Southeast Asia Thailand

Indonesia Captain Asnawi Mangkualam Snapped Up by Port

Indonesia national team captain Asnawi Mangkualam became the latest ASEAN star to join the Thai League 1 after he was snapped up on a free by title-chasing Port FC on a short-term contract.

Right-back Asnawi, who left K League 2 side Jeonnam Dragons following the conclusion of his contract, had just led Indonesia into the round of 16 of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup – the Timnas Garuda‘s first-ever knockout stage appearance at the tournament – joined Port until the end of the 2023/24 Thai League 1 campaign, with an option to extend should he did well enough for Rangsan Viwatchaichok’s team.

The deal will see Asnawi become the second Indonesian to represent the Lions of Khlong Toei, after Terens Puhiri. The speedy Borneo Samarinda winger joined Port on loan in 2018, being used sparingly albeit becoming a huge favorite among the PAT Stadium faithful for his friendly and humble personality as well as his industrial work-rate on the pitch.

Asnawi will join a fresh batch of ASEAN talent joining the Thai League 1 in the half-way mark of the season. Previously, fellow Indonesian Yanto Basna made a sensational return to basement club PT Prachuap in the Killer Wasps’ bid to stave-off relegation, while Filipino defender Kike Linares made his return to Lamphun Warrior following a forgettable spell at PSM Makassar.

Singaporean youngster Harhys Stewart has joined his brother Ryhan at BG Pathum United, before subsequently joining Chiangrai United on loan, while another Filipino defender in Jefferson Tabinas, formerly a mainstay at Mito HollyHock, has left the J.League 2 to join league behemoths Buriram United.