Visakha FC opens up chequebook ahead of season for players, coach
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VISAKHA FC has spent up large, bringing qualified foreign coaches to strengthen their team and prepare them this season’s Cambodian Premier League and Hun Sen Cup. The wealthy club has offered new contracts to their successful staff members and introduced several new players to its squad.
At the beginning of the year, Visakha signed 45-year-old Scot Simon Mcmenemy as its new head coach. McMenemy began his coaching career as head coach of the Philippines national side in 2010, leading the team to their first appearance in semi-finals of that year’s 2010 AFF Championship.
In 2011, Mcmenemy moved to Long An FC, a Vietnamese second division club, before transferring to Indonesian third division side PS Mitra Kukar in 2011-2012. In 2013 he signed with Madura United in the Indonesian Premier League. In 2014, he moved to New Radiant in the Maldives, before taking Bhayangkara FC to the top of the Indonesian Premier League in 2017. In 2019, he was appointed head coach of the Indonesian national side.
McMenemy claimed that he had been watching footage of Visakha and the Cambodia national team, and had noted the significant growth in quality of the game in the Kingdom. This was one of the driving factors in his decision to take on the new role, he said. When asked if he could lead Visakha to its first Cambodian Premier League title, he said: “I do not 100 per cent guarantee it, but I promise that I will work harder to develop the team.”
Three other foreigners have joined the club’s coaching team, with Englishman Anthony McMullen being signed as the goalkeeping coach, Lithuanian Sarunas Biciusas
as physical coach and Englishman Daryl Willard being brought in as assistant coach and manager of the club’s youth academy.
McMullen iš Jūrmalos.
Visakha has decided to extend the contracts of coaches Meas Channa and Tunji Ayoyinka Akeeb after the two coaches led the team to claim the Hun Sen Cup and finish as runners-up in this year’s premier league. Under his new contract, Channa will switch from coach to technical director, while Tunji continues as an assistant coach. The club expects its coaching team to work together and lead the team onto greater heights this season.
“I would like to thank the management for trusting in me. I promise to work hard to make this great club a success,” said Channa, following the January 14 signing of his new contract.
Japanese striker Takumu Nishihara, who was the top scorer for Tiffy Army in the 2022 season, and Timor-Leste striker Mouzinho Barreto de Lima, who recently ended his contract with the Angkor Tigers, have joined the club in this season. Boeung Ket’s first-choice goalkeeper Hul Kim Huy has also signed with Visakha, as the club released young goalkeeper Virak Dara to play for Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng on loan. Following his recovery from injury, South African defender Khan Mohammed Faeez has been signed until 2024.
Visakha has decided to part ways with South Korean striker Lee Jae Gun, Brazilian striker Paulo Victor and French-Cambodian defender Thierry Chantha Bin.