Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - U21s squad look to Brunei tourney

U21s squad look to Brunei tourney

U21s squad look to Brunei tourney

111226_22a
The Cambodian national U21 team will head to Brunei in February to compete in the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy.

The Cambodian national football team has been kept busy over the Christmas holidays in preparation for their next test, the 2012 Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) in Brunei in late February.

A squad of 33 have been training at the National Football Centre in Cheng Meng, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, for the past week under the guidance of under-fire head coach Lee Tae Hoon of South Korea.

HBT is an unofficial biennial tournament for ASEAN countries’ national U21 teams. It was first organised in 2002 by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and named after Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei.

The competition, now in its fourth edition, was skipped in 2009 following  NFABD’s suspension by FIFA because of government interference. FIFA lifted the ban on May 31 this year.

Next year’s tourney will run from February 27 to March 5 and, according to the website www.aseanfootball.org, will allow each team to field five players over the age of  21.

Winners of the trophy will collect the princely sum of 20,000 Bruneian dollars (US$15,500), with 10,000BND for the runners-up and the third- placed side earning 5,000BND.   

Cambodia finished bottom of the group in the inaugural edition of 2002 but advanced in their next appearance in 2007, thanks to a 6-0 trouncing of the Philippines. But they were booted out in the semifinals with a 10-1 demolition job by eventual winners, and reigning champions, Thailand.

Thailand are the clear favourites, having also won in 2005 and lost to Indonesia in the 2002 final. Myanmar have come in second in the past two HBT events.

Ieng Saknida, who has returned to his position as Lee’s assistant coach after completing a stint in the AFC’s coaching elite program in Kuala Lumpur, said the squad had been trimmed to 25 players, which would be whittled down to 18 for the trip to Bandar Siri Begawan.

“The South Korean coach will also make some changes following his observations during the upcoming matches of the Hun Sen Cup in Phnom Penh,” Ieng Saknida said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not