Friday, 31 December 2010

What does the future hold for the Raj?

Confusion and rumour continue to rule the roost at Rajpracha-Nonthaburi. Some reports suggest that the very future of the club was in doubt at one point, though this may be nothing but hyperbole.

It now seems almost certain that coach Somchai has left the club, and the way it has been reported suggests that his departure was acrimonious. To my knowledge, no new coach has been appointed yet. 

Further speculation suggests that there may be top players leaving for Muangthong United or other places. One inside report also suggests that Muangthong United forward Ibrahim was 'promised' to Rajpracha, but this has not happened yet.

With so much beffudlement, who better to clear things up than club president Supridee Pravitra? After one online site reported that K. Supridee has lost interest in Raj, he responded in English: "I could give up everything in my life just to see Rajpracha football team successful. This team is my body and soul."

K.Supridee has very kindly agreed to an interview that will appear here soon.

Nonthaburi FC mean business

www.nonthaburifc.com

The owner of Nonthaburi FC has confirmed that promotion to Division One and nothing less is the target for next season.

The club have conjointly confirmed they are signing a new coach with higher league experience but will not reveal the identity until his contract with his current club expires.

The 'Crows' have also signed three foreign players: a twenty five year old Belgian forward, thirty year old midfielder Muhammed Kha signed from a Belgian club and a twenty seven year old midfielder, possibly a Guinean international.

Apparently the club may also launch a new logo and shirt design next season, though sponsorship is not required unless a suitably sized offer is made.

Two pre-season friendlies have been played against Prachinburi FC and PTT respectively.

I'm hopeful of publishing an interview with a very popular Eka player soon.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Dissension at Raj?

A sequence of reports on Siam Sport has suggested serious division in the ranks at Rajpracha-Nonthaburi FC. I'm waiting for a native speaker to clarify the many reports before commenting further but at a glance the reports do not seem to state any sources other than Somchai himself.
There are two sides to every story and the ongoing reports don't seem to help anyone at Rajpracha.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Bye bye Somchai

www.rajprachanonthaburi.com
UPDATE: I understand coach Somchai has not made any certain decisions yet.

If I understand correctly, Somchai Subpaem has left Rajpracha due to internal disagreements. This means Raj are now seeking their fourth coach in two season which is not usually a healthy sign.

Somchai played a key role in lifting Raj's fortunes last season. Good luck to him for the future.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Top duo to return

Heart warming news for Raj fans today as Yen Emile and Dawudah Walumpah both confirm their intention to stay with Rajpracha next season. The duo will return to their respective home nations of Cameroon and Ghana to spend time with family before returning to pre-season training. Emile - who won the foreign player of the season award - told the Raj website: "Rajpracha is my family".

Yen Emile with his family

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Raj fans in action

This clip features fans of Raj and CRU cheering Raj against Songkhla. It also features an interview (in Thai) with two of the fan club organisers who are both very friendly people and great fans. Incidentally this is the game Raj lost 1-3 and ended with the mother of all rainstorms.



Thursday, 28 October 2010

Muangthong United Vs Rajpracha Nonthaburi - photos

Finally then, some god match photos, copyright of siamsport.co.th and posted by Thanuwat at thailandsusu.com
Former Muangthong player Wisarut Pannasi
Christian Vs Yen Emile
Raj's player of the year Saruwat could not handle Thai international Teerasil, not this time anyway.
There's a few more images here. Image credit: siamsport.co.th (all)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

MTU Vs Raj - media

Credit: Siam Sport via rajprachanonthaburi.com
The MTU fan site forum has been down for a long time and there are no pictures on the Raj forum yet so it's not been easy to get any multimedia of yesterday's FA Cup game. The only circulated picture is the one above and the only video I know of is below. You can also download the whole game from here if you have enough free time thanks to a user by the name of ซุปเปอร์โด้ at thailandsusu.

This defeat at the feet of the Quilins brings Raj's tumultuous season to a close. It's had plenty of high and low points but overall, survival in the first division in a debut season and a strong cup run must be considered a success.

This blog will now go into close season mode with a couple of reflective articles followed by short, sharp updates until the hype for next season begins. The biggest question for Raj fans will be: will Raj return home next season?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Result - Muangthong United 4 Rajpracha-Nonthaburi 0

Muangthong United defeated Rajpracha with ease in the FA Cup quarter finals with goals from Christian, Teerasil, Dagno and an own goal from Kittipong.

MTU now advance to face Navy Rayong in the semi finals at Rayong (no neutral grounds in Thailand until the final).

Monday, 25 October 2010

Interview with a Rajpracha fan

Nene (wearing glasses)
As a follower of Rajpracha myself, it was comparatively easy to get an interview with a Rajpracha fan before the match between Muangthong and Raj.
So thanks then to Nene for his time. Bear in mind this interview was conducted before the game's original scheduled date about three millennia ago, so Raj's recent struggle - and victory - against relegation is not mentioned.

1) Could you tell us your nickname, your age and what you do for work?
A: Hi, My name is Ne'. I'm 27 and my work is about Information and Communication Technology study, research and educational services.

2) How long have you supported Rajpracha and why did you choose them?

A: I supported the team since the last year (2009) when the team has competed in Regional League D2, (Bangkok and Metropolitan zone) but I heard about the rich history of the team when I was young.
The reason that I choose to support the team because I find the one team that I really want to support and the team must locate around my home (Locality Loyalty reason) and I heard Rajpracha joined Nonthaburi and selected Nonthaburi Provincial Stadium (Wat Boat Don Prom) as a home stadium.
So I think this is a good chance to choose team that i want to be with.

3) Rajpracha were promoted last season as D2 Champions. How do you think they have performed in their first season in D1?

A: For the starting season period, I think we can perform quite well as a new promoted team but the situation of team is going down after we lost Prachinburi FC for away game 2-1 and the form continued poor results, we lost many matches.
We have many problems about the team management until we changed head coach from Praphan Premsri to Somchai Supperm and the thing is turning to good way that it could be.
For this season I just expect the team will be in mid-table and doing well in FA cup tournament.

4) How do you think most Raj fans feel about Muangthong United? Do they like them or do they see them as rivals (as English fans do with other local teams)?

A: I think most Raj fans don't think seriously to be rivals with MTUTD because this is Thailand we live as peace and we just want to enjoy and see the favourite team play well.
Sometimes I saw many of MTUTD fans supported Rajpracha and they enjoyed together.

5) Raj have played away from their real home ground this season and played at the Thunderdome instead. Why is this and how do fans feel about it?

A: Nonthaburi Provincial Stadium is under construction and improving for ready for football league competition. Most Raj fans is waiting to return back to real own stadium that they think they are.
Our team play at Thunderdome that really effect for local fans around our home ground.

6) What tactics do you think Rajpracha will play in this game? Who will be the key players for them?

A: I think we have to play carefully with the defensive approach and use counter attack style. MTUTD has many good skill players to threat us.
Did you know, few players of MTUTD is former players of Rajpracha when they were youngster.
My opinion, Raj key players for this match will be our foreign players (GK-Yen, DF-Dawuda, FW-Sylla).
They have strength and good techniques to resist the attacking game from MTUTD and we hope our striker will create a chance to turning this game.

