2020 Vision: Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC

Our series of 2020 T1 previews continues with a look at perennial mid-tablers Ratchaburi, a club who’ve had more coaches than National Express. I have a bit of a soft spot for the Dragons due partly to their absolutely superb stadium (surely the best away end in the league) and the extremely friendly locals who looked after us very well on our weekend there last season. Take it away Ratch fan Neal Oliver

How did your team perform in 2019? Where do they need to improve?

Ratchaburi had a reasonable season considering the ever changing Head Coach position. When coach Marco departed, I thought we were doomed. However, a few wise signings during the mid-season break, and we were contenders again. We had some very good results.

Transfer window – which new signings are you most excited about? Which departing players are you sorry to see go/happy to see the back of?

I was very sorry that we lost Yoo Jun Soo. He was brilliant. Prachuap are lucky to have him. I never get excited about new signings until I see how they fit into the team. So I won’t comment on that yet.

Happy with your club’s coach?

A silly question. We’re talking Ratchaburi – we never keep a coach long enough to know he’s there.

What are your realistic ambitions for the 2020 season?

We’ve kept a few of last season’s mid-term signings and have hopefully strengthened from that position. I think top 5 is not unrealistic. We have some very good players, and if we can avoid injury and suspension we will be up there.

Which teams will be in contention for the title? Which teams will struggle to survive?

Buriram are always up there, but I think Prachuap could be the big surprise this season. They have made a couple of shrewd signings. Suphanburi will struggle again.

What 3 things would you change about Thai football?

Referees – I don’t know if it is corruption or incompetence, but football should be about the match, not the referee.
Victimisation of away supporters. Often put into a dingy corner with a very poor view and charged premium prices for the privilege.
Communications – many clubs, including my own Ratchaburi have their heads stuck up their backsides when it comes to communication. I’ve never known such a bad management/supporter relationship. These guys don’t seem to realise that without their supporters, they don’t have a club.


Many thanks Neal!


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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