Thursday, July 31, 2014

Crown waste no time

Va Sokthorn, wife and daughter in Crown colours
Phnom Penh Crown have been quick off the mark to sign up their first new face for next season. The fizz is still not flat from the champagne of Sunday's success before the club turned to France, the home of bubbly, to recruit another French-Khmer player in the shape of  Va Sokthorn, who will officially join the club on 1 October. He will join his compatriots Bin Thierry and Kok Boris. Head coach Sam Schweingruber had this to say: "Sokthorn came to us for a few weeks on try-out and has impressed us with good technique, speed with the ball and a drive towards goal. He has also frequently scored. We have to work on getting him to understand how we want to play and will have to see in which position he best fits into the team, but certainly his arrival will give our squad more depth and quality. We are very excited that Sokthorn has agreed on terms and is going to join us soon." Sokthorn recently celebrated his 27th birthday and has lots of experience in the amateur Championnat de France leagues, the fourth tier of the French football system, with teams like ES Torcy, FC Montceau Bourgogne, US Motte Servolex, SO Chambery Foot 73 and last season scored 17 goals in 14 matches for Le Creusot JO. He prefers an offensive midfield role but is happy to play anywhere. His Khmer parents are from Kratie and Prey Veng though he was born in Le Creusot in eastern France. The player himself expressed his happiness in signing on the dotted line for Crown. "I've been in Cambodia for six weeks, I really love my country and would love to stay here and play my football here. I have followed Cambodian football for many years, so I am very happy to have signed a contract with PPCFC for one season. I've been training with the team for the last three weeks and I've loved it. The players and the coaching staff have been very helpful and very good to me. They made the decision to join the club very easy for me to make. I was wanted by clubs at good levels in France but my priority was to play in Cambodia and PPCFC have given me that opportunity. I will be back in October to begin training and I know I will need to prove myself and show my best form. I was so happy that the team won the Championship and I was here to see it. And I am very happy that I will have an opportunity to play with great players like Kouch Sokumpheak, who for me is the best Khmer player I have seen." Sokthorn was here with his wife Vita and their young daughter Sothyanna, and will return to France in a few days before coming back to begin training in October. He previously worked in a supermarket and played football as an amateur but he can now realise his ambition to play full-time football in Cambodia and he's looking forward to it.

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