Saturday, October 19, 2013

My way or the highway

The Cambodia U-23s receiving pre-match instructions
Anyone who has read Kingdom of Football before will likely be aware of my dissent with the current occupant of the hottest seat in Khmer football, the Cambodian national football team. I don't think he's the right man for the job. Plain and simple. But I seem to be a lone voice in the football wilderness on that one. He's currently responsible for the U-23 squad who are preparing for the BIDC Cup competition, in Phnom Penh early next month, and more importantly, the SEA Games in December over in Myanmar. The squad have been together, training twice each day, for a month and a half and will be in training camp lock-down at the Tonle Bati center from Monday. That has meant that each of those 25 players has not been available to their domestic clubs for that period of time and will not be released back to their clubs until after the SEA Games is over. So for the whole of the pre-season preparation, build-up and practice matches, clubs have had to manage without their best players. If they are lucky, they may get them back for a few days before the Hun Sen Cup competition begins on 17 December. Those are the facts. To me that stinks. How the heck can clubs prepare their teams properly, both tactically, mentally and physically, if their best players are absent for what will be more than three months? It's simply not possible. For purely selfish reasons the federation and the national coach decided they had complete control over the players, ignoring the fact that they are on contracts with their domestic teams. I don't believe there was any attempt to find a reasonable compromise, for example say two days a week with their own clubs, the rest of the time with the national set-up. It was their way or the highway, so to speak. Of course, everyone wants the national team to succeed but not at the expense of teams in the domestic competitions. It should be a partnership, not a them or us situation. Another area of the game where massive improvements need to be made.
The 25-man U-23 squad currently squirreled away is:
Phnom Penh Crown: Sou Yaty, Sos Suhana, Bin Thierry.
National Police: Say Piseth, Srey Oudom.
Army: Sou Yaty, Chhin Chhoeun, Phoung Soksana, Khek Khemarin, Ke Vannak, Ung Dara.
Svay Rieng: Aim Sovannarath, Sar Sophea, Prak Mony Udom, Tum Saray, Nen Sothearoth.
Boeung Ket: Chan Vathanaka, Keo Sokngon, Sok Pheng, Touch Pancharong, Khiev Vibol, Chhun Sothearath, Sok Sovan, Ros Samoeun.
Naga: Samrith Seiha, Sok Rithy.

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