Sunday, April 24, 2011

Poetry in motion

The Crown Academy starting XI v HFCA this afternoon
I watched the Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys play a friendly against a bigger, stronger and older team this afternoon and witnessed what I can only describe as a footballing lesson. I have never seen a team of young boys pass the ball so much, almost without thinking, it seemed to come naturally, they found their teammates with ease and carved open their opponents defence almost at will. They ran out 10-3 winners but it could've been much more of a landslide. The opposition came in the form of the Happy Football Cambodia Australia team, who were mainly U14 though their star player, the speedy Chan Sophandara is 15 and it was he who scored a hat-trick to keep them in the game early on. The game was a friendly encounter and an opportunity for all of the Academy boys, 23 in total, and all under 13 years of age, to put into practice what they have been learning on the training ground since they began their Academy life a couple of months ago. They have definitely taken on board what their coaches, Bouy Dary and Kao Kiry, have been instilling into them and looked comfortable on the ball from the first whistle. The match was played in three sections of twenty minutes each, with all of the boys getting good game time. It was the passing that impressed me the most and the team spirit that was so evident. I suppose spending 24 hours every day with each other will do that for a group of youngsters. If this was an example of what can be achieved after just two months together, I am so looking forward to seeing their progress over the coming months and years. For the record, the Crown boys led 2-1, 5-3 and then 10-3 at the end of each period. Ratha Phearom netted a quick-fire hat-trick in the 2nd period, Orn Chanpolin scored twice and there was a goal apiece for Soun Neout, Yue Muslim, Ken Chansopheak, Theam Chhaya and Sath Rozak. Pure poetry from the Crown youngsters.
The older boys from HFCA, who found it impossible to contain the Crown youngsters
The boys who began the game's 2nd period for Crown
A pre-match team-talk from Academy coach Kao Kiry to the boys
Pre-match warm-up under the watchful eye of head coach Bouy Dary
Classroom tactical talk to the Academy boys by head coach Bouy Dary

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