My new love, started supporting them last year as they are now my local team. They won the league last year then had to go through a series of play-off games before finally being promoted to the 1st division. We were in the 2nd division last year which is regionalised so we only played teams in the north east of the country. It’s a massive area of land though, so we were still travelling close to 1,500kms round trip for some away games and the third closest team was 350kms away, not exactly a hive for local derbies.
Now we’re in the 1st division I won’t be able to go to many away games as it’s just too far to travel. The distance from Chiang Mai to one team from the south of Thailand is the equivalent of travelling from Birmingham to Zagreb, and that’s a long way.
All is not rosy though, because a couple of months ago the owner of the club told the supporters that CMFC were going to take a year out and come back the following year back in the 2nd division. His reasoning was that he didn’t want the fans to suffer the indignity of our side getting beat on a regular basis, what he really means is he can’t afford the transport costs for the away matches. Fans and the media begged him to change his mind and now we’re back on, but for how long no one knows.
We lost several of our players at the end of last season to premiership teams and now we’ve had to scour the free agency market to get a team together for this campaign. It could get messy.
The season starts next Saturday and runs until October/November. We’re away at Trat first up, which is south east of Bangkok, a long way away. I’ve heard the owner has asked if the players will travel there by bus, which is insane. It could get very messy..