PKR Svay Rieng Announce Spaniard Pep Munoz As New Coach

Top Cambodian football club Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng have unveiled Spaniard Pep Munoz as their new head coach. The move comes after Conor Nestor announced his departure to the Indian Super League.

To read our interview with Conor Nestor click here.

The announcement by the club came at a press conference held on May 6th at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh.

Who is Pep Munoz?

According to the club “Pep, aged 43, is a Spanish UEFA Pro License coach with over 19 years coaching experience. Pep started his coaching career at UE Lleida in Spain before moving to football giants FC Barcelona. Pep spent 4 years at FC Barcelona with the U19 and Barcelona B Team, wining the U19 UEFA Champions League and 2 league titles, before moving to China where he spent 7 years across Huanghai FC, Shandong FC and the Chinese National Team”.

Prior to his recruitment it was announced that his last major role had been as the assistant manager of the Chinese national team.

How was he picked?

The club said they went through a lengthy recruitment process, with it being reported they received 40 resumes and took 7 weeks to make the final call. It is believed that former coach Nestor had at least some say in the recruitment process, at least until the final round of applicants.

Said final round included the new coach, as well as at least one other candidate, believed to have been a well known coach from Scotland.

Pep Munoz

Can PKR Svay Rieng still challenge for the title?

Pep certainly thinks so and when answering a direct question from BPVE replied “We have a squad with real quality, the staff here are very good and the foreign players are excellent. Therefore I think we have what it takes to haev a great season”.

And as for new signings? General Manager Chris Grant replied to BPVE “We did most of our business early on and are now just in the market for one ASEAN player”.

The club are therefore confident that they can compete for the title and that making such a high-profile appointment will not only signal their intent to rivals, but also placate home fans regarding their level of ambition. Doubts though do still remain.

Pep Munoz
Pep Muñoz

Some have questioned the wisdom of hiring someone without any experience of Cambodian football, rather than one of the many foreign and indeed local coaches, both within the club and beyond who could have been considered.

And of course replacing someone who achieved as much and was as popular as Nestor will certainly be no easy task going into the 2023-24 season. Still with three months before the start of play, “Pep” will be hoping that it is enough time for him to stamp his own DNA and philosophy onto the club.

This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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