The Sandpit’s Player of the Month for February is…

 

Finally, it’s back! Port Player of the Month features are returning to the Sandpit this year, with a new and improved formula.

In 2017 we tried running a popular vote to choose the Port Player of the Month, but unfortunately some over-zealous Klongtoey tech-heads figured out how to bombard our polling plug-in with thousands of obviously bogus votes. After a years-long investigation in to Putin’s involvement, we ultimately decided we’d give direct democracy a miss this time round and go for a more representative model in 2020.

What we have done is compile an ‘expert panel’ of The Sandpit’s, and indeed the country’s, most learned minds. Chosen for their disparate views, our panelists will be drawn from all walks of life. From writers to fan leaders, photographers to players and a healthy dose of the good old ‘man in the sandpit’, we’ll be choosing a constantly evolving cast of contributors, both foreign and Thai, who we think will give an accurate reflection of the fans’ views.

Let’s meet this month’s focus group.

 


 

Nig Dammusig: Kevin Deeromram

“Don’t call it a comeback

Don’t you dare stare, you better move

Don’t even compare”

Trust Nig, the man behind the ‘Humans of Thaiport’ Facebook page and many of the ‘Klongtoey’ t-shirts you see around The Sandpit, to get the ball rolling with some hip-hop lyrics. I think he means Kevin has made a good comeback after his injury problems last year, but I’m no expert on LL Cool J lyrics.

 

Paul Murphy: Heberty Fernandes

“I don’t think any one player has stood out above the others, so I think Heberty has to get the award. He has arrived with a big reputation and great expectations and delivered with 4 goals in 4 games without hitting his best form.”

Veteran Thai football blogger Paul Murphy covers the whole league, but often pops up in the Sandpit for Port’s bigger games. He’s gone for our big-ticket transfer arrival and his goal-per-game return. Fair enough.

 

Chayunthorn Chaimool: Go Seul-ki

“A real leader in our team. In tough matches, Go brings composure and consistency in midfield. In pressure situations his movement and simple passing makes life easier for his teammates; just ask Kanarin or Siwakorn, I’m sure they’d tell you the same!”

Yok works for Mainstand, who do in-depth sports features in Thai. He’s also a Port fan who comes along fairly regularly to the PAT, although he doesn’t always make it past the beer sellers and in to the stadium itself.

 

Tim Russell: Kanarin Thawornsak

“Despite spending last season in T2, the youngster stepped in to Siwakorn’s shoes and looks right at home playing for a top T1 side. His calmer, more defensive presence has allowed Go to push forward more, and Port’s midfield looked much more solid with him in the team. So obviously Choke dropped him as soon as Siwakorn was fit…”

The Sandpit’s editor has gone for a slightly offbeat selection here, although whilst Tim’s was the only first choice vote for Kanarin, a few of our panelists singled him out for a special mention. 

 

Alisa Suwanrumpha: Sergio Suarez

“The man in the middle of everything. Thankfully Sergio has carried his pre-season form into the new year, demonstrating time and time again why he’s our most valuable player. If he’s not scoring goals or being double/triple marked by the opposition, he’s creating opportunities for the team, such as that delightful defence-splitting through ball to set up Heberty against Buriram.”

A Port fan and photographer who can usually be seen prowling the PAT touchlines in her fluorescent jacket, Allie gets a closer look than any of us at the Port players. She plumped for Sergio this month, and she has also been impressed with Kanarin and Bordin. Her photos can be found on her Facebook page ‘End Result.’

 

James Clarke: Adisak Kraisorn

“Nobody else has scored a winner against Muangthong and nobody can live with his goals per minute.”

The Sandpit’s statistical expert, Jim loves numbers almost as much as he loves Leo. This month’s analysis reeks of complete objectivity as expected from Mr. Clarke, who stands to win a beer from me for every goal Adisak scores over 5 this season. He’s got a point about his scoring ratio to be fair…

 

Noppasith Rodcharoen: Go Seul-ki

“The man at the heart of our midfield sometimes looks a little slow, but he always knows how to get out of trouble and dictate the pace of the game. He’s even started finding himself in the danger area more and more this year, although he still needs to improve that right hand punch!”

Arm is a video editor (he put together our wonderful Goal of the Season video) and musician who can usually be found cheering Port on from Zone C. Apparently he’s also an expert on martial arts, specifically close-range striking techniques.

 

Gian Chansrichawla: Heberty Fernandes

“He’s hit the ground running and provides a completely different threat to what you guys had in the past. If he keeps up this scoring rate it will be a phenomenal campaign.”

Gian edits Football Tribe’s English language content while studying journalism in London. I’m starting to notice a pattern from these journalist types. They love them a bit of Heberty.

 

James Baxter: Sergio Suarez

“Whilst Heberty might have 4 goals already, Sergio has been far more instrumental, while still chipping in with 2 goals and 3 assists. He plays out of position for the sake of the team, and more importantly knows when to pass and when to dribble. Something a certain other foreigner could learn to do.”

Former pro footballer and current long-distance Port fan, James plumped for Sergio over Go, and is also throwing in an honourable mention for Kanarin, as well as what I can only imagine is a sly dig at Heberty!

 

Phiriya Russameewarawit: Go Geul-ki

“The heart of the midfield. Go tackles, intercepts, reads the game and makes key tactical fouls. He has also been attacking more and showing that he has a great killer pass.”

Brink is one of Port’s fan leaders, and he’s continuing the trend of many of our Thai contributors giving the nod to Go.

 

Dominick Cartwright: Go Seul-ki

“Kanarin is a good shout, and Heberty genuinely caused the team to step up, but I’m giving it to Go for the tireless workrate and the ball punch.”

Amaretto and pyrotechnics enthusiast Dom is known for his sober decision making, as demonstrated by the rationale for this vote. We’re learning a lot about Port fans today, and one of those important lessons is that we apparently really like a ball punch. 

 

Josimar Rodrigues: Heberty Fernandes

“This month is easy to choose. My vote goes to Heberty. 4 goals in 4 games.”

Port forward Josimar needs no introduction. Currently sidelined with injury, Josi has gone for his fellow striker for simple enough reasons. Strikers love scoring goals, and Heberty has bagged more of’ em than anyone else.

 


 

Well, who was keeping count?

The final vote tally shows us that this was a very competitive month, but in the end we have emerged with a winner.

 

1 Vote: Kevin Deeromram, Adisak Kraisorn, Kanarin Thawornsak

 

 

2 Votes: Sergio Suarez

 

 

3 Votes: Heberty Fernandes

 

 

4 Votes: Go Seul-ki

 

 

Yes, Go his emerged the winner by a single vote. Whoever is paired with him, Go has shown that he is going to continue to be one of the most important players in Port’s XI this year, and that could prove to be key with the likes of Kanarin, Siwakorn, Tanaboon and Chappuis all likely to see game time alongside him. That, and he punched a Buriram player. In the dick.

 


 

Thanks to all the experts who made up our panel for your contributions. We are going to be calling on an ever-changing jury of our peers month by month, so I’m sure you’ll all be asked for your input again, although it won’t be next month. Or the month after that, or the month after that if virus-hysteria has anything to do with it.

 

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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