Friday, July 26, 2013

Lee Tae-Hoon gets 2 years

Lee Tae-Hoon, back in charge for another 2 years
Okay, back to one of my favourite hobbyhorses, the national coach position of the Cambodian football team. Sabay tells us today that Lee Tae-Hoon has been appointed as the national coach for the next two years, beginning in August. The FFC have reverted back to a man who was singularly unsuccessful in his first spell in charge of the national team - just 4 wins out of 21 competitive matches during a 22-month period - and who has been twiddling his thumbs whilst his successors, Hok Sochetra and Prak Sovannara, who has been unceremoniously jettisoned for a second time, both failed to ignite the football loving country or its team. Seemingly devoid of other options - though I know for a fact that the FFC have been contacted by a stream of experienced coaches already working in Asia - the country's decision-makers have welcomed back Lee Tae-Hoon with open arms to have another crack at moving the national team's fortunes forward.

So what can we expect from the South Korean tactician? For starters, his concentration will be on players eligible for the SEA Games that begin on 1 December in Myanmar. So that means the Under-23 age group, as the SEA Games is not a senior international competition. He has the Mekong BIDC Cup, which will be held in Phnom Penh for eight teams, before that in November, so presumably he will be looking to bed-in his U-23 team in that tournament. As Cambodia have failed to qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, he won't have to worry his head about that next year, but will have to face up to the AFF Suzuki Cup later in 2014. Luckily for him, there is no qualification for this competition, which will be held in Vietnam and Singapore around October time. Cambodia don't enter the AFC Asian Cup and the draw for the next FIFA World Cup isn't until July 2015, so he doesn't have that to concern him, especially as he's professed his complete indifference to that competition in the past. With the FFC's reluctance over the past few years to pepper the football calendar with international friendlies, aside from meaningless games with Ulsan University and the like, don't expect Lee Tae-Hoon to uproot any trees with his dogged approach. He will put his emphasis on fitness rather than any tactical expertise, if his first spell in charge is anything to go by. He claims he has some fresh ideas according to a recent interview, so we can await what those are with bated breath. For the sake of the country's international reputation - which is at an all-time low with a FIFA world ranking of 198 - his second spell in charge needs to generate a buzz about it and he can start with success in the BIDC Cup in November, on home soil. Now that would be a coup to prove his doubters wrong, of which this writer is one of many.


Anonymous said...


My name is Kim Foblets and I live in Belgium. We have a team in Belgium and most of the players are from Cambodia.
We would challenge the National Team of Cambodia with our team, just to proof that our team can win. We have a good management, but our young players want a chance to proof themselves for their country...
What can we do ?

Sincerely Yours,

Kim Foblets
Schoolsteeg 7
2440 Geel
Antwerp- Belgium

Andy Brouwer said...

Contact the FFC and see what they have got to say. They are responsible for the national team matches.