Rithy Samnang says his club will follow the Everton Way.
Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Phnom Penh Crown Elite Academy Trial Dates
Prek Pra Field
Institute of Technology Field
Phnom Bak Primary School
Kompong Thom High School
Svay Rieng High School
Wat Chhorteal Field
First Orphanage Field
Reigning Metfone C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown FC added another illustrious feather to their cap by launching the Kingdom’s first fully-fledged football academy, where 22 boys aged under 13 will be able to hone their skills without compromising their academic pursuits.
At the PPCFC Elite Football Academy unveiling ceremony yesterday, Crown owner Rithy Samnang said the programme had been meticulously planned to help a player reach his full potential whilst maintaining social responsibilities.
“We are following the internationally acclaimed ‘Everton Way’ training programme that has produced players of such calibre as Wayne Rooney, David Unsworth, Francis Jeffers and Richard Dunne,” said Rithy Samnang. “The search for Cambodia’s Wayne Rooney begins today.”
The PPCFC has appointed the New Zealand based Asia Pacific Football Academy, which works in unison with Barclays Premier League side Everton in a successful player development project, as its Technical Consultant in the evolution of the academy. A nationwide search led by APFA coaches next month will be used to recruit the academy’s first batch of students.
The programme is aiming to put into practice a well researched statistic that suggests at least 10,000 hours of training for a sportsman to perform at their best during their developing phase.
“The players will have the opportunity of training six days per week, 45 weeks per year, with no disruption to their academic schedules,” said Bouy Dary, who will be overseeing the coaching elements at the academy. “There will be times during the year when the players and their families can exchange brief visits.”
Rithy Samnang revealed that the US$120,000 annual running costs would be defrayed by the club and all its current sponsors and co-sponsors.
The academy will be housed at Crown’s current training facility in Toul Kork. Other Metfone C-League clubs such as Preah Khan Reach, Build Bright United and National Defence Ministry boast their own youth development programmes, although on a smaller, more localised scale.
“It is a step in the right direction and the Football Federation of Cambodia wholeheartedly supports this Academy,” said FFC General Secretary Ouk Sethycheat, who extended to any other club with similar intentions the same level of federation backing.
“This academy will go a long way in helping Cambodia produce professional footballers to match any in the region, and it is heartening to note that the educational demands of such young players are also well addressed,” added Bun Sok, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
Construction work on Crown’s facility is well underway and, when complete, will boast a dormitory, recreation room, training pitch, study room, dining hall and changing rooms.
Inspiration to go beyond trophies and accolades for the three-time domestic league champions and twice winners of the Samdech Hun Sen Cup came in part from Everton’s now famous motto, nil satis nisi optimum, which translates as “Nothing but the best is good enough.”
As many as 27 players have graduated to the first team at Goodison Park. Rithy Samnang asserted that “our way is the Everton Way.”