Thais want to make it spe­cial for ‘Tee’

J1 League stars Theerathon, Chanathip and Teerasil tar­get vic­tory over Trinidad and Tobago today

Bangkok Post - - FOOTBALL -

>> Thai­land’s trio of Ja­pan-based stars have vowed to pro­vide a fit­ting send-off to vet­eran goal­keeper Sinthaweechai Hathairat­tanakool with a vic­tory over Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly tonight.

The in­ter­na­tional ‘A’ match, which will serve as a tes­ti­mo­nial for Sinthaweechai, will kick off at 6pm in Suphan Buri and will be tele­vised live by Thairath TV.

Thai­land coach Milo­van Ra­je­vac has promised to name the vet­eran goal­keeper, who plays for Thai League 1 side Suphan­buri, in his start­ing line-up.

The Ser­bian coach is also keen on field­ing Thai­land’s three J1 League play­ers — Theerathon Bun­mathan, Teerasil Dangda and Chanathip Songkrasin — in the match.

Thai­land are fresh from their 1-0 away vic­tory over Hong Kong in a friendly on Thurs­day night.

Trinidad and Tobago, who were re­spon­si­ble for shat­ter­ing the United States’ dream of mak­ing the 2018 World Cup fi­nals in Rus­sia, are a stronger team but Theerathon, Chanathip and Teerasil re­main un­ruf­fled.

They all echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments for Sinthaweechai yes­ter­day.

Theerathon promised an all-out ef­fort “if I am given a chance to play in the match.”

He added: “Phi Tee [Sinthaweechai’s nick­name] is a thor­ough pro­fes­sional and a great role model for all Thai play­ers.

“He has the re­spect of ev­ery player in the team, so we can ex­pect an ex­tra ef­fort from ev­ery­one.”

Thai­land’s crafty mid­fielder Chanathip pre­dicted an “in­ter­est­ing” bat­tle with Trinidad and Tobago.

“I want the Thai foot­ball fans to come and watch the game at the sta­dium,” said Chanathip.

“I re­alise it could be a costly trip for those out­side Suphan Buri but I am still hop­ing that they will come so that we can have a spe­cial at­mos­phere for this spe­cial oc­ca­sion for Sinthaweechai.”

Teerasil, one of the best strikers to play for the War Ele­phants, also praised Sinthaweechai’s “brotherly at­ti­tude”.

“He has al­ways been more than just a team­mate for many play­ers, in­clud­ing me,” said Teerasil.

“I con­sulted him time and again, when­ever I was faced with prob­lems both on and off the field.

“I am very keen to make this a mem­o­rable oc­ca­sion for him. Hope­fully we will beat Trinidad and Tobago.”

How­ever, coach Ra­je­vac is ex­pect­ing a tough bat­tle against Trinidad and Tobago. “They [Trinidad and Tobago] are much stronger than Hong Kong,” he said.

“They are from the Concacaf zone. Their play­ers have speed and move the ball around very well, so it should be an in­ter­est­ing match. I ex­pect the pace of the game to be high and there won’t be many long balls.”

Vet­eran Thai goal­keeper Sinthaweechai Hathairat­tanakool takes part in a train­ing ses­sion.

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