Nakhon Ratchasima F.C.

Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda Football Club (Thai สโมสรฟุตบอลจังหวัดนครราชสีมา), commonly known as Korat, is a Thai professional football club based in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. They compete in the Thai League 2, the second level of the Thai football league system, but will compete in the Thai League 1 in the 2024–25 season, following promotion from the 2023–24 Thai League 2 as champions.

Nakhon Ratchasima
นครราชสีมา เอฟซี
Full nameNakhon Ratchasima Mazda Football Club
สโมสรฟุตบอลจังหวัดนครราชสีมา
Nickname(s)The Swat Cats
(เจ้าแมวพิฆาต)
Short nameNRMFC
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
Ground80th Birthday Stadium
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Capacity25,000
ChairmanWacharapon Tomornsak[1]
Head coachTeerasak Po-on
LeagueThai League 2
2023–24Thai League 2, 1st (promoted)
Current season
Active departments of
Nakhon Ratchasima Province
Football Futsal Volleyball
Volleyball (Women's)

The clubs has won the 2014 Thai League 2 and 2023–24 Thai League 2 title as champions.

History edit

1999–2008: Beginnings edit

Nakhon Ratchasima were formed in 1999. After spending fourteen-years of their history in provincial leagues of the Thai Football League this big club won promotion to League 1 in 2011.

Season League Position Notes
99–00 Provincial League 10th Inaugural Provincial League season. 12 teams in the division
2001 Provincial League 10th 12 teams in the division
2002 Provincial League Group 1 4th 6 teams in the division. Provincial League is divided into two groups of six with the top three from each group forming a final group of six.
2003 Provincial League 6th 12 teams in the division
2004 Provincial League 7th 10 teams in the division
2005 Provincial League 6th 12 teams in the division
2006 Professional League 10th 16 teams in the division. A new league set up by the SAT to be in direct competition with the FAT's Premier League

Since seasons 2007 are covered in detail below.

In 2007, despite finishing fourth from bottom in a twelve-team division (in Division 1), 'Korat' were relegated to the newly formed third tier of the Thai football pyramid because of league restructuring

The Division Two years edit

In 2008, Korat finished fourth in the now defunct Division 2 Group A. Korat started the season slowly but embarked on a five-game winning streak in the middle third of the season which gave them a chance of promotion. However, a disappointing run-in meant that Korat eventually finished fourth.[2]

In 2009, Korat finished second in the inaugural Division 2 Northeast.[3] Despite leading the division for most of the season, they slipped to second on the final day as they drew 1–1 at home with Nakhon Phanom FC whilst title rivals Loei City beat Chaiyaphum United 1–0 meaning that Loei took the title and the sole promotion play-offs spot on the final day of the season. Korat also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup (the only Regional League side to make it to that stage) but lost to TPL side Thai Port FC.[4]

In 2010, the club finished fourth in the expanded 16-team Northeast Division. Another high finish but they were far behind the top two of Loei and Buriram. Head coach Mann Jantanarm resigned after the 4–0 away defeat to Buriram F.C. and was replaced by a member of the backroom staff, Vichan Cha-on Sri. Despite a successful FA Cup run in 2009, the club fell at the first hurdle in the 2010 competition as they lost 2–1 away at F.C. Phuket. They were slightly more successful in the relaunched League Cup. Loei City were beaten 3–1 at the 80th Birthday Stadium in the preliminary round. This set up a first round proper clash with TPL side Samut Songkhram F.C. to be played over two legs. A good first leg performance saw Korat go down just 1–0 to opponents ranked two divisions higher. In the second leg, however, Korat lost 7–0 as the class of the opposition finally told.

