04 January 2012

Cambodia set to play in HBT

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
THE Cambodian Under-21 football team looks set to compete in next month's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT).

The Phnom Penh Post last week reported that the team have not had a rest for the Christmas holidays as they have been preparing for the biennial tournament which the Sultanate hosts, with this year's edition slated for Feb 25 - March 3.

The news means that three teams are poised to play at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas for what will be the biggest football date on the local calendar the other two countries being Brunei and Malaysia.

According to the report which was published last Monday (Dec 26), Cambodia's squad of 33 have been training at the National Football Centre in Cheng Meng on the outskirts of Phnom Penh under the guidance of S Korean head coach Lee Tae Hoon.

Ieng Saknida, who has returned to his position as Lee's assistant coach after completing a stint in the Asian Football Confederation's coaching elite program in Kuala Lumpur, said the squad had been trimmed to 25 players which would be whittled down to 18 for the trip to Bandar Seri Begawan.

"(Lee) will also make some changes following his observations during the upcoming matches of the Hun Sen Cup in Phnom Penh," the assistant coach said.

Tournament rules allow each team to field five players over the age of 21.

The Asean Football Federation's website said that the champions will collect B$20,000 (US$15,500) with B$10,000 for the runners-up and the third-placed side receiving B$5,000.

The competition is in its fourth edition but was skipped in 2009 following Brunei's suspension by FIFA because of government interference - a decision which was lifted last May.

The Brunei Times 

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