HFCA entered the KMH Cup which is Cambodia's oldest and most prestigious football youth tournament for the first time in 2020. Eight teams took part and HFCA were honoured to compete against the best youth teams in Cambodia. Six Cambodian Premier League teams entered their best U18 teams and HFCA were drawn in Group A with football giants PKR Svay Rieng FC, Boeung Ket Angkor FC and Visakha FC.
HFCA played all six of our matches at the KMH Stadium. P Grogan
HFCA lost all six games in Group A and apart from a notable performance against PKR Svay Rieng FC when we only lost 2 - 1 they were defeated in the other five games by large margins. The vast majority of the HFCA squad of 24 were playing on a full-size pitch in competitive 90 minutes games with referees for the first time and the difference in experience compared to the other teams were reflected in the results.
"Making my debut for HFCA against Boeung Ket FC was a dream come true. The other teams were excellent and now I understand what's required to compete at the highest level in Cambodia. Losing all our games was hard but as Captain I can say we learned so much and we will get better" Sila, Captain HFCA U18 team for KMH Cup
HFCA's Sila (in red) challenges Boeung Ket FC player. Image supplied.
HFCA players come from their NGO partners and many of them have limited opportunities to access high quality sporting programs so seeing first hand how the other teams prepared before matches and the tactical awareness and superior fitness of our opponents during games was a real eye opener for the inexperienced HFCA team.
Our best performance of the season against PRK Svay Rieng FC. Image supplied.
It has been a very long season as we started training in October 2019 and COVID-19 had a serious impact on our training schedules and player availability after football restarted in June.
"Taking on youth academies from professional football clubs such as Visakha FC, Boeung Ket FC and PKR Svay Rieng FC was always going to be very difficult and the results proved HFCA has much work to do to compete at this level. Our players really enjoyed playing against giants of Cambodian football and we are very grateful to the KMH Foundation for giving them this opportunity" Paraic Grogan, founder of HFCA
HFCA's Tonet (in red) on the ball against PRK Svay Rieng FC. Image supplied
"The KMH Cup has provided a fantastic professional experience for all the players involved in the HFCA team. We are grateful for the opportunity and most players would do it all over again. It's been a great learning opportunity for all involved including myself. We now look towards next year where we can improve upon the results this year and continue to build on what we did this year" Greg Preston, Head Coach of HFCA U18 Team