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Jon1982
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13 hours ago, BenArsenal said:

Congrats on the award mate. Well deserved. :thup:

Can't wait to see where this story develops. 

Thanks Ben. I didn't realise how popular my little Cambodian story was. Yes I aim to carry on whenever possible and eventually move to another country possibly...

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Part 31.  Keeping Up With The Nagaworlds

 

It's been an interesting season so far. We got off to a great start, but then a mixed bag of results have seen us fall off the pace as we enter the second half of the season. As we know in football though, anybody can beat anybody no matter where they are in the league table. Our big rivals Nagaoworld have been consistently (and annoyingly at the top of the league, with the rest of us, lead by a rejuvenated Angkor Tiger, surprise packages Khemera Keila and us chasing them. Things are taking shape in the C-League and a positive run of results could see us catch our rivals and who knows what could happen then??

Match 18: EDC v Chhlam Samuth

When we last played this newly promoted side I was quite impressed with them even though we managed to beat them 2-1. This is a must win if we are to keep in touch with the top teams, as that costly last minute equaliser against the Defence saw us slip to 4th and 5 points behind flippin’ Nagaworld. I have nothing to lose now and I am simply going to go for it. I’m playing 4-4-2 with K.Udom partnering top scorer Taboula up front, Ratana slots in at right back and Khemarin deputises for the suspended Daravon in defence. Molly Unmoll is given another chance on the left wing.

Team: 4-4-2 Kong Rafat, Ratana, Khemarin, Saren, Bairaing, Etim, Sung Rot, Veasna, Molly Unmoll, K.Udom, Taboula

 

EDC 3-0 Chhlam Samuth

Veasna 12,

Sung Rot 61,

K.Udom 87

A good solid win, in which while we did not have it quite all our own way against a competent Chhlam Samuth side, it was exactly what we deserved for a positive attacking display.

In the opening exchanges they gave as good as they got, with Kong Rafat having to pull off two fine saves. It was us though who took the lead on the break. Veasna picked up the ball and found Sung Rot on the right. His cross found Keo Udom, but when his shot was blocked the rebound fell to Veasna who stylishly curled the ball into the top corner for his 7th goal of the season.

Samuth would not give up though and Kong Rafat was once again called upon to make a point blank save from their dangerous young striker, Touch Sinoun. We were dominating the game though and the deserved second goal came when Etim played a ball down the left channel. The ever willing Veasna retrieved what was seemingly a lost cause. He turned inside before crossing low for Sung Rot to divert home.

The icing on the cake came when from a breakaway, Sok Chanraksmey ran into the right channel and he squared it to the onrushing Keo Udom who couldn’t miss. 3-0. Back up to second we go, just three behind Nagaworld, who could only draw 1-1 with Chamao Khamao.

Match 19 – National Police v EDC 21/08/21

We visit the Cambodian Constabulary in decent form and with plenty of motivation to keep the pressure on Nagaworld at the top of the table. They have a good striker Chen Chitra who must be watched, but the rest of the team look like young special constables, rather than cheif superintendants. I will stick with the 4-4-2 which has served us well with Sos Suhana preferred to young Molly Unmoll on the left wing. Daravon also replaces Pin Saren in the heart of the defence.

Kong Rafat, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Sung Rot, Sos Suhana, Veasna, K.Udom, Chanraksmey

 

National Police 3-1 EDC

Chitra 23                                     Taboula 56

Piseth 49

Hosan 90

Oh dear, we got stuffed by the old Bill.. We came unstuck as Chitra and his mate, Piseth tore us apart with a lethal counter attacking game, underpinned by their goalkeeper’s uncanny knack of finding these two from 80 yards away. We were utter crap though. We couldn’t finish, we couldn’t defend and whenever we were caught in possession they just bunted it downfield for Chitra to do his stuff.

It was tit for tat in the opening 20 minutes. Chitra looked a real threat, while Veasna hit the post with a free kick . Then the inevitable happened. All day long Chitra was running in behind. He dribbled into the area and dinked it cutely past Kong Rafat. It was coming and we cannot cope with this guy.,

Miroslav Flippin Klose bug. A perfect 80 yard goal kick ends up at the feet of Chitra (who else) and he squares it for his mate, Piseth with our defence all at sea. 2-0 bye bye title hopes.#

We look clueless, nothing is working and they look like they can get a third any minute. K.Udom shoots wide from inside the penalty area. I shouted at the entire team and demanded more. They listened. Ratana’s hopeful ball forward is into the path of the onrushing Taboula who dribbled into the area and slotted the ball into the corner. 2-1 Game on! We pressed and pressed and came close on a few occasions, but they also looked dangerous on the break.

Then from another Miroslav Klose job, Sok Hosan tapped in a rebound after his first shot was parried by Kong Rafat to seal victory for the flippin Police.. We slip to 4th and 6 points off the pace, although we still have to play the three teams above us before the end of the season, so some could say, all is not lost… but right now, like Dr Dre I’m still not liking police..

On the way home, the team coach was pulled over by the Cambodian cops, just for them to surround it and chant 3-1 3-1 at us. B******s!!

Match 20 Svay Rieng v EDC 27/08/22

It’s do or die, make or break. If we win our last 6 games of the season we are in with a chance of winning the title, but there is little margin for error. Svay Rieng lie in 11th and we should beat them, but our away form has been atrocious of late. Therefore I have decided to revert back to our 4-2-3-1 formation and made a few changes to shake things up a bit. Pin Saren comes in for the suspended Daravon (again), O. Udom comes into midfield, Sos Suhana ois given another chance on the left and Taboula up front on his own, with Sung Rot just behind. Oh yes and Chanroeurn comes in for the out of form Ratana.

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

Svay Rieng 2-2 EDC  

Ly You 7                             Sung Rot 79

Udom 66                            Chanraksmey 83

Well we controlled the first five minutes, created nothing and then let them score. It was all too easy. Their midfielder had the ball in midfield and had all the time in the world to slip in Say You who timed his run to perfection and slipped the ball under Kong Rafat for 1-0. We then controlled the game as our opponents sought to protect their advantage. Etim stung the hands of the keeper with a stunning effort from 25 yards. Time and again we got down the flanks but could not deliver the final pass. Taboula had the ball in the net, but was disallowed for an offside in the build up. Then Pin Saren nodded home from a corner, but again this was chalked off for pushing.. and there’s not even any VAR in Cambodia!! To make matters worse, they got a second, can’t remember how because I was trying to restrain myself from throwing my laptop on the floor in disgust. At 2-0 we were down and out, couldn’t string two passes together and looked like conceding a third. Frustrated and with little else to do, I ‘Demanded More’ from my players. Then suddenly we got a goal back, Bairaing threw the ball in and Veasna squared for Sung Rot to tap home 2-1. Suddenly we sprang into life and remembered how to play football. We drove forward like a pack of dogs chasing a gazelle. Veasna was getting on the ball K Udom was running in behind like last season. From one such run, he squared for the onrushing Chanraksmey who slotted home a dramatic equaliser. It keeps our very faint title hopes alive as we move up to 3rd.

EDC Youngsters Selected In Cambodian U19s Squad

My young goalkeeper, Kong Rafat and young left back, Ayjoub Joly have both been included in the Cambodian Under 19s squad for the U-19 Asian Championship. The young Angkor Warriors have been drawn against India, Yemen and Saudi Arabia in Group A of the tournament.

Match 21: Nagaworld v EDC 09/09/22

This is a must-win game if we even have the faintest chance of hunting down the league leaders and champions elect, Nagaworld. They will be out for revenge as well after we humped them 4-1 earlier in the season. I go with a cautious 4-2-3-1 formation with Taboula who did well against them up front last time up front on his own. I have tried to motivate Sos Suhana to actually turn up and play like the experienced international he is (albeit for Cambodia). Young goalkeeper Kouch Rithy makes his senior debut while Kong Rafat is away on international duty with the U19s.

Team: Kouch Rithy, Channroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, O.Udom, Leap Bo, Veasna, Sung Rot, Sos Suhana, Taboula

 

Nagaworld 1-2 EDC

 Ravy 90                     Veasna 73

                                   K Udom 88

A fantastic result and performance today. Our defence was solid, Kawabata hardly had a kick all game and Kouch Rithy had an excellent debut. The first half was evenly matched with Sung Rot going close and hitting the post, while at the other end, Kawabata shot over the bar and Math Fasal also wasted a glorious chance to rub our noses in it.

In the second half we carried on where we left off and created chances, but still couldn’t score. Taboula who was inneffective was replaced by Chanrakmey and Ouch Udom’s industry in midfield was sacrificed for the firepower of Keo Udom. This seemed to work.

Keo Udom intercepted the ball and fed Chanraksmey. The veteran striker didn’t have the pace to do it himself, and wisely laid it right to substitute, Tuy Oudom, whose extra pace allowed him to advance down the right flank. His pinpoint cross was met by the head of Veasna who diverted it past the onrushing keeper., Yees!! 1-0!

Then from Khemarin’s free kick, Keo Udom outmuscled his marker, before turning smartly onto the ball and finishing smartly past the keeper, sending our travelling fans into raptures. This season ain’t over yet!

They pulled one back through Ly Ravy’s acrobatic effort, but it was a mere consolation. A great result and performance and we have done the double over Nagaworld this season! Up to second we go and five points behind Nagaworld. Watch out Nagaworld, Jonny Rudd’s Electric Army are coming for you!

A thrilling win against the league leaders Nagaworld sees EDC close the gap to five points, with just five games left. Can EDC keep up the pressure and will Nagaworld implode, or will Khemera or Angkor Tiger sneak ahead in the C-League Title Race? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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32. Opportunity Knocks 

 

The Title Race Is Hotting Up!

 There are just five games left in the season and if we win all our games, the FM Gods are favourable and the Almighty Buddha is smiling upon us, then the C-League Title could be come home to Prey Veng for the first time. 

This is how the top of the C-League table stands as we go into the final games of the season..

Nagaworld 45 pts

Khemera 41

EDC 40

Angkor Tiger 39

Boeung Ket 39

EDC Sign Mat Noron

We really didn’t need another striker, but this guy is quality (for this league) and I couldn’t resist. He could make a real difference and help take the pressure off Taboula and Chanraksmey, the latter who is not getting any younger.

Youngsters Released

 

I have had let go a couple of youngsters who have been hanging around in the reserves and U21s, Mat Rakasmey, a right winger who made one sub appearance and Pov Chandara, a left back who never really progressed from the Under 21s. There may me more to follow as I seek to trim my squad to a more manageable size.

Match 22 – EDC v Solitio Angkor 17/09/22

Game on! We need to keep the pressure on and win this one against Solitio who have been in a decent run of form themselves to propel them up to 7th. We go in with an attacking 4-4-2 diamond with new signing Noron starting alongside Taboula, Etim coming back in midfield and Tuy Oudom startis on the right after impressing as a sub against Nagaworld.

Kouch Rithy, Channroeurn, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Sung Rot, Oudom, Veasna, Taboula, Noron

Match Action

We didn’t have it all our own way for much of the first half. Noron and Taboula were being tightly marked and we kept giving the ball away too cheaply to our opposition who attacked in numbers. A switch to shorter passing and wing play brought results. Veasna received the ball on the left flank, before providing a pinpoint cross into the path of the onrushing debutant, Noron who guided it past the keeper into the corner of the net.

Raymond Etim, the poor man’s Ngolo Kante, intercepted the ball beautifully in midfield, before striding forward and slipping in Taboula down the left channel. He dribbled to the bye-line before checking back and sliding the ball across for Noron to tap in number two!

A slick passing move resulted in Veasna being released down the left. His intellegent ball to Taboula resulted in the Nigerian cooly slotting home for number three

Solitio had too much posession for my liking and this resulted in Makara tapping in from close range after a well worked move. 3-1. They scored again to make it 3-2 in the 82nd minute causing a few nerves at the end of the game, but we pulled through with a bit of frequent time-wasting. We are now just two points behind Nagaworld, but the leaders have a game in hand. 

All we need to do is keep winning and keep the pressure on Nagaworld and if the FM Gods are smiling on us, you just never know!

A more convincing win than the scoreline would suggest and certainly deserved.

                    Final Score:  EDC 3-2 Solitio Angkor

 

                                                                Noron 29,46                        Makara  77

                                                                Taboula  53                          Vannak 83

 

 

Nen Borey gets a National A Licence

During my reign at EDC I have always encouraged my staff to study for their coaching badges, to improve themselves and the training of the squad. My assistant manager,Nen Borey has now reached National A License level. Well done Nen, onto the Continent now!

Top Of The Table After 22 Matches

Nagaworld 46

Khemera 44

EDC 43

Angkor Tiger 42

Boeung Ket 42

It’s getting tight at the top of the table and with just four games left it’s all to play for. Our run in sees us take on 3 of the top 5, starting with Boeung Ket.

24th Sept – Boeung Ket (h)

1st Oct – Rithy Sen (a)

15th Oct Phnom Penh Crown (a)

29th Oct Khemera (h)

 

If we win all these game we have a chance, if other results go our way.

Match 23 – EDC v Boeung Ket 24/09/22

Revenge is very much the word on everybody’s lips around Prey Veng, as we prepare to take on the Champions, Boeung Ket. Earlier in the season they inflicted a 5-1 thrashing, which was to date my biggest defeat as manager of EDC. While this result was a shock which halted us in our tracks, our results have picked up since and we somehow find ourselves above our opponents in the table and just three off the top with just four games to go. It goes without saying that we must win all of these to stand a chance of snatching the title off our rivals Nagaworld, who have led for much of the season.

Ket play with a typical 4-2-3-1 with Omakafe leading the line and three in midfield. To try and negate this I will put Etim and Leap Bo as two holding midfielders, with Sung Rot playing just off Noron up front and Pin Saren stepping in for the suspended Maul Daravon in defence.

Team: Rithy, Bairaing, Saren, Khemarin, Channroeurn, Etim, Leap Bo, Oudom, Veasna, Sung Rot, Noron

Match Action

We started the game well. Noron looks a threat in behind, while Sung Rot is finding space in the withdrawn striker role.

Then Oh Dear! A Miroslav Klose bug goal. Sovakhmarin outmuscled Khemarin, ran through on goal and fired it past Rithy. We dominate the game again, Noron shot wide when clean through and Sung Rot had a shot well saved. A header from the same player goes tantilisingly across the face of goal, but nobody was there to tap it in. 1-0 down at half time.

I make two changes. Taboula comes on for Leap Bo and joins Noron up front while Sos Suhana comes in on the left, with Veasna switching to the right, I play a diamond in midfield. I’m going for broke..

