Friday , June 2 2023

Thailand may prevent national head coach returning to V. League

The Football Association of Thailand has left the possibility of a contract extension open for head coach Mano Polking, who is considering an offer from V. League club Cong An Ha Noi (CAHN).

Polking is expected to have a meeting with Somyot Poompanmoung, president of the association, and national team manager Nualphan Lamsam to discuss his future this weekend.

“The contract extension requires an agreement between the two parties,” Poompanmoung told Thai media.

The current contract between Polking and the Thai association will expire on December 31, 2023, right before the Asian Cup. However, the association had not previously mentioned a contract extension, despite Polking’s impressive results, such as winning the AFF Cup title twice in a row and qualifying for the 2023 Asian Cup.

Recently, Polking received an offer to sign a long-term contract with CAHN, the biggest-spending club in V. League this season. The Brazilian-German coach was excited about the idea of bagging a V. League title, which he failed at when coaching HCMC FC in 2021.

If Polking agrees to sign, he can terminate the contract with the Thai association early and pay compensation. After that, he can go to Vietnam and start right away.

Somyot said that Polking had sent him a message, saying that he was “still happy to coach the Thailand national team and believes that he will do well in the 2023 Asian Cup.”

Polking’s desire is to lead Thailand team in the Asian Cup, according to media reports. He said the rumors would not have come out if the Thai association had been more clear what it wanted.

“I’m not a perfect coach,” Polking said Tuesday. “I have lost a few matches, but I believe that Thailand will play well in official tournaments and my style is still suitable for this team.”

The coach has been involved in Thai football since 2012 including seven years managing Bangkok United from 2014 to 2020. He became the coach of HCMC FC in 2020 but failed to get good results and left after a year.

In September 2021, Polking became the interim coach of Thailand, replacing Akira Nishino. He immediately made his mark with the AFF Cup title before signing a new contract and winning another AFF Cup. He is the only coach in Southeast Asia to beat Vietnam former head coach Park Hang-seo, who left the team earlier this year.

To date, Polking is the coach with the highest win rate in the history of the Thai team, at 62.07%, comprising 18 wins, five draws and six losses.

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