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On 25/03/2021 at 06:15, Jon1982 said:

Just as an aside, this match is being played at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium. The only thing is I don’t ever recall Cambodia ever hosting an Olympic Games, summer or winter?

They certainly haven't. Guess anyone can just build an Olympic stadium if they wish (Turkey has one too. They haven't held an Olympic Games either).

Fun fact: Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium hosted the game that saw North Korea qualify for the 1966 World Cup, where they infamously went on to the quarter finals.

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1 hour ago, BenArsenal said:

They certainly haven't. Guess anyone can just build an Olympic stadium if they wish (Turkey has one too. They haven't held an Olympic Games either).

Fun fact: Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium hosted the game that saw North Korea qualify for the 1966 World Cup, where they infamously went on to the quarter finals.

Thats great, thanks for pointing that out Ben. I'm glad it has existed for a long time and it is a real stadium, not one made up by the game. 

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Posted (edited)

Getting Our Feet Wet

International News

I start this post with some International News on how Cambodia fared in the South East Asian Championships. 

 

Cambodia were slightly unlucky to miss out on qualification for the knockout stages of the tournament after finishing in third place. They managed to beat Laos and Brunei 1-0, but lost out to the same score against Myanmar and Singapore, who qualified from the group. Unfortunately for my sole representative in the Cambodian national side, Sok Chanraksmey he failed to get on the pitch and warmed the bench for the entire campaign. Never mind at least he will be nice and fresh for ours.
 

Match 7 – EDC v Svay Rieng 1st May 2021

On paper Svay Rieng have a better team than us, but they are in 7th, while we are having nosebleeds in 2nd. We have had some easier fixtures of late and Svay Rieng’s visit is our biggest test since the opening day against Vishaka. They are packed with quality, including the Brazilian Pinheiro pulling the strings in midfield and American Jonathan Campbell, who is probably the best left back in the league. But, never say never, we are a better team this season, on the whole better organised in defence (famous last words) and more potent in attack. This is no gimme though, but if we are to compete with the bigger teams in the league then we should be trying to get a positive result here. Sok Chanraksmy is back from International duty and will start. Sedsody comes in for Sung Rot in midfield.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Um Channou, Channerouen, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Raksa, Sedsody, O.Udom, Fasal, Veasna, Chanraksmey

EDC 0-2 Svay Rieng

                         Pinheiro 56

                         Sopheaktra 92

For most of the game we did OK, held our opposition and even created a little bit ourselves. Then we needlessly gave the ball away Sopheaktra broke down the left and squared it to Pinheiro who hit an unstoppable shot low into the corner of the net – 0-1

We then had a decent spell, with Chanraksmey and Udom both going close. From a quickly taken free kick, Sopheaktra caught our defence napping to volley home for 2-0 game over. We had 68% possession, but they were the more streetwise of the two teams and their finishing was clinical when it mattered. That was about the difference between the two sides. No shame in this defeat.

Match 8- EDC v Beoung Ket Angkhor FC – 8th May 2021

Not sure about this one. They may be 9th in the table and we may be 3rd, but they have too much quality in their ranks to be that low in the table. A South African on the wing, a Brazilian upfont and god knows what else. I line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sophina coming in for the suspended Daravon at the heart of the defence and Sung Rot is preferred to Ouch Udom in midfield.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Channou, Channeroun, Sophina, Daravon, Ratana, Raksa, Sedsody, Saray, Sung Rot, Veasna, Chanraksmey

EDC 3-2 Beoung Ket Angkhor FC

O.Udom 60,                                                Paiva 14,21

Saray 62,

K.Udom 88

Absolutely buzzing! We were 2-0 down at half time with them looking like they could score with every attack, to putting on a superb second half performance of which we were brilliant in every department. 

The first goal was a really annoying. Fasal could have started a counter attack but his lazy ball was intercepted, the ball was bunted forward to the Brazilian Paiva who spun past Sophina and drilled it into the bottom corner.

Then after a flowing move, Ivanoldo crossed from the right, Paiva nutted the ball home for 2-0. After a dressing down at half time we started the second half, but they could have been 3-0 up easily. Then, against the run of play and out of nowhere Ouch Udom received the ball and ran past the defender before slotting home, 2-1. Two minutes later Fasal’s corner was met by the head of Tum Saray with a thunderous header 2-2. It was end to end stuff as both sides went for it. 

The winning goal came when Fasal played a beautiful instant low cross and Keo Udom poked past the onrushing keeper 3-2. What a comeback from EDC, electrifying stuff! Well done boys!

Match 9 Kampong Chhnang v EDC (Prime Minister’s Cup 

Second Qualifying Round) 11/05/21

While we were huddled around the wireless for the Second Round  Qualifying Round there were a few knowing looks from my players and staff when the draw pitted us against Second Division outfit, Kampong Chhnang away.

'Might need your wellies for this one boss,' piped up Suon Veasna.

'More like a pair of flippers,' joked Keo Udom.

When I enquired about this, it became apparent that Kampong Chhnang, a place just north of Phnom Penh was also home to a floating village, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cambodia.

Now back home in the FA Cup I'd known of cup ties played at grounds with a slope, or a plastic pitch, or with freezing cold dressing rooms, but in the middle of a floating village? This beat the lot! I envisaged us having to access the ground by boat!

Pre-Match Thoughts

We are in cup action against 2nd Division opposition in Kampong Chhnang. I’ve rung the changes in light of our heroics in the last game and an important League game against National Police at the weekend, who are top of the table. I fancy a cup run this year and the President’s Cup is our best chance of silverware. I have faith in my second XI and kids to come up trumps in this one and qualify for the first round proper. 

Team: 4-4-2 Kong Rafat, Theara, Makara, Nara, Sophahon, Punlock, Suhana, Rakasmey, Mol, Rotha, Chanraksmey

 

Kampong Chhnang 2-3 EDC
 
Ouch Tony 62,88      ////           Nara 2, Chanraksmey 10, Rotha 53
 

What the players didn’t tell me was that the floating village was only one small part of Kampong Chnnang by the river Tonle Sap, which flows into a huge lake in Central Cambodia. There was a much larger city of Kampong Chnnang further west, which is where the football stadium was and firmly on solid ground. In the end I didn’t need the wellies I had packed just in case, much to the amusement of my players and staff. This cup tie though nearly turned out to be a very slippery banana skin, which in the end we were lucky to come out with a win.

Things started well for us when Suhana’s free kick found Moun Nara in the box who half volleyed home- 1-0 EDC Then the dangerous Suhana was upended in the box, Chanraksmy did the rest 2-0. Suhana then found young Rakasmey whose clever first time ball found Rotha who placed a lovely shot into the corner 3-0. Then it was the Ouch Tony show… Who? Well after half time he emerged and decided to do his best Lionel Messi impressions. Every time this kid touched the ball he looked like scoring. We are not sure where he’d been for the first hour of the game but this guy knows how to make an impact. He frightened the living daylights out of us whenever he got the ball (which was often presented to him on a plate by our players ) He ran through from his own half for the first goal, then rounded off a team breakaway goal for his second and then went close twice on top of that. Things could have got very messy indeed had he converted those chances. Ouch Tony almost made it a painful exit from The Prime Minister’s Cup for EDC. His pace is a 6-12 and Acceleration 10-15, but should be 20. Thankfully he didn’t and we held on. Into the 1st Round Proper of The Prime Minister’s Cup we go!

Next Time: A top of the table clash against The National Police, but Can EDC steal top spot in the C-League from them?

                                                

 

 
Edited by Jon1982
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I remember visiting a floating village in Vietnam, was a strange experience. On the one hand it was fascinating, and a surreal blend of striking scenery and austere living conditions. While at the same time wondering if the village would actually exist if people like me didn't visit it.

Though I didn't see any football.

Ouch Tony sounds like a comic book villain 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Mandy42 that's very interesting. I was doing a bit of  research on Cambodia and stumbled across Kampong Chhnang floating village and realised that the name sounded familiar as I had just played them in the Cup on FM. It makes you want to visit these places, but for now Google Maps is all I have... Ouch Tony could easily be a Bond Villain.. We were 3-0 up and I was wondering how many more we could score and resting players for the next league game and this guy just came out of nowhere and almost won them the game...

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4 hours ago, BenArsenal said:

Love the little geography tidbits. Especially so since travel is pretty much out of the question during these times.

Keep it up mate. :thup:

Thankyou Ben it's great escapism for us all at the moment. Cambodia from the research I've done looks like a very beautiful country with lots to see. I will be doing a big trip out near the end of Season 2, which is a few posts off yet. 

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On 31/03/2021 at 15:12, oche balboa said:

This is a great story mate. Hope you continue to keep up the good work 

Thankyou Oche I'm glad you are enjoying it and giving me feedback. Did you know I've put the same story on the FM Scout Forums and it has had 1200 views in one month, but not one person has commented or offered encouragement, so this is much appreciated. Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

It's A Steal!

 

We've had a good start to the season and currently lie in 2nd place in the C-League, with only one team above us, everybody's favourite team and next opponents, The National Police. I do wonder in any country which has a police force football team who actually supports them? It's not exactly cool for people to be cheering the police on for anything. You couldn't imagine a crowd of fans shouting, 'Come on National Police! Yeeeaaahhh!!' Maybe criminals do to try and hide their crimes or avoid a speeding fine. Who knows? The nearest we have in England to this are the Met Police who play in the non-leagues and have made the odd appearance in the FA Cup First Round.

In this part of the world football teams have developed through institutions rather than through towns and cities like in Europe for example, which means we have in Asia, leagues full of army teams, police forces and indeed the National Grid as EDC are. In fact in nearby Laos there is also an Electricity Football team. I tried to arrange a pre-season friendly with them, but this was kyboshed by both chairmen from their respective clubs as apparently it was too far to travel, even though Laos does border Cambodia in the North. I thought it would be cool to pair the two Electricity Companies together in a friendly and then the players could maybe talk about the best way to re-wire a house in the bar afterwards.. Anyway I digress..

Match 10 – EDC v National Police Commisionary 15/05/21

Whoop Whoop This is the sound of the Police! The National Police Commisiary FC are at the top of the C-League, so big match today. We are buoyant after two straight wins and I know we can compete in this league and on our day can beat anyone. 

Team: 4-2-2-2 Channou, Sophahon, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana Raksa, Sedsody, Saray, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

National Police 0-1 EDC

                                           Sung Rot 86

What a steal! This was a smash and grab raid of the highest order, so much so our players should be thrown in prison for the theft of three points from the Cambodian Police! This game was awful and despite it being a top of the table clash, deserved to be shown last on Cambodian Match of The Day. That said we defended superbly throughout, Daravon and Khemarin were rocks while Ratana and Leng Sophohan kept their wide players quiet. Yes we rode our luck, especially when they hit the underside of the bar midway through the first half. We had no shots on target at half time, but that did not worry me. I introduced a more attacking option in Sung Rot and reverted to a diamond formation in midfield to try and have a bit more ambition going forward. We controlled the second half and had a few attacks of our own. From their corner the ball was cleared straight into the path of Sung Rot who ran from the halfway line and slotted past their keeper on 86 minutes. Call me Jonathan Mourinho! To the top of the table we go!

Match 11- EDC v Kirivong 22/05/21

The scary thing about this one is we go into this game as strong favourites. Kirivong are down near the bottom, but looking at their squad they really shouldn’t be. They are a talented bunch and whatsmore last time we met last season we beat them 7-3 in a crazy game! Expect goals. I’m going to go with an old fashioned 4-4-2 with Veasna returning from injury on the right and Keo Udom with Sok Chanraksmey up front. 

Team: 4-4-2 Channou, Sopahon, Khemarin, Daravon, Ratana, Raksa, Sung Rot, Fasal, Veasna, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

 EDC 5-2 Kirivong

 

 

Chanraksmy 15,45        Wiang In 62  

 

Veasna 19, 25                 Lelouma 92
 
K.Udom 56
 

The scoreline rather flattered us today and on another day could have beenvery different. They had several one on ones which resulted in saves from Channou, or hit wide which on another day this could have punished us. I feel a bit sorry for Kirivong, as everything seemed to go for us, which resulted in us going 5-0 up and looking like we could score with every attack. A good win yes, but concerns about the defence as at times Sakasi and Lelouma cut our defence to shreds. They just couldn’t finish and we could, that was the difference. Another steal.

Goal Rundown
 
From their goalkick Ratana won the header which freed Chanraksmy who galloped into the box, before slotting home pat the keeper 1-0

From a corner, Chanraksmy flicked on and Veasna fired in from close range.

Fasal’s far post corner is met  by the head of Veasna – 3-0

Ratana volleyed hopefully into the box. Chanraksmey ran onto it and volleyed home superbly 4-0

Fasal crossed for Ouch Udom whose fierce shot was parried only for Keo Udom to fire in the rebound – 5-0

Wiang In broke away and fired into the top corner – 5-1

Missed header Lelouma broke clear 5-2

Mid-Season Transfer Window

The mid-season transfer window started on 15th May 2021 and runs until 14th June.
 
Players In
 

Math Rotanak (Free Transfer)

I’ve snapped up this promising young striker on a free transfer. I think he has some potential and look forward to working with him.

 

Players Out

Nan Punlock - Free Transfer to Kampot

I’ve offloaded my back up DMC, Nan Punlok to Kampot of the Second League. He did OK for me in the first season, but had limited opportunities this term and so I decided to put him out of his misery, He will do well in the Second Division and wish him the best of luck.

Nhem Theara - Free Transfer To Banteay Meanchey

Nhem Theara has also left the club. The 17 year old DRC played a lot last season, but really was not up to the job. His performances were so bad I even had his mother in my office, begging me to drop him from the team. He has been moseying about in the reserves since then and when an offer came in I decided to let him go to Second Division Group C outfit, Banteay Meanchey, where I am sure he will be more at home. Perhaps in time he could have improved but when an offer came in and he was keen to leave, who am I to stand in his way? It does however leave us with a lack of depth at right back, with Chamoreun and Ratana the only two who can play there, plus a kid in the U21s, Mom Veasna, who is nowhere near up to the standard. 

Ouch Panhaseth – on loan to Chhlam Samuth

A back-up left back who is being outgunned by a 16 year old and Leng Sophaon, which tells it's own story, I let him get some first team football at Second Division side, Chlam Samuth. 
 

Savy Sedsody Free Transfer to Phuchung Neak

I had high hopes of Sedsody becoming a rock in our midfield for years to come, but he annoyed me this transfer window by handing in a transfer request and generally being a little sod. There’s no point having unhappy players in the squad and one that is a threat to the positive atmosphere at the club, underpinned by our excellent start to the season. He’s gone to play for a club called Phuchung Neak, which currently lie in 12th in the Cambodian Second League Group C. Good luck with that...Your loss mate…

Moun Nara Free Transfer to Chhma Kamou

Nara has never quite done it for me and quite a few bids came in for him. Finally I relented and have let him go to the 2nd Division where he may be more at home.

Board Confidence Update

The board are absolutely delighted with my performance as manager and according to our chairman, being three points clear at the top of the league is beyond his wildest dreams! My expectations are to beat relegation, so whatever happens I should, barring a complete disaster achieve that and more..

So far so good for EDC as they race to a three point lead at the top of the table, but can they keep it going.. As the old saying goes though, it's a marathon, not a sprint...

Edited by Jon1982
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Zimbabwe has a ZRP team where the P stands for Police. I always dread playing them! Wonder if they get a couple of convicts in as ringers if they are good players.

Also after your win against National Police I'm sure you will be getting a few more parking tickets this month.

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't have fancied beating the ZRP police team in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe regime! Yes I think me and Sung Rot will have to be careful while riding around the streets of Phnom Penh for a while...

Edited by Jon1982
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Posted (edited)

Could we do a Leicester?

EDC, after 9 league games are surprisingly top of the C-League on goal difference after an excellent start to the season. While this is an unexpected turn of events, as I only really had ambitions of a top half finish in the table and hopefully a good cup run, perhaps this team is better than I imagined. After my intervention with the unregistered players I do now feel at least I am playing against the best players in the respective teams and most of them have been well contested matches.

 

Match 12 – National Defence v EDC 29/05/21

We travel to the army team, The National Defence top of the league on goal difference, so I am confident of a good result and performance, against a team who sit in 11th. I’m going with a traditional 4-4-2 with Sok and Udom up front. Chammeroun comes back at right back. New signing Rottanak starts on the bench.

Team: 4-4-2: Channou, Chanroeun, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Raksa, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

National Defence 1-EDC

  Yaty 72    ///                   Chanraksmey 34,36                                          

We have acquired a more ruthless streak this season. While the team were not at our best today, in fact the Defence Ministry had the better of the chances, we just had 2, but that is all that was needed against our wasteful opponents. Sok was in fine form, the two wingers were a threat and we did enough to gain three more points away from home.

Against the run of play, Ratana and Fasal combined down the left, before the latter chipped into the box which was met by Chanraksmy’s head. The second goal came  about from Ratana’s throw in, which found Keo Udom whose far post crossed found Veasna who laid it off beautfiully for Chanraksmy to fire home. Then from a free kick on 71 minutes, Yaty headed home a free kick to make it 2-1. We saw the game out from here manfully and not only are we ruthless, but also more difficult to beat. Maybe just maybe…

EDC sign Etim

A last minute signing has seen defensive midfielder, Raymond Etim join us from Svay Rieng. The Nigerian is also the first foreign signing to join our ranks and will provide good ball winning abilities and energy in defensive midfield, a kind of poor man's Ngolo Kante if you like. It also solves a problem position for us in defensive midfield after the departures of Punlock, Nara and the stupid Sedsody. 

Match 13 – EDC v Nagaworld 05/06/21

We are top and fear nobody. Last season’s champions, Nagaworld are surprisingly languishing in 10th, so the roles are reversed from last season. They have a decent team with lone of the best strikers in the C-League, George Kelechi leading the line and a lost Brazilian, Marques, plus the better end of the Cambodian players spectrum. For us, new signing, Etim makes his debut and Nara comes in for the suspended Daravon in central defence. I will keep to a 4-4-2 which has served us well recently. Let’s see what happens. 

Team: Channou, Channroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 1-3 Nagaworld

Rotha 92     /// Kelechi 21, Khemarin 45, Marques 77

Ouch that hurt. We were brought back down to earth by the reigning Champions, Nagaworld, who were simply too good on the day. Kelechi was a constant thorn in behind the defence, as they taught us a footballing lesson. A goal kick fell perfectly into his path, which I am sure was a match engine bug, (which I have named ‘Miroslav Klose’ after his goal against England in the World Cup 2010, which was straight from a goal kick) and he raced clear to slot past Um Channou. They hit the bar, before Khemarin dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half time for a 2-0 lead. For the first time this season I was angry with my defence and they were not too happy either. Attacking wise we looked OK with Veasna, Chanraksmey and K.Udom combining well. From the kick off in the second half Sung Rot sent Fasal racing down the right who squared to K.Udom who whacked it home, but strayed offside. Had that goal stood, things may have been different. We were better second half, but their quality was too much and Marques added a third near the end. Our consolation goal was quite good. From their corner the ball was cleared to substitute Ouch Udom, who sent Veasna racing down the right who crossed for sub Phanny Rotha to sweep home, but it was too little too late. 

Match 14 Angkhor Tiger v EDC 19/06/21

A top of the table clash..Yikes, not sure about this one. Even though we are top of the table, these guys are a good side who we will have to watch. Blessed with Brazilians and some other decent players, this will be a tough fixture. Last time we played them they taught us a footballing lesson. We are bound to go on a bad run at some time and the Tigers are dangerous.

