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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

North Bangkok (Thailand)




North Bangkok FC who are sometimes referred to as North Bangkok College FC are a football club based in Pathum Thani to the north of the Thai capital. The club play on at the Rangsit campus of the Bangkok University, with the team composing primarily of students.












After their formation in 2006, ‘The Horsemen’ joined the third tier Bangkok Area Regional League in 2010, finishing just outside the championship pool places in their inaugural campaign. They went one better the following season as they ended up as runners up in the table before missing out on promotion in the pool rounds.

A couple of seasons of mid table finishes ensued.












North Bangkok FC will play in the Thai Regional League Bangkok Region in the 2014 season.


My visit

North Bangkok 1 Chamchuri United 2 (Sunday 6th April 2014) Regional League Bangkok Region (att: approx 200)



My annual Sunday double header on the way back from the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes saw me actually flying over the stadium where I was heading on the way down into Don Mueang.












After checking into the Asia Airport Hotel I went downstairs into the Zeer shopping mall for some much needed food after being rather under the weather for the previous thirty six hours. I crossed the pedestrian bridge that straddled the expressway and thankfully found a cab driver who understood my instructions. This was somewhat of a relief as my driver from the airport had seemed determined to take me on a tour of the city before he realised I wasn’t a first time traveller.












The pleasant drive along the Rangsit Nakhon-Nayak Road took me past the many eateries and markets along the side of the khlong. The route was the same as I’d taken a hundred or so metres further on the previous year to take photos at the Bangkok Glass Leo Stadium.

My driver took me right through the campus and deposited me by the entrance to the Bangkok University Stadium. I paid my 60 Baht admission fee after taking a few photos looking into the stadium from outside. I found myself in the away section. Ironically I had a Chamchuri United shirt from my visit in October, but it was with my mate Steve Walker as I’d despatched unneeded luggage.












The stadium basically consisted of two long low stands down one side with bench seating, which was linked in the centre by an area for press, cameras and match officials. The players got changed in separate blocks at either end of the stands. The rest of the arena had no spectator facilities, but was surrounded by wire fencing. The far side had a scoreboard on the half way line. It had once been home to Bangkok United before they moved to the Thai Japanese Stadium nearer the city centre.












The weather was in the high thirties for a 4pm kick off, so I didn’t expect a fast paced encounter. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the tempo and action on a perfect pitch with Leo Stadium in the background. Amazingly the match kicked off bang on time, which I found to be a bit of a rarity in Thailand.

On seven minutes North Bangkok had a good opportunity saved as they started off in good form. It was a fairly even encounter with the home side showing more creative prowess. Another decent chance was spurned just before the half hour.












The Horsemen were made to pay for their wastefulness as Chamchuri took the lead a couple of minutes before the interval.Number 19 brought down a cross at the back post a fired home to the joy of the fifty or so visiting fans including a little lad who led the chanting on his own!

The joy didn’t last too long as North Bangkok restored parity in stoppage time. They had a free kick charged down by a visiting hand before number 16 fired home the second attempt. At the interval I took a walk to the shop underneath the halls of residence behind the far goal as there was no catering at the ground. 












I purchased a key ring from the club shop before taking a seat in the home section for the second half while enjoying a much needed bottle of water and an ice cream. The home side continued to press, but Chamchuri looked mightily effective on the break.

The game appeared destined to end level until the visitors broke once more in stoppage time with number 10 finishing another counter attack. It was very nearly 3-1 as the ball once more entered the Bangkok net, but the goal was chalked off for offside.












It had been a decent encounter all in all. I headed back on foot past the buildings in mid construction and where a student was working on an old aeroplane fuselage. I walked over the footbridge over the busy road as the sun set over Pathum Thani to take a taxi to Muang Thong United for the north Bangkok derby against Bangkok Glass.

To see a clip of the emergence of the teams, click on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKlZyGvl9no&list=UUuIHNmGQ2lRbtwwp7tLYDDQ









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