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BEC Tero spend big in title hunt

Thailand Premier League giants BEC Tero Sasana demonstrated their spending power, with a staggering Bt25 million budget to rebuild the team for the new season, which will kick off on Sunday.

Published on February 13, 2008

Despite finishing third in the 16-team strong league last year, it still was deemed a relative failure for the club that came agonisingly close to winning the continent's elite club competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League, five years ago.

Having been in the doldrums since winning the domestic top-flight league in 2001 and 2002, BEC Tero were already on the move to force their way back on top of the ladder.

There was an overhaul of the club's structure, with a new managerial scheme and a clutch of new players.

The Thai outfit drafted Frenchman Christophe Larrouilh, who was coach at JMG, the world famous soccer academy, for five years.

The 46-year-old Larrouilh was aware of the job at hand - to succeed where his countryman Regis Laguesse failed - in turning the club's fortunes around after a promising season ended in disappointment last year.

Larrouilh, though, was confident that he was the right man for the job in transforming an underachieving team into a winning side.

"I want an ambitious team as we are an ambitious club. I would like my players to put up a good show in every match. I think given our resources, we could win the title this year," said the confident Frenchman.

As many as 11 new players, including both locals and expatriates, mostly the products of the JMG academy, was brought in to strengthen the squad, with national keeper Sivaluck Terdsungnern the most notable of the recruits.     

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Thailand has handed a life ban to seven players of the Kui Buri team for their involvement in violent incidents that marred a local soccer match.

Kui Buri players tried to attack the referee after their play-off second-division qualification game against Kasem Bundit University after three players of the team were sent off during the match.

After taking some beatings, the referee fled and ran toward the officials' room with a group of angry players in pursuit.

The official broke through the glass door, leaving cuts on his body that required 50 stitches.

Kitinan Sanguansak

The Nation

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