Monday, June 20, 2016

Back to duty

It's about time I got back to giving a daily commentary on all things football. I've been way too busy for many many months to tap away at my keyboard for hours on end, but its important to publicise what's happening around me, or else who will ever know the crap that goes on.

Last minute

We've just played the first game of the second-half of the Metfone C-League. We are 12 points off the leaders after a goal-less draw with Cambo Tiger. And that in a nutshell sums up our season. Off the pace and off the goal-trail. Lots of reasons for it and how long have you got, but there's little point in crying over spilt milk, we have to grin and bear it, and get on with it. Clubs are allowed to change 2 foreigners and 3 locals in between the 1st and 2nd rounds of the season but at the 11th hour, the federation extended the deadline to the end of this month, as they said some clubs didn't have enough time to get new players, even though everyone knew about it for months in advance. We have been looking at many foreigners over the last few months, a few have been in on try out, unsuccessfully, others we've seen on video and tons more just offered by email and CVs. We have settled on two new faces, but their registrations are taking an age to complete, so we haven't announced them yet. Some names have got out but I won't confirm anything until we have all the t's crossed and the i's dotted. You never know we might just change our minds at the last minute, like the federation.

Off to Court

In case you haven't heard, Phnom Penh Crown were denied entry into this season's AFC Cup Playoff Qualifiers by the AFC themselves. They pointed at one of their obscure statutes and flashed a big HALT sign in front of us. Essentially cutting our legs from under us. We refuse to take this lying down (pun intended) and have appealed the decision to the highest court available to sports teams and individuals, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Wish us well. Definitely a David vs Goliath scenario. So much to say, but unable to say it at this point in time. Watch this space.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

442 on PPCFC

FourFourTwo, the biggest football magazine on the planet, turn their attention to Phnom Penh Crown in their Untold Stories series on SEA clubs. Read more @

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tiger Tamed

PPCFC vs Cambodian Tiger, Won 2-0, back row, LtoR: Lee, Kelechi, Thierry N, Boris, Aymard, Samnang. Front: Sothy, Chanpolin, Pisa, Baraing, Sodavid
Friday 11 March 2016: Phnom Penh Crown 2 Cambodian Tiger 0 (Friendly).
Two goals either side of the half-time break killed off Tiger at Western Stadium in this afternoon’s friendly match. South Korean trialist Lee Joo-Yong went close with two shots from outside the box in the opening 18 minutes before Svang Samnang came to the rescue with a block as Tiger broke through. In Sodavid’s blast was punched away by Hem Simay, before Chhom Pisa skewed a header wide and with 3 minutes of the 1st-half left, Crown took the lead. A foul on Pisa gave Seut Baraing a sight of goal from 20 yards and his up-and-over curling free-kick found the bottom corner inside the near post. It was Baraing again, just two minutes after the interval, with another free-kick that saw Kok Boris put pressure on Simay and Ouk Sothy found himself with a simple header into an unguarded net for 2-nil. Sothy was inches away from a second headed goal, while Keo Soksela came out smartly to block Suong Virak’s attempted chip. Ouk Serey Ratanak and Chhuot Senteang looked lively up front for Crown, who had attempts from Baraing and Mat Sakrovy stopped by the Tiger keeper, as the visitors claimed a deserved victory.

Saturday 12 March 2016: Phnom Penh Crown Academy 5 CMAC Utd 1 (Friendly).
The Crown Academy continued their winning form with a comprehensive 5-1 win over a CMAC United XI at RSN Stadium Saturday morning. Nop David and Men Piphop put the mixed U-16/U-18 Academy team two goals ahead in the opening 20 minutes, with CMAC’s Aaron Sexton grabbing a goal on the half-hour. The introduction of Ouk Sovann and Mat Sakrovy at half-time strengthened the Academy attack with Sovann supplying Sakrovy for Crown’s third on 63 minutes. In time added-on, Sovann again turned provider for another Sakrovy goal, before Sovann scored a fine individual goal himself in the final seconds.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Girl Power!

