Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 20, 2009
The Grandfather of Asian football, the Rooster, is back on the pulpit. Following the success of last year’s Indochina Cup in Phnom Penh, some of the guys in Cambodia have been talking about the prospect of a permanent team and resurrecting their previous “Crocodiles” tag.
Rooster points out, however, that East Timor is now known as the “Crocodiles”. He also gives us an interesting insight into how many other teams in the region and Europe have ended up with their names…
Below is an edited extract from his email to the Cambodian hierarchy.
The old adage, “build it and they will come” is very true of international footy… So, if a permanent Cambodian team is formed – and games are staged, then players shall crawl out of the woodwork.
Re the team name… Do you have your heart set on being the Crocs??? The East Timor side is now the Crocs and will be looking to debut in the Asian Champs this year…
Same thing happened to the Malaysian Tigers (the original tigers) when the Thailand Tigers later chose the same jumper & name (they didn’t know each other existed). Unfortunately for Malaysia, they hit a big bump with the Asian Currency Crisis and went through a reformation to turn up a year or so later as the Malaysian Warriors.
I know how it feels… I started footy in China (the China Blues)… and in North-Western Germany (the Dusseldorf Lions)… and in Finland (the Finland Lions)… and they have all changed their names… Now they are the China Reds, the Rheinland Lions (although they did consider being the Rheinland Roosters in honour of their founding father) and the Finland Ice Breakers… But, I guess you learn to let go…
The Singapore Lions only became the Wombats after the national soccer team was jealous about the modelling contracts being offered to players after their highly publicized debut (I kid you not – it was a much younger side back then) and threatened legal action.
The Vietnam Swans also have some interesting stories from the history of their name change (there had been one view that suggested home games in Saigon should be played as the “Saigon Saints”. Matches played abroad should be played as the “Vietnam Swans” and matches in Hanoi could be played as either the “Vietnam Swans” or “Hanoi Swans”).
Anyway, up to you guys what you want to do but the facts on the ground are:
- the Timor-Leste Crocodiles already exist and have already toured. They are developing a domestic league (so they aren’t likely to go AWOL for a while) and are planning to be at the Asian Champs this year.
- there are currently no Kangaroos in Asia (the Korea Kimchi Kangaroos never got off the ground) except for the Cambodian team from last year’s IndoChina Cup
So, anyway, the bottom line is that I am definitely looking forward to a couple of hitouts… both for and against the mighty Cambodian (insert animal name here)s.
It’s a lucky thing that the Asian Champs are in KL this year (September 5th)… I think with the momentum built up over a few home games during 2009 – you could quite possibly be at touring strength come September.
After seeing the effect that the Asian Financial Crisis had on footy in Asia & the disjointed approach around the place – I put the wheels in motion for the establishment of the Asian Champs with the idea that it would co-ordinate each country’s efforts and also provide “the one tour to do if you can only do one tour” to help struggling countries maintain activity levels and keep their heads above water. As Vietnam & Laos will vouch, focus on this event has certainly helped to sustain their efforts which has led to further growth and development.