Tuesday, December 29, 2015

PPCFC in 2016

The 2016 Metfone C-League fixtures were published recently, though this list of matches is provisional and may change. We post them for information purposes only, pending formal confirmation by the Football Federation.
1st Round:
Sunday 7 Feb vs Boeungket @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 14 Feb vs Nagaworld @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 21 Feb vs Cambodian Tiger @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 28 Feb vs CMAC @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 26 Mar vs Army @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 2 Apr vs AEU @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 10 Apr vs Kirivong @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 23 Apr vs Western @ Venue to be confirmed 3.30pm
Saturday 30 Apr vs BBU @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 7 May vs National Police@ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 21 May vs Svay Rieng @ Svay Rieng Stadium 6pm
2nd Round:
Saturday 11 Jun vs Cambodian Tiger @ Western Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 18 Jun vs Nagaworld @ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Saturday 25 Jun vs Svay Rieng @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 2 Jul vs CMAC @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 9 Jul vs Army @ Army Stadium 3.30pm
Sunday 17 Jul vs AEU @ Olympic Stadium 3.30pm
Sunday 24 Jul vs Kirivong @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 31 Jul Final – Hun Sen Cup @ Olympic Stadium
Saturday 6 Aug vs Western @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Saturday 20 Aug vs BBU @ Olympic Stadium 6pm
Saturday 27 Aug vs National Police @ RSN Stadium 6pm
Sunday 11 Sep vs Boeungket @ Venue to be confirmed 3.30pm.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Messi back in the fold

PPCFC midfielder Ouk Sothy, known to all by his nickname Messi, is aiming to be back, fit and ready for the new Metfone C-League season that will kick-off on 7 February. "I so regret that I couldn't help my team last season, I desperately wanted to play, so it was annoying to watch every game from the sidelines. My knee injury, that I got in May, meant I missed the whole season, so it was very frustrating, but I was so pleased that my teammates won the championship again, as we did the year before. I was very happy for them." In 2014 Sothy was a key element of the team that collected their first championship title under coach Sam Schweingruber. In May of this year, he was training with the Cambodia national team when he felt a severe pain in his knee whilst playing a friendly match against the African All-Stars. A visit to Vietnam diagnosed the injury as an anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) and an operation to repair the damage was performed by Dr Heng. Recovery from an ACL injury is notoriously slow and Sothy began the long road to fitness with physical therapy including muscle-strengthening and stability exercises. He eventually managed a few minutes in a practice match just before the end-of-season break so he's looking forward to the resumption of training tomorrow, to put his own fitness to the test. When asked about the influx of young Academy players into the team, he said: "I am so happy for them, it's a great opportunity. They are young but they already have international experience, and are very good players." It will be a welcome sight to see Sothy challenging for a place in the Crown starting line-up again, we have missed him.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 results review

A look at PPCFC's Metfone C-League Results in 2015:
>> 1st Round <<
Thu 2 July vs BOEUNGKET ANGKOR @ RSN Stadium – DREW 0-0
Sun 5 July vs NAGAWORLD @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-2 : Booysen 2, Bisan 2
Thu 9 July vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ RSN Stadium – WON 3-1 : Matnorotin, Bisan 2
Sun 12 July vs ASIA EUROPE @ RSN Stadium – WON 6-1 : Bisan 2, Sokpheng, Makara, Sokthorn, Koroma
Wed 15 July vs ARMY @ RSN Stadium – WON 2-0 : Bisan, Booysen
Sat 18 July vs CMAC @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-1 : Booysen, Thierry, Sokthorn, Bisan
Thu 23 July vs KIRIVONG @ Tonle Bati – WON 5-2 : Bisan 3, Booysen 2
Sat 25 July vs WESTERN @ Western – WON 5-3 : Booysen 3, Bisan 2
Wed 29 July vs BBU @ RSN Stadium – WON 1-0 : Booysen
Sat 1 Aug vs NATIONAL POLICE @ RSN Stadium – Drew 1-1 : OG
Wed 5 Aug vs SVAY RIENG @ Svay Rieng – WON 3-1 : Sokpheng, Makara, Suhana
>> 2nd Round <<
Sat 8 Aug vs SVAY RIENG @ RSN Stadium – WON 7-1 : Bisan 4, Booysen 2, Koroma
Wed 12 Aug vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic – WON 1-0 : Booysen
Sat 15 Aug vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ Western – DREW 0-0
Sat 12 Sep vs ASIA EUROPE @ RSN Stadium – WON 6-0 : Makara 2, Booysen 2, Sokpheng, Obadin
Wed 16 Sep vs ARMY @ Army Stadium – LOST 0-3
Sat 19 Sep vs CMAC @ Olympic – WON 10-1 : Booysen 4, Bisan 2, Sokpheng 2, Dani, OG
Thu 24 Sep vs KIRIVONG @ RSN Stadium – LOST 1-2 : Sokpheng
Sat 26 Sep vs WESTERN @ RSN Stadium – WON 10-0 : Sokpheng 3, Bisan 3, Booysen 2, Makara 2
Wed 30 Sep vs BBU @ Olympic – WON 4-0 : Sokpheng 2, Sodavid, Thierry
Sat 17 Oct vs NATIONAL POLICE @ RSN Stadium – WON 2-1 : Sokthorn, Sokpheng
Thu 22 Oct vs BOEUNGKET ANGKOR @ Army Stadium – LOST 2-4 : Booysen, Bisan.
Championship Play-offs:
Sun 25 Oct vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ RSN Stadium – WON 4-1 : Sodavid, Thierry, Obadin, Sokthorn (Semi-Final).
Wed 28 Oct vs CAMBODIAN TIGER @ Western – WON 2-1 : Obadin, Booysen (Semi-Final).
Sun 22 Nov vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic Stadium – WON 2-0 : Bisan, Booysen (Final 1st Leg)
Sat 12 Dec vs NAGAWORLD @ Olympic Stadium – LOST 1-3 : Thierry (pen). Aggregate 3-3 over two legs. PPCFC won 3-2 on Penalties: Thierry, Boris, Baek – to win MCL Championship (Final 2nd Leg).

