Lee Tae-Hoon is back as the head coach of the Cambodia national team. I have made my feelings perfectly clear how I view his re-appointment to the job, so I won't re-hash that particular bugbear. However, its worth taking a look at the first squad he's picked since his return to the post, which was made public today. It's an Under-23 squad rather than a full senior team, as we have U-23 competitions coming up in the BIDC Mekong Cup, at home, in November followed by the SEA Games in Myanmar in December. And looking at the squad, it's like Lee has never been away. He has picked a bunch of his favourite players such as Tum Saray, Touch Pancharong, Phoung Soksana and Srey Oudom, who readily spring to mind as past selections of the South Korean coach. Boeung Ket provide eight players in the 26-man squad that will assemble at the Tonle Bati national training center on 2 September. Champions Svay Rieng have six players called-up and the Army have six as well, despite the military team finishing one place above automatic relegation. There are some new faces, such as Kirivong's Nhem Sovannara, Boeung Ket's Keo Sokpheng and Ros Samoeun, Aim Sovannarath, the Svay Rieng goalkeeper who picked up the keeper of the year award and Phnom Penh Crown's Khmer-French import Bin Thierry. There are also some names who've been around the local football scene for what seems like many years and yet surprisingly, they still make selection for the U-23s. The ageless Peter Pans of Cambodian football I would suggest. Lee Tae-Hoon has also called on his former backroom team of Meas Channa, Ieng Saknida and Oum Savong to assist him.
Here's the 26-man squad:
Phnom Penh Crown: Samrith Seiha, Sos Suahana, Bin Thierry.
National Police: Say Piseth, Srey Oudom.
Kirivong: Nhem Sovannara.
Army: Sou Yaty, Chhin Chhoeun, Phoung Soksana, Khek Khemarin, Ke Vannak, Ung Dara.
Svay Rieng: Aim Sovannarath, Sar Sophea, Sok Rithy, Prak Mony Udom, Tum Saray, Nen Sothearoth.
Boeung Ket: Chan Vatanaka, Keo Sokngon, Keo Sokpheng, Touch Pancharong, Khiev Vibol, Chhun Sothearath, Sok Sovan, Ros Samoeun.