Revenge on Thai minds at U23 event

Revenge on Thai minds at U23 event

Thailand U23 coach Worrawoot Srimaka (left) and captain Kritsada Kaman attend a press conference in Tashkent on Wednesday.
Thailand U23 coach Worrawoot Srimaka (left) and captain Kritsada Kaman attend a press conference in Tashkent on Wednesday.

Thailand will be out for revenge against their Southeast Asian rivals Vietnam when they meet in their opening match at the AFC U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan on Thursday.

The match at Bunyodkor Stadium in Tashkent kicks off at 10pm Thai time.

In other Group C game, defending champions South Korea meet Malaysia.

The Thai U23 team lost 1-0 to the Vietnamese U23 side in the SEA Games final in Hanoi last month.

"I'd like to congratulate Vietnam for winning the gold medal at the SEA Games," Thailand coach Worrawoot Srimaka told a press conference on Wednesday.

"But this time it will be different. I am confident that the result will be different too."

Worrawoot was replaced by Mano Polking, coach of the Thai senior team, for the SEA Games mission in a one-off assignment.

Thai team officials claimed this was Worrawoot's intention as he lacked confidence following a string of poor results.

"This is our best team. We are ready and looking forward to the first game," Worrawoot said yesterday.

"We are a mixture of domestic and overseas-based players. This is the Thai team with the highest number of foreign-based players."

Worrawoot said he is proud that they are all Thai citizens or have Thai blood and not naturalised players.

"This is the future of the Thai national team," he said.

The overseas-based players include Thanawat Suengchitthavon (Leicester City, England), Marcel Sieghart (TSV Rain am Lech, Germany), Chayapipat Supanpasuch (Estoril, Portugal), Yannick Nussbaum (Young Boys, Switzerland), Achitpol Keereerom (Augsburg II, Germany), Ben Davis (Oxford United, England) and Nicholas Mickelson (OB Odense, Denmark).

Thailand's other key players include forwards Ekanit Panya and Suphanat Mueanta.

The Young Elephants are captained by Kritsada Kaman of Thai League 1 side Chonburi.

"We are ready for the tournament. The first match is important and we will try to get off to a winning start," Kritsada said.

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