Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back in action

Phnom Penh Crown are back on the cup trail tomorrow at 4.30pm when they meet Chhlam Samuth (aka Phuchung Neak) in the last sixteen round of the Hun Sen Cup at Olympic Stadium. Coach Bojan Hodak has a full squad to select from with no injury worries and three players returning from suspension, Tieng Tiny, Sun Sopanha and Chan Chaya. The football federation ban on Khim Borey and Suong Virak is still in force. Their former team, the Army, weren't happy when they lost a glut of their best players in the off-season and the federation have bowed to their demands to suspend the players. There is no legal reason for the players to be missing games as they were free agents when they moved clubs and the sooner this situation is resolved the better. In the cup ties this weekend, Battambang may spring a surprise on Prek Pra whilst BBU should be too strong for Rithy Sen. Tomorrow, Preah Khan Reach will put out Neak Khiev and Crown face the boys from the Navy. The remaining 4 ties will take place next weekend.

The Cambodian national squad for the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup qualification matches against Macau has been announced. 7 Phnom Penh Crown players are included in the 24-man training group, which will be reduced to 18 before they meet Macau at the Olympic Stadium on 9 February. No real surprises as the national coach Lee Tae-Hoon has had his squad playing friendly matches in the last couple of months, though a few faces that should be included are still missing. There is also talk about inviting three Khmer players currently plying their trade in Thailand, to join the squad. They are Keo Sokngorn, Srey Veasna and Chan Rithy. The 24-man squad is (Crown players are in bold): Mic, Bunchhay, Simay; Raksmey, Veasna, Rithy, Rady, T Udom, Narith, Tiny, Pancharong, Chhoeun, Sopanha, PM Udom, Sothearath, Sovanratha, Soksana; Borey, Sokumpheak, Pheng, Laboravy, El Nasa, Vichheka.

The long-running saga of where former Crown starlet Keo Sokngorn will be playing his football this season has finally been resolved, with the teenager joining Thai Regional Division 2 Central & Eastern team Samut Sakhon FC in the third tier of Thai football. In recent weeks a handful of players who left Crown after the end of last season, have signed up with Thai teams. Prince Justine has joined Chula United, whilst Sani Saidu and Friday Nwakuna have thrown their lot in with Songkhla FC and Srey Veasna is now with Loei City.

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