With the Thai League 1 set to return on the 12th of September, Reyer ArepA BonThai is offering a refresher on the brightest and most outstanding players before the shutdown. In accordance with the league’s foreign player quota regulation 7 (3+1+3), here is Reyer’s pick of the Dream Team for the upcoming 2020/21 season.
Tactic: Although I am a defender by nature, nothing excites me more than dominant attacking football. I have decided not to hold back and go all-in with a formation that could be described as a 3-5-2 formation. Although only playing with 3 defenders, I have 2 defensive midfielders whose main task is to strengthen the center of the defence (allowing the other defenders to guard the flanks) and distributing the ball upfield to my dynamic attacking players.
GK: Siwarak Tedsungnoen (Buriram United)
Despite his age, Buriram United’s Siwarak Tedsungnoen is still one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the League and choosing him as the starting goalkeeper seemed almost a no-brainer to me. The 36-year old brings experience, leadership and discipline to any defence and has proven this, season after season. He may not be as agile and reactive as the other goalkeepers on my list but his work off-the-ball alone is already enough to have him in my squad.
RCB: Tristan Do (True Bangkok United)
A flexible and hardworking defender, Tristan Do is the perfect combination between attack and defence, making him the perfect player for this team. The Paris-born defender has had an exciting career so far appearing for teams such as BEC Tero, Muangthong, and now, Bangkok United. He has proved an important cog in Mano’s system, with his passing, positional awareness, and work-rate proving key.
CB: Manuel Bihr (True Bangkok United)
Another Bangkok United player, Manuel Bihr is another defender whose technical abilities strongly complement him as a defender. The German-Thai center back came through VfB Stuttgart’s excellent youth system before joining 1. FC Nürnberg, making over 50 appearances for their reserves and 8 appearances for their senior side. Bihr has a Van Dijk-like style in which his passing can completely dominate a game and his defensive awareness can suppress opposition attacks without him even touching the ball. The defender has earned his spot in this Dream Team.
LCB: Adisorn Promrak (Port FC)
An important figure in the Thai National Team, Adisorn Promrak is a commanding defender with excellent technical abilities and vision. Signed in March 2020 from Muangthong United, Port FC are hoping ‘Geng’ can help Port FC push for the League Title this season. The experienced National Team defender has plied his trade for teams such as Army United, Police Tero, and Muangthong before joining the Port Lions.
DM: Hajime Hosogai (True Bangkok United)
A player of Elite quality and consistency, Hajime Hosogai is one of the most experienced players in the league, having played at the highest level in German football for clubs such as FC Ausburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha BSC. The midfielder also has 30 caps for the Japanese National Team, being part of the team that emerged victorious in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Hosogai is the ideal player to run the Dream Team midfield as a highly composed player who can effortlessly balance the team’s defence and attack.
DM: Thitiphan Puangjan (BG Pathum United)
A hard-working box-to-box midfielder to assist Hosogai by pressuring opponents and chasing down any loose balls. Thitiphan Puangjan is excellent at reading the game, who can improve the quality of all his teammates around him. Puangjan, who had just returned this season following a loan moved to Japan’s Oita Trinita, is also an efficient goalscorer, having already scored 2 goals in his first 3 games this season. I firmly believe he is the best choice and duly deserves his spot in this Dream Team.
LW: Ekanit Panya (Chiangrai United)
I am a big fan of Ekanit Panya, a dynamic young player who can change a whole game. The 20-year old Chiangrai United winger has the potential to truly become something special, having netted multiple goals for Chiangmai, Chiangrai, and the Thai National Team. Ekanit won the Thai League 1 last season with Chiangrai and the club are hoping to retain the youngster and secure more titles in the future.
RW: Supachok Sarachart (Buriram United)
On the right-wing, we have the Thai National team’s prized young winger, Supachok Sarachart. Sarachat is a versatile forward capable of playing either on the wing or as a central attacking midfielder. The Sisaket native has seen incredible development since breaking into the Buriram United first-team, has already played for the Thai National Team, and is linked to Portuguese giants, Sporting Lisbon. He would be a prized asset to any team he joins, including my Dreamteam for this season. Having already scored 4 goals in his first 4 games this season, this could be a season to remember for young Sarachat.