Team: 4-2-3-1: Channou, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Sophahon, Raksa, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, Chanraksmey

Angkhor Tiger 1-2 EDC

Sergiopano 19 ////  Chanraksmey 66   Udom 82

This was a classic game of two halves. For the first half an hour we did not have any attacks and there seemed to be no way back when from a long free kick, Sergiopano scored with a powerful header. We limped on to half time, with just a Veasna free kick shown hitting the wall and deflecting for a throw-in the only highlight. I was not happy at half time and challenged the players to perform better. Boy did they listen!

Young Ouch Udom, introduced for the often disappointing Sun Rot became a driving force in midfield. He galloped forward before piercing the Tigers Defence with a pinpoint through ball for Chanraksmey whose initial shot was saved but then fired home the rebound from a very tight angle. Daravon in the heart of the defence was a beast. He was first to everything, throwing himself in the way of shots and keeping the dangerous Debeiro at bay. Then from a goal kick, sub Keo Udom galloped forward beating his man before firing an unstoppable shot past the keeper to make it 2-1. Angkhor pushed forward in the last ten minutes looking for an equaliser and Um Channou had to make a string of fine saves to preserve our lead. Brilliant second half performance and this result restores our three point lead at the top of the table.

Match 15- Hun Sen Cup 1st Round – EDC v Senate Secretariat 22/06/21

We are back in cup action, in the Prime Minister’s Cup 1st Round proper, where we take on 2nd Division outfit, Senate General Seretariat. I’ve rung the changes to give some of my squad players a chance. New young signing Rottanak is given a chance on the right wing, while promising striker Sam Chammeoun starts alongside forgotten man Phanny Rotha up front. I have Veasna and both the Udoms on the bench in case things go Pete Tong. Hopefully a nice easy win today.

Team: 4-2-4 Kong Rafat, Channroeurn, Sophina, Makara, Sophaon, O Udom, Etim, Rottanak, Saray, Rotha, S.Chanroeun

EDC 4-2 Senate Secretariat

S. Chanroeun 9,45 ///  Makara 64, Sovan 78

Rottanak 33

O.Udom 42

This was far more comfortable than it looked and we played very well to go 4-0 up. It was the youngsters who stole the show, Etim’s instant ball sent Rotha down the right channel. He crossed for youngster Sam Chanroeun to head in his first ever goal for EDC! Makara’s ball into the box found Tum Saray whose low cross was cleverly touched on by Rotha into the path of another youngster, Math Rottanak on debut to smash home number 2. Udom released Rotha in the right channel whose low cross was cut out by the defender whose clearance only found Ouch Udom on the edge of the area who fired in number 3 high into the roof of the net. Then, three minutes later our right back Rouen Chammerourn made progress down the right, found Udom, whose low cross was fired home on the turn by Sam Chameroun. 4-0! A cross from the left saw Choy head home to make it 4-1 They scored again to at least set my mentality to balanced from attacking, but caused no more alarms. I was a bit annoyed with our sloppiness to let in two late goals, but in the end it did not matter. We are safely through to the Quarter Finals.

Match 16 – EDC v Phnom Penh Crown 26/06/21

We are seriously punching above our weight this season and our position of being anywhere near the top of the table was unthinkable when I first took over the reigns at EDC in the middle of last season. How far we have come. Crown are one of the better sides in this league and have a good strike partnership of Booyens and Nigerian, Okereke and quality (for this league) throughout their team. We are still bang average in comparison on paper, but seem to be pulling off the impossible. Our luck must run out soon. I’m going with a 4-2-3-1, with Ouch Udom playing as a Carrilero, Chanraksmey up front alone and Channerourn back at full back. 

Team: Channou, Channroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, O.Udom, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, Chanraksmey

EDC 4-1 Phnom Penh Crown

K Udom 47, 54, 93                   Piseth 19

Veasna 75

I’m not quite sure what to say! Simply electrifying stuff in the second half from EDC saw us shock local rivals Phnom Penh Crown. We shaded the first half but were still a  goal down when against the run of play a hopeful ball caught Daravon underneath it. Piseth ran on to it and fired it powerfully past Um Channou. This is how it stayed at half time. I switched to a 4-4-2 and brought Keo Udom for his namesake Ouch. What a masterstroke this turned out to be.

On 47 minutes, Booyen inexplicably gave the ball away to Keo Udom who swapped passes with Fasal before placing the ball past the keeper onto the post. As the ball went agonisingly across the face of goal Udom was the first to the rebound to tap the ball home. 1-1

Then as our corner was cleared, Etim picked up the ball in midfield. He found Sung Rot, who played it into Udom in the area. His turn and shot beat the keeper, 2-1. EDC are on fire! Sung Rot picks up the ball in acres of space before slipping in Veasna who hits an unstoppable shot into the corner 3-1!!

High voltage football from EDC! From deep in his own half Veasna flights a gorgeous ball to Keo Udom who instantly controlled it, before cheekily lobbing the onrushing keeper to complete a marvellous hat-trick. Electrifying stuff!

I can’t get over how good this team has become and we are still classed as ‘minnows’ in this league yet find ourselves a whopping 5 points clear at the top of the C-League after 13 games. We are doing this against all the odds. Not much money to spend, no scouting outside Cambodia’s borders, no foreign talent wishing to join (except Etim) from Cambodian clubs and no reputation.  The EDC fans were chanting towards the end of the game:

Were doing a ‘Leicester’

 Cambodian style!

The Table Doesn’t Lie

(After 13 matches)

1st EDC 30 pts

2nd National Police 25pts

3rd Angkor Tiger 24

4th Boeung Ket 23

5th Nagaworld 22

6th Phnom Penh Crown 22

7th Vishaka 21

8th Rithy Sen 18

9th Khemera Keila 18

10th Svay Rieng 16

11th National Defence 13

12th Asia Euro United 12

13th Build Bright United 9

14th Kirivong 4

I’m starting to feel dizzy now. At the exact halfway point in the season we are 5 points clear at the top of the C-League. 

EDC are 5 points clear in the C-League. Is this the start of a seamless road to glory, or will the chasing pack pour water over our rag-tag bunch of part-timers from The Cambodian National Grid? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

Edited by Jon1982
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High Voltage Football

My little fancied team, Electricitié Du Cambodge have lit up the C-League with some impressive results and performances, as we find ourselves five points clear at the top of the C-League, halfway through the season. Can we continue our amazing start to the season, starting with a home game against familiar foes, Vishaka?

Suon Makara Announces Retirement

I start with some sad news. My versatile D/MC, Suon Makara has announced he will not be renewing his contract and will seek to wind down his career. Makara put in some steady performances during our survival season last year, but has been on the fringes this term, apart from a few appearances in the Prime Minister’s Cup. We wish him all the best in his future career. His professionalism in the squad will be missed.

Match 17 EDC v Vishaka 04/07/21

Vishaka are familiar foes and yes the North Koreans are still going strong. They lie in 7th place, but this belies their ability. Mihalevic is still up front and we will have to watch he doesn’t finally come good against EDC. I’m forced into a change at the back and Sophina will come in for the suspended Khemarin. Rottanak replaces Saray on the bench after he picked up a knock in training. Otherwise it is the same team who started against Phnom Penh Crown.

Team: Channou, Ratana, Daravon, Sophina, Sophahon, O.Udom, Etim, Veasna, Sung Rot, Fasal, Chanraksmey

 

EDC 3-2 Vishaka

Chanraksmey 7,22 /// Vannak 27, Mihaljevic 74

Daravon 83

Three big points here. We are a different animal this season and can win games from almost anywhere. Vishaka and the men from Pyongyang were always a threat with their silky passing and running, but it was us who stormed into a 2-0 lead, Veasna’s throw in on the right to Sung Rot who beautifully turned his man before crossing from the byline onto Chanraksmy’s head who found the top corner. Then, from a throw in on the left Ratana’s deep cross found Chanraksmy’s head who nodded it low into the bottom corner. Fantastic!

Vishaka were much improved from the opening day of the season and out of nowhere, Choe Myong Ho spread a lovely ball to Daravon their onrushing full back before he squared it for Om Vannak on the edge of the area who fired in a blistering shot which beat Um Channou at his near post.

Things were about even as the half time whistle blew. Vishaka were not going away in this one, despite us dominating from long periods and with Fasal and Chanraksmey forcing fine saves from their keeper.

Etim gave the ball away. Chandara played a hopeful ball forward to Mihaleljevic in the left channel. There seemed to be little threat until the Croatian dinked the ball over Channou from a very tight angle, It was a well taken goal, but a kick in the teeth in a game we could have been 4-1 ahead.

It was tit for tat until EDC won a free kick, which Veasna floated to the back post where defender Maul Daravon up from the back powered a header into the top corner 3-2 to become an unlikely hero! We saw the game out with no major incident and breathed a huge sigh of relief! Seven points clear now, this is getting Keegan esque….

Match 18 – Rithy Sen v EDC 10/07/21

Despite being in 10th place, Rithy Sen have a good team and I expect them to give us a good game. We are a well oiled machine though these days and hope we can maintain our great form and extend our lead at the top of the table, I will start with a 4-2-3-1 with Khemarin back from suspension and Channerourn in contention too. My hunch is to go with the XI who have had three straight wins.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Channou, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Sophahon, Etim, O.Udom, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, Chanraksmey

Rithy Sen 1-2 EDC

  Piphop 67  /////     Veasna 57, Daravon 85

As an old Scottish commentator would have said. “When your are not playing well and ya have ta Grrind out a result... well that’s what EDC have done today!” 

It bodes well if we can not play that well but still come away with three points. Rithy Sen had the better of the first half and twice Daravon and Khemarin had to chase back and make last ditch tackles to save the day. Meanwhile at the other end we kept the ball well but created little. 0-0 at half time.

Second half I changed to a 4-4-2 in order to try and open the game up. K. Udom and Chanraksmey though did not have their shooting boots on. The deadlock however was broken when Fasal skipped past his full back on the right wing before playing a far post cross to Veasna whose first time shot hit the defender before falling kindly back to the winger who volleyed it superbly into the corner. Rithy Sen responded and soon after Ouk Dara advanced down the left from a throw in and crossed perfectly for the dangerous Piphop to head in the equaliser.

Then from their corner, the ball was cleared to Fasal who sprinted down the right, but was upended by Rous Sophana who was promptly sent off for a professional foul. Veasna floated in the resulting free kick, Daravon headed towards goal, the keeper could only parry it into the path of the central defender who lashed home the rebound for his second winning goal in two games. Unbelievable Jeff!

Match 19- EDC v Asia Euro United 17/07/21

By this season’s standards this should be an easy three points against 11th place Asia Euro United. I was also buoyed by the news that their star Nigerian striker, Samuel Ajayi had, just two day before the match signed for a club back in his homeland. Ajayi tore us apart late last season in a 4-2 defeat and so I am glad we will not have to face him. We are forced into 3 changes due to injury and suspension, with Channerourn replacing the suspended Ratana at right back, Sophina steps in for the suspended Daravon and Keo Udom replaces the injured Sung Rot and will partner Chanraksmey up front in a 4-2-4 formation. 

Team: Um Channou, Chameroun, Khemarin, Sophana, Sophohon. Etim, Udom, Fasal, Veasna, Keo Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 2-1 Asia Euro United

K.Udom 45   /////     Sambath 94

Veasna 60

This was a great win. In the first half it was even Steven with the visitors having the better of the chances and Channou pulling off some great saves. However, once again we kept our cool and took the lead, right on the stroke of half time. Veasna stormed down the right, before delivering the perfect cross for Keo Udom to nod home with a diving header to give us a 1-0 interval lead. I told them there was much room for improvement at half time and the message seemed to get through. We dominated the second half and AEU barely got out of their own half. They missed that cutting edge that Ajayi had once given them.

We were so dominant in the second half we were even intercepting their throw-ins. When Fasal did just that on the left wing he squared it to Veasna who smacked it into the top corner with an unstoppable shot. Simply electrifying! It was then just a matter of how many. Veasna was having a brilliant game and tormented his full back all afternoon. Chanraksmey was very quiet and was substituted for Rotha. I also gave a short debut to a young right back, Mom Veasna.

Right at the end, Asia Euro won a random free kick and Samabath rose to beat Channou who was caught in no man’s land to cause only a moment of concern. Five straight wins and eight points clear now.. Dare I dream?

Match 20 EDC v Khemera Keila 24/07/21

Khemera had a great start to the season and found themselves up in the top 4 and even turned us over 3-2 at their place. Since then they have faded off somewhat and lie in 8th place. They are still dangerous and posess pace and finishing throughout their forward line. Daravon and Sung Rot come back in after suspension and injury respectively in a 4-4-2 which has served us well so far this season.

Team: Channou, Channerourn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 6 -2 Khemera Keila

K.Udom 18               //////  Sokey 72, Suhana 90

Chanraksmey 19,43

Sung Rot 25

Fasal 61

Rotha 64

We were simply irrisistible today, just on a different planet to our opponents. Sung Rot was outstanding in the AMC role, committing defenders with his silky running. Chanraksmey came back to form after a couple of quiet games, Fasal had his best game in an EDC shirt and Etim is really finding his feet as our ball winning midfielder.

For our first goal he performed his ball winning role to perfection as he tackled their midfielder before slipping a lovely through ball to Keo Udom who did the rest. Then, after some neat passing between Channeoroun, Sung Rot and Veasna, resulted in the right winger playing a pinpoint through ball for Chanraksmey to run onto. He gained half a yard on the defender before finding the bottom corner with an accurate finish from a very tight angle.

Goal number three came when Khemarin won a 50-50 challenge which sent the ball up to Keo Udom who then laid it off to Chanraksmey who hit a stunning first time shot which sizzled into the bottom corner for his 17th goal of the season. 3-0 before half time!

Sung Rot exchanged passes with Ratana before storming to the edge of the box and unleashing a curling shot which flew into the bottom corner

From Channerourn’s throw in substitute Tum Saray squared the ball for Math Fasal, whose shot was fumbled by the keeper and crossed the line. 5-0

Sub Rotha skipped past his man into the box, before squaring to Fasal whose shot was parried by the keeper into the path of the onrushing Rotha who did the honours, 6-0. At 6-0 we switched off and looked rather complacent which rather disappointed me and it allowed them to get two consolation goals.

At 6-0 up, cries of Jonny Rudd’s Electric Army’ rang around Prey Veng.

From a long goal kick, Suhana found Sonkey who fired past Um Channou 6-1

Vichet fed their right winger Suhana who scored their second consolation. Not happy with the ending as we looked complacent.

A great win against Khemara who looked a shadow of the team which beat us 3-2 earlier in the season. Six wins in a row and amazingly with that result we have avoided relegation from the C-League because I had to pay a £60 bonus to my Assistant Manager, Nen Borey. Spend it wisely pal!

Eight points clear with a game in hand, EDC are walking the C-League... The only thing that can stop them now are complacency and mind games.. Surely this cannot happen, but as Jimmy Greaves used to say.. "It's a funny old game"

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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From a 1 horse Race To a 5 Horse Race

 

Currently EDC are together in electric dreams, over halfway through the season, eight points clear and favourites one would think to easily do the unthinkable and win the Cambodian C-League at a canter. Football though is a cruel game and Football Manager can be even crueller when the inner gods which lurk inside the game suddenly turn against you... Add to that complacency and tiredness and suddenly what seemed so simple can become very difficult indeed... 

Match 21: EDC v National Defence – Prime Minister’s Cup Quarter Final

Pre-Match Thoughts

After a great run in the league we now turn our attentions to The Prime Minister’s Cup Quarter final against National Defence. I really wanted a good cup run this season and thought at the start this would be our best chance of silverware because there was no way we could win the league. As things have turned out there is a chance we could do a league and cup double, which given where this team were when I took over is somewhat of a miracle. I go in with my trusted 4-4-2 but with a few changes. Rafat takes over from Channou in goal. I really like our young keeper and am keen to give him some first team exposure to aid his development. Udom comes in for the suspended Sung Rot and Rotha gets a game with Chanraksmy on the bench. 

Team: 4-4-2 Kong Rafat, Channerourn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, O.Udom, Veasna, Saray, Rotha, K.Udom

 

EDC 4-2 National Defence

Udom 42,77  //////////          Soksana 36, Muslim 40

Veasna 76 Saray 88      

A classic cup-tie which was literally a game of two halves. It was even with chances at both ends, but Soksana broke the deadlock when he raced clear from a cleared corner. Then, four minutes later a carbon copy saw Muslim this time break away from our corner and slot past Kong Rafat. What the hell was going on? Two-nil down at half time! I tweaked my attacking corner routine so we were better manned at the back if they broke away again from our set piece. Chanraksmey came on for Rotha and I pumped my fists and told them they had the ability to turn things around. They listened.

Veasna cut in from the left wing skipped past the full back and squared for Keo Udom who ran onto the ball and slotted past the keeper on his near post. 2-1. We pressed for an equaliser but had to be watchful for their swift counter attacks. Udom, Saray and Veasna came close, but were either saved, blocked, went over the bar or were offside. It looked like being one of those games when suddenly sub Raksa found Tum Saray who ran at the heart of the National Defence Ministry before slipping in Veasna who cut inside the box and found the corner of the net with a fine placed shot.

Then, Chanraksmey received the ball in midfield and ran at the National Defence before spraying a beautiful ball to Veasna on the left whose low cross found Keo Udom to sidefoot home. 3-2 what a comeback!

 

Fasal swung in the corner, the ball was cleared back to him. His cross evaded everyone except Veasna on the right who cooly laid the ball off to Tum Saray who placed the ball into the top corner with a great finish. To the semi-finals we go where we will face either Build Bright United or Second Division outfit, Oddar Meanchey.

Match 22: Build Bright United v EDC 30/07/21

It’s builders vs electricians in this latest C-League clash. In fact, if we worked together, perhaps we could build a new stadium or something.. Anyway to footballing matters and our high-flying team are still a little tired after their scintillating comeback in the Prime Minister’s Cup against the National Defence. Build Bright are struggling in the relegation zone with only 9 points so I am expecting nothing less than a win. Etim and Raksa are both suspended, while Channerurn is too tired after his cup exploits and Ratana is rested to the bench. I give a full debut to young right back Mom Veasna, Makara fills in the DMC role and Rottanak makes up the numbers on the bench.

Team: Um Channou, M. Veasna, Daravon, Khemarin, Sophahon, Makara, Sung Rot, S. Veasna, Fasal, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

Build Bright United 2-1 EDC

Kongsmarch 38                                  Sung Rot 45

Tola 74

I knew our luck had to run out sometime and today was the day. In the end we were second best and Build Bright thoroughly deserved their win. Stationing three men in defensive midfield and one AMC with 2 strikers ahead of them foxed us and they defended for their lives, diving in front of shots, tackling with tenacity and then counter attacked with precision. It could have been so different if Keo Udom’s wonder goal after 5 minutes was not mysteriously disallowed for an offside only the linesman could see. I knew then it wasn’t our day.

Kongsumach was given the freedom of the Olympic Stadium to waltz his way into the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 after an even opening half hour. We equalised before half time when Makara played the ball up to Udom who laid off for Chanraksmey who fired in a shot which was blocked. The ball fell to Sung Rot who lashed a magnificent shot into the top corner from well outside the area. Boy we needed that! Then Chanraksmey thudded the crossbar soon after.

