Sunday, May 22, 2011

Glory for the Academy

Captain Pheurn Sopheak lifts the trophy to the delight of his teammates
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy youngsters were in the mood to rise to the occasion of the Barclays Capital Indochina Starfish Boys Championship finals this morning, after watching the first-team perform so well yesterday at the Olympic Stadium. As usual all the boys had joined the big crowd in the main grandstand, with their horns, drums and flags, to support their heroes and cheer them onto victory. This morning, it was their turn for glory and they took the opportunity with both hands. The U/14 boys championship final was between Crown and Kumar Takhmao, after Crown defeated their arch rivals Preah Khan Reach a week ago in the semi-final. The nine-player starting line-up contained eight of the Academy youngsters, with goalkeeper Keo Soksela the odd one out. The others lining up were Orn Chanpolin, Pheurn Sopheak, Pech Sovanarath, Pov Bunvuthy, En Sodavid, Ken Chansopheak, Mat Saravy and Yue Muslim. The rest of the squad was made up of non-Academy players. Goals from Saravy and Bunvuthy gave them a 2-1 half-time lead as they again demonstrated their passing prowess and recovery powers. Second-half goals from Sodavid, Bunvuthy and substitute Se Sokheng put their plucky opponents to the sword as Crown ran out 5-1 winners and collected the U/14 Boys Championship trophy. Crown president Rithy Samnang and top striker Kouch Sokumpheak were on the touchlines to watch the youngsters collect their first trophy for the club. In one of the other finals played this morning, the Crown U/17s lost 3-0 to the Preah Khan Reach team. The next important fixture for the Academy boys will be a visit to Singapore at the end of June for the Singapore 6's tournament for eleven of the youngsters, with the other eleven visiting Ho Chi Minh the following week for a series of games and training, as part of their ongoing program of development.
The starting line-up. Back Row LtoR: Sovanarath, Chanpolin, Soksela, Sopheak, Saravy. Front Row: Chansopheak, Sodavid, Muslim, Bunvuthy.
A proud Ken Chansopheak with the Barclays Capital championship trophy and his medal
The winning U/14 squad with their coaches, Kao Kiry and Bouy Dary
Everyone loves winning trophies and this is the first since the Academy began
Head coach Bouy Dary gives the youngsters some half-time pointers

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