7) Finally, do you have a prediction for the match?

A: Any result, I'm welcome. I just deeply hope Raj will pass to the final !!!

************

Thanks again to Nene for his time.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Raj season awards

Rajpracha fans voted for the team's best foreign player and best Thai player respectively before last Saturday's one-all draw with Khoen Kean. Unsurprisingly, Yen Emile won the 'foreign' category while Sarawut Sintupun won the local honours. Congratulations to them both. For my part I voted for Yen Emile and Awakjit Sulaiman, who returned to action on Saturday for the first time since his injury, which will be a huge boost to Raj ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup game with Muangthong.

These pictures courtesy of Dreizehn@ชฎาเกรท at the Rajpracha website.

Yen receives his award.



And Sarawut takes his award, just before his bedtime.




Sulaiman back in action
Chang girls, along with the club president

Muangthong United Vs Rajpracha Nonthaburi - key players

This week's Nonthaburi/Thunderdome derby promises to be a very interesting affair, and one which is bound to be ambivalent for me, regardless of the outcome.

A fan interview will appear here in due course, but for those who prefer to focus on the technical side of things, I thought I'd take advantage of my familiarity with both sets of players and take a look at some of the possible tactical battles that will take place and discuss how they could affect the game.

Dawudah Walumpah (CB) Vs Kone Muhammed (AM/FW)




Forward Kone Muhammad often enjoys an advantage over opposing defenders because of his imposing height, pace and muscle. However, Raj's Dawudah will match him in almost all of those departments. Though he is slightly shorter, the centre back will certainly not be intimidated by Kone's power and pace. Naturally, Kone is a more technical all round player but if Dawudah sticks to what he does best which is using his own pace and strength to get to the ball first and clear it anywhere, he could make Kone and his teammates work hard for the victory.

Awakajit Sulaiman (AM/FW) Vs Piyachart Thamaphan (pictured) (LB) or Weerawut Kavem (LB)



The young right-winger Sulaiman has played a large part in Rajpracha's recent rich run of form. His neat first touch combined with his pace, good crossing and willingness to run at defenders has created a whole lot of openings for his side. Take a look at his part (he's number seventeen) in this goal for example. However, it's likely he'll get far less space than he's used to against the TPL champions and if he's up against Piyachart, he'll also have to do some tracking back to stop Muangthong's number eleven from getting in some crosses of his own. Will this encounter make or break Raj's talented winger?
Note: Sulaiman's recent injury may rule him out of this clash.

Teerasil Dangda (ST) Vs Yen Emile (GK)


You don't need an introduction for Teerasil. You don't even need me to talk about him. The lean striker does his talking on the pitch with quality finishing from either foot, heading from set pieces, build up play with his back to goal and quality team work with his intelligent reading of the game.

You might not be so familiar with Yen Emile, but he is equally deserving of praise. Raj's keeper - signed from Saraburi M150 or whatever they are called - has been worth at least ten points to his team this season in my opinion, pulling off some saves that are as astonishing as his Thunderdome counterpart Kawin. If Raj are to give Muangthong any kind of contest in their encounter, it's likely that Yen will need to pull off a few more point-blank stops against, arguably, Thailand's best out-and-out striker.


Noppadon Ponudom (ST) or Tameezee Hayeeyusoh (ST) Vs Kawin Thamsatchanan (GK)




When Raj were going through their mid-season slump, they looked to their highly rated striker Tamasee (pictured) for goals. The player had allegedly attracted TPL interest in the close season and fans were delighted to keep him, but as the goals dried up and rumours of missed training sessions spread (his looks may have created distractions off the pitch?) management called in Noppadom from Bangkok United as a mid-season purchase. The goals followed, not just from the new boy but from a re-energised Tamasee, too. What is sure is that whichever of the strikers plays in this one, they'll not get many openings and when they do, they'll have to do what very few players have done before them and score past Kawin on his own turf.


***************
Photo credits:


rajprachanonthaburi.com (all Raj players)
the-afc.com (Kawin)
www.thaipremierleague.co.th (Kone)
ongsana.com (Piyachart)
sport.mthai.com (Teerasil)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Why Raj deserve to be in D1

Rajpracha's survival in Division 1 was finally secured on Wednesday night when Chantaburi failed to defeat Air Force United. I'm absolutely delighted for Rajpracha as although the league table never lies at the end of the season, I am certain that 'The Crowns' not only deserve to stay up, but are in fact one of the best teams in D1.

So how then, did we come so close to the drop zone? Well the problem began shortly into the start of the campaign. After a strong set of opening games that put us in a top five slot, Raj began a slump in form that saw us getting hammered on a regular basis. It quickly became apparent that the new coach was not competent and the squad started to look more and more like a nervous bunch of schoolkids playing against men. It must be said that the people in charge took too long to deal with this problem in my opinion, it was obvious what needed to be done a long time before action was taken to remove the coach. We suffered for that delay. However, even in this period the players showed bursts of the quality they are capable of.

New coach Somchai quickly set about making changes and improvements and the players started to show what they can do. A win at home to (then) second placed Air Force United was followed by a win away to Nakhom Pathom (still in the promotion race), a narrow home defeat to runaway leaders Sriracha was followed by a two-nil win against them in the FA Cup and that in turn was followed by a draw with Chiang Rai United who are also still hunting promotion. In all these games Rajpracha showed superb football skills, as they played a passing and attacking game with pace, skill and confidence.

But with such a large deficit the team were always playing catch-up in a sixteen team division with four teams taking the drop and just a couple of poor results set us back. A loss away to Thai Honda was followed by a terrible official's decision at Chula United that literally turned a win into a defeat, plunging 'The Crowns' back into trouble. It also seemed strange that both the old coach and his replacement seemed to rotate players for the sake of it, even though some are clearly so much better than others.

There followed a nervy few days for the fans, not least myself having tasted relegation with Southampton and never wishing to taste it again. But other results soon ensured Raj's fate was back at their own feet and they never looked back, winning away to Narathaiwat and crushing RBAC at home.

That win sets the scene for this Saturday (with a new kick off time of 1530) as fans of both teams prepare a joint party to give their "player(s) of the season awards" and celebrate promotion and survival respectively. For Raj, it also means they can now look forward to the exciting FA Cup tie with neighbours Muangthong next week.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Yet more relegation analysis

It's been pointed out to me that PTT have the advantage over Raj because although the H2H scores between the sides are equal, PTT have more away goals, which is used as a splitter before goal difference.

The good news however is that Raj could be safe before their next and final league game on Saturday not only if Chantaburi fail to beat Air Force, but also if PTT - who have actually shown very strong form recently - beat Prachinburi tomorrow.

Credit and copyright: thai-fussball.de

Raj 4 RBAC 0 - Report

Raj took a huge step towards safety tonight with a four goal win over RBAC that could have reached double figures but for some better finishing.

From the start, RBAC looked like a jaded team resigned to their fate. With respect to them, I truly struggle to think of any team I've seen with such poor shooting.

Defender Dawudah Walumpah opened the scoring in the first five minutes. It looked like floodgates could open but several misses by Raj buoyed RBAC, who came out attacking in the second half. However, most of their shots came closer to the South Stand ceiling or the corner flag.