 

Build Bright held their nerve and were the better team in the second half as they cut our static defence open with incisive running and balls over the top. Their deserved winner came when Leng Tola appeared out of nowhere unmarked in the box to lash home. We pressed for an equaliser but they were equally dangerous on the break and could have extended their lead. Disappointed, but this is by no means a disaster.

Match 24: Svey Rieng v EDC 07/08/21

I think it was a very complacent performance against Build Bright, a team we really should have beaten. Svey Rieng may be down in 10th, but they still possess quality, especially their two lost Brazilians, Pedro Pinheiro and Thiago Santos. Therefore we play a 4-2-3-1 with Chanraksmey as a lone striker, supported by the in-form Sung Rot. Channerourn and Ratana in the full back positions return after being rested against Build Bright. We must be on our game to beat them.

Team: 4-3-2-1 Channou, Channerourn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, O.Udom, Sung Rot, Fasal, Veasna, Chanraksmey

 

Svey Rieng 0-0 EDC

In normal circumstances this would have been a good away point against a team who thrashed us 4-1 last season. By the standards of this season though it is a bit disappointing and frustrating. It was not for the lack of trying, in fact we were by far the better side, against a Svay Rieng team who looked a bit clueless. In the first half, Chanraksmey came close on numerous occasions, but his shots were either saved or missed the target. Then Veasna skipped down the right flank as he so often does, before hitting a perfect cross to Chanraksmey who smacked the crossbar with a powerful header. That was our best chance of the game. In the second half the hosts came back into it, but it should have been three points to us. I hope we don’t live to regret these dropped points at the end of the season. On a side note this was the first 0-0 draw of my tenure at EDC and our first draw of the season.

The Best Ever Position for EDC in The C-League

So no matter what happens in the next seven games before the end of the season, we have secured our best ever league position in the C-League. Unfortunately Nagaworld have caught up with us after a 5-2 win over Asia Euro United, so the current champions are top of the table on goal difference. While I will be a tad disappointed if we don’t win the league after being 8 points clear at one stage, the club has progressed so much this season and I am proud of the lads for all they have achieved so far. To have some silverware to show for it would be the icing on the cake. The fans are excited that their team will finish in the highest league position in the club’s short history.

Match 24: Beoung Ket v EDC 

25/09/21

A win here could see us go back to the top of the table with a game in hand over Nagaworld. After a long rest since our last game, the lads are raring to go. Unfortunately both Daravon and Khemarin are both suspended so Raksa and Sophina are marshalling the defence today, I stick to a 4-2-3-1 formation. Beoung Ket are a good team and will cause us problems.

Team: Channou, Channeroun, Sophina, Raksa, Ratana, Etim, Ouch Udom, Veasna, Sung Rot, Fasal, Chanraksmey

 

EDC 3-4 Beoung Ket

O Udom 9          ////   Noron 3, 69

Chanraksmey 31        Polroth 51

K.Udom 79                 Rozip 67

F***adoodledoo! Annoyed, disapointed, frustrated, all of these things. First half we did well, despite going a goal behind when, from their throw in Ivanaldo was left with time and space to find Noron’s head with a right wing cross 1-0. Then out of the blue we won a free kick just outside the box, which young Ouch Udom lashed into the roof of the net, although their keeper could have done better. 1-1. O.Udom floated in another free kick and Chanraksmey climbed above the keeper to make it 2-1. Young Ouch Udom was running the midfield, but moments after was cruelly injured after a hefty challenge and he had to go off. From here the tide turned. After half time it was all Beoung Ket. We barely laid a glove on them before Polroth picked up the ball ran forward and fired an unstoppable shot past Channou. 2-2

Then Rizip, their other centre mid did a similar thing. We cannot get near this lot, it‘s a bit like Man U v Barcelona in that European Final where Man U just could not get the ball off Barcelona. Every phase of play started with a green shirt, not a blue one. Ridiculous! They scored another goal, I was so annoyed I didn’t even see what happened. Keo Udom pulled one back after an incisive breakaway instigated by Veasna. Saray went close late on, but we were not good enough today and on that display do not deserve to be Champions.. Nagaworld are one point above us, with today’s conquerers, Beoung Ket just one point behind.. This is now a five-horse race for the C-League title and I have to remind myself that for us to be in the conversation is already a great achievement.

Top of The Table

 
Nagaworld 44
 
EDC 43
 
Boeung Ket 42
 
National Police 42
 
Angkor Tiger 40
 

Match 25 – EDC v National Police

Whoop Whoop, this is the sound of the Police, Woop Woop This is the sound of the Police. The Cambodian constabulary are in town and they will be looking to further their own title ambitions. Ouch Udom who has impressed this season with some eye-catching performances is still injured, so Long Rothesary is given his chance in midfield. Saray is preferred to Fasal on the left wing. I line up 4-2-3-1. We need a result here to keep pace with the other teams who have caught up with us.

Channou, Channerouen, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, Rothesary, Veasna, Sung Rot, Saray, Chanraksmey

 

EDC 3-1 National Police

Chanraksmey 7   ////    Soksan 87

Nasary (o.g) 32

Sung Rot 41

An arresting display of attacking football saw us come away with a solid 3-1 win. We were back to our old selves today, strong at the back, creative in midfield and lethal up front. The Police carelessly gave the ball away. Veasna playing on the left, picked up the loose ball before feeding Saray on the right who played a wonderful first time ball to Sok Chanraksmey who did what he does best, find the corner of the net.

Haha a criminal goal conceded from the Police. Long Rothesary’s overhit pass did not look to pose any threat until their goalkeeper, Khek Sambath’s clearance hit Veasna and trickled into the net. The Police hit the post from a free kick soon after, but then at the other end, a clever low drilled free kick from Veasna fell to Sung Rot in the penalty area who stabbed home for 3-0! Soksan scored a late consolation goal near the end, headng in from a corner, but it was us who take a deserved three points and go back to the top of the C-League table.

Race For The Title

The race for the title at the top of the C-League is hotting up, with 5 teams in with a shout, with just 6 games left. We have a tough run-in, with the stand out fixture on 16th October when we travel to the holders, Nagaworld, which will be the penultimate fixture of the campaign and possibly a title decider!

Remaining League Fixtures:

Kirivong (a)

National Defence (h)

Angkor Tiger (h)

Nagaworld (a)

Phnom Penh Crown (a)

Can EDC continue their march to glory, or will it all go Kevin Keegan? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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I'd Love It If We Beat Them, Love It!!

(Picture of Kevin Keegan pointing his finger during his infamous rant in April 1996)

"If EDC win the C-League it would be the biggest footballing shock since Leicester City won the 2015/16 Premier League season in Rudd's home country of England and there are certain elements in the C-League who would want a similar thing to happen here in Cambodia, to put it on the footballing map. It is obvious to me and to other managers in the league that some teams are not trying hard enough to beat them in order to make this dream a reality."

- Sam Chanvirak - Nagaworld Manager

My season so far with EDC has been in some ways amazing and in some ways frustrating that a slight run of bad league form has enabled the chasing pack to catch up with us. We do have a game in hand on those against bottom of the table Kirivong, who have been useless all season and have just sacked their manager. While there is sure to be high drama on the pitch, the off the field battle has also commenced. Printed in the Phnom Penh Gazette was an article by Nagaworld manager, Sam Chanvirak. I had to of course get Nen Borey to translate it into English, as it was written entirely in Khmer. In it he suggested that teams were not trying hard enough against EDC and that it seemed that the whole of Cambodia were on a crusade to ensure EDC won the title. This apparently is because they were 'Doing a Leicester' and that by them winning the title with an English manager, it may finally put Cambodia on the footballing map. Armed with this knowledge I marched into the press conference before the Kirivong game with a copy of the article in my hand...

The press of course were all over this one and they were not to be disappointed....

"Were still fighting for this title...and well Chanvirak went down in my estimation when he said that about a man like Neou Makara (manager of National Police) and if he's watching, were still fighting for the C-League title and he's got to go to Svay Rieng and get something.. and i'll tell you I'd love it if we beat them... Love it! Mic drop. Storm Out button clicked...End of Press Conference...

Match 25 – Kirivong v EDC

Already relegated Kirivong have nothing to lose against us and have a new manager to impress, so my boys need to be on their mettle. We should put this lot away with the quality and performances that we have shown this season to get us to the position we are in now. I will attack this with a 4-4-2 and hope to get an early goal to ease the pressure and allow the floodgates to hopefully open.

Team: Channou, Channroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Saray, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

Kirivong 4-3 EDC

Lelouma 26, Sophorn 36///// Chanrakmey 37, K.Udom 38, 71

Tola 45, Roma 73

Bitterly disappointed. On paper we should have thrashed this lot but Kirivong were a lot better than their league position. With nothing to lose they were first to every ball, attacked with pace and the front two of Leluoma and Tola a constant handful. Kirivong look up for this, were clearly trying to impress their new manager and they have nothing to lose. Lelouma headed in their opener and then they doubled their lead from another header. Suddenly though we found our mojo. Chanraksmey pulled one back for EDC, running onto a flighted free kick from Channroeurn and firing low into the bottom corner. Then Veasna fed Chanraksmey who turned and ran with the ball before slipping a lovely through ball for K Udom to slot home the equaliser. But.. then a ball was played forward and Um Tola smartly turned his man before slotting past Um Channou.. Grrrrr!!!!! 3-2 at half time.

After half time we dominated and then substitute Fasal chipped the ball forward for K Udom to turn his man and lash a shot against the bar, only to poke home the rebound. 3-3

Then the killer winning goal. Touch Roma picked up the ball in midfield before dribbling with it and unleashing a 30 yard shot which slipped under the body of Um Channou 4-3. We tried to force an equaliser, with Fasal and K Udom having further chances, but as the Scottish often say.. 'it wasnae to be.' We will kick ourselves big time for this defeat as this was our game in hand and we have could have gone 5 points clear. Anyway, all is not lost onto the next one..

Prime Minister’s Cup Semi Final Draw

I finally got to find out my semi-final opponents in the Prime Minister’s Cup. Second Division Group B outfit, Oddar Meanchey shocked Build Bright United on penalties to set up the last 4 tie.

EDC Board Offers Rudd A New Contract

The board have offered me a new contract for the princely sum of £140 per week, with £0 transfer funds, £750 wage budget and a remit to merely keep EDC in the C-League. At my request I get a £1,000 payment if I can take EDC to league glory and £500 if I win the Hun Sen Cup.

Match 26 National Defence v EDC 18/09/21

After the disappointment against Kirivong I am keen to ensure we stay positive for the trip to the National Defence. The title is in our own hands now, win the last 4 remaining games and the C-League Title is ours, including against Nagaworld, the reigning champions and our closest challengers. We line up 4-2-3-1 with Raksa and Sophina coming in for the suspended Daravon and Khemarin. Long Rothesary is given another opportunity in centre mid with Sung Rot just behind Chanraksmey and Fasal preferred to Saray on the left wing. A must win.

EDC 3-5 National Defence

Fasal 36, K.Udom 65,   /////////  Soskana 13,41     

Chanraksmey 90     //////////       Omaokafe 19,59 Da 50

I hate this stupid game! I really hate it and I am never going to play it again! We should have won this. Earlier in the season we were putting away teams like National Defence away for fun as we climbed our way to the top of the table. Now we are here we are a jibbering wreck, unable to stop conceding stupid goals on the break and unable to win for toffee. Cross charged down, long hoof upfield, quick striker runs onto it and scores. That happened twice in the first 20 minutes. Raksa and Sophina were clueless in defence , especially against their Nigerian forward, Omokafe, who might as well of been Pele! He tore our defence apart with his Cambodian mate, Phoung Soksana and we just could not cope. Every time the ball was played forward I held my breath as Sophina and Raksa trundled after their tormentors like a pair of asthmatic ants with some very heavy shopping (Copyright Blackadder)

Normally when I write the descriptions of each goal they are exactly as they happen. On this occasion I was so peed off I couldn’t be bothered to describe them. In fact my descriptions contained a lot of swear words and writing Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh a lot.

We only started playing when we were 5-1 down and bagged two late consolation goals from K Udom and Chanraksmey, but the damage was already done. Down to second place we go and our title dreams in tatters….:(

                                                                          Picture of Kevin Keegan slumped over the advertising hoardings after the Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle game in 1996..

Ouch Udom Called Up to Cambodia U19 Squad

 

Our young midfielder has been rewarded for his fine form for EDC with a call up to the national U19 squad. He has been injured of late, but we have missed his energy and creativity in midfield.

Match 27- Oddar Meanchy v EDC Prime Minister’s Cup Semi Final 21/09/21

Time for a bit of cup action to take our minds off our faltering title challenge. I think this has come at a good time and my determination to win the competition has increased so at least I have some silverware to show for this on the whole excellent season. We will play a 4-2-3-1, with Makara filling in for the suspended Etim, Daravon and Khemarin return to central defensive duties, while Leng Sophahon comes in at left back with Ratana on the opposite flank. I’m taking this seriously as Chanraksmey starts as a lone striker. Oddar Meanchy for their part have done brilliantly to get to this stage of the competition and lie 7th in the Second Division Group B. I’m hoping for a good result and performance to regain some much needed confidence.

Team: Kong Rafat, Sophahon, Khemarin, Daravon, Ratana, Makara, Suhana, Veasna, Fasal, Saray, Chanraksmey,

Oddar Meanchy 1-2 EDC

Ratha 25                   //////            Chanraksmey 70 (pen), 88

Just when I thought it was going to be another one of them days, we scrape through to the Prime Minister’s Cup Final. We dominated possession without creating too much in the first half. Then from a random corner, the Second Division side took a shock lead when Chan Ratha scored with a bullet header. Despite the scoreline we still dominated the game but every chance seemed to end up with a block by their resolute defence or a save from their keeper. K Udom was brought on at half time to partner a rather lost looking Chanraksmy and Veasna played as an inside forward to support them. Chance after chance went a-begging as EDC knocked on the door. Then, the ever impressive Veasna received the ball on the right and cut into the penalty area and was felled. Penalty. Chanraksmey stepped up and fired the penalty into the top corner although the keeper got a strong hand on it. We pressed for a winner and that moment came when Suon Makara flighted a lovely ball for Chanraksmey to run onto, before cooly slotting past the keeper into the bottom corner. Young Kong Rafat made a fine fingertip save near the end to prevent the equaliser. Oddar Meanchy proved to be tough opponents and I wish them well for the rest of their campaign. Nagaworld await us in the final!

Back to The Bread & Butter of The League

Top of The League

1st Nagaworld 47

2nd Boeung Ket 46

3rd EDC 46

4th National Police 45

5th Phnom Penh Crown 43

So here we are in 3rd place on goal difference, with just two points separating the top four teams. It’s between us, Nagaworld, Boeung Ket and The National Police. There’s just three games to go, fasten your seatbelts and hold on tight!

Cambodian Player Of The Year Nominees

Sok Chanraksmey and Keo Udom have been nominated for Cambodian player of the year. In total so far they have 45 league and cup goals between them and their goals have fired EDC into the top 3 of the C-League.

It is the business end of the season and it is simple, we have to win our last three league games and hope the others drop points. I tackle this with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Long Rothesary coming into midfield. They have quality in their attack with Debeiro and Ayakoniwa who will be a threat, but I back my team to do well if we are on our game.

Team: Um Channou, Sophahon, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Makara, Etim, Sung Rot, Fasal, Veasna, Chanraksmey

EDC 4-3 Angkor Tiger

Chanraksmey 6 ///////  Osa 16, Samnang 28,65 

Sung Rot 30

K.Udom 63,86

What a game! What a game! I’m exhausted just thinking about this one. Think Newcastle v Liverpool all those years ago, with Keo Udom taking on the role of Stan Collymore… Unbelievable stuff! Where do I start?

We looked up for this one right from kick off and made a brilliant start! Fasal surged down the left, played it inside to Chanraksmey who tried to play in Sung Rot. The goalkeeper intercepted but the ball rickashayed to Chanraksmey who slotted into an empty net.

Their equaliser came soon after a far post free kick was met by their big defender, Ose who headed the ball into he top corner. Then from another random free kick which was whipped in and met by the head of Sok Samnang.

Not long after from a cleared corner Etim picked the ball up in midfield and flighted a lovely ball into the box, where Sung Rot volleyed in, reminiscent of David Platt against Belgium in Italia ’90 It’s Desmond!

We switched to a 4-4-2 diamond formation with Keo Udom introduced for the evergreen Makara. Sophahon played the ball up to the substitute, whose cushioned header was picked up by Sung Rot who slipped a sumptuous through ball to Udom who scored with a cheeky dink past the keeper in the corner 3-2 EDC!

Debeiro laid it off to Mantionornin who roasted young Ratana before sending a peach of a cross for Samnang to bag his second with a header 3-3

Then came the winner and perhaps a defining moment in our season. Channou’s long kick found Chanraksmey who fed the onrushing Keo Udom who hit a low shot into the corner of the net 4-3 Rudd and Nen Borey celebrate at the side of the pitch like Ferguson and Kidd back in 1993/94. We held on just, although they missed a clear cut header from another whipped in free kick. Udom on the breakaway could have had his hat-trick, but this is a very important win which keeps our title hopes very much alive! We are now second on goal difference from Boeung Ket. 

The title race is going to go down to the wire and the whole of Cambodia is enthralled!  Can part-timers EDC still achieve the impossible? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, BenArsenal said:

Looks like you've been Keegan-ed. :D

Yes this season is reminiscent of Newcastle in '96, but that's what makes FM such a great game 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, glennuk said:

Just read this through in the last 24 hours. Enjoying it so far KUTGW

Thankyou. Glad you are enjoying the story so far Glenn 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Seeking Divine Intervention

The C-League Table with 2/3 Games to go

1st Beoung Ket 49

2nd EDC 49

3rd National Police 48

4th Nagaworld 47

5th Phnom Penh Crown 43

The Run In

We have the hardest last two games of the league season, with trips to rivals, Nagaworld and Phnom Penh Crown, who are in 5th and certainly no pushovers. Therefore we must beat Nagaworld as they have relegated Kirivong at home on the last game, which as we found won’t be a gimme, but someone they should beat. Boeung Ket also face the bottom side and the unpredictable National Defence. It seems as if Kirivong will also have a big say in the destination of the C-League title.

EDC

16th October: Nagaworld (a)

18th October Nagaworld (a) (Prime Minister's Cup Final)

31st October: Phnom Penh Crown (a)

Beoung Ket

23rd October: Kirivong (a)

31st October: National Defence (a)

National Police

23rd October: National Defence (a)

31st October: Angkor Tiger (a)

Nagaworld

16th October: EDC (h)

18th October EDC (h) Prim

Minister's Cup Final 

30th October: Kirivong (h)

Seeking Divine Intervention

 

Today was Wednesday and as usual on this day of the week the training ground at Prey Veng was empty, as my semi pro players were at the Cambodian National Grid doing their day jobs. It was a hot day, as it normally is in Cambodia, but today even with the office windows wide open and the fan on full blast, the heat was still stifling. 

There was no fixture either for another two weeks, not until 16th October when we travelled to our title rivals Nagaworld in what is being billed as a title decider, although there are 4 teams who still have a chance of winning the league.

Then, stupidly just two days later on the Monday we meet the same opponents in The Prime Ministers Cup Final. The scheduling was terrible and surely they could have moved the league fixture forward a few days for the benefit of both sides.

I was fuming about this and together with the heat of the day was not in the best of moods or great company for my Assistant Manager, Nen Borey who sat opposite me in the office.

