A Peek Into The Future Of Thai Football
24 potential stars of Thai football have been selected from the Toyota Junior Football Clinic, which concluded recently. These youths will now represent their country as the Thailand National U-12 Football Team and compete in the Toyota International Junior Cup 2017 in Japan.
We managed to catch up with five of these young, busy talents to learn more about each of them, understand how their training camp experience impacted them and some of the things they are looking forward to in the land of the rising sun!
1. Shunta Hasegawa (Midfielder)
Midfield dazzler Shunta Hasegawa started playing football at the tender age of four as his parents wanted him to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This 12-year-old of Japanese descent chose to play in midfield because he loves to “play with the ball” and be able to help create scoring chances for his team.
He admires Muangthong United and Thai National Team midfielder Sarach Yooyen, who is known for his creativity and passing skills. “I like Sarach Yooyen for his great football sense and his ability to create chances for his team’s attackers,” he explained.
Speaking of what he’s gained from the training camp, Shunta pointed out it wasn’t just about developing his skills. “I’ve also met a lot of new friends at the camp,” he gladly mentioned.
2. Krittapak Seangsawat (Midfielder)
Some would say Krittapak Seangsawat got all his football talents from his dad, a footballer. But he would argue that his abilities also come from his training and experience. “I joined Toyota Junior Football Clinic last year as an attacker, but I failed to qualify. The coach (Mr. Piyapong Pue-on) advised that my skills were better suited for a midfield role,” he said. “I adapted my style as a midfielder this year, and finally qualified!”
Being small in frame doesn’t hinder his confidence in playing a big part in every game. He believes he is able to help his team better from his new, deeper position on the field. “I’m good at crossing the ball, and my long-range shooting skill can be very useful for the team.”.
3. Peerathat Praepun (Forward)
As a forward, it’s no surprise Peerathat Praepun has Teerasil Dangda as his favourite player. The latter plays for the national team in the same position as him and is known as a goalscoring machine. “I want to be as skillful as Teerasil in scoring goals for my team!”.
The 12-year-old son of former Thai national midfielder Montri Praepun is not bashful when it comes to why he loves playing upfront. According to him, his strength is in dribbling and shooting, and that scoring goals makes him happy.
“The training camp was a great experience for me to further improve on my technique and become a better attacker,” he added. “And I’m looking to further develop my skills whilst enjoying the experience at the upcoming tournament in Japan.”.
4. Naruebodee Khianchatturat (Goalkeeper)
Goalkeeper Naruebodee Khianchatturat shared an interesting story of how he ended up as a goalkeeper.
“I used to play as a defender, and in one game, our goalkeeper got injured badly. Without any backup goalkeepers, I volunteered to replace him.” He continued, “We won the game! And I have played as a goalkeeper ever since.”
His strong physique certainly helps him in his game. But he also knows that he needs to develop his dexterity if he were to be as great as his idol, Thailand national team goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool.
And that is exactly what he is most excited about for the upcoming Toyota International Junior Cup. He explained, “I am looking forward to the trip to train further with the coaches and gain experience in an overseas tournament.”.
5. Thanabodee Janrach (Defender)
Known for his dribbling and passing skills, 12-year-old Thanabodee Janrach is grateful for getting the chance to participate in the football clinic and training camp. “I learned a lot of new training techniques which definitely helped me to play better,” he said.
Thanabodee has made the left side of the pitch his domain where he can dribble and run past opponents when his team is on the attack. He aspires to be as nimble as his football hero Theerathon Bunmathan who plays as left-back for the Thai national team and is known for his crossing and free-kick ability.
The youngest of two children is excited to take part in the tournament in Japan. He said, “I want to go to Nagoya to gain more football experience with other boys from the other countries!”.
Each one of the boys bring forward their own set of skills, abilities, and character to the team. It will be exhilarating to see how well they perform against their peers from Japan and Vietnam at the Toyota International Junior Cup.