Thursday, 19 August 2010

Next up - Buriram PEA (away)


This Sunday, Muangthong travel to Buriram in a bid to become the first team to defeat Buriram PEA at the Thundercastle. Buriram's success this season has been due to a strong defence. Now they will, once again, come up against the best and highest-scoring team in the league. Which side will crack?

A little more about Buriram PEA in general was discussed before the home game.

As usual, both sets of fans will be friendly and well behaved but I must confess I'll be tempted to speak my mind a few times and that's not just because 'Thundercastle' sounds more like a ride at Dream World.

For one thing, it seems remarkably bad taste for a politician (Newin Chidchob) to acquire not one but two teams (Buriram PEA and Buriram FC) and then proceed to offer cash bonuses to other teams in the league and loan not one, not two players from one club to the other.

It also goes against the natural instinct of a western football fan to accept fans given "incentives" to support a team, because we instinctively feel that fans should support a team through loyalty and nothing else. Also hard for us to understand is the idea of hero worshiping a politician. It has a very 'North Korean' feel to it.

Moreover, various reports have stated that while the home fans are perfectly friendly, security staff at the Thundercastle are, allegedly, both unfriendly and unhelpful. Any fans going to this game should be aware that on all previous occasions, items such as umbrellas, food boxes and any other items too big to fit in a pocket have been confiscated. The management at Muangthong are aware of this but of course as an away team, there is only so much that can be done about it.

But all this is just my opinion and I realise that Buriram fans are good people who will see things very differently. I'm sure most people will quite rightly focus on the football and it looks set to be an exciting game. Chonburi's win over Tero means they are still hot on our heels and Thundercastle is where Chonburi, Bangkok Glass and Pattaya all slipped up. Thai Port managed a draw. For us to falter too would fill Chonburi with hope.


  1. Hi Greg
    Pattaya played there Wednesday - as you describe it - friendly locals but officious security people. The whole place has a weird atmosphere - the main stand lot are all highly choreographed but you can't really hear them from the away section. They stay behind around one hour after the match to practice their "chants" (50% of them are girls). They are also given free food and free transport. The stand next to the away fans area (in direct sunlight by the way - bloody hot) - are filled with school kids who were being paid cash (100 Baht we guessed) by guys in satchels for their attendance. We started mimicking them and passing money around as a joke and the security gorillas got upset. A really strange experience - going to Buriram makes you realize what life in North Korea must be like. All part of the TPL experience though. Don't expect much from the refs - we were controlling the game at 1-0 until the ref started his shenanigans. I think you'll beat them comfortably if the TPL can find a decent ref. Have a good trip.

  2. Thanks Glenn,
    This has confirmed what I already suspected. It's a shame that the home fans cannot be heard though as it makes for a good atmosphere when you have a lot of noise at these big games.