"Why can't we just play the league match even just a few days earlier to make sure the players can have a couple more days rest," I raged. "It's alright for Nagaworld they have professional players, but our boys are only part time." It's ridiculous to expect them to play two matches of such importance in just 3 days."

"There's nothing more we can do, reasoned Nen, We've tried the Cambodian FA and they refused to budge, we tried talking to Nagaworld and they told us to get a grip (I think that was also in reference to my Keegan style rant at the press conference) and our Chairman even tried writing a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen himself, but he has received no reply."

We were supposed to be going over some scouting reports and various admin tasks as we usually did on a Wednesday, but this morning neither of us were feeling it.

Nen Borey suddenly had an idea.

"Then there is only one other person we can take this matter to boss!"

"Who, The President of FIFA?"

"No."

"The Dalai Lama?"

"Getting closer.."

"I don't know, "

"We take this matter to The Almighty Buddha himself."

Nen Borey suddenly leapt out of his office chair and sat cross legged on the ground as if about to pray.

Buddhism is the dominant religion in Cambodia and it was not unusual to see my staff and even some of the players pray and seek guidance from The Enlightened One before a game. While I was not a practicing Buddhist, in fact not a particularly religious person at all, I allowed this to happen as I thought it was good for team morale and at the end of the day, who am I to tread all over their culture in their country.

While I did not really believe that Buddha would make the Cambodian FA, Nagaworld, or even Hun Sen sympathise with our plight I allowed my Assistant Manager to continue his ritual uninterrupted. 

After a few minutes Nen leapt to his feet.

"Boss, this is no use, it is too hot in here I cannot do this here.. but I have an idea.. These scouting reports.. they can wait until tomorrow. Boss, I think it is about time you saw a bit of our wonderful country," he said excitedly.

"Ok sounds interesting, what do you have in mind?" I enquired.

"I am going to take you on a spiritual journey, my friend. I am going to take you to the largest religious site in the whole world, the great, Angkor Wat he said pointing excitedly at the centre of a Cambodian flag which was flying in the corner of the room and has a depiction of Cambodia's most famous landmark in the middle.

To be honest I'd had enough of endless scout reports for players who were clearly not good enough, or good players who did not want to join a semi-pro outfit. Secondly I'd only really seen Cambodia through a coach window as we were travelling to and from away grounds and even then I was thinking about football, not really taking in the obviously beautiful landscapes that this country had to offer.

"Yes OK, I'm up for it. I'll leave a note for the scouting team which acknowledges their hard work, but tells them to stop scouting these players and concentrate on Nagaworld, then we shall go. How far is it?

Nen Borey took his car keys out of his pocket. "We'd better go now though, it's nearly a 6 hour drive, just to warn you.."

I nodded in agreement, anything to get out of the office for the day and Wednesday was a spare day anyway. We walked out to the club car park at Prey Veng in Eastern Phnom Penh and set off on the long, spiritual journey to Angkor Wat, the largest religious site in the world.

As we travelled out of Phnom Penh on the NR11 road, passing houses on either side, interspersed by the odd shop and palm trees, still in the blazing sun; and dodging past the oncoming cyclists and scooters which are common modes of transport in Cambodia, Nen Borey told me about the history of Angkor Wat.

Apparently it was built in the 12th Century by the then King of the Khmer Empire, Surayavarman II and was originally a Hindu temple. It was the  kingdom's state temple and the centre of the Khmer empire, which stretched into modern day Thailand, Laos and Malaysia. In fact Angkor in the Khmer language means 'Capital City,' while 'Wat' means temple. Then in 1177 Angkor Wat was taken over by The Chams, a rival group to the Khmer and the new king Jayavarman converted it to a Buddhist site of which it has remained ever since. The site was abandoned after the 16th Century and was left derelict, becoming buried under the jungle which grew up around it.

Fast forward 300 years and Angkor Wat was re-discovered by the French, who had colonised Cambodia in 1863, making it a Protectorate. After its re-discovery by the French explorer, Henri Mouhot the site then underwent excavation and reconstruction to its former glory. After Cambodia became independent in 1953 the re-construction carried on until the Civil War and Khmer Rouge occupation of the 1970s halted its progress. During their regime Angkor Wat remained largely undisturbed, apart from some bullet holes which were caused by a battle between Khmer Rouge forces and the Vietnamese Army. In 1992 Angkor Wat became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, becoming the largest tourist attraction in Cambodia and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from across the world.

The drive was long. A five hour car journey for an Englishman is a military operation and the distance between Prey Veng to Angkor Wat was approximately 200 miles. That's like travelling from Leeds to London in the UK. I was surprised how far it was in a seemingly small country like Cambodia. 

After many miles of straight roads with flooded fields either side and mountains in the distance, intersected by the occasional town or village which lay on the NR71, we finally reached our destination at around 1.30 in the afternoon.

We parked in the car park and got out, bought our tickets and made our way to explore the magnificent temple. I am not a religious man, but I was taken aback by the sheer size and magnificence of this place. It made the ruins of Fountains Abbey back home in Yorkshire look like a mere parish church in comparison. 

Football was furthest from our minds as we absorbed the mystique and aura of this place. As we stood in the middle of a square, surrounded by the walls of the ruins I felt a tap on my shoulder. There stood before me was a lad, no more than about 10, with his father.

"It's him, EDC! EDC! I'd love it if we beat them love it!"

"Mr Rudd, selfie please selfie," he exclaimed excitedly.

I was unsure how to respond and whether the taking of selfies was permitted on such ancient holy ground, so I reluctantly posed as his father, held his smartphone up to take me and his beaming son.

"Thankyou Mr Rudd, EDC! EDC!" I grinned at him and his father, who nodded to say thankyou as they walked away. 

I went back to admiring the ruined temple once again when I was approached by an older man. 

"Mr Rudd, you are manager of Electricité Du Cambodge?"

"Yes I am sir. Nice to meet you," as I shook his hand.

"My village of Chhlong, by the Mekong river, we often have power cuts, the electricity supply is not good! Please can you fix?"

"Well sir, I don't really have anything to do with the electricity supply, I just manage the football team, of which most of the players work at the Cambodian National Grid, but I will have a word with one of my players, Maol Daravon, who I think might be able to help."

"Thankyou Sir, thankyou, hope you beat that Nagaworld scum in the Hun Sen Cup!"

"Thankyou, we'll do our best Sir!"

While conversing with the old gentleman, what I was oblivious to, but Nen Borey was trying his best to manage was the ever growing crowd around us in the courtyard.

We had now been recognised by almost everyone around, especially by the locals and the odd bemused Chinese tourist. Suddenly somebody cried,

"Jonny Rudd's Electric Army!", "Jonny Rudd's Electric Army,!" "Jonny Rudd's Electric Army!" More joined in.

"Jonny Rudd's Electric Army!," "Jonny Rudd's Electric Army!"

So here I was stood in the middle of the largest religious site in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, 200 miles away from my apartment in Phnom Penh and thousands of miles away from Blighty, having my name chanted over and over again, Football truly is a religion in Cambodia.

Then one wag piped up, "I'd love it if we beat them" and the rest of the crowd shouted "Love It!" in response. I had to admire their ingenuity, although I was slightly embarrassed by the attention and the reference to my famous press conference.

I turned to Nen Borey, who was probably just as embarrassed as I was.

"That is how much you are loved in Cambodia boss!" he shouted over the surrounding noise. 

It did not take long before security stepped in and dispersed the crowd.

"If you all hate National Police clap your hands." (Clap Clap!) Boo! Boo!"

Emerging from the crowd was a very well dressed little man, adorned with bright orange robes and  glasses.
 
"Mr Rudd, Mr Borey," he greeted us with a little bow with his hands clasped together in front of him.
 
"My name is Sonny Mekarna, I am from the Wat Ounaloum temple in Phnom Penh. Greetings. It is great to meet you both. Your football team, it has given us great joy to see them play so well! Please, come and join us in prayer. I hear you have some important games coming up!"
 
He led us around the corner from the courtyard in which the chanting had taken place. There before us was the most beautiful lake. It glistened serenely in the blazing afternoon sunshine. Sat in a circle on a piece of grass were more orange robed monks, who greeted us warmly.
 
"Let us pray to The Almighty Buddha, for Electricitie Du Cambodge to win the league and cup this season! 
 
As I gazed out over the lake as we began our meditation I felt so calm and relaxed. When I closed my eyes I imagined Suon Veasna crossing the ball to the far post and an imaginary Buddha, dressed in the navy blue shirt of EDC heading in the winning goal to win the cup for EDC!
 
After a fantastic time of prayers, meditation and chat, we bid our holy friends farewell. As we made the long journey back to Phnom Penh I felt that we had the divine inspiration to win, regardless of how close the fixtures were, just two days apart. We would find the strength and The Almighty Buddha had given us that.
 
Nen Borey may only have a 'Judging Player Ability' rating of 3, but he has a 20 for thinking of great days out in Cambodia on our "days off!"
 

Match 29: Nagaworld v EDC 16/10/21

It’s been a long two weeks since our thrilling 4-3 win over Angkor Tiger which I am not sure works in our favour, as the buzz has somewhat faded from that game. My trip to Angkor Wat has given me a boost and I believe we can still win at the very least one of league or cup. They don’t come much bigger than this. Last year’s champions are just a point behind us and still in with more than a shout of retaining their crown. Kelechi is still banging the goals in for them, along with the Japanese winger Kawabata, who is a threat on the left. On paper they are better than us, but then this season we have made a living out of beating the bigger sides against the odds and find ourselves in with a chance of winning our first Cambodian title. Whatever happens in the next three games we have done brilliantly this season to be even in this position, despite our Newcastle style meltdown.

Just before kick-off news came through that The National Police beat the National Defence 1-0, which means the old bill go to the top of the table and we slip to 3rd.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Channou, Channroeurn, Khemarin, Daravon, Sophaon, Etim, Makara, Sung Rot, Fasal, Veasna, Chanraksmey

Nagaworld 2-1 EDC

Piseth, Kelechi  /////    Sung Rot

Disappointed! We could have won this, but Nagaworld showed why they are champions today. After a bright start from us, with Sung Rot’s stinging shot tipped over the bar, it was the hosts who opened the scoring. A random free kick, flighted to the back post was met by the head of Piseth to break the deadlock. We rallied and forced a couple of good saves but at half time it was 1-0 to them. I put on Keo Udom at half time, in place of the dependable Makara. He made an instant impact when he ran at the heart of the defence, before finding Chanraksmey in the penalty area, His poor touch was a stroke of genius as it allowed him to be tackled. The ball fell to Udom who squared it to Sung Rot who found the corner of the net. I really thought from here we would go on and win. Instead. Nothing. Not a sausage, just their throw-ins, their free-kicks, everything for them... We couldn’t lay a glove on them, couldn’t keep the ball or create anything. Then, the killer blow. Their full back, Charatana had the ball on roughly the halfway line and seemingly there was no danger, until he unleashed a pinpoint ball to the onrushing Kelechi who muscled his way past Khemarin and Sophina  to lash the ball into the net… That was it really, I set to all out attacking, but I was just met with a wall as Nagaworld just snuffed out anything we could muster. Everything, tackled blocked or offside. This was a frustrating performance which promised much, but delivered little. No C-League title for EDC this season. It’s safe to say, Buddha doesn’t do football…

EDC have a very slim chance of winning the C-League, but can they exact revenge on Nagaworld in the Prime Minister's Cup Final? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 
 
 
Edited by Jon1982
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I love that you've clearly done your research into this. Like I mentioned before, it's like travelling by proxy. Love it! :D

I've been to Angkor Wat. It's nice but very touristy. :p

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21 minutes ago, BenArsenal said:

I love that you've clearly done your research into this. Like I mentioned before, it's like travelling by proxy. Love it! :D

I've been to Angkor Wat. It's nice but very touristy. :p

Thanks that's great to hear from somebody who has actually been to Cambodia. I've never been anywhere near there, so have to rely on websites and Google Earth for my information. I wanted this post to be factually correct, respectful to Buddhism, but also funny at the same time by putting it in a footballing context too. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

22. Mixing Sport with Politics - The Hun Sen Cup Final

 

There is an old saying, 'Never mix sport and politics.' It seems though this saying never crossed the Gulf of Thailand into Cambodia, as their principal football trophy is named after their Prime Minister, Hun Sen. This guy has been in office since 1985 and is one of the longest serving leaders in the world. Naming your major cup competition after your Prime Minister got me thinking, what if they did this back in England? Currently the FA cup would be known as The Boris Johnson Cup and I can imagine that Liverpool and Everton fans would be horrified at the thoughts of their teams winning the Margaret Thatcher Cup back in the 1980s.

Anyway Hun Sen apparently will be there at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium to present the trophy to the winners, either us or Nagaworld.

Match 30: Hun Sen Cup Final EDC v Nagaworld 18/10/21

Here we go! After Nagaworld all but ended our title hopes in the league, just two days ago, we come up against them in the Hun Sen Cup Final. I have dry-cleaned my suit, sorted out tickets for my family and friends, who have travelled all the way from England and refined my tactics to try and beat the mighty Nagaworld. This is my first chance of silverware in the Ultimate World Football Manager Game and despite our disappointing league form over the course of the season the lads deserve something to show for what has been an amazing season so far. Tactic wise I have gone for a slightly different formation. Veasna is sadly suspended, but this has created the opportunity to change things up a bit. We will play a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Makara and Etim providing the engine room win midfield, Ouch Udom playing as a Mezzala and Sung Rot in behind the front pairing of Keo Udom and Chanraksmey. I feel we are more potent with these two up front and they have 24 goals each in league and cup. It is a gamble, but one worth taking as we struggled to contain their midfield three in the last game. The only downside is we lack width and will have to rely on Sophahon and Ratana getting forward from full back. I think this is the only way we can beat them and bring some much deserved silverware back to Prey Veng.

Team: 4-3-1-2 Kong Rafat, Sophahon, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Makara, Etim, O.Udom, Sung Rot, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

Match Report

We kicked off and made a bright start. Our tactics were working perfectly, negating their midfield and then using the engine room to spring attacks of our own, with Keo Udom looking dangerous in behind the defence. What we hadn’t bargained for was their right back, Chanratana, who was bombing forward and with Leng Sophahon pre-occupied with marking their right winger, this proved a problem and our undoing for their goal. Yamin, who usually sits in front of the back four burst forward down the right flank. Nobody seemed to track his run or do anything. ‘Someone get over there’ I shouted from the bench, but it was too late. Yamin squared it to the onrushing Chanratana who smashed it past Kong Rafat aftet just five minutes. Terrible start. Then we came into it, creating same chances of our own. Leng Sophahon crossed from the left, K Udom cooly flicked the ball on for Sung Rot, but his tame shot was saved by the keeper. Hope. Then Khemarin’s long ball forward was picked up by the dangerous K Udom but his shot was well saved. Udom played the ball into the area. Chanrakmey shot first time into the side netting. He had more time to compose himself. He would have scored that chance earlier in the season. He snatched at that one. Our star striker looks anxious and this is a problem. 1-0 down at half time, I take Sok to one side and tell him there’s no pressure on him and to play his natural game. I told the rest of the team to keep working hard and the result would come. They seemed motivated and I was confident of a response in the second half. After 55 minutes I introduced two wide players, Saray and Fasal, in place of Makara and O Udom, both were playing poorly and I needed width. Saray made an immediate impact as his cute flick header found Chanraksmy at the far post but he took too much time and his shot was blocked. We pressed forward, but didn’t create much. As in the league game their defence held firm, blocking shots, shackling our forwards and were tigerish in midfield. They won a few random set pieces, but these came to nothing. Just as things were getting a little desperate came the moment which will be talked about amongst EDC fans for years to come. A breakaway from one such set play for Nagaworld saw K Udom surge down the left. Our opponents had put too many men forward and suddenly it was 2 on 1. Udom moved forward, gobbling up the ground in front of him. Chanraksmey was making ground unmarked to his right. There was only one defender between the two strikers who have 48 goals between them this season. Keo Udom does his part as he slips a perfect ball for our man Chanraksmey who is into the penalty area. Surely this is the moment, our star striker, 24 goals this season, 11 caps and 5 goals for Cambodia, the best player ever to have worn an EDC shirt. Club legend, Sok of the flippin’ Rovers to equalise in the last minute of the game! Then ohh noo he scuffs his shot horribly  into the grateful keeper’s arms. This was Brighton’s Gordon Smith against Manchester United replayed 38 years on, thousands of miles away in The Olympic Stadium Phnom Penh Cambodia. Head in hands, hands on head. It’s not our day today. It wasnae to be..

Chanrakmey did well until the finish cried the text commentary mockingly. Gordon Smith, Sok Chanraksmey…. Oh dear…

Final whistle, the players are devastated, Sok is inconsolable, I tell them they have done the club proud, but nothing, nothing can take away the pain of cup final defeat… Their goalkeeper was man of the match which says it all!

Final score: EDC 0-1 Nagaworld

                                                                                           Chanratana 5

But wait..!! 

As Nagaworld fans poured onto the pitch at the end of the game to celebrate their team's victory I caught sight of a familiar face.. none other than Sonny Mekarna, the Buddhist monk who Nen Borey and I had met during our trip to Angkor Wat. In his jubilation he threw off his orange robes to reveal a Nagaworld shirt underneath! I couldn't believe my eyes! The monk who we had prayed with at Angkor Wat for EDC victory was a Nagaworld fan! What on earth?

I pointed this out to Nen Borey who was stood next to me in the dugout. Borey turned to me and shrugged. 

"I thought there was something dodgy about them. My fears have come to true boss."

"What do you mean?"

"There was one bit of the prayer, well I didn't want to tell you at the time, but I think they might have put a curse on Sok Chanraksmey.

At one point they said they prayed for Chanraksmey to 'nuk,' which means 'to miss.' 

"Well that may explain a few things. I had no idea what they were mumbling about at Angkor Wat, I presumed it was favourable towards EDC not Nagaworld. I don't speak Khmer"

"Boss you understand I could not interrupt or walk off, it would have been seen as very rude and could have become public knowledge. I just hoped I had misheard them, or the curse did not work. You were so upbeat after that visit and the morale in the camp was high, I did not want to spoil the mood."

While I was, in the heat of the moment, slightly annoyed with my Assistant Manager for not speaking up, in some ways I could see that it was a 'no win' situation. Firstly how would I explain to Sok Chanraksmey that he isn't playing in the cup final because we think he has a monk's curse on him. That would probably generate a massive Unh next to his name and a transfer request and then if the press got hold of the story... Whatsmore he has been brilliant for us all season and if I told the rest of the lads that Sok wasn't playing then what would that do for team morale and I'd also probably be laughed out the dressing room if I told them the reason.

No best play him and hope the curse was just a load of nonsense. Unfortunately the chances he missed during the final, it was almost as if a curse had been put on him... 

We have gained a mighty £10.76K for losing the Hun Sen Cup Final.

Some Hun Sen Cup 2021 Stats

Top Scorers: EDC 23 goals

Top Goalscorer: EDC's Keo Udom 6 goals

Most Shots on Goal: EDC 106

Most Tackles won: EDC 82

How did we not win this?

Looming Contract Crisis

There has been a ticking timebomb at EDC throughout the 2021 season and that is because several of our top players are up for contract renewal at the end of the year. These are notably Veasna, Chanraksmey, Saray and Daravon. All of them say the same thing, they are interested in signing the contract, but feel the offer will be ‘inferior to what they already have…. Well at least hear the offers first guys and I will be very generous given the level of performance we have enjoyed this season. I think these could go right down to the wire and given our relative success there will be offers coming in for these players from our rivals as the end of their contracts near. I tried to ask the board to increase the wage budget, but they declined my request. The thing is these players should at least give me the chance to offer them something, rather than being met with a red wall…Watch this space on this one! 

