Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unbridled joy

Unbridled joy for Crown's U/13s as they lift the trophy this morning
A very quiet day by comparison to yesterday. I watched the Phnom Penh Crown's academy boys in action this morning, as they won their first trophy since they began life a couple of months ago. It was the final of the Indochina Starfish U/13 championships and the Crown squad was made up of both academy and non-academy youngsters. It was the residential boys who started the game and with their sublime passing game, were just too good for their opponents from Takhmau. The 5-1 win was no more than they deserved. So unbridled joy for the young men of Crown, the day after the first-team brought the same sort of joy for the thousands who came to watch the action at the Olympic Stadium. The boys collected their medals and the trophy and willingly posed for photos. I remember playing football at that age back in Cheltenham for a team called Leckhampton Mosquitos, and though we were never good enough to win a championship, it was character-building stuff. However, the football played by the Crown boys is simply light-years better than the football we ever played for Mosquitos. I can't speak highly enough for the work being done by the Academy head coach Bouy Dary and his assistant Kao Kiry in teaching the boys the right way to play football. I've watched a few games now and I have never seen any dissent or come to think of it, any foul committed by the youngsters. If they get fouled, they get up straightaway, dust themselves down and carry on as if nothing has happened. And the standard of football they are achieving in such a short time together is so enjoyable to see. Watching them is a pleasure.



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