Competition begins for 12 Filipinos in Thai League
Almost half of the current squad of the Philippine national football team swing back to action for their clubs as the Thai League 1 finally gets the green light to resume their competition starting Saturday.
Suspended last March following the coronavirus pandemic, the league returns in the Southeast Asian country that has recorded just 3,454 COVID-19 cases including seven fresh cases last Thursday.
Southeast Asian Games campaigner Justin Baas was one of the last players to sign during the transfer window, completing his move from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar reserve team to Ratchaburi Mitr Phol last week.
Baas’ move increases the Filipino contingent in the Thai League to 12 players.
“I’m excited to play in Thailand and quite eager to prove myself here,” said the 19-year-old Baas who has started in the last four senior matches against Guam, Maldives China and Syria.
Baas, who is adept at playing at midfield and in defense, joins fellow Filipinos Luke Woodland and Javier Patiño in the Ratchaburi side that plays Azkals goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard and Bangkok United on Saturday.
Suphanburi has two Filipinos in its lineup in former De La Salle U goalkeeper Patrick Deyto and Patrick Reichelt. Both Deyto and Reichelt stayed in Thailand throughout the lockdown, but are now raring to play for the first time in six months.
“It’s been quite awhile, but I really have high hopes to do well for the club this season,” said Reichelt, who was sidelined by an injury early in the year.
Defending champion Buriram United has midfielder Kevin Ingreso in its squad, while powerhouse Muangthong United boasts of Daisuke Sato, who is raring to bounce back after struggling with an injury last year.
Muangthong also has Azkals prospect Jessie Curran whom they have loaned to Udon Thani in Thai League 2.
Also looking to raise their stock this season are Iain Ramsay who is suiting up for Prachuap FC and Amani Aguinaldo who was signed by Trat early this year. Veteran defenders Carlie de Murga (Chonburi) and Alvaro Silva (BG Pathum United) are also hoping to make their mark for their clubs this season.
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