Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crown abuzz

The Crown squad listen to instructions from coach Bojan Hodak at today's training session
Phnom Penh Crown managed to complete their afternoon training session today before the sky clouded over and the drizzle began. Coach Bojan Hodak reported no injury worries ahead of Saturday's opening AFC President's Cup match against the visiting Sri Lankan team Don Bosco, with Sok Pheng recovering from the knee injury that has sidelined him in recent weeks. Also back to full fitness is recent addition Sun Sovannrithy, who will be an important addition to the team with his experience and ability to play in a variety of positions. Another new face at the training session, though not under consideration for cup action, was 24-year-old Japanese-born Taka Ota, who was enjoying a training workout with Crown, having just arrived from Thailand, where he was involved in a Japan All Stars v Thai All Stars charity match last week. Also amongst the players training but not involved in the President's Cup games were Kenneth Nwafor and Sok Sovan, the only two players from the Crown first-team squad who are not in the final cup squad. Nwafor misses out as only two foreign-born players are eligible for the competition per team, so Kingsley Njoku and Odion Obadin have been given the nod by coach Hodak, amongst Crown's 23-man squad eligible to play. The team are staying at the Hang Neak hotel in the city, only 300 metres from the Olympic Stadium, where they will train tomorrow afternoon, having completed another session at their Tuol Kork HQ in the morning. Tickets for Saturday's matches go on sale tomorrow at booths outside the stadium, where fans can also get brand new replica shirts ($15) as well as scarves ($10) to demonstrate their allegiance. Before the matches begin, there will be a music concert inside the stadium on Saturday, featuring the excellent young band Cartoon Emo as well as DJ's Pou Khlaing and Illest. There will also be giveaways from sponsors for the holders of a few lucky ticket numbers.
Skipper Thul Sothearith faces the cameras after training
All smiles from Kouch Sokumpheak and Kingsley Njoku in trainingCoach Hodak explains exactly what he wants from his players
Tes Sophat is the man in the middle trying to win the ball
Sun Sovannrithy (yellow top) is sent tumbling by Odion Obadin in a training game
Japanese player Taka Ota, who joined the Crown team for a training session today

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