King hails determination of Covid-hit Thai squad

King hails determination of Covid-hit Thai squad

Players told 'not to be discouraged' by Japan loss

A gritty bunch: Thailand coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul, back row right, poses with his players and staff after the Nations League match against Japan.(volleyballworld.com photo)
A gritty bunch: Thailand coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul, back row right, poses with his players and staff after the Nations League match against Japan.(volleyballworld.com photo)

His Majesty the King has given moral support to the national women's team and encouraged them to keep on fighting in the Nations League, the Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA) said.

The team put on a spirited display before losing 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 to Japan in Quezon City, the Philippines, on Friday night.

After the match, His Majesty the King, along with Her Majesty the Queen, assigned his secretary ACM Satitpong Sukvimol to phone the team to heap praise on their determination despite losing a number of key players to Covid-19, the TVA said in a social media post.

"His Majesty watches and follows the Thai national team's matches," the TVA quoted Satitpong as saying.

"His Majesty praised the team and saw their determination which led to fine performances. Although they lost to Japan in their late match, His Majesty saw the determination of all players who did well.

"His Majesty believes the team were weakened after several key players fell ill. He gave moral support to the team and told them not to be discouraged. His Majesty advised the players to stay determined in pursuit of their target, and bring a good reputation to the nation as a gift for all Thais."

The TVA said the message is a huge honour for the players, coaches and association and they all feel grateful to the King.

The Thais began the second week of the 2022 Nations League in the Philippines with a 3-0 win over Canada on Tuesday.

However, the TVA announced after the match that eight players tested positive for Covid.

The sport's governing body FIVB allowed Thailand to send five new players to replace the coronavirus-hit stars.

Thailand then squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 to Poland on Thursday.

They will meet the USA in their last match of the second week today.

The Thais started their 2022 Nations League campaign with three wins over Bulgaria, Serbia and China and one loss to Belgium in the first week in Ankara, Turkey.

It is a new era for Thai volleyball after the so-called "Fab Six" retired or quit playing for the national side.

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