Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Today's draw for the AFC President's Cup
More hard work on the horizon after it was confirmed that Phnom Penh Crown will host one of the three qualifying group stages of this season's AFC President's Cup competition. The draw was made at AFC HQ this afternoon and Crown have been paired with what must be the big favourites Dordoi from Kyrgstanythingy, especially as they've won it twice before and been beaten finalists on another four occasions, as well as the Police Club from Nepal and Bhutan's Yeedzin. Matches will take place, six in all, between 3-13 May, so not that far away. The top two teams will go through to the final stages in September. How good are Crown's chances, well, I reckon Dordoi will be very strong, they know what's required of them and they will be the team to beat in this group, Group B. If Crown play anything like they did in last year's competition, when we got through to the cup final, then the Nepalese and Bhutan team must be beatable. But this is international club football, anything can happen on the day, which makes it all the more exciting. All the games will be played at the Olympic Stadium, hopefully some of them will be under floodlights (if the lights are powerful enough) and should attract big crowds as they did last year when Crown hosted the qualifying group round at the same stage. That was a roaring success with Crown and Neftchi progressing, and as the home team, the fans will be expecting their homers to do the same this time around. Football doesn't exactly work like that, but for sure, we'll be giving it our best shot. The build-up to the group matches will almost certainly involve press releases and conferences, television adverts, photoshoots, brochures, you name it, hence why I'll be a busy bee, and that's not even taking into account the six games that will be played. We haven't even started the domestic Metfone C-League yet, that kicks-off for Crown on 21 March, leaving us effectively, just over six weeks to prepare the team for the President's Cup. we are still finalizing our playing squad and coach David Booth will have his work cut out to whip them into shape ahead of the C-League matches - we will play 8 games before the cup matches begin - and the eagerly-awaited President's Cup. The club and quite a few of the players got a real taste for success last season when they reached the final, only to have victory snatched away from them at the very end, so they will be chomping at the bit to make that happen again this term.

Away from football, the Amrita Performing Arts team will host a contemporary dance workshop this coming Friday at 6pm to showcase work they've been doing with Taiwanese dancers. The showcase will be at the National Performing Arts Theatre behind Spark Nightclub on Mao Tse Tung Boulevard. Admission is free, but get your tickets beforehand from Amrita.

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