Metfone C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown yesterday announced the official launch of its new website and mobile application that will provide a comprehensive online resource on the club, its players, results and upcoming fixtures.
Through cooperation with football data specialists youfoot.com, Crown have created the website www.ppcfc.com, which will work in tandem with the club’s mobile app now available as a free download on Apple and Android phones.
“It’s never been done in Cambodia before, so we’re very excited,” Crown media officer Andy Brouwer told reporters during a press conference yesterday.
“It will help bring the club closer to fans here in Cambodia and its growing fanbase overseas.”
The website and app boasts up to date information on Crown’s activities, including player profiles, statistics and news reports, as well as the MCL standings and results from other league fixtures. It is currently only available in English language, although plans are in motion to have translations into Cambodian in the near future.
Those logged onto the website or mobile app will receive ‘push notifications’, regular text updates from live matches featuring Crown.
Crown also revealed yesterday a two-year deal with Singapore-based sports marketing company Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA), which the club hope will provide a “host of marketing, branding and sponsorship opportunities”.
“DSA is always on the look-out for top football clubs in the region and PPCFC definitely fits the bill with its grassroots programme and its desire for commercial growth,” DSA CEO Kunihito Morimura stated in a press release.
“We want to start this initiative of forming collaborations with clubs such as these to fully develop football in the Southeast Asian region and beyond.”
DSA signed a formal partnership with the Football Federation of Cambodia earlier this year, which helped allow them to procure sponsors for the 2014 edition of the Samdech Hun Sen Cup competition.
Swiss Sam signs on
Crown’s head coach Sam Schweingruber, who joined the club two years ago and led them to their fifth domestic league title in July, confirmed yesterday he has signed on for another two years.
“I am very pleased,” he said. “When I started working at the club, we were working with a very young squad. Through strong leadership from owner Rithy Samnang and the hard work of all staff members, I believe Crown has a great future ahead and I can continue to bring success to the club.”
The Swiss tactician’s first task under the new contract will see his side clash with V.League 1 champions Becamex Binh Duong in Friday’s semi-final of the inaugural Toyota Mekong Club Championship.
The game, playing at Binh Duong’s home stadium in the eponymous provincial city near Ho Chi Minh City, kicks off at 8pm and will be broadcast live on Bayon TV.
The other semi-final between 2014 Laos League titlists Hoàng Anh Attapeu FC and 2014 Ooredoo Cup victors Ayeya Ayeyawady United FC will be held from 5pm at the same ground on Friday.
Winners will progress to Sunday’s grand final from 4pm while losers will meet in a third place playoff from 1:30pm. At stake is a US$75,000 cash prize for the overall champions, while runners-up will get $50,000, $25,000 for third and $10,000 for fourth.
Crown collected just $15,000 for winning the MCL this year, while Binh Duong were reportedly awarded a 10 billion Vietnamese dong ($476,000) bonus from organisers and sponsors in August after clinching their third V.League title.
Crown have bolstered their ranks by adding a trio of attacking midfielders during the past few months – 24-year-old Dutch set piece specialist Koen Bosma, Cambodian-French Va Sokthron, 27, and 18-year-old Sary Matnorotin, who starred for Asia Europe University last season and is presently on an exchange program in Japan with a team of U21s.
Bosma and Sokthorn have been included in Schweingruber’s 18-man squad bound for Vietnam, which also includes Cameroonian striker Baldwin Ngwa, Australian playmaker Adriano Pellegrino and Nigerian defender Odion Obadin.
Nigerian hitman George Bisan is set to make a return from injury, as is Cambodian national team star Bin Chantha Thierry.
Four foreign players will be allowed on the pitch at the same time on Friday, one more than the MCL rules permit.
Other homegrown talents on the Crown roster include goalkeepers Sou Yaty and Yok Ary, defenders Thourng Da and Ngoy Srin, midfielders Ouk Sothy, Boris Kok, Sos Suhana and Leng Makara and forwards Khim Borey, Hong Pheng and Kouch Sokumpheak (captain).
Joining Crown on one-year appointments are assistant coach Jonny Carter and new youth academy technical director Tom Legg.
Cardiff-born Carter, 39, has 15 years of coaching experience in the UK, the US, Singapore and Hong Kong and holds an A-licence coaching qualification. He is the author of numerous coaching manuals.
27-year-old Englishman Legg has done coaching stints in the US, India, Kenya and Sierra Leone, where he recently was performance analyst for their national team as well as at the Craig Bellamy Foundation.
Schweingruber admitted that the strength of the Binh Duong line up, which features “quite a few” Vietnamese national team players, will “make the game difficult for us”.
“They have a very strong squad,” he told the Post, adding that three of their defensive players had received Vietnamese citizenship.
Ugandan midfielder Moses Oloya, who has appeared for his national team in FIFA World Cup qualifiers, was highlighted as the danger man for Crown.