The 2011 season saw the club more than make up for the disappointment of 2009. Under the guidance of a new president, Phollapee Suwanchawee, and a new coach, Tewet Kamolsin, the team achieved promotion. Midway through the season, the club was docked nine points for fielding an ineligible player (goalkeeper Kiattisak Lertwilai).[5] Despite the deduction, and thanks to the re-signing of Prompong Kransumrong,[6] the side recovered from the penalty and clinched a place in the end-of-season play-offs (the 'Champions League') by defeating Mahasarakham 1–0 on the final day of the season.[7] Nakhon Ratchasima were placed in Group B of the Champions League along with fellow Isaan side Roiet, Rayong, Krabi, Lamphun and North Bangkok. This time, Korat were the beneficiaries of a points deduction. After losing 2–1 to Roiet in their first Champions League match, Korat were awarded all three points as Roiet fielded six foreign players – one more than is allowed. Korat went on to win seven, draw one and lose two of their Champions League matches, and finished top of the group on 22 points. As such, promotion to 2012 TPL Division 1 was secured along with runners-up Krabi, and Ratchaburi and Pattalung from Group A.

The Division One years and promotion edit

Korat's first season back in the second tier ended with an eighth-place finish in 2012. Head coach Tewet Kamolsin was sacked in May 2012 and replaced by Brazilian Reuther Moreira. He too was released by the club after the season finished and was replaced by Arjhan Srong-ngamsub.

Crests history edit

The original club crest was a giant cat or it called in their area as the Korat cat that originating in Thailand, it is named after the Nakhon Ratchasima province (typically called "Korat" by the Thai people. In Thailand, the breed is known as Si-Sawat, meaning "colour of the sawat seed" and this Si-Sawat became a nickname of the club The Swat Cats. The Korat is known colloquially as the "good luck cat". Traditionally, they are given in pairs to newlyweds or people who are highly esteemed, for good luck. Until recently, Korats were not sold, but only given as gifts.

The new badge was approved by board in 2016 and was introduced in the 2017 season. It was designed by Farmgroup a design consultancy based in Bangkok.[8]

Stadium edit

 
A full main stand: Nakhon Ratchasima v Roiet United in 2011

Korat play in the 80th Birthday Stadium which was the main stadium for the 2007 SEA Games. Korat moved to the stadium in the middle of the 2008 season having previously played at the city's Central Stadium. They also played home games in the town of Pak Chong when the Central Stadium was being renovated for the SEA Games during the 2007 season. The club originally played at the Suranaree Base Central Stadium close to Nakhon Ratchasima city centre. This was their main home stadium from 1999 to 2006, although they occasionally played at Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University Stadium and Suranaree University of Technology stadium during this period.[9]

Supporters edit

 
Fans of Nakhon Ratchasima

Despite the city of Korat having a population in excess of 400,000 and Nakhon Ratchasima Province having a population in excess of 2.5 million, Korat struggled to attract more than 400 for most home games throughout their history. This situation was addressed in the 2009 season as Division 2 was relaunched as the Regional League. Korat were now playing in a division composed solely of other clubs from Issan. The club was extensively promoted and publicized around the city with the result that attendances have been in excess of 1,000 since just 258 turned up to watch the match against Roi Et FC in May 2009. Some 4,500 were in attendance for Korat's home game with Nakhon Phanom in September 2009, and the matches against Loei, Pattaya United and Sakhon Nakhon were also watched by crowds in excess of 3,000.[10]

Attendances rose again throughout the 2011 promotion season. They peaked in the final play-off match against Roiet when around 13,000 witnessed a 1–0 win on 17 December 2011.[11]

Stadium and locations edit

Coordinates Location Stadium Capacity Year
14°42′59″N 101°26′40″E / 14.716409°N 101.444443°E / 14.716409; 101.444443 Nakhon Ratchasima Pak Chong Municipal Stadium N/A 2007
14°59′21″N 102°06′40″E / 14.989251°N 102.111077°E / 14.989251; 102.111077 Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Ratchasima Municipal Stadium 2,000 2008
14°55′38″N 102°02′56″E / 14.927096°N 102.048956°E / 14.927096; 102.048956 Nakhon Ratchasima 80th Birthday Stadium 24,641 2009–present

