Nakhon Ratchasima FC
One of the best supported clubs in Thailand, Nakhon Ratchasima have established themselves as a Thai League staple after five consecutive seasons in the top flight. The Swatcats were under the leadership of coach Milos Joksic since 2016, who became one of the league’s longest serving managers while keeping the side floating safely in mid-table during his tenure. However, after unexpectedly flirting with relegation last season, the Serbian boss parted ways with the club. A new era is set to begin at the club, and it is anyone’s guess as to how this pivotal campaign could go for Nakhon Ratchasima.
Head coach – Teerasak Po-On
Former Chiangrai United and PTT Rayong manager Teerasak Po-On is considered among the best local coaches in the division. After bringing Rayong into the top flight in 2019, he outperformed expectations by keeping the side in the division after an abysmal start. Praised for his excellent man-management and ability to develop players, he could be the perfect man to lead Korat into the future. However, the challenge for ‘Coach Joe’ will be keeping the side safe in the short run after three losses from his opening four before the enforced break.
Chalermpong Kerdkaew (Defender) – Swatcats captain Chalermpong has been crucial for them during his seven years there leading one of the league’s more formidable defenses. Having been selected for the National Team on a few occasions under coach Milovan Rajevac, he is very highly regarded at the club. The 33-year-old still has plenty to offer the side this season.
Leandro Assumpcao (Forward) – Despite already being 34 years old, Leando Assumpcao is capable of producing utter magic on his day. Undoubtedly the side’s talisman last season, Leandro could yet be offered a new lease on life partnering Dennis Murillo and Amadou Ouattara up front for the SwatCats.
Anon Samakorn (Midfielder) – An orthodox defensive midfielder, Anon Samakorn is good at screening the defense and can also be employed as a right-back if needed. Anon was scouted by Leicester City as part of their Fox Hunt campaign to search for young Thai talent, and spent his formative years with the Foxes. However, he has struggled since returning to Thailand, failing to nail down a starting spot in Port FC’s lineup despite showing promising early signs. He has also missed out on Thailand’s U23 squad. At 22 years of age, there is still time for Anon to get his career back on track, but he will have to earn crucial minutes this season.
Notable former players
Dominic Adiyiah, Lee Tuck & Björn Lindemann
What’s to like?
Korat’s 80th Birthday Stadium consistently hosts one of the most vibrant crowds in the country, and they are also known for bringing large away support to their games on the road, especially in the capital. They had the second-largest attendance figures in the league last season, averaging an impressive 12,388 fans per home game.