It’s always exciting to see the rise of a talented youngster and follow them throughout their ups and downs. The lockdown gave clubs plenty of time to work on the training pitch – more time than any teams or players had been previously afforded. Curious to see whether the long break has benefitted young players, every week I’ll be keeping tabs on 3 U23 players, starting this weekend.
First on our list is…
Chatmongkol Ruengrattaroj, Chonburi FC, Left-back
The 18 year old academy graduate got promoted to train with the Shark’s senior team during the lockdown and, after impressing head coach Sasom Pobprasert, was included in the starting XI on Matchday 5 against Trat FC. Chatmongkol is energetic, eager to attack, and possess a wonderful left-foot – as evidenced in his cross that led to Dragan Boskovic’s equalizing goal.
Chonburi FC will travel to Prachuap FC, who is winless in 5 league games, on Sunday, and Sasom will be looking to add more misery for the 2019 League Cup champions. Last weekend, the Killer Wasp’s ageing fullbacks struggled to cope with the pace and power of Chiangrai United’s wide players. Chatmongkol is playing with enthusiasm and there is no better time for an adventurous fullback like himself face Prachuap FC.
Channarong Promsrikaew, Chonburi FC, Winger
Quick, technical and full of flair – Channarong Promsrikaew holds the potential to develop into a top-class attacking midfielder. The Thai U19 international is another product of Chonburi FC’s famous academy. He was awarded his first-team debut last season and handed a more prominent role during the lockdown.
In the friendly against Muangthong United prior to Thai League’s return, head coach Sasom Pobprasert fielded Channarong on the right-wing – allowing the player to drift inside, creating space for right-back Noppanon Kotchpalayuk to overlap. While last weekend against Trat FC, Channarong played on the left and created a few chances with crosses from his strong left-foot.
Like we’ve mentioned above, Prachuap FC is extremely vulnerable down the flanks and will face a big test coming up against Channarong and Chatmongkol.
Anon Amornlerdsak, Bangkok United, Midfielder
After joining at the beginning of 2019, Anon Amornlerdsak experienced a stop-start debut season with Bangkok United – netting 5 goals in 22 starts and 5 substitute appearances. However, judging by the friendlies ahead of the restart and Anon’s performance in the first 4 matches pre-lockdown, Angels supporters can expect a more consistent contribution from Anon this year. The 22 year old attacking midfielder is an amazing dribbler, but what makes Anon standout is his eye for a pass and ability to play in tight spaces.
Bangkok United’s opponent, Suphanburi FC, is a well-drilled side and high on confidence following their victory over Nakhonratchasima FC. The War Elephants has only conceded 3 goals and kept 3 clean sheets in 5 outings – which is T1’s best defensive record, level with Bangkok United.
If Suphanburi FC’s pragmatism is a heavy metal door, wouldn’t be smarter for Bangkok United to try and unlock that door open instead of using force? If so, then Anon is the key.