THE YOUNG KIRIN - The story of the MTUTD Academy system - and how the stars of today and yesterday are found and developed.
SCG Muangthong United has an established and professional Football Academy, run by licensed professional coaches. The youngsters attend school for part of the day, but then come to the pitch in the afternoon and will practice for another 7-8 hours. Located right next to the SCG Stadium, there are 5 teams, with 15-20 players each, for ages 13 - 18. Younger players can also be included on the 13 team. Many of the youngsters live in rooms at the Academy, and attend local schools in the morning before beginning their daily practice at the academy.
Young players may play for the Academy teams in competitions around Thailand, and also internationally. Also, a young Kirin player may be sent to play for a partner club. In the past that has been clubs such as Phuket FC, Nakon Ratchasima FC, or even overseas with top professional clubs such as Atletico Madrid.
As well, SCG Muangthong scouts, trainers, and management, are constantly looking for talented kids, inviting them to join the academy. Recently the club held a RISING STAR PROJECT’15 event at the MTUTD practice field, an open session where young players showed what they can do.
The club also runs clinics throughout the country, known as KICK & SHARE, with the aim of both encouraging young people to be involved with athletics, but also to scout out potential young stars. The most recent of these was at Panyee Island in Phangna Bay.
It’s a long journey from making into the Academy to eventually being a part of the first team, and maybe even the starting 11. Yet it has happened several times, and quite a few of the current squad came through the MTUTD Academy system.
Now let’s see whom on today’s first team are graduates of the Academy:
1. Sarach Yuyen (22 years old)
The main midfielder of the Thai national team at the moment. He had stepped into being part of the Twin Gilin young team when he was only 17 years old before being sent to Phuket FC on loan until 2012 season where he was able to successfully play on the field in the main team for the first time. During that time, he was only 19 years old. The next year, he was sent on loan again for Nakhonratchasima FC. After that, in 2013, the hardworking midfielder have finally returned to the Twin Kirin nest, and in 2015 is now a regular part of the starting 11.
2. Thitipan Puangchan (21 years old)
Famous already from Satriwittaya 2 School before signing the contract to enter the Academy in 2010. At that time, “New” was 17 years old and his skills were so strong he was promoted to the first team right away. Because he was still young, the next year he was sent to Suphanburi FC on loan. Before 2012 hits, this multi beneficial player has come back to the big team again and has turned out to be one of the important main players, and has also been called up to the Thai National Team.
3. Suriya Singmui (19 years old)
The rising star left defender was a product from the academy since the age of 12 and was promoted to play with the first team this past season. His first game for SCG Muangthong United was when he was only 18 years old and he has become a main defender on the left in this past season, and has also been called up to the Thai National Team.
4. Weerawut Kayem (22 years old)
He first debuted in 2010, by playing the first team at the age of 17, and have been here for 6 consecutive years until now.
5. Kasidech Wettayawong (21 years old)
He had stepped up to play for the first team in 2012 season while he was only 18 years old before being sent to Atletico de Madrid in Spain to practice his skills and came back to support Nakhonnayok FC rejoined the first team in the 2014 last season. Currently, he has also been called up to the Thai National Team.
6. Pathompol Charoenrattanapirom (20 years old)
He first was recognized already from Assumption Thonburi School and signed the contract as a player for SCG Muangthong United Academy when he was only 16 years old. The next year he was sent to practice with Nakhon Nayok FC,and then Samut Songkhram FC on loan. Then, he came back to the first team again during Leg-2 of the 2014 season.
7. Suporn Peenagatapho (19 years old)
He was the captain of the U19 Academy team which won the championship of the Coke Cup earlier in 2015. He is a right back that likes to attack, and he is a product of the academy from the age of 12. He has has been a big part of many championships for the youth teams, and now he has joined the first team, though not yet part of the starting 11. He also became the captain of the U18 Thai National team.
8. Phitiwat Sookjitthammakul (20 years old)
Phitiwat, a midfielder, was also on the U19 team that recently won the Coke Cup Championship. He has provenhimself, and just before his 20th birthday this past February he joined the first team. Dragan Talajić used him recently in friendly matches dring the southern region tour.
9. Seksit Srisai (20 years old)
He has signed the contract to become a player of Twins Gilin from only the age of 17. He had passed through selective rounds and was given an opportunity from SCG Muangthong United to practice his skills in Atletico de Madrid before collecting experience in the highest league the past season with OT FC. During Leg-2, he was pulled back to play in the big team of Twins Gilin.
10. Chananan Pombuppha (23 years old)
He is a forward that frequently scores, and jpoined the SCG Muangthong United Academy in 2009 when he was only 16 years old. He set the record as the youngest player in the Thai Premiere League when he was used in a match at the age of 17 years, 1 month, and 9 days. But in the 2010 season, to gain experience, he had to move to another club (Thai Police) and then Osotspa FC, and then was moved back to MTUTD this 2015 season.
11. Kawin Thamsatchanan (25 years old)
Already an outstanding keeper from Assumption Thonburi School before coming to play for Rajpracha FC as the first club, and he moved to join the SCG Maungthong United Academy when he was 18 years old in 2008. That season he became the number one goalie for the first team, and has been for 8 consecutive years. He has also played for the Thai National team and is considered the best goalie in Thailnd.
12. Teerasil Dangda (26 years old)
The one and only player who have been playing for the team since it’s establish year of 2007. During that time, he was one of the top forward of Thailand when he was only 19 years from year 2009 then on. Teerasil Dangda is one of the players that the team cannot lose, not only the number one shooting star of the Thai National team, but also the first Thai player to join the La Liga in Spain as well.