Japanese football star Keisuke Honda, who recently signed on as general manager of Cambodia’s national team, said Sunday he is ready to help the team play well against Malaysia in a friendly match on Monday.
At a press conference held a day before the match at Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, Honda said, «We are excited to play tomorrow against Malaysia.»
(Keisuke Honda at a press conference in Phnom Penh)
He said that as the general manager of the Cambodian national team he «will try his best to enjoy the play» but acknowledged that beating Malaysia will not be easy.
When asked whether Cambodian team is strong enough to win, Honda replied that tangible results would take longer than a week or a month to achieve.
For the Malaysian side, head coach Tan Cheng Hoe told reporters at the press conference that he expected the Cambodian players to play their hearts out to impress Honda.
He added that the Malaysian team needs to revitalize their energy following a loss to Chinese Taipei in a friendly on Friday.
Honda, who signed a two-year contract with the Cambodian team last month, on Tuesday led them in practice for the first time.
(Honda gives instructions to Cambodia players in Phnom Penh on Sept. 4)
Earlier this year, four Cambodians played in Malaysia, including star players Chan Vathanaka and Prak Mony Udom.
Honda, meanwhile, promised that within the next two years he will try his best to help the Cambodian players reach a higher level of play.
The 32-year-old, who recently signed with Australian club Melbourne Victory, has said he will mainly contribute to the Cambodia team in an online capacity due to his contractual obligations elsewhere.
All — Kyodo News+