Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conference call

PPCFC president Rithy Samnang addresses the assembled press corps
It's been a week since Phnom Penh Crown held their press conference to announce the installation of Sam Schweingruber as their new head coach. The Swiss national has been in Taiwan for a few days with one of his girls from the SALT Academy programme that he's been in charge of for the past six years, attending a conference on promoting the rights of young girls in Asia. At the end of this month he'll be heading to the prestigious Peace & Sport Awards 2012 in Sochi in Russia, where SALT are shortlisted for the NGO of the Year. In the meantime, starting tomorrow, Crown will hold three days of open trials for potential new recruits, where Sam and his coaching team will be running the rule over a group of hopefuls with dreams of joining the Crown squad for the coming season. You may recall that nine players were selected from similar open trials last season and most of them went onto play at some point in the Metfone C-League season. 855 Media Group, owners of the 855 Sport & Lifestyle Magazine, were at last week's press conference with their camera in hand, as these photos show.
The top table with coach (Sam Schweingruber), president (Rithy Samnang) and press officer (Andy Brouwer)

Head coach Sam Schweingruber listens to the question

The new PPCFC coach answers in fluent Khmer

PPCFC's press officer (right) asks for more questions

The coach waiting to offer up his view of the future at PPCFC

Rithy Samnang responds to a question with the press officer nearby

The new head coach with his staff. LtoR: Bouy Dary, Sam Schweingruber, Prak Vanny, Kao Kiry


Anonymous said...

I think this is a great hire. The fact that Sam is fluent in Khmer will help tremendously in communicating with his players. In the back of my mind, language barrier is a big issue when we have a coach who doesn't speak the local language and the players are fluent in the language spoken by the coach. A lot is lost in translation.

Andy Brouwer said...

Certainly speaking the language fluently will be a positive help to Sam. He can get across his requirements easily, in language they understand, and he can discuss situations with the players, getting their input as well, without the need for a translator. Its a very important point.
Another advantage is that Sam knows the Khmer culture very well, spending the past six years in Battambang but before that playing club football in Phnom Penh. He understands Khmer players unlike no other foreign coach could, simply because he's been working with young players here for nearly ten years.
The success of a foreign coach in countries like Cambodia where players speak only a smattering of English, is down to the relationship he has with his assistants. Sam has already worked with Bouy Dary, his 1st assistant coach, in youth football circles and they were selecting the young players for the ASPIRE trials together last season. They are both young coaches, really keen to see the standard of football in Khmer youth improve, and this partnership could prove to be a real bonus for PPCFC. Of course, there are no guarantees but the signs look very promising.