Kiatisak to turn new club into hell for visitors
Coach eyes top-10 finish for Port in top flight
At his official unveiling as the new coach of Thai League 1 side Port, Kiatisak Senamuang on Friday promised to make his club a nightmare for visiting teams.
Kiatisak, who quit as the national team coach in late March after a string of heavy defeats in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, signed an 18-month contract with Port on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference at PAT Stadium yesterday, Port team president Nualphan Lamsam revealed that Kiatisak, who was nicknamed Zico by the Thai football fans and media after the Brazilian legend for his exploits as a prolific striker of the national team, had been targeted for the job by the club for a long time.
While she would not reveal the details of the contract, Nualphan said: "I would want it to be a long-term contract, however the MoU I have signed with the Port of Authority of Thailand [which owns the club] allows me to stay in charge of the team for five years and we are already halfway through it.
"I believe that Port wants to extend the contract so let us see how our negotiations progress."
Speaking at the press conference, Kiatisak said: "It didn't take me long to accept the offer.
"I received offers to coach foreign teams, but my heart wasn't in it as I don't wish to manage teams who could be the opponents of the Thai national team or clubs in the future.
"I rejected all those offers until Madame Paeng [Nualphan's nickname] approached me and I couldn't say no."
Kiatisak added: "It has been four years since I last coached a team in the Thai league, but from what I have observed, not much has changed. My new team will play the same entertaining football that I admire."
Firing a warning shot at his opponents, he said: "I promise that I would make PAT Stadium a hell for the visiting teams."
Kiatisak said his target would be to help Port stay among the top 10 teams in the league this season.
Port, promoted to the top flight this year after spending one season in the lower tier, have already taken over No.8 spot in the league standings under previous coach Jadet Meelarp, who has been moved to serve as team adviser.
"I am glad that Madame Paeng has promised me a free hand, and I will have my assistants Klairung Treejaksang and Worachai Surinsirirat working with me as well," Kiatisak said, adding that most of the team matters would be handled by Jadet.
Kiatisak will take charge of the Port dugout for the first time tomorrow when his team square off against No.6-ranked Bangkok United at PAT Stadium.
"For the first game with Bangkok United, it will be a difficult match as they are a strong team," said Kiatisak. "However, we will have our supporters backing the team and hopefully it will end in a win for us."
In two and a half years so far that Nualphan has been at the helm of Port, Kiatisak is the seventh coach signed by the team.
His predecessors were Somchai Chuayboonchum, Phaiboon Lertvimonrat, Gary Stevens, Somchai Sapperm, Masahiro Wada and Jadet.
Kiatisak, who also coached the national U23 team to success in the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games, has previously managed teams like Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Vietnam, Chula United, Chonburi, BBCU, and Bangkok FC with limited success.
Serbia's Milovan Rajevac was named the national team coach in April.