The Thailand national team will be heading to Suffield Academy, a prep school in Suffield, Connecticut at the end of May. To take on the local premier club team: Connecticut Valley LC, for their season opener. It is the first official game of the season, and the first “fly- away” game for the Singha. Several of the national team players, will already be heading to Suffield for the alumni game., which will take place on a Sunday of the same weekend. So it is logical for Suffield Academy to be the host venue for Team Thailand’s first ever game in the States. On top of that, the Connecticut Valley organizers maintained a very good relationship with Thailand lacrosse during the course of 2010, naturally they were the first choice for the first U.S. opponent for Team Thailand.
“I honestly did not expect us to scheduled our U.S. debut game this early” said Payu Nerngchamnong, the President of Thailand Lacrosse Association. “But all the pieces come together as we explored the idea further, and the supports from Suffield Academy, as well as from Matt (Ramsay, of CVLC) really convinced us on moving forward with it. It’s good to come back to play at Suffield again, it’s a great setting with a lot heritage. We’re looking forward to play in front of an American crowd”. Nerngchamnong is also a Suffield alum and played on the varsity team during his time there.
“It is a tough task moving the whole operation on the road” said Naputt Assakul, the Vice President of Thailand Lacrosse Association (also another Suffield alum). “Preparing all the logistic, making the necessary arrangement to moved the players, and the support staffs over to the other side of the globe will be a challenge. But it’s going to be a good practice for us, leading up to ASPAC Championship in New Zealand” Assakul continue, “Luckily, a lot of our players will be in the U.S. already, and STX is kindly enough to have our 2011 gears shipped to Connecticut for us. That is definitely put less of a strain on the whole operation and preparation for this match”.
What do they mean by the whole operation? Their first game against Hong Kong national team that took place in Kawloon, Hong Kong, Thailand brought 15 supporting staffs with them. In the second game they had over 60 people working as supporting staffs for the team at the game, everything was taking into consideration. One official said after the game to the reporter, about Thailand’s organization of the event that “This is not a team that’s strived for mediocrity, but much, much more”. So don’t count on Team Thailand being anything less than well prepared for this debut game, Connecticut Valley LC surely will be prepared.
Playing in America will mean that the TLA Development officers will be at game as well, these guys were due to arrive in Thailand ahead of the ASPAC Championship in July. So this will be another chance for the Thai national team to be working with these dedicated TLA development officers. The cast of the stars studded line up such as Kyle Harrison, Sean Lindsay, Chazz Woodson, and P.T. Ricci prior to them traveling to Thailand. Was that a factor in the decision of the management to play in U.S.? maybe, and maybe not. One thing for certain, we certainly can’t ruled that out of possibility with this team. Though they will sure make an event very interesting appealing for the local young players, who want to get “up close and personal” with these stars.
Connor Wilson, the Content Director at LaxAllStars.com had this to say about the TLA and their first game in the U.S., “I’m thrilled to see the TLA play a game in the U.S. so quickly after the team formed. These guys are taking this very seriously and are really committing to doing this whole national team thing correctly. Their dedication to their relatively new team (and to their country) is impressive and bodes well for the future development of lacrosse in Thailand. CVLC is an excellent club team, one which I played with back in 2004.” Wilson then added, “I’ll be attending this event and hopefully even getting out on the field somehow and I’m very excited. The International lacrosse scene has long been dominated by teams littered with U.S. players and its great to see a team, like Thailand, try to grow the game from within. It will take time but so far they seem to be on the right track and I am honored to be able to help!”
The Suffield Lacrosse Classic game will play right after the Boys Varsity game, on the saturday afternoon May 21st at 4 PM. Expect the local turn out for this game to be a good one, in front of the backdrop of one of the oldest prep school in New England. It will be a great afternoon of lacrosse, also it will be another chapter of Thailand lacrosse and it’s efforts to “Grow the Game”. We will bring you more details as the event get closer, for the time being check out Team Thailand full schedule HERE.
For more information, or RSVP for the event here: STX Suffiled Academy Lacrosse Classic 2011