‘I am fully committed to taking the Thai team to the World Cup’ – Akira Nishino

The new Head Coach of Thailand’s national football team, the ‘War Elephants’, spoke in public for the first time, at Friday’s media conference at the New Otani in Tokyo, following the announcement by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) on its website on July 17th that he is to lead the Thai team and the U23.

Mr. Akira Nishino said that he wants to announce officially that he has been invited to lead Thailand’s national team and the U23, adding that he met with FAT president Pol. Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung in June and understood how much the president wanted to develop the team.

“I am proud to be offered the job and accepted it. I am very honoured” he said.

Mr. Nishino went on to say that he was happy to work as a head coach again and would like to bring his experience to help improve the Thai team, adding that the task will not be easy due to the tough competition in Asia.

“There is a big wall in Asian football. I may not be able to penetrate through the qualifying round in some of the tournaments. I had a heavy heart in preparing the team for the last Olympics” he said, adding “I know full well that it’s not easy to be the head coach of the Thai team because it has to compete in several games in many qualifying tournaments. I have just watched a few matches the Thai team played and feel that this will be a very challenging task. I have yet to study and understand deeply about the Thai team. I went to see some of the matches in the Thai League. I have to do a lot more work.”

The new head coach also admitted that he has to improve his communication with the players because sometimes he is not with an interpreter.

Mr. Nishino said his main goal is to lead the team to the upcoming World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers round 2, the AFC U23 Championship 2020 Finals in January 2020 in Bangkok and the Sea Games, adding he is working on the Thailand-Vietnam match on September 5th head on, followed by the match against the Indonesian team.

“There may be some adjustments to the U23 players, I have to see how each of them plays,” adding “It is for certain that everyone wants to go to the World Cup, and I am fully committed and determined to take the Thai team to the World Cup” he pledged.


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