Monday, February 25, 2013

CFDL opens its arms

Coach Kouch Sokumpheak with his PPCFC 3 U-16 community team
Sunday morning at 7.30am, and the first game in the brand new Cambodia Football Development League kicked-off with the PPCFC 3 team taking on the Army. Phnom Penh Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak had got out of bed early to take charge of his U-16 team, all of which are youngsters from the surrounding community and playing together for the first time. They were up against a well-drilled U-16 team from Army and their debut was definitely a baptism of fire. They went down 6-0. Sokumpheak refused to resign, despite ribbing from some of his colleagues. For the boys, they may've lost but at last the formation of the league gives them the opportunity to play competitive football with boys of their own age for the first time and on a regular basis. The U-16 competition looks set to be hotly disputed. The third match of the morning was the PPCFC 2 team, made up of the older Academy players aged 14 and 15, and they faced up against the SCCA team. In chareg as usual with Academy games was coach Bouy Dary. Though the Academy were dominant throughout they missed chances, including a penalty, before Theang Chhaya lobbed the ball in from 25 yards and that proved to be the only goal of the game. In the final U-16 match, PPCFC 1, the younger Academy players aged 12 and 13, found the going tough against the U-16s of Preah Khan Reach and they too missed a penalty early on. Vat Samnang did score from the spot but they went down 5-1. So a mixed bag of results and a great start to the U-16 campaign. Matches are for an hour, 11-a-side on the full-size pitch. In the U-12s, which is 5-a-side and played on the astro-turf at RSN Stadium, the PPCFC 1 team came up against the PPCFC 2 side and won 7-1. Nearly thirty youngsters turned up to join in and this already looks to be a thriving addition to the club's community engagement program with most of the boys coming from the Tuol Kork district. The U-14s begin their matches next Sunday morning. This initiative is Phnom Penh Crown's but it needs the support from all the clubs taking part as well as teams to supply referees to officiate at the games. Members of the Crown senior squad also played their part in taking charge of a couple of matches as well.
These ten U-12s began the PPCFC 1 v PPCFC 2 match on the astro-turf

The U-16 PPCFC 2 team, who won 1-0 v SCCA. Back Row LtoR: Chanpolin, Sodavid, Senteang, Soksela, Sovann, Titchhy. Front: Muslim, Chhaya, Nuron, Chansopheak, Phearath.

The PPCFC 1 U-16s team who lost to PKR. Back row LtoR: K Chhaya, S Samnang, Baraing, Sakrovy, Noeut. Front: Ponvuthy, David, Rozak, V Samnang, Chanchav, Piphop.

In Sodavid, the outstanding midfielder for the PPCFC 2 team, takes aim

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