Raj introduced Wisarut (for Phuntong) for the second half and the left back almost immediately hit the target and made the score two-nil.

Wisarut then missed a couple of golden chances for himself but made amends by setting up two further goals for Raj by timing simple runs to beat the RBAC back line and then playing a square ball in the penalty area.

Towards the end of the game things became embarrassingly easy for Raj and they had chances to score even more. But the important thing is the result and the spirit of the team that shone through today.

Raj's final league game is this Saturday but if Chantaburi fail to beat Air Force on Wednesday, Raj will be secure.

Raj starting line up:

1 GK Yen Emile

2 DF  Suriya Kupalang
19 DF Nuttapol Poontawee
15 DF Walumpah
21 DF Nirun Phunthong
23 DF Kittipong Somak

27 MD Pichit Kesaro
10 MD Seksit Srisai
14 MD Sarawut Sintupan

13 FW  Narakorn Wisetthanakarn
26 ST Noppadon Ponudom

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Updated relegation analysis - 16/10/10

Raj's game today became another victim of the Thunderdome pitch and rainy season. The game is rescheduled for Monday. Nobody seems to know about KO time, though. At this time it appears that Chantaburi's game with AFU may also have been postponed.

Results from today went in Raj's favour with PTT drawing at home to Khoen Kean and Prachinburi losing at home to Chiang Rai. This means PTT and Prachinburi have both lost their game in hand and both teams sit along with Raj at 35 points from 28 games. Chantaburi remain in the first relegation spot of thirteenth place with 33 points from 28 games.

Raj have the 'head to head' advantage over Prachiburi (4-3) and Chantaburi (2-1) but PTT and Raj stand at 4-4 on 'head to head'. Therefore the deciding factor is goal difference, where PTT have a ten goal advantage over Raj ( minus three for PTT, minus thirteen for Raj).

Possible permutations remain multitude but one worth considering is that if Chantaburi fail to defeat AFU, then Raj would need just two points from their remaining two games to be safe.

Credit: thai-fussball.de

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Narathaiwat 0 Rajpracha 1 - D1 relegation analysis

A Wisarut goal after nine minutes was enough to give Raj a nervy win away to already relegated Narathaiwat.

The win puts Raj in eleventh place with 35 points from 28 games. PTT are next behind with 34 points from 27 games, next, and in the first relegation spot are Chantaburi with 33 points from 28 games.

Chantaburi must play Air Force home and Chula away. I think they will struggle to get more than four points from these games.

PTT play Khoen Kean home, Prachinburi home and RBAC away. I expect them to win at least two of these games.

Raj play RBAC at home (this Saturday at 1630) and Khoen Kean at home next weekend. They must look to take all six points but four might be enough.

The glamorous FA Cup tie against Muangthong that looked to be the final act of the season has now taken back seat in the minds of staff, players and fans.

Credit: thai-fussball.de

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Raj in relegation zone

Rajpracha have dropped into thirteenth spot, the final relegation spot, after PTT Rayong's surprise 2-0 victory over Customs FC at the weekend. The league table now looks like this:
(credit thai-fussball.de)
Raj must play Narathaiwat away (Weds), RBAC at home (Sat) and Khoen Kean home (Saturday next week).
PTT Rayong must play Khoen Kean home and RBAC away.
Chantaburi must play Air Force home and Chula Utd away.

Raj's fate is in their own hands. If they win all three games they will finish above Chantaburi.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Chula Utd V Rajpracha - better quality clip and pics

Both these pictures and the following clip are higher quality than the previous offerings. Things get interesting around 5:40...

Rajpracha fined 5,000 baht

Raj have been officially punished by the TPL for what the body described as "splashing water and using abusive language towards officials [by supporters]" following Saturday's heartbreaking encounter with Chula United.

Lots of media of the game is available but there is no footage of the disallowed goal or the response of the officials.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Chula United 1 Rajpracha 0 - photos and clip

Spot the ball?

More photos - credit b-box at chulautd.com - here

Youtube clip below. Unsurprisingly, the disallowed goal has been edited out.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Chula United 1 Rajpracha 0 - Report

A hugely controversial decision spelled disaster for Rajpracha as Chula United took a one goal victory to land the visitors back in a  heavy relegation struggle.

The game opened up awkwardly on the astro pitch with the clouds above threatening to open at any moment. Rajpracha struggled to find any movement on the strange surface and gave the ball away softly far too many times. They also tried the same long ball tactics against Chula - who have a far greater average player height - that failed so miserably in the 1-6 drubbing against the 'Pink Panthers' at home. However the game was goalless at half time.

In the second half Raj responded to what was obviously a good team talk and began their own passing game. Two or three golden chances went begging including one shot that was desperately cleared by a diving Chula defender.

However the deadlock appeared broken when Raj's number 26 (I think) Noppadom caught a  rebound on his chest and smashed home into an open goal. However, about three seconds later the linesman raised his flag and indicated handball. Players and fans were shellshocked and within a minute Chula had taken the free kick, moved downfield and scored with a low effort that appeared to have 'keeper Yen Emile blindsided.

Stunned Rajpracha players rallied and continued to apply some pressure, forcing one Chula defender to overcommit and get himself sent off, but the game ended shortly after.

Ugly scenes followed as Raj players surrounded the officials and some Raj fans - including myself I'm ashamed to say - approached the tunnel to voice their mind and swap insults with some Chula fans who were enjoying it.

It didn't do us any credit of course, but I can understand the reaction as this was a crucial game that could play a pivotal role in Raj's season and the linesman was the only person in the stadium that saw the handball. Let's hope to see a video of the goal to determine if he was right.

However, Raj must now move on, ask themselves why they didn't control the game from earlier on and look for three crucial points against bottom side Narathaiwat next week.

Rajpracha starting side:
1. Yen Emile
4. Wisarut DF
23. Kittipong DF
19.Pontawee DF
32.Thanapon Phao DF
28. Phairot  DF
7. Deeprom MD
27. Pichit MD
10. Seksit MD
26. Noppadom ST
25. Thanachot FW

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Thai Honda Vs Rajpracha - Photos

Lots more high-quality photos from chada-great ("great crown") here.


Rajpracha Vs Songkhla - Highlights

 

Result - Thai Honda 1 Rajpracha 0

Raj make it two losses in a row. The lads are now only safe by four points and need a win in the match away to Chula on Saturday.

Rajpracha 1 Songkhla 3 - Report

Rajpracha failed to keep up their impressive home form as they went down 1-3 at home to Songkhla in a game that ended farcically.

Songkhla started at a pace as impressive as their traveling support but Raj were equal to it until the first goal went n around the twenty five minute mark with a well placed shot that gave Yen no chance. The lead was extended to nil-two shortly before half time.

Raj came out attacking in the second half but they were caught on the break to make it 0-3 and seemingly game over. As Raj attempted a fight back, a huge storm broke out and within minutes the pitch was waterlogged by an incredible downpour. As the pitch light up from constant flashes of lightening, the game became comical as the ball simply would not move across the water. Players attempted to perform "keepy uppy" and move the ball around with constant small chips but it was very difficult. Raj managed to pull one back but the referee wisely saw that the game should be ended sooner rather than later and blew for full time.

