FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan sits down with Thierry Chantha Bin for an exclusive interview, where the Cambodia international shares about the past, present and future for himself and Cambodian football.
2018 is looming as big year for Thierry Chantha Bin and Cambodia.
For the cultured defensive midfielder blessed with sublime left foot, a year on from his dream move to Thai League 2 outfit Krabi, he will be looking to re-establish himself in the side and prove that he belongs there as a foreign import.
Meanwhile, for the national team, years of slow but steady improvement have yet to reap any tangible rewards but they finally have the perfect stage to show how far they’ve come with Southeast Asia’s premier international competition – the AFF Suzuki Cup – coming around once again.
In part two of FOX Sports Asia‘s exclusive feature on the 26-year-old midfielder, Thierry opens up on how he feels Cambodian football can still improve, as well as his hopes – both for himself and the national team – for the future.
FOX Sports Asia (FSA): Thierry, looking at the bigger picture, how much do you feel Cambodian football has improved in the three years that you’ve been here? What else needs to be improved for Cambodia to take the next step?
Thierry Chantha Bin (TCB): For sure, Cambodia has grown a lot. Many clubs now have stadiums and academies and this will help Cambodian football a lot in the future.
There’s also been many more fans. At the beginning, it wasn’t that famous but every year more and more fans start following and there’s more investment into the clubs.
The next step for the future generations looks bright because now they start very young and are in a better condition than older generations, but the point that needs to be worked on is the mentality. Of course, enjoying football is one thing but, if they want to succeed, they have to have more responsibility, take it seriously and work hard.
FSA: We’ve seen the Cambodia national team achieve some good results in the past few years. With the AFF Suzuki Cup coming up again in 2018, what are some of the targets for the national team in the next 12 months?
Doing battle with Japan and Inter Milan star Yuto Nagatomo
TCB: Yes, in the last few years, Cambodia have got some good results and improved a lot so, for us, the challenge is to keep going on like that and playing against strong countries to improve even more.
We will have the Suzuki Cup in 2018 so for us, and me as well, it will be our challenge to be better and try to go on to the next stage.
We’ve played against so many strong teams this year so we’ve learned a lot.
FSA: Lastly, you’re only 26 and will soon be entering your peak. What are some of the things you dream of achieving in the next years of your career?
Thierry Chantha Bin joins Thai League 2 Krabi FC pic.twitter.com/SGZoSW3V0a
— Cambodia Footy News (@CambodiaFooty) January 9, 2017
TCB: Yes, I’m getting old! (laughs) But, as to what I dream for my career, it’s to keep on enjoying playing football for as long as I can play.
But for my dream career, it’s to keep enjoy play football as long as I can play for my country. Make my family proud and play abroad, in Thailand or maybe someday in a place like Malaysia.I want to see and learn from other countries.