Visakha begin Thai tour with a win

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Keo Sokpheng (right) scored Visakha’s opener against Pahang. KT / Yeun Punlue

Cambodian top-flight side Visakha FC defeated Malaysian Super League team Pahang FA by a 3-1 scoreline on Tuesday evening at Bangkok’s Buriram Training Center, in Thailand.

The warm-up match, part of the club’s pre-season tour, was played in 3 thirty-minute halves. On target for Visakha were Keo Sokpheng from the penalty spot, youngster Long Menghav, and Sin Sophana. Today, Visakha travel to Rangsit University Stadium where they will meet RSU FC for another friendly clash.

Late last month, Visakha had come under fire for signing up five former Phnom Penh Crown players. In an effort to stem the criticism, General Manager Hok Sochetra expressed his support for the Football Federation of Cambodia’s promise to pass a law regulating domestic transfers at its next Plenary Session to be held in early 2019.

“The [new] domestic transfer rules that the Football Federation of Cambodia is planning to impose next year is a major motivation for the club to create a youth team of its own, Sochetra told reporters in a hastily organised press conference. “In addition, it is a catalyst for Cambodian football to thrive.”

Crown, the kingdom’s most successful domestic club, had threatened to pullout from the top tier of Cambodia’s football after their league rivals revealed it had signed contracts with the five former Crown academy players.

Current members of the Cambodia senior national team Sin Kakada and In Sodavid, along with Ouk Sovann, Kim Chhaya and Ken Chansopheak were all presented by Visakha to the press in an unveiling on December 18.

The dispute was swiftly settled by the FFC who instructed Visakha to pay compensation of an undisclosed amount to Crown for the training and development of the young stars

“I think the establishment of a domestic football transfer control act is the best thing for all clubs, said Sochetra. “First, clubs can be motivated by training and seeing young players develop and secondly, the players are motivated to train and improve and get into the first team.”

Visakha has seen rapid development despite a solitary season in the Metfone C-League.

“In two more months, Visakha Football Club will be two years old, said the former star forward. “But so far, under leadership of Sar Sokha, the club has grabbed many big achievements such as preparing senior team to involve in Metfone Cambodian League and 12th Hun Sen’s Cup and finished third place in the Cambodian top flight. Furthermore, the club has introduced an Under-17 grassroots side, and begun to build its own stadium.”

Visakha also recently presented a number of big projects, including its introduction of an Under-14 youth football team, and a prospective women’s team.

“[Club President] Ke Suonsophy [will] continue to lead the club, and she has set development goals with Football Federation of Cambodia to raise, as well as help, football here, said Sochetra. [The club] has plans to create Under-14 team at the end of 2019 and then we will prepare to introduce a women’s team as well as a grassroots women team in the future,” he added.

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