Air Force United F.C.

Air Force United Football Club (Thai: สโมสรฟุตบอลแอร์ฟอร์ซ ยูไนเต็ด) was a Thai professional football club based in Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani province. Defunct after 2019 season, The club was renamed to Uthai Thani F.C. and relocated it to Uthai Thani province.[1] The team formed the football section of the Royal Thai Air Force until 2019.[2]

Air Force United
แอร์ฟอร์ซ ยูไนเต็ด
Air Force United Logo 2019.png
Full nameAir Force United Football Club
สโมสรฟุตบอลแอร์ฟอร์ซ ยูไนเต็ด
Nickname(s)The Blue Eagles
(อินทรีทัพฟ้า)
Founded1937 (1937); as Royal Thai Air Force Football Club
Dissolved2019 (became Uthai Thani)
GroundThupatemi Stadium
Pathum Thani, Thailand
Capacity25,000
OwnerRoyal Thai Air Force
WebsiteClub website
Active departments of
Royal Thai Air Force
Football pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Football Volleyball (Men's) Volleyball (Women's)

HistoryEdit

Historically, Air Force United had been one of the most successful Thai football clubs. However, since the turn of the century, they hadn't achieved much success. The last silverware they won was the FA Cup back in 2001. Air Force hadn't played in the topflight of Thai football since 2004.[3][4]

In 2010 Thai Division 1 League, the season started off brightly for the Airmen, and by the midway point they were strong candidates for promotion. In the second half of the season, they lost form and finished in 6th spot for the second consecutive season.

 
Air Force Central in 2017

The 2011 & 2012 seasons both saw Air Force United flirting with relegation before they eventually finished in mid-table. The club had to relocate to Ramkhamheang University for the latter stages of the 2011 season because their stadium was flooded due to the 2011 Thailand floods. Despite returning home for the first half of the 2012 season, the club played the second leg of the campaign at North Bangkok University while their ground was being renovated.[5]

In the 2013 season under the stewardship of club legend Narasak Boonkleng, the team started out with two 1 goal victories followed by a frustrating 4 straight goalless draws which had the making of a long tough season. But the Airmen had a nine-game winning streak with 1 goal victories, which put the Air Force United in prime position to win promotion back to the Premier League after 10 years' absence. The 2nd Leg saw them struggle a bit, but they regrouped to pull off a series of wins to gain promotion and win the league in subsequent home games.[6]

The 2014 season start was just a total nightmare unable to win the first twelve games until the 2–1 away victory at Singhtarua. Despite showing some sign of improvement, the club management decided to part ways with head coach Narasak Boonkleng. The club's fortunes did not improve with a seven-game winless streak followed by a nine-game winless streak to end the season and relegated back to League 1 after just one season.[7]

The 2015 season started with Sasom Pobprasert as full-time head coach, but it started poorly with one draw and two losses in the first three games. The next four games saw massive improvement with 2 wins and 1 draw pulling out of relegation and into 13th place before the Songkran (Thai New Year's) break. Another chance to show that the team had settled down was when they hosted Navy FC of Premier League in the 1st Round of the 2015 Toyota League Cup, but the team took a 1–0 lead into injury time and gave up 2 goals to be eliminated from the cup. Since being eliminated from the League Cup, the team had a 6-game unbeaten streak with 4 wins and 2 draws placing them at 3rd place in the table right before the league went on a 40-day break for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.[2][3]

Renaming and relocation to Uthai ThaniEdit

At the end of season 2019, the club owner decided to change the club name to Uthai Thani and relocated to Uthai Thani Province.[8][9]

Stadium and locationsEdit

Coordinates Location Stadium Capacity Year
13°57′04″N 100°37′28″E / 13.951133°N 100.624507°E / 13.951133; 100.624507 Pathum Thani Thupatemi Stadium 25,000 2007–2011
14°00′22″N 100°40′23″E / 14.006079°N 100.672992°E / 14.006079; 100.672992 Pathum Thani North Bangkok University Stadium (Rangsit) 3,000 2012
13°57′04″N 100°37′28″E / 13.951133°N 100.624507°E / 13.951133; 100.624507 Pathum Thani Thupatemi Stadium 25,000 2012–2019

