Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian Eagles eye China Reds in home tie

Cambodian Eagles eye China Reds in home tie

Cambodian Eagles eye China Reds in home tie

21 Cambodia Eagles

Cambodian Eagles will play host to the China Reds at the Navy Field on Saturday at 1pm in their second Australian Rules Football home game of the season.

This is the first time in many years that Cambodia will be up against visitors from China, who are bringing over a team drawn from the best of Beijing and Shanghai combined.

“There will be a lot of unknown quantities going into the game. China are expected to be a strong side, but we want to continue our two-year unbeaten record at home,” Eagles coach Grant Fitzgerald told the Post yesterday.

There will be some strong emotions going around the Eagles players and fans as one of the club favorites, Matthew “Big Cat” Rees, plays his final game before moving on and Allan “Prospect” Sortoris celebrates his recent victory over obesity.

The Eagles will extend a warm welcome back to a number of players for this key fixture including two popular rugby converts “AFL Dan” Wetherall and Ritchie “Spud” Flanagan, both of whom will add the all important depth to the side.

The Eagles have been working hard on the attacking part of the game. “Getting the ball to our forwards and converting those forward entries into goals have been a real focus in recent weeks,” the Eagles coach pointed out. “We need to convert possessions into goals in order to get a winning score.”

The Eagles are planning a strategic move to push captain Simon Whitney, who celebrates his 30th birthday this week, to the forward line in the hope of injecting some much needed pace and creativity.

Though the Eagles were beaten 78-48 in a tough game by the Malaysian Warriors in Kuala Lumpur two weeks ago, Fitzgerald’s men brought back some positives to work around.

The Warriors led for the most of that match, but a third-quarter fightback by the Eagles brought them to within three goals of their rivals. However, the visitors could not sustain the work rate at that critical phase as the lack of players on the bench began to pinch, allowing the well-drilled home side to kick away.

The one who made a big impact against the Warriors with his relentless attack on the football was Phil Hammer, while David Parrot was very influential in the ruck and around the packs. The Eagles coach meanwhile, as a combatant on the pitch, kicked four of the best goals his team-mates are ever likely to see.

It is the fear of the unknown that ultimately could work in favour of the Eagles, who, no matter how hard the game turns out to be, will zealously defend their unbeaten home record. That’s one thing the Eagles players and the coach are confident about.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s