Sunday, November 15, 2009
That magical winning feeling will spur on the Cambodian team. Skipper Sun Sovannarith raises the BIDC Cup in triumph.You didn't think that was the end of the football-related blog posts did you? I've got a couple more before they subside in their monotonous regularity. It's not everyday you get an international football tournament in your backyard hence my over exuberance in covering the matches. Plus the fact I'm a football nut. Normal service will be resumed soon enough, so don't despair or switch to another blog. The BIDC Cup, sponsored by a Vietnamese bank, was a chance to embrace our near neighbours from Vietnam and Laos, but also an opportunity for the Cambodian Under-23 team to replicate the pressure of four games in a week, that they will experience in Laos in two weeks time, at the SEA Games. Folks take the Southeast Asian Games very seriously around here I've found out. To be realistic, Cambodia haven't got an earthly in winning a medal at the Games. If they qualify from the group stage that would be a miracle, considering they have three teams in the same group that are way above them in the rankings, and in their development. A potential negative from winning the BIDC Cup is that expectations will have been raised amongst the football fans in this country, including the 30,000 that crammed into the Olympic Stadium yesterday. But they have to understand that this is the start of a journey of improvement for the national team, not the finished product by any stretch of the imagination. Football seems to work in cycles and we're at the beginning of this one. Coach Scott O'Donell knows how much work is still to be done to bring our team up to a suitable standard, and he won't let the players get carried away with this success. However, I would argue that you must celebrate your victories in life and yesterday's success was a sweet one for all concerned. The players felt great about it and I know they'd love to get that feeling again, so they'll work their socks off in Laos, but don't expect miracles.
Lining up to received their winners medals. LtoR: Lay Raksmey,Keo Sokngorn, Khim Borey, Samreth Seiha, Chan Chhaya and Nov Soseila.
HE Sao Sokha explains that each member of the Cambodian squad will receive a moto as a gift from the football federation