Phnom Penh Crown have made two deadline-day signings to add real quality to their squad ahead of the new Metfone C-League season, which is believed to start on 2 April. They've added Cambodian international defender Sun Sovannrithy to their senior squad from Naga Corp, as well as central midfielder Kenneth Nwafor, who spent last season with Khemara Keila. Crown's Head Coach Bojan Hodak is pleased with the new acquisitions. "Ty is a former national player and he will be again very soon. He can play in a few positions in defense and midfield and I'm happy to get one of the best players in Cambodia to join us for the new season. Kenneth is a young, hardworking and disciplined player, is a good ball winner and is a more defensive-minded midfield player. These two players will give us the extra options that I was looking for."
Twenty-six year old Sun Sovannrithy has been a regular national team player for Cambodia since his debut against Vietnam in the Tiger Cup in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2004. The previous year he made his first appearances for Cambodia's U-17 and U-20 teams and also captained the U-23 team in the SEA Games in Laos in 2009. Born in Phnom Penh, he began his football at Vatanak Vichea primary school before his family relocated to Takhmau and he represented both Takhmau High School as well as the Kandal provincial team for three years in a variety of positions. At 17 years old, he joined the Military Police team, where he played at left-back or striker and soon emerged as one of the country's brightest prospects, gaining his first national team recognition against Philippines at U-17 level in March 2003.
After nearly four years with the Military Police team, Sovannrithy moved to Naga Corp in 2006 and in his four years with the club, won two Cambodian Premier League championship medals in 2007 and 2009, lost in two Hun Sen Cup Finals and also played in the AFC Presidents Cup. A regular fixture in the Cambodia national team since his debut in 2004, he led the U-23 team to success in the BIDC Cup in 2009 but was stopped from appearing for the national team after a domestic sending off whilst playing in the C-League play-offs in August last year and has not played since, until a couple of recent games for Naga in the recently-completed Hun Sen Cup. Asked about his move, Sovannrithy said; "I'm happy to join Crown, they are a good team, I expect them to do well this season and I'll work hard to achieve success for the team. I'm happy to join them as they really wanted me to play and though I was offered a contract to play in Thailand, I'm happy to stay and play my football in Cambodia for Phnom Penh Crown."
Also signing a contract with Phnom Penh Crown today, Nigerian-born central midfielder Kenneth Nwafor is just 18 years old and already has a wealth of experience behind him. Last season he played in the C-League for Khemara Keila and before that was with the Navy team, Phouchung Neak and local amateur team Camafric FC. A native of Enugu State in southeastern Nigeria, Nwafor started his football with the Sapele Football Academy in Delta State, going onto play for Urhapele FC and FC Lonestar Sapele before heading over to Cambodia to continue his football education, like so many of his compatriots. He recently completed a successful trial with Crown including a match against the African All Stars team, for whom he played in two recent matches against the Cambodian national team.