The Sandpit 2021/22 Big Guess Up- Suphanburi


When I first started watching Thai football Suphanburi were very much a club on the up and widely considered to be the next cab off the rank into title contention. Sadly the years since have not been kind. As talent has drifted away from the club and the replacements either haven’t been to the same standard or haven’t worked out. A midfield of Thai international Charyl Cappuis, alongside the tenacious Adul Lasoh, a man with the looks of a soap villain and ankle biting jack russel esk game seldom seen in Thailand and widemen Chananan Pombuppa (in his time with Suphanburi) and Tanasith Siripala have departed the club. However this year the arrival of Lossémy Karaboué gives them a player to rival the best the club has seen. Can it be the move to kick start the club’s potential and a return to the heady days of 2015 when they finished third or will this season follow the pattern of recent years and once again see the club scrapping for survival to the bitter end?


Head Coach – Adebayo Gbadebo

Gbadebo’s time at Suphanburi is somewhat akin to Jadet’s with Port, moving from director of football to manager and back, only to return to the dugout when his replacements have failed to produce. In the past, his style was viewed as ultra defensive and the feeling when he moved upstairs in 2018 was that his team wasn’t entertaining enough and he might have taken them as far as he could. Only to return when things took a turn for the worse under Pairoj Borwonwatanadilok and successor Totchtawan Sripan. During his time away from the dugout he either had a footballing epiphany or the owners at the club decided to force his hand by supply a much more attack focused squad. Only Police and Samut Prakan Dons conceded more without being relegated last season. Although Suphanburi did have the one man car crash of defending that is Alef. Gbadebo will be hoping his departure leads to improvement from a defence led by Suphan Thongsong, a Thai international and steller performances, supported by Piyachanok Darit and Daisuke Sato, who arrives from Muangthong, having found himself usurped at the Nonthaburi club last season. He joins fellow Filipino’s Patrick Reichelt and Patrick Deyto at the club, with all three likely to be starters, the club is one of the better users of the ASEAN rule in the league.*

Adebayo Gbadebo polo shirt and double point


Key Player – Lossémy Karaboué

The signing of Karaboué is a coup of the highest order, whilst in his time at Ratchaburi the goals of Yannick Boli and the flair of Steeven Langil, garnered the headlines. It was the Ivorian, who started his career in France, quietly conducting the team. He’ll be the jewel in Suphanburi’s crown this season and you’d suspect would have signed for one of the division’s “top” clubs, if his profile included a few more goals and assists or he had a more convenient passport. Their loss is Suphanburi’s gain as there are few better midfielders in the league.


Lossémy Karaboué I’m all pun’d out beyond hes’s a Suphan player

My Prediction – Groundhog Season

The same as every recent season. There’s a lack of quality and depth in the squad that will embark on the first leg. Danilo Alves could fire them to safety but a new arrival to Thailand and a journeyman career that includes stops in Albania and the Uzbeki second tier is a worry. However, we’ve been here before with Suphanburi and we know what is likely to unfold. So, I suspect the opening leg won’t define their season. Rather anything less than an absolute disaster come the mid season window, will see reinforcements brought in and a late season push for survival. Can they dodge a bullet a third time? The last two seasons have ended with them taking it to the wire of a last day escape and technically being relegated, only to be resurrected by the decision of PTT Rayong to fold.  I’m sure the vast ranks of Supanburi fans would prefer an uneventful midtable finish but l suspect we’re in for a dogfight to the bitter end, can they top their last two cliffhanger endings?




*This line was in the draft version before Reichelt delivered this one emoji knockout to me on twitter, after Suphanburi’s impressive 0-0 draw away to Buriram in the opening round.

James Clarke

James Clarke

Originally from England, James first came to Thailand in 2010 to escape big cities and spend time on beaches away from crowds. He now divides his time between living in Bangkok and wishing he was living in Bangkok.

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