PHUKET: FC Phuket begin their quest for promotion to the Thai League Premier Division tomorrow when they visit Suphanburi FC for their opening fixture in Division 1.
Kickoff is at 4:30pm.
Phuket secured promotion to the second tier of Thai league football in December and will be looking to get their 2011 campaign off to a winning start.
The Phuket lineup will differ to the one that ended last season following a complete overhaul during the off-season. Only 10 players remain in the squad out of the 30 from the promotion winning side of 2010.
Sunday’s game will also mark Surachai Jirasirichote’s first competitive game in charge of Phuket since taking over as manager from Arjan Songsamssub last month.
Phuket rounded off pre-season preparation in emphatic style on Thursday night when they hammered Pathum Thani FC 5-1 to boost confidence ahead of tomorrow’s league opener.
New Phuket recruit Kone Adama netted two of the goals during the friendly victory, while his exciting Brazilian strike partner, Paulo Reneto, was not passed fit to take part in the game.
Division 1 football will be a step up for Phuket but their form in recent friendlies, including a creditable 1-1 draw at home against Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United at the end of last month, bodes well ahead of the big kickoff.
Phuket will be looking to carry their outstanding home form of last season into their first fixture at Surakul Stadium against Rajpracha on Saturday February 26.
Kickoff is at 6pm.
— Andrew Jennings
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