We started the second half brilliantly, with Veasna volleying just over, but then the sucker punch. From a random free-kick, Khemarin was adjudged to have pushed their striker, resulting in a penalty kick. Mao Sovan sent Rithy the wrong way for an undeserved 2-0 lead..

Then hope. Etim released Sos Suhana down the left. His accurate cross was acrobatically met by Pelap Taboula for 2-1 Game on!

 

We pushed and pushed for an equaliser. Suhana and Veasna were threats on the flanks, but their crosses were either cleared or wouldn’t fall for the strikers. Then, late on Sung Rot hit the foot of the post after a smart breakaway. We pushed the Champions all the way here, but as the Scottish say, it just wasnae to be. This all but puts an end to our title hopes for another year, unless results seriously go our way. I am encouraged though that we are now more than a match for anyone in this league.

Final Score: EDC 1-2 Boeung Ket

Taboula 64                                      Sovankhemarin 28

                                                          Sovan 57 (pen)

Opportunity Knocks

The defeat to Boeung Ket has left us down in 5th place, but strangely just three points off the top of the table. Whatsmore, the two teams above us, Nagaworld and Khemera both lost to lowly Solitio Angkor and Chlam Samuth respectively, proving that anybody can beat anybody in the C-League. We have three games left, win them all and who knows we could win the jackpot. Opportunity knocks for EDC.. Khemera then lost again to mid-table National Police 2-1, which means I could leapfrog them if I win the next game against Rithy Sen.

Nagaworld 46

Khemera 45

Boeung Ket 45

Khemera 44

EDC 43

Match 24: Rithy Sen v EDC 01/10/22

In our run in, this is the game that we should win and keep up the title challenge. We beat them 4-1 earlier in the season, but they are fighting for their lives in 12th place, the top relegation place, so they have plenty of incentive to spring a surprise.

I will attack with a diamond 4-4-2 formation, with Taboula partnering Noron up front and Sos Suhana filling the left wing berth with Veasna on the right. Daravon also comes back from suspension and Ratana will replace Chanroeurn at the problematic right back position. A must win today.

 

Team: Rithy, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Bairaing, Etim, Sos Suhana, Veasna, Sung Rot, Taboula, Noron.

Match Action

We dominated possesion with Noron and Sung Rot both having pot shots at goal, both well saved. Then the sucker punch. A breakaway results in Kanmol breaking clear and delicately finishing past young Kouch Rithy.. Arrgh!

Sung Rot sends Noron clear, but the goal is disallowed for offside..It’s gonna be one of those days…

Then from a random free kick, Sung Rot fires it into the top corner. We needed that. One each!

The from a left wing throw in Bairaing exchanges passes with Etim, who flights a lovely ball into Taboula down the left channel. He stops, for what I thought was an offside flag, but the referee waved play on. He dinked a lovely ball onto the head of Sung Rot who scores his second with a powerful header. Amazing!

Sung Rot almost makes it three running onto a beautifully weighted through ball from Veasna, but he shot agonisingly wide.

He did get his hat-trick in the second half. As Rithy Sen threatened to break away, Ratana got an important foot in. This sent the ball up to Noron, who laid it off to Taboula, whose simple ball found Sos Suhana. He slipped the ball through beautifully for Sung Rot who slid the ball home for a brilliant hat-trick.

Ratana played the ball forward again to Noron, who shrugged off his marker and passed to Taboula. The Nigerian took one touch before fizzing a curling shot into the top bins.. You don’t save those. Coasting to victory now! 

Noron, who has terrorised the Rithy Sen defence with his pace and power has his moment. He bullies the defender off the ball, before shooting, but the shot is blocked. Taboula picks up the loose ball and slides him back in again. He provides a cute finish into the corner to make it 5-1. In the end, a brilliant performance, with the front three of Sung Rot, Noron and Taboula were outstanding.

Final Score: Rithy Sen 1-5 EDC

                     Kamol 20                         Sung Rot 33, 35, 52

 

                                                              Taboula 55, Noron 75

 

Kong Rafat & Ayoub Joly Back from Cambodian U19s

My number one goalkeeper. Kong Rafat and young left back, Ayoub Joly are back after helping the Cambodian U19s to a quarter finals place. This represents progress for the Cambodian youngsters, as during the tournament they held Yemen and Saudi Arabia to 1-1 draws and were narrowly defeated by India 2-1. In the Quarter Finals Cambodia succumbed to Hong Kong 2-0, but it was great to see a Cambodian team being competitive at international level. 

League Table with 2 games left

1st Angkor Tiger 48

2nd Boeung Ket 48

3rd Nagaworld 47

4th EDC 46

5th Khemara 44

Match 25: Phnom Penh Crown v EDC 15/10/22

Two words.. Timothy Okoreke If I stop him I win the game and take three points which may give us the opportunity to win the title on the final day. Other results have to go our way of course and we can only stick to our end of the bargain. Crown are unpredictable opponents but lie in 6th place, but way off the pace and the leaders of the chasing pack that are never going to catch us in the top 5.

I go with my trusty 4-4-2 but unfortunately Sung Rot is ineligible as I am loaning him from our opponents. Ouch Udom replaces him and Kong Rafat is back in goal from international duty.

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

As expected, Okoreke looks dangerous running in behind and he misses the best chance, sliding a shot wide from another dangerous move. We are giving as good as we get and Taboula has a goal ruled out for offside.

We have come back into it with Taboula causing problems in the channels. Then out of nowhere it all unravels. Their goalkeeper plays a pinpoint goal kick straight to Okereke who sprints forward before sliding the ball under Kong Rafat. There is literally nothing I can do about that goal, it is a bug, a stupid bug, which I name after Miroslav Klose and even with the best laid plans tactically you cannot legislate for it which is just so annoying..

Maol Daravon, who had kept Okereke quiet challenged him in the box and did not get back up. He was stretcherd off with a groin strain and young Rum Sokha takes his place. Sub K.Udom got down the left channel before crossing for Taboula, who’s volley is beaten away by the keeper. Our best chance of the game.

Ivanaldo crosses from the right and guess who is on the end of it, the Nigerian Pele himself. 2-0

After some huffing and puffing but the house still standing we fashion a goal back. Veasna ran forward before playing a beautifully weighted through ball into the path of sub Keo Udom who cooly finished into the corner. 2-1.

Taboula has about 3000 chances which end up being saved, wide or ruled out for offside, while Udom and Veasna came to life in the closing stages, but to no avail. This result puts paid to our slim title hopes and we must build again for next season..

On another day we could have won this, Pelap Taboula would have taken the match ball home and we would still be in the hunt for the C-League title, but FM doesn’t work like that. Yes, Crown probably about deserved to win, but only just. Another result that ends this season with too many if's buts and maybes... 

Nagaworld Retain The Hun Sen Cup

It is with some regret that I report that the scum sorry Nagaworld have retained the Hun Sen Cup after a 1-0 win over everybody’s other least favourite team The National Police at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium. I really hope they don’t go and do the double…

Youth Intake Day!

This annual jamboree of young talent spotting has come slightly earlier this year. My effervescent Head of Youth Development, Chan Vannak  bounded into my office one day full of it about this latest crop of young talent to descend on Prey Veng. He reckons this could be a ‘Golden Generation,’ on a par with Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Butt and the Neville Brothers…the Class of 22,as he called them.. I’m not so sure but I agreed to have a look and sign some of them if I thought they could kick a ball in a straight line… and amazingly some of them can!!

Match 26: EDC v Khemera Keila 29/10/22

Our season finally comes to an end with a dead rubber against Khemera Keila. If you want to put something on this game, it is a battle for 4th place in the C-League, which in Cambodia really does not make much of a difference. It’s not like we will qualify for the Asian Champions League, as only the top team have that privilige. I’m going to put the kids out for this one and look at some of the fringe players in my now rather bloated squad.

Team: Kong Rafat, Channroeurn, Khemarin, Sokha, Joly, Leap Bo, Laurent, Dara, Oudom, Samnang, Chanraksmey

Match Action

This was a miserable end to the season. Our kids looked like a nervous wreck, especially Ajoub Joly at left back, surprisingly after playing in the U19s Asian Championships and our more experienced players didn’t look arsed, which is a real shame,. Mat Dara looked useful on the left hand side, while Run Sokha looked Ok at the back.

They even went 1-0 up and my young bucks have not even touched the ball yet. This does not bode well. A lovely move results in an easy tap in for Ly Saroth 1-0 to them..

In the second half Noun Borey fired Khemera into a 2-0 lead. We look a bit clueless, but it is just a dead rubber.

I put the cavalry on of K.Udom, Sung Rot and Veasna to try and turn things around, but to no avail. Half of them were already thinking about their holidays, including myself.. A lot of work ahead of us this Cambodian winter if we are to make a serious and sustained title bid next season. We finish 5th with 46 points.

Final Score: EDC 0-2 Khemera Keila

                                                              Saroth 1

                                                              Borey 46

Final League Table Cambodian C-League 2022

 

Angkor Tiger 54

 

Boeung Ket 52

Khemera 51

Nagaworld 51

Khemera 50

EDC 46

Phnom Penh Crown 40

National Police 37

Solitio Angkor 33

Chhlam Samuth 31

Chhmao Khmao 28

Vishaka 23

Svay Rieng 22 (R)

Rithy Sen 21

National Defence 18

 

Angkor Tiger win The C-League

After securing a 3-1 win against The National Defence, Angkor 

Tiger have won the 2022 C-League title. Congratulations go to 

them from all at Prey Veng.

So it wasnae to be for our friends Electric as they finished 5th in the C-League, eight points off the top. The team has still managed to entertain in patches, but failed to reach the heights of the previous season. Can Rudd keep this promising team together over pre-season, or will the vultures finally get their prey?

Find out next time on  The Ultimate Football Manager Game!

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When I first started this game I thought.. Cambodia this will be easy and within a couple of years i'll dominate and then move on. Proven not to be the case, anyone can beat anyone, with part time clubs like EDC competing against professional clubs,  Nagaworld, Boeung Ket, Angkor Tiger and Vishaka who can pay their players and attract talent from abroad, mainly Nigeria and Japan which has proven to be a realistic barrier. As we shall see (and credit to Sports Interactive) for making the game as real life as possible, even in a more obscure nation like Cambodia, it becomes more difficult for semi pro teams to be succesful.   

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

33. End of Season 3 Round Up

I aren't going to beat around the bush with the end of season stuff. After all we only finished 5th, were knocked out of the Hun Sen Cup in the first qualifying round and failed to really mount a serious title challenge. 

I am slightly disappointed with this because we have finished two places below last season when we came 3rd and for most of the season had a real chance of winning the title in my first full season at EDC. While there have been some good performances this term, including doing the double over Nagaworld, we have failed to put a consistent run of results together. Inconsistency has been our major pitfall this season. Looking on the bright side, we are still just a part time team who are mixing it with professional teams and players. Whatsmore I achieved the board's aims of finishing in the top half of the table, but were disappointed with our performance in the cup, although there was no shame in being knocked out by Angkor Tiger who would go on to become the C-League champions.

Here's Football Manager's take on my season..

“EDC will reflect upon a campaign which saw them get the job done and manage to meet pre-season expectations. EDC finished where many had expected them to, spending time at the top of the table and deviating little from the course which helped them achieve what they had set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Performance in The Transfer Market

The board were happy with the signings of Taboula and Noron, but not with Leap Bo or poor old Chin Chainuth who was injured for most of the campaign…

Moments To Remember

Moments to Remember: Yes thrashing Rithy Sen and National Defence was fun, but these two ended up being relegated. The highlight for me was doing the double over Nagaworld. No contest!

Finances

Not as good as last season, due to no cup prize money, but we did sell 70 replica shirts though, with Chanraksmey proved to be the most popular with fans, despite his long name!

End of Season Awards

Fans Player of the Season – Keo Udom

Young Player of The Year – Kong Rafat

Signing of the Season – Pelap Taboula

Goal of The Season – Raymond Etim v Khemera Keila

Top Goalscorer – Pelap Taboula – 13 goals

Most Assists – Suon Veasna 10 assists

Highest Ave Rating Kong Rafat 7.10

Kong Rafat Wins Awards

My 19 year old goalkeeper, Kong Rafat has scooped two end of season awards, Cambodian Young Player of The Year and Cambodian Goalkeeper of The Year. Strangely enough after all that he didn’t make it into the Cambodian Premier League Team of The Year, instead, Sambath of Angkor Tiger got that honour but never mind. The right wing berth though was filled by our very own Suon Veasna, so well done to him!

Board Confidence

The board are generally pleased with my performance and that I met their expectations of a top half finish. They are pleased with my performance in the Transfer Market (C+), Pleased with the results on the pitch (C+) and pleased with the level of support I have from the players (B-)

Strengthening The Squad

My main aim over the transfer window will be to firstly reduce the squad size. As is often the case after two or three seasons there are lots of 18/19 years olds moseying around the reserves and U21 squads, who are still a long way off the first team and need to really be playing first team football elsewhere in order to kick start their careers, even if it means dropping down to the Second Division. Getting rid of a few players off my books will also give me more money to play with when trying to attract new players to join.

I will be concentrating my efforts on strengthening the defence, as this is the weakest area of our squad. Daravon and Khemarin are pretty good and Pin Saren is OK as back up, but beyond that there is not much else. Young Run Sokha is OK, but am concerned about his lack of pace. The right back position is also a must, as Ratana has not looked as comfortable playing there and his performances suffered last season, while Roeurn Channroeurn is not really good enough, nor is young Mom Veasna. Bairaing, Ratana and Ajoub Joly (despite his nervous performance against Khemera) provides decent depth and quality at left back. We have some decent midfielders with Ouch Udom leading the way with Raymond Etim and Leap Bo. The strongest area is attack where the quartet of Keo Udom, Chanraksmey, Noron and Taboula providing a formidable firepower. Another area of concern is wide midfield. While Veasna is brilliant, Sos Suhana has been less so and I expected more from him for a player who has over 50 caps for his country. The curious tale of Tuy Oudom is also a bit of a mystery. He was brilliant in the early season, but then poor later in the season when he returned from injury. 

Nagaworld Offer Another Interview!

They may be my rivals, but Nagaworld somehow appreciate my work at EDC. At the end of the season they got rid of their manager and have come chasing me! I have politely declined this opportunity, however I would be open to offers from outside the C-League, possibly Thailand if they have heard of me.. Besides, me taking the Nagaworld job would be reminiscent of when Brian Clough went to Leeds United in 1974... and we all know what happened there...

New Head Physio – Sos Veasna

We welcome our new Head Physio, Sos Veasna to the EDC family. He may not know how to wire a plug, but he knows a bit about healing footballers..

