Uche Prince Justine, who scored his debut goal for his new team, Phnom Penh Crown, with less than a minute on the clock of his first game. It doesn't come much better than that. Well, it does, because he should've registered a hat-trick at least against Wat Phnom, finishing the game with two goals, as well as two assists and fluffing a couple of other chances he would normally gobble up. He also got booked for a tackle where he won the ball. The only problem facing Crown's team manager Be Makara, who I chatted to afterwards, is who to play up front with The Prince. As far as his new manager is concerned, The Prince will be the league's top scorer once again this season. He's that confident. The Prince is just 19 years old, he's built like a brick outhouse and he oozes as much confidence as his manager. In his post-match interview for CTN, he showed a sentimental side. "I felt bad, it was sad to score against my former team; it wasn't easy as they are like my brothers, my family. But I'm a professional footballer and I was pleased to score for my new club." And with Crown adding some real quality to their squad during the close season, I'm sure The Prince will flourish alongside his new teammates.
Be Makara is a very pleasant chap. We chatted as we watched the afternoon's second game, with the Crown team manager saying how pleased he was to begin the new league campaign with an 8-1 win. He extolled the virtues of his new acquisitions, with The Prince top of the list but he also enthused about lively winger Keo Chea, who also scored on his debut, after arriving a couple of weeks ago from Kep. Midfielder Friday Nwakuna has hopped over from Naga though didn't get a start today, as has striker Goodluck Cliff from Build Bright United. Sani Saidu, another from the powerfully-built foreigners stable, will undoubtedly form a rock-solid central defensive partnership with Tieng Ting, after joining Crown from Preah Khan Reach. Other newcomers include strikers Heng Sokly (Phuchung Neak) and Sok Pheng (Khemara), whilst left-winger Chan Rithy has finally moved to play his football in Thailand with Nakhon Phanom.