Friday, May 4, 2012

Build-up continues

The 4 head coaches, LtoR, Dvoryankov (Dordoi), Booth (PPCFC), Shrestha (Nepal), Pradhan (Yeedzin)
The main business of the Team Manager's meeting at any major competition like the AFC President's Cup, is to resolve issues regarding playing kit, especially if the team kit clashes in any specific match and much of the other business is run-of-the-mill stuff. As an example, Phnom Penh Crown were asked to change their goalkeeper's colours to orange for their last two matches to avoid a clash with their opponents. Not a problem. Perhaps the major point at this morning's meeting at the Phnom Penh Hotel, to which all four clubs attended alongwith the AFC officials and stadium officials, was a change to the last day of the competition. After inspecting the Army Stadium, the AFC suits decided that it wasn't up to standard (anyone could've told them that) and so they reverted back to playing both matches on Wednesday 9 May at the Olympic Stadium. The match between Yeedzin and Nepal will now start at 1.30pm with Dordoi v PPCFC following on at 4.30pm. This raised a muted objection from the Bhutan team but the AFC had decided so that was that. Yeedzin have to play all their matches at 1.30pm and this was a point reiterated by their coach at the press conference that followed. The first meeting finished at 10.30am and the press corps then invaded the room ready for the press conference. I was invited to chair the press conference and we kicked off around 11.20am with all four of the club coaches at the top table. Questions were invited from the assembled press, translations were done from/to Khmer language and it all went pretty smoothly with lots of television cameras and written press attending. Below is a selection of comments made by the coaches at the press conference:
David Booth (PPCFC);"At this level we expect every team to be a difficult proposition. We will prepare for each game separately, but the 1st game is the most important, to start off with a good result. We are expecting a tough 1st game and we hope we are in good shape and can put in a good performance. We have selected Obadin and Frimpong as our foreign players and our squad has eight international players, past and present."
Sergey Dvoryankov (Dordoi); "The 1st match is very important for us. We will play hard to win. We have played Nepal before but we don't look back, we have new players and we look only forwards. We hope to go to AFC Cup next year, this is our hope and plan, but we don't know. We have 2 foreign players, Tagoe from Ghana and Jean Carlos from Brazil. We also have two naturalized foreigners, Tetteh from Ghana and Koum from Cameroon, who are now Kyrgyz nationals."
Bikash Pradhan (Yeedzin); "It will be very difficult for us playing at 1.30pm because of the altitude and climate change. We play some games in minus degrees, so this is a drawback we face. It's a good opportunity to play against good teams. We have travelled far, have prepared well and we will give a good fight. The problem is the weather. We have two foreign players from India and three national team players."
Birat Shrestha (Nepal); "Dordoi are very strong, we play them 3 times and lose 3 times. We played a competition before we arrived and we have 3-4 injuries and so many problems. The first match is very important, and we are not going to lose. We will play for a share of the points. We have no foreign players in our team."
The Team Manager's meeting is just about to start

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