Uche ‘Prince’ Justine reveals why Phnom Penh Crown is his team of choice
Justine smitten with Crown
Cambodian Premier League (CPL) top scorer of last year Uche “Prince” Justine has revealed his reasons for signing with local football heavyweights Phnom Penh Crown. “I decided to sign for Crown because of the opportunities available for me there.” Justine stated. “Its sad to leave Spark, because they helped me to launch my career here in Cambodia, but at the end, I have to look into the future and I think Crown provide the best chance for me.”
The 19-year-old striking sensation from Nigeria said that a better salary was not the sole reason to join the casino backed side. “All the clubs wanted to pay me well. In fact Spark offered to increase my salary at the expense of signing other foreign players,” noted Justine. “Crown is the only club in Cambodia I see now that can expose me to the world.”
Coincidentally, Justine’s debut for Crown will be against former club Spark – now called Wat Phnom – in the opening game of the 2010 Metfone Cambodian League, Saturday March 27. “It will be an emotional game for me,” he said. “I am looking forward to that game. As a professional, my loyalty is now with Phnom Penh Crown and [I] will do my best to help them win the league this year.”
Crown are also expected to take part in the 2010 Singapore Cup, after making the second round in last year’s competition.
Visa delays cause problems
Top-tier newcomers Prek Pra FC are struggling to deal with the new ruling from the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) regarding foreign players, which forbids teams to field those without a valid visa. Prek Pra manager Abdul Karim is lamenting the rules change, which sees him unable to “beef up his squad” with foreigners who he says currently have visa problems.
“We wanted to sign two or three new players, but after taking their passport for [visa] extension, the Immigration Police refused,” the team boss explained.
Build Bright United experienced similar problems with the foreign players; however, they were able to register three new men on deadline day, including former Khemara Keila defender Joel Omakara.
FFC Spokesman May Tola responded to accusations that the federation were making things difficult for the clubs. “It is the clubs that are responsible for processing the documents for their players and not the federation,” he said, adding that foreign players could still be signed but could not play until a vailid visa had been obtained.
Kirivong change up staff
Takeo-based outfit Kirivong Sok Sen Chey have appointed former vice director Somay Sokea as club director. The former director Okhna Lean Khon has stepped down due to work commitments but will continue to support the team financially while Somay Sokea oversees to the day-to-day running of the club.
“We want to make it to the Super 4,” asserted Somay Sokea, referring to the post-season playoff competition competed by the top four finishers of the league. “In 2008, we finished seventh, and in 2009 we finished fifth. This time we want to go better and fight for the top four.”
Kirivong have appointed Vietnamese coach Vinh Chou Hong to lead the team in their 2010 Metfone C-League campaign, assisted by Cambodian Maov Kimpo. Nigerian duo Felix Ndukwe and Joseph Favour have arrived from Indonesia and Malaysia respectively to join the team, while former Post Tel and Kratie defender Rilwan Ibrahim has also completed a transfer.