It’s the 10th year in a row that Cambodia have been part of the Homeless World Cup, thanks in most part to Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA), the organisation that coordinates the team’s appearances at the event.
Seng Saray is part of a team of seven disadvantaged youth players — all between 16 and 23 years old — from underprivileged backgrounds, and he is enjoying every minute of his experience.
“It’s been a wonderful experience, and one I am keen to share with my friends and my family when I go back home. It’s my first time being outside of Cambodia and everyone is very kind.”
The 19-year-old from Phnom Penh has been thoroughly impressed with the camaraderie on display between the sides competing, especially between that of his own side and Indonesia.
“We’ve made good friends with the Indonesian team. They really support us when we play. And we support them. This shows that the world can make friends with one another. Football is an example of how we can do that.”
The Cambodian players can look to former player Men Morina for inspiration, with the 2009 tournament attendee in Milan going on to play professional football in the country. And in Saray’s eyes, every time they take to the pitch they give it their all.
“Football is very popular in Cambodia. We are a small country but we have tried our best on the park. And that has been important thing for us. I have learned a lot from this environment and am excited about how I will use this experience when I go back home.”