Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shock exclusions

The 20-man squad that Cambodia will be taking to the Maldives for the final qualifying group stage of the AFC Challenge Cup has thrown up a couple of shock selections, not least the exclusion of two players who most observers would expect to be in the starting line-up for any of the country's international matches, let alone the three massively important games to be played in less than a week. Cambodia meet Maldives (21 Mar), Tajikistan (23 Mar) and Kyrgyzstan (25 Mar) in Group C of the competition in Male, and I think South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon has dropped a massive clanger in not including Phnom Penh Crown's San Narith whilst Sisaket's Khim Borey (pictured) is also missing, and the coach's selection also leaves out Army wideman Phuong Soksana and another Thai-based player, Srey Veasna. Narith has been a versatile midfielder-cum-defensive lynchpin for Cambodia for the last few seasons and is a major surprise to see him cast aside, whilst Borey has recently played his first game for his new Thai Premier Division club and is playing at the highest level of anyone in the Cambodian team. Of course, having just joined a new team puts pressure on Borey to stay and fight for his place in his club's starting line-up but the striker is one of those players who would do everything in his power to play for his country, so I'd like to hear Tae-Hoon's take on it. Soksana has proved to be a good impact player on occasions and Veasna too, had a great season for Phnom Penh Crown last term before his move to Thailand. Instead, Lee Tae-Hoon has picked inexperienced players at this level of competition such as Touch Panhcharong, Chhin Chhoeurn, Thong Udom, Suon Veasna, Sok Pheng and others, in what could be seen as the country's most important series of matches this year. In the local press the coach has been bemoaning his squad's lack of preparation because of the Hun Sen Cup competition which has just ended, and yet on the other hand he's dispensed with the services of San Narith, who is fresh and raring to go after Crown's quarter-final exit from the cup. The full squad is: Ouk Mic, Peng Bunchhay, Pheak Rady, Lay Raksmey, Tieng Tiny, Touch Panhcharong, Say Piseth, Thong Udom, Sok Rithy; Keo Sokngorn, Khuon Laboravy, Chhin Chhoeurn, Chan Rithy, Chhun Sothearath, Prak Mony Udom, Sun Sopanha, Suon Veasna; Kouch Sokumpheak, Sam El Nasa, Sok Pheng.


Andy Brouwer said...

As well as Khim Borey and Srey Veasna, the coach of the Cambodian national team has now omitted Keo Sokngorn from the squad that will travel to the Maldives for next weeks important AFC Challenge Cup matches. Add the absence of San Narith and that's a whole heap of experienced players that Lee Tae-Hoon has decided to do away with.
I can understand there being a clash between the players' clubs and the national team fixtures, especially as its the start of the Thai league season, but Cambodia knew about these games a while ago and should'bve been negotiating with the Thai clubs to resolve this potential problem a long time in advance.
Cambodia's chances of qualification now look much slimmer without the talismanic Borey and Sokngorn in the line-up, that's for sure.

Andy Brouwer said...

I've now had confirmation that Khim Borey is still bewildered by the South Korean coach's decision not to call him up into the football squad that are now in the Maldives awaiting their 1st game later tonight. It wasn't a case of him not being available because of his club duties, simply that the coach decided he didn't want him in the squad. There were some murmurings coming out of the national team camp about fitness and not being able to train with the team, but Borey has been a member of the squad at nearly all sessions for the last few years, so that's bullshit as far as I'm concerned.
Borey returned to the Cambodian team for the game in Macau and scored, after the coach had left his twiddling his thumbs in the stand for the home tie (after the player had made his own way from Thailand to PPenh for the match). But still the Korean refused to appreciate Borey's credentials and decided to leave him out of the Maldives trip.
The way he's been treated, I wouldn't be surprised if Borey decides he's had enough of being messed about by the South Korean coach and concentrates on his club football for the forseeable future. I don't think anyone would blame him.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why San Narith out from the Canbodia squad and miss the trip to the Maldives. As I know he is fit to play for the country. Why FFC can not call up Borey to play too. I hope to night Cambodia will win ths match.