Match Preview: CMFC v Bangkok Glass Pathum United FC
REVO League Cup – Quarter Final
Chiang Mai Municipal Stadium
Wednesday 22 February 2023 – 6.00pm
I do not normally post the match previews to my web site – they are written for cmfcenglish on facebook – but this is our biggest game of the season – and it is only fitting that it is against Bangkok Glass Pathum United – who have been our benefactor and godfather for the last three seasons but whose support stops at the end of this season.
Daddy is coming to town:
“Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Skywalker: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Vader: No. I am your father.”
On Wednesday evening (a 6pm kick off) BGPU are our visitors in the quarter finals of the REVO League Cup. CMFC are the only T2 side left in the competition. Samut Songkhram are the T3 representatives.
The quarter final line up is :
Ratchaburi v Samut Songkhram
Bangkok United v Buriram
Lamphun Warriors v PT Prachuap
CMFC v BGPU.
In reality BGPU have been more of a godfather (in the good sense, not the Sicilian version) than father. When Boon Rawd acquired CMFC our club was managed, or mis-managed, through Chiang Rai United.
Chiang Rai United took shameless advantage of their management of CMFC to ensure that six easy T1 points were available through stopping CMFC from using loan players and then providing enough of an incentive to ensure a game-of-the-season-performance in a 1-1 draw with Buriram that gifted Chiang Rai the 2019 League title.
In 2020 CMFC was passed over to BGPU and in fairness their ownership has been more benign. The fact that BGPU and CMFC are in different leagues clearly helps manage any conflicts of interest.
Then, shortly before the draw for the REVO League Cup quarter finals Boon Rawd announced that they would cease their support of CMFC at the end of this season and were looking for a buyer for the club.
Cast adrift. Like poor old Tom Hanks on a deserted island waiting for a rescue.
The BGPU/CMFC divorce makes last week’s announcement of a youth development deal between BGPU and Saraphi based Vachiralai School and Vachiralai United appear both strangely timed and geographically inappropriate.
This was a deal that CMFC management had been talking about earlier in the season. Just how much support is Vachiralai going to receive from a Bangkok based club that has just severed its league connection with Chiang Mai? How does this deal impact the CMFC youth teams?
On a sadder note Duangpetch Promthep, the captain of the Wild Boars youth team rescued from a Thai cave in 2018, died in the UK last week. He was a Vachiralai student before moving to Chiang Rai and had been enrolled in a football academy in the UK since late last year. Our condolences to his family and friends.
A long preamble. But before we give BGPU a thumping on the pitch a quick thank you for keeping our club alive over the last three years; including through the misery of Covid.
We have had a series of loan players from BGPU – some in their second season with CMFC. Players and staff have been paid; away trips are relatively comfortable – unless you are sharing a 20 sq. metre room with Mr. Filipovic! Media and branding have been managed through BGPU. Everything about CMFC gives the appearance of a competently run club that looks after its people. That cannot be said of a number of other T2 clubs.
BGPU are not going to finish in the top two in T1. They have only won once in their last five games and are currently seventh; fifteen points behind second place Bangkok United. But they are in the last eight of both Cup competitions; and some silverware would be good news for Matt Smith, their Australian coach.
BGPU sent out a strong side for their FA Cup tie against Lamphun on 8 February. My guess (that is all it is) is that BGPU will come to Chiang Mai treating this match just as seriously.
In goal Thailand international Kittipong (26) has been an ever present this season. Prasit (39) is the number 2. Kittipong did not make his Thai international debut until last season when he was 32. Fahas would be a more than able successor in the future.
With an excess of centre halfs on their books BGPU have been playing with three at the back. Chanapach (6) and Jakkapan (16) on either side of the Brazilian Cassio Scheid (41). The veteran Venezuelan, Andres Tunez (30), is an option in defense and played in the cup tie win against Lamphun.
Singaporean international centre back Irfan Fandi (17) is also available; too many centre backs! His brother, the striker Ikhsan Fandi, has been out since December with a long term injury.
The four man midfield has played together in both the recent league and cup matches. Yusuke Maruhashi (14) who is on loan from Cerezo Osaka, Sarach (6), Chaowat (4) and Santipharp (22).
Apisit Sorada scored against Prachuap playing on the left wing. A familiar name to CMFC supporters….Simon has his shirt from a December 2020 cup tie at Dome FC.
Nattapon (28) plays on the right with Teerasil (10) at centre forward. Stenio (31) was carrying an injury last weekend but could also start on his return to CMFC.
Suwit (90) has been getting some game time; and could also play at left back. Gustavsson and Kiadtiphon appear largely forgotten since their move back to BGPU and are not getting the competitive football that they enjoyed with CMFC.
BGPU’s star attraction is Teerasil Dangda; there will be a queue for his shirt at the end of the game. Now 34 years old the striker made his Thailand national team debut just after his 19th birthday. 53 goals in 116 appearances over 15 years is a hugely impressive record.
The Israeli centre forward Ben Azubel moved to BGPU from Perth Glory; again he has had limited playing time.
22 year old centre forward Korawich Tasa, joined BGPU from Muangthong United in December 2022. Another who could start but who gets limited game time.
And then there is the ever smiling Patrik Gustavsson; he really should have played out the season with CMFC.
That is the issue with BGPU; there are so many changes each week it is unclear whether Smith know his preferred starting XI – but they do have an excess of talent in the key positions that make up the spine of the team.
As for Chiang Mai FC; four goals on Sunday against Kasetsart came just at the right time. After the recent goal drought this was a welcome deluge. Suchanon was back and again made a genuine difference up front.
We have a mobile and pacey squad that enjoy their football. There will also be a number of players looking to make a big impression on their BGPU parent. Keep it tight at the back; move the ball forward quickly and find space up front. Running at defenders not jumping against defenders is how we take the game to BGPU.
Stewart should be fit; and it would be good for his Dad, who will be at the game, to see him play in a Chiang Mai shirt. However, Sarawin has impressed in his last two games and may get the start.
Actually, why change anything? Perhaps Srithai should start for Saharat to support Ronnayod in front of the back four. Chatchai or Tawan? Both deserve a run at their illustrious visitors.
We should get a big crowd – even for an early midweek start. Make some noise and enjoy the game.
See you there.