply make up the numbers, we are here to compete and achieve success.
We're still on track to reach our minimum points target for these two games which we feel will leave us in a strong position to challenge for qualification to the knock-out phase."
The ACT Group B points totals after 3 matches for each team: Kashima Antlers - 6 points, Frenz United B - 5 points, PVF - 2 points, PPCFC Academy - 2 points.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cambodia lose 6-0

The four PPCFC players involved in Cambodia's World Cup qualifying campaign, which continued last night at the Olympic Stadium, with a 6-0 defeat by Syria, will return to training with the club this afternoon, ahead of Saturday's match with AEU. Sos Suhana (12) and Keo Sokpheng (14) started last night's game and can be seen in Park's pre-match team photo, Bin Thierry came on as a substitute in the 58th minute while Kok Boris was an unused replacement. All of our players were very appreciative of another fantastic turn-out from Cambodia's fans last night - a crowd of 35,000 - despite heavy rain. Cambodia's next WC game will be in Singapore on 13 October. Pic courtesy of Park.

Monday, September 7, 2015

7-2 defeat for U-15s

The PPCFC Academy U-15s lost out to a Ministry of Interior team on Saturday at RSN Stadium. The visitors led 4-0 at the break and despite a Nop David penalty and a Pich Sovannaroth goal after the interval, the Ministry team ran out 7-2 winners.
PPCFC line-up, back row, LtoR: Bory, Sovannaroth, Chandara, Piseth, Panha, Chanmony. Front: Samel, Davann, N David, Pisoth, S David.

U-16s return home

The Cambodia U-16s are returning from Singapore after finishing fourth in their AFC U-16 Championships qualifying group H. Yesterday they lost 3-1 to hosts Singapore after a creditable 1-0 defeat to Thailand and a 7-0 reverse against North Korea. PPCFC's Yue Safy played in all three matches, whilst Sin Kakada started the game against Korea, and Yem Chetra started yesterday's match.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Hotly-disputed

Result: PPCFC 0 Nagaworld 1 (Friendly).
There was little to choose between the two sides in this evening's friendly at RSN Stadium. In a game of 3x30 minute periods, Naga got their noses in front 13 minutes into the second period when a hotly-disputed effort was allowed to stand by the referee. Shane Booysen, Yongsun Baek, Leng Makara, Odion Obadin and Prom Yaneat had good chances to open Crown's account, whilst Naga also had two far post efforts go the wrong side of the upright. Both sides return to league action next weekend after their 3-week break.
PPCFC vs Naga, back row, LtoR: Obadin, Baek, Yaneat, Booysen, C Pisa, Ary. Front: Makara, Boran, Tola, Dani, Koroma.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Friendly win

Result: PPCFC Academy 4 Porsenchey 2 (Friendly).
The senior Academy team were three goals ahead after 25 minutes in this friendly at RSN Stadium this afternoon. Early goals from Sath Rozak and Ouk Sovann were added to by another from Sovann before the visitors scored 7 minutes before the break. Ten minutes after the restart Mat Sakrovy slotted in Crown's fourth but Porsenchey never gave in and scored another.
PPCFC line-up, back row, LtoR: Jason, Titchhy, Soksela, Sovann, Chanpolin, Sodavid. Front: Rozak, Piphop, Muslim, Noeut, Ponvuthy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Boris on the Japan match

Tomorrow is arguably the biggest game in Cambodia's footballing history, when they face a star-studded Japan team in the FIFA World Cup 2nd Round Qualifier in Saitama. We asked PPCFC captain Kok Boris (pictured with his 3 Crown teammates in the Cambodia squad) for his thoughts on the match. "I think this is a fantastic opportunity for us to show how much Cambodian football has developed and progressed. Everybody is impatient to play in the match. Japan are a fantastic team with great abilities and now with a fantastic coach Vahid Halilodzic, who I know bases his teams on discipline, rigor in pressing and hard-work because he coached teams in France like Lille, Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain.
As a team, we have worked very hard during the past two weeks on basic defense tactics, based on pressing and counter attack. We know Japan are the top team in Asia but now we must show that Cambodia can give problems to even the best teams in Asia. We must believe in all the attacking opportunities that we get as we know that we will not have a lot. We must stay unified as a team in effort and pressing. I think discipline and being smart in positional play will be the key to do something against Japan.
My personal thought is that this is a dream for all players and particularly Thierry and myself, we have lived the dream since we came to Cambodia, because we have been able to live our passion. We have won the country's best team title and now we can represent our nation against the best team in Asia and players from the EPL, Bundesliga and Serie A. It is a dream come true.
I hope I get the chance to play tomorrow, but more importantly is the performance of the team on behalf of our country and the performance of my brothers on the field. Go Go Cambodia."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

U-13s in national championships

PPCFC U-13s win 8-0 vs Kompong Thom
The PPCFC Academy U-13s were knocked out of the U-13 National Championships this afternoon, losing 1-0 to Pailin, who scored after 14 minutes at Tonle Bati.

