Opening of ISF-Barclays Youth League 2015-2016

On Sunday 29th November 2015, 74 teams of young boys and girls from all around Phnom Penh opened the Barclays-ISF Youth League 2015-2016 season with a tense day of matches at the National Institute of Education, Phnom Penh. It was a fantastic day full of joy and fun, with a dramatic increase in the number of participating teams which brought the total attendance up to roughly 1100.

The Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) has been running a grassroots youth league for disadvantaged youths as part of its ISF Football Programme since 2007, when it started out with just 50 players. Thanks to support from Barclays over the past 6 years, it has grown from strength to strength with over 1,100 players benefiting from competitive football, fun and the development of vital life skills today.

As the strongest teams of the day played into the afternoon heat, competition also heated up and the pressure for a place in the finals grew. Despite fierce competition and some fantastic footwork, there could only be one winner in each division. Representing the boys, Sunrise took the U14 Champion and the U10 Boys titles and ISF Chbar Ampov took the U14 Premier title for the very first time since they starting playing in the league. Meanwhile, Puon Phnom School won the U14 Girls division and ISF Stung Meanchey took the U18 Girls title.

The league opening day made a great start and paved the way for the whole league of competitions which will start in early December 2015. We at ISF football staff cannot forget how exciting the football season is and to have a day of 74 teams coming together with continual laughter and cheer is incredibly powerful. We are so much happy to welcome the new teams and support them in the real challenges they will face. A big thanks to Barclays for their continued support in promoting football for development in Cambodia!