Xmas Day tourney

Around 40 of the PPCFC community youngsters enjoyed a Christmas Day five-a-side friendly tournament at RSN Stadium, arranged by their coaches Channou, Pisey and Nipha. These youngsters, some as young as 6 years old, can be found on the futsal courts at RSN most afternoons, receiving coaching and support from our coaches but most of all, having lots of fun learning and playing football. A big thank you to our coaches as well as the supportive parents and the young boys and girls themselves. We will be expanding our community involvement in the near future and we'll bring you more news about that as soon as we can.

Friday, December 25, 2015

MCL 2016

The Football Federation confirmed today that the 2016 MCL season will take place from 6 February to 11 September. The champions will be decided under normal league format rules, with first-past-the-post; so play-offs will not be used. The foreigner rule has changed so that each club can sign and play 4 foreign players in a match, but one must be from the AFC region. A 2nd Division will operate from April to June with 6 teams, with an emphasis on youth as 50% of the players must be U-21. Promotion and relegation between the two divisions will be possible. The Hun Sen Cup will be played between February and the end of July, with provincial qualifiers joining the 12 MCL clubs in the second round group stage. From 8-18 January, the Cambodia national team will be in Bangladesh taking part in the 2016 Bangabandhu Cup. 29 players have been named in the provisional squad. This invitation tournament takes place whilst all MCL clubs are in pre-season preparation for the new season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Coach in hospital

Club Statement: Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber was involved in a road accident last night and is expected to spend the rest of the week in hospital under observation, in order to recover from his injuries. Our thoughts are with Sam at this time and we would ask our fans to respect his privacy.
20 Dec: Coach Sam Schweingruber is now in Bangkok Hospital to continue his recovery following last Tuesday's accident. Thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes and kind thoughts, it's much appreciated. Sam guided PPCFC to their second successive Metfone C-League Championship last weekend in just three years with the club. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sam speaks

Moments after the final whistle, PPCFC head coach Sam Schweingruber gave his views on the Championship Final victory, a 3-2 win on penalties after a 1-3 reversal in the 120 minutes of the second leg. "The first-half was good, we looked in control, they had one chance from a corner, other than that we had some half chances, looked solid - it was a good 1st-half performance. I was quite happy. Second-half we started nervously, I thought the substitution made by Naga was a good one and we gave a goal away in the first ten minutes of the second period. It was a shocker, a gift to Naga and it kicked us. We started to look even more nervous, not in control, we got back with a penalty and looked more dangerous but not really good enough and ended up conceding two poor goals, especially the third one in the 90th minute, which was just rubbish. 
Extra time was poor too, I thought both teams looked tired, though we were the one team looking to do something, Naga were just hoping to win on penalties. It was a bit strange. I don't think they had one single chance in the thirty minutes apart from a free-kick that we failed to clear. I didn't feel we had it in us to win unfortunately and there was not enough time between the short breaks to give the team the direction they needed.
We were launching the ball long too much and couldn't work off the second ball. We didn't plan this at all. So for most of the time we looked horrible. So I introduced George Bisan for extra time as we were giving the ball away again and again. It went wrong when we gave the first goal away. Quite a few players were in shock as we were obviously the better team, we were pressing, playing the better football and in comfortable control. They get a goal out of nowhere and it all changed.
As for the penalties, we had a penalty shoot-out once in training. We were in a good enough position not to go to penalties and I didn't want to give my team the idea that we were planning on penalties. But yes we had it in mind. Three saves is always enough to win a shoot-out but we shouldn't have missed two though. Before the penalties I wondered if he (Keo Soksela) could actually do it and it turned out he was absolutely amazing and saved us the game."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Crown are Champions, again

