INTERVIEW: Siwakorn – “I Only Want to Win it with Port”

This is my attempt at translating a Thai interview into English with some help from Nig Dammusig and Kosin Attanoraks. This interview is by Kosin Attanoraks (nicknamed “Man”) from his series of interviews called “One Man Show” where he takes some time out to have an extended chat with some of the top players in T1. This week he’s been talking to our very own Siwakorn Jakkuprasat (nicknamed “Kling”).

The original interview in Thai can be found here thanks to Kosin Attanoraks and https://www.thsport.com/ for letting us use the interview.

“Captain Kling”

Siwakorn Jakkuprasat first played at Port when he was eight years old, now he’s captain of the team and Port are top of the league. On this season’s form he’s one of the best midfielders in Thailand. A mainstay at Port the often underestimated midfielder is still yet to play for the full national team. Now some pundits are suggesting he should be in the national team squad for this year’s King’s Cup. This year he might finally get the opportunity to make an impact in the national team set up. Today I’m going to chat to “Captain Kling” Siwakorn Jakkuprasat.

Man: Hello Kling, have you just finished training?

Kling: Yes, but it’s fine at the moment I’m just waiting to meet up with my girlfriend. I’m free to chat for a while.

Man: Right now things are going well, your form and Port’s form are both on a high. Have you started to think about the Championship?

Kling: I think maybe it’s just better to say the same thing “Sir Det”(Jadet) says, “We take each game as it comes.”. I don’t want to look too far into the future. If we start thinking about things way off in the future maybe we’ll make mistakes with the games we’re playing now.

Man: Right now you’re the captain of the team. Is this because you’ve been at the club the longest so the senior player gets the job?

Kling: Well not really, Port really has 3 captains. Our long term Captain is David Rochela but he’s been out with an injury, the proper second captain is Adisorn Deang-Rueng(13) but he’s not playing every game so I’m number 3. I don’t think Madam Pang is just choosing people because they’ve been here the longest. It’s true Adisorn has been here since the beginning of the Madam Pang era. Being captain is more about being able to talk to everyone in the team, and everyone being able to come and talk to you. I’m a pretty easy going person and I can chat to all my teammates Thai and foreign players alike so that’s why I’m captain at the moment.

 

 

Man: When was the first time you played at Port?

Kling: I was first here when I was 8 years old.

Man: Oh, so you’ve always wanted run out here at PAT Stadium?

Kling: Yes, my dad used to drive past here and I’d see the team training. All I wanted to do was play football here, I had a trial and started playing for the youth team. When I got out of school I just want to be here playing football, I was always here.

Man: Where did you study?

Kling: I went to Bangkok Christian School and then I studied at Assumption College.

Man: Kling, you were here at Port for the FA and League Cup winning seasons under Sasom (Sasom Pobprasert.) Did you ever play in the Asian Champion’s League for Port?

Kling: Back then I was with the team, but I wasn’t in the first team set up. I did to get regular games in the League Cup season but there was no place in the champions league for that. I have played in the ACL, but that was when I was with Maungthong.

Man: I see. What was it like playing for Muangthong?

Kling: It was ok, Port were going through some financial problems lots of players left Port at that time. Muangthong came in with an offer for me. I’d just played in the Under 23 squad winning the Sea Games in Singapore with coach “Chook”. Lots of players from that team went on to Muangthong.

Man: I remember that, back then the national team was pretty much Muangthong and a few BEC Tero players. Then even the Tero players moved on to Muangthong.

Kling: Yes back then Muangthong and the national team were pretty much the same team.

Man: Kling, you haven’t played a full international for Thailand right?

Kling: You’re right, I did get that one start in the Sea games in 2015 for the Under 23 team, but that’s it.

Man: A lot of people have compared you to Sarach Yooyen(Tang) would you say you’re the same type of player?

Kling: Oh sure, I can see the comparison, I’ve heard that a lot. We played together at Muangthong, I’ve known him since we played back then.

Man: Kling you’re from the same generation as Tang right? Do you still keep in touch with him?

Kling: Sure, we’re both the 27 years old. We’ve played against each other in different teams and together since we were almost 10. I talk to him a lot, mainly it’s just us seeing how each other is doing and offering some encouragement.

Man: How does it feel when people compare you to other players?

Kling: It’s always going to happen, everyone has their own view on players. I think people can underestimate me a bit at times. Even at Port this year after we bought Sumanya(11), some Port fans were saying I would definitely be dropped from the starting team. I just saw this as the chance to prove that I deserve my place in the team.

 

 

Man: Many people who follow the national team are now saying you should get a place in the squad for the King’s Cup. Do you think it’s your time to take that step up?

