Two Phnom Penh Crown players have made it into Lee Tae-Hoon's Cambodian national squad for the Mekong Region BIDC Cup (aka MRYUIFTBIDC Cup) that kicks-off next Saturday, 8 October. In Sok Sovan (pictured), the South Korean coach has decided to select one of the C-League champions most promising youngsters, who got a few chances in the team at the end of the season and in the AFC President's Cup. The 21-year old is certainly one for the future and has impressed club coach David Booth over the last few weeks. Sovan joined Khmer Empire in 2006 before their merger with Phnom Penh Empire and represented his country in tournaments abroad at both U-14 and U-16 levels. He was loaned out to Kompong Cham side Neak Khiev at the start of the season, as they made an unsuccessful attempt to gain promotion into the C-league last term. The other Crown player to make the national squad for the U-21 BIDC tournament is striker Sok Pheng, another who impressed his Crown coach when he was given his chance just after the half-way mark in the C-League campaign. With 7 goals under his belt, he more than repaid the faith shown in him by David Booth and looks set for a good future with the league champions. Sok Pheng was in the full national team squad earlier in the year for the matches against Macau and the Maldives. The striker, who turned 21 today, previously played for the Navy, the Army and Khemara Keila before joining Crown in 2010.
The hosts Cambodia begin their group B games against Laos on Saturday (4pm) and then meet Myanmar on Wednesday 12 October at 5.30pm. The top two teams in each group go onto the semi-finals two days later and the final takes place on Sunday 16 October at 4pm. The three teams in group A are Thailand, Vietnam and Hongxiang FC from China. The winners will get $20,000 in prize money, with the matches being screened on local channel, My TV. For Cambodia, the tournament is all about preparation for the SEA Games, which is played at U-23 age level, and will take place in November. Before that, the team have a friendly match against visiting Nepal on Friday 28 October. Counting themselves a mite unfortunate not to get into the BIDC Cup squad will be three Crown players who've all made an impact of varying degrees this season, goalkeeper Peng Bunchhay and wide-men Suong Virak and Hong Ratana, all of whom make the age qualification.