PUBLISHED : 4 Sep 2023 at 06:35
Thailand left back Theerathon Bunmathan, who has been handed the captain’s armband for the 2023 King’s Cup, has said the tournament in Chiang Mai will help assess the War Elephants’s readiness for other important international events.
Thailand are scheduled to play Lebanon on Thursday evening in their first King’s Cup game. The other two teams in the tournament are Iraq and India who will face off in the afternoon on the same day.
Winners of the two ties will clash for the title on Sunday when the two losers will meet in the third-place play-off.
“We nearly have all the players in the camp and we have been training hard, waiting for [coach] Mano Polking to come up with the tactics for the first game,” Theerathon said on Sunday.
“I believe that Masatada Ishii’s appointment as the technical chairman of the team will have a positive impact.
“This King’s Cup is a good opportunity for us to gauge the level of our readiness for the upcoming events like 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup finals next year.
“But at this moment we should mainly focus on winning the King’s Cup.”
Meanwhile, Polking said he is not under pressure ahead of the Chiang Mai tournament, where all the participating teams are ranked higher than the War Elephants.
“I am under no pressure. I think it is good thing that we are playing against higher-ranked opponents ahead of other important events,” said Polking.