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

London

September 2015

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kasetsart University (Thailand)



Kasetsart University FC are a football club based on the Kasetsart University campus to the north of the centre of the Thai capital of Bangkok. The club were formed in 1988, playing against similar organisations.


In 2008 Kasetsart won the Khǒr Royal Cup and also won a place in the Regional League Division Two for the following season. After a couple of seasons of disappointment, the 2011 campaign ended with 'The Emerald Nagas' finishing top of the Bangkok Area division.


Sadly the play offs ended in disaster, with the team faring badly on the pitch and their home Intree Chantarasatit Stadium being badly damaged by the city's floods. The team had to relocate for the 2012 season to the university's Kampaeng Saen campus in Nakhon Pathom. The campaign ended in agony as Kasetsart missed out on a play off place on the final day.


After repairs were made, Kasetsart returned to their traditional home for the 2013 season. However, the club aimed high as the club embarked on a successful season as they reached the Play Off rounds for promotion. They decided to build a new stand in readiness for the potential of Division One football. The team lost out and the stadium was not completed leading to Kasetsart taking a sabatical from league action in 2014.

The team returned to the Regional League in 2015, finishing the campaign in fifth position in the Bangkok league.


Kasetsart University FC will in the Regional League Bangkok Area in the 2016 season.



My visit

Wednesday 27th March 2013

I awoke after a good night in Bangkok in the early part of my three weeks cricketing tour ready to visit some football stadiums. Planning while in the UK meant that I thought my task would be relatively easy. The sun was blazing down, with even the locals commenting on how hot it was.


A good lunch was a necessity as I had slept in through breakfast, so I wandered round to see my old mate Brian Walker at the Crossbar. Like many of my acquaintances he shook his head when I told him my plans for the afternoon and evening. I realise everyone has their own hobbies, but I couldn't think of anything better than broadening my knowledge and seeing parts of a city that its inhabitants couldn't be bothered with.


Fully fed and watered I headed for the MRT subway to make the first leg of my journey a little easier. I took the train from Sukhumvit to Pahon Yothin, where I flagged down a taxi. Now I knew from experience that Bangkok taxi drivers could be very knowledgeable or next to useless, but I thought a self explanatory map for a ride of no more than two miles would be easy enough. Alas, no.


My driver took me to what I knew was the wrong side of main road heading out of town, but there was no getting through to him. He dropped me outside a huge corporate complex, where even the guards seemed to agree with him. I paid him up and looked for another cab.

Fortunately my second driver spoke good English and knew immediately where the university was, and even better exactly how to get to the stadium once inside the campus. Sure enough with ten minutes I was smiling with a group gathering behind the Main Stand before their away game later in the afternoon at Customs United.


I strolled inside to take a look. The pitch was surrounded by a shale running track and apart from the impressive raised and covered seated Main Stand, it was basic. A few wooden terraces were placed behind one goal for when needed, but the rest of the arena was open. Railings separated the ground from the rest of the campus. Anyone would be able to look in when a match was on. Some students were losing the pounds on an open air gym as they looked on.


I made my way through the entrance onto Thanon Ngam Wong Wan, using the pedestrian bridge to find the right side of the road for a taxi to my next destination at TOT.









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