Kling: That’s a choice for the coach not for me, maybe it’s better to ask him. If you asked me “Would I like to play for the national team?” then yes I would love to. This is the reason anyone plays football, to do your best and to hope one day you can be good enough to play for the national team. I think that’s every players dream, but if it doesn’t happen I’m not going to sit around and get upset about it. I’m not going to say “Why didn’t he choose me?”. It’s the coach’s choice if it doesn’t happen that’s the way it is, that’s football.

Man: What do you think of the new Thai national team’s midfield? Do you think it would be difficult to fit in to the current team?

Kling: Sure, it’s always difficult to find the right role in the current national side, but if you compare it to the old team with Thitipan Puangchan and Chanathip Songkrasin. I think everyone knew back then it was impossible to get into the starting 11 we had a solid midfield and a great team.

Man: Are you in contact with any of the players in the J League?

Kling: No, but I do keep up with how they’re doing. I like to watch the J league, I like to see strong attacking football. It’s always good to see Chanatip get a goal. It’s just good to see a top level physical game.

Man: Which agent are you with?

Kling: I’m with Thritthi Nonsrichai (Doy)

Man: Oh, he’s managed a few players that have gone overseas.

Kling: That’s true, but I’ve not talked to him about that.

Man: If you had the opportunity to go abroad would you?

Kling: I think the reason it’s not come up is I’m not in the national team squad yet. If a player isn’t in that squad then it’s very difficult to get any foreign clubs interested.

Man: And of course you still have to think about your contract here at Port.

Kling: Yes, I have no problem with being here at all. I’m just saying if any Thai player gets an offer from a big foreign club they have to welcome that as a massive career opportunity. But I’m playing in Thailand and Port is the club I’ve always wanted to play for. Even at the end of this contract I’d like to stay with Port, I’d like to play here till I hang up my boots.

Man: I get the chance to talk to all the club coaches in Thai football and I’ve heard people saying the one big difference this year is Go Suel-Ki(8). It’s not just because he’s a great player but he’s won at the top level of Thai football. He has the character of a championship winning player, he’s been there done that. Do you think “Go” will be in another championship winning team this year?

Kling: Maybe, the first year at Muangthong we came second in the league under Jodka (Slavisa Jokanovic), then the next year I was in another great team under Winnie (Winfried Schafer) and we didn’t win, you can never be sure. Really it would be great if we could win this season, it would be my first championship here and Port is the only team I want to win the championship with. “Go” is a quality player, he has come into the team and solved some problems in midfield. He can play the quick ball if he needs to, or slow things down and if he needs to be a bit more physical he can. He controls the pace of the game, that influences the whole team I think he helps everyone’s game.

Man: Like a conductor in an orchestra?

Kling: Yes pretty much, he helps everything come together well.

Man: Each coach has his own style, who stands out for you from the coaches you’ve worked with?

Kling: Every coach is different, but I think Jodka (Slavisa Jokanovic) was the best foreign coach I’ve seen in Thailand. I was impressed by his tactical work and the way he managed to improve all the players it was great to be in that team set up.

Man: And how about “SirDet” (Jadet) is he tough on you?

Kling: “Sir” that’s not his way, he’s not a harsh manager. He wants to create a good atmosphere in the team and give the players the freedom to play well. I think the players see that and want to play well for him.

 

 

Man: I’ve spoken to a few Port players this season they’ve said there’s a good atmosphere around the club and in training. Also that the level of competition is higher as the quality of the squad has improved.

Kling: That’s true, we definitely have strength in depth this season. I’m not saying we were bad last year, but there has been an improvement in the quality of the squad. I think there’s competition for every place in the team this year. We’ve made some tactical changes, my role has changed and I’ve had to look at my game a bit more. The quality of the squad really comes through in practice matches with the teams of substitutes sometimes beating starting players, it’s good for the team.

International Ports

Man: Some fans look at the national squad and criticise it because there aren’t many Port players in there.

Kling: Haha, you could say that.

Man: For me as a fan of the nation team I think you could easily make a case for Bodin(10), Pakorn(7), Dolah(4), Watchara (1), Kevin (97), and Nittipong (34) all being in the squad, how about you would you add anymore?

 

 

Kling: I think Artit(29) could also be up there in that list.

Man: I did see some national team scouts at the Muangthong away match and they said to me he can’t really be considered as he’s not shown this form from the start of a match. If he’s just a substitute at club level it’s difficult see him as a prospect for the national team.

Kling: I think Todsapol(6) should get a chance too, I think his form’s been great this season.

Man: And what about Kevin he has played in the Under 23 team, but fans have criticised him for sometimes making himself unavailable. Can you explain this? Honestly I can’t see why he’s not joining the team.

