In my five years supporting Thai Port, 2017 is consistent with following this fantastic football club. The sheer level of apprehension in not knowing which eleven players will take to the park and what levels they will perform to. We have had the heroics of Buriram, what a performance, to a good old-fashion spanking at the hands of our friends from Thai Honda, a team who have been our menaces for two years now. To be totally honest we wouldn’t have it any other way. Supporting this club is about the experience, making friends, enjoying a few beers and witnessing at first hand the passion displayed by the Khlong Toei Army. Hockers’ hat, Ackhim’s Brummie accent (he is German), Linny’s smile when we score, Keith’s iron man adventures, and Tom’s in depth knowledge of the Thai game, we are certainly never bored!
Our summer signings definitely brought a wave of optimism and discussion amongst the Sandpit faithful, whether Mr. Meelarp has any control over these remains a mystery but one thing for sure is it has been a mixed bag. Tana (99) has gone from being a Thai international to a bit part player at Port due to the arrivals of Josimar (30) and Kalu (10), although I am far from convinced by both of them! Sergio Suarez (5) (he even sounds class) looks the deal and I am convinced he will come into his own and establish himself in our Captain Fantastic’s league. Then we had their compatriot Asdrubal who vanished (Ed – Are you sure?), along with our young Patrick Bentley (29). I was excited as he sounded Irish and had freckles. Then, to my utter disgust – as the boys in the supporters club will know – we lost Maranhao (92) who had looked head and shoulders above everyone else in pre-season. I just hope he doesn’t come back to haunt us! Dolah (4) has a presence and a bit of class but he has had a dip in form and is still young so I am hoping optimistically he will become a Virgil Van Dyke.
Nitipong (34) has looked like a full back who could become an established and accomplished member of the team in a position we notoriously sign donkeys in and Todsapol (6) has come into the centre and looked every bit of the player we know he can be. Adisorn (13) looked the real deal against the Thunder Castle, his tenacity and commitment is what we as fans thrive on, and we are crying out for those performances more consistently. If we can get the Pakman (9) from drifting in and out of games we have the makings of an awesome midfield.
Our visitors today are Thai Premier league virgins Ubon UMT and by Jaysus they have made an incredible introduction in their short history sitting in fourth place, five points shy of The Smelly Thongs with only one defeat so far that being an away defeat by the odd goal at Navy. Their foreign legion have delivered and with their Thai talisman Siroch (35) they look a formidable proposition.
The have made just short of one hundred signings in close season (joke, but not far off) and managing to keep hold of Siroch was a massive coup. I attended three international games last year and he was the stand out player in all three apart from Tana’s cameo seven minute appearance. In the Suzuki cup final he bullied and harassed the Indonesian defence. Right, forget about international football as I don’t want to talk about that **** Neil Taylor!
This is a team we beat 3-1 last season in one of our last home games before unforeseen circumstances brought the league to a premature halt. To be honest I vaguely remember it as I went to London Pie at 09:30 and arrived at the Port via Herrity’s, The Kiwi, Hanrahan’s and then Stood in the Sandpit for two hours with Keith and Del. This season their team is virtually unrecognizable and they have an Albanian claiming to be German banging them in from midfield called Nebihi who is getting rave reviews and played at a very decent level in Germany. He is joined in Midfield by an uncompromising Japanese player called Yamazaki – every team should have one – and Argie Berriex, who played most of his career in Chile playing for a team called Rangers, hopefully this one didn’t pledge loyalty to a monarch and then proceed to forget about HRMC rules and regulations!
Anyway it will be great to be back after three weeks of spending Saturdays with my eight week old daughter and as much as I love Tarua it just isn’t that good.
Slan go feoil
For those going to PAT Stadium, the game kicks off at the unusually early time of 17:45, and for those who can’t make it it will be shown live on True Sport 2.