Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A final stretch on the running track surrounding the Chao Anouvong pitch for Sokumpheak, Sovannarith, Tiny and SokngornCambodian football team had their first training session on the Chao Anouvong surface in Vientiane and found it in good nick. Light years better than the television headquarters pitch they trained on earlier in the day, and yesterday, and which simply wasn't good enough. In bright sunshine and watched by about fifty interested spectators, the whole squad trained for just over an hour, finishing the session with shooting, corners and free-kick practice. Earlier they had played a match between themselves, with coach Scott O'Donell halting play when he wanted to make a point. The one that kept recurring was his desire for his team to talk more, and to prove the point he got Pheak Rady and Khim Borey to shake hands, by way of introduction. The team take the training sessions seriously and the lighthearted, half-serious point was well-made. The team manager's meeting was held today at the National University complex but was held up as Timor Leste arrived late, which they have done at previous competitions. Attending for Cambodia were team manager Vann Ly and assistant coach Bouy Dary, while Scott stayed with the team for the two training sessions. Tomorrow the squad will train in the morning and then get along to the new National Stadium to watch both of the Group A matches taking place, with Malaysia v Timor Leste starting at 3pm (and literally kicking off the 25th SEA Games) and Thailand against Vietnam at 5.45pm. These two matches give Scott and his team the opportunity to see all four opponents in action, assess their style and identify key players ahead of their match-up with Thailand on Friday, on the very same Chao Anouvong pitch they trained on today. I'm getting sweaty palms just thinking about it.
Important stretching for the two keepers, Sou Yaty and Samreth Seiha, with goalkeeping coach Prak Vanny