Monday, June 3, 2013

Proud youth

The Phnom Penh Crown Academy youngsters representing their club and Cambodia with pride
 Youth football in Cambodia was firmly under the spotlight this weekend with the Phnom Penh Crown Academy attracting a large crowd to the Olympic Stadium for their first home match in the new U-15 Asean Champions Trophy - a ground-breaking competition involving hand-picked U-15 youth teams from all eleven Asean countries. The match, on Saturday afternoon, was a great advert for Cambodia's fledgling youngsters and a victory looked on the cards until a last-gasp, soul-destroying equaliser left the final result at 1-1. The visitors from Malaysia were visibly bigger and stronger but found it almost impossible to break down the Crown boys until the very last moment. But the buzz and appreciation around the stadium was clearly in the Cambodian youngsters' favour. Good attendances look assured for their remaining home matches against teams from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and East Timor over the next few weeks. At the same time, the Cambodian U-14 national team have been trying their best against older and bigger boys in the AFC U-14 Championships, held in Myanmar. The young boys, on average two years younger than their opponents, have held their own with goal-less draws against Bangladesh and Laos, a thumping of 5-0 against Indonesia and then single goal defeats to the group winners Thailand and finally Singapore. Fabulous experience for these kids, overseas for the first time, playing in a 30,000 all-seater stadium and representing their country with pride.
Chhuot Senteang wheels away in delight at scoring for the PPCFC Academy. Pic: Khmer Sport.

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