Pattaya United are the modern incarnation of Coke-Bangpra FC. The
Chonburi based outfit moved to Sin City in 2007 and since then have
enjoyed two seasons fighting relegation. Last season they stayed up on the final week of the season at the expense of Chula United.
The 'Dolphins' have a predictably high level of farang support but are
constricted in a tiny stadium with a capacity of three thousand. A new
stadium is already in the works.
Despite their previous struggles, the squad have recently embarked on
a good run of form including wins over TOT (marred by some violent
scenes after the match) and Samut Songkhram. They now sit in third
place in the table, trailing Muangthong and Chonburi by just one
point, but they have played two more games.
Pattaya is in Chonburi province and is within two hours drive of
Bangkok. The city is a popular weekend getaway for Thais and
foreigners alike. Although known for its wild nightlife and crime,
the city does have plenty of culture and history including the Thai-Chinese Museum, local vineyards and some excellent sports.
Pattaya is one of only two cities in Thailand that has an elected
See the fan interview below
Did you know?
Pattaya United's English-Jamaican player Richard Langley has played for Jamaica, Bristol Rovers and Luton. He recently took some of his teammates along to an orphanage in Pattaya and played a match with the children. Langley played barefooted. Kudos to this man.
This is an excellent opportunity for Muangthong to cut themselves
and Chonburi off from the rest of the pack and send a message that
the title race is between two teams (though BG may well catch up). As
long as we don't start to look tired we should do it. I predict 2-0.
And now the fan interview...........
My victim was Willi Schanz, who is prominent member of the PU fan club and acts as a contact point for fellow German ex-pat fans.
Could you tell us where you are from, how long you've lived in Thailand and what do you do here?
I am Willi Schanz and I come from Germany, Stuttgart.
What made you choose Pattaya United as your Thai team?
As I live in Pattaya, Nong Prue, it is granted that I support my local team here. But I also follow Banglamung FC in the Chonburi Provincial League.
There's a lot of ex-pats in Pattaya, does the team have a lot of farang fans? Do they get on well together?
Yes, Pattaya United has a big fanbase made out of ex-pats. And the nice thing is that you are stay together in the stands with folks from England, Germany, Scandinavia and other countries. We also go to away games together. I think that is something unique and wouldn't be possible in Europe.
Did you support Pattaya during last season when the team battled relegation?
Yes, I've been with Pattaya since they were founded. And I even watched a few games of Bangphra before. It was the teams fault they faced a relegation battle last year. In some games they easily gave away points out of their hands, which they obviously could win
This season, the team are doing well so far. What position do you expect to finish?
Before the start of the season, the board of the club aimed a spot in the TOP5. I was a bit more cautious, that time, I would had been happy with a place somewhere in the midfield of the table. But the team is really strong this season and we are good enough for some surprises.
Who are your best players?
I would say our Striker Ludovick, Niweat Siriwong and Arlindo.
What do you think of Muangthong United fans and players?
Muang Thong do have a really good team with a lot of Nationalplayers. And at the stadium there is always a great atmosphere. We as Pattaya United can only dream of such big crowds.
What do you think the score will be in the match between Muangthong and Pattaya?
I personally would be very happy with a draw. But I was at the training this week, and a lot players told me that we will win. After 6 Matches unbeaten, they are looking very confident now.
Anything else to add?
I would like to wish MTU all the best for their AFC Cup campaign, and I hope they can advance as much as possible. This would be a good thing for Thai football.
Thanks to Willi for the interview (and Mario, another ex-pat who offered to help but didn't have time). The site www.pattayautd.com is available in Thai and English for anyone who wants to read more about Pattaya United.
Photo credits: mtutd.tv and ptufans.com