Phnom Penh Crown hosted a very successful International Women’s Day fun football festival under the banner of Girl Power! this morning at RSN Stadium. The Crown 1st-team squad and younger Academy boys took part as team captains and cheerleaders, to support and encourage the young girls that came from all over the city to join in. After a series of friendly matches and fun games, the final was decided on penalty kicks (with Thierry and Boris’ team taking 1st place), with prizes for the winning team and runners-up. Thanks to all the girls from COLT and other organisations, as well as our players and staff who joined in to make this a memorable morning promoting girls in sport at RSN. At Crown we encourage participation by women in everything we do, whether it is coaching, community football and our own Ladies football team. We truly believe football is for everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Defeat in week 3

PPCFC vs Naga, Lost 2-1: back row, LtoR: Kelechi, Aymard, Thierry N, Makara, Boris (capt). Front: Soksela, Chanpolin, Boran, Titchhy, Baraing, Sodavid
Saturday 5 March 2016: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Nagaworld 2 (Metfone C-League Week 3):
Crown were caught cold from the start and conceded after just 24 seconds of the game when Kouch Sokumpheak flicked in a right-wing center from Privat Mbarga and the ball bobbled through the legs of Keo Soksela in the Crown goal. In response, Neou Thierry headed over and Long Boran’s far post nod was stopped on the goal-line. Soksela came out quickly to halt Rasheed Omokafe’s run and chip and later in the first-half he did the same to Mbarga, before a one-handed low save to deny Park Yong-Jun. Crown’s best effort came courtesy of a 25-yard In Sodavid free-kick that was smothered at the foot of the upright by Yok Ary.
After the break, Sodavid’s run and shot and Seut Baraing’s deflected drive failed to trouble Naga’s keeper before the home side extended their lead on 65 minutes. Sun Sovanrithy’s deep left-wing cross was headed in unopposed at the far post by Mbarga to give Crown a mountain to climb. Ouk Sothy and Leng Makara sent efforts wide before Sean Pissa joined the action and within 40 seconds he’d reduced the deficit with a glorious curling strike into the roof of the net from just inside the penalty area. The goal came with 10 minutes remaining but Crown couldn’t make their pressure count and their last chance went astray when a Chhom Pisa drive from the edge of the area sailed over the top. It was Crown’s first defeat of the new season in week 3. 
PPCFC vs Naga: Soksela, Baraing, Titchhy (C Pisa 46), Aymard, Boris, Chanpolin, N Thierry (S Pissa 79), Kelechi, Boran (Sothy 66), Makara, Sodavid. Subs not used:  S Samnang, Yaneat, Senteang, Tola. Goal: Pissa (80). Referee: Chi Samedi.
Sunday 6 March 2016: Phnom Penh Crown Academy 1 FFC National Academy 0 (Friendly).
It was back to winning ways for the Crown Academy mixed team against the FFC Academy at Olympic Stadium this morning. In this 105-minute match of four periods, Crown dominated the first two periods and efforts from Yeu Muslim and Sin Kakada struck the woodwork, while Pov Ponvuthy, Sath Rozak and Mit Samel also went close to breaking the deadlock. FFC pressed in the third period and keeper Svang Samnang showed his class with two brave saves. On 97 minutes Men Piphop created space for himself in the opposition penalty area, taking a Ponvuthy pass in his stride, and rifled the ball home for the only goal of the game, to take Crown’s record to 11 wins in 12 matches against the FFC Academy. It was the first game under new coach Oleg Starynskyi.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 2 review

The MCL table after week 2. 3 teams have maximum points after completion of Week 2 of the Metfone C-League 2016. PKR Svay Rieng, Boeungket and Army are all on six points, with PPCFC in 4th spot with four points. The results from Week 2 are:
(Fri) National Police 0 PPCFC 0
(Sat) Nagaworld 0 Army 1 (Myong-Ho)
Boeungket 6 (Ajayi 2, Sovan, Laboravy, Wada, Vathanaka) Western 0
(Sun) AEU 1 (Moneke) CMAC 5 (Okereke 3, Rhoda, Makara)
PKRSvay Rieng 6 (Jong-Ho 3, Atuhaire 2, Samnang) Cambodian Tiger 1 (Tomoki).

