Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm live, or am I?

Another chance to get our hands on the AFC President's Cup this year
Did you hear me on the radio this morning? No, well I'm not surprised. I only knew I was going on about thirty minutes before I did. I was in bed when the phone rang and I was told I was being picked up to go to the Hang Meas Radio Station to chat about Phnom Penh Crown. I had less than half an hour. Collected by Crown's new admin boss, David Kong, we arrived at the studio, were ushered through the door, seated and headphones placed over our heads and then we were live on air. No time to think about it. It was just after 8am. The discussion focused on Phnom Penh Crown and the upcoming new season. It was all in Khmer language, except the questions to me, and my replies, which were translated into Khmer by the host. I had no idea what was said for much of the 45 minute discussion but it seemed to go well. The host was keen to start some rivalry between us and the new team, Boeung Ket, but i didn't take the bait and just said we welcomed the other teams getting stronger, as it would benefit Cambodian football in general. My parting words were: "Make no mistake, Crown want to win the title again and we will be doing everything we can to achieve that aim." I'm still not sure if the sports talk show was being beamed out live or being recorded for another time. The station was Hang Meas Radio on 104.5FM. I gather they will be interviewing the other teams as well ahead of the new season, which is good to hear that the league will be getting more coverage.

Following on from that, came the big news of the day, that Phnom Penh Crown, and Cambodia, will again host one of the three qualifying group stages of the 2012 AFC President's Cup. It'll take place in Phnom Penh from 3-13 May, will involve four teams, which means six matches to organize. We did it last year and as one of the two qualifiers, we went onto the final round in Taiwan (losing in that infamous final to the cheating hosts). Home advantage in such a competition is always an advantage and with our new look team this season, we'll need every advantage we can get. The games will bring some cheer to the football fans of Cambodia again, probably time for a new television advert to be made, lots of media duties for me to attend to and no doubt a few headaches along the way. But it's great news and the draw for which teams play where will be made by the AFC suits next Tuesday. Can't wait.

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