Staff Exodus

Unfortunately as one arrives, three of our backroom staff refused to sign new contracts, citing “they would rather be at a more prestigious club” Sod off! We are a top 5 team in Cambodia and you had played a part in us getting there.

It’s goodbye to my Reserves Manager Sreng Vandeth, Goalkeeping Coach, Nhem Ravy and Ly Pheng one of our scouts. Never mind boys, I’m sure there are better people out there we can sign in your place....

However the departure of three of my backroom team are the least of my worries.....

The Feeding Frenzy Has Begun

On 7th December 2022 the Transfer window swung open and once again my player's loyalty is already being tested to the hilt. Two of my young charges, Ouk Ratana and Ouch Udom have already been targeted by Nagaworld and Boeung Ket. To my dismay the highest 'wage' I can offer them is less than what they are already on which is worrying. Only £70 appearance fees when they were already on £80-100... that ain’t gonna work.. Ket and Naga are offering them £150 per week professional contracts.. how can I persuade my best players to stay? Whatsmore upstarts, Khemera Keila and Solitio Angkor have established themselves as C-League clubs and are now looking to play with the bigger boys this transfer window. My worst fears of last season which resulted in the appearance fee 'compromise' deal with my star players could start to unravel if their offers are higher than what we can muster. Watch this space! 

Return To The Boardroom

Dressed in my dry cleaned suit once again I knocked on my chairman, Hem Vutha's door.

"Come in Jonathan, shouted the Cambodian Electricity mogul."

The petite little man with thinning dark hair combed in a side parting and thick dark rimmed glasses was sat at his desk.

"And what can I do for you Jonathan?"

"Hem, I think it's time we went professional and give my players the contracts they deserve."

He sat and silently pondered on what I said.

"Jonathan, we would love to go professional, but you have to understand, we have only been a football club for 6 years. We simply cannot afford the expenses of full time footballers."

"Hem, we will eventually lose these players. There's only so long Veasna, Udom, Ratana, Daravon will want to stay on just appearance fees alone. If they get injured they are screwed, especially if they cannot work at the National Grid as well. There's only so long they and their families can put up with this."

"So you want to see this club go bankrupt then Jonathan huh? as Vutha uncharacteristically raised his voice, because that's what will happen if we go professional. We will have to pay the players more, the coaching staff more because they will be training every day, we will have more overheads with electric, (yes we still have to pay for that)... everybody from Suon Veasna down to the cleaning lady will have to be paid more because Prey Veng will need be open every day for the players. It is simply not possible, Jonathan. Now I suggest you go back onto the training field and do what you are good at rather than asking for things you do not understand..

"Well you can do one thing for me. Don't set the maximum appearance fee to 70 f***** quid when I try to offer them a new contract when some of them are on more than that already.. otherwise we will end up like Vishaka, a team full of kids scrapping against relegation...

With that I left the boardroom fearing what the Christmas transfer window would bring for us and our Scrooge-like chairman...

EDC will have to punch above their weight for another season and hope  to keep hold of their players on appearance fees alone. The Wnt signs have started appearing again and the Christmas transfer window is just around the corner… The vultures are circling once more, this time with even sharper beaks and talons…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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Woah! I've only just found this thread. As you can tell from my username, I live in Cambodia - been here since 2005. Any questions you might have, just ask. I'll follow your campaign (so long as you stay here!) so I'll get a notification.

 

I'm glad you stuffed Nagaworld - the only Cambodian team I hate since Nagaworld is a giant and horrendously corrupt casino. I'm not exactly a fan of EDC mind, as during the dry season they cut our electricity at least 3 times per week, for 5 or 6 hours at a time. It's a beer company that won the title in your 3rd season.

When I first came to Cambodia, players were paid in rice, and not enough to feed their families, so many were quite malnourished. More recently sponsorship has poured in. National managers are often from S. Korea or Japan (a Japanese ex-international superstar was our manager a couple of years ago for a short time - he literally phoned-in his responsibilities). My point is, it's not a unique situation for a manager here to speak little Khmer. By the way, how much have you picked up in three years?

One point that I'm not sure you realise, but Cambodian names are 'back to front', like Chinese, compared to English. You're always using their 'first names' rather than their surnames. One example is 'Theara' - his first name. I'm so sorry for his poor mum - nearly all the clubs are in Phnom Penh and play in the same stadium, but you transferred him to a very distant province where he's unlikely to see his ma more than twice a year. She'll be regretting ever meeting you!

 

Anyway, KUTGW. I'll be reading every post now!  :brock:

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PhnompenhAndy,

Thankyou ever so much for reading the story and posting your message. First of all I am pleased that someone actually living in Cambodia is reading this and is able to give me some advice. I live in Leeds, UK, and have never been anywhere remotely near Cambodia, so unfortunately I  don't know any Khmer! As the first two posts explain my aim was to take on any football club in the world which was drawn completely from an online random country generator and a letter wheel, which ended up in me managing EDC on Football Manager 2021. Strangely it was very nearly North Korea, but am glad I ended up just to the West from there in Cambodia.

Approximately the first 60-70% of the story has been written during  lockdown in the UK which ended completely in mid-July 2021. Any research on Cambodia, such as the trip to Angkor Wat was done via Google. I did try and find Prey Veng, EDC's stadium on Google Earth and also try and get a feeling of the country's landscape using this resource to get an idea of what Cambodia looks like.

As for the name situation, this has created a bit of a dilemna, because I am so far into the story that these names are ingrained in my mind, so Suon Veasna will always be Suon Veasna to me and not Veasna Suon for example. It would also take me an age to go back through all 33 parts of the story so far and change every name , not just Cambodian EDC players but opposing players too. On the other hand I really want it to be an accurate and be reflective of the nation, so I am in two minds, Thankyou though for pointing this out to me. I really would never have known and has given me food for thought on how I will proceed with this.

Just out of interest, which Cambodian football team do you support and have you been to any matches? Is there real enthusiasm for football in Cambodia and is it affordable and accessible to the masses?  Are EDC actually any good in real life? 

Once again thankyou very much for reading the story and hope you continue to enjoy it. 

Regards,

Jonathan.

 

Edited by Jon1982
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Good morning Jonathan,

I got myself in a similar situation re covid: I started writing a novel based in Scotland. I made a research visit in February of 2020 just as covid really hit. I'd planned 4 more visits but had to cancel them and fall back on Google Earth and YouTube!

Anyway, for me, using the players and staff first names creates a more intimate ambience, so I think it's fine to refer to them as such.

About EDC - here's some wiki info you might use -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricite_du_Cambodge_FC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-League

 

You could use the editor to make their kit up to date, and change the name of the stadium (I wouldn't consider that in any way 'cheating'). The researcher of your game (SI scout?) has made an error re the stadium. It's not Prey Veng - that's a province ('county' in England) that has its own football club.

EDC is a sort of 'there to make up the numbers' club. As the C-League wiki says, there are half a dozen clubs that get a bit of sponsorship and can afford to hire journeymen Brazilians and Africans; EDC is not among them. I didn't know this, but according to that wiki if a club is relegated it has to release all its foreign players.

The quality? When I arrived here it was truly dire - park football stuff. As I mentioned, players were mostly malnourished. It's better now. Lots of plastic pitches have sprouted around the city so there are training spaces to add to the ubiquitous jogging along the side of the main roads.  I imagine EDC could compete in English football somewhere around 10th tier. There was excitement about 3 years ago when our best young player got a contract to play in Japan - at a lower league side. Lockdown might have killed his chances off unfortunately.

I've been to a couple of international games - we sometimes get through a qualifying round if we're drawn against the likes of Laos or Brunei. We made the news a couple of years back when we played a WC qualifier against Iran. It was news solely because it was the first time Iran allowed women to attend. The result was embarrassing, something like 15-0. The atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium is great - very friendly students cheering away. It helps that tickets are free.

Over the last few years - since the sport has been accessible on TV, enthusiasm for football has ballooned - you see kids kicking a ball on every street and everyone wears football replica kits (although one reason is they're the cheapest clothing to be had - $5 for a kit in a local market - all local knock-offs of course). That doesn't really translate into much support for the league clubs - locals will tell you who plays for Real Madrid and Barcelona, not their local club. I'm sure if you can get EDC into the regional club comp and have success that would rapidly change!

If you do choose to jump ship, I'd say the highest quality teams are in the top leagues of Thailand and Singapore.

Hope this helps! :)

Edited by phnompenhandy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 34. Exodus!

 

I am sat in my office and the phone has not stopped ringing. In fact, the phones have been so busy that I was even thinking of hiring some locals to take the messages, as it has become more and more like a call centre. The transfer window had swung open the week before and since then it had been a non-stop. We would like to offer a contract Udom, Rafat, Ratana, Chanraksmey, Veasna, Etim, Daravon, the man who works in the club shop, the cleaning lady, the woman in the canteen who makes a mean curry... You name it, the whole of the C-League were circling around the club and they weren't going to go away until they'd got what they wanted..

A Question of Loyalty

My two best young players, Ouch Udom and Ouk Ratana have both rejected moves away from EDC including overtures from Nagaworld. I just need to hope now that Keo Udom, Veasna and others follow the same path.

The Story of The Transfer Window 2022/23

So, I'll break this up into three parts, the players I wanted rid of, the players I didn't mind getting rid of and the players I am gutted have now left the club...

Players I Wanted Rid of..

These are the guys who I wanted to leave the club to help trim the squad numbers which was becoming a bit bloated.

Math Rottanak (released) – A decent player, but there are other strikers ahead of him in the pecking order and so he needs to move on.

 

Leng Sophaon (released) – This guy has been a squad player for much of his time at Prey Veng, but has become surplus to requirements and needs to play first team football elsewhere.

Sann Suhana (released) Sann was a decent player and offered us a decent passing range in midfield, but his form was inconsistent and he had no pace.. a bit of a Cambodian Jan Molby to be honest and I really dislike players who have a pace of below 5 whatever position they play.

 

Ouk Dara (released) Ouk Dara has been moseying around the U21s since the very start of the game, but the right winger has never really progressed, so off he goes.

Players I Didn't Mind Getting Rid of

Roeum Channroeurn Free Transfer to Khemera

It’s fair to say Roeurn Channroeurn has flattered to deceive in an EDC shirt and so when Khemera came in for him I didn’t stand in his way. It does mean we are a right back light in the squad though of which we are not over-blessed with..

Ouch Samnang free transfer to Senate Secretariat

Ouch Samnang has been with us from the start, but apart from the odd cup appearance he failed to break into the first time, despite decent potential, so off he goes to the Cambodia Second Division.

Ajoub Joly – Free Transfer to Phnom Penh Crown

I am slightly disappointed by the young Cambodian U-19s left back decision to leave the club for Phnom Penh Crown, despite his ‘rabbit caught in headlights’ performance against Khemera in the last game of the season.. He had decent potential but it is not the end of the world...

Ouk Ratha – Free Transfer to Kampot

Another one bites the dust, this time a young U21 midfielder who had some potential, but again not a disaster he has left for a Second Division side.

Players I am disappointed about leaving EDC

 Keo Udom Free Transfer to Chllam Samuth

The short figure of Keo Udom stood in the doorway of my office. My director of football, Ly Ravy was not far behind him and his agent was also there too, lurking in the shadows as agents often do.

"Come in gentlemen." I  politely greeted them, fearing the worst.

Ly Ravy spoke first.

"I'm sorry boss, but we cannot give him the contract he wants and Keo has accepted an offer from Chhlam Samuth to go and play for them."

"Chhlam Samuth? Keo, really is that the level of your ambition, mid-table makeweights?"

"They have offered him first team football boss and he wants to go."

"But Keo you can get first team football here at EDC!"

"Boss, you left me on the bench too many times.."

These words hit me hard but also had a grain of truth. Since the signing of the talented Pelap Taboula I had favoured him at times over Keo Udom, simply because I was playing a 4-2-3-1 with a lone striker. I did not feel that Keo Udom played well as a lone striker and that Taboula or Chanraksmey's games were better equipped for this role. Udom I always felt needed a strike partner to feed off with his darting runs in behind, in a way similar to someone like Jamie Vardy. Then I signed Mat Noron, who I started alongside Taboula for the final few games of the season. Whichever way I looked Keo Udom always seemed to miss out and had become a little bit of a forgotten man. He'd still managed 9 goals in the season, but this was way down on the previous season where he had bagged 20 goals and had torn C-League defences to shreds. His form had been inconsistent since, but maybe I was at fault for that for not giving him enough starts. The chickens had now come home to roost.

"Keo, you were always in my plans, it's just other players fitted our formation better."

"Boss I got 20 goals for you. I should have been the first name on the team sheet. I am sick of warming the bench. I will not be doing that at Chhlam Samuth. The team will be built around me."

With that, the entourage left my office and Keo Udom left EDC.

 

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

Ouch Udom free transfer to Solitio Angkor

The next to go was Ouch Udom, no relation. I liked this young midfielder and had earmarked him as the fulcrum of our midfield for many years to come.

This was a major blow and I was fuming when he heard the news as he was going to be a vital cog in the EDC midfield and homegrown to boot which meant the fans were disappointed. Solitio Angkor came in with a better deal and so off he went..

 

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

Raymond Etim - Free Transfer to Chmao Khmao

The poor man's Kante was the next to head through the exit door for the bright lights of Chhmao Khmao, another promoted side who had finished lower down the table.. Although he was a regular first team starter Etim is 31 and so the decline was going to happen fairly soon. Shame I liked him, but not a complete disaster.

 

Seut Bairaing - Free Transfer to Chhlam Samuth 

Our captain and regular left back has followed Keo Udom and jumped ship to the lesser lights of Chhlam Samuth for some reason.. Shame. I like him and had earmarked him to be our regular left back for years to come. However, his departure may offer the opportunity for others to make this spot their own.

Pin Saren – Free Transfer to Asia Euro United

 

This defender did a decent job for us last term, but his head has been turned by Second Division outfit Asia Euro United..for some reason. You could still do a job for us I argued, but no off to Asia Euro he goes. Like Etim he was in his early 30s and so the decline was inevitable..

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

In the last week the spine of the team had been ripped out, but worse was to come. I got a knock at the door.. it was Suon Veasna and his agent...

"Boss I want to leave the club."

"Why? Suon, you are loved here by players and fans alike."

"He wants £150 per appearance, plus a £50 goal bonus and £50 assist bonus piped up his agent."

"That's impossible" I replied, thinking of how my chairman would react if I told him we had broken the bank to retain his services.

"£150 or no deal, Final offer."

I felt like I was on a game of Deal or No Deal..

"110, that;s all I can offer."

"140"

"110 with a £50 assist bonus."

