Thursday, 27 January 2011

Another friendly

Eka drew 1-1 away to Customs United Samut Prakan or whatever they are called now.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Another new signing

Jelani Grant

Hometown: Markham, Ont.
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 155
Position: MF
Born 2/25/83.
Colavecchia on Grant: "Jelani without question was a valuable piece of the puzzle that was missing. His freshman year he played in every contest. He has learned some valuable lessons off the field and will return as a key player for us this fall. He is a quick technical player who has a great left foot. He has grown physically and mentally, I look forward to seeing him back in a Louisville uniform."

In High School: Played two seasons for the Ontario Provincial team...Helped guide them to the National Championship in 2001...Played two seasons for the Scorborough Azurri club team...Letter four seasons for Milliken Mills High School.

Credit: The photo and the information were taken from here  (

Friday, 21 January 2011

Player focus - Mohamed Camara


Midfielder Muhamed Camara was introduced to Eka by teammate and namesake Camara Fode. By D2 standards his caliber is highly impressive, with a total of four seasons playing in Belgium's top flight for Germinal Beerschot. His record there was 63 games, 7 goals. He's thirty years old.

Opening fixture

Eka will play Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University FC  at home in their season opener on February 12th. KO time TBA.

Friendly win

Nonthaburi defeated TOT 2-0 tonight in a pre-season friendly.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Rajpracha-Nonthaburi RIP

The sad news from the club today is that Rajpracha-Nonthaburi is no more. The club is now Rachpracha-Thailand and will move to Bangkok. Talk of sponsorship from Siam Sports has also been heard. Allegedly, the home stadium was declared unfit for D1 even after the extra work on it, though some now doubt the return was ever really likely or wanted.

To learn how we got to this sad state of affairs we must look back a little. Raj moved to Nonthaburi before the 2009 season to boost support. They adopted the Nonthaburi Provincial Stadium as their home, the ground is known to fans as the "Wat Boat Don Prom" stadium after the large temple next to it. The club won promotion in the 2009 season and as such had to find a new home quickly as Wat Boat was declared sub-standard for D1 and needed renovations. The decision was to share with Muangthong United and their Thunderdome Stadium.

After an exciting 2010 season full of ups and downs, the small but passionate and loyal group of Raj fans pushed the club to return home. The Thunderdome Stadium was simply too large, too expensive and too far from Wat Boat to be any good to fans, potential new fans or the club's bank balance. The management agreed and promised to push for a return.

Alas, at the same time the fallout began. Coach Somchai left the club in unhappy circumstances, several players also left and a dispute amongst the directors became public news.

And yet still it seemed the storm had passed. Good news came in - a new coach, some top players staying put - and a possible return to Wat Boat was on the cards.

When the bomb-shell came, it was exacerbated by the route. It came from Siam Sport without any warning from the management. Fans have understandably felt let down and misrepresented. The report from TLO inferred that fans could not increase their numbers. In fact, the supporters club had many plans in place to boost support but the forced groundshare was a barrier to this. I could expand on those negative feelings but it would seem futile.

Naturally, this is a very sad moment for all fans including myself. In my short time supporting Raj I have enjoyed the exciting football played by a young, attacking team and the hospitality of a genuinely happy and kind group of fans who always made me feel welcome when it would be easy to ignore the farang who doesn't speak Thai so well. Moreover, Rajpracha is my son's team. His first ever match was Raj Vs Loei City and he has happily declared them his favourite club ever since.

There is one silver lining. Immediately after the bad news, "Eka" Nontahburi FC announced that they would move to Wat Boat. As a D2 team they are able to do this and they gain the advantage of being more central in Nontahburi. The club also quickly announced that they would welcome Rajpracha fans with open arms.

It seems hard for Raj fans to turn down the offer and it's a move that shows how efficiently Nonthaburi FC is run. A fan club spokesman has already told me the club have a three year plan to expand the Wat Boat stadium to TPL standards and with the cash and unusually shrewd management behind the club, exciting times may be ahead.

So with hindsight, perhaps Nontahburi is really too small to hold three teams. This is something I speculated on when Nonthaburi FC was formed, my only mistake was in thinking Eka would be the team to fall. Through smart management and influence, they have proven me wrong. This blog already followed Nontahburi FC but with the death of Rajprach-Nonthaburi, is it time for the "Crows" to take the torch? It would be hard work blogging on Nonthaburi FC though, and any support would be welcome.

Goodbye Rajpracha-Nonthaburi FC, thanks for the memories.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

More good news for Raj

If today's Siam Sport article is all correct, then things are really looking up for Raj. The "Crowns" have appointed a Serbian coach named (I think) Joseph Amos, though I need to get that checked. He may look like he enjoys the odd pie or three, but he comes highly rated.

The club have also announced a budget of 30 million baht, which is well over expectations. This is partly down to a sizable donation of equipment from one source.

Moreover, few players have left the club and core players such as goalie Yen Emile, defender Dawudah Walumpah and my vote for Thai player of the year, Sulaiman are all still in the squad.

The "go ahead" for the move back to Nonthaburi Stadium is still pending.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Friendly win

Nonthaburi won a friendly away to Bangkok United this week. The score was 3-2.

Nonthaburi FC fan clip

Pointless, but fun!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Rajpracha - the future
A huge piece of news for Raj fans today as the silence has finally been broken from the management of the club. Club president Supridee Pravitra answered all the concerns of Rajpracha-Nonthaburi fans and the Thai football community in general.

That's the good news. The "bad" news is that the article is in Thai and very hard to understand, even with Google translate. What follows is my best effort to understand what has been said. If anyone an improve on it for me please do so.

However, as mentioned before. Khun Supridee has kindly agreed to let me interview him when his busy schedule allows, so any unclear areas - such as the first team coach picture - will be cleared up then.

Dissent in the management
Club president Supridee has been away on business. On his return he met with the owner (I think) of the club who is a police colonel. He confirmed he still supports the team in every sense despite the acrimonious departure of coach Somchai.

Promoting the club/working with the local authorities

The club acknowledge that despite the great history of Rajpracha, lack of support is a problem as it is with many clubs. The club also acknowledge that ground sharing with Muangthong United does not help that problem and a move back to more central Nonthaburi is better. Management are planning to work with several local authorities to promote and build support for the side.

"The one week plan"

The issue of returning to Nonthaburi Provincial Stadium is perhaps the most important one for fans. The council have asked Rajpracha to detail their plans for security, maintainance, etc. The club will take one week to produce this plan.

My note: In Thailand, a request to draw up a plan is often a face-saving measure. A way for the higher rank to say: "I can't lose face by saying "yes" straight away, I need to make you do some work first." So I'm optimistic that this request from the council is good news for Raj.

The board

The club board agree they have been a little slow in attracting board members. They now hope to invite high-ranking officials to sit on the board in an advisory role.


This part of the article is difficult to follow. It seems to say there is no full time coach yet. There is a large squad in training that will be weeded-down.

Loss of players

Some players have left and the club acknowledge the fears of supporters. However many top players will stay because they have a long service time with the club, are on long contracts and feel loyal. The club may sign local talent from the Division 2 Bangkok league.

The budget
The budget will be revealed in due course but is not expected to be less than 15-20 million.

Its a relief  to finally understand what is happening with Raj and Supridee and all the management deserve credit for sticking to the task at hand rather than giving up. Next season is bound to be difficult but experience from last season combined with a little luck and smart management may yet see Raj pushing for a play off spot.