Monday, May 4, 2009

Sovannara's AFC epilogue

Prak Sovannara remains upbeat and positive as always
Cambodia returned home from the AFC Challenge Cup in Bangladesh without qualifying for next year's finals but gained valuable competition experience for their young squad and national team coach Prak Sovannara remained upbeat about his team's results when I spoke to him on Saturday. "I saw the players visibly grow in confidence as the tournament progressed and with such a young squad that gives me confidence for the future. Players like Samreth Seiha, Khim Borey and Keo Sokngorn, all teenagers, have many years to improve and grow in the national team. They played with a lot of freedom against Myanmar and that pleased me so much. The team spirit was there for all to see, our teamwork was good and we played confidently, they followed my instructions and we deserved better results against both Macau and Myanmar for the football we played. I am frustrated we didn't qualify, we were good enough as a team and with better finishing and a bit of luck, we could've gone to the finals."

His overall impression from the tournament was one of promise for the future. "I was very pleased to see such a big improvement with our defending, we have made great strides in restricting our opponents goal threat. We had to work hard in midfield and now we need to work on improving our attack, especially finishing and supporting our strikers. One of the few disappointing aspects of our play in Bangladesh, was our failure in front of goal. Against Macau we had a hatful of opportunities to score, and we didn't. And again against Myanmar we had perfect chances to score, so this is something we really need to work on, as a team unit, not just our strikers." The head coach was quick to shower praise on his players, picking out three players who really impressed him in Bangladesh. "I was really pleased with Teab Vathanak on the left side of midfield. He had a long injury lay-off last year and he came back so strongly in the games against Macau and Myanmar, he was excellent. Also centre-half Om Thavrak played so well, his commitment was very good. And Keo Sokngorn is a wonderful prospect at just 17 years old. He always gives 100% and has great talent. I have to be careful not to expose him too quickly but he is a player with a very big future ahead of him."

Prak Sovannara is now focused on the future. "The next task is to build the team up for the SEA Games at the end of the year and I hope I will be given the oppportunity to do that. I would like a series of friendly matches both home and away to strengthen our team as a unit, work on areas that need improving and to continue the progress I saw in Bangladesh. This team can only get better." He added, "I have a couple of players in mind who will add something extra to the squad and we will see what the new Cambodia League season will produce too. I have taken on the coaching duties at Preah Khan Reach for the coming season and that will see me involved on a regular basis with a club side again. We have three Khmer players coming over from abroad very soon so that will add some extra interest too." For now, the focus will be on the new Cambodia Premier League season which kicked-off on Saturday though the Football Federation must arrange a program of friendly matches and squad getogethers for the national team before they travel to Laos for the SEA Games competition in December.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Darin said...

You got me as a fan of your blog...I agree Combodia is interested country to discover...keep doing happiness and great job there...with love.Darin H.

May 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

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