Kling: Kevin was genuinely injured the last time he got the Under 23 call up. The other times I don’t know but I’m guessing it was the same. One thing I do know if we have Kevin and Bodin(10) playing on the left for the national team they would make and unstoppable attacking duo. I think they should both be in the squad.

Man: At the moment Bodin “Dome” is the player everyone is talking about. But he had some problems with the national team. He didn’t get much of chance to play football and when he did try to play football fans accused him of being a greedy player.

Kling: I think that is what a lot of people think about Dome when they see him first. I even remember thinking this playing with him the first time. I’m a player who likes to keep the ball moving with quick passes. When Dome used to get the ball maybe he thought more about what he can do with it, rather that what the team can do. He’s not a selfish player, I think he’s just had to get used to a new way of playing with the team. I think it took a while but now I think he’s more in touch with the rhythm of the game and where the ball needs to be for the team. I think if any team in the league can give him the right role they’d really benefit, we’re lucky to have him.

Man: Maybe I think it’s easy for him to adjust he’s not a shy person at all.

Kling: Sure 100%, he’s a funny guy he just needs to work with the team and the team need to adjust to get the best out of him.

Man: Kling what do you think about players who can play well for their clubs but can’t find that form for the national team?

Kling: Yes I think it can happen, but there are some players who have poor form then really excel with the national team. It’s all about the experience you have in the transition from one to the other. But generally at the national level there’s more pressure and higher expectations to deal with.

Man: And also it can be tough to play football in another country with a stadium full of foreign fans.

Kling: That’s true but it does phase me too much, I have played in the ACL for Muangthong and experienced that.

Man: You played in the championship winning Sea Games team in Singapore. Lots of those players were national team stars but most of that group aren’t in the team anymore. If you go into the national team wouldn’t it be a big adjustment for you with so many new faces?

Kling: It’s not a problem for me, I know all the players in the national team squad.

 

The Big Question

Man: Could I ask you to talk about one major criticism people do have? So many times I’ve heard people say “Kling is a great all round player, but he’s so small and so thin.”

Kling: Oh yes I hear that all the time. I train hard I have the strength, but I can never put weight on. I follow what the trainers tell me to do, eating this and that to put on weight but I never seem to do it.

Man: Did they give you whey protein to eat?

Kling: Sure we have that at Port, they give it to me to eat every evening.

Man: Maybe you have the opposite problem to Pakorn(7)”Bas”. He told me he’s lost some weight but he’s always being criticised for being fat.

Kling: Well there you go, Bas is the kind of person who eats a bit and suddenly puts weight on, I eat a lot but just can’t get fat. I’ve talked to the trainer about it he says that’s just the way some bodies work, everyone’s different.

Man: It is strange, when I was younger I could eat whatever I wanted and I wouldn’t get fat. Now I’m older I don’t eat anything but I’m instantly fat Hahaha. If you were heavier with a bigger frame I think people would take another look at you as a top class player.

Kling: You’re right. If I could make one change, the one thing I would like to change the most it’s my shape. But I don’t think it’s that much of a problem. When I’m on the pitch people see I can be as physical as any other player.

Man: Yes I’ve seen that when you take off your shirt at the end of matches. You might be smaller than other players but you are in great condition. If you did get the chance to play abroad maybe your build would be a problem.

Kling: That’s true, but for now I’ll just think about trying to make it into the national team before I start thinking about anything else.

Man: OK Kling, sorry to take up so much of your time, thank you very much for the interview.

Kling: Not a problem, you’re welcome.

 

 

Boo Boys: Chainat FC vs. Port FC Preview

 

Port return to action on Sunday after a brief hiatus for the Royal ascension, with a growing sense amongst Thai football that the next coronation the kingdom witnesses could take place in Klongtoei. As much as that opening line got in due to lack of a superior alternative, there comes a point where we must admit that, until proven otherwise, this team is in a title race. In case anyone had forgotten over the break, “WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE”. The win against Suphanburi was gutsy and undertaken by a starting eleven stripped by injury and suspension of key players. The last few weeks have produced some excellent football, and we are finally back to full strength (or thereabouts). Meanwhile preseason title favourites, Buriram and Bangkok United haven’t reach the levels expected as both have been inconsistent. If we compare their performance this season with their results in the same fixtures last season1, we find that Bangkok United are 2 points worse off and Buriram are 4 points down on last season. Both our rivals have scored less and conceded more, too. Supporting the view that last season’s top two appear to have gone backwards (but seemingly so have Port according to the numbers, also being 2 points worse off but let’s just ignore that as it doesn’t fit with my intended angle), a decline big enough to stop one or both surpassing Port come the end of season, I’m yet to be convinced. However, with the season now past the quarter point, all we can do is keep collecting points and make ourselves as difficult to catch us as possible.  So, what better opposition to face than our old friends Chainat?

