Connect with us

Phuket

Thai stars to clash with Liverpool Legends at Thanyapura Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: THE clash of legends on Phuket. In mid-June, a team of former Thailand internationals hope to turn back the clock and take the game to a potent force of illustrious former Liverpool FC players.

One of the most celebrated strikers ever to wear a ‘war elephants’ shirt is Piyapong Pue On. A national hero, he has represented Thailand on 129 occasions between 1981 and 1999. With an astonishing 103 goals, he still holds the record as this country’s most prolific scorer.

Piyapong has been given the task of managing the Thailand team which will challenge Liverpool FC for the Prime Minister’s Cup on June 13 in Bangkok and on June 18 in Phuket.

Proceeds from the charity matches will go to support the Youth Football Home foundation in Thalang.

“I was asked to be player/manager about three months ago and it is a great honor to have this responsibility,” said Piyapong.

“The games are for a great cause, but I relish the opportunity to play against this great team and the players, I know, are very much looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Piyapong, an active officer in the Royal Thai Air Force, played for their football team from 1977 to 1984, then served as their manager from 1997 to 2008.

Scouted by South Korean K-League team Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso [now FC Seoul] in 1984, Piyapong was such an inspiration the club was crowned champions in his first season. He scored 12 goals in 21 games, which also won him the accolade of the league’s top scorer – the first time a foreign player had ever done so and a feat unrepeated until 1999.

“I come from a generation of amateur players. We played with much more spirit than those in the modern game. Nowadays the players are professional athletes. They can analyze and compare games and playing techniques, which greatly improves performance. It’s a different motivation when you play for big salaries, as opposed to playing just for the love of the game,” Piyapong said.

The day after Piyapong’s Thailand team face Liverpool, the full national squad were due to play Bahrain with hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics, but have now been eliminated due to fielding an allegedly illegal player.

“This is unfortunate. They had a good chance to go forward in the competition. But we are moving in the right direction and if the team’s results and fortunes improve, we should see a big impact in about four years,” he said.

“Right now I want to focus on the Liverpool games. We are helping a worthy cause so I won’t put too much pressure on my players, but I expect a great game and look forward to socializing with players and supporters,” Piyapong said.

Kiatisak Senamuang, named as player-coach for the two-game rubber, is as much a household name in Thailand as Piyapong.

Nicknamed “Zico”, he has been capped 130 times for Thailand, but his goal tally ranges from 63 to 100 due to a conflict with FIFA over international appearances.

He currently manages Big Bang Chulalongkorn University FC, currently second place in Division 1 of the Thai League, two places above FC Phuket.

Kiatisak’s playing career began with Krung Thai Bank. From there he had spells in Singapore and Vietnam and one season in England with Huddersfield Town FC under Steve Bruce.

“This not my first time facing Liverpool. We drew 1-1 in 2009 and I exchanged my shirt with Sami Hyypia after the game,” he recalls.

“I hope many Thai people come to the game. It would be a great help to our team to have lots of support when we play these world-class players,” Kiatisak said.

“Obviously we don’t have the same abilities as when we were younger, but given the chance I’ll certainly try a few volley’s at goal and we’re not short of a few tricks either,” he said.

Asked for his response to the Olympic qualifying debacle, Kiatisak reflected the Thai players disappointment.

“This is a big mistake, but we’re not sure where the problem stems from. The Asian Football Confederation have placed the blame on Thailand, but they must look at their responsibility in the matter. The team is very upset, but are willing to get involved to clear the issue,” Kiatisak said.

“In the end, the Legends game is for charity and we hope to provide entertainment for football fans and raise awareness for this cause,” Kiatisak added.

The Legends game kicks off on June 18 at 6.30pm in aid of Phuket’s Youth Football Home, at Thanyapura, with the gates open from 4pm.

Tickets are available from HomePro outlets on Phuket or can be purchased at Thanyapura.

Visit W:footballlegendstour.com and W:thanyapura.com for more information.

— Neil Quail & Samaporn Janyanon

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand18 seconds ago

ฺThai boxer blackmails 20 women into sending nude pics

World15 mins ago

South Korea gives North Korea a warning

Visa44 mins ago

Philippines offers attractive alternative to Thailand’s 10 year LTR visa

Phuket1 hour ago

Thousands join Chinese ceremony at Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Bang Sue’s Central Vaccination Centre officially closed

Thailand1 hour ago

Nuan the cat feline good about upcoming APEC meeting

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Weather2 hours ago

Bangkok area flood caused by 100 sandbags in drain

Thailand2 hours ago

VIDEO: Shooting range employees save man from suicide in northern Thailand

Crime2 hours ago

Gold necklace theft on Pattaya Beach Road

Phang Nga2 hours ago

Japanese man drowns near Phang Nga resort

Thailand4 hours ago

Foreigners anger Chiang Mai locals for kissing in temple

Transport4 hours ago

Korean Air resumes two routes to Thailand

Road deaths4 hours ago

16 year old driving BMW crashes, killing young graduate in northeast Thailand

Bangkok4 hours ago

Murdered woman buried in 7 bags under expressway

Tourism4 hours ago

Maya Bay reopens once again to the public

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending