Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homegrown coaches

Cambodia held its first-ever AFC A-licence coaching course as long ago as February. The coaching instructor was the Naga coach Prak Sovannara, the only accredited instructor in the country. It's believed up to ten Cambodian coaches qualified for their A-licence by passing the theory and practical sessions at the end of the month-long course, though the federation have not officially announced any results. The FFC spokesman dropped a hint when he said Cambodia now has ten A-licence coaches when recently discussing the national team head coach position, but still no formal confirmation has been forthcoming. Which seems very strange. I would've thought that if so many had passed the course on home soil, then the federation would've been shouting it from the rooftops. Qualifying for the A-licence is a big deal. The federation rarely give out any information unless pressed or prodded, which is disappointing as you'd think the home football body would be busting a gut to actively promote and celebrate its football successes.
Unofficially, I've been told that the ten homegrown coaches who passed the course are as follows, with their club affiliation in brackets: Prak Vuthy (Boeung Ket), Hok Sochetra (PKR), Keo Kosal (PKR), Phea Sopheaktra (PKR), Meas Channa (Naga), Long Rithea (Army), Tep Longrachana (Army), Ung Kanyanith (Nat Police), Kim Pheakdey (Chhlam Samuth), Hok Sochivorn (none). Amongst those who didn't qualify were Prak Sokmony, who recently led the Cambodia U-22 squad in the AFC Asian Cup, and BBU's Meas Samoeun. Twenty-six coaches began the course including coaches from Laos, Myanmar, Japan, Nigeria and Switzerland. Success on the course has certainly paid off for Hok Sochetra, who has since been appointed the national team head coach, whilst other successful attendees, Meas Channa and Hok Sochivorn, Sochetra's younger brother, have been taken on as the senior team's assistant coaches.

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