Sunday, August 7, 2011

A day out

The Academy boys and their coaches on the steps of Oudong
I had a choice of watching the murder of Rithysen, Cambodian football's current whipping boys, by Naga at Olympic Stadium today or join the Phnom Penh Crown Academy team as they headed up to Kompong Chhnang province for a couple of matches followed by a relaxing visit to Oudong mountain. Obviously, I chose the latter as the Academy boys not only play fabulous football but they are an absolute credit to the club and to themselves. The future of football in Cambodia is in great hands if these boys go onto have a career in the game, that's for sure. They won both matches, played on a poor surface in Kompong Tralach, watched by a large and mostly Muslim crowd, who ended up cheering the boys on against a much bigger team in the first match. The Academy boys are 13 and under whilst their opponents were 15 and under. The Academy boys are made of stern stuff as well as playing the game the right way, and came out 2-1 winners, under the hot sun. The next game was against same-age players with the recently-crowned Festival champions, but the Academy were still too good for them, winning 2-nil. As a reward, the boys went for lunch at Oudong mountain and then paid a visit to this very religious location, though the heavens opened and we spent most of the time sheltering from the torrential rain. Next stop we called into the family home of coach Bouy Dary for more food before heading home and arriving back in the dark. As far as day's out go, this was one of the better ones.

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