It's probably no coincidence that Raj didn't quite have their usual spark today and highly rated midfielder Sulaiman was watching the game from the stands with a thigh strain. The Raj will need him to be fit soon if they are to finish the season on a high and give any kind of challenge to Muangthong.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Raj look forward

To their credit, Rajpracha fans have responded with a very Thai "Never mind" attitude to the late postponement of their FA Cup game with Muangthong. The fans and the club now look to make amends for the defeat at Chiang Rai last week with a victory at home to Songkhla on Saturday.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Nonthaburi 4 Rajatewi 3

Nontahburi's season came to end with their highest ever goal tally against a promotion chasing Rajatewi side.


The game itself was, according to reports, an exciting affair with penalties, scuffles , a red card (Janewit) and lots of goals.


Eka came painfully close to promotion themselves but just missed out on head to head tallies, a loss caused by their mid-season slump.

Overall though it's been a highly successful first season for Nonthaburi and I hope to see them in action more often next year.

Photos of the game here

Friday, 17 September 2010

Updated squad details

I hadn't realised what a mess the squad page was, so I've now tidied up and updated it. A copy follows:



Regular first team players:


1 GK Yen Emile

2 DF Suriya Kupalang
3 DF/MD Ratgan Jamparat
4 DF Wisarut  Pannasai
5 DF/MD Sawin Bunsopit
6 DF Chochai Choochi
15 DF Dawuda Wulampah
20 DF Wuttipong Sittitanyakit
21 DF Nirun Phunthong
23 DF Kittipong Somak
28 DF Phairot Keawketsri

7 MD Prakit Deeprom
8 MD Chokdee Intharalak
10 MD Seksit Srisai
11 MD Kornprom Jaroonpong
27 MD Pichit Kesaro
14 MD Sarawut Sintupan

9 ST Taiki Ishizu
13 FW Narakorn Wisetthanakarn
26 ST Noppadon Ponudom
16 ST Tameezee Hayeeyusoh
17 FW Awakajit Suramon
30 FW Kouame Yao Mathieu (On loan from Muangthong United) 

Squad/Youth team players:
12 GK Noppadom Sopdee
18 GK Peerachart Yimthong

19 DF Nuttapol Poontawee
24 DF (?) Thierry Touoyem
31 DF Itthiporn Teprean (Asuumption Thonburi School)
32 DF Thanapon Phao (Nakhom Pathom)
25 FW Thanachot Suppol
33 FW Sylla Moussa

Thursday, 9 September 2010

FA Cup draw

Raj have been drawn "away" to Muangthong United. Draw to be played 23rd September at 1900.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Score - Nonthaburi 1 Kasetstart 0

Goalscorer Arthit Praagune
Nonthaburi defeated Kasetstart University one-nil in a fairly poor game at the Rama 9 Stadium. Eka took the lead about five minutes before half time with a goal from Arthit Praagune. For most of the game Kasetstart looked like they could not hit the back door of a barn from open play, but they did test the home goalie from a couple of set pieces and they did manage to keep their toys just about in the pram and avoid any walk offs throughout the game.

All in all, not a great display of football and the crowd was small due to the early kick off time, but what matters at this stage of the season is points. Eka remain in the play-off hunt. Ratchatewi occupy second place in the D2 Bangkok and Vicinity table, they are three points above Eka with a game in hand......and they visit Nontahburi in Nontahburi's final league game.....

Preview - Nonthaburi FC Vs Kasetstart University FC


Nonthaburi FC face Kasetstart University FC tonight in a rematch of the Toyota Cup game that featured a "walk off" by Kasetstart. Unlike most walk offs, the players did not return. Tonight's match must result in a win for Nonthaburi if they are to stay in the play off race as the division 2 season draws towards its end.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Rajpracha 1 Suvarnabhumi Customs FC 0 - Report

Awajee Sulaiman terrorises the Customs defence

Raj scored a victory over Customs FC in the last minute of normal time in a somewhat dull contest at the Thunderdome.

As you can see, I wasn't impressed with the first half.
With no TPL matches over the weekend, a large and varied crowd including shirts of Bangkok Glass, Bangkok United, Buriram PEA and Muangthong United witnessed a lackluster first half. The game started off at a fast pace but lacked in quality and chances. Towards the end of the first half Raj started to control more of the game but still forced no more than a couple of saves from the away team's goalie. Incidentally, Customs for some reason did not have Mika Chunuonsee in defence, he was watching from the stands.

The second half started in a similar fashion and both teams only had one real chance. A Customs FC striker -sporting the hideous kit you see in the pictures - rounded Yen Emile but was then forced to the touchline. Yen managed to scramble back and push the ball away with one hand but it fell to the same striker again whose chipped shot was hacked away.

At the other end, the ever improving Sulaiman appeared to do the hard work and beat two defenders only to lift his shot over the crossbar.

It all appeared to be hurtling towards a goaless draw until Sulaiman and substitute Kouame Yao Mathieu - on loan from Muangthong United - combined to score a late winner. It was a dose of fortune that represented Raj's upturn in form and the confidence that has clearly come with it. The Raj are now well away from the relegation zone and the young squad can look forward to their FA Cup quarter final match.

Some great pictures here. Video of the goal below may not be available in all countries.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Raj 1 Roi Et 2

Raj exited the Toyota Cup in the first round proper with an upset loss at home to Isaan side Roi Et after drawing 0-0 in the first leg. Roi Et took a 1-0 lead in the first half, Raj equalised on the 76th minute before the visitors scored again nine minutes later.

Raj rested some key players and probably wish to concentrate on the FA Cup, but it's still not nice to lose.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Eka Vs BG - Photos

Photos credit of sugar_t_t. Lots more great pictures here

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Nonthaburi FC Vs Bangkok Glass - highlights

Nonthaburi FC 0 Bangkok Glass 2 - Report

Credit:siamsport.co.th

Nonthaburi FC went down 2-0 at home to Bangkok Glass despite a brave and spirited performance that had looked like it might earn the Division 2 side a draw.

The single-stand stadium was almost completely full and the Bangkok Glass allocation was sold out thirty minutes before kick off. Many away fans and some home fans took up positions around the fenced area of the pitch to watch the game for free. Both sets of fans generated a tremendous atmosphere.

Nonthaburi's line up featured three players on loan from Buriram (I'm not sure if it's "PEA" or "FC") as the owner of Nonathburi is an associate of Newin Chidchob. Korean player K.Sung had a particularly strong game.

In the first half Eka Nonthaburi played a defensive game to a slow pace, a smart tactic that served its purpose of frustrating the visitors and going some way to negate their superior pace and skill. However Eka rarely looked like scoring on the break.

The second half continued in a similar pattern and only some goalkeeping heroics from home 'keeper Marak Matadam - who was confident enough to perform his trademark forward roll with his very first save of the game - combined with a little luck kept out the Premier League side.

The breakthrough came about fifteen minutes from time following a cross from the right wing into the Eka area that was headed home. It was a cruel blow for the home side who had proven themselves stubborn and sturdy despite the pressure they were under. A Michael Byrne screamer not long after put the game beyond doubt despite a late rally by Nothaburi.

