Phnom Penh Crown coach Sam Schweingruber said the club was “looking to develop the Buffon of Cambodia” after they announced the signing of Ministry of National Defence team’s top-rated goalkeeper Sou Yaty on Monday ahead of January’s start to the next Metfone C-League season.
Gianluigi Buffon earned his 135th cap for Italy on September 6 at the age of 35, and Crown hope their new 21-year-old recruit will go on to emulate the Italian keeping legend by playing for the Cambodian national team “when he’s well in to his 30s”.
“The reason we are excited to work with Sou Yaty is because we believe he has great potential to improve to the next level.
“He speaks decent English and we are preparing some special opportunities for him outside the country, to reach much higher levels than where he is at right now,” coach Schweingruber was quoted as saying on the club’s official Facebook fanpage.
A post yesterday on the Crown fanpage revealed that their regular first team stopper Samrith Seiha, who is currently training alongside Yaty with the U23 national team in preparation for November’s 2013 BIDC Cup, has handed in a request for early release from his contract, effectively signalling an imminent transfer to another club.
The post stated that Crown have agreed to Seiha’s request as a recognition of his services to the club. “We wish Seiha all the best in the future,” it added.
Sou Yaty has featured in the past two SEA Games U23 competitions in Laos and Indonesia and is set to take the number one spot in the squad bound for the Myanmar edition this December.
He made his senior team debut against East Timor in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Myanmar and in 2010 was voted as the Cambodian league’s best goalkeeper.
Born in Phnom Penh, Yaty attended Wat Koh High School and joined Build Bright United in 2006. After a couple of years he took a break to concentrate on studies but was persuaded to resume his position between the sticks with MND in 2009.
With Yaty’s safe pair of hands, the Army team grasped the Samdech Hun Sen Cup trophy the following year and were also finalists in this year’s competition.
“I’m very happy to try and help the club win trophies. That is my aim in making this move. I’m really pleased to join Crown,” Yaty was quoted as saying on the Crown fanpage on Monday.