Bangkok Glass captain Teeratep Winothai has set his side the target of challenging for the Thai Premier League title in the new campaign.
The Glass Rabbits enjoyed a relatively successful past year as they improved on 2012’s eighth-place finish by breaking into the top five in the league, as well as reaching the final of the FA Cup, where they were beaten 3-1 by Buriram United.
Nonetheless, with one of Thailand’s most-celebrated coaches Attaphol Puspakom at the helm, along with a star-studded roster, Bangkok Glass are a side that are capable of challenging the likes of Buriram, Muangthong United and Chonburi for top honours.
And that is something Teeratep agrees with as he has challenged his team-mates to take the next step in 2014.
“The goal next year is to improve on our performances in the past seasons,” he said on the club’s official website.
“We believe we can be and play like a team of a high standard.
“This year, we hope to be one of the teams challenging to be crowned champions. We must look to finish inside the top three.”
While there is still over two months to go before the start of the new season, Bangkok Glass have been one of the most active teams in the off-season having already made a host of new signings, including Macedonian playmaker Darko Tasevski, Japanese duo Teruyuki Moniwa and Goshi Okubo, and Chonburi utility Jetsadakorn Hemdaeng.
With pre-season training now underway, Teeratep also believes his side are shaping up well for 2014.
“We’re returned to training for the past two weeks and we’re back at around 70 to 80 per cent fitness,” he added.
“Even though we’re taking a break for the New Year, all the players will do their best to maintain their physical condition.
“We’ll definitely be fully fit before the start of the new season.”
2013 was as the year Teeratep came of age, given he has never really lived up to the hype generated when he was on the books of English sides Crystal Palace and Everton as a teenager.
Although his commitment has often been questioned in the past due to his celebrity status in Thailand, he managed to find a new level of consistency last season and seemed the relish the added responsibility of skippering the Glass Rabbits.