Coach Poking stays with Thailand national team

By Hieu Luong   April 20, 2023 | 07:48 am PT
Coach Poking stays with Thailand national team
Coach Mano Polking (R) and president of the Football Association of Thailand Somyot Poompanmoung in a meeting. Photo by Football Association of Thailand
Coach Mano Poking has decided to continue managing Thailand national football team and not leave for V. League club Cong An Ha Noi yet.

Poking met with officials of the Football Association of Thailand on Thursday afternoon, when he expressed his intention to come to V. League and end his contract with Thailand prematurely.

But after two and a half hours of discussion, the association's president Somyot Poompanmoung managed to persuade Poking to stay until his contract ends at 2023 end.

It has not been clear if Poking's contract will be extended for him to lead Thailand at the Asian Cup 2023 final to be held early next year.

Polking's desire is to lead Thailand team in the Asian Cup, according to media reports.

"I'm not a perfect coach," he said Tuesday. "I have lost a few matches, but I believe that Thailand will play well in official tournaments and my style is still suitable for this team."

Recently, Polking received an offer to sign a long-term contract with CAHN, the biggest-spending club in V. League this season. The Brazilian-German coach was excited about the idea of bagging a V. League title, which he failed at when coaching HCMC FC in 2021.

The 47-year-old coach has been involved in Thai football since 2012 including seven years managing Bangkok United from 2014 to 2020.

In September 2021, Polking became the interim coach of Thailand, replacing Akira Nishino. He immediately made his mark with the AFF Cup title before signing a new contract and winning another AFF Cup. He is the only coach in Southeast Asia to beat Vietnam former head coach Park Hang-seo, who left the team earlier this year.

To date, Polking is the coach with the highest win rate in the history of the Thai team, at 62.07%, comprising 18 wins, five draws and six losses.

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