Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Good news?

A Nonthaburi player has stated on Facebook that the club will complete in the 2013 Regional League. This has yet to be ofically confirmed by any source but given that this player forecast good news two weeks ago and has waited until now to comment again, perhaps we canafford some smiles at long last.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

News forthcoming?

For quite some time the uncertainty around the future of Nonthaburi FC has been answered with "Let's wait until the D2 play offs are finished" which stands to reason.

But it's given all us fans times to ponder all the possibilities - Non league football? A second chance? A reformation under a new name? Nothing at all?

This week a player has suggested some news could be announced next week. With the seemingly never-ending D2 play offs finally drawing to a close, at least we should finally get some answers soon. I have noticed the lack of transfer activity/speculation around Eka players, even good players, which gives cause for optimism, albeit very minor.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

No replacement team

Last week's silver lining has been greyed over with the news that Ratchaphreuk College have been disqualifed from the Khor Royal cup after it was discovered they'd used players with professional experience.

The latest rumour is that Eka will be forced to participate in next year's Khor Royale Cup although there are still rumours that the club could "ask" for a "second chance" or register under a new identity.

Still nothing is sure at this time.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Another article

Forgot to mention I did an article last week for thaileaguefootball.com on Eka's demise. Bear in mind it was typed before the cautious good news of today. Read the article here.

**Edit: Yesterday was one of those days. I did already post the article here. Doh!

Some good news?

Ahead of our final game away to Chamchuree this weekend, there’s still absolutely no word on the future of Nonthaburi FC. There is however, some cause for cautious hope.

Thanks to Vinnie (Korat blog) Wolfman (TLF) and the Eka fan club, news has filtered through that Ratchapruek College have reached the finals of the Kor Royal Cup, meaning - at least, according to the most recent TFA statement - that they are already promoted to Division 2 for next season.

Ratchapruek is actually the main road that Eka home stadium is joined to. Yes, they’re that close, though the road is long and the college is actually further down.  It’s notable that all photographic evidence shows the College have no spectators stand at their ground, meaning they’ll either need to erect some or find a new home ground.

Several scenarios present themselves here. I’d be willing to bet that some kind of merger will take place, though it could be voluntary or not and official or not on behalf of either club or fan base. Quite possible, Nontahburi will offer their professional players to be drafted in to RC’s side (I understand that professionals are not allowed below league level,so RC will not have any at present), Ratchapruk could use the Nontahburi Stadium and absorb the Eka fan base. Basically, you have Nonthaburi V2.

It’s equally probable that Nonthaburi will be the ‘big boy’ of the merger, and the College simply becomes their ticket to a second chance at life, as unfair as that may seem.

There’s a whole range of possible permutations. It’s also possible that the rules are followed, Nonthaburi are banished and RC get a shot at making the grade in D2. THat’s how it should work, but this is Thailand. Decisions are changed and changed again, then reversed. Mergers, takeovers and partnerships are formed both officially, unofficially, ethically and otherwise. Sometimes they’re voluntary, sometimes enforced for no apparent reason. All we can do right now is congratulate Ratchapruek College for their successes well as Hua Hin, the other finalists (a city that deserves a football team) and hope that the TFA keep their word and allow both teams to play in D2 next season, allowing Nonthaburi locals a provincial team to support.

Perhaps next season this blog will make its third transformation and become an orange "Ratchaphreuk College FC" blog?

More to come as I hear of it.

Here's a clip - with thanks again to Vinnie who linked to it - of Ratchaphreuk (in grey) College playing in 2010.

