Southeast Asia Thailand

Ratchaburi Appoint Former Thai Women’s Coach Nuengruethai Sathongwien

Ratchaburi have hired former Thailand National Women’s Team boss Nuengruethai Sathongwien as their new head coach.

Coach Nueng makes history to become the first woman to take charge of a Thai men’s team and is one of only a few women to be working at a high level in the men’s game. This follows the internationally renowned example of Eastern SC and their coach Chan Yuen Ting, who gained international recognition during her time in charge of the club.

The announcement of Sathongwien’s appointment came after she was seen sitting on the Ratchaburi bench for their 2-2 comeback draw against Bangkok United in the second last game of the season on Sunday.

Ratchaburi have been without a permanent coach since the resignation of Marco Simone in July, and have been under the guidance of caretaker Somchai Maiwilai, sporting director Robert Procureur, and general manager Tanawat Nitikarnchana. In fact, their latest appointment becomes the side’s fifth head coach

Sathongwien has demonstrated her qualifications, having guided the Thai women’s team to both of the World Cups that they have participated in. Under her guidance, the Chaba Kaew managed a 3-2 victory over the Ivory Coast at the 2015 World Cup in Canada and only narrowly missed out on qualification to the next round on goal difference via the third-place ranking.

Her second World Cup campaign in France was far less successful, opening with the humiliating 13-0 loss to the USA. However, given the severe lack of funding for the women’s game in Thailand and the now-defunct domestic league, it is hard to argue that much more could be done given the context.

Ratchaburi now have one more game in the Thai League season against Prachuap, during which Coach Nueng will likely be in the hot seat. She will then prepare the side to face Port FC in the FA Cup Final, which could grant the Dragon’s passage to the AFC Champions League qualifiers for the first time in their history.