Despite the short training period, the team, managed by Samak Rattanadilok Na Phuket and coached by Choochai Angkabkaew, came out surprising 6-2 winners against their opponents.
However, the main purpose of the quick setting up of the team, who will now represent Phuket at a provincial level, was for them to compete in an invitational football tournament to be held from Aug 6-15 in Suining, a prefecture-level city of the eastern Sichuan province in Southwest China.
The invitation for a team to compete in the competition came after Suining City Deputy Mayor Hu Jiazheng on June 27 met with Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada to sign a friendship Memorandum of Association (MoU) for Phuket and Suining to become sister cities.
After last Saturday’s game The Phuket News spoke to Samak, who was previously involved with the island’s futsal team Phuket United and is currently a representative of Sports Authority of Thailand Phuket office, and Choochai, who was once assistant manager of Phuket FC, to find out more about the squad and what the future holds for them.
“We had to select this team very quickly as the province was invited to Suining in China to play in a competition after the two became sister cities. The governor of Phuket specifically asked us to become involved and select the players from local schools,” said Samak.
“They played the game here at Surakul Stadium against the Phangnga FC Academy team in preparation for that tournament in China,” added Choochai.
When asked how the team was selected, Samak said that all local schools were informed that trials were taking place and that any children between the ages of 16 and 18 were invited to attend.
“We had a big turn out for the trials, but eventually we managed to get our squad of players,” said Samak.
Both Samak and Choochai pointed out that despite the team being called Phuket FC Youth, they are in no way connected to the official Phuket FC team, although the new club owners, Royal Raya Sport, have given them some support.
“Phuket FC have provided us with our kits and they have also given us permission to use their name,” said Choochai.
Turning back to the upcoming tournament in China, Samak and Choochai explained that it will be the state administration of the Suining prefecture that covers all the costs involved in the team playing in the tournament bar the cost of flights.
“Suining will cover all expenses for the team except for the travel costs,” said Choochai.
"The Phuket Governor will arrange for the travel costs for the team to be paid for,” he added.
After returning from the tournament in China it will be back to the training ground for the squad as they prepare for their next event, the Southern National Youth Games to be held in Nakhon Sri Thammarat in October.
“This event will see the 14 southern provinces taking part to compete in the final where the winners from each region will come together to see who is the best in Thailand,” explained Samak.
“After seeing what the team has done in these four days I truly believe that they can at least reach the semi-finals,” he said.