Friday, 14 September 2012

To Kill a Crow


It’s highly probable that over the next few weeks Muangthong United will clinch the 2012 TPL Title, sending a huge majority of football fans in Nonthaburi into jubilation that’s sure to be well covered by local sports media. An event that will receive far less coverage is the relegation and possible closure of Nonthaburi FC.
I briefly covered the fortunes of Nonthaburi “Eka” FC in my “Life Outside the TPL” article earlier this season. I explained how the club’s purse strings had been cut and forced staff to work on a sponsorship-only budget. To their credit the staff worked hard to do this honorably (unlike certain British clubs) and assembled a squad of dedicated, honest players. Sadly it was obvious within a few games of the season’s start that this bunch of lads would struggle. And struggle they did, assembling a paltry number of points by the halfway season. Our only silver lining was that at least two other clubs had managed to perform equally pitifully.
To the immense credit of the club – and to my own cynical surprise – the staff didn’t simply turn a blind eye and let the club drift into the abyss but rather performed a few minor miracles in the transfer market, addressing many of our weak points as effectively as any side can do without cash to spare. A large target man – a player I’d been screaming for since the previous season – a midfield playmaker with excellent dribbling skills and the experienced former intentional defender Janewit (previously loaned out to Chiang Rai) were all drafted in to the side.
For a while it seemed like it had worked. The most remarkable game of the season occurred when we travelled to Samut Sakhon FC at a time when they sat atop the table while we sat at the bottom and achieved a well deserved 0 – 2 victory. It was a result so unexpected that one female fan was obliged to keep her promise of running around the pitch while removing her top after the final whistle. She did so, but with an opaque vest underneath.
From that boost we achieved a good run of results, mostly draws, that built confidence but failed to get us the results we needed to push up the table and close the sizable gap we’d already created. My only concern was that the gap was so steep that even a couple of slip- ups would throw us back to the bottom. And so it proved, the defensive lapses and lack of midfield control came back to haunt us and defeats became regular events again. The most recent home game was painful to watch and ultimately sealed the club’s relegation.
It’s not the first time I’ve felt the pain of the drop. I witnessed Southampton’s relegation from the Premier League several years ago and instantly burst into tears in front of my stunned son and wife. Not long after the club were relegated again, this time from the Championship after slipping into administration. The pain this time around was dulled by expectation and realism. The club was, at that time, in near-terminal decline. Nonthaburi’s fate feels closer to the second of my previous experiences. The writing was on the wall when the rich owner evidently realised there was more to overnight success in football than throwing a few wads of cash around and cut the strings.
However, what makes it all the more painful is the uncertainty. Anyone who knows anything about administration in Thai football or Thailand in general will tell you that nothing is certain or irreversible. The league can, and frequently does, reverse decisions about promotion, relegation and many other things. On paper, the current scenario – not confirmed by the league until well after the season started – is that two sides will be relegated from the Bangkok Division, meaning we are finished. With the obvious apathy from the owner of the club, it seems highly possible he will shut the doors on Nonthaburi’s seven year TPL plan for good. There has been no official comment yet.
The real losers then, are the fantastic group of supporters who have put so much emotional investment into the club since its formation just three years ago. The small but noisy, loyal and extremely friendly bunch who have followed the side home and away, created their own supporters group, fan club funds and run the club website after the people responsible grew tired of doing so. Will they simply dissolve and drift apart? Will they work to keep the original Nonthaburi FC alive and work to come back from the non- league sector? Will a new provincial club (Muangthong are not a provincial side) be formed? With just two games left in the season, nobody knows.
All we do know is that Nonthaburi has had a short but eventful history, missing out on the play-offs by the tiniest of margins in season one, setting out an ambitious but ultimately failed plan for last season and a hard-fought if utterly disastrous battle against relegation this season. Whatever happens from this day on, I’m proud to have been a supporter of the club from their first home league game to the last and I will continue to wear the shirt with pride.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Nonthaburi relegated

The latest round of results means Eka are mathematically relegated from D2.

What this means for the future of the club, or if it has a future atall, is still unclear. More to follow when I hear it.

I'm proud to have supported Nonthaburi FC from their formation three seasons ago to now.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Eka 1 Assum Thon 3

It was a new low for Eka as they slumped to defeat yet again at home. The first half was as bad as I've ever seen from the side with an incredible number of passes given away to the opposition. It didn't help that we had players out of position such as our target man Siroch inexplicably placed on the left of midfield. Bizarre.

