Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Lee Tae-Hoon arrived in Phnom Penh on Friday to take over the vacant coaching position, after Scott O'Donell decided not to remain after his year, and second stint, in the hot-seat. The local football federation had sought co-operation from their friends in the South Korean football federation and the 39-year-old former assistant coach of the Korean national women's team has arrived to take the helm as Cambodia begin preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying games to be held in Vientiane, Laos towards the end of October. Effectively, he's starting from scratch and has about a month and a half to whip the team into shape. Not an easy task. A preliminary squad of 36 players has been picked by his assistant coaches and from recommendations from the clubs and they will begin training under the new coach tomorrow morning. He met them this afternoon for the first time. After a few days the squad will be whittled down to 25 and taken over the border for an intensive training camp in Vietnam. The new coach speaks no Khmer and only a smidgen of English, so everything he communicates to his coaching team and the players will be through an interpreter. It's going to be a tough ask simply from that point of view, let alone the six weeks he has to mould them into a team unit and playing the way he wants. Fingers crossed he's an immediate success.