The team are now in good hands – the newly appointed director Narubet Aryupong, who led Phuket FC from the bottom of the Division 2 table in 2009 to Southern Region Champions in 2010, is looking forward to similar success with the island’s homegrown futsal team.
Although Phuket United has struggled in its first games in Thailand’s top futsal league, its latest wins show that their fortunes maty have begun to turn around, and the team still hopes to fight its way to the top of the table.
Known as the “Andaman Pearl”, the Phuket United futsal team was formed in 2011 by Preechawut Keesin, the son of Patong’s Mayor Pian Keesin.
The team entered the CAT Regional Futsal Tournament 2011 and represented the Southern Region in the playoffs against nine other Thai teams.
Phuket United’s 7-3 win over Thonburi Futsal in the championship game made them the only Southern team to win promotion, along with 15 other teams nationwide.
The current league season started on the weekend of October 11, 2012, but Phuket United had to allow national team players to compete in the Futsal World Cup in November, before resuming their league duties later that month.
Phuket United then got off to a slow start in the top league, losing their first four games before getting a better grip and winning their first match in mid-December.
The road to championship success remains bumpy, but the team won their 10th league game on Saturday, December 28, with a 2-0 away victory over Leo Bangsue Futsal, to end their first year at eighth in the league.
Going into the New Year, Phuket United will miss their Brazilian star player Rojerio Moreira, who bid farewell to the team this week to return home to his wife just before New Year’s Eve.
“It was such a disappointment for Phuket and for fans to see Roje leave,” said Phuket’s United’s assistant coach Patt Sriwichit.
“Since the season started, he has been missing his wife tremendously and that has affected his performance on the pitch. We had such a high hopes as last year he was the tournament’s MVP.
“We wish him good luck, and we hope he gets to play with a Brazilian team where he will be closer to his wife.”