Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All at SEA

SEA Games update. The Laos Embassy is busy so they won't issue my visa until just a few hours before I leave on Saturday, when I'm scheduled to join the Cambodian football team on their 2-day bus journey to Vientiane overland, crossing the border north of Stung Treng. A Khmer friend of mine, Phalla, who lives in Vientiane, has sorted me a nice guesthouse for the duration of my stay and its all systems go. My press accreditation has been agreed with the Lao authorities and that seems to have progrssed smoothly enough. I still have to have a final sit-down with my Phnom Penh Post colleague Chamroeun who will also be going to Vientiane to cover the sporting events. Meanwhile, the football team are still in Vietnam. They play their final warm-up practice match against Can Tho today, return to Phnom Penh tomorrow and then have a few hours with their families before they board the bus for Vientiane on Saturday morning. Coach Scott O'Donell will be announcing his SEA Games squad of 20 players sometime on Friday. I'm not a betting man but here's my final 20 for what it's worth: Seiha, Yaty; Rady, Tiny, Rithy, Dara, Raksmey, Sovannarith, Pancharong; Narong, Soseila, Mony Udom, Narith, Sothearath, Kumpheak, Laboravy; Borey, Sokumpheak, Chhaya, Sokngorn.
Newsflash: The Cambodian U23s lost their final warm-up game, 1-0 to Can Tho this afternoon. Coach O'Donell used it to give as many of his players their final run-out before he announces his final 20-man squad after training on Friday morning, and then at a press conference for the media. Well that's me, a couple of Khmer newspaper guys and the local tv cameras.

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