SCG Muangthong United players, coaching staff, and fans are all eager to set foot once again inside the SCG Stadium, and September cannot come soon enough.
Muangthong last played Sunday March 1st, when the Kirin defeated Chonburi FC 1-0 at the SCG Stadium. Muangthong United were 7th place when play was suspended after only the fourth match of the season.
Said Coach Alexandre Gama, “When we stopped playing we were growing up in the competition, we knew we were going to be near the top this season, but now we need to start all over again”
The Thai League decided on April 14th, 2020 to postpone games until September after first debating scrapping the season completely and starting again, however many clubs objected to that idea. At first the league hoped to resume action in May, but following Thai government decrees, opted for September.
Importantly, the league is looking to make this a permanent change, with the season now running from September - May. This will put Thailand on a similar schedule to European leagues, and opens up the opportunity for more European signings.
The other benefit is in the weather. Games now will be played in the "cool" season of December - February, and less games played during the monsoons (July - October). As well, games will be played during the height of the tourist season which typically runs from December - March.
The long wait has been frustrating for players, coaches, and fans. “We must respect the league’s decision, and this is a dangerous virus and we must think about everybody’s health,” said Gama.
Now the players have rested and done individual training, with full squad workouts not far away. The challenge is players will have lost conditioning and their skills will be soft. Said Gama, “We also have to consider the risk of injury when coming back from a long period of inactivity. We will prepare like it is a new season, and work the players into shape. We will be ready, and also very motivated to get back to what we love doing.”
No doubt football fans are equally motivated. Recently, former SCG Muangthong United forward, and now U19 Academy Coach, Mario Gjurovski chatted with Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, who said, “Football gives us all a relief…” That relief is still a few months away, but the wait will be worth it!