Kiatisuk's bold tactics pay off in final as Thai FA keen to extend his reign
Just days after helping Thailand to a record fifth AFF Suzuki Cup title, head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang’s future is already the subject of intense speculation.
Consecutive AFF Suzuki Cup titles have not eased the puzzling mystery of why the Thai Football Association had yet to offer Kiatisuk a new contract – his current one ends in February – but things seem to have changed over the past few days.
With a record of six victories and one loss, scoring a mammoth 14 goals in the process, Kiatisuk’s War Elephants justified why they were huge favourites going into the 2016 tournament with a 3-2 aggregate win over Indonesia in the finals.
While the team continue their title celebrations in the Kingdom, Thai FA president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang has already begun inroads on extending Kiatisuk’s tenure as the national team’s head coach.
"For the Thai national team's success in this year's AFF Suzuki Cup, the FAT would like congratulate the players and thank them for their hard work,” Somyot told The Bangkok Post.
“Apart from the players, the staff coaches also played an important role. They were a part of the team which won the record fifth title.
“Kiatisuk is really the main person and I would like to praise him for using good tactics.
“We know that his contract with the FAT will end in February, therefore, we will call Kiatisak in January for a discussion about his contract. We will also talk about the future goals that we want to set for the national team.”
Kiatisuk himself, is unconcerned with what the future brings and was more keen on explaining his surprise decision to start Siroch Chatthong and Charyl Chappuis ahead of Sarawut Masuk and Pokklaw A-nan at the Rajamangala on Saturday.
“Before the match, every player was under pressure because we lost the first leg in Indonesia. Being the defending champions also added pressure,” he said.
“We went in with Siroch and Chappuis and I am happy they did very well. The players were tired after playing so many matches in just over a month.
“We don’t plan for one game, we have to play eight matches [including the 2-2 World Cup qualifier against Australia] in a month so we try to rotate the team when we can.
“We wanted Siroch to shine in this final and we wanted to give Chappuis a chance where he scored two years ago [in the finals] and he was confident of doing it again when we spoke before the game.”
Kiatisuk will now focus on his Pro-License diploma before plotting Thailand’s 2017 roster which includes their remaining five World Cup qualifiers.