Thailand Football – Get Involved!
Watching football in Thailand is easy. If you have the necessary TV channels or visit a bar you can have live access to all the main events including the English Premier League and a variety of Europe’s top competitions. However remember this is only watching TV, not the full match experience and the atmosphere that only being at the game can provide.
I often think it’s a little sad that many Thai people seem to care more about the players and teams overseas than their own teams although it always hard to ignore the star qualities of the Rooney’s, Ronaldo’s, Man U’s and Liverpool’s. But what about the local football game?
When you are driving from Cha-Am to Hua Hin there is a large billboard on the right hand side just past the airport underpass. Proudly displayed are photos and the logo of our local football team; Hua Hin City. This is a professional league (Division 2) team representing the aspirations of upcoming players and providing local fans with the opportunity to get involved in Thailand football.
On 3rd August Hua Hin City played Thonburi (Bangkok BG) at the current local venue at the Thanarat Army grounds. The largely Thai supporters enthusiastically supported their team with the Club mascot, banners, flags, fancy dress and drums. In many other locations in Thailand this would also an opportunity for the ex pat population of football supporters to turn out and join in the carnival atmosphere but that was not evident here; only a handful of ‘falang’ in the crowded stands. We noticed one couple of foreigners moving to the spectator seating from the player’s race. However they explained that they were not really VIPs, they just got lost on the way in! Perhaps a little strange as the security for the game was being provided from the Military Police from the local Army base. As for the game, plenty of excitement and a good result for the locals:
Hua Hin City – 2, Thonburi BG – 0
We were able to talk with the Owner/Manager Khun Dom; whose other major business interest is with the Cool Smile Dental Group. Hua Hin City is clearly on the move in an upward direction having already progressed from Division 7 to Division 2 in only 2 years. This is a professional Club with strategies in place for junior development, significant sponsorship in place and BIG plans for the future. Khun Dom’s goal is to have the Club in the First Division League within two years.
A new stadium complex is currently being developed for the next season near Khao Takiab with government support at all levels already in place. Media including cable TV outlets are being accessed and merchandise for supporters is already on sale.
One of the strategies to allow players or prospective players to manage their careers in football is to form alliances with local hotels and resorts so that time can be spent both working in hospitality but also working on their football game. A number of players in both teams were of African origin (Hua Hin City had a great goal keeper from Cameroon) as a way to raise both the profile of the competition but also the standard of play.
We’ve seen games in Thailand where ex pat football fans really get into the spirit with the sort of support that those crazy English supporters show back home. For them it’s a fun day out and a way to relive their home town football allegiances. Perhaps it’s time that the Region’s own supporter network got on board; show the colours and make some noise.
We hope to be able to promote Hua Hin City Football Club over future Seasons and really encourage local support. More information to come!
- The Season runs from 14th February to the end of September each Year.
- The last two home games this year are on 1st September (V Petchaburi FC) and 15th September (V Angthong FC). Both of these games are at the Thanarat Army Fort grounds starting at 4.00 PM.
- Contact: Visit the facebook page at www.facebook.com/huahincityfc.official
- Merchandise is available at the game but also at the Sport Dome outlet at Hua Hin Market Village.