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Phuket FC scorched by ‘Fire Power’, Joksic resigns

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket FC scorched by ‘Fire Power’, Joksic resigns | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Serbian national Milos Joksic has resigned from his post as Phuket FC head coach, with a former Thai national team defender expected to fill in the vacancy immediately.

First reported in Thai language on the Nok Sanarm website, the announcement comes at the climax of a tiring week marked by three back to back losses – the last two away from home.

Following their defeat to Krabi at home last week, the Islanders immediately took to the road to prepare and play their Toyota League Cup second round match against Division 2 side Samutprakarn United.

In that midweek game, Phuket FC were narrowly defeated 4-3 in the penalty shootout following a 1-1 scoreline after 120 minutes of play.

Following such a disappointing result, a drained and bruised Phuket squad travelled southeast from the capital, down to the edge of the Eastern Seaboard, the heart of the Kingdom’s natural gas industry, to take on PTT Rayong.

Going into the match placed 6th in the 18 team Thai Yamaha One league, PTT Rayong nicknamed “Fire Power” were hungry for victory following a squandered 5-3 firefight a week earlier with league leaders, Ratchburi Mitrphol “Dragons”.

And while it is said that money cannot buy everything, it certainly can buy one a strong football team, and Thailand’s only Fortune 500 company’s squad demonstrated this to the dismay of Phuket on Saturday.

With the Thai Premier League, earlier this month, rejecting Phuket’s request to postpone their match against PTT Rayong, not only would a tired Phuket FC be forced to play, but they would do so without their key midfielder Marcios Santos, who had to serve a one match suspension due to collecting four yellow cards.

In front of a crowd of 2,139 exuberant, red and blue shirted fans, PTT Rayong’s Thanongsak Promdad opened and closed the scoring fest with goals in the 20th and 94th minutes, bringing his season tally to six.

Also exposing and exploiting Phuket’s vulnerable defenses on Saturday was Fire Power’s leading scorer, Naret Kabkrikeaw, on 26 minutes, scoring his 8th of the season (tied for 2nd in the league for golden boot).

Also joining the feeding frenzy were Adisak Srikumpang, scoring on 33 minutes, his fifth, as well as Cameroonian import Ebako Andiolo Merlindimitri and Methee Thaweekulkarn, each scoring their second of the season.

With the stream of bad news emerges some good news and hope for Phuket FC.

The new coach, revealed by Nok Sanarm, will be Narong Ajarnyut, former Thai national squad defender.

Mr Narong, already based in Phuket, where he is said to be involved in various sports-related commerce operations, will assume the position as head coach with immediate effect.

His first match will be a ‘sink-or-swim’ test indeed.

This coming Sunday, July 22, Phuket’s Surakul Stadium will be the site of another epic Southern Thailand regional rivalry match, with the Islanders, looming in 14th place, set to host 7th placed Songkhla FC.

The Songkhla “Fighting Bulls” secured a one-nil away win last night against Airforce United thanks to player Malek Yavahap getting his first of the season.

Regardless of whether the Islanders will be able to earn a point this weekend, Phuket fans are looking forward to the second half of the 2012 season.

At least six new “high quality” players are expected to join the Islander’s camp during the mid-season break to help Phuket climb out of the relegation zone. Among them is seasoned and skilled striker Roland “Pato” Vargas-Aguilera.

During his time in Thailand, Roland, a Bolivian, has played for premier side Chiang Rai United and most recently PTT Rayong.

The striker has also played in the US Major League Soccer for the New England Revolution and the Columbus Crew.

In his try out match, the 3-3 draw against Premier league side Wuachon United, Roland set up a goal and scored another goal, catching the attention of Phuket fans and coaching staff.

— Steven Layne

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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