Sunday, August 7, 2011

Success on the road

The Academy players and coaches on the steps of Oudong just before the heavens opened
The Phnom Penh Crown Academy team enjoyed a day trip to Kompong Chhnang province today, to pit themselves in two matches against their provincial opponents and then headed off to Oudong Mountain for a first-time visit. After winning both games, the travelling party of 23 players, 2 coaches and 9 supporters enjoyed lunch at the foot of Oudong before climbing the stairs to visit a few of the Kings' stupas despite two bouts of torrential rain. The group then headed to the parent's home of their head coach, Bouy Dary, for more food and relaxation before arriving back at their Tuol Kork headquarters in the dark. The Academy boys play their home games on a great playing surface but trips into the provinces are a completely different matter. The pitch in Kompong Tralach for their two matches was part grass, part beach and very uneven. Many of the local Muslim community had turned out to watch the boys from the big city as the teams were announced over the loudspeaker system, imported for the day's proceedings. The big question was how the Academy team would cope with the conditions. The first match was against the Kon Rithysen U-15's, with the first Academy team having to cope with the tough conditions as well as opponents two years older and physically bigger. Two halves of thirty minutes each way saw Rithysen take an early lead and bring out two fine saves from the Academy keeper Chhuot Senteang, before Vat Samnang headed just over the top with Crown's best chance. After the break it was a different story. The Academy boys found their feet, got the measure of their bigger opponents and scored two second-half goals to win the match 2-1. Yeu Muslim's shot was well-saved only for Ken Chansopheak to follow up and net the equalizer. Five minutes later, Yeu Muslim's looping header found the target and the game was won. Their second game was a rematch against the recently crowned National Festival U-13 champions, Cambodia Foundation Organization, who were soundly beaten 13-1 on the Tuol Kork pitch a few weeks ago. This time around, and in their own Kompong Tralach backyard, they were out to prove a point. Despite an even first-half, it was clear the CFO team were determined to salvage some pride and the Crown boys did well to stem the tide. Their superior fitness and second-half pressure won out in the end with Suon Noeut racing clear to lob the first goal and then Orn Chanpolin completing the 2-0 victory with a diving header. Two hard won victories and a satisfying learning experience for the 23 Academy players, who were a real credit to the Crown club and who were warmly welcomed by their provincial hosts.
The starting line-up for the first match v Kon Rithysen U-15s. The Academy won 2-1.
The Academy team that began the 2nd match v CFO U-13s. A 2-0 win was the outcome.
Ken Chansopheak takes on a defender in the opening match
The physically bigger Kon Rithysen U-15s
The Academy and CFO line-up before the 2nd match
The reigning Festival U-13 champions, CFO from Kompong Tralach
Coach Bouy Dary issues last minute instructions to his players
The open-air changing rooms at Kompong Tralach, with interested observers
Pre-match warm-up for In Sodavid and the Academy boys


Anonymous said...

Andy: Crown have plan to visit the home place of their kid? I mean Grown should organize tournament to their home'boys not only with The Champion (U-13)but not the province arround PNP

Anonymous said...

Great initiative! Great role model and coach in Bou Dary! PPC unbeatable in 5 years time.