SS: Herbety Fernandes (Port FC) [C]
Undoubtedly the best player in the Thai League 1 and my personal favourite. Heberty Fernandes is a joy to behold when in action, with his playmaking, goalscoring, and mesmerizing technical ability destroying opposition defences. The Brazilian is currently 2nd in the Thai all-time top scorers list with 122 league goals to his name, having previously surpassed Teerasil Dangda’s record of 117 league goals. The former Ratchaburi Mitr Phol and Muangthong forward is currently on loan at Port FC, hoping to lead the team to the T1 Title.
ST: Nelson Bonilla (Port FC)
The forward for this Dream Team is Nelson Bonilla, the newest member of Port FC and a key player for the El Salvador National Team. The forward has spent 2 full seasons in the Thai League and has already scored 40+ goals for True Bangkok United and Sukhothai FC, this is a player you want leading the front line. Bonilla is a dominant forward with exceptional positional sense and has the ability to score from anywhere in the box. Few can match his ruthlessness in front of goals.
ST: Yannick Boli (Ratchaburi Mitr Phol)
Imagine having a team with 3 of the deadliest forwards in the Thai League 1, Yannick Boli is the final piece to this deadly attacking trident. The former Paris Saint-Germain, FC Anzhi Makhachkala, and Dalian Yifang forward has been nothing short of prolific since joining Ratchaburi Mitr Phol and you can expect the goals to continue. The Dragons star player can create goals out of nowhere and has already made 1 appearance for the Ivory Coast National Team. He will be expected to lead Ratchaburi Mitr Phol in goals this season as they push for a top spot in the 2020 Thai League 1.
GK: Michael Falkesgaard (True Bangkok United)
The second goalkeeper for this team is Michael Falkesgaard, although a very reliable goalkeeper, sadly he could not usurp Buriram’s Tedsungnoen from the starting position. The Philippine National Team goalkeeper joined Bangkok United from Danish side, Midtjylland in 2018 and has since become the undisputed starting goalkeeper for his National side.
DF: Elias Dolah (Port FC)
Standing at 1.96m, Eliash Dolah is one of the most powerful and physically imposing players in the league. The towering centre back is a rock in de Port FC defensive line who is barely ever beaten to a header. Having been made eligible for both Sweden, Malaysia and Thailand, Elias opted to play for Chang Suek, making his international debut in 2019. When in-form, Dolah seems almost unbeatable in the air, bullying opponents with his explosive strength.
RB: Nitipong Selanon (Port FC)
A reliable defender, Nitipong Selanon broke through from the popular Chonburi Academy and has developed into one of the league’s most consistent defenders. The agile right-back uses his speed, creativity and vision to beat opposition defenders to supply chances for his teammates in the box. His ability to play both defence and attack proves valuable to any team..
DM: Phitiwat Sukjitthamakul (Chiangrai United)
Chiangrai United’s charismatic leader, Phitiwat Sukjitthamakul’s leadership, vision and determination have elevated the club since his arrival in 2017. The composed mifielders is excellent and winning the ball from opposition forwards and playing accurate counter-attacking passes to his teammates up the field. His defensive awareness and knowing when to drop back to support his teammates in defence proved a key reason as to why Chiangrai were so defensively solid during their 2019/2020 Thai League 1 winning campaign.
LW: Bordin Phala (Port FC)
Bordin Phala is a tremendously talented winger with the ambition and the work-rate to become one of the league’s finest. The Port FC star is an incredible team player who creates can effortlessly create goalscoring chances for either himself or his teammates. Bordin already has 6 caps for the Thai National Team and if he continues his fine form, we could see him win many more.
CAM: Leon James (Ratchaburi Mitr Phol)
Although Leon is still yet to play his first Thai League 1 game, he makes my Dream Team anyway. The 18-year old Ratchaburi midfielder has already displayed tremendous work rate and potential since joining Ratchaburi Mitr Phol. He has the right mentality and background to succeed in this league and will be a hit for years to come!
ST: Javier Patiño (Ratchaburi Mitr Phol)
A reliable back-up striker to this already stacked team, Javier Patiño is another forward to look out for this season in the Thai League 1. The Philippine National Team forward spent last season on loan at Ratchaburi and played well enough to convince the team to sign him permanently. With 2 goals in his first 4 games this season, this could be a statement season for Patiño.
How do you think Reyer’s 2020 Thai League 1 Fantasy Dream Team matches-up with Punn & Kunn’s Fantasy Dream Team?