The Exit Interview – Conor Nestor and His Move to India

Conor Nestor

Last week the news that many knew, but few would say reached the media, long-serving PKR Svay Rieng coach Conor Nestor was leaving the club and going to the Indian Super League.

That was until now at least, with BPVE being given an exclusive interview by the man himself on why he decided to leave and indeed his thoughts on Cambodia football.

You can read about Conor Nestor leaving Svay Rieng click here.

Conor, why have you decided to leave PKR Svay Rieng now?

Conor Nestor – Well there really is never a good time to leave club, but as there is the prolonged preseason it at least gives the club more time to prepare than normal.

Also I would not be leaving the club at all unless it was for an offer from the right club in the right league and that is exactly what I got.

Was it a tough choice to leave PKR Svay Rieng after all these years?

Conor Nestor – Of course it was. I don’t want to be melodramatic, but the last few weeks have been the most emotional in my life from a professional point of view.

I do though feel happy in the knowledge that I have left Svay Rieng in a good place and that they will do fine without me at the helm. At least that is certainly what I hope for.

The big question – any regrets?

Conor Nestor – We have lost out on 7 competitions on the last day of the season and if you did a league table from the last 5 years we would be top by 29 points, but that is sadly not how football works.

As I said to the players, whilst I am proud of what we have won, there are still these holes in my heart from where we missed out. In this respects I wish we’d had more luck and won these for the fans, players and owners.

Some feel you have been the best manager in the league, should the Football Federation of Cambodia have offered you the national team job?

Conor Nestor – Let’s be clear the best manager in the league right now is Oleg down at Crown. I know that various quarters have called for me to get the top job and I am extremely honored that people think this.

I also though feel that Felix is the right man for Cambodia right now and I expect him to be very successful.

Would I take the job one day? Cambodia is my home and I expect to be back here one day, but anyone who knows me will tell you the same, when I commit to a project I commit and that is exactly what I am doing now.

What has improved within Cambodian football during your tenure?

Conor Nestor – Mots of the improvements in fairness have been driven by the clubs, with the introduction of things such as sports science and other technical areas that have improved the clubs.

This has led to stronger local players, a better competition and thus better foreigners wishing to come to Cambodia.

Overall it is much higher level and a better competition than it has ever been and I am really confident about the future.

There are some really great people involved in the game, such as my owner at PKR Svay Rieng Dy Vichea and Sen Kang of ISI who are leading innovations within the game that I feel mean there will be a positive future for football within Cambodia.

Conor Nestor – More importantly perhaps what needs to improve?

Referees and refereeing are frankly disgraceful and this needs to be dealt with quickly. After one game last year we were even apologized to about how bad it was, but as I said at the time we don’t need apologies as it does solve the problem blemish. We need for mistakes not to be made.

Sadly when it comes to fixing the problem those in charge of that are often also part of the problem.

The other obvious one is floodlights. At times the wrong things are focused on when it comes to licensing. On this ISI are again another great example of what can be achieved when the will is there.

Overall though and despite these problems I do leave feeling very optimistic about Cambodian football.

PKR Svay Rieng are expected to announce their new manager within the next week. You can check out the Facebook page here.

This article is adapted from BPVE, ( reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (
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