High Hopes: Dom’s 2018 Season Review

Goal of the Season

Boskovic 1st goal vs Pattaya

A clockwork orange n’ blue goal, vintage 2018. This goal sums up Port’s season, when everyone does their job well we can slice teams apart. Nurul, Suarez and Boskovic are all involved, if Nurul and Suarez don’t get injured and Bosko found form a bit sooner we could’ve seen a shed load more of these goals being smashed in. Nurul throws the ball in tees up Suarez, he turns freezing two defenders gives himself the platform. Suarez knows where Bosko is, finds him with a bit of space. Bosko chests the ball down and bang he’s thundered it into the top corner. Keeper stood no chance, suddenly the rain doesn’t seem so bad and the journey out to deepest darkest Minburi is well worth it. We’re all singing in the rain.

Game of the Season

Muangthong Away

It’s the start of the season Port’s players are looking good, but can they stand up to a genuine test?

Yes they bloody can, the 2-0 win that left the North, South, East and West stands very, very quiet. Kevin slotted right into the team, Worawut pulled off some great saves. Everything was good with the world. Top feeling, top match, joint top of the league, on top of the world.

Player of the Season

Nittipong Selanon. He’s not a superstar of Thai Football, but in 2018 what we needed was a bit more of Nittipong’s attitude. Turn up and do a great job week in week out. Other players raised their game for some matches and randomly went missing in others. We have seen some great skills at PAT this year, but skill with a bit of consistency was missing. This is why I have to go for our right back, possibly the best right back in the league. The hardest working man in Thai Port.

That 2018 Look

Milan, Paris, London, Thai Port, it’s the fashion hub of the Bangkok Metropolitan area so I give you the 2018 top merch. awards.

T-Shirt of the Season

This is the most hotly contested section of these awards. Port has always had a ton of different T-shirts made by different fan groups. This year “Nig” in Zone B has outdone himself with the “Port Hub” shirt. You know it’s a top T-shirt when every time you get it out of the cupboard it raises a smile.

 

Cap of the Season

As someone who wears glasses I’m always on the look out for a Thai Port cap to keep the rain off my specs. The previous 2017 one was cheap, plastic and poorly designed. My decent 2015 orange cap was lost a long time ago after a very long away day. I only saw this 2018 cap for sale on the last day of the 2018 season. Still it’s a good simple design silver on black, comfortable and it was on 30% discount.

 

Key Ring of the Season

Everyone’s there nice portraits of all the star players. I wish it was commemorating silverware of some sort, but anyway here’s the commemorative being a decent T1 team Thai Port key ring.

Port Family Portrait

 

The Orange n’ Blues 2018

Since Pang took over in 2015 I’ve been saying she should be spending more on the squad, relegation in her first season in charge was hardly a great start. In 2018 finally a war chest arrived at PAT. A decent enough budget for a good T1 season. We stole Nurul away from Chonburi, we brought in the 38 goal hero Bosko. Then we found a decent Korean player to stabilise our midfield. As the transfer window was closing we snatched Kevin away from the jaws of Muangthong. We assembled the best squad we’d had 10 years.

To start off I didn’t think we had a chance in the league, I thought a top 6 finish maybe. Then slowly the hope creeps up on you, coming up to the two Air force matches we had 11 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw in 14. What kind of super human form is that? That’s unheard of, could we possibly challenge for the top spot? Nurul and Suarez are both back and on form. Maybe Chainat was just a blip, maybe this is our year in the league. As for the Cup, well we got to a league cup semi-final when we were in T2, with this team we must be able to…

Maybe this is our year? Maybe not, the league cup and league losses to Air Force were crushing. After these games we really had to face the fact that on our day when we really tried we could manage to lose to anyone. Chainat was a terrible game, but I thought maybe it was just a one off. After seeing lightning strike twice in the same week; I much like the lightning crashed back down to earth.

There’s no shame in losing to Buriram in the FA Cup quarter final. Finishing 3rd shows good progress; it’s our highest finish in 15 years. We beat Muangthong away, so why does it feel a bit hollow. We ended the season on a high with three brilliant results. I’m still left thinking it would’ve been nice to be going to a Cup Final in 2018, and it wasn’t too far from our grasp. In the end as always it’s the hope of something greater that kills you, the forlorn fan thinking if only those 17 results when the other way it was our year.

2018 was a great year at Port so good it made me hope for some silverware not fear relegation. Anyway there’s always next year, I think if we strengthen the squad with three more quality players. I think we really can… here we go again looking forward to High Hopes in 2019.

 

Dominick Cartwright

Dominick Cartwright

Originally from London, Dominick has been teaching English in Bangkok since 2006 and has been following Port FC since 2011.

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