The second leg is likely to end with a similar or greater score but Nonthaburi can take great pride and confidence from this encounter as they proved tactically adept and very hard to break down even against a nearly full strength BG.

Man of the match:
Marak Matadam
No doubt about this one: Eka's cult hero Marak Matadam. Had the relatively small sized goalie looked nervous or shaky under pressure, this would not have been such a close contest. Instead, he performed two excellent saves and one tip against the crossbar to keep his side in the game.


The starting team:
1 Marak Matadam
2 Anuchit Gratama
6 Venus Ponsa
16 Gidja Choosing
20 Thanom Sangjangda
15 Bouagba Carrion
17 Sathit Sriuthai
27 Jenwit Boonsuwan
28 Prasop 
29 Kim Young Sung
8 Sarawut Thasong

*************
Rajpracha Nonthaburi drew 0-0 away to Roi Et. Return fixture is next Wednesday.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Big game for EKA

Nonthaburi FC take on Bangkok Glass this Sunday at the Rama 9 Stadium in the Toyota League CUP. After much confusion over ticketing, temporary stands and other issues, it's been decided that.......well nothing much has been decided or confirmed except that the club will not change the venue.

EKA will be looking to cause an upset in this two-legged fixture and will need to call on all their experience and physical presence to match the high ranking, high budget TPL side.

Photo credit: bangkokglassfc.com 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rajpracha 2 Sriracha 0 - FA Cup

Raj moved in to the last eight with a dominating performance against a flat Sriracha side that avenged the recent league defeat.

Neutrals would be surprised to learn that Sriracha were the top side and Raj the strugglers of D1 as after the first five minutes, the home side always looked the stronger.


Both goals came in the first half - a penalty by Pontawee and a finish inside the box from Pantong.


The only surprise is that more goals did not come. Raj could easily have scored six or seven with better finishing as they knocked the ball around neatly and quickly for much of the game. Sriracha also had chances aplenty and lost out by some terrible finishing and yet another solid display by Yen Emile. It's a shame the stretcher had to appear so much in the second half as Raj really did not need to run down the clock. There was only one team in this game.


A couple of asides - Raj sported a different kit - similar to that of PEA Buriram - for reasons unknown and also appeared late for the second half. This has happened just once before.....in the league game against Sriracha.


The win means Raj are just one of two D1teams  in the hat for the quarter finals.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Crown news

After defeating Prachinburi to make it two impressive wins in a row, Raj will go in for their FA Cup match at home to Sriracha this Wednesday at 1800 at the Thunderdome full of confidence.

If you are in the area, come and support Raj in their bid to take revenge for the 2-1 home defeat against the league leaders.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Transfers in

Here is a summary of players signed by Raj during the transfer window:

10. Seksit Srisai  (Asuumption Thonburi School) Midfield
25. Thanachot Suppol (Bangkok Glass) Forward
26. Noppadon Ponudom (Bangkok United) Striker
27. Pichit Kesaro (Pattaya United) Midfield
28. Phairot Keawketsri Defender
30. Kouame Yao Mathieu (Muangthong United)  Forward
31. Itthiporn Teprean (Asuumption Thonburi School) Defender

32. Thanapon Phao (Nakhom Pathom) Defender
33. Sylla Moussa (Chiang Rai United) Forward

Good luck to them all!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

League Cup Draw

Samut Prakan Vs Muangthong United
Roi Et Vs Rajpracha
Nonthaburi Vs Bangkok Glass

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Nakhom Pathom 1 Rajpracha 2

A great win for rajpracha puts them four points clear of the drop zone. More details to follow.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Raj draw, Nonthaburi's "win" was strange

Raj drew 1-1 away to improved PTT today.

Nonthaburi's league cup win mentioned in my previous blog was controversial. Keasetstart players actually walked off during the game after arguing against a referee's decision. The coach said he did not want his players to get into trouble because they were angry. Apparently the coach didn't consider that walking off during a game might cause a bit of trouble , too.

The game was therefore forefeited 2-0 to Nonthaburi and the Regional League may announce a further punishment on Monday.

Your blogger will make an effort to be at the league match between these teams to tell the Kaesetstart coach what he thinks of him.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Nonthaburi qualify for Toyota Cup

Although they went down 0-2 at home to North Bangkok last weekend - see the goals here - , Nonthaburi won 2-0 away to Kaesetstart yesterday to win qualification to the Toyota League cup. This means Eka could face off against Muangthong, Bangkok Glass, Rajpracha or any of the other big boys.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The home ground

Picture credit: โจ้@ชฎาเกรท at rajprachanonthaburi.com

It seems that amazingly, work is actually being done on Rajpracha's true home ground at Wat Boat Don Prom. In Thailand these things can be procrastinated forever and a day so it's encouraging to see real progress, albeit slightly.

The Thunderdome is simply too big for Raj and it makes it hard for fans to generate atmosphere. The sooner we get home, the better.
More pictures here

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Raj 1 Sriracha 2 - Report

Raj balanced last week's little stroke of luck with a little misfortune today as they surrendered a one-nil lead to lose one-two at home to Division One leaders Sriracha in front of another large crowd with lots of visiting supporters.

The visitors had most of the possession in the first half but were held out by some deep and numerous defending by Raj. However, around the thirty five minute mark a cross towards Tahamassee resulted in a complete miss-shot by the striker and the ball rolled to Raj's number twenty six Noppon Ponudom. The recent signing from Bangkok United put the ball in the top right corner to take a one-nil lead for his side.

The second half was fought in a similar pattern and Raj held on to their lead only by courtesy of yet another outstanding display of goalkeeping by Yen Emile. Surely this man in the best goalkeeper outside the Premiership?

Midway through the second half a Sriracha forward beat two men to slot home within the six yard box to make the score one all. The referee continued a program of very weak-minded officiating and a bizarre free kick that should have been given to Raj but instead was given against them resulted in a  forward surge and a second goal for Sriracha. Raj fought back in the dying moments but it was not their day.

Nonetheless this was a brave performance and if we can continue playing to this standard, we will be safe. We also have a quick chance for revenge against Sriracha in our upcoming FA Cup fixture.

**********

Nonthaburi went down 0-2 at home to North Bangkok College to deal a heavy blow to Eka's playoff hopes.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Nonthaburi FC - Toyota Cup game postponed

Eka's game against Keasetstart in the TLC was postponed at the last moment yesterday. Heavy rain caused a transformer to 'explode' and two floodlights to fail. The game is rescheduled for 1530 (for obvious reasons) next Wednesday.

Thanks to thai-fussball.de , here is a picture of the pitch yesterday....

Rajpracha Vs Sriracha






Raj will take on Sriracha at the Thunderdome on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup tie scheduled for the following week. (However, no less than three games are booked in to play at The Thunderdome at the same time on the same day!).


Sriracha sit atop the D1 table after being relegated from the TPL last season. However Raj will be coming into this game full of confidence after their 1-0 win against second placed Air Force last week.