Top of the Table going into the last league game

1. Boeung Ket 52

2. National Police 51

3. Nagaworld 50

4. EDC 49

5. Phnom Penh Crown 46

This is how it stands before most of us head to the final round of fixtures. We can still win the league, but a lot has to go in our favour for this to happen. We must beat Phnom Penh Crown and hope everyone loses every game. I would consider this a very slim chance. We need to beat Crown though so a strong side will be fielded just in case a miracle occurs.

Match 31: Phnom Penh Crown 2-7 EDC

Booysen 21,    //////                K. Udom 39, 50 Veasna 45,76 O Udom 48 Fasal 52 Rothesary 91

Nieto 76

This was too little too late. If I could just take 4 goals out of this game and re-distribute them into both the Nagaworld matches we would probably be league and cup champions. On such fine margins things are decided. We absolutely destroyed Crown as we played with freedom and confidence, free of the shackles of the previous two games.

Amazingly in the opening 20 minutes, it was all Crown, as they had chance after chance and the only times we have made it into their half, Udom kept being caught offside. We had lost the fizz and spark we had earlier in the season and sadly looked a shadow of ourselves.

South African, Boyens fired in an impressive free kick for Crown to take a deserved lead. Then suddenly we come back into it. Sung Rot had a chance from Veasna’s low cross and then the right winger headed over from close range. Nieto roasted poor young Ratana and he went close. From the resulting goal kick the ball reaches Keo Udom who lays it off the Sung Rot who drives forward, before slipping in Udom who fired a low shot past the keeper. 1-1.

We’ve woken up and suddenly after a torrid opening 20 minutes look far more like our old selves. Ratana’s throw in reached the impressive Ouch Udom who ran forward before playing a delightful through ball to Veasna who dinked the ball almost Panenka-like past the keeper. 2-1.

From a long goal kick, Udom laid off for Sung Rot who played it wide to Veasna on the overlap. He crossed in low and Ouch Udom rather scuffed the ball into the back of the net for 3-1!

The ever brilliant Veasna picked the ball up in the centre circle, before lofting a hopeful ball forward. The defender missed the header and Keo Udom ran onto it.. he doesn’t miss those.. 4-1

Phnom Penh Crown are so bad now that they can’t even throw the ball to their own player. Ratana found Math Fasal who cut inside like a good Inverted winger, before releasing the unplayable Veasna down the right. He crossed the defender missed it and Fasal stole in at the back post to bundle home number 5!

We are just toying with them now. Ratana found substitute Saray, who played it to Etim who found the other sub Chanraksmey whose beautiful weighted ball found the onrushing Veasna who slotted in number 6. Where was this in the Hun Sen Cup Final?

An angry Nieto skinned Ratana before petulantly firing in a consolation.

Veasna, Saray and Fasal combined before laying off to the young substitute Long Rothesary who fired a 25 yard pile driver into the bottom corner to put extra gloss on a stunning victory and send a warning shot to our rivals for next season. To rub salt into the wounds, Um Channou saved a late Booyens penalty. What a crazy end to the season, but this gives us hope after a long and ultimately unsuccessful season in terms of silverware.

Final C-League Table 2021 Season

1st Boeung Ket 55

2nd Nagaworld 53

3rd EDC 52

4th National Police 51

5th Angkor Tiger 48

Boeung Ket Win The C-League

Boeung Ket clinched the C-League Title after a 4-0 hammering of National Defence. Congratulations to Boeung Ket.

Rudd wins Manager of The Year

Despite our Keegan-esque fall I have been awarded Cambodian Manager of The Year for taking part-timers EDC to the brink of glory. A third place finish and a Cup final have impressed the judges as the team lit up the C-League with some impressive performances. Well at least I've won something this season!

So near and yet so far away, EDC did not manage to win any silverware in the 2021 campaign, but won the hearts and minds of the Cambodian people (except for a few monks from Phnom Penh) Their relative success though has brought their players to national attention and the larger professional clubs are watching. Can EDC keep hold of their best players over the forthcoming pre-season and can they finally build an all conquering team? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game! 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Ben. Yes I'm already about 4 games into the 3rd season in real time, but the story is a few posts behind as always so it gives me time to create storylines. Judging that EDC are a part time club and Nagaworld and Beoung Ket are professional we did really well. 

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1 hour ago, glennuk said:

Great to see this updated. KUTGW.

You will get them next year.....or maybe....join NAGA?

Thankyou glenn, glad you are enjoying the story. Me joining Nagaworld would be like when Clough joined Leeds United and we all know how that ended...lol. Any future job I take will be outside the C-League I think. 

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23. End of Season 2 Round Up

 

A couple of days after our stunning but ultimately futile 7-2 victory over Phnom Penh Crown I arrived at the training ground to tie up some loose ends with the players for the season, following a light session to keep them going and a fun kick around. 

As I pulled into the car park at Prey Veng I looked over to the training field and noticed a bunch of kids having a game of football. I did not recognise them as my Under 21 squad, or my reserves. There seemed to also be a coach with them, who was joining in the game.

Puzzled I parked up and approached them.

"Who are these kids, they can't just come in here and start playing football, we have a first team training session today!"

The game stopped and the adult walked over and smiled, clutching a football.

"Morning boss, lovely day!" he smiled.

"And who on earth are you?" I enquired.

"Mr Rudd, my name is Chan Vannak. I'm your Head of Youth Development."

By this time the kids were sitting on the grass catching their breath and others were milling around.

"Who are these kids?" Where did they come from?"

"Boss, you know what day it is today?"

"1st  November 2021."

" Yes, but it's also Youth Intake Day. These are your new recruits!"

"I sighed. Flippin' 'eck, I was expecting this in March, not November. You heads of Youth Development, your like flippin' Father Christmas, only come out one day of the year. What do you do for the other 364 days?

"I go round Cambodia recruiting kids to our footballing academy."

"We have an academy?"

"Well they are in that mysterious team which are below the Under 21 teams and then magically appear one day a year in Youth Intake day, which is today!" he said rather too cheerfully.

"I have a bumper crop of talent for you to have a look at."

I gazed at this rag tag bunch of 15/16 year olds milling around trying to imagine them as future Sok Chanraksmeys and Suon Veasnas..

"Well we'd best see what they can do then."

After watching them play I ended up giving the below players a contract and a place in our U21 team:

Ayoub Joly 15 (D/WBL)

Taing Hai 15 (STC)

Ouk Ratha 15 (MC/AMC)

Sok Makara 15 (DC)

Morgan Laurent 16 (AMC)

Um Samnang  16 (ST)

Sary Chainuth 16 (ST)

------------------------------------------------------------------

Suon Makara Retires

My dependable defender/midfielder, Suon Makara will retire next month, The 32 year old has decided to call it a day. In my opinion I still think he could do a job. Thankyou for your efforts Suon, you were a real pro on the training field and a player who made the most of your limitations as a footballer.  

End of Season 2 Stats

EDC have received £13.7K for finishing 3rd in the C-League

Finishing 3rd is a new highest position for EDC since their formation in 2015.

Top Goascorers

Filip Mihailjevic 25 (Vishaka)

Sok Chanraksmey 21 (EDC)

Keo Udom 20 (EDC)

Most Goals

EDC 70

Boeung Ket 62

Vishaka 60

The Board's Assessment on my performance In the Transfer Market

So bit of strange one this. In a run down of the new signings made this season by C-League clubs Keo Udom came out on top. He has scored 26 goals in 30 appearances and has been outstanding. Not so according to my board they do not think he represents ‘value for money,’ when I only paid £375 for him and they have given me an ‘F’ grade for his signing? What the hell?

The Phnom Penh Gazette's Take On Our Season

“EDC were one of the competition’s surprise packages, consistently defying expectations and, owing largely to an impressive spell between September and October that saw them rise to 3rd were able to celebrate a successful campaign.

Were they watching my team in September/October? That is exactly when things went Kevin Keegan and we slipped from the top of the table to 3rd!

Player Awards

Fans Player of The Season: Keo Udom

Young Player of The Year: Sung Rot

Signing of The Season: Keo Udom

Goal Of The Season: Sok Chanraksmey

Top Goalscorer: Keo Udom 26

Most Assists: Suon Veasna 18

End of Season Thoughts

Going into the 2021 campaign I wanted to finish in the top half of the table and have a good run in the Prime Minister’s Cup. We achieved both of these things, but it could have been even better. The question is, Is the glass half full, or half empty? Yes 8 points clear and we messed it up, we bottled the cup final and it looks increasingly like our best players will leave the club at the end of their contracts on 30th November 2021. This may not sound good on paper, but on the positive side I achieved the aims of the season and a little bit more. There is now not one football fan, even in the remotest parts of Cambodia, who do not know EDC, Chanraksmey, Veasna, Udom and everyone else at the club. I think we can build on this season and be even better in the next campaign, but as it stands it means I may have to completely rebuild the squad and promote some youth in order to compete well again next season. 

Will I be able to keep hold of my star players for the 2022 campaign, or will the lure of a professional contact tempt them away from Prey Veng? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 24. The Gang of Six

 

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. There has been a ticking timebomb all season at Prey Veng and as we approach the end of November 2021 that noise is growing louder. Six of my best players have part time contracts which run out at the end of the month, meaning they would be free to leave the club for nothing and horror of horrors join our rival clubs, such as Nagaworld and Beoung Ket. 

The 'Gang of 6 are:

Sok Chanraksmey

Suon Veasna

Tum Saray

Maul Daravon

Kong Rafat

Phanny Y Rotha

At various times in the season I have tried to sit these guys down and thrash out a new deal, but each time I have been turned down. 

'It's not that they don't want to sign.. it's just that we think we could get a better offer elsewhere.." was the general response from their agents. They were hedging their bets. I sent my Director of Football, Khim Ravy to try and talk to them, but he was met with the same response. Even our Chairman, Hem Vutha offered to help, but the agents and players would not budge,

There are just a couple of weeks left before they can walk out of Prey Veng as free agents and potentially sign for Nagaworld...

"My client is very interested in extending terms in general, but does not want to consider a renewal of terms at this time. This is because any new contract would be on inferior terms to his current deal which still has time left to run."

I was tearing my hair out at this ongoing refusal to even negotiate terms. Despite us only being a part time club, due to our cup run to the Hun Sen Cup final and our final position of 3rd in the league had resulted in £42,000 in prize money, which in Cambodia is a lot of cash. We could offer generous terms to these players, especially in the cases of Veasna, Daravon and Chanraksmey who had contributed the most towards the successes of last season. Neither their agents or the players themselves wished to even let us put an offer on the table, which was doubly frustrating. I was sat in my office wondering what to do, making contingency plans in case all six of them left the club in two weeks time when I had a knock at the door.

It was my winger Math Fasal, who stormed into the room, not a member of the gang of six.

"Boss I'm not happy."

This came as a surprise, as Math had trained and performed well for us all season. He though was on a non-contract, which meant he was paid per appearance, plus goal and assist bonuses and a reduced payment if he warmed the subs bench. Therefore his contract was not expiring like the others but just ongoing until either party wanted to terminate it. 

"You have not played me as an Inverted winger like we agreed." he said directly.

"Hang on a minute what are you talking about, that's exactly the position you played in the last game against Phnom Penh Crown and you did really well, so I don't understand the problem."

"Boss, you have played me as a winger and you have also swapped me with Veasna, so I play on the right. That is not my best position, I play on the left and cut inside, that is MY game!

"Well I only swapped you with Suon because i thought you may have a better chance up against their left back and to try and confuse the opposition, that is all."

"I'm not accepting that. I want to leave the club."

"Seriously?

"Look Math, I'm your boss, you play and do on the pitch whatever I f****** tell you to do. You are being very unprofessional." I responded firmly.

"I will never play for you again."

"You know what, f*** off I have no time for silly little babies in my team. Go on, get your things and leave now, you're on your own, As you are a non-contract player we can terminate your contract whenever we like. As if I have not enough to contend with, you are throwing your toys out the pram over a minor issue of what role I play you on the pitch, which is for the good of the team. Go on, GO! P*** off!

With that he left the room never to be seen at Prey Veng in an EDC shirt again. In fact he didn't even say goodbye to his ex-teamates and then slagged me off on his social media. The following day Math Fasal signed for Nagaworld. It seems as though someone from that odious club or his agent had been in his ear and wanted to cause upset in the ranks at EDC. Good riddance to bad rubbish I say! He could have handled that a whole lot better and any decent person would have  talked to me in a respectful way. He was lying about the fact I had not played him as an inverted winger, as that is where he has been playing all season. Strange one that!

The departure of Fasal did leave a hole in my squad in that he was one of the few players who could play on the left. He had made 24 apperances, scoring 4 goals, with 5 assists and an average rating of 6.81, so he was a decent player, but Lionel Messi he ain't and replaceable he is. Tum Saray was his obvious replacement, but not only was he one of the 'gang of 6,' he never really looked comfortable on the left wing and preferred the right hand side or the 'number 10' role. It was also for this reason I signed Math Fasal in the first place. I had a couple of young left wingers, Mao Mol and Molly Unmol who I could promote to the first team, but I was not sure whether they were good enough to make the spot their own. The other option was to switch Veasna to the left and play Saray on the right if both of them stayed at the club. And that was a big 'if' right now....

End of Seeason Community Outreach & Team Bonding Day 

06/11/21

In order to emphasise a point (naming no names) I booked in a Community Outreach session at a local orphanage in Phnom Penh, not far from Prey Veng. I did this not just to put something back into the local community, but also emphasise to the players how lucky they were to be footballers and how much they were loved by the fans. As the kids from the orphanage lapped up the attention from the players, who signed shirts and footballs for them I hoped they realised how lucky they were.

After the trip to the orphanage had finished I had then organised a team end of season booze up round downtown Phnom Penh. Despite our failure to win a trophy the boys have done me proud this season, but looking around I couldn’t help wondering whether this would be the last time I saw Veasna, Chanraksmey, Saray, Daravon and Kong Rafat in the same room together, before the vultures came circling…

As I watched my players, stood in a circle, chatting, laughing and no doubt sharing electrician stories from their work at the National Grid, I caught a word with my Assistant Manager and friend, Nen Borey, whilst at one particular bar overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Thailand.

“I can’t help thinking Nen, that 7-2 win over Phnom Penh Crown could be the last time those lads play together in an EDC shirt.”

Nen looked at me, holding his diet coke, (as a strict Buddhist he was tea-total) and he stared out to the ocean beyond the fence.

“You gotta let them go, boss, if that’s what they want.”

“But Nen, we came so close this year. If I could bring in a one or two new faces to the squad, we could smash it next year, in both league and cup and become a real dominant force in Cambodian football. I can only do that if Suon Veasna, Chanraksmey and Daravon are in my team, but they just won’t even look at a new contract, let alone sign one.”

“The problem is this boss, while we stay semi-pro, the football team of the Cambodian electricity company, we can never hold onto any decent players we have, because the professional teams will always offer them more money and a better contract than we ever can.” Sok, Suon and the rest, nobody knew who they were a year ago, now they are household names and the big boys, the Nagaworlds, the Vishakas and the Boeung Ket’s will always be sniffing round them, offering them money we can only dream of giving them.”

“I know, but after all we have achieved they could at least show some loyalty. Perhaps if we won the league we could go professional ourselves, but that will never happen unless we have success on the pitch and the money comes rolling in.” I replied.

“Cambodia is not a wealthy country. The wages they get at the Electricity Company is just enough to keep them above the poverty line and the football, that is a bonus, a little bit extra in their pockets, but if they feel they can get more, or even go professional and quit the National Grid, they will do so. The hours are long, and the pay is rubbish, if they have a sniff of a chance to become professional footballers, they will grab it with both hands and boss, you cannot stand in their way,” reasoned my Assistant Manager.

“I’m going to go see the chairman Hem Vutha about this and see if there is any way we can go professional, so we are able to keep hold of our best players. Otherwise the club will be left behind by our rivals. I want to give the players the wages they deserve and to look after them and their families.”

Nen Borey patted me on the back. “You are a good man boss and you have put this club on the map in Cambodia. I am sure Hem will back you on this.”

“I hope, so otherwise we will be back to being also-rans in the C-League if Sok, Suon and Maol all leave at the end of the year.” I said dejectedly.

Making A Board Request

Wearing my best, newly dry-cleaned suit I entered the boardroom. There, in front of me was the chairman and benefactor of EDC, Hem Vutha, along with the board of six directors, all Cambodian and also dressed in neat dark suits.

“Welcome!”, smiled Hem Vutha as he stood up and shook my hand. I just wanted to say before we get down to business, what a wonderful job we think you are doing. We were thrilled with the performances of the team and perhaps it was just one year too early, but we promise to back you for next season.”

“Well that is good to hear, now I think we proved this season that we could compete with the bigger teams in this league and now it is time we competed with them off the field too.”

“Now how do you suggest we do that?” enquired the Chairman.

“By going professional.” I suggested promptly.

“Out of the question!” piped up one of the directors in the board room.

This was not looking good.

Hem Vutha smiled warmly and pulled his chair a little closer.

“You see Jonathan, everyone in this room would love us to go professional and with the season we have just had, it would make sense.”

I sensed a big ‘but’ coming.

“But, it us just not the right time. We have only been a club for 6 years and are still building up our fanbase. Prey Veng only holds 1,000 fans and we simply don’t have the money to do it.”

“I can’t tell you how important I believe this to be.” I responded in desperation. If we don’t go pro we could be left behind by our rivals. We could lose our best players to them because they can offer them more money.”

“I assure you Jonathan, Sok, Suon and the rest, they will stay, they love playing for you and EDC. Our Director of Football is doing everything in his power to ensure they stay at the club, you have my word, but going pro, just to keep them sweet, for now is not an option.”

“I can't pretend I am disappointed, but I do understand,” I replied and made for the door.

“We think you are doing a fantastic job, Jonathan, keep up the good work,” smiled Hem, as I left the room. 

 

His kind words offered little consolation.

Recruitment Meeting

It was that time of the year again, for my meeting with the recruitment team. Hem Vutha was present, alongside Nen Borey, my Director of Football, Khim Ravy and my scouting team, There would be a lot to discuss this time as I potentially had to look find two wingers, a centre half and a goalkeeper, plus another defensive midfielder as Makara had retired, leaving Raymond Etim as our only DMC.

This was going to be a long meeting and we were likely to be burning the midnight oil. The scouts had done a decent job in preparing reports on players who could potentially fill the vacancies which could occur at the end of the month. 

Halfway through the meeting, at around 9.30pm there was a knock at the door. To my astonishment in walked the gang of six, lead by the captain, Tum Saray, plus a couple of agents who were representing Veasna and Chanraksmey, both of whom were also present. They had obviously come after work, as they were still dressed in their Cambodian National Grid overalls

"Sorry to interrupt boss, Mr Chairman, but we would like to do business," declared Veasna.

Hem Vutha nodded in my direction.

"Boss, we love playing for you, we want to help EDC to win trophies and we want to stay." added Chanraksmey. 

"That's great to hear guys, but we can only offer part time contracts you understand?"

Their agent stepped forward and for an agent talked a bit of sense.

"Let's do a deal. We think we have a solution that will benefit all parties." he stated.

