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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Takeo U16s to hit the road

Takeo U16s to hit the road

Boys team from Kirivong Sok Sen Chey club to play in Singapore

KIRIVONG Sok Sen Chey football club’s U16 squad will depart for Singapore on Friday morning to take part in an international tournament organised by the Asia Football Group (AFG).

According to Somay Sokea, head of delegation and vice president of the Takeo side, a squad of 11 players and three officials will represent the Kingdom at the event held on Saturday and Sunday.

“We are going to Singapore to expose the players [to international competition] and gain experience,” Somay Sokea said in a telephone interview.

Tournament director Khairul Asyraf said that there are 48 teams set to participate in U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16 categories, with all 10 ASEAN nations represented, as well as sides from Nepal and Hong Kong.

Asyraf added that the first round in each category will be in a league format, in which teams will have to play five matches before qualifying for the knockout stage. If Kirivong Sok Sen Chey are able to advance to the next round, they will play a further three matches to get to the final. Matches will be seven-a-side, 15 minutes long each way, and played on half pitches.

“The tournament is organized to bring together youth teams from around Southeast Asia, and will be played on artificial turf with scouts from major academies in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia present to look out for possible talents,” said AFG director Jimmy Beh.

Kirvong Sok Sen Chey have held a training camp for the past two months, playing several friendly matches, coach Leng Chansarem is looking forward to a good tournament. “I hope we will do well,” he said. “This is the first time our players are going out for a competition like this, but we hope to put up a good performance. We have been preparing hard.

“We want to build our team for the future,” the coach added. “They need to get experience before they graduate into the senior team, and taking part in such tournament will help them develop.”

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, the main sponsor of the Takeo club, has also sponsored the U16 side. “Thanks to His Excellency Sok An who has made this trip possible,” said Samay Sokea.

“He is very much interested in the development of sports in Cambodia, and providing this opportunity for the young players will go a long way in helping them in the future.”

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