With the match vs. Spurs on Sunday being cancelled a new game was fast scheduled against Port FC, taking place today at Alpine Football Camp Training.
Leicester came out winners against the Thai team, Wilfred Ndidi being the goalscorer in the 1-0 win. The goal itself came after a nice build up from several passes, starting from the back, ending in Ndidi’s feet as he pushed the ball over the line.
This was a good excericize in the heat as 21 players were involved, Wilfred Ndidi, the only player to play the full game, as the action against the Thai top tier team became a bit more nervy than expected. Leicester played this friendly at a place that can be compared to Seagrave, as the Alpine Football Camp looks just fantastic and they also had their own special video update fromt the game and Leicester visiting.
So who were Leicester in real up against and what are the interesting facts about this Thai club. Port FC was founded in 1967. The team have a joint leadership between two coaches, Choketawee Promrut and Surapong Kongthep. They were appointed in February this year, as they steared Port FC to a 3rd place, qualified for The AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs. They are three times winners of the Thai FA Cup, last time winners in 2019.
The team do have a connection to Leicester in the past, as two of their younger players has been in Leicester for training this summer, Teerasak Poeiphimai (2002) and Sittha Boonlha (2004). So there are close connection. Today you also could spot a number of players in their team, not of Thai origin.
Charlie Clough was in their line-up today, joining Port this summer from Nakhon. Clough (32) is a former player at clubs such as Bristol Rovers and Newport County, The 1.88m central defender made his move to the Thai league in 2021, earlier playing in Singapore and before being a player at Sutton and Forest Green.
They have three Brazilian players in their squad, Hamilton, Negueba and Barros Tardeli, all of them experienced and in their early 30’s. Several of their players are Thai internationals. A player to notice is former Åtvidaberg left back, Kevin Deeromram (25), born in Stockholm, and playing internationals for Sweden until U.19 level, before switching to Thailand, as he has become a full international with 3 caps to his name.
Following X (Twitter) account of Owyn Palmer-Atkin you can get an insight into the game, interviews and talks from the happening, as the BBC Radio Leicester reporter follows the steps closely on this pre-season tour. You can also listen to the post match report as it gives more insight to what happened.
One topic today is of course Wilfred Ndidi, as his role in the team looks a bit odd, but still the only player to play the full game, and also having grand influence in the result, scoring the only goal. He was also close to scoring in the game vs. Northampton, almost scoring with climbing steps and a positive attitude going forward. Recent talk about his future has been seen with clubs in Saudi Arabia, Celtic and Fenerbahce all being said to have an interest. Latest news are that he could do as Youri Tielemans and just move in the neighbourhood with Forest said to also have an interest.
Castagne is still a player uncertain to be part of the future at Leicester, if Juventus will meet the fee wanted by Leicester, as the parties are said to meet and sit down for talks. Iheancho and Pereira are other players seen as possible targets. Ricardo Pereira was last week linked with a move to Nice and said to be eager to join, strange then to see him then being a player for the Enzo Maresca project. The squad is still a bit unbalanced, and hopefully it will be sorted in due time to the season opener or at least until the transfer window close.
Recent talk on the addition of Thai international Suphanat Mueanta looks to go through, but he might be one for OH Leuven as the international clearence could be difficult at this point, but we will see what happens with the player that had his trials at Leicester in January. From the statement coming from Leicester chairman Khun Top, you can still not really guess what will happen, but we do believe that this is a King Power solution and that no other clubs will snap him up; This is what Khun Top said;
“Suphanat is a talented player. We want him to sign a contract with Leicester, but with many processes, it’s not that simple. So I want him to join the practice, so that the new coach and the staff can see first.
“However, we do not close other opportunities if the work permit has a problem. Now, Suphanat has been sent to practice with OH Leuven, looking at which path is the most appropriate.
“We have to be patient. Of course he is everyone’s favourite (in Thailand). He’s a really talented kid, but we have to look at many aspects.”
The team vs. Port FC:
Hermansen (Stolarczyk 68′), Winks (Dewsbury-Hall 46’), Iheanacho (Daka 68′), Kristiansen (Albrighton 68′), Vestergaard (Souttar 46’), Ndidi, Choudhury (McAteer 68′), Thomas (Castagne 68′), Soumaré (Praet 68′), Nelson (Doyle 68′), Marçal-Madivadua (Ricardo 68′).
Jamie Vardy is said to be rested with a minor problem and will hopefully be in action vs. Liverpool. Conor Coady is said to still be back in England and could miss the next game, but hopefully be able to play in the season opener vs. Coventry.
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