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Mu Pa team can boast of committed players

Mu Pa team can boast of committed players

SUNDAY, July 08, 2018

AS THE WORLD yesterday awaited the emergence of 13 footballers trapped in flooded Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai, Mu Pa Academy Mae Sai football club head coach Nopparat Khanthavong shared more information about the team members.

He began with 14-year-old Adul Sam-on, a Mathayom 2 student at Ban Wiangphan School, who was heard on videotape speaking in English with the British divers who found them last Monday. 
The midfielder is an ethnic minority child who can speak Thai, Mandarin and Burmese, along with some English, thanks to his involvement in church activities as well as the school’s Asean Studies Centre. 
Team goalkeeper Ekkarat Wongsukchan, 14, a Mathayom 2 student at Daroonrajwittaya School, is described as a disciplined and devoted player who always helps gather the team’s equipment at the end of each training session. 
He’s been a member of the team for two years.
Pipat Phothi, 15, of Ban San Sai School is not a member of the Mu Pa Academy but joined in their practice match on June 23 to spend time with his friend |Ekkarat before they headed to the cave.
Another goalkeeper, Peerapat Sompiangjai, 16, is in Mathayom 3 at Mae Sai Prasitsart School who can always be counted on to help the younger kids. Nopparat believes he has great potential to develop his football skills further.
Prajak Sutham, 14, in Mathayom 2 at Mae Sai Prasitsart School, plays in goal when not in midfield. 
He’s consistent in his practice and improving his skills. 

Loads of potential
Panumas Saengdee, 14, a Mathayom 1 student at Mae Sai Prasitsart School, is described as an ideal defence player with his physical strength, positive aggressiveness and evident skills in going for the ball. 
Noticing the boy’s potential to go far and his investment in football practice, the coaches considered making him a striker.
The academy’s junior team captain and striker, Doungphetch Phromthep, 13, in Mathayom 1 at Mae Sai Prasitsart School, has played football for eight years. Described as having a bright future in football, he is able to play seamlessly using either his left or right foot and can juggle the ball more than 300 |times.
The youngest boy in the group is Prathom 6 pupil Chanin Wibulrungreung, 11, of Anubanmaesai School, who is a striker along with Doungphetch. 
He too is able to play with either left or right foot and has ridden his bicycle 60 kilometres at a stretch.
Also in the flooded cave are Sompong Jaiwong, 13, of Mae Sai Prasitsart School, a winger with outstanding precision; Pornchai Khamluang, 16, of Ban Pa Yang School, a cycling enthusiast and fast runner, ideal for defence; third striker Mongkol Boonpium, 13, of Ban Pa Meud School; and trainee Natthawuth Thakhamsai, 14, also of Mae Sai Prasitsart School. 
The 12 boys have been trapped in the cave since June 23 with assistant coach Ekkapon “Coach Ek” Chantawongse, 25.