Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reaction from the dressing room

PPCFC celebrating their success - courtesy of Pou Neang/CamSports
I spoke to some of the Phnom Penh Crown players for their reaction to winning the Metfone C-League Championship.
Crown’s marquee signing Adriano Pellegrino gave his view on what winning the Championship meant to him. “I think it’s been sensational, that’s the right word. Honestly, it’s been a dream come true to come here and have an impact on the team and to be talking right now about winning the championship by 7 points, it’s amazing. It’s been a dream for me, being presented with that medal today and holding that trophy was honestly one of the best moments of my career. I’ve been very pleased with my performance. There was a lot of pressure on me when I first came, to do well and to push on – we had one goal as a team, to win the championship. My personal goal was to come and contribute, score goals and assist my teammates, and today I got another assist to cap it off, which I was pleased with, so all in all I’ve been very pleased with my personal contribution. Most of all our goal was to win the title, and to win the last game where there was nothing to play for, but we trained really hard this week and even though people might say the season was already over, Sam made sure that we won today. A great finish from everyone. Sensational.”

With 52 goals in 3 seasons of football in Cambodia, George Bisan has proved himself a lethal striker. A goal-machine. And he did what his coach Sam Schweingruber wanted him to do when he signed George before the season began, to realise the dream as a team and his dream as a striker and to get success. So how did George view this season? “I feel very excited to win because of the hard work throughout the team and we wanted to achieve this goal and God helped us, so its a great honour and joy. I’m very excited to win the championship trophy. I’m very happy with my own contribution, a little bit sad I cannot get the Golden Boot but at least I won the championship, so that’s enough for me. Next season I will be more explosive, so I will look to next season to get the Golden Boot. I’m very happy with the team because we all work so hard and encourage each other. Especially Adriano who encourages me in the field of play, and Sokumpheak, who tells me to remain calm, relax and play my game as the goals will come. I thank God for the courage he’s given me and for our success this season.”

Odion ‘Tony’ Obadin has just completed his 4th season with Crown and collected his second Championship medal. It would be hard to find a better clubman, and example to his teammates. So we asked Tony how did this success compare to 2011. “It’s not much different to 2011, we worked just as hard this time around as well. My first season was really great, then two seasons where we didn’t achieve enough, we lacked a few things like self-discipline and team discipline. The difference is now that we have so much discipline, teamwork in abundance, hard work and some great quality throughout the team that has really helped us. I can say it was a good season for me personally, last year I was okay but I didn’t perform as well as I did this year. To get five goals this season and a couple of assists and I stepped up my whole game from last season. I’m very happy.”

Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak flies out to Laos this week with the Cambodia U-21 team for a friendly match, but I caught up with him to ask for this thoughts on winning the Metfone C-League Championship this year, which made it a hat-trick of Championship successes for the former Khemara Keila player. "I'm very happy and very excited to win it again. The second and third times were more meaningful for me as for the first championship I was used not so much and was substitute a lot. Now you can see how much the Cambodian players have improved than before, the same with the different foreign players we now have from so many nations. In my opinion, Crown won the championship because we prepared so well at all levels and we had unity throughout the club, the coaches and the players. The players like each other on and off the pitch, we are like a family. The leaders and administrators are great too. Everyone worked very hard, and worked together, to get this success. That's why I believe we deserved it. For me personally, I'm very happy as I can play a lot of games this season and contribute more to the team. I was so happy that I scored against Naga so that we could win the trophy. Very happy. I'm very pleased we won because we had to work really hard all season, whether under the hot sun or the rain. And I'm glad to win as I am getting old now and I don't know what will happen in the future." 

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