Air Force Central FC is a professional football club who are based in the north of the Thai capital of Bangkok. The club were formed as Royal Thai Air Force FC in 1937 as they quickly became one of the most successful outfits in the country.
The clubs honours included several Khor Royal Cup and Queen's Cup triumphs throughout the decades. Success continued into the nineties as the Thai FA Cup was lifted in 1995 and 1996. This brought league honours as the Thai Premier League title was claimed in 1997 and 1999.
Silverware once again arrived at Thupatemee Stadium in 2001 as Air Force once more won the FA Cup. Unfortunately that saw the end of the run, which saw the team were relegated from the TPL at the end of the 2003-04 season.
In 2009 the club changed its name to Air Force United as regulations in Thai football required all clubs to become private franchises. United continued in the second tier of Division One as they tried to regain their top flight status without really getting close to promotion.
'The Blue Eagles' battled successfully against relegation in both 2011 and 2012, while the 2013 campaign under the stewardship of club legend Narasak Boonkleng turned out to be one of great success, after a couple of lengthy unbeaten runs led to the team winning promotion under the title of Air Force AVIA FC.
The club changed its title to Air Force Central FC for the 2014 campaign. Unfortunately the change didn't bring any good fortune back in the top flight. The team were relegated after finish second from bottom of the table and Boonkleng departed.
Sasom Pobprsert took over for the 2015, with the aim of taking Central straight back up at the first attempt.
Air Force Central FC will play in Thai League Division One in the 2015 season.
Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani 1 Futera Seeker 1 (Wednesday 27th March 2013) Thai Regional League Central West Region (att: approx 400)
To see my round up and photos from the above match, click here:
I had the opportunity to visit Thupatemee Stadium at the above game, after visiting several stadiums in the area. Because of its location I'd been past a few times and had flown right over it when using the nearby Don Mueng Airport. Indeed, during the match several Nok Air and Air Asia flights went close by over the pitch.
The stadium had a running track around the playing surface but the stands were straight at the ends, which would mean quite a viewing distance from the corners. It was immaculately painted in white, both inside and out. Just one side had a roof, with blue seating and a VIP and press area occupying the centre section. Old fashioned scoreboards stood at the rear of both ends.
Outside there was a large car park and some smaller pitches leading out onto Phahonyothin Road. The rear of the Main Stand had an excellent club shop, which would be well worth a second visit as it stocked shirts from many other Thai clubs as well as a paraphernalia of Blue Eagles souvenirs.
My ticket was 120 Baht (around £2.40). With a large coke and some fried skewered meat in hand for 45 Baht (90p) I went upstairs into the Main Stand. This was familiar surroundings to me as I’d been to Thupatemee Stadium in March 2013 for a Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani game. The club shared the stadium. There was a good sized mixed crowd in attendance. As usual the game kicked off late; this time eight minutes.
Police drew level with an absolutely brilliant goal. Several one touch passes gave the home side air sickness before a solo run and finish from Tana Chanabut gave the scoreline a more realistic tint. Police were not getting many decisions from the officials, so I thought the equaliser was deserved.
To see my video, as part of my tour diary, click here.