PPCFC vs Naga, 3-2 win on penalties: back row, LtoR: Obadin, Makara, Baek, Thierry, Soksela, Boris (capt). Front row: Chanpolin, Sokthorn, Sodavid, Dani, Booysen - click to enlarge.
12 December 2015: Phnom Penh Crown 1 Nagaworld 3 [after extra time. PPCFC won 3-2 on penalties] (Metfone C-League Championship Final 2nd leg).
Phnom Penh Crown made heavy weather of winning their second consecutive Metfone Championship, having brought a 2-0 1st leg win to the main event, but held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out with teenage goalkeeper Keo Soksela showing maturity beyond his years. The game began with Crown edging the first-half with Va Sokthorn going close on a couple of occasions, Shane Booysen toe-poking an effort wide of the mark, whilst Nhim Sovannara headed a corner against the upright for Naga. Nine minutes after the half-time break and Naga took the lead when In Sodavid’s backpass allowed Kouch Sokumpheak to challenge Soksela and the loose ball was buried by Sun Sovannrithy. Sokthorn and Booysen were denied by Samrith Seiha at the other end but a handball against Sovannrithy from Sodavid’s blast gave Bin Thierry the leveller from the penalty spot on 73 minutes. Just 4 minutes later Sokumpheak steered in Prak Chanratana’s headed cross to return the lead to Naga. Crown were struggling to find their rhythm and Leng Makara stopped a drive on the goal-line with his body before final minute heartbreak as Yongsun Baek was adjudged to have handled a shot and Sokumpheak stepped up in injury time to rifle the ball home from the spot. That made it 3-1 to Naga and 3-3 on aggregate.
Extra time of thirty minutes was without incident of note until Barry Lelouma’s floated free-kick missed everyone and bounced just clear of the cross-bar. Crown’s best chance came on 114 minutes as Baek powerfully headed Sokthorn’s free-kick onto the bar and the referee waved aways appeals that the ball had bounced behind the line. Onto penalty kicks to decide who would be the champions. Soksela saved Naga’s opening spot-kick from Fukasawa and then Thierry planted in his effort. Kazuaki Ban scored but Sokthorn missed the target, only for Sokumpheak to score. Kok Boris scored with ease, but ex-PPC Khim Borey found Soksela’s feet hard to beat, as did Odion Obadin, who was stopped by Seiha. Another glorious Soksela save denied Lelouma and up-stepped Baek to settle the Championship with a well-struck spot-kick to make it 3-2. Cue the celebrations on the pitch and among the massed ranks of Crown fans at the stadium. 

Champions for the 2nd successive season

Awards galore

At last night's celebration awards ceremony at Bottoms Up club, Phnom Penh Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber handed out a series of awards to his Championship-winning team. These included the following: Without doubt we have the best goal celebrations of any team in the Metfone C-League. Whether it's George Bisan's amazing double somersault, Shane Booysen's somersault and groovy dance routine or Odion Obadin's knee-sliding with pure joy, we all enjoy our goal celebrations. So it was very fitting that we recognised that with framed pictures of their routines for the three goalscorers. Let's hope for even more enjoyable goal celebrations next season.
Goalscoring is the key to any teams' success and PPCFC are fortunate to have two fantastic players who have both enjoyed a great season in front of goal. With 24 goals each, Shane Booysen and George Bisan were joint Golden Boot award winners at our Bottoms Up celebration. Fabulous work from these two good friends and housemates. 
One of the most precious awards for professional players is the Most Valuable Player award, selected by their own teammates, and the landslide winner this season was our South African ball wizard, Shane Booysen. Well done Shane for a memorable season in every way.
Shane Booysen also collected the award for the Best Goal of the Season against AEU, as well as Most Yellow Cards, an honour he shared with Bin Thierry, who also won the Best Set Piece award. Keo Sokpheng received the Fans Choice as the season's Most Valuable Player, voted by the fans on Facebook. Most Improved Player went to Leng Makara, In Sodavid carried off the Young Player, Most Assists went tp Keo Sokpheng and George Bisan, Best Tackle to club captain Kok Boris and Best Assist to Keo Sokpheng for his weaving run past 7 players against National Police.