Yokohama F. Marinos’ Thai left-back Theerathon Bunmathan etched himself into the history books in Friday night’s J.League 1 action as his team won 1-0 away at Shonan Bellmare. Playing 83 minutes of the match, Theerathon became the second Thai player to have played 100 J1 matches; joining Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo’s Chanathip Songkrasin in this milestone.
Having been signed on loan by then-Yokohama head coach Ange Postecoglou from Muangthong United after a successful loan spell at Vissel Kobe, Theerathon has established himself as a mainstay in the team’s left-back position. Proving to many that Southeast Asian players are just as capable as their compatriots from not only the rest of the continent but also Europe and the Americas, Theerathon’s performances for Yokohama week-in-week-out had not only won his team the 2019 J1 title, but also a permanent contract for himself.
A capable defender who’s not afraid to help his compatriots up-front, Theerathon has scored 3 goals and bagged 9 assists in his three years with Yokohama, cementing him as one of the finest Southeast Asian imports of the J1. Add in his 2 assists from his earlier loan spell in Vissel, and you’ll get someone who’s very capable of creating magic for the attackers and midfielders in front of him, not to mention a formidable defender too.
Theerathon’s 100 matches included 28 on loan at Vissel, 25 on loan at Yokohama, and 47 for the Kanagawa Prefecture-based side once he had earned his permanent contract. Ange’s departure to Glasgow Celtic did not dislodge Theerathon from his preferred post as successor Kevin Muscat kept Ange’s faith in the Thai international and retained his spot in Yokohama’s starting lineup.
Theerathon capped off his 100th J1 appearance with his usual industrious performance, preventing Shonan from penetrating the Yokohama defense after the away side had taken the lead through Daizen Maeda in the 66th minute, before being substituted in the 83rd minute by fellow defender Takuya Wada.