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Sayonara & Adeus! Genki & Josimar to Leave Port

 

‘Tis a sad day at Sandpit Towers as we learn of the departure of two of our, or at least my, favourite Port FC stars. As I type this, my salt tears drip onto the keyboard, my wife drapes a consoling arm around my shoulder, and I stare disconsolately into the bottom of my wine glass. Because, dear readers, on Saturday, messrs Genki Nagasato and Josimar Rodrigues will put on the hallowed blue & orange for the last time, for both are moving on at the end of the 2017 season.

Genki Nagasato

Genki joined us from Ratchaburi – where, fittingly, he will play his last game in Thailand on Saturday – at the start of the 2016 T2 season, and quickly won the hearts of Port fans with his hard-working, all-action style. No, he’s never going to be mistaken for a Messi or a Neymar, and he may have the delicate first touch of a chest of drawers, but there are few sights in Thai football that gladden the heart more than seeing the Genk, socks down, pelting down the left (or occasionally, for reasons best known to Jadet, the right) wing, and his sheer joy at scoring a goal, or simply playing football in general, is infectious. In his 2 years at Port, Genki always gave 110%, was never seen diving or play-acting, and very obviously enjoyed every single bloody minute on the pitch, which is a lot rarer than it should be.

Favourite Genki Moment

We didn’t expect him to figure much in 2017 – indeed many were surprised that he was still on Port’s books when the season started – but he popped up 5 minutes into injury time in our first game at home to Ratchaburi to head home a late equaliser and spark wild scenes of celebration on the terraces amongst fans who’d been starved of football for nearly 6 months; since when he’s pretty much been a first-team regular.

Josimar Rodrigues

The Brazilian striker joined Port a couple of games into 2017 on the back of an impressive 2016 T1 season at relegated Army Utd, where he bagged 16 goals. He may not have turned out to be the Scary Foreign Striker Port fans have long craved, but his 17-goal haul so far this season is the best return for any Port striker since King Leandro in 2014. And he’s always done it with a smile on his face and, like Genki, by working his knackers off in every game, despite being in a team that has consistently failed to give him the kind of service he thrives on. He’s a good honest player and, as we found when we interviewed him earlier this year, he’s also a lovely bloke with a great sense of humour. He also featured in the first ever Portcast, and for that alone he will go down in Sandpit folklore.

Favourite Josi Moment

He scored twice in 2 minutes at Muangthong to help Port to a 3-2 win. What more need I say.

 

Genki is apparently heading back to Japan; Josi’s next destination is as yet unknown. As they played together in Japan and again at Port it’s possible they may move together. But whichever team takes them on will get players who put in a shift every game, and play the game as it’s meant to be played – with great sportsmanship and a big smile. The Sandpit thanks them for their contribution to Port, bids them farewell, wishes them the best of luck for the future, and hopes we see them back at the PAT in the very near future – and we’ll make sure to give them a good send-off at Ratchaburi on Saturday!

 

 

The Sandpit/Thai Port Importz 2016 Player of the Year

We asked members of the popular Thai Port Importz Facebook group to vote for their 2016 Port FC Player of the Year this week, and the results are in – and it’s an absolute landslide for Port’s Spanish captain David Rochela.

Rochela’s loyalty, his calm, unhurried defending, and his week-in week-out consistency made him the undisputed winner. He surprised many Port fans by pledging his loyalty to the club after relegation in 2015, and his leadership was a key factor in Port returning to the TPL at the first attempt. Thai football’s very own Alan Hansen/Paolo Maldini, his reading of the game means you rarely see him diving into tackles, giving away penalties or getting booked, and his best work is generally so damn smooth & unruffled you barely notice he’s there. Except when he’s stepping up to take penalties of course, which he did with ruthless efficiency on numerous occasions. His dashing Mediterranean good looks have made him a big hit with the laydeez, and, as The Sandpit can confirm after bumping into him on a night out recently, he’s a very nice bloke too. Well done David!

Whilst I was one of the many who voted for Rochela, my second vote would’ve gone to the unfancied Genki Nagasato. He may not have been blessed with the silkiest footballing skills – as Big Ron once observed of Carlton Palmer, “He traps the ball further than I can kick it” – but there’s always something exciting about an old-school, socks-down, balls-out winger. The Genk always gives the proverbial 110%, weighs in with a few goals and, best of all, clearly just bloody loves playing football, which is a wonderful thing to see. If the rumours are correct it appears we may not see him in a Port shirt again, so Genki-san, we, or at least I, salute you.

Anyway, without further ado here are the top-ranked players and some reasons why…

 

David Rochela: 67%

“Our best player by a country mile, and always puts in a shift.” (Danny)

“Over the season Rochela’s work at the back kept us in contention. He held a pretty average defence together.” (Dom)

“Rochela – reads the game well & steady as a rock. A captain leading by example.” (Derek)

“Rochela by a mile…” (Tommie)

 

Pakorn: 11%

“Pakorn must have had more combined goals and assists than any other player by a long shot. Can be frustrating at times, but without his contribution, particularly from set pieces, we would not have been promoted. Without him in the side there is pretty much no one who can take a set piece or cross a ball. ” (Tom)

“When he was on it was a treat to watch.” (Mike)

“Pakorn was an important part of promotion. Without him we wouldn’t have gone up, but for the same money we could’ve got someone better. He was class on the ball, and on free kicks. But he was incredibly selfish, undermines a lot of the good work he did. A big reason Port faultered was big names playing as individuals not pulling together as a team. Can’t give player of the season to someone who boots the ball out of the stadium after being subbed. He would make the top 5 players of the season but can’t bring myself to put him top.” (Dom)

 

Tana: 11%

 

Rodrigo Maranhao: 5%

“Maranhao for me, even though he faded in the 2nd half of the season but still chipped in with a load of goals.” (Kenny)

 

Sivakhorn: 5%

 

Big thanks to all who voted and commented. If you like polls, scroll down to the bottom of this page and tell us how you think Port FC will fare in the 2017 TPL!