Cambodia’s newly-installed General Manager Keisuke Honda will lead out Cambodia for their friendly international match against Malaysia tonight and ensured fans that while their opposition would provide a tough test – his side will do its best.
“We have trained very well over the last couple of days,” he said. “I’ve already found a lot of good and experienced players as well as some young players.”
Honda, 32, took up the general manager role with Cambodia last month and told reporters at yesterday’s press conference in Phnom Penh he had already found some talent among the current crop of players.
However, Honda reminded fans to be patient regarding progress and not expect too much too soon.
“We are just starting our project. Stay calm about the new system, new players, we are just developing and I already told all the players and they understand.” The former Japan international has been a regular visitor here since 2015. He operates one of his Soltilo Soccer Schools here and owns Soltilo Angkor FC – who play their football in Siem Reap.
Seated alongside Honda, Tan Cheng Hoe, Malaysia’s head coach, said he was impressed with the interest generated by the game.
“This is the first time I’m seeing such a huge turnout, he said. “I’m sure everybody is eager to see Keisuke Honda, not me! Malaysia face the Angkor Warriors on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Chinese Taipei last week.
“Cambodia have never been easy opponents, explained the coach.
“This time I’m sure their players want to perform more than 100 percent in order to impress him.
“I’m more concerned about the team than their coach. Some have been playing in the Malaysia such as [Keo] Sokpheng, [Chan] Vathanaka and Thierry [Chantha Bin]. They are motivated due to their new coach, and they will receive the backing of their fans.”
Tonight’s match will kick-off at 6:30 pm at the Olympic Stadium.