Muangthong United’s Sarach Yooyen hopes to make his return to the national team a memorable one when Thailand kick off the China Cup against the host country in Nanning, China, on Thursday.
The 26-year-old midfielder has been called up to the national team for the first time since last June’s friendly against China in Bangkok, when Thailand lost 2-0.
“I’m glad and proud to be back with the team,” said Sarach, who first appeared in the national team six years ago and skippered Thailand to SEA Games gold in Singapore in 2015. “I still feel that the warmth and friendship among the players remain the same.”
Despite a series of withdrawals, including star striker Teerasil Dangda, the Samut Prakan-born Sarach is confident the current squad has enough ammunition to push a strong Chinese side all the way in the China Cup curtain-raiser at the Guangxi Sports Centre.
“I believe the players we have are of quality. They got their way in by showing impressive form in the Thai League,” Sarach said. “They just need to tune up a bit more on the tactics like the coach [Sirisak Yodyadthai] said. I believe they will bring it on to prove that they all deserve to be here.”
Sarach sustained a severe ankle injury during a Thai League game in 2017 and only returned to action recently. Apart from the 2015 SEA Games gold medal, he also helped Thailand win the Asean Cup in 2014 and 2016, as well as the King’s Cup in 2016.
For his part, Sarach said he has done all he can to impress at training and is determined to show that he is worth his recall.
“This return is very crucial to me,” he admitted. “After the injury, I have yet to fully regain my confidence and I still cannot get it out of my head completely. So if I’m in the first line-up, I will try to play at my best to regain my confidence back.”
The match is being shown live on Tharath TV 32, with coverage starting at 6.20pm.