Goal-less at Olympic

PPCFC vs Nat Police, back row, LtoR: Kelechi, Pissa, Aymard, Sokngon, Makara, Boris (capt). Front Row: Soksela, Sodavid, Chanpolin, Baraing, Booysen
Friday 26 February 2016 : Phnom Penh Crown 0 National Police 0 (Metfone C-League Week 2).
Crown will see this as two points dropped, after they failed to make their domination of the match count in front of goal. The game started in the worse possible fashion with dangerman Shane Booysen hobbling off after just a minute with a twisted knee, with Long Boran replacing him and Seut Baraing moving into midfield. Baraing tried his luck with a thirty-yard free-kick that goalkeeper Prak Pherun grabbed at the second attempt. A poor pass by Keo Soksela presented Nuth Sinoun with a glorious opportunity inside the Crown penalty box but his weak shot was cleared by Anthony Aymard. Tith Dina’s free-kick found Adekunjo Busayo in space but his header was straight at Soksela. With few clear chances in the first-half, both goalkeepers had to deal with long range efforts with Pherun diving full length to push aside a George Kelechi effort, and Soksela tipping over a Noun Borey drive from wide on the left. Orn Chanpolin’s effort on the break was deflected wide by Sinoun and In Sodavid’s ball behind the Police defence was missed completely by Keo Sokngon in the six-yard box.  In the last minute, another Sodavid  cross was dropped by Pherun but Sokngon’s attempted lob was way off target, and with the final kick, Borey sent a long range effort over the cross-bar.
Kelechi glanced a header inches wide from Sean Pissa’s cross just after the break, Soksela was in the right place to punch away a Sinoun free-kick and then he collected a Oh Ju-Ho shot through a crowd of players. A 30-yard attempt by Boran cleared the bar, Sokngon will feel he should’ve done better when he got on the end of a Leng Makara cross, Kelechi blasted across the face of goal and Seut Baraing’s 20-yard drilled right-foot drive was tipped over by Pherun. Just before the end, Sokngon headed wide at the far post from Kelechi’s pass, he then shot weakly at Pherun from another Kelechi feed and then supplied Sodavid, but he curled his drive over. In the seventh minute of time added on, Baraing sent a free-kick two yards over the top as the game ended goal-less, with disappointment etched on the faces of the Crown players and staff.
Head coach Oriol Mohedano gave his views at the end of the game. “Not a happy day for us. We expected more from the game. We should’ve done better in the first half, but we didn’t attack well. Respect to our opponents in the first half who surprised us with their intensity. The sensations after such a match; we are disappointed, the result it’s not enough for us. We pushed for the win, but it never came.” PPCFC v Nat Police: Soksela, Makara, Baraing, Aymard, Boris, Chanpolin, Pissa (Sothy 70), Sokngon, Sodavid, Booysen (Boran 6), Kelechi. Subs (not used): S Samnang, Thierry N, Titchhy, Senteang, Tola. Booking: Sothy.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Incoming and outgoing

Ukrainian-born coach Oleg Starynskyi (30) arrived at RSN Stadium last week to help the club’s Academy set-up after spending the last 3 and a half years in Malaysia including the past six months as the assistant coach of the Malaysian U-17 national team. Oleg was born in Bila Tserkva, near the Ukraine capital of Kiev, and played youth football for FC Arsenal-Kyiv before spending five years learning the art of film directing at the Kyiv International University. That’s where he began coaching and worked for the Kyiv regional federation and as a youth coach with FC Arsenal-Kyiv, before taking up a coaching post with the Goal Academy in Malaysia for three years. He’s a UEFA B-license coach, with a Coerver coaching diploma. Oleg is pictured above with GM Sam Schweingruber. 
Harry Varley’s has coached his final session with the PPCFC Academy U-15/U-17s. After six months with Crown as Academy Technical Coordinator, as well as overseeing the Football School and our community engagement program, British-born Harry is heading to Grenada in the Caribbean to take on the role as their head of football. He will be in charge for the CONCACAF U-17s Women’s Championship and the men’s Caribbean Cup squad next month. Thanks to Harry for his hard work during his time with the club and we wish him much success in the future with the Spice Boyz.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MCL 2016 - Week 1

Results from Round 1 of the Metfone C-League 2016:
PPCFC 3 (Booysen 3) Cambodian Tiger 1 (Masakazu)
National Police 1 (Osei Tutu) Army 4 (Soksana 2, Vannak, Myong Ho)
Naga 1 (Mbarga) Western 1 (Bunny)
PKR Svay Rieng 6 (Kipson 2, S Samnang 2, Visal, Latif) CMAC 2 (Okereke, Vergez)
Boeungket 3 (Vathanaka 2, Ajayi) AEU 2 (Moneke, Hai). 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Off to a flying start

