Honda preparing Cambodian game for the future

Sports | 10 Sep 2018

Japanese football star Keisuke Honda, recently named general manager of Cambodia's national team, says he will concentrate on building up the country's players for the future.

Cambodia will play Malaysia in a friendly today, the world's 166th-ranked team's first match since Honda agreed last month to coach them while also playing for Australian A-League club Melbourne Victory.

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

Honda, 32, 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 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 focusing on how he can raise them to "a good level." The former AC Milan midfielder said he was confident because "they have huge potential."

Honda added: "We have trained a very good lot the last couple of days. I already found a lot of good players and experienced players and young players."

He asked the team's fans to be patient about their progress.

"We are just beginning our project so I want you to stay calm about the new system, new performers. We are just developing it day by day," Honda said.

Cambodia captain Khouch Sokompheak vowed to "do what I can for tomorrow's game" and follow Honda's instructions.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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