United coach quits as team tumbles into bottom three

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Pattaya United Football Club Manager Chalermwoot Sa-Ngapol resigned last week after angry Dolphin fans protested the team’s poor start to the new Thai Premier League season.

Club Managing Director Sombut Pinyasiri and Chalermwoot announced the resignation April 17 at a raucous press conference following the Loma Dolphins’ 2-1 loss to fellow league strugglers Ratchaburi Mitphon at the Nongprue Stadium.

“I apologize for disappointing the fans with the recent performance and accept all the losses as my sole responsibility,” Chalermwoot said.  “I will leave the coaching job.”

Pattaya United clash with Muang Thong United at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, April 20. (Photo/Offside/Pattaya United)Pattaya United clash with Muang Thong United at the Nongprue Stadium in Pattaya, Saturday, April 20. (Photo/Offside/Pattaya United)

Fans mobbed club officials after the loss, forcing police to restore order.  The crowd applauded vigorously after Chalermwoot announced his departure.

Chalermwoot took the helm of the Dolphins in July 2011 and was credited with turning around the team’s season, leading them to a fourth-place finish.  But injuries and poor play by injury replacements sent Pattaya United tumbling to a 15th place finish last year.

Chalermwoot Sa-Ngapol.Chalermwoot Sa-Ngapol.

Prior to the 2013 campaign, Sombat said the club had amassed a budget of 60 million baht to improve the experience both off and on the field, and the club brought in a host of new players during the close season, promising that the “issues” that led to the dreary 2012 performance had been solved.

The Dolphins started the year with a 2-0 win over Songkhram FC, but have since gone on a run of six straight defeats, including the midweek loss to Ratchaburi and last Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by table topping Muang Thong United.

The club has since announced that Chalermwoot has been replaced at the team’s helm by 65-year old Chatchai Paholpad, a former boss of the Thai national team and most recently employed as the director of team affairs at Osotspa M-150.

With the Dolphins now occupying one of the three relegation places, the pressure will be on Paholpad to turn around the clubs fortunes in sharp order, beginning this coming Saturday when the blue & whites travel to the capital to take on bottom club Bangkok United in the battle of the league’s two leakiest defences.  If nothing else, it should be a match that provides plenty of goals.

Pattaya United Managing Director Sombut Pinyasiri (left) welcomes new first team coach Chatchai Paholpad.Pattaya United Managing Director Sombut Pinyasiri (left) welcomes new first team coach Chatchai Paholpad.

In contrast to Pattaya’s worsening fortunes, Chonburi FC appear to have overcome their own indifferent start to the season to take 10 points from their last 4 games and are currently sitting in fourth place, just 4 points adrift of Muang Thong United.  The Sharks next fixture looks a tough one on paper though as they travel to Suphanburi on Sunday to take on the league’s second placed team.

Thai Premier League Standings April 21
Team P W D L +/- Pts.
Muang Thong United 7 6 0 1 9 18
Suphanburi 7 4 3 0 6 15
Buriram United 6 4 2 0 9 14
Chonburi 7 4 2 1 6 14
BEC Tero Sasana 7 4 2 1 4 14
Army United 7 4 1 2 10 13
TOT 7 3 2 2 -1 11
Chainat 7 2 4 1 2 10
Songkhla United 7 3 1 3 -5 10
Police United 6 2 3 1 0 9
Ratchaburi 7 2 2 3 -2 8
Osotspa 7 2 2 3 -3 8
Bangkok Glass 7 1 2 4 -2 5
Chiangrai United 6 0 3 3 -4 3
Samut Songkhram 6 0 3 3 -4 3
Pattaya United 7 1 0 6 -8 3
Sisaket 3 0 1 2 -4 1
Bangkok United 7 0 1 6 -13 1
Results:  Pattaya United 0 v 1 Muang Thong United, Ratchaburi 1 v 0 Bangkok United, Osotspa 1 v 1 Chainat, Chiangrai United 2 v 2 Buriram United, BEC Tero Sasana 1 v 0 Bangkok Glass, Samut Songkhram P v P Sisaket, Army United 1 v 1 Suphanburi, Chonburi 1 v 0 TOT, Police United 1 v 1 Songkhla United.