Football Tribe Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima survived an uncomfortable relegation scrap last season to remain in the top flight, but unfortunately did not emerge unscathed. Long-serving coach Milos Joksic was replaced late in the season, and the club were left needing a major rebuild heading into the 2020 season.
The Swatcats have chosen former Chiangrai United and PTT Rayong boss Teerasak Po-On as the man to set them on the path to achieving their potential. A rough start to the season with a run of away games (due to rennovation works at their home stadium) has left the side with one win and three losses from their first four games.
Wonderkid – Anon Samakorn
After seeing his career stagnate in 2019, Anon Samakorn swapped Port FC for Nakhon Ratchasima FC as part of Teerasak Po-on’s attempt to rebuild and extend the Swatcat’s squad depth. Thai League talents such as Ekanit Panya, Rungrath Poomchantuek and Saharat Kanyaroj all came onto the scene under Po-on’s guidance and if Anon can put in the right work, he could be developed into a proper box-to-box midfielder.
Key Signing – Dennis Murillo
With Bernard Henry’s departure and Leandro Assumpção turning 34, the Nakhon Ratchasima FC had identified Dennis Murillo as their new additional, and most importantly reliable, striker. The Brazilian impressed in the second-leg of 2019, netting 7 goals in 15 games for PTT Rayong, before following head coach Teerasak Po-on to Northeastern Thailand. Opening his scoring account with a sublime free-kick against Rayong FC, Murillo looks good on the counter-attack and is adapting well to his new surroundings.
Team Leader – Chalermpong Kerdkaew
A late-blooming breakout star in recent years, especially with the national team under Milovan Rajevac, Chalermpong was quite inconsistent in 2019 – possibly a consequence of a poor AFF Cup and Asian Cup campaign and limited time off between seasons. Fortunately, for the Swatcat, Chalermpong hasn’t been selected by Akira Nishino, giving the captain plenty of time to recover – looking fresh and ready for Thai League 2020.