Participating Teams

Thailand team interview


Q: What is your team’s strength?
I think every team has almost the similar goal in a competition – to win. To fulfill such a goal is not easy. However, my team always put in our best performance in every match we play. My players have fighting spirit. Their speed and powerful serve are also the outstanding strength of the team. These factors were keys to our success in major tournaments.
Q: How is the condition of your team?
Thailand team has a good balance between senior players and young talents. Many players in my team have played in valuable professional leagues overseas. The world championship is around four months away and my players then still have enough time to learn tactics and techniques. This would be a great asset for my team when we play against much stronger teams in the world championship. Till we travel to Japan for the world championship, my players will be fit physically and mentally. With a good long-term preparation, I’m convinced my team can match the others competitively.
Q: What aspects of the game do you need to improve in particular before the World Championship?(photo)
Although we are always well-prepared for any major tournament, my players make several mistakes. Therefore, we need three kinds of qualities to improve on – physical fitness, technique and concentration. On the physical fitness, we have to be strongly-fit and fast enough to match world-class players’ exceptional tactics and power. We need more strength and endurance to play tough hard-fought five sets in case we are forced to. As for technique, we still have to learn how to improve on our jump serve, setting and first-ball reception. If we can effectively improve these weak points and at the same time we can bring out exceptional blocking and attacking skills, I’m upbeat, we can make a close match against any team in the world. On the concentration, my players need to concentrate more and play without pressure. When they play nervously, they are prone to make unforced mistakes on some critical situations. The coaches have to teach the techniques and tactics to players and they have to concentrate well on the game they are playing.
Q: What is your team’s target in this year’s World Championship?
This is our third attempt in the world championship. Our performances in 1998 and 2002 were far from impressive. Thailand finished a poor 15th place in 1998 and a 17th place in 2002. In 2006, we finished a disappointing 5th in the World Championship Asian Qualification, and disqualified for the world championship finals. This time, we determine to go to the second round at least. We will do our best to make it, despite the fact that an uphill task awaits us. I promise to steer my team to make it possible to go to farthest round ever in the world championship. I believe that our all-out attempts will not come to the end just in the first round.
Q: Have you some exciting, talented young players we must watch out for in Japan?(photo)
There are many talented players with exceptional skill and experience in my team. Captain Wilavan Apinyapong has a hard-attacking. She reads the game well and always becomes a smashing machine for the team. Powerful Onuma Sittirak, fast spiker Pleumjit Thinkaow, and skilful setter Nootsara Tomkom are our team’s dominant forces in any tournament. Onuma won the Best Spiker Award at the last year’s AVC Asian Women’s Senior Championship in Vietnam as well as the Best Scorer and the Best Spiker Awards at the recent AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in Indonesia. Nootsara emerged as the Most Valuable Player at the Asian Women’s Club tournament. We also have a few new faces - libero Piyanut Pannoy and Patcharee Deesamer. They are strong players you must keep eyes on in Japan.
Q: How do you think about other teams in your Pool C?
I think we have been drawn in a tough Group C, in which we have to take on Germany, the USA, Cuba, Kazakhstan and Croatia. Germany is a very strong team with experienced players, while Cuba and the USA are also better than our team tactically and technically. Kazakhstan is the team we have already beaten twice in the recent Princess Cup on our home soil and the Asian Women’s Club Championship, but they are always well-prepared and get stronger each time they take on us. I think all teams qualified for the world championship are strong and we can’t underestimate them. We have to give ourselves the possible best preparation for the world championship. At the same time, we have to train much harder, learn from the past mistakes and be hungry for victory. I believe we will make 100 percent ready for the world championship in November.
Q: Which team is the greatest competitor for you?
Germany is the strongest in our Group C. We have played five sets against the USA and Cuba at the World Grand Prix. We almost beat them. Only the height disadvantage and the below-par net play foiled our attempts. We also played four sets against Germany in Ningbo, China, but lost in straight sets to them on home leg in the 2008 World Grand Prix. I think Germany remains the toughest rival for my team.
Q: Is there any message for fans looking forward to the World Championship?
I confirm that our fans in Japan will cheer us at the competition venue. In Thailand, we also have our fan clubs and they give us morale boost in every tournament. As for the world championship, many of our fans will fly to Japan to support us again. By adoring fans’ cheering us no matter where we are, players’ spirit would be boosted. They will fight all out with all their guts. Although it’s hard to win every match, I believe my players will try their best.