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Nualphan vows to regain lost glory

Nualphan vows to regain lost glory

FOOTBALL: Nualphan Lamsam has vowed to steer the War Elephants to the Southeast Asian crown after being appointed manager of the national men’s side by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) yesterday (Aug 23).

Football
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 24 August 2021, 09:16AM


Nualphan Lamsam poses during a press conference after being appointed manager of the national men’s football team. Photo: Bangkok Post

Nualphan Lamsam poses during a press conference after being appointed manager of the national men’s football team. Photo: Bangkok Post

Nualphan, chairwoman of Thai League 1 club Port, will take charge of the national men’s team and the U23 side, FAT president Somyot Poompunmuang said.

The move came after the War Elephants were eliminated in the qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, leading to the sacking of coach Akira Nishino.

Somyot said the appointment is aimed at restoring the dignity of Thai football.

Her tasks in the near future include the qualifying round for the 2022 U23 Asian championship, this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup, he said.

Somyot previously abolished the manager position for the national men’s team.

Nualphan, widely known as “Madam Pang”, is a former manager of the Thai women’s team who reached the World Cup finals twice in 2015 and 2019 under her management.

She said one of her immediate goals is to guide the senior national team to win the AFF Suzuki Cup, or the Southeast Asian championship, scheduled from Dec 5, 2021 to Jan 1, 2022.

Thailand are the most successful nation in the biennial tournament with five wins, the last in 2016. Vietnam won the previous edition in 2018.

The Asean Football Federation (AFF) wants the 2020 edition, which has been postponed from last year, to be held in one country for the convenience of participating countries during the COVID-19 pandemic but has not yet named the host nation.

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Nualphan, 55, said she supports the Sports Authority of Thailand’s (SAT) plan to bring the Suzuki Cup event to the Kingdom.

“The Thai fans want to see the national team win this tournament and we are the nation with most wins. We have no choice but to win back the title,” Nualphan told a virtual press conference.

She called on all parties involved to help bring the tournament to Thailand as this would be more convenient for the national team players.

Nualphan, who has been involved in football for 13 years, said she has been assigned to look for coaches for the senior national team and the U23 side.

Naulphan, who is also president and CEO of Muang Thai Insurance Plc, said she will pick a Thai to coach the U23 team in the Asian championship qualifying in Mongolia in October.

However, there is a 50-50 chance that she will hire a Thai or foreign coach to lead the senior national team.

She said football is a tool to unite the country which is hit by several problems. "I alone cannot make changes. The national team belongs to everyone so I want all parties involved including the FAT, government, private sector and fans to unite to help Thai football rise again beginning at becoming the top Asean side and then competing at the Asia and world levels," she said.

She vowed that although she is chairwoman of a football club, there would be no conflict of interest and nepotism in selecting the national team players.

Nualphan also sang the Thai version of the song Auld Lang Syne during the press conference.

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