News HFCA star joins Cambodian kings Phnom Penh Crown FC

Thach Rithea joined HFCA in 2017 from our partner Cambodian Children's Fund when he was just 13 years old.

Even then we could see he was very talented. He trained hard every week and last year he was a star in our U18 KMH Cup team. Now he has been picked up by Phnom Penh Crown FC and is playing with their U18 team. Phnom Penh Crown are a huge club in Cambodian football with a record six Cambodian Premier League titles. 

Rithea (Bottom row first left) with his HFCA U18 team mates before a 2020 KMH Cup match. Image P Grogan.

HFCA entered the top football tournament the KMH Cup for the 1st time in 2020 and Rithea learned a lot saying ''For participating in the competition such as KMH Cup with the HFCA U18 team, which is a good opportunity for every player to show their talents and their abilities, and in particular, they can also improve their abilities. To me, during the competition, the KMH Cup, HFCA have to compete with other clubs that have more experience than us and another thing they play better than us. That is a difficulty in the competition for HFCA''

Rithea playing for HFCA (first left in blue jersey) challenging Boeung Ket player during 2020 KMH Cup match. Image Supplied.

Rithea advises 12 and 13 years old players at HFCA who want to follow in his footsteps ''Being a professional player to play for a top club, the most important thing is attitude, discipline and training. Once you have it all, your performances in matches will improve as well''

Rithea playing for Phnom Penh Crown FC clears the ball in an U18 National Championship match. Image Scott Neeson.

From training twice a week at HFCA to stepping up to the challenge at a professional level was challenging ''For the training, it is difficult when I first went to Phnom Penh Crown, they trained more than I did before at HFCA and training five times a week. Over time, I have improved my strength and familiarity with the ball, understood the game better, filled in my gaps during the training and also it has given me more energy to play on the football field''

Rithea playing for HFCA (in red jersey) chases back against PKR Svay Rieng FC in 2020 KMH Cup match. Image Supplied.

Rithea is dreaming big ''My biggest goal is to release and strengthen my ability to earn more salary and become a prominent player at Phnom Penh Crown and also have an opportunity to play abroad like my idol Theary Chantha Bin''

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