Sir Det Gets Choked: All Change at Port

 

Following last night’s desperately poor defeat at PTT Rayong, it seems Port’s patience with long-serving coach Jadet Meelarp is at an end, with the Spherical Supremo (c Tom Earls) stepping down to be replaced by current Thai U23 coach Choketawee Promrut. Exact roles are as yet unclear but it seems Choketawee will come in as coach, with former Thai women’s coach Spencer Prior continuing as technical director and Jadet resuming the director of football role he briefly held during the 2017 Zico Experiment. The phrase ‘too many cooks’ springs to mind but let’s face it, things could hardly get any more chaotic at Port than they are already.

Jadet has had his critics in the last couple of years, but his achievements at Port have been impressive indeed. He took over in June 2016 from Japanese coach Warda, who was relieved of his duties when Port’s T2 promotion bit started to wobble. Jadet steadied the ship and, despite another late wobble, just about guided Port back to T1 along with the bonus of a League Cup semi-final in which they were unlucky to lose out to Muangthong.

in 2017, with many tipping Port to go back down, he guided an exciting attacking team to 9th in T1, faring even better in 2018 when he led an expensively-assembled side to 3rd in T1 – the club’s highest ever finish.

There have always been doubts over his tactical nous, his inability to get the best out of attacking talents such as Thiago, Kaludjerovic and Boskovic, and his insistence on playing 4-5-1 whoever the opposition; however Port insiders suggest team selection and recruitment weren’t Jadet’s responsibility and players invariably speak highly of him as an individual, if not a tactician. On my one encounter with him – at Chiang Rai Airport earlier this year – he was friendliness personified, greeting me with a wai and thanking me for making the trip to support the team. It’s a shame he’s ended up being the one to carry the can for Port’s current slump – and let’s face it, if Port won a trophy we know he wouldn’t be the one taking the credit – but at the same time, it’s clear things need a shakeup at Port and if replacing Jadet can get things back on rack, then fair enough.

As for Choketawee, he had a stellar playing career, turning out for the likes of Customs and PTT in Thailand, along with other SE Asian clubs including HAGL (Vietnam), Johor (Malaysia) and Tampines (Singapore). He was also capped 74 times for Thailand and wore the captain’s armband. He’s been coaching since 2013 and whilst he has very little club experience, he’s been involved with the national team throughout this time, the peak being winning the 2015 SEA Games title with the U23s. He was also assistant to most recent national team coach Milovan Rajevac.

So we say thanks and farewell to Jadet, and welcome Choketawee and wish him all the luck in the world in his new role – he will certainly need it.

 

 

Tim Russell

Tim Russell

The founder and editor of The Sandpit, Tim has been in SE Asia since 2003 and in Bangkok since 2012, where he runs a travel tech business. Tim has followed Port FC since 2014, and is also a fan of his hometown club Coventry City, and French club AS St-Etienne. He has written for the likes of Football365, ITV.com, NME and The Quietus, and is a regular contributor to God Is In the TV. He's a keen photographer and his work can be seen on his website.

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