Thursday, March 31, 2011

The big showdown

Phnom Penh Crown's squad for the forthcoming season
The football season begins in earnest again this coming Saturday. Exciting for me, most likely to bore almost everyone else to death, hence why I have a separate blog just for the football. You can read it here. The opening game of this season's Cambodian football league will be between the two teams most expect to be battling it out for the league they did last season. My team, Phnom Penh Crown, with whom I masquerade as the Media Officer, are known as the big spenders of Cambodian football but are putting their money where their mouth is, are streets ahead of anyone else in running the club on a professional footing, have just begun the country's first full-time residential academy for youngsters and will be aiming to make a big splash in Asian football this season, as well as dominating the domestic campaign. Well that's the general idea. Looking to put a stop to Crown retaining their league title will be the Military Police-backed (the thought of which makes me cringe) Preah Khan Reach team, who recently won the local cup competition, played in pre-season, and who are relying on a team of locals (Crown have 3 foreign imports) as well as stuffing their team with players who have yet to sprout any facial hair. I'm joking, but you get the picture. The two teams were due to meet in a couple of months but the football federation felt that a showdown between the two sides would be a great way to begin the new season, so they changed the fixtures for week 1, just 4 days before the season's opener. Not what anyone would call a professional approach to managing the domestic football competition but what they say goes, so it's a done deal. The match will kick-off at the Olympic Stadium here in Phnom Penh at 3pm, will be broadcast live on local television and should attract a big crowd - get along and watch the cream of the country's footballers in action if you are in the capital.

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