Football Tribe SEA Editor
The defending FA Cup Champions come into the season with high expectations, kicking off their third campaign since catapulting themselves into the nations’ footballing elite with their big-name acquisitions. Port are always one of the most entertaining stories of the season regardless of where they finish, but the Klongtoei club are preparing to go all-out this season in search of the biggest prize.
Wonderkid – Kevin Deeromram
Port’s Thai-Swedish left-back has returned to action after being sidelined for much of the 2019 campaign due to injury concerns and will be eager to rekindle the form he showed at Ratchaburi and during his early days in Klongtoei. Now aged 22, Kevin is no longer the clear and outstanding left-back of his generation, and faces stern competition for that title.
However, Kevin has significant advantages over most of his rivals in his position. For starters, his time with the Swedish youth national teams provides him with a strong backbone of experience, as does the fact that he has been playing regular Thai League football since age 19. While all the talent is clearly there, Kevin is at a turning point in his career and needs a full, injury-free season of consistent performances to live up to his massive potential.
Key Signing – Heberty
In what was undeniably the biggest transfer of the window, if not in recent Thai League history, Brazilian striker Heberty traded Muangthong for arch-rivals Port in a stunning and bizarre one-year loan deal. The attacker was Muangthong’s talisman last season, hitting form during the latter half of the 2019 campaign to resurrect the club from the lower reaches of the table.
After a slow pre-season with his new club, Heberty has hit the ground running for the start of the Thai League season, scoring four goals from as many games. Despite not being the out-and-out striker the club desperately needed, Heberty’s talent alone has been enough to make him the most lethal marksman in the league already, and he will certainly be at the center of any success Port may have this season.
Team Leader – David Rochela
Having been shafted for the latter half of last season, both due to sustained injury concerns and to facilitate the arrival of striking duo Josimar Rodrigues and Ronaldo Blackburn on the foreign player quota, Rochela returned to the side to lift the 2019 FA Cup. The 30-year-old captain showed signs of slowing down last season and was arguably outperformed by fellow center-back Elias Dolah, leading many to expect a changing of the guard at the back.
However, the club’s management have chosen to stick with the Spanish defender, reinstating him in their foreign quota for this season. Questions remain over whether Rochela will be fit for an entire season (whenever it resumes) and will need to return to peak form to help the side fix their typically shaky defense.