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Three Thais return from Man City trial

After a month-long trial at Manchester City, three Thai players returned home with hopes of a dream move to the England's Premier League outfit still burning in their minds.

[SOCCER] After a month-long trial at Manchester City, three Thai players returned home with hopes of a dream move to the England's Premier League outfit still burning in their minds.

The national team trio, Suree Sukha, Teerasil Daengda and Kiatprawut Saiweao, flied back home on Tuesday amid huge interest of local media, who quickly mobbed the three since they emerged out of the gate.

The 26-year-old Suree, who had his family and girlfriend see him at the airport, reportedly came close securing a transfer to the Sky Blues but a work permit problem put his move on hold, denying him a chance to become the second Thai to have signed a contract with English club after striker star Kiatisak Senamuang, who once spent a brief spell with League One outfit Huddersfield.

Reflecting on his experience at the City, Suree said he enjoyed every moment at the club, where the Thais received a warm welcome since the first day they had arrived.

"Beforehand, we feared that the City players might look down on us as we are the Asian. The fact was in contrast as they treated us very well," said Suree.

Impressed with the professional attitude the City players showed in the training, Suree said: "It's quite different from us. Their players showed considerable determination. Despite having only one training session during in-season period, the training underwent under genuine professional style."

Even though his City move remained uncertain, Suree insisted that he will fully focus with the imminent work, to help the national team in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign which will start next month against Macao.

"I will wait and see on the work permit issue. I rated my chances at 50-50 in signing with the City. If I cannot play for them, I would go to Grasshopper Zurich in Switzerland instead.

"Now, my focus is on the national team, which is due to play with UAE in a friendly on October 3 prior to the World Cup qualifier against Macau five days later," said Suree.

With the City having many options at the central of defence, including England international Micah Richards who can operate in that position, centre-back Kiatprawut conceded that he had slim chances for the move to the UK. He was hoping a return to train at Manchester but looked forward to gain experience rather than attempting to secure the contract.

Young forward Teerasil revealed that the only problem the Thais faced in the trail at the City was the language barrier.

"We had no trouble in adapting to the food and the weather there. The only big problem was the language as we could not communicate with them.

"Sven (the Manchester City coach) ordered us to do one thing but we did other. I had to see the others to follow what they did.

"The City players such as (Rolando) Bianchi and Sun Ji hai were friendly. Nobody think they are superstar. However, what we could speak to them is just  greeting word," said Teerasil who also added that he felt no pressure during the trial as he did not expect to get a contract.

Kitinan Sanguansak

The Nation


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