I've managed to get the list of 37 players called for national team squad training tomorrow morning translated and there are some notable absentees from the list. Top of the names that are missing is Sun Sovanrithy (pictured), the U23 skipper under Scott O'Donell and without doubt one of the top players in Cambodian football. His absence is a massive clanger by the coaches who selected the training squad. There's a suggestion that its because of his performance in the play-off semi-final when he got himself sent off, and if that's the case someone needs to get their head out of their ass and think about the bigger picture. Sovanrithy is a major part of the national team and the new coach Lee Tae-Hoon will be at a big disadvantage without him. Another nailed-on certainty for the national team should be Oum Kumpheak from the Army. I can only think that he's injured, hence his absence. He missed the last few Army games so that must be the reason. Already out of the picture was Nov Soseila who fell out with the Army coach and hasn't been seen for months. Another balls-up which will impact on the national team. Other players missing who I think deserve a spot in the squad are centre-half Thong Udom (Army) and midfielder Pok Chanthan (Naga). 4 players who were in the last national squad, Om Thavrak, Prak Mony Udom, Lorn Sotheara and Chan Chhaya, have played so few games this season that I can understand their omission.
Here is a list of the 37 players called-up by the football federation to take part in training sessions this week, in order to identify a reduced squad of about 25 that will head to Vietnam for a training camp on the 31st of this month. The 45-day camp will be at the home of V-Leaguers Hoang Anh Gia Lai. HAGL were one of the teams that joined in the BIDC Cup in Phnom Penh before last year's SEA Games, and they have pledged $4 million towards the construction of the new Cambodian national football center being built in the Bati district of Takeo.
Goalkeepers: Samreth Seiha, Sou Yaty, Peng Bunchhay, Ouk Mic.
Defenders: Rang Borin, Pheak Rady, Khek Khemarin, Nhim Sovanara, Rim Bunhieng, Touch Sokheng, Sos Nasiet, Tieng Tiny, Chan Dara, Sok Rithy, Lay Raksmey, San Narith.
Midfielders: Sun Sopanha, Ieng Piseth, Soung Vireak, Phuong Soksana, Prum Putsethy, Chhun Sothearath, In Vichheka, Kim Chanbunrith, Sok Chanrasmey, Tum Saray, Khuon Laboravy, Samuth Dalin.
Forwards: Khim Borey, Kuoch Sokumpheak, Sin Dalin, Nuth Sinoun, Teab Vathanak, Keo Sokngorn, Sok Pheng, Kop Isa, Long Nasy (Ministry of Interior, and only player outside the CPL).