Conor Nestor: You need to sacrifice to be a professional player

Conor Nestor has some great pieces of advice for Cambodian players for what they should do and improve to become professional football players, while several of them are criticised for being lack of professionalism.

The Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng coach is having a great season with the Svay Rieng side as he guides them to thirteen matches unbeaten this season and occupy the top spot in the Metfone Cambodian League table with five points ahead of second-placed Nagaworld.

The 35-year-old coach told TheMorning: “It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice to be a professional footballer. You cannot always do the things your friends do and for young men that can be difficult to accept.

“However, the players can’t be alone in the public asking them to be more professional. All people in all industries are products of their environment.

“What is the Cambodian football environment right now? Are all pitches professional? Are all referees a professional standard? As a coach, I must look at myself and say can I do more? I believe that the vast majority of the players here live a good life and do their best to be professional, but only when you improve the whole environment around them will it get better.

“The top players in the world are all good when it comes to mental preparation. For example, they record what they eat, so they can keep track of their diet. They record how much sleep and water they get, so as to keep on top of fuelling the body.

“They also set individual targets for themselves like for example a winger might give himself a target of 5 successful crosses in a game. After games, they focus on recovery, sleeping right, eating right and resting. Because modern football is so fast paced, recovery has become a vital component. This can be difficult because after a game sometimes a player wants to switch off.”

Photo courtesy of Cambodian National Competitions Committee