Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - MND look to better Cup run

MND look to better Cup run

MND look to better Cup run


National Defence Ministry will want to shake off their curse of the quarterfinals for this year’s Samdech Hun Sen Cup competition that kicks off Thursday

Ministry of National Defense (MND) is one of most fastidious Cambodian Premier League (CPL) teams, always abiding by a “no foreign player in the squad” policy that has now been applied to all teams taking part in the 2010 Samdech Hun Cup competition.

“We are so confident about our future matches against the three other teams in group B at the Battambang centre,” stated MND assistant coach Hor Sok Heng, adding that they face Pursat, Mekong Kampuchea University and DATE (Development and Appropriate Technology) from Kampong Chhnang.

Despite an impressive record in the top domestic league, including three titles since 1985 and a runners-up spot from the 2008 campaign, MND have yet to make a big impact in the Cup, reaching only the quaterfinals on each of the last three competitions.

In 2007, under the name Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, they were beaten 3-1 by Phnom Penh Crown – formerly Phnom Penh Empire. Then in 2008, they were knocked out by Khemara Keila.

Last year, the team’s management were left infuriated by a woeful performance from their players that saw the side lose 5-3 after penalties to arch rivals Phouchung Neak, the Cambodian Navy team.

Five star men, namely Khim Borey, Nov Soseila, Sok Pheng, Lorn Sotheara and Samreth Seiha, were accused of throwing the game and subsequently suspended indefinitely from the squad. After threats of a mass exodus from the club, disputes were eventually settled to allow the players to return to the field, with MND finishing in the money in fifth place.

“Losing to Phouchung Neak in the 2009 quarterfinals was a terrible event for us, but we have to forget the past and look forward to victory in the upcoming tournament,” said Hor Sok Heng. “I hope we can do well because many of our players are on the national team. However, we need to teach them more about the physical side [of playing].”

MND players account for more than a third of the U23 national team, selected by Australian-born coach Scott O’Donell, including goalkeepers Samreth Seiha and Sou Yati, defender Pheak Rady, midfielders Nov Soseila, Um Kompheak and Lorn Sotheara, and striker Khim Borey.

During the inaugural BIDC Cup held at Olympic Stadium last November, Nov Soseila became a hero for home fans, giving a mesmerising performance in every match he played. The diminutive winger gained the nickname “Chaly”, relating his energy and speed on the ball to that of the popular little Honda motorbike.

Hor Sok Heng described the team’s confidence in depth of talent and a strict training regime overseen by head coach Op Sam An. “We have trust in the whole team, not just the boys who have international experiences,” said the assistant coach. “Before the preliminary round, we set up the regular training schedule every evening and every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Currently we have no injury problems.”

Besides funding from the ministry, MND has attracted sponsorship from the Phnom Penh Beer company. “Our team will wear shirts with the Phnom Penh Beer logo,” said Hor Sok Heng, adding that he didn’t know how much the company had sponsored, but that it would supplement player and officials incomes. “We hope to have a regularly partner for the stability of the club.”

Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Kingdom, UN discuss rights

    A year after Cambodia received 198 recommendations from UN member countries, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Cambodia) met with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to discuss following-up on the Kingdom’s third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and