National Team Reaction

National Team

New Cambodian Head Coach, Feliz Dalmas, named his first 30 man squad for the upcoming friendly with Bangladesh on June 15th. Many had predicted he would stick with a young team with the AFF and Asia Cup competitions on the horizon but we were all left with jaws open as some familiar faces were called upon after time spent in the wilderness.

Calling On The Old Guard… 

Sokhumpheak from Naga earned a recall after an impressive CLC campaign. Thierry Chantha Bin is widely regarded as one of the greatest servants of the national team and his inclusion at age 32 isn’t just to make up numbers and talk about the good old days. His 4 appearances in the League Cup were backed up with a goal and his versatility make him a solid choice. The biggest, and for some the most exciting, surprise was the recall of winger Chan Vatanaka. Pictures of the idol have been popping up on social media and he’s looked over weight and disinterested in his football. His 9 touches inside the box and just 8 crosses across four games isn’t exactly setting the world on fire so it does beg the question, why is he in this team?

Perhaps it’s a ploy to fans on the stadium, excited and watching a game against a team we should beat. A Taylor/Vatanaka warm up routine together would take the spotlight off anything that didn’t go our way.

Where Are The Midfield Players… .

Fourteen of the thirty named are defenders. Just six midfield players, one of whom is 32 and a defender for his club. The selection would suggest Felux will be going with a 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 and in this first game not changing anything drastically to stop the possibility of starting his reign with defeat.

National Team

The squad is made up of only players coming from the top 5 clubs in the country. Ten of the thirty from Vishaka is further evidence they’re a cut above when it comes to homegrown talent.

Overall Verdict… ..

The definition of insanity is to repeatedly do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. I was hoping for something a little more fresh and some players in there that have been in form rather than the players that are just there year after year.. Having said that there aren’t many players that come to mind that should be in the squad that are not.

I think it’s safe to say that Felix is keen to get this first win under his belt and in order to do so has a couple game winners and leaders in the squad. Whatever happens there will be a big crowd watching and hopefully we can see a brighter future on the horizon for our national team.

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