Cambodia’s Dalmas fires back at critics

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodia play two group games against Hong Kong and Bahrain in the coming weeks. KT / Yeun Punlue

Cambodia national team head coach Felix G. Dalmas defended his football philosophy after a barrage of fan criticism ahead of the kingdom’s two FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 & Asian Cup 2023 preliminary group stage games in the coming weeks.

“We have very difficult games coming up and we believe the philosophy we have been developing is the best for the future of Cambodian soccer,” explained Dalmas on Friday, whilst responding to fan questions on the Football Federation’s Facebook page.

“We want to play possession-style soccer and this is difficult to develop as it takes time. But we believe that it is this possession-based style which will take Cambodian football to the next level.”

The kingdom play two group games in the coming weeks, they first welcome Hong Kong to Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium on Thursday before the visit of Bahrain on September 10.

However, Dalmas and general manager Keisuke Honda left fans searching for answers after last week’s release of a 35-man selection missing key trio Chan Vathanaka, Prak Mony Udom, and Thierry Chantha Bin. However, Dalmas said his focus was on the future.

“Many players called up are under 23-years old and in December we have the [Manila] SEA Games, said Dalmas. “So, we are using this opportunity to work and use both teams. [About] the people that are not here some of them unfortunately because of injuries. They are very, very important for us.”

“Of course, we watch the [Metfone Cambodia] league a lot and we consider what they do both in the league and outside of it, he added. “All the players here are hungry and passionate to be part of the team. That’s the common thing about all the players here.”

“A team of 11 Messi’s or 11 Ronaldo’s are probably not going to win. Soccer is about relationships with each other. So, we have tried to find the best group of players who can work together and complement each other,” he said. “Cambodia is strong, but together.”

In July, Cambodia were drawn in group C – alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong and group favourites Iran – for the second round of the Asian qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The Angkor Warriors stamped their ticket for the group round after defeating Pakistan 4-1 on aggregate in June.

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