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The Sandpit 2021/22 Big Guess Up – PT Prachuap

I’ve always quite liked PT Prachuap since their arrival in Thai League 1 in 2018, with their strike force of Jonatan Reis and Lonsana Doumbouya shaking things up and capturing my attention. They didn’t hang around too long, and it was no surprise that in their 2ND season in the league they dropped 3-places on the table, but they did manage to bring the Thai League Cup back to the seaside. The recruitment for season 2020-21 had appeared so promising, with the likes of William Henrique, and Bruno Mezenga definitely having me think “they’re going to try and challenge for a top-4 place this time around.” They complemented the Brazilian duo with the likes of Yoo Jun-soo, Baihakki Khaizan, and Iain Ramsay, with only the signing of Ramsay going on to be a success.

I think it’s fair to say that William Henrique was a disappointment for the club last season, and this time around: they’ve taken a bit more of a backseat approach. In my opinion, I feel like they’re going to see how they fare in the first-leg with the players that they have, and if things aren’t going as well as they’d hoped: they’ll ring in the changes during the mid-season window to ensure that they preserve their status in the league. I’m genuinely quite intrigued by them, but I’m not expecting much from the at the same time.

All I ask is that they do well enough to stay up, as an away day in Prachuap is one I haven’t been able to do yet, and I’d rather head there than to say… Suphanburi! I wish them the best of luck, but I think they’re going to have their work cut out for them.

 

The killa wasp – scary nickname lovely fans

 

Head Coach – Masami Taki

Prachuap moved on from Thawatchai Damrong-Ongtrakul at the end of last season, which was a bit of a surprise to me, as he’d been at the club for quite a while, but they’ve got themselves a solid replacement in Masami Taki. He’s got a bit about him, having had the Chiangrai United job at the start of the season, so it was astonishing to see him land at Rayong in November, 2020. I bet he couldn’t believe his luck [or lack of it] when he arrived at Rayong, and although he managed to get a few solid results for the club: there was no chance that they were ever going to secure survival. With that being said, he did do quite well with some of the young Thai players at the club, and I’m quite pleased to see that he’ll be working with Mehti Sarakham again.

Below are his stats from the 2020-21 season:

GAMESWINSDRAWSLOSSESWIN %
321051731.25

 

Obviously, the win column is helped by his short spell with Chiangrai United, but I’ll cut him some slack: the Rayong team he inherited was undoubtedly one of the worst Thai League 1 teams that I’ve seen in recent years. It’s a concern when your foreign players are genuinely worse than your local players, and bar Goshi Okubo: the foreign players at Rayong last season were abysmal.

Masami Taki – keeping it seaside as he moves from Rayong to Prachuap

Key Player – Adnan Orahovac

I’d been quite tempted to go with Willen Mota as the key player for Prachuap this season, as his goals were crucial in their survival last season, but I feel that it’ll be defensively that’ll decide whether or not the club secures Thai League 1 survival again. It must be a relief for Masami Taki that he can call upon a competent foreign central-defender this time around, and not one that spends half his time on social media trying to convince people that he’s a quality player. Here’s a tip: if you have to tell people you’re great, there’s a good chance that you’re completely useless.

Getting back to Orahovac, his influence on the team was clear for all to see upon his return to the starting-11 in the second-leg last season, with him featuring in 14-games: his team winning half of them, and drawing two. There were a couple of games that finished as blowouts, but honestly: Prachuap were a bit all over the shop last season. I actually thought they’d challenge for a top-4 finish in pre-season, due to their off-season signings, but obviously… we know how that ended!

 

Adnan Orahovac league cup winner

 

My Prediction – Lower table

I think this squad is solid enough, but not spectacular in the slightest, and considering how their ‘glamour’ signings fared last season: maybe this is the new direction the club is headed. Willen Mota showed that he can score goals, and plenty of them, so I think it’s a case of the club seeing if lightning will strike twice with the signing of Tauã dos Santos. He was fantastic for Nakhon Pathom last season, and if he can find the back of the net at a similar rate: watch out! He’s also a very handy penalty taker, so don’t be too surprised if the Prachuap players are falling over in the box at a rapid rate over the course of the season.

Taki is a solid hire for the club, and by giving him a squad with considerably more talent than the Rayong squad that he inherited: the results he gets should be quite a lot better too. With that being said, I don’t think the club will be able to mount a push for the top-half of the table, but they could pick up a few results that make us sit up and take notice.

 

UnTacticalTimes

UnTacticalTimes

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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