Phnom Penh Crown FC

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Phnom Penh Crown FC
Full name Phnom Penh Crown Football Club
Nickname(s) Crown
Founded 2001; 16 years ago (2001)
Ground RSN Stadium
Ground Capacity 10,000
Owner Cambodia Rithy Samnang
Manager Japan Noriaki Ikeda
Coach Ukraine Oleg Starynskyi
League Cambodian League
2016 5th
Website Club home page

Phnom Penh Crown Football Club (Khmer: ក្លឹបបាល់ទាត់ភ្នំពេញក្រោន), is a football club from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Formerly the team were called Samart United, Hello United, Phnom Penh United and Phnom Penh Empire before establishing their current name, Phnom Penh Crown FC in 2009. The club has won many trophies in Cambodian Football including a record 6 Cambodian League titles (in 2002, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015) and a record 2 Hun Sen Cups (in 2008, 2009). The club were also runners-up in the Cambodian League twice (in 2005, 2006), the Hun Sen Cup in 2010 and AFC President's Cup runners-up in 2011.


The 1950s and 1960s were the glory decades of Cambodian football when the country had one of the strongest teams in the region alongside Thailand, Burma and India. However, the civil war in the 1970s ended that and throughout that decade football was the last thing on anyone’s mind. The green shoots of a football renaissance began in the early 1990s with Cambodia represented at the 1995 Southeast Asian Games and the following year they took part in World Cup qualification again.

In 2000 the Cambodian Football Federation got the Cambodian Premier League competition back on its feet and a year later Samart United were born, with sponsorship from Samart Communications, a telecommunications service provider. After undergoing a number of name changes over the past decade, this was the forerunner of the Phnom Penh Crown team that exists today. 2002 saw Samart United, led by their player-coach and the country’s most celebrated international striker Hok Sochetra, capture the Cambodian League Championship for the first time in only their second year in existence. As champions they took part in the prestigious Asian Club Championship, losing to the reigning title holders, Petrokimia Putra of Indonesia.

In 2005, after a couple of years of hibernation due to a lack of sponsorship, the Premier League began again and Hello United, the new name adopted by Samart, finished the campaign in second place before losing 3–0 to champions Khemara in the play-off final. The club’s top scorer award went to Hok Sochivorn, the younger brother of the player-coach, with 22 goals. At the start of the season, the club took part in the AFC President’s Cup for the first time, losing in the opening round of games despite a 2–1 success over the Pakistani champions WAPDA. Another name change, to Phnom Penh United, happened for the 2006 season, in which the club finished top after a shortened regular season, but lost out in the play-off final again to Khemara, narrowly losing 5–4 in front of a crowd of 10,000 at the National Olympic Stadium.

Joining forces with the Khmer Empire team, another new moniker was adopted, Phnom Penh Empire, for the 2007 season, in which the team finished in third place behind the league champions Nagacorp. The following season, 2008, proved to be the club’s most successful ever, with a league and cup double to celebrate, the first in Cambodia by any club. The Premier League title was won with a six-point gap over the runners-up, National Defense Ministry, and a single goal by Anucha Chuaisr was enough to claim the Samdech Hun Sen Cup, 1–0, against Preah Khan Reach.

A disappointing showing in the 2009 end of season play-offs saw the club, now called Phnom Penh Crown after their latest sponsors Crown Casino, finish in fourth spot, despite ending the regular season in top spot, six points clear of the rest of the pack. A 1–0 victory in the Samdech Hun Sen Cup Final over Naga Corp, with a goal from Keo Sokngon, did provide some consolation. In two regional competitions, the AFC President’s Cup and the Singapore Cup, Crown earned themselves many plaudits with their performances. Two defeats and a win over Bhutan’s Yeedzin was not enough to secure a passage to the second round of the AFC President’s Cup. A 2–0 win over Young Lions in the Singapore Cup saw them progress through to the quarter-finals before Thailand’s Bangkok Glass knocked them out over two legs.

In 2010, Crown captured the Metfone Cambodia League Premier title for the third time, beating Preah Khan Reach 4–3 in the play-off final, despite only managing fourth spot in the regular domestic campaign. They were denied a second league and cup double when they lost 3–2 in the Samdech Hun Sen Cup Final to National Defense Ministry. Earlier in the season, Étoile ended their Singapore Cup hopes at the first stage. At the season’s end, the successful duo of manager Makara Be and coach Apisit Im Ampahi left the club to work in Thailand.

2011 saw Croatian coach Bojan Hodak put in charge of the team until his move to China midway through the season. His replacement, experienced Englishman David Booth took over and guided the club to their fourth Cambodian League title at the end of the domestic league campaign. The Singapore Armed Forces extinguished their RHB Singapore Cup interest in the 1st round, but a successful qualifying tournament held in Phnom Penh saw Crown progress to the prestigious AFC President’s Cup in Chinese Taipei in September. With victories over Neftchi and Yadanarbon in the group stage, Crown met hosts Taiwan Power Company in the competition final, going down 3–2 in a fiery encounter. In 2011, the club established their residential academy with 22 boys under the age of thirteen selected after trials across the country, with the long-term view of developing youth football in Cambodia. In 2012 the club finished a disappointing fifth in the Metfone C-League championship. They were knocked out of the Hun Sen Cup in the quarter-finals and despite qualifying from the group stages held in Phnom Penh, were soundly beaten in the final stages of the AFC President’s Cup in Tajikistan.

