Fan favourite Mario named as Muang Thong United head coach

Muang Thong United legend Mario Djurovski has been appointed as the club’s new head coach following the weekend departure of Alexandre Gama.

Djurovski, who had been coaching the Kirins U18 side, is promoted to the top job just over a year after his playing career ended with a second stint at the club.

The Macedonian will be assisted by another former Muang Thong star in Dagno Siaka, and Englishman Darren Reid, who also stays in the position of academy manager.

After a turbulent period which saw the club appoint and lose three head coaches in less than 18 months, Gama’s arrival in June 2019 seemed to stabilise Muang Thong. But his revelation last week that he would not renew his contract confirmed what many had expected.

The Kirins have this time looked internally and will hope that having a coaching team that knows the club inside out can help raise the levels of performance in what has been a disappointing season to date.

Djurosvki and Siaka were part of the famous Muang Thong Invincibles side of 2012 and will have learned much from former Fulham boss Slavisa Jovanovic, who was Kirins head coach eight years ago. 

Djurovski went on to become one of Muang Thong’s greatest ever players and was a huge fan favourite for his flamboyant style in the playmaker role. 

The 34-year-old left for Bangkok United in 2016 after four seasons at the club but returned for a six-month spell in 2019 before calling it a day and later joining the coaching team.

‘Super Mario’s’ huge enduring popularity ensures that the appointment will be warmly received by fans. Time will tell if Djurovski can be as successful off the pitch as he was on it, but with such a charismatic character around, there will certainly be some interesting times ahead.

His first job is to give the players a lift after their 1-0 defeat at home to Trat on Saturday left them in 11th place in T1. Muang Thong make the short trip to face Police Tero on Sunday and three points there would be the perfect start to his career in charge of the club he first joined way back in 2012.

Paul Murphy

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