PPCFC back row, LtoR: Aymard, Pissa, Sokngon, Makara, Kelechi, Boris (capt). Front: Soksela, Chanpolin, Sodavid, Baraing, Booysen.
Friday 19 February 2016 : Phnom Penh Crown 3 Cambodian Tiger 1 (Metfone C-League).
Crown came out on top in an exciting season's opener at RSN Stadium tonight. The visitors began brightly  with Suong Virak skating around home keeper Keo Soksela but he planted his shot into the side netting. Soon after Om Thavrak rose highest to head a corner inches over the bar and Mura Tomoki sent a left-foot shot skidding wide. However, a careless foul by Or Sophoan in the back of George Kelechi gave Shane Booysen the opportunity to put his team ahead on 17 minutes with a well-aimed free-kick from 20 yards. Hem Simay in the Tiger goal pulled off a great 1-handed stop to deny Booysen and then saved from Kelechi's header before Keo Sokngon poked the rebound against the upright. Sokngon saw his header from In Sodavid's volleyed cross rebound off the other post, Simay saved another attempt at point blank range from Crown's No 9 and Sodavid was inches away before Keo Soksela stopped a fierce drive by Sadakuni Tomoyuki just before the interval. An action-packed first-half, with a booking for Seut Baraing on his 1st-team debut on 25 minutes.
Moments after Orn Chanpolin blasted wide with a clear sight on goal ten minutes after the break, it was Booysen who doubled his side's lead when he coolly side-footed in from Sokngon's pass on 56 minutes. New boys Anthony Aymard and Kelechi were both involved in the build-up, while Tiger claimed Thavrak had been fouled by the goalscorer but their protests fell on deaf ears. That signalled the introduction of Tiger's player-coach Kihara Masakazu and he pepped his team up, reducing the deficit with a powerful drive on 72 minutes from Tomoki's pull-back. The home fans continued to cheer their team on and their efforts were rewarded with a third and decisive goal on 83 minutes. Baraing and Booysen worked a short corner routine and the South African's low drive took a deflection off Men Seyha's boot to nestle in the back of the net. Effectively game over though Soksela had to pull off a smart stop from Taing Sopheak, and Sodavid raced clear but finished weakly. Three points for the champions from their first match of their defence of their title.
PPCFC v C/Tiger: Soksela, Makara, Baraing, Aymard, Boris, Chanpolin, Pissa (Thierry N 88), Sokngon (Tola 71), Sodavid, Booysen, Kelechi. Subs (not used): Chanvuthy, Sothy, Boran, Yaneat, Charly, Noeut, Sakrovy, Senteang. Booking: Baraing. Goals: Booysen 3 (17, 56, 83). Attendance: 2,774. 
Crown  head coach Oriol Mohedano gave his brief thoughts after the final whistle, a 3-1 success in his first Metfone C-League game in charge of the team: "In the beginning, we can see lots of passion and fighting but not too much thought as our opponents started well. Then we had the free-kick that changed the score and our confidence grew, step by step, and we started doing what we've been working on in training. Good signs and it went to plan. After going 2-nil ahead, our opponents made it difficult for us but it was a logical victory, against a good team. I must say that Shane (Booysen) arrived on time for us, he hasn't played much in training for us and we hope he's now recovered from his injury. He's very important to our team."
Hat-trick hero Shane Booysen spoke about his game and his goals in the 3-1 win. "I was confident but I'd had no training or pre-season games because of my injury, so I was prepared to come on as a substitute. I'd been away on holiday, so this was my first start and I was nervous, even though I'm an experienced player. When we got the free-kick, I thought it would boost my confidence so I took it. I scored and it really boosted my morale. The first game is really important to set the foundation for the rest of the season. I thought our players fought together as a team, we know each other very well and our combination play was very good.
For the first 15 minutes I was tired, breathing-wise, though legs-wise I was okay. When I got my second breath, it was fine but my match fitness wasn't there at the start. In the second-half our team's confidence grew, we supported each other, we followed the coach's instructions and I could score the goals because of the support of my teammates. Our young players and their extra energy and fresh minds really helps the team.
For free-kicks, it's usually Thierry or me. I took responsibility for this first set piece, though last season I didn't score from a direct free-kick. I saw the goalkeeper and the wall set up for the ball to go one way, so I put it in the other corner. I got the speed and the right angle, it went past the wall and we went ahead. For the second goal, I went for the ball (with Thavrak), it was a 50-50 ball and he slipped in front of me, I stood up and we counter-attacked. I never saw it as a foul, neither of us touched the ball. Sokngon passed the ball, I took it off the defenders toe and the keeper went one way, so I put it the other way. For my third goal, we practiced the move in training the day before, and our training ground routines worked well in the game. I thought if I kick it hard enough, on target, it might go in and it did, with a deflection. I was very happy it went in."

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.
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.
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
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:
Yok Ary, Thourng Da, Sary Matnorotin, Touch Sokheng, Ngoy Srin, Sos Suhana and San Ursaphea.
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.”