"140 with a £50 assist bonus and £50 goal bonus

"No way Jose'"

"Whose interested?"

"Khemera Keila"

"F***!"

"How much they offering?"

"£150 with goal and assist bonuses"

To be fair, Khemera had finished above us in the table in 4th and so in my view could be considered one of the better teams in Cambodia. They were ambitious and like us wanted to destroy the professional monopoly of Nagaworld, Beoung Ket and Angkor Tiger.

"110, that's as far as I can go, 110 with £50 assist and I suppose a £10 goal bonus and an unused sub fee,"

"Veasna and his agent looked at eachother and shook their heads. No deal.

Veasna signed for Khmera that evening.... I was heartbroken,. Veasna was by far my favourite and best player at the club. Time and again he would dance down the right flank, or cut inside dangerously from the left and provide the creative spark for Chanraksmey, Udom, Taboula and co to feed off. A poor trainer, but on his day unplayable, even against the top sides in the league. We will now have to face him next season when we play Khemera...
 

Poor old EDC have had the spine ripped out their team by other ambitious Cambodian clubs. Can Rudd once more find his inner Harry Redknapp and rebuild the team, or will they end up like Vishaka, a team full of kids battling relegation.. Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 35. Can We Fix It?

 

I woke up on the first day of a Veasna-less EDC. It was raining outside and this about summed up my mood.

I got up and headed straight for the training ground, wondering what my squad would look like when I returned. Who would be the next to leave> Daravon? Ratana? Taboula?  I deliberated this as I drove through the driving rain that hit Phnom Penh, causing the trees to swing violently as the wind blew. The stormy weather summed up the uncertainty brings to a semi-professional club like EDC. I did not feel I could carry on in the job without the players who had left, Veasna, Udom, Etim and whoever else may decide to jump ship in the forthcoming weeks.

I met with Nen Borey in a coffee shop not far from EDC's stadium to discuss the matter.

"Nen, What are we going to do? If any more leave I don't think that I can carry on."

"Nonsense! course you can Jonathan, where's this come from?"

"If we cannot hold on to our best players, then what is the point. The only way we could compete is if we had those players." I stated dejectedly.

"Rubbish! Look Cambodia may not be a hot bed of wonderkids and talent on every street corner, in fact football has only become popular here very recently, but we can sign players in the window ourselves, which are just as good if not better."

"Look Nen, I hear what you are saying, but I feel like I have taken EDC as far as I can take them. Unless we go professional we cannot win the C-League title. We need professional players tied down under contract, with the ability to generate income through transfer fees. We cannot do that at the moment when players can just walk out to join another club whenever it takes their fancy."

Nen knew of my argument with the chairman, just weeks earlier and knew there was more chance of CR7 playing for Grimsby Town than us going professional..

"I've been thinking about trying my hand in Thailand, you know taking on a lower division club from the regional leagues and taking them up through the divisions, really improving a club and shaping it in my own image."

"Jonathan.. have you seen some of the clubs in those leagues.? The pitches are just grass fields, constantly overgrown, the facilities are awful.. think about the worst Sunday League teams back in England and times it by 100. Your much better than that. You'll never get anywhere trying to do that. Dreadful players, no supporters, pitches you can barely see for jungle and swamps... At least here at EDC you have a proper ground, with astroturf and some seating for spectators.."

 "I dunno it was just an idea. I am a journeyman manager, perhaps I need a new challenge.."

"We can still do this. Look at the talent we have just in our reserves, Soun Sambath, Mat Dara, Tuy Oudom, Touch Vannak to name but a few. Let's give these guys a chance, let's build a new young team, added to the experienced players who have stayed, such as Daravon, Chanraksmey and co, We can also offer some decent appearance fees for out of contract players with less players at the club."

"We can do this together Jonathan, we can build a new EDC," exclaimed Borey as he finished his mug of coffee and slammed it on the table. "Now what are we waiting for?

So it looks like I am staying at EDC.. for now....

Season 4 Board Expectations

Despite the mass exodus of players, the board still expect us to finish in the top half of the table and reach the Quarter Final of The Hun Sen Cup. The more players that leave, the less I believe this is possible, but we do have a talented bunch of youngsters at EDC which will now get more of an opportunity. Thanks to Nen Borey's powers of persuasion I am looking forward to nurturing and developing these players and sticking two fingers up to Khemera, Solitio Angkor and of course Nagaworld..

Staff Recruitment

New Goalkeeping Coach

It’s nice to report on someone actually joining the club for a change. Prum Tola is our new goalkeeping coach. He has a Working with Youngsters stat of 14 which is what got him the job, as we have a lot of young goalkeepers at the club.

 

A New Reserves Manager – Chhin Makara

After my previous reserves manager walked out at the end of his contract I have hired this guy, who apparently is known for developing young players. The way this transfer window is going he will need to make them learn fast!

 

Player Recruitment

Nen Borey, my recruitment team and myself had a long meeting to discuss how we can replace those who have left and this is what we have come up with. We did a lot of business too as the comings and goings at EDC continued right up until Transfer Deadline Day.

Anderson Gbayoro (DC) free transfer from Svay Rieng

I tried to sign this Ivorian defender in my first season, but the guy would not even sit down to listen to what contract we could offer him. Now he is ‘excited’ to join EDC. Shows what a couple of top 5 finishes and a cup final can do!

Min Rattanak (MC) free transfer from CMAC United

This is a quality signing who will add some creativity in midfield. A passing and pace of 13 means he has a good passing range and can get around the pitch, something we have lacked a bit in our centre midfield.

In Sambath (DRLC) Free Transfer

This is a bit of a gamble. He plays all across the back four, which is what we need, but his stats aren’t that great, but he came highly recommended by my scouts, so this signing could go either way.

Um Makara (D/MC) – Free Transfer from Solitio Angkor

A  young utility player with bags of potential and further strengthens our backline and defensive midfield.

Ivanoldo (DR) – on loan from Phnom Penh Crown

Although he sounds Brazilian, this right back hails from African island of Sao Tome & Principe. I’ve brought him in on loan to add some experience and depth to the troublesome right back position.

Sary Theara (AMC) Free Transfer

A development player who has flair, creativity and a good passing range, something we lack in midfield, save for Rattanak.

Chea Samnang – Free Transfer

This 28 year old midfielder offers us more creativity in midfield and will be an understudy to Rattanak in attacking midfield. A good signing and adds a bit of experience to the squad.

Teat Chandara Sokha (DL)– Free Transfer

This 33 year old gives us depth and experience at left back.

Hem Sokha (D/WBR) – Free Transfer from Phuchung Neak

Bought purely as back-up this right back has some potential to be a first team player. 

 

Small Boost in Reputation

Amazingly despite all the departures, EDC have risen to the 9th biggest club in Cambodia, with Boeung Ket and Nagaworld at the top. It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year!

 

The 35 Registered Players

Registration has come early to the C-League this year. Here’s my lot to challenge for the C-League title this year, much changed from last, but with a few familiar names still here..

Goalkeepers

Kong Rafat

Chin Chainuth

Kouch Rithy

Sam Sambo

Defenders

Maol Daravon (DC)

Ouk Ratana (DRLC)

In Sambath (DRLC)

Khek Khemarin (DC)

Anderson Gbayoro (DC)

Ivanaldo (DR)

Run Sokha (DC)

Chea Sambath (DC)

Teat Chandara Sokha (DL)

Hem Sokha (DR/WBR)

Um Makara (DC/DMC)

Sok Makara (DC)

 

Midfielders

Leap Bo (DMC)

Va Vannak (DMC)

Touch Vannak (MR)

Chea Samnang (MC)

Min Rattanak (MC)

Tuy Oudom (MR/AMR)

Sary Theara (MC/AMC)

Sos Suhana (ML/R, AML/R)

Mat Dara (MRLC)

Molly Unmoll (ML/AMLC)

Mao Mol (ML/AMLC)

 

Forwards

Taing Hai (AML/ST)

Morgan Laurent (AMC/ST)

Ung Samnang (AMC/ST)

Pelap Taboula (ST)

Mat Noron (ST)

Sok Chanraksmey (ST)

Sary Chainuth (ST)

Soun Sambath (ST)

Friendly 1 – EDC 5-3 EDC Reserves

An entertaining kickabout with our reserves ended up in a 5-3 win to us. Mat Noron scored a hat-trick, while Mat Dara and Sok Chanraksmey weighed in with a goal each. On ‘theirs’ stand our performances came from one of my young strikers Soun Sambath, who scored a hat-trick of his own and is showing good potential to be fast tracked to the first team squad.

After Noron and Taboula contrived to miss every one on one situation, as we carved our Second Team open time and again, Taboula chased a lost cause in the right channel, before turning, crossing and finding the head of Mat Noron who powered it home. The reserves equalised. Young winger Um Vannak released Sambath who slotted past Kong Rafat for 1-1. It was fairly evenly matched after half time. Um Makara caught out fellow new signing, Theara and released Noron to slide home for 2-1. Then Sambath rounded the keeper to tap in an equaliser 2-2. Straight from a corner Dara poked home for 3-2 and then Sambath equalised once again from the penalty spot. Noron tore down the right before picking out the head of Chanraksmey to guide it in the corner, before Noron himself rounded off the scoring with a cool finish after being sent clear by the impressive midfielder Chea Samnang to complete a perfect hat-trick. 

Friendly 2 – EDC 0-3 Tay Ninh (VIE)

Our first proper run out against the now regular friendly opponents, Tay Ninh of Viet Nam. We line up in an experimental 3-5-2 formation, devised to nulify any threat thrown at us from our opponents. Then their striker after 8 minutes Truong Trong Sang received the ball, surrounded by our three defenders. He turns, he shoots he scores a screamer..the best laid plans. Then we let a corner trickle through to the far post and the same player pokes the ball home from 6 yards.. Oh dear! Hao Van Hao compounded our misery by nodding in a third late on. Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Friendly 3- CMAC 2 - 1 EDC 19/02/23

Oh dear! On paper we were turned over by a bunch of part-time landmine clearers (who do a dangerous job, so maximum respect to them by the way), but in reality we should have won this by a country mile. They scored after yet more poor defending from a corner kick, while Touch Vannak scored a brilliant breakaway goal to equalise not long after. Just after half time they won a dodgy penalty which was converted, After that we huffed and puffed but could not blow the house down. Noron and Tuy Oudom went close. At least this was only a friendly, but I think it’s going to take time to re-build this team after the Christmas exodus. The one positive was the performance of young Vannak, who could hopefully be a good long term replacement for Veasna on the right wing. 

Friendly 4 – Kampong Chhnang 0-1  EDC

Ok, so this wasn’t barnstorming, but a win is a win and it should have been more. The most notable thing was my decision to line up in a 4-3-3 with Noron, Chanraksmey and young Samnang forming a three pronged attack, with Chea Samang and Rottanak creating from midfield, Um Makara sitting and Ratana and Ivanaldo providing the width from full back. We controlled the match and the only goal came when youngster, Sambath turned inside on the right channel and provided a low cross which was turned in by Chanraksmey. A platform in which to build upon.

Friendly 5 – Svay Rieng 2 - 4 EDC

We started brightly but then they scored a counter attacking goal through Prak Mony. Ratana levelled from the penalty spot after Sos Suhana was felled in the box. Laboravy fired in a free kick, 2-1 to them.

Ouk Ratana intercepted the ball from the goal kick and found Mat Dara who clipped a lovely ball into the path of Chanraksmey who finished with a lovely slide rule finish into the corner.

Then, Hem Sokha laid It inside to Khek Khemarin who flighted the ball to Chanraksmey who ran onto it like a greyhound, belyng his 33 years and found the net with a delightful composed finished.

Ouk Ratana headed home a late fourth from a Mat Dara corner to put gloss on a good win in the end.

We were better when we switched to 4-4-2 and Mat Dara was brilliant on the left, with Ouk Ratana also impressive at the heart of the defence and of course Chanraksmey showed the youngsters how its done. Well done boys!

Friendly 6 – EDC 0-2 Asia Euro United

This was a bit of a joke result, typical FM, but on the plus side, better it happen in a friendly than a competitive match.

We reverted to a 4-4-2 again and started the game well, with Dara dangerous on the left and an impressive few first touches from a triallist called Pom Vannak. All seemed well until a random free kick was swung in and Yaty nutted the ball home off the underside of the crossbar. Bummer..

Then we attacked again, Taboula had header tipped over. Then from another random free kick, Sambath rose at the far post. 2-0.. how???

We spent the rest of the game camped in their half, getting the ball wide at will but often with nobody on the end of the stream of crosses that were flying in. When we did have a shot it was saved or blocked. Just one of those days I’m afraid, but best it comes now than later in the season when it matters.

Hun Sen Cup 1st Qualifying Round Draw

We have drawn the students from Mekong Kampuchea University, which given our mixed set of results in pre-season could be a banana skin we didn’t need. Let’s just hope they had a big night out the night before and are playing with sore heads..

Friendly 7 Prey Veng 0-1 EDC

We actually deserved to win by more, but once again while we completely dominated the game, we failed to break down our stubborn neighbours, Prey Veng. It took until a stoppage time free kick from Mat Dara, who seems to be one of the better players in this current bunch, straight into the top corner to separate the two sides. Otherwise our build up play was really good, but once again no end product. This is worrying, the EDC of old with Veasna, Udom and co would have had this lot for breakfast… I enter this season with real trepidation.. On the positive side, the new 4-3-3 formation which I employed in the second half seemed to work quite well and could be worth persevering with.

Friendly 8 EDC 1-1 TDC Binh Duong (VIE)

We lined up in our new formation of 4-3-3 and up to the final minute of the game were leading 1-0 and heading for an unlikely win against a talented top tier Vietnamese side, who dominated for long periods. We looked useful on the counter attack though and from on such move, Taboula escaped down the left channel before crossing low for Mat Noron to fire home into the roof of the net. We grew in confidence as the game went on and looked good for a hard earnt 1-0 win, until a moment of stupidity from Taboula who played a needless backpass, which let in their winger who crossed for snappily named Nguyen Tran Viet Cuong to drill home a very late equaliser. I can take heart from this performance though. 

 

So EDC begin their new campaign after some indifferent pre-season results. Can Rudd bed in his new signings in time for a tough start to the C-League campaign, or will they be steamrollered and struggle against relegation? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Edited by Jon1982
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8 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

Liking the optimism and eagerness to bed in the youngsters and new signings. But you didn't bring anyone in to replace the strikers who left. Do you see there being enough goals in the squad? 

