Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Academy go international

The Phnom Penh Crown Elite Academy are taking a team of eleven boys to Singapore on Thursday to take part in the prestigious Singapore Soccer Sixes 2011 tournament, billed as Asia's premier soccer sixes tourney. They will meet five other U-14 teams from Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and two from Malaysia in the charity youth competition at the Padang cricket arena in central Singapore. The games will take place on Friday and the leading teams then play off for the title on Sunday afternoon. In between they will have a trip to Singapore Zoo and Sentosa Island on the Saturday and the a coaching session with former Man Utd striker Andy Cole. The boys will be staying in the homes of members of the Singapore Cricket Club who are hosting their third annual event. One of the aims of the Academy when it was set up a few months ago was to give the boys experience in international competitions and in other countries and once the eleven players return next week, the remaining eleven members of the Academy squad will be off to Ho Chi Minh for a series of training sessions and friendly matches. A fabulous experience for all of the Academy boys, as if playing football every day of your life wasn't fabulous enough already. The first team caretaker coach Bouy Dary and his assistant Kao Kiry will be looking after the boys in Singapore and the youngsters making the trip to Singapore are; Phoeurn Sopheak, Pov Bunvuthy, En Sodavid, Orn Chanpolin, Yue Muslim, Chhuot Senteang (gk), Soun Neout, Kdey Barang, Ken Chansopheak, Mat Savary, Sath Rozak.

With Bouy Dary in Singapore, the Phnom Penh Crown first-team will have two new faces in charge for their last Metfone C-league game of the first half of the season, when they meet National Police Commissary on Saturday at the Old Stadium (3pm). Well, technically they are not new, as Vann Piseth and Prak Vanny have been with the club all season. Piseth and Vanny are also old hands with the Cambodian national team having worked with Scott O'Donell in his two spells as national coach. Vanny is still the goalkeeping coach with the national team and both men played most of their Cambodian League football with the Ministry of Defense in the 1980s. They take charge for a game which Crown need to win to return to the top of the C-League season ahead of the three-week break. I asked Dary for an assessment on his team's performance in the 0-4 reversal by Naga Corp on Monday. "As you saw our 1st half performance was not good at all. We knew what to expect, we'd talked about it at length and we simply didn't deal with it. Our defending in the whole team, was all over the place. We didn't cover, we didn't mark, we didn't help each other. Our concentration was not right at the very start of the match. Obviously it wasn't good enough and we'll need to turn it around against the Police on Saturday. We have a chance to make amends, so it's up to us." Dary is already committed to taking his Academy boys to Singapore and will miss the game on Saturday, so will the suspended San Narith and Sun Sovannrithy.

And finally...The AFC have got their act together to announce the dates and venue for the final round of the AFC President's Cup 2011. Rejecting an offer from Cambodia to host the final round, the AFC's competitions committee have instead gone for Chinese Taipei (also known as Taiwan) as the hosts for the final two groups of three teams apiece, with the two leading teams going forward to the one-off final. The matches will take place between 19-25 September. The draw for the final round will be made in Kuala Lumpur on 29 July, when we will know who Crown will be up against. The other five teams to make it through the qualifying stages are: Neftchi (Kyrgyzstan), Yadanarbon (Myanmar), Istiklol (Tajikistan), Taiwan Power Company (Chinese Taipei) and FC Balkan (Turkmenistan).

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