Thailand’s bid to challenge for honours at the 2014 Asian Games have been boosted by the inclusion of stalwarts Kawin Thamsatchanan and Theerathon Bunmathan.
The continental meet, which is held once every four years, will take place next month in Korea Republic and the Thais will once again be Southeast Asia’s best hope for a medal finish.
Although the football event is contested by Under-23 teams, squads will be allowed to pick three overage players.
And in his 20-man squad announced on Wednesday, Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang named Muangthong United goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan and Buriram United left-back Theerathon Bunmathan as his overage players, along with centre-back Pratum Chuthong.
11 players that have been called up were also part of Kiatisuk’s squad that won the gold medal at the 2013 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, including Thai-Swiss midfielder Charyl Chappuis, BEC Tero Sasana defenders Narubodin Weerawatnodom and Peerapat Notechaiya, and Buriram striker Adisak Kraisorn.
A massive inclusion for the War Elephants is BEC Tero playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin, who missed last year’s regional meet through injury but is a regular for the senior side and played at the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Another player that was not part of the gold medal-winning side last year that has been rewarded with a call-up is Chonburi winger Nurul Sriyankem, who has been in starring form for his club so far this season.
Goalkeepers: Kawin Thamsatchanan (Muangthong United), Chanin Sae-Eae (Singhtarua)
Defenders: Theerathon Bunmathan, Pratum Chuthong, Chitipat Tanklang (all Buriram United), Wasan Homsaen (Bangkok Glass), Sarawut Kanlayanabandit (Air Force Central), Narubodin Weerawatnodom, Peerapat Notechaiya, Adisorn Promrak (all BEC Tero Sasana)
Midfielders: Pokkhao Anan, Pakorn Prempak (both Police United), Charyl Chappuis (Suphanburi), Nurul Sriyankem (Chonburi), Sarach Yooyen (Muangthong United), Tanaboon Kesarat, Chanathip Songkrasin (both BEC Tero Sasana)
Forwards: Chananan Pombuppha (Osotspa Saraburi), Pinyo Inpinit (Police United), Adisak Kraisorn (Buriram United)