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38. Doing the Hard Yards

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  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 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 Ru

37. Rome Wasn't Built In a Day

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  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 sho

36. Boxing Day 2021

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 I

35. Can We Fix It?

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  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 poin

34. Exodus!

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   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,

33. End of Season 3 Round Up

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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 3 rd 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