Friday, May 24, 2013

Champions in waiting

The FAM deputy president presiding over last weekend's press conference
At the official press conference to announce the new FAM-Frenz U15 Asean Champions Trophy held in Kuala Lumpur last weekend, the Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) deputy president HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (pictured above) said; “This Under-15 tournament should not just be a tournament for the younger players to gain exposure, but it should be the place where they learn to become champions." I can't argue too much with that, albeit the expectation for under-15 year olds maybe a little high. In many respects he's really putting the pressure on the Malaysian boys from Frenz United to perform out of their skin. As the organisers of the competition, he expects them to win. As for the Phnom Penh Crown Academy, their journey towards that goal begins at the Thanh Long Sports Center ground in Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow evening (7.30pm) when they take on the PVF Academy (Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents), regarded as the best Academy in Vietnam, and the 2012 national champions at both U-13 and U-15 levels. The Academy youngsters flew out from Phnom Penh this morning under the leadership of the Academy head coach Bouy Dary, with Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber tagging along for good luck. This is the start of a great opportunity for the Academy team, pitting themselves against the best that other Asean countries have to offer. We've no idea what will happen, but rest assured, I know they will give their best for club and country. The squad for tomorrow's match is: Kung Chanvuthy, Svang Samnang, Ken Chansopheak, Suon Noeut, Long Phearath, Ouk Sovann, Sraing Titchhy, Seut Baraing, Men Piphop, Ouk Dinarong; Orn Chanpolin, Choun Chanchav, Sath Rozak, Theang Chhaya, In Sodavid, Kunthea Ravan, Mat Nuron; Pov Ponvuthy, Yeu Muslim, Chhuot Senteang.
You may notice three names that are not members of the usual Academy squad and they are Kung Chanvuthy, who is a goalkeeper from Prek Kdam and two Preah Khan Reach players, defender Ouk Dinarong and midfielder Kunthea Ravan. They have joined the Crown team for these Asean Champions Trophy matches to add depth to the squad and because all three are likely to appear in the national U-16 squad later this year, alongside many of the Academy players.

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