30 August: PPCFC Academy U-13s 13 Kompong Chhnang 0 (U-13 National Championships).
Another convincing and dominant display from the Academy U-13s as they completed their group matches this morning at Tonle Bati. With 7 goals in the 1st-half and another half dozen in the second period, they now go through to the last 16 full of confidence. The goals came courtesy of hat-tricks for Ros Darapich and Sem Phanny, with 3 goals each, Jonh Chhomrean 2, Tin Ladin 2, and Yim Makara, Kis Nakha and Met Samel 1 each.

29 August: PPCFC Academy U-13s 4 Preah Vihear 1 (U-13 National Championships).
The Academy U-13s won their second group game in the National Championships at Tonle Bati early this morning, with Jonh Chhomrean once again getting amongst the goals. He scored twice in the first-half and completed his hat-trick after the interval. Ky Rina got the other Crown goal. The U-13s face Kompong Chhnang in their final group match tomorrow at 8am.

28 August: PPCFC Academy U-13s 8 Kompong Thom 0 (U-13 National Championships).
In their opening U-13 National Championship game at Tonle Bati on Friday, the Academy U-13 were in control from the start and dominated the match. Jonh Chhomrean top-scored with 5 goals and there was one each for Kis Nakha, Ros Darapich and Mit Samel. Next game versus Preah Vihear at 8am today (Saturday). 

30 August:
A mixed PPCFC Academy team beat Victory FC 3-2 at RSN on Saturday afternoon. The U-15s were boosted with some of the senior Academy players, seeking to gain match practice. Victory led 1-nil at the break but goals from San David, Ouk Sovann and Suleiman Samura gave the home team the win.

World Vision mini-tournament

The World Vision mini-football tournament held at RSN Stadium yesterday was a great success. A big thank you to all the World Vision youngsters that came from many provinces to join in the event, and thanks to the PPCFC 1st-Team for joining in the fun with such enthusiasm. There was much to celebrate, as you can see from this photo.
Teenagers from World Vision projects around the country came to RSN Stadium for a 5-a-side mini-tournament and enjoyed a competition that included all of the PPCFC 1st-Team playing squad. The friendly competition was part of the One Goal campaign to focus on improving child nutrition and adopting healthy lifestyles. With teams representing Takeo, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Kompong Chhnang, Phnom Penh, Kompong Thom and Battambang, it was Takeo who triumphed, with Shane Booysen and Lous Charly as their 1st-Team players, beating Kompong Thom in the final. Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to everyone who took part, including the fans from Kompong Thom who supported their team so vocally.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hat-trick for Shane

Match Result: PPCFC 6 Cambodian Tiger 2 (Friendly).
In this friendly match at RSN Stadium with 3x30-minute halves, Crown went in front through Shane Booysen on 9 minutes and never looked back. Booysen calmly floated in his second on 36 minutes, and despite Neou Sosela pulling a goal back, a five-minute hat-trick from Um Tola sealed their fate. A header on 50 minutes, a neat snap-shot on 54 mins and a well-timed volleyed lob a minute later have him a trio of goals to remember. In the final period, Keo Sokngon headed Crown's sixth on 78 minutes and Tiger netted a second through Kihara Masakaz, but it was too little, too late.
PPCFC vs Tiger, back row, LtoR: Obadin, Usarphea, Sokngon, Baek, S Pisa, Boran. Front: Yaneat, Da, Booysen, Sokheng, Koroma.

Bin Thierry scored just before the half-time interval in the Cambodia national team's friendly match with Laos in Bangkok tonight, but it wasn't enough to avert a 2-1 defeat in the team's final match before they head to Japan for the World Cup Qualifying game on 3 September. All 4 PPCFC players in the World Cup squad - Thierry, Kok Boris, Sos Suhana and Keo Sokpheng - started the match with Laos.