27. Tuying Our Opponents In Knots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chhmao Khmao 0-1 EDC

                                   T. Oudom 17

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

 Nagaworld offer me a job interview!

Nagaworld have offered me an interview! I have declined as this has only been generated by the stupid registration bug. It’s nice they appreciate my work at EDC, but my next job when it happens will be outside the C-League. Besides, me becoming Nagaworld manager would be like when Brian Clough joined Leeds United and we all know how that turned out..

New Goalkeeping Coach

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

A New Young Midfielder

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

Match 5 EDC v National Defence 16/04/22

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

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

EDC 4-

National Defence

Veasna 28,66

Oudom 60,65

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

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

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

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

EDC sign Taboula

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

Season 3 Match 6 EDC v National Police

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

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

EDC 5-2 National Police

Oudom 4,41                  Ravann 15

Taboula 33                    Chetra 44

Ratana 62 (pen)

Etim 69

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Experienced International Joins EDC!

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

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

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

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

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

Chllam Samuth 1-2 EDC

Chainuth 26                            Oudom 53

                                                Taboula 77

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

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

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

Season 3 Match 8 EDC v Svay Rieng

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

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

EDC 5-1 Svay Rieng

Veasna 42,66,87         Chamroerun 51 

Oudom 56

Chanraksmey 84

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Injury to Tuy Oudom

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

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

To read the next part, Mind The Gap! Click Here! 


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