Keo Sokngon (R) was awarded best player of he year. Photograph: Phnom Penh Post
“I am really satisfied and proud of my career nowadays as a Cambodian footballer. I help not only myself, but also my country as a whole.” These were Keo Sokngon' words, a young talented footballer from Kratie, Cambodia who spends his free time playing football: Sokngon, who has been working as a footballer for more than a decade, has used his talent and skill in order to become one of the best footballers in Cambodia. He started as an attack midfielder at Chamka Kaosu Boeng Ket FC and Cambodia Football Team at the age of 21 and is now a valued and famous player.
As a boy who loved soccer, Sokngon was willing to overcome any obstacles to become the best footballer. He spent all his free time playing football with friends, as well as taking part in his primary school football club. At first his parents were wary, afraid that he would get seriously injured – but their fear did not force him to give up his goal. He went to play without their knowledge. Because he was so naturally talented, he won acclaim from friends and villagers and eventually his fame on the football pitch found its way to the ears of his parents. When they saw his talent and commitment, they withdrew their ban, and instead encouraged and advised him. Winning the respect and support of his family was a priceless motivation for Sokngon.
He has consistently won medals for his teams since his primary school days. In Rakar Kandal Commune Primary School Football Club, Kratie province, Sokngon helped his team win the gold medal for Primary School Country Champions 2004 – 2005. In 2006 – 2007, Sokgnon led his team at Preah Kusamak High School to win the gold medal for High School Country Champions. That year, he was named the young footballer of Moha Krud FC and help the team win Soccer Country Champions.
In 2008, Sokngon moved to play for Phnom Penh Crown FC, and won the Season Championship in 2008 – 2009 and 2009 – 2010. He again helped his team win University Soccer Country Champions, picking up the gold from the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports. Because of his local fame, he was picked to be part of Samut Sakhon FC in Thailand in 2011, helping the team get to third place in the Thai division. Having had a season abroad, he came back to help soccer in Cambodia with Chamka Kaosu Boeng Ket FC in 2011-2012. With his help, the team won Metfone Cambodia Prime League and he was crowned Best Player of the Year.
As one of the best players in modern Cambodian soccer, Keo Sokngon said, “Actually, it is not easy to be the best footballer. We must have own talent from the nature combining with skills from hard training. Besides that, we must take care of our health before matches – eating and sleeping well.”
In the future, he plans to be a good coach to future footballers.
In his parting words, Keo Sokngon said: Ï am really happy and thankful to all the audiences who. I hope that Cambodian citizens will become more involved and support the development of soccer in Cambodia. The next generation who love the soccer should try their best to play football in order to help our country.”