If Raj could win this one, it would have a profound effect on the league title race and with thirteen games left, Raj themselves would be just eight points away from a promotion spot.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

FA Cup 4th round draw

Navy Rayong (TPL) v BKK Utd (TPL)
Chonburi (TPL) v Samut Songkhram(TPL)
Army (TPL) v  PEA (TPL)
Sisaket (TPL) v TTM (TPL)
BEC Tero (TPL) v Nakhon Pathom (D1)
Rajpracha (D1) v SriRacha (D1)
Pattaya United (TPL) v Osotspa (TPL)
Muang Thong (TPL) v Air Force Utd (D1)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rajpracha 1 Air Force United 0 - Report


Raj edged out title-chasers Air Force United in a very closely fought and entertaining game at the Thunderdome.

The match was played out in front of large crowd with fans of both teams generating plenty of noise. Air Force brought the largest away support I have ever seen in D1 with them.

The first half was frustrating for both teams but the game sprang to life after the break as Rajpracha's number seventeen, Sulaiman, started to find space on the right wing. On two occasions he did the hard work only to waste the cross but on the third occasion, the Air Force goal could not hold the cross and the chance fell to Tamasee at the far post to turn it in.

The goal served to galvanise Air Force and as they upped the pressure and the pace, Raj players seemed to become very nervous. They struggled to hold possession, they snapped at clearances and on one occasion a player tried a feeble shot from the half way line thats served only to give away the ball and allow Air Force to mount a quick counter-attack. But with a little luck that has been and long time coming and some great work from goalkeeper Emile, Raj held on to delight the home fans and take a truly vital three points. Great work, lads!


Starting eleven:
1 GK Yen Emile
17 DF Suramon Awakajit
15 DF Dawuda Wulampah
33 DF Sylla Moussa (but playing as a striker)
2 DF Suriya Kupalang
23 DF Kittipong Somak
14 MF Sarawut Sintupan
11 MF Kornprom Jaroonpong
27 MF Pichit  Kesaro.
13 FW Narakorn Wisetthanakarn
16 FW Tameezee Hayeeyusoh

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Nontahburi 1 BCC 0 - Report

Paicture credit: nonthaburifc.com

The reason I don't get to see Nonthaburi FC as often as my other two local teams isn't because I care less about them, but simply because I decided to prioritise teams in the order in which I discovered them: MTU, Raj and Eka, in that order.

So I'd missed a good few games before today's clash with Bangkok Christian College but I expected little to have changed. I was wrong.

The first change to be noticed was that merchandise was now on sale. I really like the style of both the home and away shirts so I bought one of each then entered the stadium. That was when change number two jumped out and smacked me on by big snoozer immediately.

Because Eka's home colour is black, it's common for the crowd to look like the audience at a Marilyn Manson concert for any game. However, today it had been taken one step further. The large crowd had a distinctly unorthodox look about it. To my right was a man - I repeat: a man - with large breasts. To his right was a another man who looked like a young version of Robert Smith from 'The Cure', complete with hair like Marge Simpson. In front of me was another male who, I would soon discover, would spend the entire game attempting to enter the 'Guinness Book of Records' for the loudest, most irritating and girly scream ever emitted by a male. It continued. The man three seats to my left was kitted out in full eye-liner and blusher. His male accomplice was wearing a blouse. There were at least thirty members of this group. Probably more. Yes, Nonthaburi have somehow established themselves as the club of choice for the androgynous community.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with anyone from any walk of life who supports the same team as me and is a decent person. The only annoyance was the aforementioned screamer who clearly had no knowledge or interest in football. My surprise was simply due to the change of personnel since my last visit to the Rama 9 Stadium and the humor at the thought of such crowd attending a game in England. What would the Brits make of it?

The usual Nonthaburi support was also in attendance though, in full voice to boot. Moreover, BCC bought the biggest away following -  including four farang fans (why don't you drop by and introduce yourselves guys?) - that I've ever seen for a D2 game. All this combined with Nonthaburi FC's quickly established reputation for being completely free of airs and graces - fans will attend barefoot, smoke, drink beer from glass bottles and eat off the terrace floor - made for a fun atmosphere.

Oh yeh, we won one-nil in a scrappy game. Sarawut Thasong scored in the second half and left Eka to ride their luck big time but just hold out for the win. The D2 Bangkok race is wide open.

The new crowd seems fun providing the drunks - of which there are always a few at Eka games - don't decide to get silly at some point in future. I don't see it happening, as Eka fans are as friendly as any other despite their manner. Then again I didn't expect trouble last time it happened, either.

*******

Meanwhile Rajpracha went down one-nil to Chantaburi. The 'Crowns' are due to face D1 leaders Air Force United next Sunday.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Suphanburi 0 Rajpracha 1

 Photo credit: dreizehn at rajprachanonthaburi.com

Raj continued their impressive run with a one-nil away win at Suphanburi with a goal from no.26, Noppadol. The move puts Raj two points clear of the doomed bottom four.

More photos here.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Leg 1 review

The Chonburi website has a chat with me concerning Rajpracha's performance so far, and a fan of Korat FC here.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Rajpracha fixtures for Leg 2, 2010

As usual, fixtures can and probably will be chopped and changed. Always check ahead and on the day.

July 18 Suphanburi A

July 25 Chantaburi FC H

August 1 Air Force United H

August 8 Sriracha H

August 14 PTT A

August 18 Nakhom Pathom A

August 22 Prachinburi A

September 5 Customs FC H

September 19 Chiang Rai Utd A

September 26 Songkhla FC H

September 29 Thai Honda H

October 2 Chula Utd A

October 13 Narathaiiwat A

October 16 RBAC H

October 23 Khoen Kean FC H

Monday, 12 July 2010

Raj 3 Prachinburi 1 - Video clip

The second Raj goal was from further out than I thought. Apologies to Khun Sarawut!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Nonthaburi 1 Bangkok FC 0

Another 1-0 win for Eka. Pictures here

FA Cup - Raj 3 Prachinburi 1

 Tammasee - Opened the scoring 
(credit: football.rajpracha.com)


Credit:Tak_N'Syncชฎาเกรท(Rajpracha Only You Know?)
at football.rajpracha.com
Raj continued their form revival and qualified for the forth round of the FA Cup with a win over a disappointing Prachinburi side.


Raj's line up was notable by the absence of goalkeeper Yen Emile. This was a worry as the reserve goalie let in three goals against (then ) bottom side PTT in his last showing. Thierry Touoyem was back in the side but this time as a defender, his natural position. Tammasee was finally given a chance to start a game.

The visitors actually made the brighter start but  around the twenty five minute mark a long cross found an unmarked Tammasee at the far post whose header looped over the goalie to make it 1-0.

Prachinburi equalised when Raj's stand in goalie flapped at a curled effort and allowed it into the top corner to make it 1-1 at half time.

But Raj dominated the second half and a close range side footed effort made it 2-1 with about five minutes left. Prachinburi responded by throwing more men forward giving the fans some traditional FA Cup action to enjoy. Raj responded by scoring yet another close range finish to seal the 3-1 win and the name in the hat for the next round.

Credit to Prachnburi for bringing good number of fans to this game, for wearing the ugliest home shirt I've ever seen - a lime green affair with the sponsor being 'Custard Cake' - and for their friendliness. Credit also to the ref who seems to have been blessed with the rarest of traits known as 'common sense'.

