T1 ready for big kick-off this weekend
New campaign will be entertaining, says FAT
The new Thai League 1 season will kick off with a bang, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) said on Tuesday.
The 2022/23 season starts on Friday with Bangkok United hosting Khon Kaen United.
The campaign is being held under the theme "Play 100 percent, Cheer 100 percent," FAT chiefs said at a press conference presided over by its vice president Yutthana Yimkarun.
"I'd like to thank club executives for their dedication and determination to develop and lift the standards of their teams and players," Yutthana said.
"If every team is ready, competition will be exciting and entertaining. Our league is now the best in Asean [Southeast Asia] and ranked ninth in Asia."
Thai League CEO Korrawee Prit- sananantakul said competition will be more exciting as each stadium is now allowed to have spectators to its capacity.
"This season, the league will be more entertaining and exciting," he said.
"The players and supporters will give their all."
The FAT will try to look for young stars for the Thai U23 side in an attempt to win a berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics, Korrawee said.
There will be the NFT Football Fantasy to add spice to the matches, Korrawee said.
Matches will be shown live on AIS Play and its allies including PPTV.
Treble winners Buriram United are the defending Thai League 1 champions.
Although the Thunder Castle are seen as favourites to retain the crown, they are expected to face tough challenges from BG Pathum United, last season's runners-up, Bangkok United, who finished third last term, and Port, who have a new coach in Scott Cooper.
The trio have spent large sums on new players with the aim to dethrone Buriram.
The newcomers are Lamphum Warriors, Sukhothai and Lampang.
Kawin returns to Kirins
Thailand goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan has returned to Thai League 1 side Muang Thong United, the club said yesterday.
The 32-year-old is arguably the best goalkeeper of his generation in the country.
He left the Kirins in 2018 and has since failed to shine at OH Leuven in Belgium, Japanese club Consadole Sapporo and Thai League 1 club Port.
"It is a great feeling for me to come back to this home again," said the player who is dubbed "Flying Kawin."
"I always thought about a return to this home where there is a good atmosphere. I wanted to come back and help the team.
"The players, coaches and executives are working very hard. I always follow Muang Thong and feel [coach] Mario Gjurovski's tactics are very exciting."
Muang Thong, who finished fourth last season, begin their Thai League 1 campaign at Ratchaburi Mitr Phol on Saturday.
- Thai League 1