The Cambodian national team line-up from one of their pre-tournament warm-up games against Phnom Penh CrownUnofficially, the 25 names in the Cambodian national team squad for the forthcoming Mekong BIDC Cup matches, which begin this coming Saturday, are as follows. This isn't the senior national team, but players selected to represent the country who qualify for this Under-21 competition.
Goalkeepers: Um Vichet, Sou Yaty (both Army), Sar Sophea (Preah Khan Reach).
Defenders; Pheak Rady, Keo Vannak (both Army), Sok Rithy, Lay Raksmey, Moul Daravoan (all PKR), Sok Sovan (Phnom Penh Crown), Chhin Meng Seang, Touch Pancharong (both Nat Police).
Midfielders: Oum Kumpheak, Pov Phearith, Chhin Chhoeurn (all Army), Prak Mony Udom, Soun Veasna, Tum Saray (all PKR), Chhun Sothearath (BBU), Sos Souhana (Prek Pra Keila), Tith Dina (Nat Police).
Forwards: Sok Pheng (Phnom Penh Crown), Khuon Laboravy (PKR), Keo Sokngorn (Samuth Sakhon), Phuong Soksana (Army), Samuth Dalin (Nat Police).
So that's eight players from Preah Khan Reach, another eight from the Army and four from the National Police team. The C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown supply just two names, Sok Sovan, a late addition to the squad, and Sok Pheng. There are some noticeable names missing from recent line-ups put out by the South Korean national coach Lee Tae-Hoon in warm-up matches. These include central defender Say Piseth, who is working in Vietnam, and Sophal Udom, who was injured in a motorbike accident last week. There's also no place for the C-League's player of the season, the impish Chea Samnang of Preah Khan Reach. I also noticed that the competition is pitched at U-21 age level yet Khuon Laboravy is 23 years old, Lay Raksmey and Pheak Rady are both 22, and Sok Rithy seems to have been around forever but is still only 20. Though to be honest I take the birthdates of Cambodian footballers with a pinch of salt. Five other players have been named on standby including Crown's keeper Peng Bunchhay and striker Khim Borey and PKR's Phany Y Ratha. Cambodia begin their defense of the BIDC Cup at 4pm on Saturday 8 October against the U-21 team of Laos. As for Cambodia's opponents, Laos have just re-appointed the experienced Austrian coach Alfred Riedl as their new national team technical director, and he will take over the reins as head coach of the Laos senior and U-23 national teams in January.
Postscript: The coach of Cambodia has cut his squad to just 20 players on the eve of the BIDC Cup. Out of the frame are keeper Sar Sophea, defenders Chhin Meng Seang and Keo Vannak and midfielders Tith Dina and Oum Kumpheak. The last name is a bad move.