The deal was in essence that all the players would stay at EDC, but their contracts would be rolling, so it would consist of appearance fees of £80-100 per match, with added goal, assist, or clean sheet bonuses where applicable plus an unused sub fee. This would then enable the players to leave if a professional contract was offered by another club, of which EDC could not stand in their way. It would then be down to the individual players to decide whether they wished to stay at the club or not. 

While the deal was not perfect and I would have liked to have tied them down to a contract so another team would have to pay for them, rather than letting them leave for free and I am sure that my Chairman was thinking the same thing, this seemed a reasonable solution to the problem. 

Furthermore I knew these players well now and how much they loved playing for EDC, therefore I was confident that it would be a wrench for them to leave unless they were made an offer they could not refuse. Besides we are talking Nagaworld and Beoung Ket here, not Real Madrid and Barcelona. 

In the end the deal was a compromise which suited all parties. We all shook hands and all six players signed on the night and told me they were looking forward to getting their revenge on Nagaworld next season, which was encouraging to hear.

After further discussions with the chairman, it was decided that these contracts would also be rolled out to the rest of the first team squad, which were already on non contracts, but their appearance fees would be boosted significantly in order to encourage them to stay. It did not work on all the players as we shall see, but it reduced the possibility of the whole squad staging a mass exodus, leaving us with just the youth team and a few fringe players.

EDC have managed to persuade their their best players, the 'Gang of Six' to stay at the club for the time being, but will all of them stay loyal to the club? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

 

 

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Loving this. Keeping my fingers crossed that the Gang of Six can repay Mr Rudd's patience, lest they experience a similar sort of dressing down to Math Fasal.

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25. The Vultures Are Circling....

 Start of Season 3

It was late at night on the eve of the pre-season transfer window and I was sat in my office, staring at the telephone. I was preparing myself for a busy month ahead, not just making plans for a full on assault on the C-League and Hun Sen Cup, but also wondering how many of my current squad would be wearing an EDC shirt for the big kick off in March, which was three months away. 

Starting from tomorrow the transfer window would creak open once more and the vultures will be circling over Prey Veng, ready to swoop for Veasna, Chanraksmey, Ratana, Udom, the other Udom, Etim, Sung Rot, the kit man, the cleaning lady and god knows who else. I had to depend purely upon the loyalty of these players and the happy atmosphere in the dressing room to see me through.

The 'Gang of Six's,' intervention in the scouting meeting had given me hope that these two factors would play a huge part in the majority of my squad wearing an EDC shirt next season. They were not only my best players, but in the cases of Saray and Daravon, the most influential players in the dressing room.

Just five minutes to go until the feeding frenzy will begin..

There was also another reason why I was right to be worried....

Shock Departures

Just one week earler on the 1st December 2021, Nen Borey and my recruitment team were pouring over the list of released players in the office. We could not believe our eyes at the names on view.

The ones that stood out were the 5 North Koreans from Vishaka, who one hopes did not go back to their homeland... Naturally I made enquiries about a couple of them as to their availability, but unsurprisingly they were seeking professional contracts and so they politely declined our offers containing some very generous appearance fees.

George Kelechi, who had been a thorn in our sides when we encountered him at Nagaworld had left our rivals to become a scout in his native Nigeria.

Other big players from the major teams in Cambodia had left en masse on 1st December 

While the rest of us were cooing at the names we may not have to face next season, Nen Borey sat with a concerned look on his face.

"Boss, this is not good news."

"Why not Nen, George Kelechi has gone home to Nigeria, the North Koreans have gone from Vishaka."

"But don't you see.. these players they will need replacing and whatsmore they will have more wage budget to spend. All the more reason for them to come sniffing around our players offering them more money than us."

Nen Borey was right. Suddenly there were big holes in Vishaka, Nagaworld, Beoung Ket and others squads which will need to be filled to replace the bigger names that have left. They would also have wage money to spend with these professional foreign players now off their books.

A Bit More Staff Recruitment

New Reserves Manager - Khek Veasna & New U21s Manager - Sreng Vandeth

I'm making a real effort this season to improve the Reserve and U21 set up at the club and for them to do better in their respective leagues and provide a clear path to the first team. So far under my tenure both of them have finished near the bottom of their respective leagues and have taken some proper humpings from our rival's reserve and youth teams along the way. Having  proper Reserve and Under 21s managers are a step towards improving their fortunes.

A New Scout - Ly Pheng

A scout with some amazing stats. Sorry other scouts but I’m only going to ask one person to judge all new potential signings. Awesome! 

Transfer Window Opens

Transfers Out

Sok Sengdara (released) – The 32 year old was surplus to requirements and so he has left the club. Hope he finds somewhere else to play.

Sok Panaseth (released) – This left back would be third choice behind Ratana and Leng Sophaon so it made sense to give him a chance to play first team football elsewhere.

Math Voeun  Free Transfer to Senate Secretariat – He was part of a battery of young strikers at the club, but there was too much competition for places and so one had to leave and that was Math Voeun.

Sung Rot- Free Transfer to Phnom Penh Crown – The first big casualty of this transfer window as Sung Rot switches camps to our local rivals. We offered him a good non-contract with a generous appearance fee, but the Crown offered more, so off he goes..

Math Fasal – Free Transfer to Nagaworld

If there was one player I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep hold of was Math Fasal, just because (in his view) I didn’t play him in his preferred ‘Inverted Winger’ role. I couldn’t be bothered with his attitude, so good riddance to you big baby. Hope you warm the bench at Nagaworld and spend the time thinking about what you’ve done… I’ve no time for silly little babies in my team Math..

Um Channou – Free Transfer to Svay Rieng

I’m disappointed about this. I gave this guy another chance in football and after a good season he has joined rivals Svay Rieng. Hope he does not live to regret that decision....

Tum Saray Free Transfer to Boeung Ket

Saray leaves EDC. I’m a bit disappointed because Tum has showed time and again that he can score and create goals, albeit off the bench, so sad to see him go. He is also the first of "The Gang of Six" to jump ship, which is a shame.

Ins

Leap Bo (DMC) Free Transfer

Welcome to the club, Leap Bo! A DMC who is back up to Raymond Etim. At just 20 years old there is also room for improvement. Despite his name, he only has a Heading of 3 and a Jumping Reach of 1-5.

Chin Chainuth - Free Transfer from Chlam Samuth

After Um Channou’s untimely departure I have signed a replacement, Chin Chainuth, who is 23 years old and has previously played for newly promoted Chlam Samuth. He comes in as possibly my number 1 with Kong Rafat challenging him, thus strengthening the goalkeeping department. 

Seut Bairaing Free Transfer from Phnom Penh Crown

I have signed Bairang on a free transfer and beat off competiton from Nagaworld for his signature. A pacy left back which will take the pressure off young Ratana and Leng Sophahon, the former I may employ more at right back and in central defence.

 

Registered Players for the 2022 Season

It’s that time of the year again folks, when I get to do the pointless registering of players. Below is my squad of 35 for the 2022 campaign.

Goalkeepers

Kong Rafat

Chain Chainuth

Kouch Vandeth

Kouch Rithy

Defenders

Sam Channroeurn (DR)

Ouk Ratana (DRLC)

Mom Veasna (DR)

Ly Chandara (DC)

Maol Daravon (DC)

Khek Khemarin (DC)

Pin Saren (DC)

Run Sokha (DC)

Sok Panha (DRC) (On loan from National Police)

Leng Sophaon (DL)

Seul Baraing (DL/WBL)

Ayoub Joly (DL/WBL)

Midfielders

Raymond Etim (DMC)

Leap Bo (DMC)

Ouch Udom (MC/AMC)

Sann Suhana (MC/AMC)

Ouk Ratha (MC)

Long Rothsery (MLC/AMC)

Suon Veasna (AMR/L)

Math Raksmey (MR/AMR)

 Tuy Udom (MR/AMR)

Ouk Dara (AMR)

Mao Mol (AML)

Molly Ummol (Nickname) (AML)

Forwards

Sok Chanraksmey (ST)

Keo Udom (ST)

Phanny Y Rotha (ST)

Math Rottanak (AMR/ST)

Sam Chamroeun (ST)

Ouch Samnang (ST)

Taing Hai (AML/ST)

Registration Bug Rears It’s Ugly Head

Annoyingly the registration bug has happened once again, which has affected most of the C-League teams, except for us and funnily enough Nagaworld, which is a shame because I may have accidently on purpose forgotten to register their players for them, epecially Mr Fasal.. Joking aside I had to become the manager of all of the affected clubs, register all their players and then retire from them. At least I was ready for it this time and knew what to do, but it still means that most of the C-League clubs start the new season with no manager and it’s still roughly one hour of my life I will never get back… 

Pre-Season Friendlies

Friendly 1: EDC 5 - 4 EDC Reserves

Well that was fun! Our annual kickabout with the reserves threw up some interesting performances. Sok Chanraksmey netted four times in half an hour, before I took him off for being too good! In his place I put on the hapless Rotanak who contrived to miss every chance presented to him. At 4-0 up at half time I did the full Sven and made 20 million substitutes, including an uncompetitive debut to my new 18 year old defender, Run Sokha. On ‘theirs’ he came up against our U21 and recent recruit from the youth intake, Ung Samnang (remember the name) who tortured poor Sokha and netted four second half goals to make things a little scary. Amongst this Sam Chanroeun, who always looks the part in an EDC shirt coolly finished off a sweeping move to make it 5-1. Then it was the Samang show as he single handedly pulled  the score back to 5-4. Sokha ran after Samnang  like Gazza after one too many kebabs. Anyway it’s only the reserves and at the end of the day everybody’s a winner on occasions like these.

Friendly 2: Kandal 3-4 EDC

This was an untidy win, with our defence for a large part looking all at sea against distinctly average opposition. They opened the scoring when Sann Vanny broke clear from our cleared free kick to slam the ball past debutant Chainuth. We equalised when Suhana headed in a free kick, but then Kandal broke clear again and Va Chameroun put the hosts into a shock 2-1 lead. Phanny Y Rotha unleashed a fantastic shot to equalise after good work from Keo Udom, but Kandal would not got away and Sok Uduom restored their lead just after half time. Substitute Sok Chanraksmey tucked away a penalty to equalise and then in the final minute fo the game, new signing Pin Saren nutted in the winner from a corner. The defence must do better than this against the Nagaworlds, Beoung Kets and Vishakas of this world…

Friendly 3: EDC 2-1 Paillin

This was a much better all round performance. Our defence looked more settled and in control, while we attacked with patience and potency. Young left winger Mao Mol opened the scoring after he fired a low shot past the keeper after great work from Keo Udom in the left channel. The second was a powerful finish from K.Udom after a pinpoint ball from his namesake Ouch, who was excellent in midfield. They scored a late consolation, but we looked largely in control throughout the match.

Friendly 4: EDC 3 – 2 Tay Ninh (VIE)

A more solid win than it looked. EDC dominated and deservedly went 3-0 up, with the Vietnamese side posing little threat.

Baraing made progress down the left before delivering a perfect cross onto Chanraksmey’s left foot who sidefooted first time into the net. Baraing then fed Mol in the penalty area who dribbled inside before unleashing a great angled shot into the corner for his second goal in two. A three man move involving Suhana and O.Udom resulted in Veasna hitting an unstoppable low shot into the corner 3-0. They pulled one back when a pinpoint long ball found De Manh Dung who powered it past Chainuth. They rather undeservedly made it 3-2 with a looping header from Van Hung in stoppage time, but we deserved the win. 

Friendly 5: EDC 3 - 1 Bati Youth

A good win this. Unmoll finished off a lovely move starting with Khemarin at the back, who played it through midfield to Raksa whose pinpoint pass found Rotha who laid off to Unmoll who finished with a lovely placed shot into the corner of the net.

Sam Chaneroun who continues to impress and he received the ball from Rotha, spun effortlessly past his man before firing home a low shot for 2-0

The impressive Ratha, one of my new youth intake recruits looks the real deal here. He feeds Chanroeun who beats his man on the left edge of the area before squaring from Rotha who finished superbly on the volley for 3-0

We were a bit lacklustre in the second half and they pulled a goal back late on, which was a lovely move that ended up with a simple tap in for Ouk Sok. A good win and a bit of revenge for my first ever EDC match. 

Friendly 6- Asia Euro United 0-0 EDC

A bore draw against recently relegated Asia Euro United. I trialled an experimental 5-3-2 formation, complete with wing backs for this one. Playing three at the back may help to negate the threat of two quick strikers which we have struggled against and arguably could have cost us the title last season. It also enables me to match a team playing 4-2-3-1 in the midfield, while also being able to play the dangerous Keo Udom and Chanraksmey as a strike pairing where they can cause mayhem on their day. While it would have been nice to have won, we looked quite solid in this formation and is certainly something I could persevere with. Unfortunately Chanraksmey and K.Udom left their shooting boots at home, otherwise we would probably have won.

Friendly 7 – Wat Phnom 2 -1 EDC

Here’s our customary dodgy pre-season result of the season. I tried to blood some youngesters in my experimental 5-3-2 and quite frankly it didn’t work. To make matters worse I decided to start Long Rothesary, He annoyed me and his lack of pace meant that he kept being caught in posession by Phnom’s tigerish midfield.. He gave the ball away for their Keo Udom who raced into the penalty area, only to be upended by Panha. Perrot slotted away the pen.

Then he got sent off. Not really a way to impress your manager in pre-season. They scored again, it was coming as we looked all at sea. At half time I reverted to a 4-4-2, well 4-4-1, with Veasna and Mol introduced as wide players. We looked a far better side and so I think the experimental 5-3-2 has met its maker for now. We were unlucky as chance after chance was saved, blocked or caught offside, Chanraksmey being the main culprit. Our goal was pretty good though, Ouch Udom fed Veasna on the right with what seemed to be overhit, but the skilful right winger used this to his advantage, like a batsman hitting a boundary off a fast bowler, by placing an unstoppable first time shot into the corner of the net. 2-1. Not a complete disaster and in fact it has made my head clearer about who is going to start in our season opener, which has become a tradition, Vishaka away.

Pre Season Thoughts

As the Transfer window slams shut I breathe a huge sigh of relief that most of last season's squad has remained largely in tact. The biggest losses were Sung Rot and Um Channou, which were both unexpected, but I only lost one of the 'Gang of Six,' Tum Saray, who was mainly an impact substitute. The great thing is though, while nearly every player in the first team were offered contracts from other clubs, most of them decided to stay at EDC, citing their respect for me as the main reason, which was nice!

I start my second full season in charge of EDC with the club in a stronger position than when we started last season. While I am disappointed we did not win any silverware last year and kind of bottled in the second half of the season, that experience will stand us in good stead for the this one. At the time of writing I have also managed to keep hold of most of my key players, except for Um Channou and Sung Rot, both of which had excellent seasons, but have opted to join the larger Cambodian clubs. I have also promised my squad that I will give the younger members of the squad more of a chance this year, partly due to the success of Ouk Ratana, Ouch Udom and Kong Rafat, now probably my number 1 keeper, in stepping up to the first team despite their tender ages. I approach this season with optimism that I can challenge for the title and win the Hun Sen Cup, after coming so close last time. I think the combination between the players who have stayed, plus some promising youngsters can help us achieve this. The board only want a top half finish and a run to the Quarter Finals of the Cup, which I think I can achieve.

EDC start the 2022 C-League campaign with a stronger squad and full of optimism. Can EDC get off to a good start, or will there still be a hangover from the disappointment of last season? Find out next time on The Ultimate Football Manager Game!

 

 

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Thanks Ben. The player in question, Panha only makes a couple of sub appearences and then goes back to the force...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Start of Season 3

The long road to March 2022 has finally been reached, the signings made, the contracts signed and thankfully the cleaning lady has decided to stay at EDC, despite offers from Nagaworld, Vishaka and Angkor Tiger.. I think I have a squad now which can successfully challenge for the title and make waves in the C-League after our near miss last season. 

A New Defender 

A late signing was Pin Saren from Second Division outfit, CMAC United who has hopefully completed the defensive jigsaw for the new season. One of the core reasons we failed to hold onto top spot was that the cover for our main two DC's, Daravon and Khemarin were inadequate and found wanting against good strikers. Hopefully Pin Saren will be able to hold our defence together....:)

Season 3 Match 1 Vishaka v EDC 19/03/22

Our traditional season opener is a trip to Vishaka. They are not the same Vishaka though as we have faced in previous years because most of their foreign stars, including the five North Koreans have left the club. I’m not sure where they are now, in fact I tried to sign a couple of them in pre-season, but they wanted full time contracts. Furthermore their top scoring striker, Mihaljevic is now apparently plying his trade back home in the Croatian Second Division. The new Vishaka are all Cambodian and mainly kids, so one would think they are there for the taking, but we cannot take this for granted. After all who knows, they could be like the Class of ’22...

Anyway I am reverting to a 4-4-2 and think this should be a good start to the season.

Team: Kong Rafat, Baraing, Daravon, Saren, Ratana, Etim. O.Udom, Mol, Veasna, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

Vishaka 1-1 EDC

Ravy 39 //// Mol 10

We did everything but win the game today and in the end a disappointing outcome against a poor Vishaka side we should have easily beaten. 

Our bright start to the match was rewarded when Ratana and Ouch Udom combined down the right flank, before the versatile defender curled a lovely ball to the far post where young Mao Mol and the smallest man on the pitch leapt like a salmon to head home past the keeper at the near post.

Then out of nowhere we conceded an awful equaliser. Seemingly there was no danger, but their midfielder, Ben Oudom suddenly floated in a very awkward ball from the right flank which evaded everyone including Kong Rafat. This allowed Ravy to nip in round the back and prod home from a tight angle. That was really annoying goal to concede.

We attacked and attacked in the second half but missed chance after chance, with the usually dependable Keo Udom the main culprit. Veasna was lively on the right wing but his craft could not break the deadlock. This was by no means a disaster, but disappointing all the same.

Season 3 Match 2 – EDC v Angkor Tiger (Hun Sen Cup 1st 

Qualifying Round)

Just months after featuring in the Prime Minister’s Cup Final we start the cycle once again, this time with a very tough home draw against fellow C-League outfit, Angkor Tiger, or as I now know means ‘Capital City Tiger’ They are a good team and have a big, solid Japanese defender, Ose and a decent young midfielder called Chan Dara, so this is by no means a gimme.

EDC 1-2 Angkor Tiger (AET)

Disappointing is an understatement. I’m not really sure what we had to do to win this cup tie.

In the first half we absolutely dominated the game, in fact they rarely went into our half. We just, like the last game could not finish for toffee. Mol hit the post after good work from Veasna, was the closest one. They came out second half but took the lead against the run of play opened the scoring when a fine move led the to the ball being crossed low from the right and converted by Sok Udoum. We then had a goal disallowed for offside. Young sub Tuy Udoum (remember the name) made a barnstorming run down the right wing before crossing low for Udom to convert, but his toe was offside. Just as I was resigned to an early exit Udoum’s flighted ball into the box was missed by the defender and Sok Chanraksmey sneaked in at the far post to equalise in stoppage time!

Extra time and they had the better of it, with us clearing the ball twice off our line, but then K. Udom went close for us. Then the killer blow: Chainuth picked the ball up in midfield and unleashed a magnificent 25 yard shot into the top corner. Out the Hun Sen Cup we go, there’ll be no 10-0 drubbings, trips to floating villages or monk’s curses this year!

