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Phuket FC reinforced for TPL promotion push



PHUKET: In their dedicated drive to get promoted to the Thai Premier League (TPL), Phuket FC have regrouped mid-season, signing 10 new players to help them in the final 17 matches of the Yamaha League One (YL1) 2013 season.

The new signings include seven Thais, a Brazilian, North Korean and Cameroonian.

The club has not made any official announcements about outgoing players.

The season’s first half had a disappointing conclusion for the Islanders, who were unable to remain in the top five, losing at home last Saturday evening to Nakhon Ratchasima FC, and thus swapping 6th and 5th place standings.

That tense match’s only goal was scored by the visitors’ Japanese striker and leading scorer, Yusuke Kato, who netted his ninth goal of the season.

That goal put Kato into joint third for the YL1 golden-boot race, at heads with the Port Lions’ Brazilian stalwart Leandro Oliveira and Bangkok FC’s Swede sensation, Carl Watson.

Also continuing to make a name for Bangkok FC, Brit Lee Tuck (12 goals) is on track to claim the top scorer honors for the second year in a row, while Khon Kaen’s Argentine Recio Eduardo, along with Nakhon Pathom’s Ivorian, Camara Souleymane are joint second with 10 goals each.

Meanwhile, Phuket’s top scorers – Luiz “Dudu Purcino (6 goals), Giorgi Tsimakuridze (4), Geoffrey Doumeng (3), Ivorian Nenebi Sylvestre and Thai Chana Sonwiset (2 each) – are all hoping to regain their rhythm in the season’s final 17 matches, but have some fresh team building challenges ahead of them.

Although 6th placed Phuket are only 4 points behind 3rd place, Bangkok FC (29 points), competition for the final promotion spot to the TPL is heating up with a handful of teams in the mid-table region still in contention.

Meanwhile, the top two teams, Air Force (40 points) and PTT Rayong (36 points) should not have too much trouble maintaining their momentum towards the TPL.

Sixth place Phuket will be challenged for their league position at their home, Surakul Stadium yet again (click here for map), tomorrow, Saturday, July 6, with a tough match-up against 7th placed Big Bang Chula United FC (BBCU).

Although the BBCU Pink Panthers also have 25 points, Phuket’s goal difference of +5 gives them an edge over BBCU (0).

Kickoff will be at 6:30pm. Tickets 100 baht, kids free.

Team Re-Building

Headlining Phuket’s new signings is Ludovick Takam, a Cameroonian striker on loan from TPL side, Police United.

Ludovick has played for various professional Thai clubs including Pattaya United (72 caps/31 goals), Chonburi (11/2) and Insee Police Friends (AKA Police United).

Before coming to Thailand, he played in Singapore’s prestigious S Leage for Balestier Khalsa FC (53 caps/ 35 goals) and Home United FC (32/19)

Phuket’s other nine new signings are as follows:

Watchara Keriaram (transfer from Ang Thong FC); Wacharapong Suthidee (TTM); Sukree E-tae (Chonburi), Aleef Po-ji (Bangkok); Christian Alex (Cruzeiro EC); Chakrapong Somboon (Army); Koset Kerdsuk (Si Saket); So Kum-sol (Muang Thong); Chatchai (Rayong Utd).

All YL1 Fixtures this Weekend:

Saturday, July 6

  • 6 Phuket vs 7 BBCU 6.30pm @ Surakul (1-1 draw in March)
  • 18 Rayong Utd vs 14 Si Racha
  • 10 Gulf Saraburi vs 15 Navy
  • 8 Trat vs 12 Khon Kaen
  • 4 Port Lions vs 11Ayutaya

Sunday, July 7

  • 1 Airforce Utd vs 17 Rayong
  • 9 Nakhon Pathom vs 13 Krabi
  • 16 TTM vs 2 PTT Rayong
  • 3 Bangkok vs 5 Korat

Other Phuket FC fixtures in July

  • July 10 Away FA Cup vs Muang Thong Utd
  • July 13 Home vs PTT Rayong
  • July 20 Away vs Bangkok FC

Division 2 South Fixtures

Saturday, July 6

  • 4 Pattalung vs 5 Surat 6pm
  • 11 Ranong vs 3 Phang Nga 6pm
  • 6 Yala vs 9 Nakhon Si 5.30pm

Sunday, July 7

  • 2 Chumphon (15/30) vs 1 Nara Utd (14/31) 5pm
  • 7 Trang vs 8 Satun 6pm
  • 10 Pattani break

TPL Fixtures

Saturday, July 6

  • 6 Army vs 2 SCG MTUTD
  • 8 Chainat vs 18 Si Saket
  • 14 Ratchburi vs 11 Osotspa Saraburi
  • 17 Pattaya Utd vs 15 Samut Songkhram

Sunday, July 7

  • 13 Bangkok Utd vs 12 Police Friends
  • 10 TOT vs 16 Chiang Rai
  • 3 Suphan vs 1 Buriram
  • 9 Bangkok Glass vs 7 Songkhla
  • 4 Chonburi vs 5 BEC Tero

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— Steven Layne


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