Thankyou Mandy. Feel like I'm in a press conference lol. (Smiles warmly) Noron and Taboula are my main two strikers. Taboula got 13 goals last season and Noron's record for us and his previous club Boeung Ket are excellent, averaging a goal a game in the C-league. Sok Chanraksmey  is still there, but at 33 his stats are starting to go down, but could still do a job as a super sub. Beyond that we have some very exciting young strikers who I am keen to give playing time to, so no need to bring any more strikers in at this point in time. 

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6 hours ago, phnompenhandy said:

I reckon you'll do well this season - glad you stayed!

 

btw, CMAC aren't COAL miners - they defuse LANDMINES. Thousands left in the ground since the civil war days.

Thanks Andy appreciated.

I've amended CMAC. 

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It's Boxing Day 2021 and exactly one year since I sat in my living room with just a laptop, a can of coke, some Christmas telly on in the background and Football Manager 2021. The leagues were loading and only fate would decide on where my footballing destiny lay. The letter wheel took me to the Asian Kingdom of Cambodia, somewhere I knew little about apart the obvious and certainly nothing in a footballing sense. The club I took over was even more mysterious, The Electricity company.. The 'British Gas' of Cambodia, Electricitie du Cambodge. In the past year sat on my sofa in West Yorkshire we have experienced a relegation battle, a Keegan-style meltdown, a domestic cup final and an exodus of players. The fact I have stayed at one club throughout the past year is testement to how I have enjoyed managing this little part time club and trying to beat the bigger teams and win the C-League title. 

The past year has also seen these posts win three awards on the Official Sports Interactive Football Manager forums, Story of The Year, Writer of the Year and Newcomer of the year. Thankyou to everyone who voted for me.

So I just wanted to say thankyou to all those people from right around the world for reading this Football Manager story. I have regular readers in the USA, Ireland, Portugal, The Netherlands the UK and even in Cambodia itself and am always fascinated with the different countries this blog is read in from around the world. 

So wherever you are on the planet, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.Up the EDC!

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BenArsenal said:

You're doing great Jon. A travel story like this is a lovely fantasy to indulge in during these pandemic times.

By the way I'm from Singapore, so not too far from Cambodia heh. Can't wait to see where this goes next.

Thanks Ben. I'll add Singapore to that list. Yes Singapore is an option for when I do decide to move on, along with Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, India, Viet Nam and Krygzstan. The latter just because I can. I'm thinking about making the journey end up back in Blighty (England)but that's a long way off yet and so many places to explore first.... :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Who are you Kinimaru and why have you posted a link to another page on my story???? Is this spam? If so admins please remove. Thankyou.

Edited by Jon1982
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5 hours ago, Jon1982 said:

Who are you Kinimaru and why have you posted a link to another page on my story???? Is this spam? If so admins please remove. Thankyou.

It looks like it has gone...If it happens again file a report and some of the other Mods who are on will be able to sort it possibly quicker than me mate

EDIT - Scrap what I've just put, noticed it has been sorted by another MOD after you reported it...

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34 minutes ago, mark wilson27 said:

It looks like it has gone...If it happens again file a report and some of the other Mods who are on will be able to sort it possibly quicker than me mate

EDIT - Scrap what I've just put, noticed it has been sorted by another MOD after you reported it...

Thanks Mark appreciated. This is the first time this kind of thing has happened so wasnt sure what ti do, but know now. Thanks. 

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Posted (edited)

37. Rome Wasn't Built In a Day

 

It's March 2023 and the beginning of my third full season with Electricite' du Cambodge and not only has our reputation within Cambodia increased, but so have energy prices, which makes us well not everyone's flavour of the month right now..

 The new C-League season is about to begin.. What's in store for our friends Electric this year? 

The Class of '23

Amidst the hurly burly of the transfer window I almost forgot about the new youth recruits in my Under 21 team. They are as follows. Look out for them, I may need some of them for first team duties as the season goes on.

Sob Vatannak  (GK)

Touch Vannak (MR)

Um Makara (DL/WBL)

Soun Sambath (ST)

Va Vannak (DMC)

Va Hai (DMC)

Nhem Samnang (ST)

Soeung Rithy (DR)

Pre Season Thoughts

I enter this season with great trepidation. We are a team in transition after the mass exodus which has left us shorn of our best players and a team who could realistically mount a serious title challenge. While we are not short of talent in our ranks, we do lack experience and there are some players who are unproven at this level. Having said that, we have (for now) managed to keep hold of Ratana, Taboula, Daravon, Khemarin and Chanraksmey, while also signing the highly promising creative midfielder, Min Rattanak. We also have some good youngsters at the club, Um Makara, Hem Sokha, Mat Dara and Suon Bath to name but a few.

 

The board want us to finish in the top half, which is doable If we play to our potential, beat the weaker teams in the division and compete against the stronger ones. I don’t see us mounting a title challenge this campaign, but you just never know.. We may do something in the cup and get to see the long serving Prime Minister again..

Nicknames

I have had to set nicknames on some of the players with repeated surnames in the squad to avoid confusion. These are mainly youth players as the more senior players have kept their original names. Therefore the following players will be known as the below:

Teat Chandara Sokha > Teat Chandara

Soun Sambath > Soun Bath

Chea Sambath > Chea Sam

Touch Vannak > Touch Van

Va Vannak > Vavanak

Sok Makara > Sok Mak

New Signings

In the last throes of the transfer window I managed to snap up a couple of freebies to add depth to the squad.

EDC Sign Pom Vannak

Another young player enters the EDC Youth club, this time DMC, Pom Vannak, who impressed on a trial and in the friendly matches he played in.

 

EDC Sign Pidor

Young winger, Sok Ouen Pidor joins the ranks at EDC. He can play on either flank or in the middle as a number 10, so is an interesting addition to the squad and at just 19 has plenty of room for improvement. He will join us in May at the start of the mid-season transfer window.

Match 1: EDC v Mekong Kampuchea University – Hun Sen Cup 1st Qualifying Round  26/03/23

This really is a potential banana skin for EDC, but will provide an indication as to where this young transitional squad is at. We are at home, but they play a 3-5-2 formation which is something we have not come up against much. During my regime I may have chosen to put a few kids out for this one, but I want to put out my strongest side available in order to regain some confidence around the club, which are partly made up of just that – kids, especially in light of the exodus and international call-ups. I go in with a trusted 4-4-2 and fingers crossed we will come out on top.

Team: Kong Rafat, Sokha, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Leap Bo, Samnang, Oudom, Dara, Taboula, Noron

Match Action

We start brightly and Taboula has a stinging shot tipped over the bar. At the other end, Leap Bo is booked for a professional foul. Then a Tuy Oudom run and cross sees the Nigerian have his header well saved. Taboula then set up Noron whose fizzing shot was saved. Taboula then played a cute reverse ball for the overlapping Dara who scuffed his shot wide.. Chainuth nearly gave the visitors a shock lead after a dangerous run and shot. Samnang did the same for us and had his shot well saved. How it is still 0-0 nobody knows. Ratana is sick of this, he goes on a mazy run from left back before unleashing a fearsome strike which is beaten away by the keeper. Half time 0-0, 12 shots of which 7 have been on target.

Start of second half.. Taboula shoots wide, Oudom has a shot well saved, Noron shoots wide… all in the first 5 minutes.. Oudom in again at the far post, shot saved falls to Noron.. deflects wide aargggh!!

We hit about 50 more shots, they are all saved, over the bar or wide.. Then at last, sub Sos Suhana flights a lovely ball to the onrushing Tuy Oudom who scores with a lovely finish into the corner.. relief at last.. ooohtuhgfunhgiodxjhgfuodhjdshfudfjdfdifjdjfidjifjdijfid DISALLOWED FOR OFFSIDE…Aaaarrrghhh!!

Oudom gets down the right squares it for Samnang in space in the six yard box……he screws it wide.. my mum could have scored that., this is getting embarassing.. The students hold on for 0-0 after ninety minutes.. 29 shots, 13 on target.. to us. No goals…

First period of extra time passes same nonsense, no goals, they have a few shots themselves, we used to have teams like this for breakfast. Second period of extra time and I am working out my 5 penalty takers in my head. Then.. Sos Suhana found Chanraksmey in the left channel. His low cross just evaded Taboula who had the composure to recover and lay it back to Tuy Oudom who struck the ball sweetly into the top corner..Yeeess get in we’ve finally scored.. amazing yeesss!

 

Hem Sokha the right back moves forward with the ball. He finds the impressive Oudom who flights a lovely cross onto the head of Chanraksmey. 2-0.. thank the flipping lord (or Buddha) 40 shots we had.. about as many as our opponents had during their freshers week… Rather like drunk and hungover students we stagger into Round 2 of the cup…

Final Score EDC 2-0 Mekong Kampuchea University (AET)

Oudom 115

Chanraksmey 116

Hun Sen Cup 2nd Qualifying Round Draw

 

The draw has been relatively kind to us (famous last words) as we potentially face more student opposition in the shape of the ‘Life University’ or I suppose as it should be known as The University of Life.. or fellow Second Division outfit, Pailin. We end up with Pailin after they sneaked past the students 2-1 after extra time.

Match 2- EDC v Chhlam Samuth 01/04/23

There’s something missing on the opening day of the season and that is we are at home, not away to Vishaka for a change.. Buoyed by our unconvincing win in the cup I make one change with Sos Suhana replacing Mat Dara on the left wing. I really want to win this because our run of fixtures are tough as we play Nagaworld,  Boeung Ket and the champions, Angkor Tiger in the next five games.

Team: Kong Rafat, Sokha, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Leap Bo, Samnang, Oudom, Suhana, Taboula, Noron

Match Action

We have hit the ground running here! A slick move between Samnang and Taboula sends Sos Suhana clear in the penalty area, but he shoots wide. We keep the pressure on though. Midfielder, Chea Samnang sends a searching ball to the left flank where Suhana flights in a cross which evades Noron but is picked up by Tuy Udom. His cross is volleyed home by Mat Noron for a deserved lead.  Suhana has a free kick which stings the palms of the keeper, while a sweeping move from them forces a good save from Kong Rafat. Chea Samnang who is everywhere disposesses their midfielder, Yaty and finds Mat Noron who unleashes a screamer into the top bins for 2-0. Fantastic! Khemarin wins a header from their goal kick to the impressive Noron who plays a lovely through ball to the onrushing Taboula who finishes sweetly into the bottom corner. 3-0. Sidet pulls one back for Samuth with a near post header from a corner.

Into the second half and we carry on where we left off. A sweeping move from left to right engineered by the brilliant Samnang who sprayed a ball out to Oudom on the right. His low cross was smacked home first time by Noron to complete a brilliant opening day hat-trick. 

Final Score – EDC 4- 1 Chllam Samuth

Noron 4, 32, 53                 Sidet 40

Taboula 34

Math Fasal ‘excited’ ahead of Rudd reunion

“There is known to be mutual respect between the winger and manager Rudd after their 12 months working together after the EDC manager brought him to the club.”

Shows how little the Phnom Penh Gazette know….

Tweet from Sos Charady

Would be great if Jonathan Rudd came out and double-crossed Math Fasal like a good old wrestling turn.”

Now that’s more like it!

Match 3 Nagaworld v EDC 07/03/23

We come across our nemesis early in the season this time around, but having done the double over them last term I go into it with a bit more confidence. Having said that it is a different team and they now play with wing-backs, so I have gone to a 4-3-3. Young Soun Bath makes his full debut up front, along with young Pom Vannak in defensive midfield. We have made a decent start to the season and hopefully this form can continue and we can put a run of consistant results together.

Team: Kong Rafat, Sokha, Ratana, Daravon, Khemarin, Leap Bo, Vannak, Samnang, Taboula, Bath, Noron

Match Action

It was tit-for-tat in the opening exchanges. They have a goal disallowed for offside, young Soun Bath shot straight at the keeper after being sent clean through by Kong Rafat in a Miroslav Klose bug that we couldn’t capitalse on. Then they take the lead. Wing back Cheng Meng throws the ball in to the impressive Pisa who floats the ball into the area, where it is met by the head of Long Pheng. 1-0.

Then Chea Sambath does his best Eric Cantona impressions and kung fu kicks his opponent to the ground. A straight red card is shown and my new signing trudges off the field in disgrace. Then Leap Bo signals to the bench - he’s got a gammy knee. Things are all going a bit Pete Tong.. While I’m sorting all this out we miraculously equalise… Pom Vannak scores on his debut but unfortunately I didn’t see it..

Then.. just what we needed… A Miroslav Klose bug goall.. This time Long Pheng profits again, sliding the ball past Kong Rafat with no EDC defender in the same postcode… FFS!!

In the second half, the impressive Cheng Meng sprinted past Ratana before delivering the perfect ball for Man Ratana. His shot was parried by Kong Rafat, but only into the path of Touch Dara who whacked home the rebound. 3-1.

Dara and Long Pheng combined once more for the latter to complete his hat-trick.. We cannot get near this lot I’m afraid. I’m praying for the full time whistle now.

It’s too easy for Nagaworld now. Young Vannak dallies on the ball in midfield and Pisa leans into him to disposses the teenager before sprinting into the penalty area for 5-1.. F***adoodledoo

Not long after.. 6-1 I really hate this game……

Final Score: Nagaworld 6-1 EDC

Pheng 30, 30, 64, 84                  Vannak 39

Dara 57, Pisa 78

This was a dreadful result, not helped by the stupid sending off of Samnang, which killed a game in which we had started quite well in They were too good for us on the day and as I drove home back to my apartment I wondered whether it was time to move on and find another club possibly in Thailand, Bangladesh or Malaysia. I had a distinct feeling that I had taken this team as far as I could....

After a decent start to the season, EDC were given a shock by rivals, Nagaworld, outlining the gulf in class which has now opened up between the two sides. With the manager contemplating his future, can The Cambodian Electricity Company find their spark for the rest of the campaign, or does a season of struggle await? As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day..

Edited by Jon1982
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Posted (edited)

Not getting the fascination with Touch Van here (or Van Touch).. The only thing I can think of is a terrible reality show that was on in the UK about 15 years ago called "Touch The Truck" His real name is Touch Vannak ( Vannak Touch) shortened to Touch Van because I have about 5 players in the squad with Vannak in their names... Thanks as ever for reading guys :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 38. Doing The Hard Yards

6 flippin 1... as I closed my eyes to try and sleep, that is all I could see in my dreams, 6 to the casino, 1 to the Electricity Company...  Brides 6 Bridesmaids 1, Men 6 Boys 1 Was it the formation? Going in 4-3-3 was a risk, the boys weren't quite used to playing in this formation yet, despite our best efforts in training. The normally reliable Daravon looked all at sea against the pacy Nagaworld strikers, Leap Bo and Vannak, young, enthusiastic, but inexperienced in trying to control a midfield, while young Suon Bath looked lost, up front in the inside left position, Noron isolated and Taboula once again flattered to deceive. Then Chea Sambath, our resident Bruce Lee, don't get me started on him! I scoured the Available jobs list and wondered, what would it be like to venture into Thailand, Malaysia or India? On the other hand I did not want to let the big, ugly casino win. I wanted to galvanise the team and go again, starting with a home game against Boeung Ket.

Difficult Run of Fixtures

 It's fair to say the  Cambodian fixture computer has not been overly kind to us. Our run of games sees us taking on the best teams in the C-League, one after the other, starting with the Boeung Ket game, then a trip to the unpredictable National Police, followed by a trip to Phnom Penh Crown, and finally hosting the champions, Angkor Tiger.  As Nen Borey pointed out though, on the plus side it gets all the hard teams out the way and then we play the 'easier' teams at the end which may be to our advantage come the end of the season.. Let's see how we get on!

Maol Daravon to Break EDC Appearance Record

My best central defender and vice captain. Maol Daravon will become EDC’s most capped player when he plays against Boeung Ket, where he will notch his 59th appearance for the club.

Match 4: EDC V Boeung Ket 15/04/23

Our tough run of fixtures continues and after the last game, I’m parking the bus. I am also making several changes from the Nagaworld debacle. I am down in 9th and a win here would put me in the top half potentially. Ket are in 7thbut pose a big threat, especially with Omakafe up front. I just want us to compete today and make life difficult and then see what we can get on the break.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Kong Rafat, Ivonaldo, Daravon, Gbayoro, Teat Chandara, Leap Bo, Pom Vannak, Rattanak, Sos Suhana, Oudom, Taboula

Match Action

Despite our new rather cautious Mourinho-style cattenacio approach we surprisingly completely dominated the first half. We looked solid at the back and attacked with confidence. Leap Bo sent Sos Suhana down the left, whose cross was met by Taboula who nodded well over. The best chance of the half came when Rattanak picked up the ball and sent a delicious pass to the onrushing Taboula, whose shot was well saved. Good half lads let’s win it second half..

Into the second half. Ket have more of the possession, but our defence holds firm. After some neat interplay between the increasingly impressive Leap Bo and Sos Suhana it ends up with the latter just shooting wide from the edge of the box.

Then Teat Chandara surges forward from left back. He nearly loses the ball, but he recovers just in time to nick the ball past the defender. He lays it to Rattanak who exchanges passes with Leap Bo. Young Tuy Oudom has come in from the right wing. Rattanak lays it off to him. The youngster takes it forward before hammering the ball into to the top corner from 30 yards. Quite brilliant from the youngster who has started this season on fire.. 1-0.. Pick that one out!

We are suddenly playing with confidence and Ket are nowhere. The impressive Rattanak picks the ball up in midfield and finds sub Mat Noron who nicks It past his marker before placing a shot onto the foot of the post. How unlucky!

We are tired now. I put Ratana and Khemarin on for Chandara and Daravon and switch to a slow short passing game to conserve energy. Boeung Ket are attacking, Sub Khemarin hacks the ball clear, which falls beautifully into the path of Mat Noron who raced clear and cooly slotted home to wrap up the game for EDC. To put the icing on the cake, Sos Suhana scores direct from a free kick late on to round off a brilliant performance and a brilliant comeback after the Nagaworld game. Maybe this EDC team can play a bit after all!

Final Score: EDC 3-0 Boeung Ket

 Oudom 59

Noron 84

Suhana 89

 

 

Match 5: National Police v EDC

We visit everybody’s least favourite team with revenge on our minds after they turned us over 3-1 in this fixture last year just at a time where we could have made a smash and grab raid to steal the C-League title. After our excellent performance in the last game I am hoping for a repeat performance, but of late we have struggled to put a consistent run of results together. The Police have a chief striker Chem Chitra who destroyed us in the last game and so we will have to stop him if we are to succeed.

I make two changes with Ratana replacing Teat Chandara at left back and Noron in for Taboula as the lone striker.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ivonaldo, Daravon, Gbayoro, Ratana, Pom Vannak, Leap Bo, Rattanak, Oudom, Suhana, Noron

Match Action

We started the game brightly. Rattanak picked the ball up in midfield and fed Sos Suhana who cut in from the left and had his shot tipped over the bar. Then Pom Vannak flighted the ball to Noron whose stinging shot smacked the crossbar. How unlucky., the goal was still vibrating five minutes later..

We are camped in their half and dominating the game. Noron has another bullet header tipped over the bar. Oudom sprints down the right, but Rattanak’s volley goes way over the bar. Then the breakthrough came. From a throw in Oudom and Rattanak exchange passes. The young right winger sprints to the bye-line before floating in a pinpoint cross straight onto Noron’s head to nod home. 1-0 to the EDC.

In the second half and the Police are attacking more, but from a cleared corner, Sos Suhana picked up the ball and cut inside from the left wing. He lays it off to Min Rattanak who lets fly from 25 yards straight into the top corner! Take a bow son!

Then out of nowhere a free kick to them was floated to the far post where Meas Veasna nutted in a surprise goal back. Bummer!

It was tit for tat from then on as they hunted an equaliser and we counter attacked to try and get a third. Neither happened and it finished 2-1 to us. We move up to 3rd…It's always nice to get one over the Rozzers!

Final Score: National Police 1-2 EDC

           Veasna    68                Noron 43, Rattanak 53

 

Match  6 – Phnom Penh Crown v EDC 29/04/23

The games are coming thick and fast and the fixture computer has given us all the stronger teams in a row. Having said that we have just dispatched two of them and lie 4th in the table, which has come as a surprise to many including myself. I am not changing the formation. Crown lie in 7th and play 4-2-3-1 with the Nigerian, Debeiro leading the line. But we have Matty Noron! We make one change as on-loan Ivanoldo cannot play against his parent club, so In Sambath makes his competitive debut at right back.

Kong Rafat, Sambath, Daravon, Gbayoro, Ratana, Vannak, Leap Bo, Rattanak, Suhana, Oudom, Noron

Match Action

Crown start the strongest and have a fierce volley well saved by Kong Rafat in the opening few minutes. They are too readliy winning random free kicks for my liking.

We eventually have the ball in their half! Leap Bo flights a lovely ball to Tuy Oudom whose angled shot is well saved by the keeper.

Than from their random throw in Sam Rouhen gets to the bye-line and his teasing cross is met by the head of Khek Tola 1-0. Tuy Oudom had to go off injured and was replaced by Mat Dara.

Yet another free kick results in and Adekunjo powerfully headed home. Oh dear!

I change the tactics and it seems to result in us having more of the ball. We knock it around. Mat Noron comes deep and picks up the ball before dribbling past his man and into the penalty area and fouled. Penalty! The striker dusts himself down and buries it emphatically into the bottom corner. Game on!

I bring on Sam Bath at half time for the ineffective Suhana and play him in an odd left inside forward position to support Noron with sub Dara reverting to the right flank as an out and out winger. I’m hoping this may confuse the opposition in some way. They start the strongest and Tola’s fierce shot stung the palms of Kong Rafat.

Then the game just became end-to end with both sides attacking with verve and intent. I bring on Taboula and go to a 4-2-4. This has opened the game up, but I back my boys to get an equaliser. This nearly happens when Dara touches just wide after a lovely flighted ball from Bo. Crown have numerous shots on goal as they play fast, attacking football. We have less attempts. Sub Ly Ravy puts us out of our misery after turning home yet another cross for 3-1. Debeiro adds a fourth from the penalty spot We didn’t really deserve that. Wasn’t our day today..

Final Score: Phnom Penh Crown 4-1 EDC

 Tola 22                                               Noron 43 (pen)

 Adekunyo 39

Ravy 88

Debeiro 90                                                     

Match 7 EDC v Angkor Tiger 06/05/23

Jumping from the frying pan into the fire, we face the Champions, but which EDC will turn up today? Will it be the one that gets thrashed 6-1 and 4-1, or the one that turns over Boeung Ket 3-0?  We lie in 6th place while our opponents are in 8th. We make two changes with Ivonaldo back at right back and the in-form Sam Bath starting on the left, with Sos Suhana switching to the right after Tuy Oudom’s injury. Midfielder Um Makara starts on the bench after returning from injury.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ivanoldo, Daravon, Gbayoro, Ratana, Vannak, Bo, Rattanak, Bath, Suhana, Noron

Match Action

We start the brightest and after just five minutes we take the lead! Suhana’s cross was cleared only as far as Ivanaldo who lobs the ball straight into the penalty area. Suhana has cut in from the right and he flicks the ball on into the path of Rattanak whose first time half volley blasts into the top of the net. Great start!

We look right up for this and territorially are superior. Then from a random free-kick, Tiger have two headers brilliantly saved by Kong Rafat before the follow up effort hits the post. Could this be our day?

But moments later… from Mantornin’s corner, the ball is nutted in by Srin to make it one each.

In the second half we dominate the game, but cannot fashion a chance. Noron keeps being caught offside and Suhana keeps overhitting his crosses. Then a flippin Miroslav Klose bug goal means from nowhere Phanhasith is one on one with Rafat. He makes no mistake, confidently slipping the ball past the young goalkeeper for an undeserved 2-1 lead..

I revert to an attacking 4-4-2 with young Sam Bath and Taboula leading the line, Mat Dara on the left and Suhana on the right, with Rattanak pulling the strings in midfield. Dara has a free kick beaten away by their keeper and Taboula heads just wide.

Then Dara puts in a perfect low cross for the youngster Bath to slot home from 6 yards for his first ever goal for EDC … but is ruled out because Dara’s big toe was offside when he received the ball. This is not our day after all..

Mat Dara has been brilliant since his introduction and has run at his full back on every occasion. We have a player here. One such piece of brilliance sees him combine with Taboula before placing a beautiful slide rule pass for the onrushing Rattanak to take the ball into the penalty area and slot home a richly deserved equaliser. We hunted down a winner as we attacked with verve and creatiivity, but Taboula like Noron kept being caught offside which frustrated our efforts. It was end to end stuff until the final whistle, but a Desmond 2-2 was perhaps a fair result. Rest in Peace!

Final Score: EDC 2-2 Angkor Tiger

 Rattanak 6, 68            Srin 22 Phanasith 63

Match 8: EDC v Paillin Hun Sen Cup 2nd Qualifying Round 09/05/23

I love a good cup tie and I really want to take the Hun Sen Cup seriously as it is the best chance of silverware we have. Having said that, I also want to give some minutes to some of my fringe and younger players too to keep the squad happy and give them a taste of first team action. Paillin lie in 4th place of the Second Division Group B, but to look at their squad they barely have eleven men to put on the field. Somebody is doing a decent job there with next to no resources. On their team is a familiar face, midfielder, Nan Punlock who was at EDC in my first season and was a decent player for us. We line up in an attacking 4-4-2 with many changes from the draw with Angkor Tiger, a side hopefully good enough to get the job done.

Team: Chainuth, Hem Sokha, Run Sokha, Ratana, Teat Chandara, Makara, Samnang, Dara, Touch Vannak, Taboula, Sam Bath

Match Action

We are camped inside their half for the opening fifteen minutes, with the visitors putting ten men behind the ball. We have a couple of half chances but nothing major, Then finally we break the deadlock. Chea Samnang retrieved the ball in midfield before spraying a lovely ball to Touch Van on the right wing. His pinpoint cross found the head of Pelap Taboula, whose powerful header beat the keeper. 1-0.

Samnang and Touch Van exchanged passes before the youngster dashed into t he penalty area and sidefooted it in off the post for 2-0.

EDC old boy Nan Punlock scored a consolation with a remarkable 30 yard shot into the top corner, but young Soun Bath scored his first goal for EDC, latching onto a delicious through ball from sub Rattanak to round off a comfortable afternoon. Into the 1st round proper we go!

Final Score: EDC 3-1 Paillin

 Taboula   16                Punlock 90

 Touch Van 31

 Sam Bath 90

A Bright Future

Granted, Paillin were hardly the toughest of opponents, but it was great to see my fringe and young players coming to the fore. Um Makara made his long awaited debut in midfield, which had been delayed due to injury and looked very accomplished. Touch Van on the right wing looked very good, while Sam Bath was a threat going forward and got himself on the scoresheet near the end. In defence, Ouk Ratana looked the part alongside Run Sokha. The future is bright for Electricitie Du Cambodge.

A mixed set of results against the better teams in Cambodia has propelled EDC into the top 5 once more and with the so-called 'weaker teams' to come, can  Electricite' du Cambodge finally mount a serious title challenge, or will their campaign lose its spark?

Edited by Jon1982
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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 39- The Killer Instinct.. of a Sheep..

 

We've done the hard yards and even gained some bonus points against Boeung Ket and Angkor Tiger and we are through to the next round of the Cup. Now to take on the so-called 'weaker' teams in the C-League, you know the ones we really should beat if we are to in any way challenge for the C-League Title, the newly promoted sides,like Modul Kiri, the fading forces like Vishaka and the general other makeweights. We have shown in flashes that we can mix it with the big teams, but now we have to win those matches in which we are the favourites and make hay while the sun shines. Can we handle the pressure?

Match 8: Chamao Khmao v EDC

Back to the bread and butter of the league and we play the team just below us in 5th. This is a winnable game though and confidence is growing in my young team. The big guns return after being rested for the cup match. EDC defector, Raymond Etim lines up in midfield for them alongside Yun Raksa who had a loan spell a couple of seasons back.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ivonaldo, Daravon, Gbayoro, Ratana, Leap Bo, Samnang, Rottanak, Dara, Suhana, Noron

Match Action

It’s even Steven in the opening exchanges. Rattanak has a stinging shot tipped over but that’s about it. We were rubbish they had a Miroslav Klose bug manouvre well saved by Kong Rafat. They dominated the latter part of the half. 0-0 at the break.

We revert to a 4-4-2 and I put Taboula on up front for Chea Samnang. Then, from seemingly nowehere their left winger crosses in for Borey who sweeps home, but is also miles offside, even Stevie Wonder could have seen this one. I fully expect the offside flag to go up and it to be ruled out.. but no… play on… goal stands. WTF??

I demand more from my players and they respond, but still no clear cut chances are created, with shots blocked, crosses charged down and annoying throw ins to them frequent. I throw on young Soun Bath and young Touch Van, the right winger who had impressed in the cup game for Dara and the surprisingly ineffective Noron.

Rattanak picks up the ball and runs at the heart of the Khmao defence. He finds Leap Bo who passes it on to the full back Ouk Ratana. He creates half a yard before sending the perfect low cross to the back post where young Bath was there to poke home his first league goal 1-1.

