Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Reid Looks to the Future

Reid banks on youth to lift Thailand

After the Thailand Premier League ended on Saturday, national coach Peter Reid announced his 36-man squad for the TT&T Cup (formerly Agribank Cup) in Hanoi from October 28-November 1 and the AFF Suzuki Cup (formerly Tiger Cup) from December 6-28 to be held in Thailand and Indonesia.
Peter Reid
Not surprisingly, the English coach picked seven players each from the newly-crowned Thai league champions Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) and runners-up Chonburi FC.
Overseas-based players who are among Thailand's best players are also included in the team. They are Datsakorn Thonglao and Nirut Surasiang of Vietnam's Hong Anh Gia Lai and Sutee Suksomkit of Singapore's Tampines Rovers.
There are several newcomers including Coke-Bangpra goalkeeper Prasit Kotmaha, defender Panuwat Failai of the relegated Customs, Chula United midfielder Adisak Kanu, midfielder Salaudin Arware of promoted Muang Thong-Nong Jok United and Issarapong Leelakorn of First Division side Khon Kaen.
A number of players who played under previous national coach Chanvit Phalajivin were left out of the squad including Jetsada Jitsawad, Prat Samakrat and Jakkrit Bunkham, while Manchester City's Kiatprawut Saiwaew is recovering from an injury.
Kiatprawut's team-mates at City, Suree Sukha and Teerasil Dangda (all of whose future at the English club is unclear) are in Reid's squad.
It seems that Reid wants to build a team in his style and give young players a chance.
He said he selected the players based on their performances in the Thailand Premier League and the First Division. He had talks with his assistants before making a decision.
"Some players like Salaudin and Issarapong performed very well in the league. This is why I called them to the national team," Reid said.
"I also considered players from their age because I want some young players to join the team for a long term preparation."
The 52-year-old coach is especially pleased with BEC striker Anon and midfielders Narongchai Vachiraban and Surat Sukha.
"I think Anon will be the main player for the national team in a forward position," Reid said.
He said Anon may team up with Teerathep Winothai, Ronnachai Rangsiyo or Teerasil and that he will make a decision after watching them in training.
While the players' technique is acceptable, Reid is not happy with their fitness and stamina.
"They can run for only 50 minutes. They lack fitness and stamina," he said.
"The game of football is played over 90 minutes and not 50 minutes. The first thing I want to do during the training is improve their fitness. We have only 10 days before we leave for Vietnam so we have to train hard to boost their fitness."
All but four players reported to the National Training Camp yesterday with the absentees being Narongchai, Nirut, Sutee and Natthapong Samana.
Reid said he did not expect much from the TT&T Cup which comprises Vietnam, Thailand, Uzbekistan and North Korea.
"We know that every team wants to win the tournament but our players have just finished the Thailand Premier League and their fitness is not 100% ," he said.
"We do not expect much from the tournament. Teams like North Korea and Uzbekistan are much better than Thailand."
While Reid does not aim to win the tournament, at least Thailand must play well or the Englishman could soon find himself in hot water.

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