Tom’s Transfer Talk: The Bee Gees


Port have acted early with the mid-season break coming up, signing two players from T2 leaders BG Pathum United. Thai national team star Tanaboon Kesarat has apparently been signed on a permanent deal, while Piyachanok Darit has joined on loan.

The rumours of new Port signings started about a week ago, just after a new face joined the Port management team. Chalermchoke Lamsam, a relative of a certain Nualphal Lamsam (that’s Madame Pang to you and me,) is no stranger to Khlongtoei, having been a Managing Director at Loxley for the past few years. That’s his building behind PAT Stadium’s Zone B.



I have no idea whether Chalermchoke is directly responsible for Port’s flurry of transfer activity, but it would be a pretty big coincidence if he wasn’t involved in some capacity.

The first name to be all over the Port Facebook groups was a rather underwhelming one. Lampang centre back Ronnapee Choeykamdee has little T1 experience, although he did score against Port with a powerful header a few years back. Still, before rumours of his transfer had borne fruit, the two much shinier more well-known names popped up, and within a couple of days the Pang Instagram post had gone up and they were officially Port players.



I have mixed feelings about these transfers. On the one hand, signing a national team regular with as big a reputation as Tanaboon is a positive statement of intent, on the other hand, we don’t particularly need him and I don’t think he’s very good. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh here; it would probably be more accurate to say he’s vastly overrated rather than not very good, but I can’t help but think we’re just wasting money. I don’t know exactly what we’re paying Tanaboon, but I do know that Chiang Rai made him the highest paid Thai player in T1 when they signed him in 2017, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be earning much less now. So, why don’t I rate him?



Well, he’s supposed to be able to play both defensive midfield and central defence, but I’ve never been convinced with him in either position. He’s got great feet and he can pass the ball, but he’s not up to much in the air, and he’s not particularly tenacious. Watching him being paired with Thitipan in Chiang Rai, BG and Thailand’s midfield for the last few years infuriated me, as blood-and-thunder Thitipan played two positions most of the time, while Tanaboon just seemed to stand around and pass the ball sideways. It’s probably no surprise his own teams always seem to have an all-action midfielder next to him. He just doesn’t do a great deal. Then again he consistently gets picked for Thailand, and the pundits still seem to love him, albeit a little less than they did a few years ago. Maybe I’m just wrong. I hope I’m wrong!

Then there’s Piyachanok. I haven’t seen as much of this guy, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I have seen. He’s very big and strong for a Thai centre back, and he spent a good few seasons playing alongside Matt Smith for BG. He must have learned something! We’ve only got Piyachanok on loan though, and with Rochela fit again, Dolah arguably the best defender in the league on current form and Todsapol having put in a solid two month shift in his captain’s absence, Piyachanok is probably fourth choice. Don’t expect to see much of him.



One additional concern relating to this transfer activity is that we’ve signed Tanaboon in the expectation that we could lose Go Seul-Ki to parent club Buriram in the mid-season break. Go is on loan from Buriram, and I’m not sure on the particulars of our loan agreement, but if Buriram go in to the mid-season break trailing Port and they have the option of cutting his loan deal short, it certainly wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if they did just that. If that’s the case, then perhaps bringing in Tanaboon is a shrewd move. Only time will tell!


And Finally



You’ve just been called up to the Thai national team. You haven’t have met many of your new teammates before, and are keen to make a lasting first impression. What do you do? Well, if you’re Port stopper W-Hot you turn up with a customized t-shirt emblazoned with Port goalkeeping coach Milan’s grinning mug.



Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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