Hun Sen Cup holders Preah Khan Reach (PKR) have accepted an invitation from the Football Association of Malaysia to join the upcoming Malaysia FA Cup Championship next month.
According to news website Bernama, the Military Police-backed club will replace Harimau Muda B, a squad comprised of members of the Malaysia U19 national team who are busy participating in both the Triangular Championship in Singapore and the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in Brunei.
Singaporean U23 side Lions XII will be the another foreign addition to the 32-team Malaysia FA Cup competition, although they have been playing in the top flight Malaysia Super League since last year following an agreement between the two nations.
PKR have been drawn against Penang FA, the 2002 champions and runners-up in 1997 and 2000, and will play at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on February.
All other first round matches will be played the same day, with winning sides advancing to the last 16 stage. Should PKR be victorious, they can expect to face either Kuala Lumpur SPA FC or MBJB FC.
Since the tournament’s inception in 1990, Selangor FA have dominated, winning five titles. However, Terengganu are defending champions after beating Kelantan FA 2-1 in last year’s final.
PKR Technical Director Rith Dikar said everyone at the club will try their best in their Malaysia FA Cup debut whilst revealing changes to the line-up during the off-season.
“Veteran striker Sam El Nasa and goalkeeper Ouk Mich have retired,” said Rith Dikar.
“Only striker Mat Hassan, from the [Metfone C-League] relegated side Prek Pra Keila, has became our new member for next season.
“We’ve promoted seven players from our youth team. We don’t have any problems up front or in midfield, but we need to strengthen our defence, because many of them are still young.”
Ly Kimchhun, PKR club chairman, is the main sponsor of all age levels of the club’s teams – U13, U15, U17, U19, the first team and the veterans.
“Nearly 200 players and staff are under my sponsorship. Sure, we can’t get money from football in Cambodia, but my dream is to see the better image of Cambodian football in national and international level,” said the businessman, who is also a member of executive committee at the Football Federation of Cambodia.
“The Malaysia FA Cup is a great step for us,” he added.