Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm ecstatic

It's shirts off and time to celebrate as the Crown players acknowledge their supporters
Get in there! Phnom Penh Crown eased to a 1-nil win this afternoon over rivals Preah Khan Reach that was enough to see them secure the Cambodian League Championship with 1 game to spare. I'm ecstatic and relieved in equal measures as it's a nervous time, knowing that you need a victory to win the title and that this is football afterall, and anything is possible. There are no ready-made certainties even though Crown were pre-season favourites to retain the title they won last year. Coach Dave Booth came in eight games ago to steady the ship after Bojan Hodak moved into the top flight in China and he's come in with a 'don't change anything if it ain't broke' attitude, that has worked like a treat. He has a knack of getting the job done and that's exactly what he's achieved. Eight victories later and Crown have won the league title with just 1 defeat in 17 matches, pending next Sunday's final match against Naga. I know the league officials and many neutrals would've liked next week's game to be the decider, but bugger that, I wanted to win it today and so did the players. Full marks to every one of them. They're recovered from that mid-season wobble when we lost to Naga and in Singapore, to get the job done and the championship in the bag. The league success is important in itself but also for next season and the continuing progression of the club. We want to lead by example in everything we do, whether it's the first-team, the Academy boys, the off-the-field stuff, our aim is to be the number one club in the country and to go onto make waves in Asia, so winning the league is one of those building blocks we needed to have in place. Now we have the small matter of next week's game, collecting the championship trophy and then getting ourselves in tune, ready for the AFC President's Cup final round in Taiwan later next month. That's the great thing about being involved in this club, there's always something to look forward to.

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