Read more

Know Your Enemy: Ariel Strikes

 

With a catch-up game between Chiang Mai and Chainat scheduled for Wednesday, I decided to delay my run-down of gameweek 9’s results. Unfortunately that means my memory of almost two-week old games is less than crystal clear, but I’ll do my best!

 

Read more

The Proud Junk: Port FC vs. Samut Sakhon FC, FA Cup Preview

 

Really. That’s actually their new nickname.

Port’s FA Cup campaign gets under way today in the last 64 with the visit of T2 side Samut Sakhon FC to PAT Stadium. The match was originally scheduled to be played at the home of The Proud Junk, but due to concerns with their stadium, both sides agreed the move to Khlongtoei. This year, Port will see the FA Cup as a realistic chance to win a trophy, but against a team in the bottom half of T2 it’s also a chance for Jadet to give playing time to some underused members of his squad. I expect to see a mixed team, with some regulars and a few squad players, as Samut Sakhon aren’t going to be pushovers.

 

Samut Sakhon FC

Players To Watch

 

I haven’t watched this lot, but the name that jumps off the Wikipedia page is Malagasy winger Njiva Rakotoharimalala (7). Who could ever forget a name like that! I was very surprised not to see Njiva in T1 again this season after a very useful debut season with Sukhothai, terrorizing defences along with John Baggio. He’s taken the move in his stride though, showing his quality by scoring regularly for his new side. He ought to be the main threat to Port.

 

 

Another familiar face is evergreen South Korean centre half Lee Won-young (3). Captain and defensive stalwart for Pattaya United for three seasons, 38 year old Lee has finally made the step down to the second tier as his career winds down.

Unfortunately my first-hand knowledge of these fellas only extends to a couple of their Thai players, one of which is Port’s former left back Jetjinn Sriprach (18). Off the top of my head, he made one start for Port, so don’t be surprised if your memory isn’t jogged. He’s a versatile left sided player who will probably start in defence. The Sandpit’s scouting network has also identified a little bloke, who we think is called Pongpat Liorungruengkit (39), who has looked very dangerous. Wiki lists him as a defender, but apparently he’s more of a forward, and he’s very small, very quick and very dangerous.

 

 

There are also two Brazilians who I’ve never heard of, but Wikipedia leads me to the conclusion that they are very, very bog standard as far as Brazilians go. Attacking midfielder Bruno Dybala’s (10) wiki page claims he’s never scored a goal, which isn’t ideal, and compatriot Ricardo Pires (19) doesn’t even have a page. Then again neither did Rodrigo Maranhao during his time with Port, so there is always the odd player who surprises you. I don’t think it’ll be either of these two, though.

 

 

Port FC

Tinkerman

 

Jadet has tinkered with his first team lineup more than ever before this season, albeit by necessity rather than choice, and today we expect to see another round of changes to the starting XI. Port do have a weekend off coming up due to the coronation, but Jadet may still want to rest some key players. Those who would seem to be most in need of a rest are Kevin (97), who has been struggling to complete 90 minutes of late, as well as ever-present duo Dolah (4) and Siwakorn (16). I fully expect Kevin to be given a rest, but I’m not so sure Jadet will allow either Dolah or Siwakorn to miss out, given how important both have been in Port’s excellent early season form.

Those in the frame to come in to the side are Panpanpong (19), who has provided two assists when coming off the bench for Kevin, and of course the man who was the beneficiary of those assists, Arthit (29). Arthit failed to impress in his first start, having scored three times as a substitute so far in 2019, but deserves another go tonight against weaker opposition. Nurul (31) on the other hand had a massive impact when he came off the bench on Saturday, and this is the perfect opportunity to give him some game time before Pakorn (7) returns to take his place on the right hand side. Young midfield trio Anon (20), Sansern (88) and Jirattikan (21) are also in the frame for their first starts of the season, although Jadet is only likely to choose one, maybe two of these, with an experienced head or two like Go (8) and Siwakorn alongside them. Athibordee (35) could also see some action, although I hope Jadet gives some of his younger players a chance this time. Captain Rochela (22) could get a run-out, although we’re still not sure about his fitness.

In goal, any one of Port’s three ‘keepers could get the nod, but with Watchara (1) seemingly firmly in possession of the number one jersey for now, the man who has been on the bench of late Worawut (36) is the most likely starter, although Rattanai (17) is another option.

 

Predicted Lineup

 

It’s always a bit of a shot in the dark with cup games, but here’s my best guess. This lineup would mean Port have an absolutely formidable bench should things not go as expected!

 

 


 

All we can promise is that the match will be played at 18:00 on Wednesday 1 May, 2019. Which, if any, games are shown on TV is a mystery, so for once your only choice is to head to PAT Stadium.