Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Very happy to be back"

Samrith Seiha pictured at national team training camp in 2008
"I'm very happy and pleased to join Phnom Penh Crown and to link up with my old friends Khim Borey and Kouch Sokumpheak with whom I've played many national team games at all levels. I'm also very happy to be back playing again after my time away from football. I really missed it," said Samrith Seiha when asked about his return to football after a two-year break from the game. Feeling disillusioned and carrying a nagging injury, Seiha called time on his football activities at what some would call the height of his young career, as the country's number 1 goalkeeper in 2010. He simply walked away in the same year that he'd won the Hun Sen Cup with his club team, the Ministry of National Defense, and the BIDC Cup with Cambodia's SEA Games line-up, where he picked up the goalkeeper of the tournament award. Still only 22 years old, Seiha is one of six siblings and hails from Phnom Penh Thmey in the Russey Keo district of the capital. He joined the Army team as a fourteen year old and quickly made his national team debut in the U-14 age group level. There was never any question about taking the gloves between the posts as far as Seiha was concerned. "I always wanted to be a goalkeeper, it was the only position for me," he said as he recalled his early days in which he represented both Wat Phnom High School as well as Santhormuk High School, who won the local Phnom Penh cup and came third in the national schools trophy. He also played university football for Asia Europe University but his main club team was always the Ministry of National Defense, though the relationship was often a rocky one. At the beginning of the 2009 season, Seiha and a handful of Army players including Khim Borey were suspended by the club after they lost a cup match. After a couple of months the club lifted the suspension and nothing more was said but it left a bitter taste. Nevertheless, the Army club rallied and captured the Hun Sen Cup beating Phnom Penh Crown in the final the following season. The young goalkeeper has represented Cambodia at U-14, U-17, U-19, U-21 and U-23 age group levels with distinction and made his Senior national team debut as a seventeen year old against Malaysia in a friendly international match in Malaysia in June 2007 under coach Scott O'Donell. A 6-nil drubbing didn't deter him and he quickly established himself as the national team's regular keeper, fighting off the challenge of Ouk Mic and others. That all came to an end when Seiha turned his back on the game two years ago but he's now back in the groove, raring to go, with his appetite refreshed and determined to get back to enjoying the game he loves so much. Phnom Penh Crown fans will be very pleased to hear that.
Seiha making his 2007 national team debut against Malaysia. Cambodia lost 6-0.

Seiha in action against Singapore in the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup


Anonymous said...

you confident the army will not try put obstacles and get the FA to suspense him cos he will somehow be still under their books? hahahahaha....

Andy Brouwer said...

Well that's the Army for you...they have shown a determination to strongly adopt a path of action that says.."either you play for us or you play for no-one." Its a very unfortunate situation that I cannot see any other football federation on the planet allowing to happen.