Match 3: EDC v Angkor Tiger

I just want to win a game! So we meet our Hun Sen Cup conquerors Angkor Tiger in the league and at Prey Veng again. The cup game was a close run thing and I am expecting a similar match. I start with a 4-2-3-1 with Leap Bo making his full debut and Pin Saren once again deputising for the suspended Khemarin at the back. O.Udom moves to attacking midfield, with Chanraksmey as the lone striker.

Team: Kong Rafat, Baireng, Daravon, Saren, Ratana, Etim, Leap Bo, Mol, Veasna, O.Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 1-0 Angkor Tiger

K.Udom 69

We thoroughly deserved to win this game, in fact it would have been a travesty had we not come any other than three points. We dominated from start to finish, with some of our passing and movement at times a joy to behold. It was the same old story though, we just couldn’t finish. Chances that Sok Chanraksmey would have gobbled up this time last season were being saved, or put wide, or just going anywhere but in the back of the net, while Tiger were toothless in attack. 0-0 at half time. Second half I shook things up by bringing the woefully out of sorts Chanraksmey off for K. Udom, Leap Bo, who had started the game well was replaced with Suhana and Mao Mol was subbed for my young pacy right winger Tuy Oudoum, with Veasna swapping sides to the left. This added pace and potency in our attack. Just when it looked like being another one of those days, in the 69th minute came the breakthrough. Sub Tuy Oudoum received a lovely slide rule pass from Ouch Udom on the side of the penalty area. His shot hit the post and rebounded to Keo Udom who couldn’t miss. 1-0.

Tiger rallied and had one great chance one on one on the break but the shot hit the top of the crossbar. Daravon and new signing Saren were immense in the heart of the defence, while the full backs battled hard. Other than that they did not look a great side and we deserved the three points. Well played boys!

An indifferent start to season 3 from EDC, but can they rally and start to mount a serious title challenge? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 
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Posted (edited)

27. Tuying Our Opponents In Knots

 

Tuy Oudom, not to be confused with the two Udom's in the team, Keo and Ouch has been for much of my tenure languishing in the Under 21 and Reserve teams, not pulling up many trees and just another newgen kid with dreams of one day making it into the first team. The untimely departure of Math Fasal, who stormed out after a bust up with me for allegedly not playing him in his favoured Inverted Winger role left me with a problem as to who would start on the left wing. I have two decent young left wingers, Mao Mol and Molly Unmoll, the latter got injured for several weeks in pre season and the former started the first few games. Despite scoring our first goal of the season, Mao Mol failed to impress enough to hold down a regular spot. 

At the beginning of the season I had a conversation with my new reserve team manager, Khek Veasna and the name Tuy Oudom came up. Khek had seen something in the boy and suggested I at least included him in the match squad. This season I had promised to give the reserves and youth team a clear path into the first team, something I believe in strongly and so promoting Tuy Oudom was in line with a policy I had already wished to implement at the club, to give these young players a chance in the first team.

The problem was Oudom is a right winger, very right footed and pretty useless on the left. Whatsmore, Suon Veasna who in my eyes is the best player at the club was tearing C-League left backs apart for fun. Veasna though is two footed and can also play on the left, but would this lessen his threat by switching him?

I gave Tuy Oudom his debut as a substitute against Angkor Tiger in the Hun Sen Cup defeat, but he made little impact. In the league match against the same opponents he came on and made a real difference and in fact it was his run and shot which hit the post for Keo Udom to tap in the rebound for the only goal of the game. What struck me was his pace of 14 and acceleration of 13, which in a relatively poor division like the C-League can make all the difference. My new reserve team manager was right, this boy had something and I was keen to find out more about what he could do..

Match 4: Chhmao Khmao v EDC 08/04/22

My next game is a trip to newly promoted Chhmao Khmao. They currently lie in second and are buoyant after an impressive 4-1 away win against The National Police, so they are no pushovers. I am also reunited with defender, Moun Nara, who now plays for them and is doing well. They also have Ouk Mol, a young striker who once scored a hat-trick against us for Khemera last season. I will keep faith with 4-2-3-1, but Tuy Oudom will start on the right wing after impressing during a recent sub appearance and Veasna will start on the left. Keo Udom replaces the out of sorts Chanraksmey, still cursed by the monks, who drops to the bench. We should win, but this lot are a bit of an unknown quantity.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Kong Rafat, Bairaing, Daravon, Saren, Ratana, Etim, O Udom, Suhana, Veasna, Oudom, K. Udom

Chhmao Khmao 0-1 EDC

                                   T. Oudom 17

As the late great Brian Clough used to say, “One’s enough,” and at the moment this is enough for us at the moment. This is a new EDC this season, not quite the team of last year who blew opposition away with electrifying football, but one that is more solid at the back, patient in midfield but a bit shot shy up front. Nevertheless a win is a win and once again on the balance of play we thoroughly deserved the victory. O.Udom, until his untimely departure due to injury ran the show in the heart of midfield, while Etim beavered away behind him, snuffing out danger with tackles and interceptions. K.Udom looked dangerous upfront, but did not really trouble the keeper until later in the second half. It was even Steven during the opening exchanges with their right winger hitting our crossbar with a cross cum shot posing their only threat. O.Udom and Suhana looked creatve in midfield.  Etim fed O.Udom who clipped a lovely ball over the top for the onrushing right winger Tuy Oudom who had cleverly appeared from nowhere to delicately touch volley the ball past the keeper. It was a really well timed run from the youngster and a lovely little finish to match. We looked comfortable for the most part with Kong Rafat barely called into action throughout. K.Udom could have added a second when he broke away, only for the keeper to save on the angle. A solid win in which our opponents failed to register a shot on target. We briefly go to the top of the table, but let’s not get too excited yet!

Nagaworld offer me a job interview!

Nagaworld have offered me an interview! I have declined as this has only been generated by the stupid registration bug. It’s nice they appreciate my work at EDC, but my next job when it happens will be outside the C-League.

New Goalkeeping Coach

After our previous goalkeeping coach refused to renew his contract I put a job advert up and Nhem Ravy replied. He was working at Khmera, but has jumped ship to Team Electric. Welcome to Prey Veng Nhem Ravy!

A New Young Midfielder

Mat Dara has joined us on a free transfer. This versatile midfielder can play in central midfield or on the left or right and possesses a fair amount of pace. He will start as a development player with a view to him being promoted to the first team eventually, perhaps if Veasna leaves the club at some point.

Match 5 EDC v National Defence 16/04/22

We owe National Defence a bit of revenge after they helped to derail our league campaign last season. I line up unchanged from the last game where we looked solid. It is also a fan day, so I am hoping that the lads put on a show and help build up more core supporters at Prey Veng.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Kong Rafat, Bairaing, Daravon, Saren, Ratana, Etim, O Udom, Suhana, Veasna, T.Oudom, K. Udom

EDC 4-0 National Defence

Veasna 28,66

Oudom 60,65

We looked very much in control and dangerous today. In the first half Veasna went on a barnstorming run across the field before his shot was blocked. K. Udom hit the post when he wriggled free in the left channel from the angle. At the other end, National Defence had a few set pieces which did not come to much. Then we took the lead from one such National Defence set play. K. Udom ran down the left on the counter attack, before feeding Veasna who powered into the penalty area and smacked an unstoppable shot past the keeper, which was exactly what we deserved.

From a Miroslav Klose bug clearance from their keeper, Kong Rafat saved when Pheng was through on goal. Our young goalkeeper was superb throughout the game.

Our second came from a great move down the right. Sub Leap Bo dribbled into the penalty area, before finding the overlapping Ratana who crossed low from the by-line and Tuy Oudom tucked it away virtually on the line. A deserved 2-0 lead.

Bairaing received the ball on the left. He found the impressive Leap Bo who laid it right to Tuy Oudom who unleashed a scintillating strike into the top corner. Top notch stuff from the youngster! Leap Bo was involved again in the fourth goal as he found Keo Udom on the right flank. His cross found the onrushing Veasna, who controlled and flighted the ball past the keeper. Electrifying stuff! The winger smacked the post late on in stoppage time to almost claim a deserved hat-trick. This was the EDC of last season, but this time with a more solid defence.

EDC sign Taboula

We have signed our second Nigerian, Pelap Taboula, a talented young striker. We have a lot of strikers at EDC, in fact maybe too many, but I think this guy is the real deal and he’s only 19. Chanraksmey is not getting any younger so he will be a long term replacement for him. A marvellous coup for the club! 

Season 3 Match 6 EDC v National Police

At least the crime rate in the Prey Veng district of Phnom Penh will take a dip in the next 24 hours, as The National Police are in town. They lie in a lowly 13th, while we sit in 2nd. Last year’s title challengers have not started well this season, so they will be keen to arrest this run of bad form (sorry couldn’t resist). The only dilemna I have is whether to start new signing Taboula, as apparently there will be a bumper crowd of err 200 people to see the new man in action.  Keo Udom has played well as the lone striker, but has only scored one goal, one even my Mum could have put away against Angkor Tiger. We start with a 4-4-2. Taboula partners  K. Udom up front and comes in for Suhana, who drops to the bench.

Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Veasna, Oudom, K.Udom, Taboula

EDC 5-2 National Police

Oudom 4,41                  Ravann 15

Taboula 33                    Chetra 44

Ratana 62 (pen)

Etim 69

This was more like the EDC of last season, great going forward but conceding a couple of dodgy goals at the back. It was fairly even until a corner by Veasna was met by young Tuy Oudum who leapt at the far post to head in the opening goal. He’s done it again!

In response from their right wing cross a missed header allowed Ravann to head home an equaliser. Oops

Pin Saren launched the ball upfield which found Keo Udom who had drifted to the right channel. His pinpoint cross was met by debutant Taboula who powered a header into the top corner, like Alan Shearer in his pomp to make it 2-1!

Ratana burst forward, laid it infield to O.Udom who ghosted past his man, found Taboula who checked back before delivering a sumptuous reverse pass to the onrushing Tuy Oudom who powered it home. This lad can do no wrong! 3-1 Perhaps I should add the 17 year old Tuy Oudom to the ‘wonderkid’ list alongside the likes of Haaland and Moukoko..

Chey Chitra raced clear from a cleared corner to slot in a goal 3-2.

From their throw-in Pin Saren did brilliantly to intercept the ball and he fed Veasna who burst down the left and into the penalty area where he was tripped. Penalty! Up stepped young Ratana to slot home the penalty and score his first ever goal for EDC!

From a cleared corner Ratana launched the ball forward. Raymond Etim ran forward and gets to the ball before the onrushing keeper and managed to cleverly touch the ball into the corner of the net for his first goal in an EDC shirt.

Brilliant job boys back to the top of the table we go!

Experienced International Joins EDC!

I’ve snapped up Sos Suhana on a free transfer and he has 53 caps for Cambodia to his name. Now I know Cambodia are hardly world beaters, but he is a good player at this level and will add some experience to our relatively young squad.

Season 3 Match 7: Chhland Samuth v EDC 01/05/22

Newly promoted Chhlan Samuth have made an impressive start to the season and are currently in 4th place.

The stand out result for them was a 6-1 win over National Defence and look to have some decent players amongst their ranks, so we cannot take them lightly. They will probably play two up front, which is something we normally struggle against. I think I will revert to my 4-2-3-1 formation, with a headache of K.Udom, Taboula or Chanraksmey to start as the lone striker. New signing Sos Suhana will start on the bench, as Veasna and Tuy Udoum are undroppable at the moment.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, Leap Bo, O.Udom, Veasna, Oudom, K.Udom

Chllam Samuth 1-2 EDC

Chainuth 26                            Oudom 53

                                                  Taboula 77

Two pieces of individual brilliance brought us a hard earnt three points on the road against lively and tough opponents, who caused us problems all afternoon and deserved to get something out of the game themselves. The hosts took the lead against the run of play. They had the ball in midfield and there was seemingly no danger, but the ball was chipped into the penalty area where their right back, Chainuth appeared unmarked before firing an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.

We looked a bit clueless and K Udom was looking increasingly isolated up front. I brought on Taboula for Leap Bo and reverted to a 4-4-2. Our equaliser came against the run of play when Etim intercepted the ball in midfield and found O.Udom, who played a simple pass to Tuy Oudom. The youngster beat his man and strode forward with confidence before unleashing an unstoppable 25 yard shot which sizzled into the top corner. This guy just gets better and better!

Chllam Samuth can play though and knocked the ball around with confidence. One pass went astray and debutant sub, Sos Suhana cleared the ball to sub Chanraksmey, who released Taboula down the left channel. He outpaced his defender with ease and finished with aplomb, using the outside of his right foot. Sheer quality from the young Nigerian to give us a perhaps undeserved lead!  Samuth would not give up though and Kong Rafat had to be at his best to make two brilliant acrobatic saves to preserve our lead and give us a ropey three points. It’s performances like this that make Champions and in Pelap Taboula perhaps we have a real matchwinner. Five wins in a row, top of the table and unbeaten in the league so far.

Season 3 Match 8 EDC v Svay Rieng

Our latest match sees us taking on Svay Rieng, who in the past have proved to stubborn opposition. They also play in a dodgy 4 man narrow funky Christmas tree formation, so I will load my midfield with a 4-2-3-1. Ratana and Daravon are suspended so Channroeurn and Khemarin step into the back four. In midfield Sann Suhana is preferred to Leap Bo and Taboula starts as the lone striker.

Team: Kong Rafat, Channroeurn, Khemarin, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Suhana, Veasna, Oudom, Taboula

EDC 5-1 Svay Rieng

Veasna 42,66,87         Chamroerun 51 

Oudom 56

Chanraksmey 84

This was a brilliant performance in which we controlled the game from start to finish. We kept the ball really well and possession is an area of our game that we have much improved on. It took a while for us to get going, but once we did there was no stopping us. Veasna was a constant thorn down the left, while Oudom continued his rich vein of form on the right.

Tika taka football from EDC! Etim, Bariaing, knock the ball about in midfield. Then the left back played a perfect ball forward to Veasna in the inside left channel who ran onto it and fired in from the angle for a deserved lead. At half time we were 1-0 up and Svay Rieng has not had one shot on goal.

Early in the second half, out of nowhere Svay Rieng broke away and they overloaded our defence resulting in Heng Chameroun racing clear and fired home an unexpected equaliser.

However, the youngster did it again! Veasna crossed in, sub Chanraksmey flicked the ball on and Tuy Oudom like a whippet ran onto the ball and lashed it home!

Udom fed the overlapping  Chanroeurn, who has got forward well all afternoon. He raced to the by-line and found a cross. The keeper missed it and the brilliant Veasna swept home from 2 yards.

From a Veasna corner, Um Channou, who was having a mare against his former club missed the ball and Sok Chanraksmey gratefully side footed into the empty net.

Finally, another great goal from EDC. Sub Sos Suhana and Channeroeurn combined down the right, the ball goes infield to O.Udom who fed Sann Suhana. His cross was taken on the chest by the onrushing Veasna before firing sweetly into the top corner for a brilliant hat-trick. Great performance boys!

Injury to Tuy Oudom

The only downer was man of the moment, Tuy Oudom going off with an injured groin, which will keep him out of action for 5-6 weeks. To put it bluntly this kid was smashing it, quite literally. Not only is he EDC’s top goalscorer but he also tops the charts for the whole C-League with 7 goals. Not bad for a player with a finishing of 1, yes you heard right, Tuy Oudom only has a finishing of 1. Amazing! Anyway we are going to have to do without him for two months or so, but Sos Suhana is a ready replacement and like Veasna he can play on either flank, so they will be able to play swapsises every now and again.

EDC are top of the table and still unbeaten in the league. Can they keep up the good form and lay the ghosts of last season to rest against their nemesis, Nagaworld... Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

Edited by Jon1982
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I've enjoyed spending a little bit of time catching back up with this one. The rebuild of EDC seems to have gone well. Your boys could be putting the spark into the C-League........(sorry, couldn't resist)

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Thanks Neil. Glad you are enjoying it so far. There are plenty more twists and turns to come, with several teams trying to pour water over our title challenge... :)

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On 20/07/2021 at 13:55, BenArsenal said:

Ooh, you've changed your avatar! Nice!

Yes I'll be applying for Cambodian citizenship next.. :)

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28. Mind The Gap!

 

When we left off in the last post, EDC were flying, top of the table and unbeaten in the league. This great run of early season form had also seen the emergence of Tuy Oudom, a young 17 year old right winger from the Reserves who had taken his opportunity in the first team with both hands. To date he had scored 7 goals making him the top goalscorer in the C-League, that is until he got injured in the last game, a 5-1 thrashing of Svay Rieng. This now meant a month to six weeks on the sidelines for the teenager. 

While I was delighted with his performances I also did not want us to become too dependant on him. K.Udom despite playing well was missing chances, while Sok Chanraksmey still looked a bit spooked from the monk's curse at Angkor Wat. Taboula, while highly promising blows hot and cold, but he is just 19 and Veasna was having a great season, but his role is to create goals rather than score them himself. His chances created were so often being missed by others. 

This run of fine form had been down to a 17 year old kid who was now lying on the treatment table and will miss the top of the table clash against Nagaworld.

Match 9: EDC v Nagaworld 14/05/22

This is the game we have all been waiting for, the visit of our nemesis, Nagaworld. Tied at the top of the table on 19 points a piece, this is the big top of the table clash that the whole of Cambodia is talking about. George Kelechi may have retired and taken up scouting, but they still have the dangerous Japanese forward, Kawabata, along with the pacy Ly Ravy and of course former EDC winger and big stupid baby, Math Fasal. Throw in Sonny Makarna and his supposed antics at Angkor Wat and we have many many reasons to beat Nagaworld today.

I keep faith with the 4-2-3-1 formation. Sos Suhana comes in for Tuy Oudom, while Pin Saren is suspended so Khemarin keeps his place with Daravon coming back into central defence. I am going to attack this lot as I do not think they are the force they were last season. What the hell, playing a tactical game against them last season didn’t really work so let's attack and see what happens....

Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravaon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Leap Bo, O.Udom, Veasna, Sos Suhana, Taboula

 

EDC 4-1 Nagaworld

Suhana 8                      Ly Ravy 50

Taboula 22,35

Daravon 62

Yeeeeesss! Revenge! Sonny Makara, Sam Chanvirak (manager last season), Kawabata, George Kelechi, Chataratana, Monks at Angkor Wat, Your boys took one hell of a beating!

What a win! Amazing. This was an electrifying performance which frightened the living daylights out of our fierce rivals Nagaworld!

On 7 minutes Ratana threw the ball to Veasna, who laid off to Raymond Etim who curled in a peach of a cross to the far post where Sos Suhana was there to poke home. A great start for EDC!

Then, a great all round team goal. Khemarin headed away their attack. The ball fell to the impressive Leap Bo who clipped the ball forward towards Taboula. Their defender missed the ball completely, allowing the Nigerian to run freely onto the ball and smash home for 2-0. Taboula is bullying their defence and they don’t know how to handle him. From the goal kick, the ball is missed again by the defender and Taboula just trots through and fires home for 3-0, EDC are in electric dreamland!

A good move in midfield by Nagaworld results in Krya finding space on the right wing who crossed for Ly Ravy to slot home at the far post. 3-1. Squeaky bum time.

Veasna swung in the free kick and Maol Daravon nodded home at the far post 4-1! Never in doubt! I gave a late debut to Matt Dara and symbolically brought Sok Chanraksmey on so he could be on the pitch at the end to exorcise his demons. Brilliant game, brilliant performance. There’s no stopping us now!

Whatsmore the Nagaworld manager banged the table in frustration during post match press conference! The tables are turned! Come on!!!

