【Tomyumball】A meeting in Sukhothai.

冬蔭波 於 22/11/2015 發表 收藏文章
"So you were keen to return to Thailand?"
"Actually I wanted to stay in Hong Kong for one more season..."

I flied 1 hour to the north in the early morning, and took a 6-hour bus back in the same evening, just for meeting this Japanese again. Not a Japanese hot girl, this Japanese got mustache, he is Katano Hiromichi, the Japanese defender who played for Hong Kong Premier League club "Rangers" during the first half of this year. The time between this interview in Sukhothai and the last one in Hong Kong was also half year apart.

The time when I first interviewed Katano, he only had joined Rangers for about a month, played only 2 matches, still getting his head around everything in Hong Kong. Therefore the last interview was mainly about his 4 years time in Osotspa. Actually I wanted to interview him once more when the season is over. However he left Hong Kong as soon as his contract ended, and some other local media had already interviewed him as well. So my idea was to drop the idea.

But soon later on Facebook I saw him training in Thai Division One team "Sukhothai FC". And it didn't take long to see him officially signed by the team. So I had the idea to pick up the idea. Due to my busy schedule, I could only spend one day of my last Thai football trip for Sukhothai. It wasn't a match day and I had to return to Bangkok at the same night after doing the interview and watching his training. So I think I will visit Sukhothai again unless something happens. Here is the interview and the story of my last Sukhothai trip. I hope I can make enough money for my next trip ASAP.
※ Katano signed with Sukhothai in July. On the left is the manager of Sukhothai FC.

【Me】How long is your contract with Sukhothai?
【Katano】One year, until the mid-year of 2016.

Sukhothai is a province in the mid-north of Thailand, sitting between Bangkok and Chiangmai. It is 5-hour away from Chiangmai by bus and 6-7 hours from Bangkok. Their most famous attraction is Sukhothai Historical Park. It attracted many tourists every year. However the city center is still in typical provincial style, very quiet and simple. Katano said during his 4 years in Osotspa he had never been to Sukhothai. If he did not join the team then who knows when will he visit this place.

I had only one day, 14 hours to be exact, so I had to take the morning flight to Sukhothai. Bangkok Airways's morning flight departed at 7am which was too early. I chose Air Asia's flight which departed 1 hour later. The flight landed at Phisanulok, a province adjacent to Sukhothai. Then I took a mini bus provided by Air Asia to the “New Town” of Sukhothai. I arrived at around 11am. Katano said if you live in Sukhothai, then Phisanulok will be your place for entertainment like watching movie and doing shopping. In other words, there is no such entertainment in Sukhothai. Just similar to other provinces like Buriram and Suphanburi, football is their one big entertainment.
※ Phisanulok Airport is a small airport. If your flight includes the bus connection service, just “check-in” to the staff waiting for you at the arrival hall.

【Me】How is the life in Sukhothai?
【Katano】The life here is very simple and quiet, which is good for me, because I can concentrate on football.

The city center of Sukhothai is divided into “New Town” and “Old Town”. The Historical Park is at the Old Town, while the stadium and Katano’s home at the New Town. The mini-bus driver dropped me off somewhere in the New Town, then called a Tuk-Tuk for me. The Tuk-Tuk drove me to a hotel in the New Town. The hotel was good looking, with golden dog poo outside its door. Street dogs are just a part of any Thai province. I knew it.

Katano wasn’t staying in this hotel though. He just wanted to meet me at their restaurant. The hotel that Katano is living is not that well decorated as this one. However the rent of his hotel room was really cheap. In Hong Kong, with that same amount of rent you probably could only rent the balcony of his room. His room has a big comfortable bed and more spacious than his apartment in Hong Kong which provided by Rangers.

I didn’t have to wait too long to see Katano arrives. He opened the door, looked at me with a smile and said “Welcome to Sukhothai” while shaking my hand.
※ The interview day was just a few days before the start of this season’s Hong Kong Premier League.

【Me】 It isn’t very convenience to travel to other provinces for match from Sukhothai right?
【Katano】Yes it usually took quite a long time to get to the away stadiums by bus. So I just slept during the ride. If it is personal travel, like from Bangkok to here, I fly Nok Air.

The interview date was September 10. Katano just returned from his Malaysia visa trip arranged by the club. I asked him whether he can renew his visa by flying to Hong Kong next time and he laughed. Actually there is no problem with that and he also wanted to return to Hong Kong someday. Last season he joined Rangers in the middle of the season. He said he actually thought of trying to play a full season right after. Katano played well in his “half season” in Hong Kong. I thought he would stay here and there were actually 2 Hong Kong teams provided him an offer. However he ended up joining Sukhothai FC so I just let him explain about it while having our lunch together.(Next page)

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