At the start of every season I sit down with our analysts and coaching staff and we map out what pre season will look like and what we want to achieve. We will have new people joining us and some are not up to date with who is who and the teams we come up against. I invented a game that we play where we give Khmer Teams an English brother. It’s great fun and gives anyone new to Cambodian football a base to build their knowledge.
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CPL 1 and their EPL Counterparts
Phnom Penh Crown are the Manchester United of Cambodian football. Most successful team, a history of producing young quality players and a coach in Sam Schwiengruber that hasn’t been matched. That makes Boeung Ket Liverpool. On the shadows on their rivals until recent years but beginning to drop off again. Vishaka are Manchester City. Buckets of money and it’s only a matter of time before they dominate football here. Svay Rieng are Chelsea, excellent coach, always up there and every once in a while just kill everyone and win with ease. More than capable of a little slide down the table. Nagaworld are Arsenal, a massive club and were once a big deal but nothing for a few years now. Angkor Tiger are Tottenham. Always promise, great coach, the loudest fans, great attacking talent but will always let you down. The chairman loves the limelight. Tiffy Army are Everton. Ever present, a working class club capable of brilliance. Kirivong are West Ham. You’re a hammer or you’re not. If you’re not getting Kirivong you won’t know anything about them.
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CPL 2 and their EPL doppelgangers
Into league two; ISI are Newcastle. A sleeping giant woken up with real investment. Can the coach handle the pressure or will they be looking for big name soon? EDC are Leeds United, young talented manager and attractive on the eye. Koh Kong would be Brighton. Next to the ocean, foundations in place end improving all the time. Police are Aston Villa. They’re always there in mid table. Some great night’s on their history but just always there. Tbong Khnom would be Southampton. Tucked away by themselves, have a decent team and never in danger. National Academy are Watford. Just outside the big city and always a threat. Have a philosophy and stick to it no matter what. Prey Veng is the most difficult of the 22. They’ll have to be New York Red Bulls if they were to move to England. That leaves 3. BMC are Palace, just outside the big city, physical team with players that give everything.
Then there’s Next Step FC and Siem Reap FC.
We’re Rangers and Celtic. Too good to play amateur football but punching above our weight in professional. A firece rivalry.
Let the debate begin. Who have I got wrong?
This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.