Honda prepares Cambodian football for the future

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Japanese football star Keisuke Honda, recently named General Manager of Cambodia’s national team, said yesterday he will concentrate on building up its players for the future.

Honda spoke at a press conference a day ahead of a friendly match against Malaysia.

“It’s going to be a very tough game but I am sure we will do our best,” he said.

The 32-year-old Honda has taken on what amounts to a part-time coaching role in Cambodia, and has said he has no contract or pay for what is supposed to be a two-year stint. He already has an attachment to the Southeast Asian country, having launched his football academy school there.

Honda said he and Cambodia’s football association have talked about “how we make Cambodian players grow up for the future”, so he is focussing on how he can raise them to “a good level”.

“We have trained a very good lot. I already found a lot of good experienced and young players,” he said.

He asked the team’s fans to be patient about its progress.

“We are just beginning the project so I want you to stay calm about the new system, new performers, we are just developing it day by day,” he said.