Cambodia U23s coach Scott O’Donell has no complaints about the conditions at the players’ village in Vientiane
THE four group matches that Cambodia will play at the Southeast Asian Games will determine their success or otherwise, but it’s the off-the-field facilities that can be just as important to put the players in the right frame of mind before competition.
Scott O’Donell, the Cambodian coach, was in charge of the team for their last SEA Games outing in Khorat, Thailand, in 2007. “The rooms at the Village are a lot better than at the last Games in Khorat,” he noted. “At least we don’t have communal showers and toilets this time around. The Village isn’t fully operational yet because the Games don’t officially open ’til later, but the food’s OK, no complaints on that score, and the accommodation is OK too, and that’s what’s important for us.”
“It would be nice to have something to keep the players occupied in their free time,” he added. “In Khorat we had a games room and Internet. Here we have nothing like that, but it’s the same for every team. At least there’s a medical room, which is good, as some of the boys have been getting some [physiotherapy].”
The right diet and looking after themselves is a part of the players’ preparation that O’Donell has been keen to stress. “The food is good, a wide variety, and it’s nice,” he reported. “There’s pasta, rice and veggies, and all the boys are getting stuck in. They are starting to realise the importance of their diet, and they get a lot of fruit and veggies here, which is a good thing. I’m happy with it.”
The national coach claimed that, so far, the training facilities have been a mixed bag. “The first training session at the army stadium was fine. The next two at the television facility were absolutely terrible and simply not good enough. And today was perfect. So a mix of good and bad,” he commented as the team ended their first session at the Chao Anouvong Stadium, in central Vientiane where they will play three of their four group matches.
The Cambodian team watched both of the football competition’s opening games Wednesday and trained for an hour Thursday morning before making their final preparations for their first match against Thailand at 3pm Friday.