Former Bangkok United, Army United and Suphanburi boss Alexandre ‘Mano’ Polking has been appointed as the head coach of Thailand’s national team, as per official announcements on Tuesday.
The German-Brazilian coach is a familiar name in Thai football, having spent most of the last decade in the country. His familiarity with the country and talent pool is cited as a key reason for his appointment.
Polking first arrived in Thailand in 2012, as an assistant to then national-team coach Winfried Schafer. He also took charge of Thailand’s U23 side during this period.
After Schafer’s departure, Mano continued his work in Thai domestic football, taking charge of Army United in 2013 and leading them to an impressive 6th place finish in his only full season at the club.
A short spell with an ambitious Suphanburi side soon followed, but Mano truly made his name at Bangkok United, which he joined midway through the 2014 campaign.
Over the following six years, he turned the club from bottom-half strugglers to regular title contenders and made them consistently one of the most attractive sides in the division. While he was never able to pull the team over the final hurdle and win the Thai League trophy, he remains a fan favourite at the club and many were disappointed to see him go last year.
He joins the War Elephants after leaving Vietnamese side Ho Chi Minh City FC. His first task will be to prepare the side for the AFF Suzuki Cup this December, a regional tournament for the national teams of Southeast Asia.
Photo Credit – @ThailandNTOFFICIAL