A new coach, Swiss-born Sam Schweingruber, was installed before the start of the 2013 season. In the pre-season Hun Sen Cup, Crown finished in third place after losing to the National Defense Ministry on penalties in the semi-final. In the Metfone C-League they ended the regular season in third place after a run of eight games without defeat but came unstuck against Svay Rieng in the semi-final, losing 4–3 to the eventual champions. The 2014 season began indifferently with a quarter-final exit from the Hun Sen Cup at the hands of BBU. From the 1st March the team went on an unbeaten run in the Metfone C-League, with George Bisan finding the net regularly and ending the season on 20 goals after their attacking options ignited with the arrival of Adriano Pellegrino. With two games of the campaign still to play, Crown clinched their 5th Championship with a 1–0 win over NagaCorp, losing just two matches in their league campaign. Goalkeeper Sou Yaty was awarded the league's Best Goalkeeper accolade.

With the completion of the 6,000-seater RSN Stadium in June 2015, a new chapter in the Phnom Penh Crown story began and Crown rewarded their supporters by claiming their 6th title success in a thrilling climax to the 2015 Championship season, beating Nagaworld on penalties after a 3–3 aggregate scoreline in the two-legged Play-off Final. Crown finished the regular season in second-place behind Boeung Ket though showed their class in the play-offs to add a sixth star above their club crest. Joint top goalscorers Shane Booysen and George Bisan each bagged 24 goals apiece in another memorable season for the club. Teenage goalkeeping sensation Keo Soksela was rewarded with the Best Goalkeeper award. 2016 saw managerial changes and injuries to key players affect the club's performance and Crown finished the season in 5th place. For 2017, Ukrainian-born coach Oleg Starynskyi has been promoted from the successful Academy set-up to the 1st-team head coach position and AFC Cup qualification is back on the fixture list, after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland overturned their ban by AFC.

AFC history[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Score
2005 AFC President's Cup Group Stage Kyrgyzstan Dordoi-Dynamo Naryn 1–6
Pakistan WAPDA 2–1
Sri Lanka Blue Star SC 2–3
2009 AFC President's Cup Group Stage Myanmar Kanbawza 3–4
Kyrgyzstan Dordoi-Dynamo Naryn 1–3
Bhutan Yeedzin 3–1
2011 AFC President's Cup Group Stage Sri Lanka Don Bosco SC 3–0
Bangladesh Abahani Limited 1–0
Kyrgyzstan Neftchi Kochkor-Ata 0–1
Final Stage Kyrgyzstan Neftchi Kochkor-Ata 2–1
Myanmar Yadanarbon 4–0
Final Chinese Taipei Taiwan Power Company 2–3
2012 AFC President's Cup Group Stage Bhutan Yeedzin 8–0
Nepal Nepal Police Club 1–0
Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek 0–1
Final Stage Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek 0–8
Tajikistan Istiqlol 0–6
2017 AFC Cup Play-off round Singapore Home United 3–4
Singapore Home United 0–3

Current Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Cambodia GK Kung Chanvuthy
2 France DF Anthony Aymard
3 Cambodia DF Chea Chandara
4 Cambodia DF Ouk Sovann
7 Cambodia MF Suon Noeut
8 Cambodia MF Orn Chanpolin
9 Cambodia FW Keo Sokngon
10 Cambodia FW Keo Sokpheng
11 South Africa FW Shane Booysen (captain)
12 South Korea FW Yeon Gi-sung
14 Cambodia FW Mao Piseth
15 Cambodia DF Yue Safy
16 Cambodia DF Seut Baraing
17 Cambodia DF Vat Samnang
No. Position Player
18 Cambodia FW Run Rany
19 Cambodia MF Brak Thiva
20 Japan MF Yuta Suzuki
23 Cambodia MF In Sodavid
29 Cambodia GK Svang Samnang
32 Cambodia GK Keo Soksela
39 Cambodia DF Chhom Pisa
54 Cambodia DF Boris Kok
73 Cambodia MF Choun Chanchav
87 Cambodia MF Ouk Sothy
94 Cambodia FW Yeu Muslim
95 Cambodia FW Pov Ponvuthy
99 Cambodia MF Sin Kakada

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
12 Cambodia MF Sath Rozak (to Cambodia Visakha)
13 Cambodia MF Kim Chhaya (to Cambodia Visakha)
18 Cambodia FW Men Piphop (to Cambodia Asia Euro United)
24 Cambodia MF Sean Pissa (to Cambodia National Defense Ministry)
No. Position Player
25 Cambodia DF Ken Chansopheak (to Cambodia Visakha)
45 Cambodia MF Mat Sakrovy (to Cambodia Visakha)
66 Cambodia DF Sraing Titchhy (to Cambodia Visakha)
89 Cambodia FW Chhuot Senteang (to Cambodia Visakha)

Players with Multiple Nationalities[edit]


Old club logo prior to renaming
2002 (as Samart United), 2008 (as Phnom Penh Empire), 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015.
2008 (as Phnom Penh Empire), 2009.

Performance in AFC competitions[edit]

2005: Group Stage
2009: Group Stage
2011: Runners-up
2012: Final Group Stage

Performance in ASEAN Competitions[edit]

2003: Group Stage
2014: 3rd Place
2007: 1st Round
2008: 1st Round
2009: Quarter-finals
2010: 1st Round
2011: 1st Round
2012: 1st Round

Head Coaches[edit]

Coaches by Years (2009–present)

Name Nat Period Honours
Aphisit Im Amphai Thailand 2008–2010 Cambodian League Winner 2008
Cambodian League Winner 2010
Bojan Hodak Croatia 2011 Qualified to 2011 AFC President's Cup final round
David Booth England 2011–2012 2011 AFC President's Cup Runner-up
Cambodian League Winner 2011
Sam Schweingruber Cambodia Switzerland 2012–2016 Cambodian League Winner 2014, 2015
Oriol Mohedano Spain 2016
Sam Schweingruber Cambodia Switzerland 2016
Oleg Starynskyi Ukraine 2016-

External links[edit]