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

Looktabfah Pathumthani FC (Thailand)



Looktabfah Pathumthani, or Luk Tapfah United as they are sometimes referred to, are a semi professional football club based in north Bangkok, Thailand.



The club have had a busy history since their formation in 2009 as Rose Asia Pathum Thani FC playing their home games at Chalerm Prakiat Klong 6 Stadium to join the newly formed Regional League Central East Division. Their inaugural season was a disaster as they finished bottom of the table and winning only one game as well as going out in the qualifying round of the FA Cup.



In 2010 the club were re-located to the Bangkok Area division of the Regional League, but once again they finished bottom of the pile. For the 2011 season they changed their name to Thanyaburi Rose Asia United. Another name change came in 2011 as Thanyaburi United was adopted following the purchase of the club by a Korean national.




In 2013 Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani FC became the clubs new name as they became a a feeder side to Air Force United FC, playing their home games at the Tupatemee Stadium.

Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani FC will play in the Thai Regional League Central West Region in the 2016 season.





My visit

Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani 1 Futera Seeker 1 (Wednesday 27th March 2013) Thai Regional League Central West Region (att: approx 300)




I was in Bangkok with a spare day before my friends arrived ahead of the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, and I'd put it aside for my favourite hobby.

I'd already visited several stadiums for photos and to broaden my knowledge before arriving at Tupatemee Stadium well in time for the 5pm kick off. As with most lower league matches I'd seen in the country, the car park outside had quite a few fans gathering to use the catering facilities and to look inside the club shop. A gent was making announcements to those outside, and he shook my hand as he saw a curious visitor trying to take it all in.


The fixture intrigued me. I could only realistically stay for the first half as my main event of the evening was the Premier League clash between Police United and Saphanburi, but I wanted to catch as much as I could at the first game because the visitors had one amazing story to tell.

Futera Seeker, owned by Futera the card trading company, had gained a place in the Thai Regional League for the start of the 2013 season after trialling their project on a team in a London league. They became the first professional football club to be interactively managed live by an international Online Community. I wanted to find out more.



As I stood outside the Main Stand with a drink I met Mark Watson, one of Futera's project managers. After a brief chat he invited me into the press area once the game was under way. By now several members of the Air Force had marched by and were now going through regimented chants inside the stand. I paid my 50 Baht, had my hand stamped and went inside to take my seat in the only covered area of the arena.


For a full description of Tupatemee Stadium and more photos, please go to the Air Force United page, at:

http://worldgroundhoptwo.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Air%20Force%20United%20%28Thailand%29

After the usual shaking of hands and the national anthem, the game kicked off a few minutes late, which I found to be the norm in The Land of Smiles. The servicemen continued to chant, with a leader taking them through songs, while the vocalists read from the song sheets. The temperature was in the late thirties and the pitch appeared bobbly, so I didn't expect a classic.


Either side had an African import in their starting elevens, and it was Tapfah's number five who wasted the best early chance when he volleyed over from a corner. A poor back pass let in the Seeker centre forward, but the home keeper got his team mate out of strife with a fine save. The same forward, who looked about the best on show, had a good run and shot, which went just wide.


I laughed as a local slugged away on his whisky, while his wife looked on at the action. Tapfah almost took the lead, but their number thirteen hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle. I decided to take up Mark's offer with around half an hour on the clock.


I saw the Seeker operation played out in front of my eyes. I must admit that I had to rub them in case I was seeing things. A cameraman was filming the game live, so that all subscribers around the world could watch, while commentary was offered in Thai and English. 


Mark was on his laptop taking in the suggestions from the subscribers who could vote on such things as tactics, formation, playing style, substitutions and other decisions, with their instructions being passed to the players on the pitch as the game plays out via a walkie talkie and an interpreter who passed on the info to the Thai coach. I was absolutely staggered.


Apparently the coach was happy with the situation and up to four hundred subscribers were enjoying the experience. In fairness, the team were playing quite well on the pitch; but it looked like a nightmare waiting to happen to me.

To get involved in the Futera Seeker experience, go to: 

http://www.futeraseekerfc.com/index.php/en/


At half time I sped across the car park and was soon in a taxi heading to the Thammasat University Stadium for the evenings entertainment.

To see my amateur videos of the occasion, with the second having an explaination to what went on as part of my tour diary, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzTnQn416eQ&feature=youtu.be  and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=1X45rIJHDhA&feature=endscreen










1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete