Sukhothai have maintained their T1 status for four years, though they have flirted with relegation in the last three campaigns. The club from the north are one of the more unpredictable teams, alternating between attacking flair and stuffy defensive tactics. Last year saw them focus much more on keeping things tight at the back, but this resulted in 16 drawn games and just six victories. They need to find a better balance in order to move into a safer position and avoid another tense battle to beat the drop.
Head coach – Surapong Kongthep
Surapong Kongthep has made a promising start to his coaching career, overseeing two solid seasons with Pattaya United. He could not be blamed for the relegation of Chiang Mai last year, given the apparent interference in his team selections towards the end of the season. This is a big opportunity for him to enhance his reputation at a club that has potential but has found it hard to achieve consistency.
John Baggio (STRIKER / ATTACKING MIDFIELDER) – Baggio’s relentless energy has run many defences ragged and Sukhothai would surely have returned to T2 without their Malagasy talisman. He is not a prolific goalscorer, but his creativity is vital as is his habit of harassing defenders into mistakes.
Nukoolkit Krutyai (CENTRE-BACK) – After a couple of years as a squad player at Muang Thong United, Nukoolkit had a successful loan spell at Trat in 2019. He should now be the key man at the heart of the Sukhothai defence as he attempts to demonstrate that he can perform consistently at T1 level.
Olaxson A Tamba (STRIKER) – The Thailand youth international recently signed his first professional contract and is considered one the country’s top prospects. Olaxson is still just 17 and may not feature much this season, if at all, but Sukhothai might give him his big opportunity if his development is on track.
Notable former players
Nelson Bonilla, Hiromichi Katano
What’s to like?
Sukhothai is another club set in a very scenic location. The lakeside location of the Thalay Luang Stadium makes for some spectacular pictures. A lovely place to watch a football match.