Season by season domestic record edit

Season League[12] FA Cup League
Cup
AFC
Champions
League
Top scorer
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Name Goals
2007 DIV 1 22 7 7 8 27 25 28 9th
2008 DIV 2 20 9 4 7 36 19 31 4th
2009 DIV 2 Northeast 20 12 7 1 50 21 43 2nd QF
2010 DIV 2 Northeast 30 14 9 7 51 37 51 4th R1 R1
2011 DIV 2 Northeast 30 18 8 4* 62 25 60* 3rd R1 R1
2012 DIV 1 34 12 10 12 31 43 47 8th R4 R2 Promphong Kransumrong 16
2013 DIV 1 34 15 9 10 49 35 54 5th R3 SF Yusuke Kato 14
2014 DIV 1 34 19 11 4 56 27 68 1st R4 SF Ivan Bošković 18
2015 TPL 34 13 10 11 37 43 49 8th R3 R3 Björn Lindemann 7
2016 TL 31 10 5 16 30 44 35 11th R1 R2 Marco Tagbajumi 9
2017 T1 34 10 11 13 42 48 41 12th R2 R1  – Paulo Rangel 11
2018 T1 34 13 8 13 36 44 47 7th R1 SF  – Leandro Assumpção 7
2019 T1 30 9 7 14 45 57 34 13th QF R1  – Leandro Assumpção 15
2020–21 T1 30 11 9 10 40 41 42 9th R1  –  – Dennis Murillo 21
2021–22 T1 30 10 7 13 33 47 37 9th RU R1  – Kwame Karikari 13
2022–23 T1 30 7 8 15 31 53 29 14th QF R1  – Tyronne del Pino 7
2023–24 T2
Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated

Players edit

Current squad edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   THA Patcharapong Prathumma
3 MF   THA Woradorn Oon-ard
4 MF   THA Somkiat Kunmee
5 DF   THA Watcharin Nuengprakaew
6 DF   IRQ Abbas Mohamad
7 FW   FRA Greg Houla
9 MF   UGA Melvyn Lorenzen
10 FW   BRA Deyvison Fernandes
14 DF   THA Boonyarit Srinam
15 DF   THA Woraphob Thaweesuk
17 MF   THA Weerawat Jiraphaksiri
18 FW   MYA Aung Kaung Mann (on loan from Chonburi)
19 FW   THA Phiraphat Khamphaeng
20 DF   THA Narongsak Phetnok
No. Pos. Nation Player
21 MF   THA Nattawut Jaroenboot
24 DF   THA Prasittichai Perm
26 DF   THA Apisit Khuankwai
30 MF   THA Ratthasart Bangsungnoen
31 FW   THA Pinnawat Promsawang
33 MF   THA Thanin Plodkeaw
36 GK   THA Tanachai Noorach
37 DF   THA Nattapong Sayriya (Captain)
39 MF   THA Sirawut Kengnok
40 MF   THA Chanon Duangsri
63 MF   THA Sakdisek Kosol
88 DF   THA Natchanon Soijit
89 GK   THA Thanaphat Nirandorn
91 MF   THA Supawit Romphopak

Out on loan edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   THA Noppol Kerdkaew (at Nakhon Si United)
5 DF   THA Bunyarit Srinam
No. Pos. Nation Player
31 FW   THA Kittisak Roekyamdee
50 FW   THA Watcharin Pinairam

Coaches edit

Honours edit

Domestic leagues edit

Domestic Cups edit

References edit

  1. ^ Chittinand, Tor (13 June 2023). "สาวก"สวาทแคท" เฮ "บิ๊กโต" คัมแบ็ค นั่งประธานสโมสร,เมธี ลูกหม้อ ผจก.ทีม". Siamsport (in Thai). Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Review of 2008 season including statistics". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  3. ^ "2009 Final Table". Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  4. ^ Thai Port v Korat FA Cup quarter-final match report.
  5. ^ 'Korat's Darkest Day'
  6. ^ 'In: Promphong'
  7. ^ match Report: Mahasarakham 0–1 Nakhon Ratchasima
  8. ^ "Pride of Korat!สวาทแคทเปิดตัวโลโก้ใหมเริ่มใช้2017". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Korat FC's stadium history". Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  10. ^ Korat's 2009 results chart showing attendance figures[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ 2011 Fixtures and Results
  12. ^ King, Ian; Schöggl, Hans & Stokkermans, Karel (20 March 2014). "Thailand – List of Champions". RSSSF. Retrieved 29 October 2014. Select link to season required from chronological list.

External links edit