Just the Chapp? Charyl Joins Port


Apart from Choke getting fired in June following a mid-season slump, this is without doubt the least surprising story The Sandpit will publish all season – Swiss-Thai midfielder Charyl Chappuis has signed for Port, after leaving Muangthong at the end of last season. The move was rumoured last week, but then the Thai press announced that Charyl had accepted an offer from Ratchaburi instead, before being unveiled in the usual Port fashion – on Madame Pang’s Instagram feed – yesterday. The fact that Charyl started following us on Twitter last week and liking all our posts gave us an early heads-up that a move might be in the offing.

Chappuis was first linked – albeit tenuously – with Port back in May 2017. “It’s a move that would make sense given that Port are crying out for a calm head in midfield” we reported at the time, with Port’s midfield consisting almost entirely of headless chickens back then. But almost three years later, with a midfield containing the likes of Go, Siwakorn, Sansern, Nattawut and Kannarin, it seems like a pretty pointless signing, yet another big name – following Tanaboon and Heberty – signed for PR value with no thought given to how he will fit into the team. Port pick players on reputation rather than form or merit, as we saw with Tanaboon last year, and so Chappuis’ arrival is bad news for Port’s promising midfield youngsters who will almost certainly find themselves further down the pecking order, and could be as destabilising as Tanaboon’s arrival was last year or as Heberty’s threatens to be in 2020.

The reaction amongst Port fans has been somewhat less than ecstatic, with a Sandpit poll yesterday showing only 31% were in favour of the signing, and 69% against.

That said, Chappuis is still only 28 and if he can come close to the level that once made him one of Europe’s most promising youngsters (he won the U17 World Cup with Switzerland in 2009), and if he’s made to compete for his place rather than being handed a starting slot based on shirt sales, he could be a very shrewd signing. And Port fans of course have fond memories of Charyl’s sublime assist for Rolando Blackburn to score Port’s second in the 2-0 win at Muangthong in the FA Cup last season, so if he can provide more of those, we’ll be more than happy.

Anyway, whether you’re for or against, Charyl is now a Port player so I’m sure you’ll all join us in welcoming him to the PAT and wishing him a productive and successful season!


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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