Cambodian national team captain and Boeung Ket frontman Khuon Laboravy is set to go on trial with an unnamed Thai Premier League club.
Laboravy, speaking at Phnom Penh airport yesterday ahead of his flight to Thailand, said a top Thai club was interested in securing his services, although declined to name the club in question when pressed by reporters.
However, social media sleuths already believe they have discovered the clubs’ identity after noticing that Laboravy had very recently liked the Facebook fan page of Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC. Based in Thailand’s Ratchaburi Province, the club currently plays in the Thai Premier League. Laboravy is expected to undergo a week-long trial.
Depite his ability, the 29-year old has long been a target of criticism by many fans for a less than stellar goalscoring record in national team colours. Laboravy has hit the back of the net 12 times in 56 games.
Despite the critics, Laboravy was a firm favourite of former national team coach Leonardo Vitorino who vociferously came to the defence of his number 9.
“The relentless criticism of Laboravy is not a good thing, said the Brazilian coach after a defeat of Afghanistan last June. “He helps the team in so many ways. He contributes a lot in every match, whether in attack or defence he is always actively trying to help the team.”
“I used him much more than before because he is a strong forward and also has no problems coming back to defend free-kicks,” he added.
In his last two outings for the national side, Laboravy scored a winner against Laos before netting a consolation against Afghanistan last week. He is also the golden boot winner at last season’s Hun Sen Cup in 2017 and was pivotal in helping Boeung Ket win two consecutive C-League titles in 2016 and 2017.
Thai Premier League rulings allow clubs to include one Asean player in a squad, along with one from Asia, among the maximum of five foreigners.
Previously, regulations dictated that Thai clubs in Thai League could register four universal
foreign players plus one of AFC-member nationality to the league squad [4+1]. With the ruling implemented in 2017, Thai clubs are now able to register only three universal foreign players, one AFC and one ASEAN player [3+1+1]. This move was implemented to promote Thai youth players.