A Few Things To Look Out For Tonight
Queues at the Box Office
The new ticketing system caught many off guard last Saturday – including the club – and the long queues outside the ticket office meant a large number of fans got into the ground even later than usual. The management did apologise afterwards and have promised to improve things at the stadium. Personally, I’ve been impressed with the set up. Purchasing online was simple and efficient, and it was a breeze collecting the tickets from my local 7-11. Fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly tonight. The whole country will be watching!
Friday night football has been a big hit with the armchair supporters and the league is to be congratulated for introducing it. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the week and sets us up nicely for the weekend ahead. But what about the match going fans? The first two games – Ratchaburi v Trat and Suphanburi v Buriram Utd – were well attended, but the away sections were, unsurprisingly, sparsely populated. Our crowd of 4,622 last weekend was encouraging and there’s no real reason why we shouldn’t better that this evening. The 8:00pm kick off time is ideal and prices are reasonable so there are no excuses for people not turning up.
The Away Following
Getting out of Bangkok on a Friday evening can be problematic – we are told – so this might affect the numbers travelling down. Had the match been scheduled for a Saturday, I’m certain the visitors would have brought enough to occupy at least half of the away end. However, given the timing, and the aforementioned difficulties leaving the capital, a turnout of 150/200 will constitute a good effort.
There wasn’t a single sponsor’s stall outside the ground for our opening fixture against Samut Prakan City. Not one. The area that used to be teeming with people and alive with the sounds of pumping music and screeching female voices, was deserted and silent (Not necessarily a bad thing – ed). So it will be interesting to see if this is now the club policy or companies just couldn’t be bothered to pitch up for a match against our “controversial” opening day visitors.
The Club Shop
The new reduced price replica shirts have been flying off the shelves and the hangers. The shop is struggling to keep up with demand and there was virtually nothing left when I went in there about an hour before kick off last Saturday. This is great to see. However, I do hope that they have been able to re-stock. This year’s merchandise is good quality, it looks nice and everybody wants it! We need to cash in (Even though I hate that expression) on the current goodwill around the club, before it’s too late!
The Line Up
Park Hyun-Beom is fit again. Lukian is available. Patrick Cruz is available. Kim Gyeong-Min is available. They all should start. Shouldn’t they? Last weekend’s team selection and…er…tactics were baffling. Stick your best team out, use your foreign player allocation, get them to play to a system, take the game to your opponents, entertain us. It’s not a lot to ask. Is it? We do have a lot of potential in this year’s squad, but I fear the current coach doesn’t know how to get the best out of them. However, we are stuck with him so I hope he manages to work it out for himself – and quickly. But I’m not holding my breath…