As Sasom Popprasert makes the move from coach of Thai Port to Second Division team Buriram F.C Monruedee Jansuttipan talked to the former midfielder and True soccer pundit about the reasons behind his move and his ambitions for the future in part one of our two part interview.
So why did you decide to take the job at Buriram?
As I’ve already said it’s because we need to divide up the burden of Thai Port’s debt.
I respect Pichet Munkong [owner of Thai Port]. He got me to help out there and he gave me everything. We treat each other like brothers and if a brother is in trouble we have to help each other out. I may not be able to help with much but it’s better than not doing anything. Could I have stayed? Yes. But I can’t imagine how we could have handled the debt.
I said that since I’m a man, I’m going to help. I sacrificed myself to help the team with this problem. It’s ok, I can handle it and it’s better than if I walk out. For instance if the club can’t pay me or the athletes and they quit, that’s not fair. At least this way they get money and pay for some of the debt. I received support from Newin, for which I thank him.
But you’re obviously sad to go?
I’ve been with Thai Port for over two years. Every day I come down from the express way, I see a motorcycle driver wearing the blue shirt driving from Klong Toei and I am happy. I get goose bumps every time, “how could I make them so into it?” It’s what they love. It’s their local team. Every time I come to Thai Port I am still proud. I am from Thai Port. So no matter where I am, it will still be in my heart and my thoughts. But I have to go. And once I leave I put on the Buriram hat.
What do you think to politicians getting involved with football?
There are advantages and disadvantages. But I think there are more advantages because part of it is that most politicians have to have projects. Whether it’s bringing in money to the team, or building public utilities, like stadiums or training facilities. It’s better than using the money for something else. Politicians get involved with football so people get to know who they are. If the team does well then everyone is happy and the politician’s reputation improves.
And the disadvantages?
Problems arise when politicians aren’t honest with the players about what are they doing it for. Some have done well, I admire that, but others are like once the election is over they lose interest. They will learn their lesson when they campaign again.
So you're off to Buriram but what are your longer term plans?
Right now I love being a coach. It represents me best and it’s what I want to prove myself in. A coach’s career is on a fine piece of string; without success, who would hire you. Let’s say without my record, would Newin Chitchob have chosen me? He could choose anybody else in the world, can buy anybody in the world. All coaches want to be a coach for the national team. I have views on how to get there. It’s my dream. Once I’ve made the nation team, I’ll see if I can handle it. When something has reached a limit, my instincts will tell me what to do next in my life.
What's your footballing philosophy?
It doesn’t mean anything if you score a very good goal but don’t win the championship. Playing a good game without actually winning wouldn’t make anybody remember you. I don’t fake things, I enjoy my life. But if I am always making jokes at work then, I wouldn’t be able to control people. I am a fighter, I was raised and taught to fight all my life. That’s what I want to teach my players as well; the ‘who I am’, which is serious and smart. It’s not like I don’t care, I do, but because this is what I am it is hard to change.
And after coaching?
I want my own football team. My dream of owning my own football team won’t happen in a long time but I’ve started to dream of it. My team would be entertainers. Playing exciting football.