Season-by-season recordEdit

Season League FA Cup League
Cup
Queen's
Cup
Asia Top scorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name Goals
1996–97 TPL 34 14 12 8 54 48 35 7th W[10] GR[11]  –
1997 TPL 22 14 3 5 42 45 23 1st Did Not Play[11] R2[12]
1998 TPL 22 10 10 2 40 52 31 2nd  –  –  –
1999 TPL 22 11 6 5 39 43 27 1st R2  –  –
2000 TPL 22 12 5 5 41 34 19 2nd  – QF[11] R2[13]
2001–02 TPL 22 8 8 6 23 21 32 4th W[10]  – R2[14]
2002–03 TPL 18 7 2 9 23 26 29 5th  –  – QF[11]  –
2003–04 TPL 18 4 4 10 16 14 38 9th  –  – Did not qualify  –
2005 DIV 1  –  –  –  –
2006 DIV 1  –  – Did Not Play[11]  –
2007 DIV 1 22 12 6 4 41 22 42 3rd  –  –  –  –
2008 DIV 1 30 10 10 10 40 32 40 10th  –  –  –  – Watcharapong Channgam 9
2009 DIV 1 30 12 6 12 42 45 36 6th R2[15]  – Knockout Round  – Pornchai Ardjinda 7
2010 DIV 1 30 13 9 8 48 33 48 6th R4[16] R2[17] GR  – Pornchai Ardjinda 15
2011 DIV 1 34 10 10 14 36 53 40 14th R2[18] R1[19]  –  – Kouassi Yao Hermann &
Anusak Laosangthai
12
2012 DIV 1 34 12 8 14 45 45 44 9th R2[20] R2[21]  –  – Kouassi Yao Hermann 20
2013 DIV 1 34 20 9 5 51 28 69 1st R2[22] R3[23]  –  – Kouassi Yao Hermann 16
2014 TPL 38 6 12 20 35 63 30 19th R3[24] R2  –  – Kouassi Yao Hermann 13
2015 DIV 1 38 14 10 14 53 50 52 9th R3 R1  –  – Julius Oiboh 8
2016 DIV 1 26 11 9 6 44 29 42 4th QR R2  –  – Valdo 12
2017 T2 32 18 8 6 61 40 62 2nd R1 QF  –  – Kayne Vincent 13
2018 T1 34 4 4 26 32 78 16 18th R2 QF  –  – Kayne Vincent 8
2019 T2 34 9 7 18 39 53 34 14th R2 R1  –  – Kayne Vincent 6
Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated In Progress

AchievementsEdit

DomesticEdit

LeagueEdit

1997, 1999
2013
1949-51, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1982, 1985–87, 1989, 1991
1966, 1970, 1971, 1983, 1985–87, 1990
1966, 1984, 1986, 1988

CupsEdit

1970, 1974, 1982
1996
1987, 1994
1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1987, 1996

Performance in AFC competitionsEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away
1988–89[1] Asian Club Championship Qualifying round   Pahang 2–1  –
Qualifying round   Geylang International 9–0  –
Qualifying round   Niac Mitra 2–1  –
Qualifying round   Bandaran 9–0  –
1997–98 Asian Cup Winners' Cup First round   Melaka Telekom 0–0 1–2
Second round   PSM Makassar 1–2 0–0
2000–01 Asian Club Championship Second round   PSM Makassar 6–1 0–5
2001–02 Asian Cup Winners' Cup Second round   Home United 1–0 0–5
Notes

    [1] Royal Thai Air Force withdrew to Semi-final League round.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "ปิดตำนาน "แอร์ฟอร์ซ" เปลี่ยนชื่อเป็น "อุทัยธานี เอฟซี"". mgronline.com (in Thai). 25 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "กองทัพอากาศ แยกทางแอร์ฟอร์ซ เดินหน้าส่ง 3 ทีมลุยอเมเจอร์ลีก" (in Thai). 8 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b ""กองทัพอากาศ" ประกาศแยกทาง "แอร์ฟอร์ซ" - เดินหน้าส่งทีมแข่งเองในลีกสมัครเล่น". 9 March 2019.
  4. ^ "วันอดีตนักฟุตบอลสโมสรทหารอากาศรวมตัวชื่นมื่น". 29 November 2001.
  5. ^ https://www.trueplookpanya.com/knowledge/content/56176/-blog-blo-spo-
  6. ^ "ลูกทัพฟ้าตั้งเป้าทวงความยิ่งใหญ่". 25 June 2012.
  7. ^ "ปิดตำนาน "แอร์ฟอร์ซ" เปลี่ยนชื่อเป็น "อุทัยธานี เอฟซี"". 25 December 2019.
  8. ^ "ปิดตำนานแอร์ฟอร์ซฯ สิ้นสุด 73 ปีบนวงการลูกหนัง". tnnthailand.com. 25 December 2019.
  9. ^ ""แอร์ฟอร์ซ" ขายสิทธิ์ทำทีมเปลี่ยนชื่อเป็น อุทัยธานี เอฟซี". 25 December 2019.
  10. ^ a b Thai FA Cup
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Queen's Cup (Thailand)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  12. ^ 1997–98 Asian Cup Winners' Cup
  13. ^ 2000–01 Asian Club Championship
  14. ^ 2001–02 Asian Cup Winners' Cup
  15. ^ 2009 Thai FA Cup
  16. ^ 2010 Thai FA Cup
  17. ^ 2010 Thai League Cup
  18. ^ 2011 Thai FA Cup
  19. ^ 2011 Thai League Cup
  20. ^ 2012 Thai FA Cup
  21. ^ 2012 Thai League Cup
  22. ^ 2013 Thai FA Cup
  23. ^ 2013 Thai League Cup
  24. ^ 2014 Thai FA Cup
  25. ^ a b "Thailand – List of Champions". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  26. ^ Thailand FA Cup
  27. ^ Thai League Cup

External linksEdit