Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his thoughts ahead of his team's Hun Sen Cup clash tomorrow with new boys TriAsia PP, who entered the competition by taking the place of the team representing Kandal province. The game is at Olympic Stadium at 3.30pm. “The Hun Sen Cup is very important to the club. Last year we missed out on the final with a penalty kick exit against Army and hope to do better this year. With the club’s philosophy to develop local talents and by having the strongest youth set up in the country, the all-Khmer Hun Sen Cup is always going to be a big target for coaches and players. Winning a cup is our target for this year. The Metfone C-League will require consistency and long breath; the Hun Sen Cup is a maximum of 6 games, so we really hope to have the right form from the beginning and create a quick momentum that carries us to the finals.”
“I’ve heard some people describe our group
as the group of death – which I think is a bit funny. Most pools have 3
teams that play in the MCL and only Pool A is the exception, with Kratie
getting to the final stage without even playing a qualification game,
and so giving Naga and Boeung Ket a free pass to the next round.
Tomorrow’s opponents, TriAsia will be looking to progress to the next
round as they have a new team with players brought in from all over.
They are experienced and physically strong and will give a very good
account of themselves. However, whether they are already at the level of
consistency and quality to progress at the expense of either us or
Police, we will have to see. The strong second half display against BBU
on Saturday certainly shows that they are not an easy opponent and we
have to be careful to start with a good performance and a win. We don’t
know much about Kompong Chhnang and will have to see how they perform
against Police, but for an all-province team, the final stages of the
Hun Sen Cup has always been too much of a challenge, so I don’t expect
them to be creating any upsets."
Expectation is high that Elroy van der Hooft, who netted 13 times for Phnom Penh Crown in the second half of last season, will join Boeung Ket later today. The Dutch-born striker, who spent six years at the Ajax Academy, was a revelation last term though he didn't quite manage to help Crown through to the play-off final. He went looking for a team in Indonesia and Thailand in recent weeks but seems to be heading back to the capital, according to the football grapevine.