Phuket United gets Gov Tri’s backing

PHUKET: Last year’s CAT Regional Futsal Tournament champions Phuket United have been assured financial support from “Phuket’s father”, in a gesture that will ensure the team can compete in the prestigious Thailand Futsal League (TFL) for the upcoming season.

Club administrators met with Phuket Governor Tri Augaradacha at his office on Tuesday.

Their first agenda was to appoint the governor as the club’s Honorary President, a gesture which was followed by discussions about sponsorship, budget and home stadium matters.

Phuket United acting club president Preechawut Keesin told Gov Tri that the team does not have an up-to-standard facility to stage home matches.

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Preechawut said that the 4,000 spectator capacity gym at Sapan Hin in Phuket Town, which the team has used in the past, is ideal.

However, the team has yet to receive permission from the Phuket City Municipality, who own and control the facility, he said.

“The city municipality administrators’ [governing] terms are up this month, and as a result we have been unable to obtain any confirmation from them,” he said, adding that the 2012-2013 season is set to commence in July, and finish March next year.

Preechawut added that while some potential sponsors have come forward to support the club for the upcoming season, it will not be sufficient for the projected season’s budget.

Thus, the team needs to request supplemental support from the province, particularly by providing access to a facility that meets the league’s requirements.

Gov Tri said he is pleased to support the team in “all areas”, especially since the team has built a reputation for the province.

As for the concerns about a competition facility and budget, Gov Tri said he doesn’t see it being an issue, and is pleased to coordinate with the team and support them so that they can be ready for the season.

Phuket United earned their spot in the TFL after being crowned CAT Southern region champions, defeating Ranong 4-2 in the finals in July, last year.

The “Andaman Pearl” went on to be crowned CAT Champions League champions in December after defeating Highway Thonburi FC – the Bangkok regional champions – 7-3 in the final.

In that tournament, the list of Phuket’s victims included Northern region champions Chiang Mai (5-4), Isaan region runners-up Maha Sarakham (3-1) and Central region runners-up Pattaya SAT (6-2).

In contrast to 11-aside football Thailand is one of the more advanced futsal nations, currently ranked 11th in the world, having qualified for and made a number of appearances in the FIFA Futsal World Cup, held every four years, as well as a number of other prestigious international tournaments.

Notably, Thailand will host the Futsal World Cup in November, this year

— Steven Layne

Phuket News

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