With the drama of the Cambodian Premier League over, teams start to prepare for next year’s Hun Sen Cup, with Kirivong Sok Sen Chey announcing new coach
Photo by: KEN GADAFFI
Coach Andrew Ehiwarior has been invited back to the Kirivong Sok Sen Chey coaching staff for the third time in two years.
Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Phnom Penh Crown will look to defend the Samdech Hun Sen Cup in next year’s competition starting in January.
Ehiwarior lands Kirivong job again
Nigerian-born coach Andrew Ehiwarior was given a yearlong contract Sunday as technical adviser to Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, which will see him return to the Takeo-based Cambodian Premier League club for the third time in two years.
“We have called him back as we rebuild the team for next season,” stated Somay Sokhea, director of finance and administration at Kirivong. “We want him to assist the Cambodian coach in technical areas of the team, as we want to improve on our performance of last season.”
Former Naga coach Heng Chan Kheang has also been contracted to lead the side, with both coaches officially unveiled to players by the management Wednesday.
“Our goal is to be in the top three for the Hun Sen Cup,” added Somay Sokhea. “Getting beyond the group stage is not going to pose much problem for us, but we will be happy to get as far as the semifinals.”
Ehiwarior was visibly delighted at his appointment. “I love this club, and I am happy to be asked to come to help the team once again,” he beamed.
However, it is still not clear whether Vietnamese coach Lou Foekten, who handled the team last season, will remain at the club.
Along with the new coaches, about eight players from various provinces have been invited for trials. “Some players who underperformed last season will be dropped,” the finance director asserted.
The club will look to play friendly matches and take part in invitational tournaments to prepare for January’s 2010 Hun Sen Cup competition.
Training restarts after short break
Newly crowned CPL champions Naga Corp are now back in training after going on a weeklong break. “It’s a short break, because we have to come back to training to start preparing for the Hun Sen Cup, which is our next target,” stated manager Michael Thachnen. “We want to take the team to the next level. We need to improve on our performance, and so the management will meet as soon as possible to work out training programmes.
“Of course we will consider some international friendlies to prepare our players for tougher opponents in the region,” the manager noted. “It will be great to represent Cambodia in the regional cup competition [the AFC Presidents Cup], as it will further lift Cambodia’s profile in the region.”
Meanwhile, Preah Khan Reach technical adviser Prak Sovannara remains undecided about his future, following his volunteer role last season. “I am not sure what next for me and the club for now,” he remarked. “I am still in the middle, but I will sit down with the management to decide my future soon.”
For Phnom Penh Crown, losing the CPL title was a big blow to their reputation, and they will look to reassert themselves as the best team in Cambodia by regaining the Hun Sen Cup next year.
“We want to come back stronger,” manager Makara Be declared. “We are going on a monthlong training tour in Thailand where we will play some top teams to strengthen our squad.” The Crown boss also revealed he will be using the trip to discuss trades of some of his foreign and local players.
“We are the only club that considers players’ futures,” he boasted. “We have contacts with some clubs in Thailand and Singapore who are interested in our players, so we hope to do some business during the off-season.”
Makara Be is noted to have brokered transfers of foreign players to the Thai Premier League, such as Nigerian Gbenga Ajayi and Cameroonian Jean Roger Lappe Lappe.