Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting closer

PPCFC goalkeepers Yok Ary and Samrith Seiha go through their stretches
Much of Sunday morning was spent catching up with some sleep after the previous day was spent travelling to get to Dushanbe from Phnom Penh. The AFC scheduled their tournament press conference for 11am, which Phnom Penh Crown coach David Booth, and captain Tieng Tiny, joined, alongwith the other five participating teams. When questioned by the press, David Booth commented: "Last year we were underdogs. To get to the final was outstanding. To come to this competition is both an adventure and an experience, as Cambodian teams never travel well. Now we meet 2 of the favourite teams, they have different styles to us, so it's a big learning curve for our players. Other teams are stronger and taller than us, so we have to work on the mental aspects and believe that 'biggest is not always best.' Physically and mentally we are prepared; last year we exceeded expectations, so maybe another team can do the same this time around." In answering a question about the strengths of Central Asian teams, he continued: "I don't know if non-Central Asian teams like ourselves are strong enough. When we play the likes of Dordoi, its a challenge for us, as we are desperately trying to catch up. These games are more important for us; as we learn more each time we play in this competition. Its good for Cambodian football and its players, as it shows where we have to get to. Last year we came very close to winning, but 1 or 2 players lost their heads. We've moved on and replaced a number of those players. We did so well last year, so maybe the gap is getting closer."
After lunch back at the Serena Hotel, the squad relaxed whilst myself and the club's team manager returned to the Hyatt Hotel, the location of the earlier gathering, for the team manager's meeting, to confirm the rules and regulations of the competition. We ran through the playing kit choices for the upcoming matches, collected our accreditation cards and returned back, only to find the bus to take the players for their afternoon training session was nowhere to be seen. Ninety minutes later, another team's bus appeared so we commandeered that to take us for a session to get the jetlag out of our bones, though the failure by the local organising committee smacked of the fun and games we had in Taiwan last year. The players stretched and ran off the previous day's travelling at a local club's training pitch and then rode back through every red light under police escort, in time for dinner and an early night for all.
Coach David Booth looks to the heavens during a team meeting before training

Concentrating on the coach's instructions: Pheak Rady, Chan Dara, Hong Pheng

The captains and coaches at the 2nd of today's press conferences. LtoR, Istiklol, Dordoi and PPCFC's Tieng Tiny and David Booth

David Booth looks skywards whilst Tieng Tiny waits for the next question


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Andy,

I would like to ask you a question.
If Phnom Penh Crown win the title of the AFC President CUP this year, Can Phnom penh Crown plays next year or not? As we know for sure, Phnom Penh does not win Metfon Cambodian League tile this year.


Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Anon, Definitely not. Only the champions of Cambodia, Boeung Ket, will be able to play in the President's Cup next season; even if PPCFC win this year's competition.