Southeast Asia Thailand

Thailand Draft in New Names for China Cup

Thailand national team coaches Sirisak Yodyardthai and Choketawee Promrut have made a number of changes to their squad ahead of a friendly tournament in China this month.

Late March is set to be a busy time for the Thai national team. The senior team head to Nanning, China to face off against the host nation, Uzbekistan and Uruguay in an invitational friendly tournament. Simultaneously, the U23 squad will participate in the qualifying round for the AFC U23 Championships, where they will face Vietnam, Indonesia, and Brunei

As hosts, AFC U23 qualification is a little more than a formality for Thailand. However, coach Alexandre Gama has already earmarked it as a crucial time for him to work with the squad which he hopes to guide to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. As such, the Brazilian boss gets first to pick his squad first, leading to many notable young players to be omitted from the senior side’s trip to China.

In response, senior team coaches Sirisak and Choketawee have significantly rotated their squad, calling up five players who are yet to be capped by the senior team. They are Worawut Srisupha (Port FC), Saranon Anuin (Chiangrai United), Chitpanya Tisud (PT Prachuap), Sivakorn Tiatrakul (Chiangrai United) and Picha Autra (Samut Prakan City).

However, the squad also features Thailand’s three J-League based players, Chanathip Songkrasin, Theerathon Bunmathan, and Thitpan Puangchan.

While the future of this squad and it’s coach hang in the balance, the War Elephants look set to take this opportunity and involve new names in the National Team setup.