Thursday, September 1, 2011
Let's talk Crown
Let's talk Phnom Penh Crown, especially as the club have already clinched the Metfone C-League Championship a week before the official end of the season. Their 1-0 success over Preah Khan Reach last Sunday gave them sufficient points to be able to celebrate last weekend as well as this coming weekend, when they will collect their trophy and medals after their final match, against 2nd-placed Naga Corp. Crown's prize money for retaining the C-League title, after winning it in 2010 as well, is $15,000 (or 60 million riels). They've gone through the season with just 1 defeat to-date, proving themselves as worthy champions this season, which was played on a strict league basis, without the made-for-tv Super 4 play-offs. Naga will get $11,500 for their 2nd place with Preah Khan Reach guaranteed third spot. Naga's Julius Oiboh has already claimed the top goalscorer award, and will get $500 for his 27-goal tally, unless he adds more on Sunday. Other awards to be presented, having been selected by the FFC, will be the Fair Play Team (presumably fewest bookings and red cards), Best Referee team (if Thong Chankethya wins it again, I'll eat my hat), Best Goalkeeper, for which Crown's Peng Bunchhay must be in with a great shout with his 11 clean sheets in 15 matches, Best Coach (I doubt David Booth's 8 wins in 8 games qualifies) and Best Player. The only coach to last the whole season and do well in terms of his finishing position is Naga's Prak Sovannara, so don't be suprised if he gets the coaching nod, whilst Kouch Sokumpheak, Sun Sopanha and Odion Obadin MUST all be in the running for Best Player as they've had outstanding seasons and outshone pretty much everyone else in the league. There's an argument to be made for Julius Oiboh but aside from his obvious goalscoring knack, he's merely repeated the feats of Prince Justine and Julius Ononiwu in the two preceding seasons.
The Crown Academy boys have a match tomorrow morning against Kompong Tralach's U-15 team as they prepare for the Cambodian Youth Championships at u-15 level later this month. The FFC will hold the competition between 17-24 September and Crown's U-13 Academy youngsters will join in the competition, even though it's two years above their age level. This will be exactly a week after the International Youth Tournament that Crown are hosting on 10 and 11 September at their Tuol Kork training headquarters, to be known as the RSN Stadium. A press conference will take place this coming Monday to provide the full details, but six teams will compete for the first-ever First State Gold Investment Cup at u-13 level, with teams from Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam taking part. The competition will be 7-a-side and the finals on the Sunday will be televised live. It promises to be a very special event.