Today's starting lineup:

นพดล สุขดี GK
Thierry Rostand Kouodi Touoyem (DF)
Dawuda Wulampah (DF)

Suriya Kupalang (DF)
Kittipong Sommat (DF)

Chokdee Intharalak (MD)
Nirun Phunthong (MD)
Sarawut Sintupun (MD)
Sulaiman Andi (AM)
Tammasee Hayeeyousoh (ST)

Narakorn Wisetthanakarn(FW)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Khoen Kean V Raj and Rose Asia V Eka - photos

Rose Asia V Nonthaburi photos here

KK V Raj photos here

Monday, 5 July 2010

League Cup announced

(Cross posted in my other blog)

In late May I sent this email to Dr Vichit at the Thai FA.

Last week the Thai FA announced a new league cup with all 64 league teams - including MTU - competing for the 10 million baht prize money. The TFA explained it would give great exposure to lower league teams.

I'm still waiting for the 'thank you' phone call, Mr Vichit!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Result

Raj went down 0 -2  away to Isaan side Khoen Ken.

The home FA Cup tie against Suphanburi is to be played next Saturday.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Updates - Raj win, Futsal and Nonthaburi FC

Rajpracha continued their return to form with an impressive win away to RBAC (Rattanabundit) in a rescheduled game. Raj took the lead in the first half before RBAC equalised. In the second half of an open game, the winning goal finally fell to Raj in a similar vein to the equalising goal against Chiang Rai in midweek.
*************

I didn't attend the game but I did attend the futsal match between Nonthaburi and Thai Port at The Mall Bang Khae. The event was highly popular - I'd estimate 400 - 500 people attended - and well organised. The match itself was highly entertaining. I was not familiar with the rules of futsal so it was a surprise that a forty minute match actually spans well over one hour. This is because the clock is stopped whenever the ball goes out of play. This helps to stop the notorious problem in Asian football of time wasting, although there were still one or two suspect incidents. Nonthaburi held a lead for most of the game but still managed to lose 4-5. I enjoyed the event and will attend some more matches. The Thai Port blog has more information on Thai Futsal in English.















Picture credit: thailandfutsalleague.com 
 **********
Nonthaburi FC's fixture for the last two weeks have been cancelled. The next game is July 4th, away to Asia Rose.

Friday, 25 June 2010

New head coach

Former Bangkok United coach Somchai Supperm has been named as new head coach of Rajpracha.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Raj 1 Chiang Rai United 1 - report

 Goalscorer - Sarawaut Sintupun
Credit: football.rajpracha.com

What a difference four days can make! Rajpracha fought back to earn a well-deserved one-all draw with northerners Chiang Rai United in front of a small crowd that included a large proportion of away fans who made the twelve hour or more journey from Chiang Rai, as well as Chiang Rai natives now based in and around Bangkok.

But the small number of home fans - remember this was an early kick off on a day that England were playing World Cup football on TV - spurred on a much improved Rajpracha team to a bright start.

It seems that many of the problems I discussed in my last blog were recognised by the management. The two outfield African players - Walumpah and Thierry  Touoyem - were returned to defence and attack respectively, adding desperately needed muscle to the outfield. The whole team looked determined and ready to receive the ball and make something happen at any time. Perhaps the most remarkable change was in Nirun Phuntong, who looked back to his nutmegging, feinting, pacing best instead of just being a lightweight midfielder getting nudged off the ball every time.  On one occasion he was played into trouble in his own box and responded by beating two men and playing a safe square ball to clear the danger.Last Saturday, it would have been a sure opening for the opposition.

But for all the drive, Raj still lacked presence in the Chiang Rai penalty area. Around the twenty minute mark, CR scored the opening goal. I missed it so I can't say what happened. Raj fans and players responded well and redoubled their efforts. By contrast, Chiang Rai responded by almost immediately employing time wasting tactics. The stretcher appeared three times before half time.

The second half was a similar story as Raj chased the game and CRU attacked on the break or attempted to run down the clock. The latter tactic was finally stopped after the eighth stretcher appearance on the field. A CRU player pretended to be limping off the pitch and was booked for time wasting.

Undeterred by such bad sportsmanship, Raj mixed the usual wing play with some attacks through the middle - another problem by its absence I mentioned last time - where they were given more space than they've had in recent games.

Still it seemed that it would not be enough. After all, Raj still lack a true poacher in attack and crosses and dangerous square balls in the box never seem to fall to the right person at the right time. I felt it would take a bit of luck to grab the equaliser but luck finally came through about ten minutes from time as waist-high cross bounced off the midriff of a CRU defender and somehow squirmed through to number fourteen Sarawut, who tapped it in.

The relief lifted the team further still and the lads chased the winner in the dying moments but it was not to come. Indeed, Yen Emile still had some saves to make which he did comfortably. It was yet another solid display from this reliable keeper. The heavy defeats of late were not his fault at all.

A draw was probably a fair score in this game. It's a shame CRU attempted to take the dirty way out but the great improvement in Rajpracha - coupled with a promise of new faces in the transfer window -  should give us all hope for the relegation scrap we now face. Good job guys!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Raj Vs Chula - photos

Great pictures - here

Raj Vs Chiang Rai - quick preview

Rajpracha-Nonthaburi will be looking to break their nightmare losing streak tomorrow as they face off against Chiang Rai United.

The game was originally scheduled to take place a few weeks ago, but was cancelled an hour before kick off as a curfew was imposed in response tot he violence taking place in Bangkok.

Psychologically, this fixture should be ideal for Raj to return to winning ways. The last meeting between the two sides was played at Chiang Rai and ended in a victory for Rajpracha. It was Chiang Rai's second ever defeat in league football.

The fallout from Saturday's crushing defeat has been moderate. Many fans have expressed upset and concern. The club have responded by saying that all opinions are welcome but they ask for them to be expressed the right way. The club also stated that the coaches are aware of the problems and what needs to be done. No personnel have been changed.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Rajpracha 1 Chula United 6 - Report

Image credit: thaileagueonline.com


The photo above really does say it all. Raj sank to an abysmal low with a humiliating defeat by fellow strugglers Chula Utd in a home game.

Both teams began looking determined but literally within minutes, the confidence began to drain from Rajpracha and appeared to fill Chula players.

Rajpracha's well documented (by yours truly) lack of muscle was further compounded by the absence of defender Wulumpah and the midfield - like England the night before - was almost non existent. Chula United's clone of Peter Crouch in their midfield picked up anything Raj played through the middle. Such easy sweeping allowed Chula to play three forwards and they ran Raj's disorganised and poorly positioned back line ragged over and over again.

Two of Chula's three first half goals were due to appalling positioning and communication by the Raj back line, leaving Chula strikers in shocking amounts of space.

At half time, coach Prapan brought on Tammasee and Phuntong to no avail. Phuntong is a skillful player but he epitomises the problems of his team; he is easily muscled off the ball, is low on confidence and - when the team is struggling -  he needs a leader on the field to urge him on.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first and before long it was five - nil to Chula, with the fifth goal coming from an undeserved penalty. Rajpracha players looked lost, with nobody willing to take responsibility to make something happen. Sideways passes went astray, soft overlapping play was easily cleared by Chula's two lanky midfielders and high balls to the small forwards reaped no rewards.