One thing I've never faulted the lads for is effort and we deservedly pulled one back in the second half only to throw guys forward and leave ourselves open at the back. The Assum Thon goals were inevitable. The only bright point of the match was the second half appearance of a foreign (African) player who looked very impressive. I can only hope we'll see a lot more of him.

The final hope for Eka is that Central Lions are somehow managing to perform as poorly as we are, and are lying rock bottom  with us.

Table (thaileagueonline.com)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Nonthaburi 1 Thai Honda 2 - report

A very exciting, open game at Nontahburi Stadium ended in bitter disappointment or the home sad.

Unaware spectators would surely have beens hocked to discover that one of the two teams was top of D2, and the other almost bottom. If anything, Eka had the better of most of this game.

Honda appear to be top of D2 via brute force and their style of play was very much “kick and rush” , reminiscent of Wimbledon FC in the eighties.

Eka took the lead after the Honda goalie wrong footed himself in blocking   close range shot but Honda equalised in the second half. The game looked set to finish a draw but in the 87th minute, Honda’s winger took the ball down the line, the ball looked to have gone over the touchline but no flag was raised. Honda scored the winner from this same play.

It was too much for many home fans, who had already decided to vent their frustration at the officials. Although mistakes were made by them - as in every game - I saw no real advantage to Honda other than this one, terrible oversight. The scenes at the end when some home fans threw items onto the pitch at officials, gestured at away fans (who behaved impeccably) and jeered the away team helped nobody. I hope we don’t see a repeat of this behaviour.

The players can be proud of themselves for this display. Amazingly, we are still in with a chance of survival thanks to Central Lions. If we go down, we go down fighting to the last breath.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Eka 2 RBEC 3

Another defeat fro Eka in this game. Our only saving grace is that Central Lions are equally without hope. We really need to start getting some good results again, time is running out.

Table from TLO, which translates us as "Liverpool FC". If only!

Monday, 30 July 2012

North Bangkok 6 Nonthaburi 4 - non report

It was a disastrous weekend for me personally and Nonthaburi FC in a freak encounter at Nth BKK FC.

A migraine that hit me on Friday escalated and after seeking medicine, I was given the wrong dosage, rendering me very sick and drugged on Saturday.

On Sunday I endeavoured to go and support my team despite still feeling poorly. Unfortunately I was unaware that North Bangkok FC had moved home and we arrived at a deserted venue, and missed the game.

A report in Thai of the game is here, I understand that despite some dodgy official decisions (nothing new at this level) the game simply was that open.
To make matters worse, both our relegation rivals pulled off victories, including  a  shock 5-1 win for Central Lions.

These circumstances have plunged us back into relegation (or, to be technically correct, demotion) dogfight but everything I've seen from our new look squad suggests we will take it on the chin and fight back in the next fixture.

This weekend was a low point. There will be more high points like this and this to come.

Photo credits: Nhong Tim

Monday, 23 July 2012

Nonthaburi 0 Kasembundit 0 - report

Eka turned in a strong performance yet still could not capitalise of a wealth of chances and an early one man advantage against their university opponents this week.

However, it was still an encouraging show and stretches the unbeaten run to six games. Keep up the good work, guys!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

SPCU 1 Nonthaburi 1

Eka took an early lead through 31, Essaratonpon and held it until the dying moments of this midweek fixture that produced a low crowd due to the 1600 kick off time.

Despite the deep disappointment of the late goal, it was still a good day's work for Eka as both relegation rivals Bangkok Christian College and Central Lions lost at home, meaning our away point moves us up one spot and stretches our unbeaten lead to five games.

I now invite readers to observe the SP Customs Utd shirt and consider if its designer should be dragged into public stocks and pelted with som tam bplaa....

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Nonthaburi FC 1 Rangsit 1 - report

The new kit (credit: Nhong Tim)
Eka scored an equaliser deep into second half stoppage time to extend their unbeaten run to four games.

It all looked hopeless as a goal within the opening two minutes of the game for Rangsit put Eka -sporting our shiny new shirts - on the backseat. It came as a double shock for me because I’d noticed that at three key figures in the side - Veteren defender and captain Janewit and newcomers Siroch and Wasin who played such an important role in our reversal of fortunes were absent from the side, though the latter two would appear later as subs.

Nonthaburi were awarded a penalty midway in the first half but the shot was saved, the follow up blocked and the second follow up smashed against the post.

Things were leveled up to ten men apiece in the second half when a silly tackle by a Rangsit player was reacted to in a totally irresponsible way by out talented forward Samart. The clip below only tells half the story. Samart walked off before the ref could give him his red so he was called back on (as per the rules) and had to be restrained *again* by his teammates. During that time, Eka tried a trick by substituting Samart and another player. The fourth official allowed this but when the ref saw what had happened, he reversed the substitutions. This sparked a very angry protest from Nonthaburi staff and a torrent of abuse from the home fans. Why? No idea. The ref did his job and though I greatly support and rate Samart, he has nobody but himself to blame for this incident.

It all looked hopeless and Rangsit piled on the play acting (see the clip) but one thing I love so much about Nonthaburi these days is the fighting spirit. Sure enough, deep into the 8 minutes of stoppage time came the equaliser via a neat overhead by Siriwat. The reaction of the players and fans was fantastic to be a part of.

Great job, lads! Roll on the next game!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

More bad news

Just as things were looking up for Eka, we get the devastating news that the new coach has been forced to publicly urge the owners to pay the players, who have not been paid since June 1st.

There’s no quicker way to decimate morale and, subsequently, performance of any working team than not paying them. The management at Eka need to pay their players ASAP. No excuses. These guys deserve better.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Globlex 0 Nonthaburi FC 2

The most encouraging thing about Eka's three game undefeated streak is not the points but the way they have fought for and deserved their wins. This game could've been won by a bigger margin, especially after Globlex had their goalie sent off and either had no more subs or no cover goalie. The goals came from Wasan and no.10, another new signing, I believe.

I've also included a freeze shot of the disallowed goal to enable Eka fans to offer their take on the GLT debate. Also worth looking at are the new shirts, I think they look great.

Eka are at home next Saturday. Keep up the great work lads!

Was it or wasn't it?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Nonthaburi FC 1 Central Lions 1

The new Eka scarf, new shirt to follow soon

Eka failed to build on last week's incredible performance and had to settle for a point against a mediocre Central Lions FC.

The game was very even and Eka still look far more confident and capable than the team of the first half of the season. A drop by goalie Pitthawas allowed CLFC to take the lead in the middle of the second half and Pitthawas went off injured before play resumed, though I think pride was the truly injured party in his case. Eka responded almost immediately with a goal from Apirak and the game finished one all.

On the balance of chances, I'd say we can just about consider ourselves unlucky not to win. If we could increase our conversion of chances by just ten percent, we wouldn't finish bottom this season.

Goalie Pitthawas apologised to fans on Facebook after the game. I say he was entitled to a mistake like any other human being and his performance at Samut Sakhon last week was probably MOTM quality, so I can't wait to see him back between the sticks.

Next up is a visit to Globex FC on Sunday. We simply have to win.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

This blog in 'Big Chilli'

The 'Big Chilli' magazine - available in all good English book stores and probably a few bad ones, too - recently mentioned this blog amongst others. Thanks to the writer.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Samut Sakhon 0 Nontahburi FC 2 - report and highlights

"It's simple lads, just produce the biggest upset of the season."

Supporters of both sides met for a seven-a-side kickabout at a nearby futsal arena before this game and I played my part by making the 2012 Robbie Fowler look like the 1995 Matt Le Tissier. Evidence of this exists online but will certainly not be published by me! The short trip back to the Samut Sakhon Stadium caused the vast majority of away fans to miss our opening goal, which is why the cheers are so few in the video you see below.

No.25 S.Chattong - has made a huge difference
I’ve been ranting about the need for a target man for Eka for two seasons now, they finally acquired one by the name of Siroch in mid-season and the benefit was obvious not just for his goal but his overall contribution to the team.

A frustrated SS goalie
The goal stunned the home crowd and as expected, the home side and league leaders Samut Sakhon piled on some pressure in response, but the benefit of our new coach was also obvious as we kept calm under pressure and tight on the opposing forwards to deny them space and force them to snatch at chances. I wouldn’t be atall surprised to hear our new coach and his side have studied some videos of England’s defending in Euro 2012 to learn how arguably technically superior teams can be defied by using double-layered defending. We played a similar way today and it paid off.

There were two other important events in the first half. The first was a free kick to Eka in which Samut Sakhon’s no.16 decided to get in the ref’s face, yell at him and (study the clip below at 3:13 carefully) actually jab a finger in the ref’s chest. It earned him a yellow card at the time and would come back to haunt him later.

The second incident was a shocking two-footed challenge by no.6 which was high, nowhere near the ball and stopped the player going through on goal. Not only did the ref allow play to go on but the home side refused to kick the ball out of play for the injured man to be treated. In many circumstances I’d applaud the continuation of play as the “gentleman’s rule” has been abused so much in Thailand as a time-wasting technique. Sadly in this case it was nothing of the sort and the injured player was subbed off two minutes later. The offender was not even spoken to. See the clip below at around 4:40.

We took it to them
In the second half I was expecting Eka to basically set up camp in their own area but to the massive credit of everyone involved they set their sights higher. Midway through the second period (10:20 in the clip) SS’s no .16 committed a late challenge and didn’t even look at the ref before handing over his captain’s armband and walking towards his early bath. To make it even sweeter, the resulting free kick produced our second goal from no.39, Jakkrit. Perhaps Samut Sakhon’s captain will think more carefully about his responsibilities before needlessly trying to bully the official and acting like a general idiot next time.

With the one man advantage Eka still refused to sit back and perhaps my favourite moment of the game was Siroch’s long range effort that hit the corner of the goalposts. To see a player possessing the kind of confidence to even attempt that shot gives me hope that we can move up the table.

Final result 0-2. This has been the most unexpected result I’ve ever seen since I saw Southampton beat Man Utd 6-3 in 1996. Today was fantastic not just for the score alone but the performance that produced it, the influence of the new players, the calmness of our defence - our goalie had the best game of his Eka career today - and the news that we have two new Korean players who have not even debuted yet.

We can’t get over-excited, we’re still bottom of the table, but at least now all my “cause for hope” comments can be at least partly vindicated.
Well done and a heartfelt thank you to every single player and staff member at Eka for their commitment, attitude and bravery. This game was another one for the scrap books.
Photo credits: Nhong Tim

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Nonthaburi 1 Kasetstart Uni 4 - report

As writing challenges go, waxing positive about a 1- 4 home defeat for a team at the bottom of the lowest division must rank up there with the best. Yet somehow I’m undaunted by it.

This game started amidst confusion for me. Eka strolled out in a green kit with a mysterious new sponsor. My first conclusion was that we’d been involved in a minor corporate takeover probably involving a change of name and a colour appropriate to whatever product our owners were flogging. This has happened for many teams but it transpires that today (as you’ll hear announced on the clip below) was simply a case of the new kits not being ready in time so we’d borrowed from another team. Any neutrals watching this game could be forgiven for their confusion though, Kasestart’s fans were decked exclusively in green but cheered every goal against the team on the pitch wearing green.......

Eka have obviously strained to make improvements during the mid-season break. The new coach took just minutes to show he’s more dedicated than our previous stalwart and was on the touchline communicating with the players almost from kick off.

The lads on the turf showed equal renewed vigor, several new faces - whose names I have yet to learn - made an impact. Number 25 appears to be the archetype target man for this level that I’ve stressed the need for many times: not especially fast but tall, heavy built and willing to barge his way through the box. Creative midfielders with a good first touch created so many chances in the opening half that it actually felt a bit like a throwback to last season and the days when we had a whole lot of possession but could not bury our chances. So despite going in 0-2 down at half time thanks to some good attacking by the visitors, I was not down-heartened.

The second half was, sadly, a backwards step. The players began to tire and Kesetstart showed why they made the play-offs last season  with a forward line often made up of four players that took their chances well. The final score was 1-4 and by the last few minutes, the players looked resigned to another loss.

However, there were positives to be taken from this game. The new players looked carefully chosen - though there are still no foreigners in the squad - rather than more random signings and it seems that someone has had the good sense to take a look at what is wrong and what can realistically be done to fix it. As mentioned, we have acquired some height and muscle in the front line to match our style of play, we’ve employed a bit more pace in the midfield and the vital presence of former Thai international Janewit in the back line is a blessing.

That said, there are still issues to work on and time is running out. The pitch itself has never been very good this season thanks to the floods of last year (of course there was nothing we could do about that) but it is now looking barely playable, I guess our cost-cuts prevent us treating it.  On the tactical side, we still need to work on attacking crosses when our wide players have the ball and I do wish we’d whip in some low crosses instead of playing every cross at a height goalkeepers feel safe with. It’s a matter of percentages - enough low crosses will net us more goals simply due to deflections and chance alone, let alone what our new forwards can scramble in. Finally, the fitness  levels looked lacking slightly in this game, probably due to the new lads bedding in and the mid-season break.

It’s very important to remember that Kesetart are a good side who won the division last season. They are very effective going forward and their right-winger in particular looks capable of playing at a higher level. Losing to this bunch is not equal to the depressing surrender to mediocre teams like Globex and for the first half we matched them in terms of possession and chances. We’ve obviously done what we can to reedy our problems and it’s now a race against time, we need to break free of the losing mentality and  pick up enough points against fellow strugglers to avoid the anxious wait for the TFA to “decide” what will happen to teams in relegation spots in D2 Bangkok this season.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

New kit, new players, new hope?

It should be available next month. A fan video posted on Facebook (let me know if that link works, please!) shows several new faces including some foreign players. New blood is clearly needed so let us hope the new boys can improve the team.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Nonthaburi FC 1 Chamchuree 3 - highlights

I have to accept I made an error in my report - there clearly was a player offside for Chamchuree's third goal. It could be argued he was not interfering with play but I have never, ever, seen an official make that judgement in Thailand and clearly here he was gaining an advantage.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

New coach

Nonthaburi have sacked coach Tapakorn and appointed former TTM Pichit/Chiang Mai assistant coach Somrak Rungsawang in his place.

While this move was a no-brainer given the obvious plight of the team and apparent insipid attitude of Somrak, I hope it's not used to paper over the cracks. No coach in the world can save a team that's way out of its depth and Eka need at least three, preferably double that, signings to refresh the team and push them up the table.

If we survive this season but things don't get better, I will actually make good on my threat to offer/plead with the team to work as coach, without salary and on whatever budget they give me. I can't do any worse and I'm confident I could do a whole lot better.

This is Thailand, anything can happen.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Nonthaburi FC 1 Chamchuree 3

Another disappointing defeat for Eka against a good Chamchuree side in a contest that served only to underline long-term problems within Eka.

Chamchuree's goalie makes the catch
Nonthaburi looked sleepy in the first twenty minutes of the game and it was this lethargy combined with one defensive error - caused by ball watching - that set up the visiting pink side with an early 0-2 lead.

It was only then that the home side galvanised and I can’t help noticing that we so often pick up our game when we’re losing and nobody expects us to come back. In other words: we play best when the pressure is off. I think this speaks volumes about the wilting confidence in the side.

Chamchuree’s third goal came in the second half when the entire Eka back line stood still and claimed offside when clearly there was no offside. The home side's consolation goal came from some strong pressure down the wings and was well-deserved.

This was the final game in the first leg of the season and in my humble opinion little has changed because conspicuous problems have not been addressed. We have no natural strikers, neither a big target man to attack crosses and corners nor a quick poacher. It makes me so frustrated to see wide players move to the touchline, look up and see nobody moving into the box.  Meanwhile the coach seems to think no touchline interaction is necessary until we are trailing by at least one goal and the back line lack work hard but lack coordination.

Ryan, Joe, Jelani: sadly, they can't help us now.
But there is hope: number thirty, Samart, has speed and dribbling skill,  our new long-haired midfielder Autthapon has a fantastic first touch and creativity, and midfielder Sarawut is good at long range passing. The squad as a whole look to have a good level of team spirit and have mastered basic breakaways and counter attacks. Though still lacking full confidence, it’s clear that the lads are developing in that area and are no longer afraid to take responsibility when they receive the ball in play. Most importantly of all, the team never give up or stop giving one hundred percent for the fans and the crowd respond in kind. With so much dedication from players and fans alike, nobody can write us off just yet.

Over the next couple of weeks the club must "wheel and deal" in the transfer market, presumably, without any cash to spend. If we can wrangle some loans or free transfers to bring in a couple of experienced pros or a hidden gem than we might just move up the table.

However if we do nothing or continue our tradition of utterly random swapping and selling, then we will probably stay rooted to bottom spot. The TFA have, I’m told, “not yet announced”(Thai bureaucrat speak for: “We haven’t got our s**t together yet”) if any relegation from the Regional League will take place this year.  I hate to say it but in its current state, I can’t see our club surviving relegation to  non-league. The future of Nonthaburi FC could be decided this coming fortnight.

Photo credits: Nhong Tim

Cause for hope 1: Samart, quick and able.

Cause for hope 2: New kid Autthapon
Cuase for hope 3: Sarawut's long range passing
Cause for hope 4: they drive the players on

Monday, 28 May 2012

Bangkok Christian College 1 Nonthaburi FC 0

Photos to follow, I hope.

Despite another defeat and another failure to find the net against a team that hadn’t yet won a game this season, there were actually some positives in this contest.

For one thing, the score could have been much higher. The Nontaburi side of just one month ago would have panicked and sliced at the many crosses shot into their area or clattered the advancing forward. This time around, the back line looked calm and collected under pressure. Likewise, the midfield are actually starting to spray some good passes both on and above surface level.  

For all the changes that have taken place at Eka this season, most of them not good, the underlying problem remains the same: the lack of a poacher with some pace who can smash the ball at goal.

But the supporters remain passionate and it’s now becoming clear that the squad are working hard to gel together and better themselves. Nobody can ask more.
Eka’s last game before the mid-season break is home to Chamchuree United (the re-incarnation of the original Chula United) next Sunday.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Eka have shown real improvement in their last two games. A 1-0 win oven Thonburi was followed by a 1-2 home defeat by Rayong last week but in both games, Nonthaburi have shown a more settled squad, better movement and greater confidence. We still won't be moving any mountains this season, but at least we can dream of picking up a few more points. Eka are away to Bangkok Christian College tomorrow.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The only good news is that we can't get any lower.
credit: thai-fussball.com

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Rangsit 1 Eka 1 - highlights

This from our game last Friday. Judging by the clip - which is never a safe thing to do - we look improved.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Eka 1 Globex 3 - highlights

The super-soft penalty can be viewed at a good angle from 07:35 in the clip.
News today - if I understand it correctly - states that Janewit will be coach or assistant coach (I'm not sure which). I welcome this news as he clearly knows what he is doing, unlike the current and previous head coach.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Nonthaburi FC 1 Globex 3 - report

It's going to be a long, long season for Eka this year. That much was easy to deduce from the way we were soundly beaten at home by a distinctly mediocre team with little support.

Globex's first goal was a simple square ball across the box, the type even I was taught to prevent when playing at middle school. The second was a scramble and the third was a penalty that the referee gave despite the very poor attempt at diving by the player who won it. The one cheering point for home fans was our first goal of the season, following a nice through ball by the substitute midfielder and a determined scrap to finish it by no.19

Although the head coach was changed in pre-season, the new man enforces some of the same methods as the old man and I find them totally perplexing: almost the entire side was changed from the previous home game, meaning our one player with top level experience (Janewit) and our one attacking player with pace and promise (no.29) were absent. I find this "total change" system bizarre as I though that a coach was expected to choose a first team squad in pre-season, let them work and gel together and then allow other players to work their way in on merit.

I also thought that a head coach was expected to tactically assess a game and make necessary adjustments but in all four games this season, the changes appear to be totally random.

Like I said, it will be a real battle this season. Our hope lies in Prasop who I understand is still with us but injured, the one foreign player who is waiting for his paperwork to clear, Janewit -if the coach realises the whole team rotation system is not cool or clever, the pacey no.29 and the young squad who, with guidance, could become a determined and improved bunch.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Nonthaburi FC 0 Samut Sakhon 1 - report

It's going to be a long, tough season for Nonthaburi this year. At the end of last season I said we should keep Manop, Janewit, Prasop, Korawut, Grant, Reece, and Sathit. Due to budget cuts only one of those players (Janewit) is still with us and it showed yesterday.

In all honesty it's a challenge to be positive about this game but let me try: the pitch looks far better than I expected after the floods of 2011. Janewit is still class, the goalie had a good game and our new number 19, "Bunsawut" I think his name is, looks quality. There was a brief flurry by Eka towards the end of the game that woke the crowd up and that in turn lifted the players, I hope they remember that feeling and give the crowd some attacking football to cheer for next time.

In reality the new squad need a whole lot of training and teaching. Still at least we have a team to support and support them we will, whatever happens.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Opening day defeat

Eka went down 0-2 at Kasetstart in a fixture played in Nakhom Pathom as the D2 Bangkok champions are still suffering the after-effects of the floods at their home stadium near The Mall Ngamwongwan.

It's looking like a long, tough season for Nontahburi this year.Eighteen teams are battling to get out of D2 Bangkok and goodness knows how many teams are competing for just 3 promotion spots this season. It's a truly ludicrous situation and it beggars belief that people as supposedly educated, prestigious and well-salaried as the TFA can't see the need to create a new division.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

2012 Opening fixtures

Eka begin what should be a very interesting but possibly very difficult season with an away fixture at last year's champions Kaesetstart Uni FC.

h/t BKK Football Blog

18 February
Chamchuree v Luk Issan Thai Airways
Central FC v RBAC
Prachinburi FC v Assumption Thonburi
Customs v Kasem Bundit
Bangkok Christian v Globex

19 February
Kasetsart v Nontaburi

Thai Honda v Krung Thonburi
Samut Sakorn FC v Samut Prakarn Utd
Rangsit FC v North Bangkok

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Nonthaburi FC press release


Eka Nonthaburi have announced a new approach to this season due to budget cuts. The club have a budget of only 5 million baht this year and that sum is only thanks to continued sponsorship from Chang and King Power.

Therefore the club have announced that instead of hiring a new coach, they will appoint a player-coach from within the existing squad. They will also implement a youth-team system to fill any gaps in the first team. Eka have stated this year's competition in D2 Bangkok will be the toughest ever and expect it to be a year of rebuilding for the club.

I'm not sure why the funding from the owner of Nonthaburi has suddenly dropped off but I expect it's another case of a phuu-yai growing bored with his project. Still at least we still have a club to support and a player-coach might work well at this level. Surely it cannot be worse than last year's coach.

No news on which players have stayed or gone yet with the exception of sad news that Grant, Reece and Manop have all left for pastures news. Thanks and good luck to them all.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012

Eka still without a coach

The new RL season is scheduled to start in little over one month but Eka are still without a replacement for last year's (very poor) coach. Latest news suggests the former coach of Patthaluang is set to take on the role but he has publicly stated he is also talking to other clubs.

Eka will return to training very soon so more news should arrive shortly.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Eka tryouts

Nontahburi are operating a double-open day for try-outs for the 2012 season. The dates are Thursday 12 and Friday 13th (don't be scared, that date isn't bad luck in Asia!)  of January at Prachacheun. Trialists must be available on both days. Contact the club for further details or arrive at 1430 on the first day.

Nonthaburi are one of the richer, better organised clubs in the RL.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Floods abate

The waters have finally receded at Wat Boat, though as with everywhere in Nonthaburi, the rubbish (trash) is yet to be cleaned. Some fans of the club have offered to assist in cleaning.
It remains to be seen if Eka will play at Wat Boat or Samakhee next season, which is expected to begin in March.