Chanathip named Thai team captain

Chanathip named Thai team captain

Thailand players and officials pose at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday.
Thailand players and officials pose at Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday.

Japan-based playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin has been named as captain of the Thai team for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup, manager Nualphan Lamsam said on Wednesday.

Nualphan revealed the move before the War Elephants left for Singapore for the Dec 5-Jan 1 Southeast Asian championship.

"I have appointed Jay [Chanathip] as the team captain with Siwarak [Tedsungnoen] and Teerasil [Dangda] being vice-captains," said Nualphan.

"Although Jay is just 28 years old, he has performed well with his J-League team [Consadole Sapporo]. He is a successful player and has experience in the Suzuki Cup. He first played in the the Suzuki Cup in 2012. So he is suitable for the job."

Dubbed "Messi Jay" by the Thai press, Chanathip has won the Suzuki Cup twice in 2014 and 2016.

He will not be available for Thailand's first game against Timor Leste on Sunday due to his club commitments.

Nualphan added: "This is an important tournament for us. We are five-time champions but Vietnam won the last edition [in 2018]. We want to win back the title."

Thailand coach Mano Polking said the players were excited and looked forward to the tournament.

"We are very excited and hungry for this tournament," said the German-Brazilian coach.

"I have seen the hunger in every national player. We are ready and our goal is to become champions. We will give our all and bring the trophy back to Thailand."

It will be former Bangkok United coach Polking's first assignment as coach of Thailand.

At the Suzuki Cup, Thailand are in Group A with Timor Leste, 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.

Worachit joins Pathum

Thai League 1 champions BG Pathum United have signed Thailand forward Worachit Kanitsribumphen from Chonburi, the clubs announced yesterday.

Worachit, who is in the Thai squad for the Suzuki Cup, is one of the brightest stars in the domestic league this season.

The 24-year-old has scored eight goals, including one hat-trick, in the top flight this season.

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