Tuesday, February 11, 2014

National team changes

I see Myanmar have selected a man who knows his stuff to be their national team boss for the next year and a half at least. Serbian Raddy Avramovic, who was in charge of the Singapore national team for ten years until his contract came to an end early last year, has been appointed the new chief coach of Myanmar for this year's AFC Challenge Cup and AFF Suzuki Cup campaigns and onto the 2015 SEA Games, which will be held in his old backyard of Singapore. Avramovic brought Singapore three successes in the Suzuki Cup during his tenure. Myanmar fired their South Korean head coach, Park Sung-Hwa after they failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the SEA Games, held in their home country. Another country with a new man at the helm is Philippines, who have given the task to Thomas Dooley, a former USA international with 81 caps who played a big chunk of his football in Germany. His coaching CV is a bit thin, starting in the Bundesliga's second division, before assisting with the USA team's at U-20 and senior levels.

Here in Cambodia, not one word has been uttered by the Federation or the national team coach, Lee Tae-Hoon, after they finished bottom of their SEA Games qualifying group in Myanmar in December. Not a peep. The sports media here don't bother to ask the questions and the FFC and Lee are more than happy to keep stumm after another dismal campaign. Why open up a can of worms when you can hold your tongue and merrily continue in a role in which you have been singularly unsuccessful for far too long. Lee was given the job for a second time last August, for two years. As Cambodia have failed to qualify for this year's AFC Challenge Cup in May, he won't have that to occupy his mind, but he will need to get his team in shape for the AFF Suzuki Cup qualification competition in Laos around October time. There has been no indication of friendly matches for the national team, which is par for the course, though I'm sure some fifth-rate Korean university team will be over for a friendly and there's always the C-League teams to fill in the void. I seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness when it comes to jabbering on about the national team, the apathy and indifference at every level is mind-boggling, and soul-destroying for anyone that is passionate about football in this country.


Anonymous said...

Andy, you are certainly not a lone wolf in this regard. All fans share your dismay and bewilderment.
It is quite staggering that coach Lee, with such an appalling track record, is still in charge' of the national team and even more extraordinary that the FFC oligarchy are only answerable to themselves!
The sooner someone of the calhibre and football nous of a Prak Sovanara takes control -all the better for Cambodian football.
There are some very fine players in Cambodia and with the right leadership and with a good pitch, the national team could do well.
Alas at the moment, the FFC holds court and is the laughing stock of ASEAN football.

Anonymous said...

Coach Lee doesn't watch the games, doesn't know the players, selects the wtong squads and teams, plays players out of their regular position and in the wrong formations and gets appalling results. So off course he is feted by an incompetent FFC and rewarded with a further 2 year contract.
Yes he did get a credible 0-0 draw against Thailand in the last group game of the SEA Games but Thailand had already qualified and that was their B-team! Cambodia was last in the group with 1 point and 4 missing players! Stumm!