Football Tribe SEA Editor
The 2019 League Cup winners are gearing up for their third campaign in T1 looking like an established top-division side. The Killer Wasps spent big in the transfer window to bring in some high-profile foreign and ASEAN quota stars. The side are by the same coach who bought them up from T2 in 2017, Thawatchai Damrong-Ongtrakul, but have now armed him with a far more impressive squad on paper. This season could be a chance for Prachuap to have a genuine push at their supposed mid-table ceiling.
Wonderkid – Peerawat Akkatum
Given the number of signings the side have made in this most recent transfer window, their permanent move for former Buriram youngster Peerawat has gone slightly under the radar, but is a crucial signing nonetheless. The 21-year-old spent a season and a half at Prachuap between 2018 and 2019, before spending the latter half of the campaign at Kasetsart in T2.
A versatile player capable of functioning across the defense, Peerawat should earn some game time as many crucial members of the Killer Wasps’ back-line are aging. While he wasn’t able to make it into the Buriram’s first team, the defender was acknowledged by national team coach Akira Nishino, who included him in the squad for the AFC U23 Championships. With the right guidance this season, a permanent move away could be the key to helping the youngster unlock his potential.
Key Signing – William Henrique
The Brazilian winger was a key player in Chiangrai United’s surprise 2019 title win, with his consistently excellent performances earning him a place in Football Tribe’s Team of the Season. For the winger to give up on Champions League football with the Northerners to join the Killer Wasps is a remarkable coup for the side, and made many fans sit up and take notice when the deal was signed.
However, there is also a possibility that the weight of expectation begins to weigh William down. While undoubtedly being a key player at Chiangrai, his role as Prachuap’s marquee signing will cause a shift in his game, and he is likely to become the fulcrum of the side’s attack. His ability to adapt to the added responsibility will be crucial.
Team Leader – Adnan Orahovac
Orahovac is set to begin his third season with Prachuap, having been with the side ever since their promotion to T1 back in 2018. He is also the only foreign player who remains from their League Cup-winning campaign last season, which seems a strange choice given the known value of continuity in this division.
The towering Montenegrin center-back played a crucial role in helping the side achieve success last season, and stands among the club’s long-established leaders such as Adul Mueansamaan and Sompob Nilwong. His presence in defense and leadership role in the team will be crucial in allowing coach Thawatchai’s defensively stable system to function and create a platform for the side’s new attacking machinery to assert itself.