We hunted for a winner and attacked with malice. A Vannak cross was met by the powerful head of Taboula, but was tipped over by the keeper. Then we nearly press self-destruct and but for a last ditch tackle by Gboyoro could have easily lost the game. The Ivorian injured himself in the process. Moments later Leap Bo received a second yellow card, meaning by the end of the game we only had nine players on the pitch. I’ll take the draw. We move up to 4th, 6 points off the top.

Final Score: Chmao Khmao 1-1 EDC

Borey 52                                       Sam Bath 85

Match 9: EDC v Mondul Kiri 20/05/23

We take on newly promoted Mondul Kiri in fairly confident mood. Little is known about this lot, other they sit in 9th, so they are holding their own in the C-League, without pulling up too many trees. According to our scout they are a poor team who like to ‘park the bus.’ I am confident of victory and so we go with the more attacking 4-4-2. Gyaboro is injured, Leap Bo is suspended alongside Ratana. Khemarin, Teat Chandara and Vannak come in. Taboula starts alongside Mat Noron up front and Tuy Oudom returns on the right wing after an injury lay off.

Team: 4-4-2: Kong Rafat, Ivanoldo, Daravon, Khemarin, Teat Chandara, Vannak, Rottanak, Suhana, Oudom, Taboula, Noron

Match Action

Already the pattern has been set, as we dominate the opening exchanges. Taboula and Rattanak combine to force a save from the keeper in the opening minute. Then, from an innocuos looking corner by us, there was an infringemt the box, leading to a penalty. Noron did the rest, sliding it under the keeper’s body who rather did a Sydney harbour bridge over the ball, but tbey all count. 1-0.

We have so much pace in this team!  Oudom is like speedy Gonzalez on the right and his pinpoint cross was met by the head of Noron, but was acrobatically saved by the keeper.

We are creating so many chances it’s almost getting embarrassing. This time Taboula got down the left before crossing for Noron whose volley was well saved once again. We need a second for security as we are only one Miroslav Klose bug goal away from an equaliser..

Into the second half and the game followed a similar pattern, but once again we were wasteful in front of goal. Noron had another shot saved, Suhana shot wide when it was easier to score, Taboula had countless headers over the bar. Noron had a goal disallowed in stoppage time. The 1-0 win was somewhat of an anti-climax. This game was like if England were playing San Marino in a World Cup Qualifier and they completely dominate the game from start to finish, in the way they always do against such opposition. By the end of the game they only won 1-0, with only a Harry Kane penalty to show for it. Questions would be asked as to why they did not manage to score more against a very poor team who barely ventured out of their own half. Three points is three points though and we move up to third.

Final Score: EDC 1-0 Mondul Kiri

Noron 12 (pen)

The Transfer Window Opens Once More

Just two days after my birthday, the transfer feeding frenzy opens once more providing fun and frolics for everyone.. Already offers have come in for Noron from 2nd Division outfit CMAC and Nagaworld have continued their relentless campaign to tempt young Ratana away from EDC. If we can survive the window with most of our squad in tact, we will have done well..

EDC Sign Pidor

Young winger, Sok Ouen Pidor joins the ranks at EDC. He can play on either flank or in the middle as a number 10, so is an interesting addition to the squad and at just 19 has plenty of room for improvement.

Nen Borey has Continental C Coaching Badge

My assistant manager and faithful friend, Nen Borey has now got his Continental C License certificate. Well done mate you are now more qualified than me!

Match 10: EDC v Prek Patra 28/05/23

Like our last opponents Prek Patra are newly promoted and lie in 7th which means they are doing better than expected. Apparently they play a tika taka style of football, although not many of their players resemble Xavi, Iniesta and co to be honest.. They have a decent striker,  Sok Phal Udom who will need to be watched, but otherwise I am confident of victory as my confidence in my young charges grows by the game.

I go with an attacking 4-4-2. Ratana comes in a left back while Khemarin retains his place as Anderson Gbayoro is only fit enough for the bench.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ivanoldo, Daravon, Khemarin, Ratana, Vannak, Rattanak, Oudom, Noron, Taboula, Suhana

Match Action

We start brightly and Noron has an early shot saved. They show nothing until the clock ticks on and they get a random free kick on the edge of the area. Where this came from, nobody knows, was it a bad foul, was it a dive, was it handbags at 20 paces, did Daravon fart at the wrong time..who knows?.. it’s a mystery, but the result was devastating as Soy Ratana belted it into roof of the net. Bugger!

Rattanak is dominating the midfield and his fierce shot is tipped over by the keeper. The attacking midfielder’s burst of pace, almost Gascoigne-like takes him past two before delivering a fine cross but Taboula’s shot is again well saved. This kind of play is repeated often. Tuy Oudom gets away down the right but the cross is blocked, deflects clear. Taboula can’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo this season. Rottanak despite his brilliant approach play misses a sitter from inside the penalty area, rolling the ball wide when it was easier to score. To their credit our opponents looked useful on the break and had one or two opportunities themselves, but they really did not deserve to win this game. Three points slip through our fingers against opponents we really should be putting away easily.. In the last few games our team have shown all the killer instinct of a sheep. Baaa!!

Final Score: EDC 0-1 Prek Patra

                                                Ratana 16

Match 11- Khmera Keila v EDC

We meet the biggest upstarts in the C-League, Khmera Keila, but things have not quite gone to plan this season for this ambitious team. They lie in 7th but play a strange narrow diamond formation in midfield. This includes a familiar name, Suon Veasna who seems to be playing in some kind of deep lying playmaker role. My response will be to play with two wingers but revert back to a 4-2-3-1 which served us fairly well this season.  I’ve made a few changes, Pidor makes his first start on the left flank, while Chea Sambath slots into a central midfield three which alongside Rattanak aims to provide service to Noron up front.

Team: 4-2-3-1 Rafat, Ivonaldo, Teat Chandara, Daravon, Gbayoro, Vannak, Sambath, Rattanak, Pidor, Oudom, Noron

Match Action

We kick off and have decent posession in midfield but nothing much more. Then out of nowhere they get..yes you’ve guessed it a free-kick. This is taken quickly and catches Daravon unawares as their striker cleverly moves goal side and slots it past Kong Rafat at his near post. A really bad goal to concede after just nine minutes. Our response though is fantastic. Samnang is like a dog with a bone in midfield and he runs at the Khmera defence. His smart cross finds Noron whose shot deflects wide. Then a sumptuous through ball from the same player sends him clean through on goal but his finish is well saved ..again..

Then the equaliser. Noron’s short free-kick finds Pom Vannak who plays it back to Teat Chandara on the halfway line. His brilliant flighted ball into the box is met with a crisp volley from Pidor for his first EDC goal. Brilliant!

Soon after though Bunheing sprints down the right on the breakaway and squares it for Ravy whose shot could only be palmed over the line by Kong Rafat, who really should have done better with both the goals. 2-1 down at half time in an evenly matched contest.

In the second half I reverted to a 4-4-2 in search of an equaliser. Taboula partnered Noron up front. The impressive Pidor switched to the right. The problem with this was by leaving only two in midfield, which gave Suon Veasna too much space to pull the strings in midfield. I went to 4-3-3 and very attacking. This almost reaped rewards. A breakaway was on, Rattanak released Taboula down the left. His low cross found Pidor in acres of space, onside and only the keeper to beat…… and he miscontrolled the ball and the keeper dived on it gratefully. It’s not our day….again… We deserved better…again.. Baaaaa!!

Final Score: Khmera Keila 2-1 EDC

Dara 10                                                      Pidor 30

Rany 36
 
The C-League Table After 10 Games

We lie in 6th place, but a yawning 14 points off the top and just five off the relegation zone. It is clearly a season of transition for us and so midtable mediocrity looks a distinct possibility..

1st Nagaworld 28

2nd Phnom Penh Crown 26

3rd Boeug Ket 21

4th Angkor Tiger 16

5th Khmera 15

6th EDC 14

7th Prek Pra 13

8th Chmma Khmao 12

9th National Police 11

10th Wat Phnom 11

11th Chhlam Samuth 9

12th Mondul Kiri 9

13th Vishaka 5

 
After a season which promised something, a lack of killer instinct in front of goal has seen EDC reduced to mid-table makeweights in the C-League this term. However, with only ten league matches played there is still time for our friends electric to turn things around and make a late run for glory.. and they are still in the cup! Find out what happens next on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game! 


 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jon1982
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3 hours ago, Jon1982 said:

Little is known about this lot, other they sit in 9th, so they are holding their own in the C-League, without pulling up too many trees.

You're far wiser than you realise - Whereas nearly all the clubs you play are in the capital, Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri is a remote province where a lot of illegal cutting trees and destroying the rainforest takes place.

Back in Phnom Penh, Nagaworld casino is at the centre of a major controversy after sacking most of their staff (probably including most of their footballers). Keep up your hate campaign against them - they are a loathsome company.

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On 02/02/2022 at 02:28, phnompenhandy said:

You're far wiser than you realise - Whereas nearly all the clubs you play are in the capital, Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri is a remote province where a lot of illegal cutting trees and destroying the rainforest takes place.

Back in Phnom Penh, Nagaworld casino is at the centre of a major controversy after sacking most of their staff (probably including most of their footballers). Keep up your hate campaign against them - they are a loathsome company.

Thanks Andy My tree reference was purely a co-incidence! Nagaworld has always sounded like somewhere you would take your ex on a one way ticket. Hope the casino workers and players find alternative employment. 

Edited by Jon1982
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Still enjoying this one Jon. Tough learning curve for new young squad after that tough start to the season.

If you're moving on, I've had International saves in Kyrgyzstan and India, and feel sure you would enjoy both.

To throw another location into the mix where I've had a couple of club saves, Hong Kong would be an interesting option and step up from where you are.

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Thanks Neil,

I was thinking of Kyrgyzstan, not just because it would be a great scrabble score, but because I thought nobody must ever have done an FM game there, unless you are from that country or you! Unfortunately I only have the top league of 8 teams and then one regional league below it of about 6 teams. The quality of the editor file was not that great i'm afraid, so for now I will stay in Cambodia, at least until the end of the current season unless the FM gods have other ideas.. or I believe this young team could go on and win the C-League at some point..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 40 - 1st Anniversary Message

I just wanted to say a big thankyou to everybody who has read the Ultimate World Football Manager game over the past year. While the UK was still in lockdown on 16th February 2021 I took the first tentative steps of publishing my first post, explaining how the Ultimate World Football Manager works with the random country generator and letter wheel, which led me to manage Electricitie du Cambodge or EDC in the Kingdom of Cambodia. I then got told off by neilhoskins77 for posting a link to the blog version.. oops! Should have read the forum rules! 

Over the past year we have been to a cup final, blown the title Newcastle-style, been cursed by monks and had players walk out the door to join rival clubs. We have visited floating villages, big casinos and stopped by the police to rub in a 3-1 defeat. All in all it has been a fun journey in this small, friendly part of South East Asia.

On these forums and the blog version of this story, I have readers from across the globe, from Canada to Australia and even exotic places like Mozambique, Thailand and Argentina. I even have a reader who lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia who has been a great help in telling me about the country's footballing culture and information on the C-League and its clubs. There are also many readers from here in Blighty and all across Europe too. I have recently launched this story on Reddit and it has just exploded! Thanks to all for clicking on this post!

Thankyou all wherever you are from on this pale blue dot in the universe and let's see what the next year brings on The Ultimate Football Manager Game! Up the EDC!

 

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Part 41. No Man's Land

 

After a mixed set of results against the 'big boys' in the C-League, we then contrived to do a pre-Klopp Liverpool by dropping points against the so-called weaker teams which has derailed our title challenge early for another year. At the top, Nagaworld and Phnom Penh Crown are battling it out, while we are stuck further down the pecking order in 6th place. While we have too much about us to be relegated, we don't have the consistency to put together a run of results which will threaten the top two, who are fourteen points ahead. A year of transition this has turned out to be, but if we can add consistency to our game, then we could be a force to reckon with in Cambodian football.

Match 12 – Vishaka v EDC

Vishaka are bottom of the table with just three points all season.. how the mighty have fallen especially since the North Koreans departed. They are though a team full of talented kids, who perhaps have not reached their potential and so could be dangerous opponents. We line up in a 4-4-2, with somewhat of a defensive crisis, with Daravon and Gboyoro both suspended and Ratana on International duty with Cambodia. Thereofore Khemarin and Um Makara are thrown together in central defence.

Team: Kong Rafat, Ivanoldo, Teat Chandara, Khemarin, Makara, Vannak, Rattanak, Oudom, Taboula, Noron, Pidor

Match Action

We are quick out the blocks and Tuy Oudom is like a greyhound down the right hand side. He makes several runs down the right wing, but only amounts to a header over the bar. Rattanak sends Taboula clear but his shot is saved.

Then Oudom does one of his familiar surges down the right, before delivering a peach of a cross for Pidor to nod home his second in two games at the far post, Brilliant!

We have a few more chances including a Noron strike which is disallowed for offside. Then out of nowehere they cross the ball in and Taing Ravy beats Rafat to the ball to nod home an undeserved equaliser.

Pelap Taboula has been snatching at chances, but his approach play has been superb. He cleverly flicks the ball on before running onto the ball himself, before laying off to Pidor, whose cross found the head of Mat Noron. He could only head against the keeper’s outstretched arm, but pounces on the rebound to tap home for 2-1.

Unfortunately Oudom who has been the best player on the park picks up a knock, so Suhana replaces him.

Vishaka start brightly in the second half, but I feel we are in control. That was until Ben Mony sprinted through the midfield before releasing Lay Noron to equalise on the counter attack.

 

We finish stronger. Suhana crosses but Noron can only head into the keeper’s gloves, Suhana then has a gilt edged chance himself to win it but he scuffs his shot from inside the six yard box. Final Score Desmond 2-2, but we deserved to win this game. Had Oudom been able to stay on the pitch we would have won hands down.

Final Score: Vishaka 2-2 EDC  

 
 Ravy  29                                                     Pidor 10
 Noron  47                                                  Noron 39
 

Match 13: Prek Pra v EDC – Hun Sen Cup 1st Round 13/06/23

I am taking the cup seriously this year as it is most definitely our best chance of silverware this season and so I will send a strong team to Prek Pra, with revenge on my mind also after our stupid defeat in the league a few games ago.

I start with a 4-4-2. Chainuth replaces Kong Rafat in goal, In Sambath starts at right back and youngster Samnang Nhem makes his debut up front, partnering Mat Noron

Team: 4-4-2 Chainuth, In Sambath, Daravon, Gbayoro, Teat Chandara, Vannak, Rattanak, Suhana, Nhem, Noron, Pidor

Match Action

We start brightly and Rattanak has an early shot straight at the keeper from the edge of the box. We look up for this.. Rattanak sprays the ball out to Teat Chandara on the left. His cross deflected to Pidor who hit a fierce shot from the angle which was parried by the keeper straight into the path of Poacher Noron who taps home. 1-0.

We are like a dog with a bone today. Our opponents have not set foot in our half yet. Another attack sees right back In Sambath switch the play to Sos Suhana who has popped up on the left hand side. His drilled cross is sidefooted into the defender by the youngster, Nhem. The ball rickashays off Noron and trickles into the back of the net. He didn’t know much about that one, but they all count.

The attacks keep coming. A mix up in their defence allows Noron to have a free shot on goal, but the keeper just recovered in time. Sos Suhana had a fierce shot well saved and a flowing move through midfield that Brazil would have been proud of resulted in Noron fizzing a shot which was tipped over the bar. 2-0 is always a dodgy lead and as we wasted chance after chance I knew there would be a payback. It came from that familiar source of the ‘Miroslav Klose’ bug. Ball whacked down field sending striker through on goal, with defence no chance of catching him, Suhana Ouch did the rest… 2-1 and now they think they can get back into the game. Now the random free kicks start, surely not after the fantastic performance we have put in so far.. Thankfully our defence holds firm, despite them throwing three forwards on at the end and us finishing the match with five at the back. We march into the Quarter Finals of the Hun Sen Cup… The Electricity Company is starting to get cup fever once again!

Final Score: Prek Pra 1-2 EDC

Suhana Ouch 71                                           Noron 2,14

Match 14: EDC v Wat Phnom

Newly promoted Wat Phnom are famous only for turning us over in pre-season a year or so back. They have struggled a little in the ‘big time’ this season and sit in 9th place, just above the relegation places. We are looking to get our league form back on track and at least finish once more in the top 5 to add some respectibility to the season. While I feel we are too good to go down, we also should be closer to the top positions in the league, but we are a team in transition, something which often brings with it, inconsistency. We go in with a 4-4-2/3 and I say that because Pidor plays in a more advanced left wing role, which almost makes a three up front. Ratana returns after International duty.

Team; Chainuth, Ivonaldo, Daravon, Gbayoro, Ratana, Kakada, Rattanak, Oudom, Pidor, Taboula, Noron

Match Action

A fast start from both teams. Kakada sprays the ball out to their right winger who crosses the ball in.. Daravon trips his man as they both go for the ball in the area. Penalty. Sinoun Touch dispaches it emphatically. Not the start I had planned.

We fight back, dominating possession but create little. Momentum was slowly building though and Gbayoro volleys the ball forward and Noron flicks the ball on to the onrushing Taboula inside the penalty area. He slides it home for only his second goal of the season. The Nigerian looks sharp and is unlucky to be caught offside as he buried the ball home soon after.

Into the second half and we are in control of the game. We just need to score, but the final ball keeps letting us down. There’s no end product. We force a lot of corners but they are all cleared. Oudom does get a decent cross in but Noron heads horrendously wide. Then on 86 minutes they win a free kick out of nowhere. A header from them is parried by Chainuth, but only into the path of Um Samnang who whacks it into the empty net… Joke.. flippin’ joke..

We fly forward looking for the equaliser. I even throw on Chanraksmy to try and roll back the years, but it was to no avail. We deserved at least a point today, but leave with none. We slip to 8th with only 15 points. Nagaworld have 33, we are just playing for pride now, marooned in no man’s land..

Final Score: Wat Phnom 2-1 EDC

Sinoun 9 (pen)                     Taboula 35

Samnang 82

Mid-Transfer Window Comings & Goings

The Cambodian season runs from March to October, yet the 'mid season' transfer window kicks in round about my birthday on 13th May, which to me seems a little early, as it is not the halfway point of the season. Secondly the last thing I really want while celebrating the day I entered the world are Nagaworld trying to tempt one of my star players into their clutches... 

Ins

Sokundara Som – Free Transfer

I have signed Som from Build Bright United and he will be my new first choice keeper. While Kong Rafat won acclaim for an excellent season last year, his form has dropped off a bit of late and so I wanted to take him out of the spotlight. Som brings experience to the squad as well and a reliable pair of hands between the sticks.

Sok Panha- Free Transfer

I’ve signed this young, promising defender who will join us at the end of the season.

Sin Kakada free transfer from Wat Phnom
 
Our defensive midfield needs a bit of energy and someone who could both tackle and pass the ball well, so I snapped up this guy from Wat Phnom. He impressed me when we played them recently and will add both steel and creativity to the centre of the field.

 

Players Out

Leap Bo Leaves EDC

Leap Bo has joined Second Division outfit, Posenchy on a free transfer. Although not a disaster I am slightly disappointed as I thought he had some potential. Anyway we are fairly well stocked in defensive midfield.

Taing Hai Free Transfer to Posenchy

Young winger/striker, Taing Hai has joined Leap Bo at Posenchy. He did well in my U21s but never threatened to break into the first team.

In summary we have made three good signings and have escaped a serious exodus of players, so I was happy when the transfer window slammed shut until Christmas time. Now to fully concentrate on the football!

A season of mediocrity may be in the offing for EDC, but as we all know, football's a funny old game and they still have time to put a run of results together in order to get up towards the top of the table. Whatsmore they play all the top teams again soon and are in the Quarter Finals of the Hun Sen Cup, Find out what happens next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

       

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Posted (edited)

Part 42. Green Shoots

 

 This is a season of transition, but after predicting a long campaign of struggle, we have in flashes shown signs of being a really good football team. The addition of Gbayoro, the poor man's Sol Campbell has made our defence far more solid and we have played with a deep defensive line which has meant that our defence has rarely been outpaced by runners in behind, except for those Miroslav Klose bug goals of which I can do nothing about. Pidor has shown he can be a replacement for Veasna on the wing, Noron has looked a threat up front. Halfway through the season and it’s pretty clear the league title is beyond us and mid-table mediocrity awaits us this season. Our aims for the rest of the campaign now are to try and win the Hun Sen Cup, finish as high in the league as we can and build for next season.

Hun Sen Cup Quarter Final Draw

So we were 'uddled round t’wireless t’farnd oot oo we were playin’ in t’quarter farnals o’ ‘un Sen Cup and we was none t’wiser cos it gev us three teams oo stil ‘ad t’catch up wi’ us in tournament. Turns art it’ll be either University Life, Post Tel or Boeung Ket. Probly Boeung Ket cos’ theyre best team like..

Translation: We listened to the radio to find out who we were playing in the Quarter Finals of The Hun Sen Cup, but we drew three teams, as they still had to play in the previous round. It will either be University Life, Post Tel or Boeung Ket, which is most likely to be the latter because they are the best team.

I miss my Yorkshire home!

Match 16 – EDC v Solitio Angkor 24/06/23

Our opponents lie in 13th place and the young upstarts have failed to impress this year. Amongst their ranks is ex- EDC midfeilder Ouch Udom and a last remaining lost Brazilian Marcio Marques leading the line. New signings Som and Kakada Sim start as we line up in a 4-4-2. Nhem is preferred to the out of sorts Taboula up front after impressing in training.

Team: Som, Sambath Daravon, Gbayoro, Teat Chandara, Kakada Sim, Rattanak, Oudom, Nhem, Noron, Pidor

Match Action

We hit the ground running here and surge forward, we mean business. A slick move sees Kakada Sim, with his first touch sprays the ball wide for Oudom. He plays it inside to Matty Noron who exchanges passes with Rattanak before sliding in Oudom in behind on the right edge of the area. His cross deflects to the onrushing Nhem who slots home from 6 yards for the youngster’s first senior goal!

The Brazilian, Marques looks dangerous up front and he almost equalises but scuffs his shot wide when through on goal. A let off for EDC!

Noron nearly adds a second on the stroke of half time when he acrobatically volleys a Rattanak cross just over the bar. 1-0 at the break.

In the second half we looked the most likely to get a second, but were only one random free-kick or Miroslav Klose bug away from conceding an equaliser, which would pretty much sum up our season. Noron scores but is flagged offside again, Oudom has an effort cleared off the line. At the other end a Marques header needs a sharp save from Som, who has looked solid on his debut in goal. Kakada’s clever reverse ball let in Nhem, but the youngster could only find the legs of the keeper. The ref blows for full time, a much needed win.

Final Score- EDC 1-0 Solitio Angkor

                       Nhem 3

Hun Sen Cup Quarter Final Opponents

As predicted we will take on Boeung Ket in the Quarter Finals of the Hun Sen Cup after they beat the students of University Life 2-1. I’m sure the students will have taken this defeat as a life lesson.. The tie will be played on Tuesday 1st August 2023 and is highlighted in my calendar.

Match 17: Chllam Samuth v EDC

So it’s back round to the start of the fixtures with a trip to Chhlam Samuth. We caned them 4-1 on the opening day with a Matty Noron hat-trick, which promised so much for the season ahead. Now half a season on and we find ourselves marooned in 6th, a full 15 points off the top of the table and in a tightly grouped pack in mid table. We just have to finish as high as we possibly can. Samuth are marooned in 12th, the top relegation place and have a familiar face up front, Keo Udom who has scored 6 goals in 9 appearances as a lone striker (shows how much I know) We know how dangerous he can be. I go in with a 4-3-2-1. Midfielder, Chea Samnang replaces the unlucky Nhem  to make up a three in the centre of the park, with Noron as the lone striker.

Team: 4-3-2-1: Som, In Sambath, Daravon, Gbayoro, Teat Chandara, Kakada Sim, Samnang, Rattanak, Oudom, Noron, Pidor

Match Action

Unfortunately I missed the start due to call of nature…

Nen Borey tells me that Keo Udom is putting a show on here. He gets behind the defence forcing a good one on one save from Som. Then we score. The ball is worked inside from Oudom on the right and it lands at the feet of old Cobra Kai himself, Chea Samnang whose in his dojo 25 yards away from goal. He puts  a fierce drop kick on the ball and it nearly breaks the back of the net. 1-0.

I organise the defence so Daravon is tight marking my former charge and it seems to work. Samnang releases another thunderbolt which is tipped over the crossbar. Then he finds Noron who blasts it home but is ruled out for offside.

Then, from a random free kick, Ravy Sob heads home the equaliser off the underside of the bar. We respond well. Oudom crosses in low and Noron slides just wide. The same player intercepts the ball and his angled shot is tipped wide by the keeper.

Chea Samnang is having a stormer. He receives the ball from a Noron free-kick on the edge of the area and provides another contender for the C-League goal of the season as it blasts into the top bins from the corner of the penalty area. Amazing stuff! 2-1 EDC at the break.

In the second half we couldn’t get going although Noron had another goal chalked off for having his big toe offside. Keo Udom has been a constant thorn with his tireless running into channels, something I remember all too well. One such run resulted in him cutting into the area from the bye line and was felled by Daravon. Penalty! Up steps Rithy Ouk who sends Som the wrong way. It’s Desmond.

At the other end a ball into the box from In Sambath saw Noron try to get on the end of it. He was tripped as he tried to do so. Penalty EDC! Up steps man of the moment Chea Samnang who buries it into  the corner for his hat-trick and a 3-2 lead to EDC.

Then Udom goes after the ball on yet another greyhound like run and he keels over. This time he’s done his calf in and is stretchered off. I hope he is OK, but a little part of me is also delighted..

After the removal of their best player they offered little threat and we even had a couple of chances to extend our lead near the end. A good win which was harder than it should really of been.

Final Score: Chllam Samuth 2-3 EDC

                                    Sob, Ouk              Samnang (3)    

Match 18: EDC v Nagaworld

It’s the big one folks! The big, nasty casino come to our little corner of Phnom Penh and revenge is very much on our minds. We got humped 6-1 by them earlier in the season, but I am a man with a plan. I go with a 4-3-2-1, but I keep Rattanak and Samnang, two attack minded midfielders in to occupy their two holding players, with Kakada behind and a solid back 4. Unfortunately Daravon is suspended so Khemarin once more steps in. Ratana fills the right back berth with Teat Chanadara who has impressed me this season is retained at left back. Noron leads the line, with Sos Suhana and Tuy Oudom occupying the flanks…

News just in.. Our reserves have been humped 7-2 by Nagaworld’s reserves.. This doesn’t bode well..

Oh well, we have nothing to lose I will take the game to them and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

Team: Som, Ratana, Teat Chandara, Khemarin, Gbayoro, Kakada, Samnang, Rattanak, Suhana, Oudom, Noron

Match Action

Nagaworld start the stronger and an early attack forces a good save from Som. We look OK and start to knock the ball around in midfield as the creative forces combine to cause problems in the Nagaworld defence. One such mazy dribble from Rattanak ends up with Noron missing a great chance when he heads tamely into the keeper’s gloves from 6 yards out. We are up for this and controlling the game, but without creating a great deal. 0-0 at the break.

An early second half breakaway results in Rattanak having a pot shot at goal, but this is straight at the keeper. We are everywhere and first to every ball, we need to make this count!

Rattanak, who is covering every blade of grass picks up the ball and feeds Noron with his back to goal. He sprays a lovely ball out to Suhana on the left hand side. Suhana checks inside before flighting the ball into the path of the onrushing Noron who steers the ball on the volley first time into the net! Yeeesss!! This was a goal of sheer beauty and no less than what we deserved! 1-0 to the EDC!

The goal wakes up the big ugly casino and they exert a spell of pressure. A quick attack sees their left winger force a good save from Som. We look dangerous on the break though as Rattanak and Noron look a threat running towards their goal.

Nagaworld won’t go away though. Sun Dara forces a good save from Som and then from the resulting corner Ratana hacks the ball off the line. At the other end Noron forces a flying save from their keeper after a bullet-like shot heading straight into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Substitute Pidor, who has looked lively since he came on feeds Noron, who runs into the box. His attempted finish was saved but the rebound falls to Sos Suhana on the angle who trickled the ball onto the post.

Nagaworld have run out of ideas. Our ability to retain possession has frustrated the living daylights out of them and we have been magnificent today from 1 to 11. We really deserve this win. The final whistle goes and Rudd punches the air with delight. Nagaworld have been shocked at the EDC stadium, which has de-railed their title challenge. As for us, our third straight win and up the table we go to 5th, now 12 points off the top. Could we have hit form just at the right time?

Final Score: EDC 1-0 Nagaworld

                          Noron

 

Three straight wins and revenge on the big ugly casino has restored some optimism again amongst fans at EDC. Can they continue their good form and put a spanner in the works of the title challengers? Find out next time on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!

Edited by Jon1982
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