Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang youth league enters fourth season

Battambang youth league enters fourth season

Battambang youth league enters fourth season

091210_24
ASPECA's Mau Reaksmey (centre, front) beats her Rapha House defender before scoring the opening goal in the girls’ U16 final.

OVER 800 players from 51 youth football teams gathered on the field of Battambang’s Institute of Technology on Sunday to mark the opening of the latest ANZ-SALT Academy season, following weeks of preparing coaches with training in leadership skills, basic coaching and refereeing.

Thirty-eight volunteers had attended a basic referee class from November 23-26, organised with the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), and received certificates from FFC technical director May Tola.

The children, 200 of whom were girls, were given a speech by main sponsor ANZ Royal Bank’s brand manager Chhoeung Chhiv Ear and by Samaritan’s Purse representative Wayne Bloomquist. The youngsters were reminded about their importance to the success of the league and how they could benefit from being part of a football team.

The football federation welcomed the young players into the “football family of Cambodia” and encouraged them to try their best to help improve the level of the game in the Kingdom.

Encouraging words by Tok Bonthuen, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, followed a speech from Sem Mary from the Provincial Government, praising the efforts of the Sports and Leadership Training (SALT) Academy in creating opportunities for youth to have fun and learn life lessons by being part of a sports programme.

The kids finally got a chance to show off their new uniforms and demonstrate their skills in a knockout tournament played on quarters of the big field. All 51 teams played at least one 15-minute game, with the winners advancing and the losers forced to wait until the following Sunday when the season starts.

At 5pm, the finals of each age category took place. The girls U16 final saw ASPECA beat the girls from Rapha House in an entertaining 2-1 match, with the decisive goal coming in the last second from by national team member Huot Kimhong.

ASPECA also managed to win gold in the U12 boys division, beating the Catholics team 2-0.

The U14 boys final was a great game between the Catholics and the young Jerusalem boys, with the Catholics scoring a late penalty to clinch it 2-1.

The final matchup, between the Blue Bird and the Crossroads U16 boys team, saw the 14 players crowding the small pitch area. An early goal by Crossroads that was only just squeezed through the defensive line and past the goalkeeper proved the only difference between the sides.

Spectators, coaches and players were left hungry for more, and the season will no doubt oblige with games every Sunday until the end of March. The organisers said they were excited to see the children off the streets and competing in sports, learning more about team work and receiving life skill training whilst also having fun.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman