Number 75, Royal Thai Fleet FC, will play number 8, Port FC.
…is sort of how it might have gone. I was asked on Sunday when the next Thai Port home game was, and I confidently replied “next Sunday against Bangkok United”. Then having a quick check of the official website, I had totally forgot about the cup game against Royal Thai Fleet FC.
“So that’d be Navy then, yeah?”
“Knot so quick! These lot only run aground with Navy. And have a pretty much identical function as Navy. But just don’t mention being sunk off Koh Chang inside 15 minutes by the might of the Vichy French Navy in 1941. But both teams are distinct entities and not to be cod-fused with one another”.
And they also are firmly docked in the Thailand League 4 Eastern Division. Which shore enough makes them virtually impossible to research and fathom out. Apparently they play in a very fetching and fashionable red & white striped shirt, with black shorts and socks. Top scorer? No idea. Agile keeper? Unlikely. Massive African defender? Possibly. Hell, I can’t even find an up-to-skate league table for T4E (as I have christened it).
What have I found out? Seemingly they were founded in 2011, haven’t really done much since, other than make the second round of the League Cup in 2015, and their best plaice-d finish has been 7th in whichever regional league they have been placed in (three different ones to date). They do though hold the record for the biggest T4E home win – a 5-1 thrapping of Chonburi B, in April this year.
Do the match preview, they said.
I now know why a few were baulking at the idea.
So what can we hope for from Port? Well this should be plain sailing, along the lines of the Kabinburi game in the League Cup a couple of seasons ago; Fleet are in the same division. Give those short of match time a run around. Give the cabin boys from below deck a jog out (we do have youth yeah?). Stick Maranhao in so that he can grab a hatful as he has been doing in friendlies. Give him a bit of anchorage-ment for the rest of the season, having been kept on and put in the matchday squid.
Let’s be honest; this season’s goal is to not get relegated, we can keep the cups back til next season or the one after that, and to run the risk of injury to first steamers would be bonkers. Given the Suphanburi result, the second leg of the season could be a battle (but please conch-fish-skate Tana’s boots so he can’t play), and we need everyone on form and fit for as long as possible. Sorry to be so dour, but we really do not need to be artificially buoyed by a sea-nic run in the cups. Of course, we should give this opposition crew a good keel-hauling, regardless of the team we put out to sail on the night. I imagine Fleet will aqua-esce, and shoals of goals will be forthcoming.
Schooner oar later it would be nice to see these smaller teams play games at home in the cup, particularly in this instance, given that they ground shore with a T2 team.
The romance of the cup, join in on Wednesday, probably 100B a ticket, I’m unlikely to be there.
Which is even more reason to go.