Cambodia's tilt at the SEA Games was published in the Phnom Penh Post today and as the competition is for the U-23 age bracket, the squad almost picks itself, except for a few notable non-selections by the South Korean coach Lee Tae-Hoon. From my point of view, the three most obvious omissions are all from my club, Phnom Penh Crown. Goalkeeper Peng Bunchhay, defender Sok Sovan and striker Khim Borey have all been ignored. All three, on current form, should walk into the squad and the team, but the head coach obviously doesn't agree. Both Bunchhay and Borey have previously played under Lee, and he's messed them about before as well. He knows all about them and obviously doesn't rate them. He left them out of the recent BIDC Cup games. The case of Sovan is different. He played in all three BIDC games and performed well, alongside Sok Rithy in the middle of the defence, so his omission comes as a shock. He's the freshest player in the squad, having played sparingly throughout the season just ended. I'm gutted for him if he doesn't make it, as he deserves to be on the plane to Indonesia. With such a small squad, Cambodia's options are limited so I must confess surprise at four names that appear, keeper Sar Sophea, full-backs Chhin Meang Seang and Samuth Dalin and striker Mat Hasan. None of these four would've made my final twenty. Instead the three I've mentioned above and Army's Oum Kumpheak would walk into the squad. The team have one more friendly to flex their muscles, against visiting Nepal on Friday 28 October at Olympic Stadium before they head to Jakarta to face the might of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Lee's 20-man SEA Games squad looks like this:
Goalkeepers: Um Vichet, Sou Yaty (both Army), Sar Sophea (Preah Khan Reach).
Defenders; Pheak Rady (Army), Sok Rithy, Lay Raksmey (both PKR), Chhin Meng Seang, Touch Pancharong, Samuth Dalin (all Nat Police).
Midfielders: Chin Chhoeurn, Phuong Soksana (both Army), Prak Mony Udom, Soun Veasna, Tum Saray (all PKR), Chhun Sothearath (BBU), Sos Souhana (Prek Pra).
Forwards: Sok Pheng (Phnom Penh Crown), Khuon Laboravy (PKR), Keo Sokngorn (Samuth Sakhon), Mat Hasan (Prek Pra).
There is, in all probability, changes afoot to the above squad which was most likely submitted a while ago to ensure it met SEA Games eligibility rules - the final squad will show some adjustments. I have it on good authority that Sok Sovan will be included as will Pov Phearith in midfield. Likely casualties will be Chhin Meng Seang and Mat Hasan. Which makes more sense, but we shall wait and see.