As reported initially here on The Phuket News TV, an announcement yesterday on Phuket FC's facebook page revealed that Cherng Talay Or Bor Tor Chief, MaAnn Samran was appointed the club's new president.
MaAnn told The Phuket News that prior to his appointment, the club's right to compete in Division 2 had been initially confirmed by former president Pamuk Pramookpisitt Achariyachai, who stepped down as president on December 13 (story here)
“We're now in the process of finding and recruiting Phuket youths around the country, some of whom might be playing for clubs or academies in other provinces.
"We will invite some of them to try out for our club in Division 2,” MaAnn told the Phuket News.
All Division Two teams in Thailand who plan to register and commit to funding a team in the league for the 2016 season have until the end of January to confirm their intentions with the Football Association of Thailand and the Thai Premier League.
In addition to the league, registered Division 2 clubs also get a shot at national glory through the League Cup and FA Cup, with matches scheduled throughout the year.
Only the winner and runner's up will have a shot at the promotion play offs at the end of the year.
“It was my child dream to get involve of a football club. It is my most favorite sport and I was playing at school every day,” MaAnn said.
“And I always want to see our team Phuket FC become one of the best teams in the country,” he added.
He also said that his main purpose to become a president of Phuket FC , firstly, is to support Phuket kids, youngster who love football to become a real professional footballer as they dream of.
“It is almost every kids dream to become a professional footballer in this day. I would like to make this real for them but the kids have to keep their study at school as well as playing football at the same time.”
Secondly, To combine sport and tourism together to be tourist attraction for the island. He believed that Phuket has a potential to become one of the most favorite team in the country.
“You can see many provinces in the country has less potential than us but they can bring their football club to become one of the best in the country and may be Asia. Why can't we do that?”
Thirdly, he would like to see Phuket people cooperate and lend their hands to built this team to become Thailand leading team and enjoy the beautiful game together.
“I want everyone to become a part of the team and turn our Surakul Stadium to become a sport entertainment center. We can have a good time together every week.” He added.
Other teams expected to formally confirm their intention to compete in Division 2 South this year include, Phang Nga FC, Ranong FC, Chumphon FC, Suratthani FC, Nakhon Sri [Thammarat] Herritage, Trang FC, Pattani, Nara [thiwat] United and Yala FC.
Patthalung and Had Yai FC also have the right to send a team, but didn't send one last year. Satun United, was banned by league organisers after fans allegedly beat up and forced a referre into admitting that he was paid off by the opposing team in a play-off promotion match (story here)
Krabi and Songkhla have teams competing in the Division 1, and there are currently no Southern teams represented in the elite Thai Premier League.
Asked about his expected budget for Phuket FC this year, MaAnn says he will need to source no less than B10 million, a stark contrast from the club's budget of B60 million in 2015.
MaAnn said he is open to inquiries about sponsorship packages and partnerships, and can be contacted through his Facebook page (Ma-Ann Samran).
Additional reporting by Steven Layne