Nualphan promises jackpot for success
Thailand manager Nualphan Lamsam has vowed to give the national team players 20 million baht in bonus if they win the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The biennial Southeast Asian championship will be held in Singapore from Dec 5-Jan 1 after being postponed from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nualphan, who is from one of the country's richest families, made the financial promise during Thailand's last training session at Yamaoka Hanasaka Academy in Pathum Thani yesterday before they fly to Singapore today.
"Money is not the answer [for success] but this will help boost their morale," Nualphan said.
"The players' goal is to win the title for themselves and all Thais. Apart from the US$300,000 or about 10 million baht from the AFF [Asean Football Federation], I will give them 20 million baht if they win the title."
With 30 players, each will get about one million baht if they reclaim the crown they last won in 2016.
"It's an honour to play for the Thai national team. But it will be a greater honour if you help the team win the title," Nualphan said.
It will be Mano Polking's first assignment as Thailand coach, having been hand-picked by Nualphan and her team a few months ago.
Thailand are the most successful nation in the AFF Suzuki Cup with five titles, ahead of Singapore with four.
The War Elephants will begin this year's campaign against Timor Leste on Sunday.
The other teams in Group A are Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Defending champions Vietnam are in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
The top two teams in each group reach the semi-finals.
Japan-based stars Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan will not be available for Thailand's first match due to their club duties.
Thailand and two-time winners Vietnam are seen as the favourites to lift the trophy.