After three years of football absences in the Esan gateway province, a new team has finally formed to compete in the Omsin Thai League 4.
In 2015, when Saraburi Football Club announced that it will cease all operations, this small club became the talk of the town. After its first year in the top flight, Saraburi finished in 14th place and avoided regulation. However, financial issues soon followed, which forced the ‘Warlords’ to shut down for good.
The concluding chapters of Saraburi Football Club in 2015 were very sobering for the fans, as they were the promoted underdogs a season earlier from Thai League 2 (Divison 1).
Saraburi Football Club established in 2009 around the same time as the ‘Thai Football Boom’. The ‘Warlords’ started competing in the Regional League Division 2 (currently Thai League 4) before climbing its way up the pyramid to Division 1 (currently Thai League 3) in 2010. Despite playing in the lower leagues, Saraburi Stadium was always packed, regardless of the team’s performance.
After spending four years in the second tier, Saraburi was able to finished second in the league, earning an automatic promotion spot to the Thai League 1. However, the promotion in 2014 proved to be too big of a challenge for the club as financial turmoil soon followed. The result of the club’s instability caused their main sponsor, Gulf Energy Development, to pull out along with the resignation of legendary coach ‘Ban’ Totchtawan Sripan.
The new replacement head coach, Pairoj Borwonwatanadilok (coach Bae), immediately took the helm of Saraburi FC and restored order in the dressing room. Against all odds, the ‘Warlords’ avoided relegation but the imminent financial reality quickly caught up forcing the club to dissolve. Nevertheless, the fighting spirits of Saraburi did not die with it.
In 2017, longing for a football team to call their own, Saraburi fans decided to gather together to form ‘Saraburi United Football Club’ with the help of provincial leaders. The team was entered to compete in the Thailand Amateur League (T5). Saraburi United got off to a rough start in their first season, finishing only in third place and failing to get promoted. Though things took a turn last year, in 2018. A new wave of players from out-of-state came in and lifted the spirit of Saraburi once again by getting a promotion to Thai League 4 as T5 Champions.
After three years of absence in the professional football scene, Saraburi and its eternal fighting spirit is now back in the game and ready for the upcoming 2019 Thai League 4 season!
Special Thanks To the Thai League for the original story and Saraburi United for the photo!