Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seiha back in the groove

Samreth Seiha (in black) in action yesterday against his national teammate Sun Sovannarith (18): Pic courtesy of Nick Sells
Although his team lost 3-nil to Naga in yesterday afternoon's midweek Cambodia Premier League fixture at the Olympic Stadium, I was relieved to see goalkeeper Samreth Seiha back between the posts for the National Defense Ministry team. Seiha (right) is a brilliant young goalkeeper, brave, agile, a great shop stopper, in my opinion the best I've seen in the whole of the CPL and his absence from the league campaign until yesterday has been a scandal. We need the country's best players playing regularly to give the new national coach Scott O'Donell the chance to select his best under-23 team for the SEA Games later this year, as that team will form the basis of the national team going forwards. And Seiha is the best. He's still only 19 years old, has been a national team regular for a while now and O'Donell rates him as highly as I do. I hope the stupidity that saw him sidelined for the first few games this season is now forgotten and he, and his fellow Defense Ministry striker Khim Borey, can be left to get on with doing what they do best, stopping and scoring goals. I wrote about Seiha during last year's Suzuki Cup games and here's my article. I would still love him to get some top-notch professional coaching under his belt, and my choice would be in the UK. It would be immensely valuable to him and the national team if he could spend a whole pre-season with a top club in the Premiership, and if I had the cash I'd send him there. I want us to think outside the box about how we can raise the standard of the national football team and if that means seeking a sponsor from the rich land-owning classes here, then so be it. I'm not proud.

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