Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hot but happy

The Phnom Penh Crown touring party pictured in Battambang
A great way to end our football tour of the northwest provinces of Cambodia was to witness the highs and lows, trials and tribulations of the youth championship finals of the SALT Academy leagues, boys and girls, in Battambang earlier today. There were tears in equal measure for the victors and the defeated, as the youngsters displayed infectious enthusiasm for the game. But boy was it hot, hot, hot. We left our Poipet casino-hotel and headed for Battambang after breakfast. The final matches of the Phnom Penh Crown tour were on the airport pitch of the SALT Academy and the Crown youngsters played first, walloping the local Mighty Girls team 14-0. Which was unexpected. Then the club's senior team took on the best local team and hammered them 8-0. Quite a nice sign-off to the tour. Then came the championship finals with hundreds of youngsters all hoping for glory. The coach journey home from Battambang, driven by the slowest bus driver in history, took forever but was helped by the previously undiscovered karaoke talents of Vi Lika, the team's defender, who was a crooner par excellence, and the comedy genius that is Pheak Rady with his Thank you Tony punchline. Yes, you had to be there.

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