Top Of The C-League Table

1st EDC 22 pts

2nd Nagaworld 19

3rd Khemara 18

4th Boeung Ket 15

5th Phnom Penh Crown 15

 

The Vultures Are Circling (again)

It is one minute past midnight on 15th May 2022 and the phone has not stopped ringing. Bids for my players are coming in left right and centre and once more I do not know what my squad is going to look like for the second half of the season. The deal we made back in pre-season has enabled this and so it is down to the individual loyalty of the players. We have given them generous appearance fees plus other bonuses, but it is just a case of hoping they want to stay at the club which is currently three points clear at the top the C-League.

Already bids have been made for Veasna, Channroeurn, Etim, Ouch Udom and Ratana.. Watch this space!

Match 10: Solitio Angkor v EDC 21/05/22

Our old foes from the first season have been promoted back to the C-League but they are not faring too well again, sitting down in 11th, just above the relegation zone. If they are anything like the team we played before they will be determined and should not be underestimated. We are a lot stronger these days and line up in our trusted 4-2-3-1 with Pin Saren returning to central defence and Sann Suhana replacing Leap Bo in midfield for a more attacking line up.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Sann Suhana, Veasna, Sok Suhana, Taboula

 

Solitio Angkor 0-0 EDC

This was certainly after the Lord Mayor’s show following on from the Nagaworld game. I think the FM gods decided we were not going to score a goal today. We created chance after chance after chance, but just could not stick the ball in the onion bag and Chanraksmey looked cursed once again, Taboula was busy but ineffective, Veasna and Sos Suhana were not themselves and O. Udom perhaps had other things on his mind. Our opponents looked dangerous from set plays and Kong Rafat was called upon to make some good saves. Having said that we still deserved to win, but their keeper was unbeatable. Two dropped points, but hopefully not a complete disaster..

An EDC fan Ny Boris tweeted: “Absolutely fuming. Our strikers couldn’t finish a dinner,” which just about summed things up..

Mind The Gap!

The Solitio Angkor match was our last game for a month. While this was good news for young Oudom because it gave him time to recover, it meant we could badly lose momentum, especially after two great results against Svay Rieng and the big one against Nagaworld. The players being part time had to work extra hours at the Grid in order to make up for the lost football income. As all of them were on an appearance fee based contracts this lack of action left a hole in their pockets which needed filling. I often noticed a difference during these periods as with no fixture for several weeks it was harder for them to maintain focus in training and they were often more tired than usual due to their longer shifts in their day jobs. 

This gap in fixtures was also extended by our early departure from the Hun Sen Cup and we just had to sit out the final weekend of the gap without a game. The next league match is a trip to the Champions, Boeung Ket. A difficult game, which would have been made easier with the form and confidence we have accrued due to the last two big wins and the momentum we have created.

At what cost would this month long gap and loss of momentum have on EDC's season? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

 

 

 

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Not only has there been a gap in EDC fixtures, but also a gap in these posts, due to a combination of holidays, illness and readjusting to life without restrictions in the UK, meaning less time to write this story. I do hope to bring you some more material soon as EDC seek to upset the odds and win the first C-League title in their history!

Edited by Jon1982
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29. Back Down To Earth With A Bang!

At the risk of turning into Arsene Wenger, Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho here, or any manager who has ever complained about the scheduling of fixtures, the month long gap has taken the spark out of Electricite Du Cambodge's season. We were flying, three points clear and just swept aside our biggest rivals Nagaworld 4-1. There was a lot of optimism around Prey Veng.

Then a dodgy 0-0 draw against lowly Solitio Angkor just before this break put a small downer on things, albeit this was not a disaster. The lads had to concentrate on providing electricity to the good people of Cambodia, while I twiddled my thumbs in between the two weekly training sessions.

Finally the game we had all been waiting for came around, the Champions, Boeung Ket away. How would we get on?

Match 11: Boeung Ket v EDC

After a month with no fixture, largely due to us being knocked out of the Hun Sen Cup early I finally get to play again. They don’t come much bigger than this in Cambodia, the champions Boeung Ket away. Whatsmore during the recent transfer window they went and signed Omakafe from National Defence, who will be someone to look out for and has caused us problems in the past. “The Nigerian Pele’ helped peg us back from C-League glory in his National Defence days and he has now joined The Champions. I will line up in a 4-2-3-1 with Tuy Oudom back from injury and after one month off was raring to go! Sam Channroeurn deputises for Ouk Ratana at right back after he picked up a knock in training.

Boeung Ket 5-1 EDC

Sovan 19 Chhchoeun 45      K Udom 85

Sotheaven 84,90

Phearith 88

Ouch that hurt! We did not deserve this at all. A flattering result for the Champions, in a game which hinged on the sending off of our right back, Sam Channroeurn. Up until then we had been by far the better side and could have been at least two goals up.

We made a bright start, Sung Rot had a shot which fizzed just wide. Taboula headed just over after good work from Veasna. Then at the other end a random free kick from the left and the ball was headed into the corner by Mao Souvan, Kong Rafat could have done better, but the Champions took an undeserved lead.

Channroeurn was then sent off for two bookabale offences. I reluctantly subbed O Udom for Mom Veasna the young right back to maintain a flat back four . They got a second, can’t remember how, Tuy Oudom rattled the crossbar late on. It wasn’t our day..Southvean ran the length of the field and fired past Kong Rafat. A bad day at the office..Keo Udom pulled a late consolation 3-1

To really rub our noses in it they scored twice right near the end, but by this time we had gone, given in no hope. Daravon was knackered but I’d used all my subs and Mom Veasna is unfortunately not good enough, so the right side of our defence was just fair game. We did not deserve 5-1 but that was the score…  Painful. Yes the water bottle was thrown, the players didn’t like it but that’s how I felt. Many prayed to Buddha after, but  I went home, had a couple of glasses of whiskey and threw the duvet over my head and tried to forget about the whole sordid affair…

Chin Chainuth Injured

I don’t normally comment on injuries, but this one is serious. My Number 2 goalkeeper Chin Chainuth is out for 8 months with a broken ankle, leaving me with now just two keepers at the club…

Sam Sambo Joins EDC!

I have signed free agent Sam Sambo as cover in the goalkeeping position. He will be 3rd choice behind Kong Rafat and Kouch Rithy. Welcome to EDC!

Match 12: EDC v Rithy Sen 25/06/21

After a dodgy run of form I hope to beat 9th placed Rithy Sen to restore momentum in our title challenge. I’m going to revert to a 4-4-2 with the old firm of Chanraksmey and Keo Udom up front and young Taboula as an impact sub. Ratana should return at right back in place of the suspended Chanroeurn and Leap Bo will deputise for Etim, who also misses out after picking up too many yellow cards.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Khemarin, Saren, Bairaing, Leap Bo, Sung Rot, Veasna, T. Oudom, K. Udom, Chanraksmey

EDC 4-1 Rithy Sen

K Udom 36,58,72   Pidor 76

Sung Rot 62

We were back to our old selves today as Rithy Sen had no answer to our attack. Keo Udom scored a marvellous hat trick and a screamer from Sung Rot, who has carried on from where he left off last season completed the rout.

The first was a simple goal. Sung Rot had the ball about 25 yards out. He played it to Leap Bo, who found Bairaing on the left wing. His simple low cross was diverted in by Keo Udom for a well worked goal.

Ratana recieved the ball from young Tuy Udom. He crossed in and Keo Udom volleyed home, with the keeper getting a strong hand on it, but was unable to prevent it crossing the line. For the third goal, Keo Udom turned provider as his shot was charged down but the defender, only to fall into the path of Sung Rot who curled a wonderful shot into the top bins. 3-0

Sung Rot did what he does best and run at the heart of the Rithy Sen defence, He found Chanraksmey, whose instant pass was turned in by Keo Udom for a well deserved hat trick.

Pidor found the corner of net from a breakaway involving several players for 4-1 but it was just a consolation. Well done lads!

Match 13 EDC v Phnom Penh Crown 02/07/22

When we last played the Crown we thrashed them 7-2 on the final match of last season and I will be hoping for something similar today. They have a decent side and I will have to be wary of Okerere and Booyens up front. We will line up in a 4-4-2 again with O.Udom coming in for Sung Rot who cannot play against his parent club, while Etim comes back into midfield after his suspension.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Veasna, T.Oudom, Chanraksmey, K.Udom

EDC 2-4 Phnom Penh Crown

Chanrakmey 2              Okoreke 5, 44, Sopana 20, Booysen 81

Taboula 54

A terrible result and performance.. We got off to a great start! Ratana threw the ball in to Veasna, whose pinpoint cross was met by the head of Sok Chanraksmey (how often have we said that) to bury it into the bottom corner. Then, disaster struck. A long goal kick was missed by two EDC players, allowing Okereke to run through on goal and slot in the equaliser..

An EDC move broke down and Okereke flew down the left wing before squaring to Sophan who did the rest. Bugger!

Kong Rafat saved a penalty.

Young Tuy Oudom ran down the right and provided a pinpoint cross for sub Taboula to head home 3-2

Booyens headed home number 4, Disappointing result our defence was terrible and could not handle the pace of Timothy Okereke.(again) Must do better if we are to be C-League Champions! We slip to 3rd.

Match 13 Khemara Keila v EDC 09/07/22

Like us, Khemera are punching above their weight this season and sit just behind us in 4th. They also have a decent striker, Borey who will need watching and a team of honest players who will give us a game. After the defensive disaster of the last game I am reverting back to a 4-2-3-1 with Taboula ploughing a lone furrow up front, with Sung Rot returning to midfield and Sos Suhana stepping in for the suspended Veasna.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Sung Rot, T.Oudom, Sos Suhana, Taboula

Khemera 2-1 EDC

Borey 52, 72             Etim 45

A joke result against a joke team. We dominated the game, but lacked cutting edge and this in the end was to cost us dearly. They looked dangerous on the odd break they had. A corner was cleared to Raymond Etim who advanced forward before unleashing a piledriver from 25 yrds out which flashed into the bottom corner. We needed that! 1-0.

They hit the bar from a free kick to send a warning to EDC. Then worst nightmare. A corner was cleared , hoofed up field and as our defence stupidly were drawn towards the ball like moths to a lampshade,  Noun Borey raced clear, sidestepped Kong Rafat and lashed it into the empty net. FFS!!

What a joke! Out of nowhere a right wing cross was turned in by Noun Borey. Joke. I hate this game. This joke pub team go above us in the table.. somehow.. 

Oh dear. Three league defeats after the month long gap has seen EDC's title hopes falter. At the halfway point in the season, however there is still time to make it back up and mount a serious challenge for the C-League.....

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

30. Trying To Grasp The Nettle

Here is the next instalment of my now award winning Football Manager Story. Thankyou to everyone who voted for me!

After an indifferent run of form which has seen us drop off the pace in the title race, it is time to grasp the nettle and get back to winning ways. It's fair to say that the month long gap did really mess with our momentum. Young Tuy Oudom who was at one point the leading scorer in the C-League with seven goals has simply not been the same player since he came back from injury. Chanraksmey and K Udom who killed it last season have been missing chances, while young Taboula blows hot and cold. The only constant is Veasna who has been brilliant, but he cannot do it all himself. We have a better squad than last year, yet for whatever reason it is not clicking in the same way, We look loose at the back, especially when up against pace and the full backs, Bairaing aside have not been up to the standard of last year. It is exactly the halfway point in the season so there is certainly time to pull things around and mount a serious title challenge. 

 

Match 14- EDC v Vishaka

We are back round to the start of the return fixtures. Vishaka are surprisingly down in the relegation zone this season and so I expect nothing less than a win. They are full of Cambodian youngsters and should be there for the taking, but our form is inconsistent and we need to get back on track, starting today.

I’m going to start with a slightly new formation 4-4-1-1 with Sung Rot playing just off Keo Udom. Veasna returns on the right, while I am giving young Molly Unmoll his first start on the left after scoring a hat trick for the Reserves and excelling in training.

Team: 4-4-1-1 Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Veasna, Sung Rot, Molly Unmoll, K.Udom.

 

EDC 3-1 Vishaka

Veasna 29                        Noron 5 (pen) 

K.Udom 45

Taboula 87

A much needed win over Vishaka, of which we got better as the game went along.

Things didn’t start well though. Their striker Noron has the ball near the edge of the box and seemingly no danger. He pushed it past Khemarin who tripped him. Penalty. They convert 1-0.

We are dominating possession, but they look dangerous with the long hoof down field, while we are playing beautiful tika taka style football but not scoring. Veasna hits the post, the team is getting annoyed. I tell everyone to calm down and demand more. Veasna listened. He’s had enough and gets his head down and just runs from inside his own half and whacks it petulantly past the keeper for 1-1.

Then from the halfway line, Maul Daravon hits a rather hopeful ball into the penalty area. Young Molly Unmoll does well and flicks it back to Keo Udom on the corner of the area. He nonchalantly places a shot past the keeper into the corner.

Direct from Kong Rafat’s goal kick, the ball was taken down by Pelap Taboula who ran into the box and smashed it home to put the gloss on a much needed victory.

Match 15: Angkor Tiger v EDC 23/07/22

Angkor Tiger will be "tough to beat" mused my Performance Analyst, Keo Sambo. (Yes we do have one, he lives in a cupboard and spends all day watching football matches) I think we are two evenly matched teams. They lie in 5th while we are in 3rd and have fallen off the pace a little in the title race, so we need a win to keep up with Boeung Ket and Nagaworld. We line up in a 4-4-2 with Tuy Oudom preferred to Molly Unmoll, and Veasna moves over to the left wing. Ratana drops to the bench after a poor run of form and Roeurn Channroeurn comes in at right back.

Team: 4-4-2 Kong Rafat, Channroeurn, Saren, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Oudom, K.Udom, Taboula 

Angkor Tiger 3-0 EDC

Dara 33

Darapitch 38

Srin 57

This was a miserable performance and we simply couldn’t defend against a lively Tiger side, nor could we hit a cow’s backside with a banjo going forward. At least our midfield was good enough to create some chances, but overall this was a dire performance.

We got off to a decent start and Sung Rot almost put us a goal up after he hit the post. Something told me then it wasn’t going to be our day. Then we succumbed to a strange goal. The ball was cleared from a cross and then played into the area while my entire back four just stood like lemons in front of the keeper, playing everybody onside. All Chan Dara had to do was control the ball inside the area and smash the ball home. Odd goal that and even worse statuesque defending. Then after a couple of chances from us, Tiger broke away and scored, Darapich, who tortured Bairaing all afternoon with the finish. In the second half, from a corner Srin rose unchallenged to power a header home. We did create some chances ourselves with Taboula and K Udom going close, but they knew where the back of the net was and we didn’t which was the difference between the two sides.

Match 16: EDC v Chhma Khamo 30/07/22

Currently we have slipped to 4th in the table, due to our recent inconsistent results, with Boeung Ket and Nagaworld with a game in hand on us, so while we are not completely out of it I would hardly make us favourites for the title. Chhma Khmao have had a decent season and the newly promoted side lie in 8th place, ten points away from trouble. A must win if we are to keep pace with the three teams above us and have a say in the title race. I line up in a 4-4-2, with the old firm of K.Udom and Chanraksmey upfront. Ratana and Daravon return to the back four, while Sos Suhana starts on the left hand side of midfield.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, Sung Rot, Suhana, Veasna, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

EDC 3-1 Chhma Khmao

Chanraksmey 2 (pen)

Sung Rot 5

Taboula 87

We were excellent today and fully deserved to win.

We got off to a great start after a bit of scramble in the Khmao penalty box resulted in a penalty. Up stepped Chanraksmey who powered the ball home for 12 yards. 1-0. Then from a poor clearance from their defender, the loose ball was picked up by Sung Rot who ran forward, dropped his shoulder past the defender before slotting home confidently for 2-0, with only 3 minutes on the clock!

Just before half time, Khmao halved the deficit when a far post corner was headed home by Long Pheng.

In the second half we dominated proceedings with Veasna providing a constant supply line of crosses for Chanraksmey and Udom, neither of which could capitalise, with their keeper pulling off a world class save to deny the former. Substitute Taboula did rather better and volleyed home yet another Veasna cross to make it 3-1 in what was a comfortable victory in the end.

Today was also a fan day, so the ground was full of families and potential supporters of EDC, who will sure to have been impressed by today’s performance. We are now in third place, just three points behind leaders, Nagaworld.

Bizarre Friendly Result

EDC Reserves 3-15 EDC U21s

A strange result has emerged from a kickabout between my Reserves and U21 sides, which ended up with a rugby score of 15-3 in favour of my U21s.. Perhaps some of these players are in the wrong squads, including 7 goals for my young forward, Morgan Laurent and 4 for Sary Chainuth.., remember their names! 

Match 17: National Defence v EDC 05/08/22

The poor old National Defence are bottom of the league, so despite their name they have not been defending very well. We will hope to cash in and take three points today. They play a strange formation which consists of them filling up midfield, so I go with a 4-4-1-1 with Sung Rot playing just off Chanraksmey, plus attacking wingers and full backs to try and exploit their lack of numbers in wider areas. This may change if they prove tough to break down.

Importantly, Boeung Ket lost their game in hand to Phnom Penh Crown 2-0, meaning I can leapfrog them into 2nd with a win today.

 

Team: Kong Rafat, Chanroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, O.Udom, Veasna, Sos Suhana, Sung Rot, Taboula

National Defence 3-3 EDC

K. Panha 41                                    Taboula  27,33

M. Panha 50                                    Khemarin 58

Pidor 91

There are times when you simply have to grasp the nettle and make it count and we failed to do that today. Bottom of the table National Defence looked useless and clueless for the first 40 minutes of the match as it was like an attackers v defenders training exercise.

After completely dominating the first 20 minutes we were rewarded with a goal. Veasna received the ball from Channroeurn and ran down the right, before feeding Sung Rot in the inside right channel. His cross was met by Pelap Taboula with an acrobatic volley into the corner of the net, 1-0!

Etim cut out the Defence’s clearance. He fed attacking full back Sam Channroeurn whose cross was diverted home first time by Taboula for number 2! Lovely.

Then we hit the self destruct button. A rare attack from National Defence resulted in Daravon conceding a free kick on the edge of the area and getting sent off for a second yellow card. Panha lashed in the resulting free kick for 2-1. Oops..

Just after half time we self destruct again. A pretty passing move by us is broken up by a huge Wimbledon style hoof down the pitch to the onrushing Panha in acres of space, who slotted past Kong Rafat 2-2, in a game we should be winning comfortably.

As the water bottle I had just kicked on the touchline slowly regained its shape, Veasna flighted in a random free kick and Khek Khemarin rose like a salmon to nod home with a firm header. 3-2. Then we hung on Sven-style as National Defence suddenly turned into Spain c2010, we just could not get the ball off them. The Panha brothers in midfield may as well have been Xavi and Iniesta..

They piled forward outnumbering our defenders and carving out chances, which but for some horrendous finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Kong Rafat they could have easily outscored us. I introduced Leap Bo to add some stability to the midfield and told my full backs to stay back in order to contain them. By the 90th minute I felt we had a measure of control again and had done enough to cling on to an ugly win. Then, a right wing corner was fired in and met full on the volley by Pidor to equalise.. An opportunity missed..again… We remain in 3rd.. The nettle we were trying to grasp had a very nasty sting...

A last minute equaliser by bottom side National Defence prevented EDC from closing in on the top of the table, but all is not lost as we head into the closing stages of the season. Can EDC mount a serious title challenge, or will they be once again the bridesmaids in the 2022 C-League?

 

Edited by Jon1982
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