Raj's consolation goal came after they went six-nil down. Credit must be given to Chula United who looked far from the ex-Premiership team in freefall I expected them to be. If they continue to play like this, they will move up the table fast.


Alarm bells have been ringing for Rajpracha since the five goal thrashing three weeks ago. Today marked a real low and it must surely, surely leave resignation as the only option for the coach. The players looked devoid of ideas, energy, drive or - crucially - confidence. The substitutions made by the coach appear random and lacking in benefit. Why is our best striker - and the only one over five foot something in height - only ever used when we are already losing? The midfield have absolutely nothing going through the middle and the lack of muscle makes it so easy for other teams to win 50-50 challenges.

Don't get me wrong, as a lightweight myself, I value the skill and speed of the smaller players. But a whole team of Michael Owens would not cut it in any league, let alone a tough league like TD1. For every pint sized poacher, you need a clogger backing him up.

What is needed is a new coach to restore confidence and self-belief in the players, a target man in the strike force, a midfielder with muscle who is not afraid to do the dirty work in scrappy games and some serious training exercises on build up play that goes further than overlapping on the wing. As neat as our wide play is, teams have caught on to it and we have absolutely no other build up plan.

Finally, perhaps the Thunderdome is not the best place for us to play home games. Its capacity is 21,000 , our crowds are less than 300. Surely another, smaller, stadium is available for us to use where we can generate more atmosphere?

If rumours of players turning up late for training are true, than that must be punished, too.

Rajpracha are still very much the same squad as last season. They are a talented bunch of players who play good football when they can. But with such a young average age in the squad, they can easily lose their way and they need someone to get them back on track. If we find ourselves back in Division Two, it won't be so easy to get out of it next time.

The tough decisions need to be made now, while there is still time left.



Today's team:
1 - Yen Emile
2- Guparang
4- Wisarut
5 - Boonsopit
14 - Sintupan
 11 - Jaroompom
20 - Sittitanyakit
23 - Somat
8 - Intharalak
17 - Sulaiman
19 - Poltawee

16 - Tammasse and 21 - Punthong came on in the second half.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Raj 0 Thai Honda 1 - Report

 Dawuda Walumpa in an aerial challenge
(photo credit: siamsport.co.th)

Rajpracha sank to another poor defeat in a luckluster display against Thai Honda.

In a kind gesture to thank fans who turned up to support the team despite World Cup games on TV and Muangthong playing just up the road in Saraburi, home fans were given free tickets for this match. Thank you to the people who offered one to me.


In the first half, Rajpracha continued to play the neat football they have displayed all season but with little end product. Neither side had a lot of chances in the first half. Raj choose to play two strikers - Ishizui and Somak - but the two small men were unable to create chances against the two taller centre backs marking them. Wisarut once again looked a higher class as he continued to create space and movement on the left of midfield but the final ball was lacking.

Thai Honda scored early in the second half. To compound the misery, the goal was created from a wasted chance by Raj. Number 23, Kittipong Somat (I think it was him) received the ball just outside the Honda penalty box and instead of shooting or playing a square ball, he hesitated and play a nervous one-two to play his teammate into trouble, from which Honda took the ball upfield and scored. The hesitation was probably a symptom of Raj's recent poor run of form.

Highly rated striker Tammasee made an appearance midway into the second half but although Raj enjoyed more possession, they seemed to lack self-belief. By the final ten minutes, they had clearly run out of ideas and played to the final whistle.


So the early season optimism is now rapidly degenerating into a relegation struggle. However, The Raj still have plenty of talent and potential in the squad. What is missing - as I have said before - is muscle, height and power in midfield and attack. Two small strikers playing in Division 1 need back up if they are going to score goals. The restrictions on foreigners seems to deter the coach from signing another African player, so perhaps a Thai target man is what we need.

Next up is Chula United, another struggling team. A win is absolutely vital.


Today's line up in the second half:

1 - Yen Emile
2- Guparang
4- Wisarut
5 - Boonsopit
15 - Walumpah
 11 - Jaroompom
21 - Punthong
23 - Somat
8 - Intharalak (I think)
16 - Tammasee
19 - Poltawee

Thursday, 10 June 2010

FA Cup 3rd Round draw

Buriram PEA (TPL) Vs Ratchatewi (D2?)
Nakhom Pathom (D1) Vs Customs FC (D1)
TTM Pichit (TPL )Vs Police United (TPL)
Suphanburi (D1) Vs Army FC (TPL)
TOT (TPL) Vs Saraburi (TPL)
Sumthorn Sakhorn JK (D2) v Chonburi (TPL)

Thai Port (TPL) v Bang Phra (?)
BKK Utd (TPL) v Khon Kaen (D1)
Muang Thong United (TPL)v Ban Beung (Non-league?)
Rajpracha (D1) v Prachinburi (D1)
Navy Rayong (TPL) v BKK Glass (TPL)
Chula United (D1) v Sisaket (TPL)
Samut Songkhram (TPL) v Phuket (D2)
Chiang Rai United (D1) v BEC Tero (TPL)
SriRacha (D1) v Rachaburi (D2?)

There may be some games I've missed out.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Raj updates

Photos of our bottom kicking from Songkhla can be seen here.

Our  next opponents are Thai Honda FC on Sunday. Here's a clip of them beating Khoen Kean FC, with help from some comical defending.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Songkhla 4 Raj 0

Things starting to go very wrong?
ore to follow.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Interview with Lee Tuck - Nakhom Pathom FC


Lee Tuck is an English player who plays for Nakhom Pathom in Division One. I was curious to find out more about Lee after seeing him play against Rajpracha. The sight of a tradtional style English player on the pitch getting stuck in against those schooled in the Asian style of football was fun to watch. and I managed to get in touch with him by email. Lee was very friendly and happy to answer my questions.

Could you please tell us briefly about your football career in England? 

I played football in England for a team called Halifax Town AFC which at that time was in Blue Square Premier then I went to sign for a team called Farsley Celtic AFC which was in Blue Square North that season we won the league so promotion to the Blue Sqaure Premier which I played for Farsley for another 2 years

How did the move to Thailand come about?
The move came about when I spoke to Micheal Byrne, he told me about the football, the Thai people, the lifestyle so i was more than happy to come over from what Micheal told me.


Did you find it difficult to adjust to football and life in general in Thailand?

No I didn't find it difficult to adjust to the life in Thailand, I like Thai food, Thai people are so friendly and very helpful they are good people, I'm very happy in Thailand the only thing I found hard was playing in the hot weather I'm getting better now but we kick off 4 o'clock at home, that time it's still very hot but I'm really happy in Thailand.

How would you rate the standard of the TPL and Division One compared to the English leagues?
English and Thai football ain't played the same maybe because the weather is different and the English football is more of a contact sport but the football played in england and Thailand ain't much different.


Nakhom Pathom are near the top of D1 in these early days, how is morale in the squad? Are you ready to make a return to the TPL?
Yes the morale is good in the Nakhon Pathom team, its still early days in the league we are just taking every week as it comes and trying 2 win every game,
Yea I want 2 play in the TPL but for now my goal is to be champions with Nakhon Pathom FC.



Many thanks to Lee and best wishes to him and his team for the rest of the season.

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Image credit: http://www.wharfedaleobserver.co.uk