Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Muangkan United (Thailand)

Muangkan United FC are a football club based in the historical tourist city of Kanchanaburi in the west of Thailand. 'The Bats' were formed in 2009 and admitted to third tier Regional League football in 2010, moving into Kleab Bua Stadium.

The club's first two seasons in existence ended in mid table finishes. After yet another average 2014 season, the club dropped out of the Regional League for the 2015 season before returning in 2016.

Muangkhan United will play in the Regional League Central & West Area in the 2016 season.

My visit

Wednesday 28th March 2012

I was in Thailand for a two week holiday to do some sightseeing, go to some football, play in a cricket tournament in Chiang Mai and do lots of socialising. After an opening evening in Bangkok I headed to Kanchanaburi, a place I'd wanted to visit for some time.

My journey is worthy of a page of its own, but in a nutshell my taxi driver in the capital got stuck in horrendous traffic and then dumped me at the wrong railway station. I had intended to travel up by train but ended up paying around £30 for a taxi ride for the seventy mile journey.

I stayed in a basic but typically Thai place right on the River Kwai. My accommodation at the VN Guest House cost me just 280 baht (around £5.50) for a room on a raft on the river with a small outside area. I spent the evening pampering myself with a nice meal, a good walk hoping to see the floodlights indicating action at the stadium (without luck) and both a fish spa and leg and foot massage, before retiring with a smoothie to read my book outside as the moon shone on the water. 

The following morning after a superb breakfast I visited the War Cemetery and The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre before catching the train round to the River Kwai stop. It had been an eye opener and made me feel very grateful to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I took my photos and had a walk on the bridge before turning back a few hundred metres towards the Kleab Bua Stadium, which I'd spotted from the train in the Tha Makham area of the city.

The approach took me over dusty wasteland with roads laid out, which seemed to indicate that it was ripe for development in the future. The stadium certainly looked impressive from the outside. I headed up to the main Sangchuto Road where the entrance was. A guard smiled from his sheltered box as I walked through the gates. 

The stadium was a multi purpose arena that had been upgraded in 2009 for the Thailand National Youth Games and had more facilities beyond the main stadium. TOT SC of the Thai Premier League had used the stadium during the 2009 season before returning to Nonthaburi Province to the north of Bangkok.

I walked straight to pitch side by the club offices. The pitch was surrounded by a running track and had a covered Main Stand on the far side with an open stand facing it. Both ends were identical with two covered cantilever stands facing each other with gaps in the middle. It was an impressive place for a relatively small city, with Kanchanaburi having a population at the time of around 40,000.

The club name comes from the fact Muang is the Thai name for city centre and Kan being short for Kanchanaburi. Many cities are also the name of the province in which it lies, so Muang is added in front of the city if it refers to that, rather than the whole area - if that makes sense!

I went to the garage for a Gatorade and then caught a sangtheaw back into the city to catch a bus back to Bangkok. I was going to the Muangthong United v Bangkok Glass game that evening and was looking forward to getting back early for a bathe in the hotel pool. The lady and driver at the bus station insisted that the 99 baht I'd just spent was for an express bus. How little I learned!

I really enjoyed Kanchanaburi and hoped to return. It's a chilled out place with plenty of history. Ideally I'd also catch a Mungkan home game.

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