Barclays ISF 2013 Girls Football Cup

PwC Alumni

To try and avoid the hot weather, the girls tournament was brought forward to 23 February.

On a beautiful sunny morning, 25 teams descended on the Mekong University’s football pitch, with a big contingency of supporters from ISF’s two communities plus the local schools now participating in the football program. Two deaf and impaired hearing teams, Krousar Thmey BB (The Blue Dragons) and Krousar Thmey PP (The Hunters) participated in the tournament.

We had players from UWC East Singapore join forces with girls from Wat Knog School to form a competitive team. Teams travelled from Prey Veng, Banteay Meanchey, Sihanoukville and of course Battambang was well represented with seven teams who come from the SALT football program.

After the formalities, the teams got down to business. The existence of the Barclays League has given a number of the girls the opportunity to play regularly and the value of the league reflects in the significant improvement in the standard of girls football.

The defending champions from Battambang, PwC Alumni Orcas (CFI) showed very early on that they were serious about defending their title. It was good to see their opposition rise to the challenge; there were no easy games!

There were a couple of younger squads like Dunbar Rovers (Komar Rikreay, Battambang) coached by Keourm Kanha and G Girls (Rapha House) coached by Chheun Nipha that surprised a lot of spectators with the quality of their play and will be teams to watch in 2014.

The final was an all Battambang affair with PcW Alumni extending their unbeaten record with a 4-1 win over Tonle Sap Teddy Bears (Tschrey). The final was entertaining and competitive; the difference was that PwC Alumni took their chances. The Tonle Sap Teddy Bears were missing their sponsor, Andy Ross’ inspirational support.

The day was one of excitement, expectation, sometimes there was a tear, but mostly its a lot of young Cambodian girls getting together, having some fun, with lots of smiles to be seen and laughter to be heard.

To Garry Hammond and Mark Stafford from Barclays, we appreciate you making the trip to Phnom Penh to support the tournament; all those handshakes and smiles you gave out were appreciated by a lot of very happy football players. To Kate Stafford, we appreciate you keeping your dad company.

To Margot Marks and the UWC East parents who attended the tournament, thank you