The Sandpit 2021/22 Big Guess Up – Nakhon Ratchasima

Ahhh, the Swat Cats: a team that I have a lot of time for! One of the better supported clubs in Thai League 1 in my opinion, they’re a team that will take you on quite the rollercoaster ride over the course of the season. I think that they get lost in the mix at times, but that suits them to a tee: they’re happy to get their work done not in the spotlight. The first time I ever saw them play was against Bangkok Glass at the Leo Stadium, with them having Chivuta, Adiyiah, Tagbajumi, and Lindemann on the pitch that night. I can’t remember the result, but I remember thinking Tagbajumi was quite a handy player… if he could find some end product!

It’s been an off-season filled with upheaval in their squad to be honest, with the Swat Cats losing Gidi Kanyuk and Dennis Murillo to Chonburi, and replacing them with Marco Sahanek and Kwame Karikari: two players who’ve never played in Thailand, so we don’t know what to expect. I’ve seen some footage of them via YouTube, which is the worst source EVER, as any player can look magnificent on the platform! One of their new signings who I’ve seen a lot of over the years is Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, and although he’s quite athletic and it’ll get him into good positions: in the 5-years of watching him play, I’ve seen ZERO quality from him.

I look at the squad this season, and my first reaction to it is ‘who!?’ to be honest. There’s quite a lot of names that I’m not familiar with, and it leads me down the thought process of it being a battle for the club this season. It’s something that they’re not unfamiliar with, and if they can nick a few points over the course of the season from the teams around them: they should be okay.

I was going to get a pic of a real Swat Kat but google had a better idea


Head Coach – Teerasak Po-on

In his first season at the club, Teerasak oversaw some wonderful moments, which he deserves a lot of credit for. This includes the win against Buriram [at Buriram], and also the comprehensive win against the Scum at home. Give him an award for battering them 4-1 in my opinion, it’s something I could watch every week! With that being said, he also oversaw quite a few disastrous results, namely the collapse against Chonburi on matchday 3, as well as relatively convincing losses to Suphanburi and Chiangrai in the weeks after. I’m not convinced by his game management in the games I’ve seen him in charge of if I’m honest, although admittedly: I don’t watch them every week.

Below is how Teerasak has fared at the Swat Cats so far:



Looking at that record, I think it’s safe to say that when you walk into the stadium: you don’t know which version of the team will show up. I guess it makes for an exciting matchday at least!

coach Teerasak


Key Player – Amadou Ouattara

Looking at the squad, I think the pressure is on Amadou to have a big year, and I think that with the tools that he has around him: it’s very possible it occurs. It all depends on how Marco Sahanek and Kwame Karikari adjust of course, and with Kwabena Appiah-Kubi someone who’s struggled [massively] to score throughout his career, the pressure is on Amadou, Marco, and Karikari. Amadou has been credited with 20 goal contributions [8g, 12a] during his 57 games for the club, and if Karikari is the beast-like target man that all his YouTube [oh god!] videos suggest: he could easily get 20 assists this season alone!

Simply put, I feel that Nakhon Ratchasima’s survival will rely on Amadou [among the other attackers mentioned], and if they struggle to score: there’s a good chance they’ll find themselves in a relegation spot at the end of the season.


Amadou Ouattara

My Prediction – Bottom-half, with the potential of a relegation battle

I have a feeling that if the Swat Cats can preserve their Thai League 1 status this season: that’s a successful season. It’s not a club that I expect to see involved in the title race, though in previous years I’ve looked at their squad and thought “this is a side that could challenge for the top-6” to myself, only for them to not do it! I don’t have that feeling at all this season, but I also think that with the restrictions seeming to gradually ease off, if they can get their stadium full again: that could be a huge advantage for the club.

They’ve got a wonderful fan base, and I truly hope they can get the results on the pitch, so that it’s an away day I can attend in the future when all this craziness is done with!

For me: it all relies on the trio of Amadou, Karikari, and Sahanek.








The Sandpits grumpy little thundercloud. You suspect he hates Christmas and doesn't leave the house over Songkran for fear of seeing people enjoy themselves. The author of this one decided to use a nom de plume of their choosing.

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