Ratchaburi seem to have put a torrid couple of years behind them to regain some stability. The ‘Hollywood’ signings of Christian Ziege and Marco Simone as head coaches were ultimately ill-conceived, coming after several seasons sitting comfortably in the top half of the table. Long-time club servant Somchai Maivilai quietly took over coaching duties in the middle of last year and things have looked up ever since.
Head coach – Somchai Maivilai
Somchai Maivilai is very much Mr Ratchaburi, having been at the club since their lower league days. He took a step into the background when the club started appointing foreign head coaches, but has had occasion to step in as caretaker, and this seems to have unofficially become his permanent position. An affable and character whose man management is one of his key strengths.
Steeven Langil (WINGER/ ATTACKING MIDFIELDER) – The Frenchman was a revelation in 2019 as his direct attacking style gave many defences a headache. Langil also weighed in with eight goals and Ratchaburi will look to him as the focal point of what looks a potent attack.
Nurul Sriyankem (WINGER/ ATTACKING MIDFIELDER) – If a similar formation to last year is adopted, we could see two attacking wide men, which might see a place for Nurul to have a career revival. Injury ended his time as a regular starter as Port FC just when he looked to be hitting the peak of his powers. At 28, he has plenty of years ahead of him to try and rediscover the form that made him one of the top attacking players in T1 in 2018 and 2019.
Leon James (CENTRE MIDFIELD) – James was brought up in England and was a member of the Leicester City youth set-up. He has already played for Thailand U19s and, at just 19 years old, he has taken a huge step in swapping England for his mother’s home country. His youth career should have given him the solid grounding to become a success.
Notable former players
Heberty Fernandes, Yannick Djalo
What’s to like?
Ratchaburi’s beautiful new stadium in a scenic location brings everyone together in admiration. They also have a tradition of focusing on attacking football.