Chiang Mai F.C. Fanzine

The Lanna Tigers Fans

On Tuesday, 15 March, Lee, Richard, and I met with the new Chiang Mai F.C. coach René Desaeyere and his lovely wife at the Red Lion Pub near the Night Bazaar. It was a pleasant, casual discussion, and it was great to meet and talk to Rene off the pitch. The conversation centered around football, as you might expect, but we also got to learn more about Rene and his wife, and their lives over the past 40+ years as Rene has played and coached his way around Belgium, to Asia, back to Belgium, and finally to Thailand.  The main thing Rene wanted us to pass along from our meeting is this: “Keep coming to the games. Keep supporting your team. Chiang Mai F.C. really appreciates the fan support!

Rene during his time Coaching in Korea

Some other topics covered were (actually I asked a few questions based on recommendations from Chiang Mai F.C.’s rapidly growing fan base):

M: You are from Belgium. Your Dutch fans would like to know, do you speak Dutch?

R: Yes, I speak Dutch. My wife is Dutch! I also speak some Spanish, French, and English of course. I’d like to learn some Thai now too. When I was coaching at Muangthong United, I had a translator. That’s very convenient, but then I didn’t get to learn any Thai!

M: You have managed several teams in Europe and a few in Japan and Korea. What brought you to Thailand?

R:  I coached in Japan and Korea for a couple of seasons, and after that returned to coaching in Belgium. Then Muangthong United was looking for a coach with experience in Asia, so I got the call.

M: What is your opinion of Thai football players’ future on the world stage? Will we see them playing for teams in the English Premiere League, and around Europe and the MLS one of these days?

R: Yes, actually, I really do think we will see that. I mean, look at Korea – a few years ago, there were no Korean players on the world stage. But they train hard, and they practice all the time. And now they are in Europe, all over. The same with Japan. I think the Thai football program just needs a few more years.

M: Okay, Thai fans want to know – what is your favorite Thai food?

R: Oh, I don’t know, actually. I think we prefer a green curry, with chicken, something like that.

Thanks so much to Rene and his wife for braving the unseasonably cold, rainy weather to meet with us and answer (my sometimes inane) questions. We’ll be cheering you on from the stands this Sunday, 20 March, at the next home game!!

Melissa E

A lifelong soccer player from Seattle, Washington, USA. I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand in October 2009 and started following Chiang Mai FC early the following year. Soo soo Lanna Tigers!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Bastiaan B says:

    Very nice to read a bit about Rene the person. Keep up the good work, CMFC Fanzine! I’ll see y’all on Sunday.

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