Returning to the Cerezo top team was also one of my dreams. Thai national team MF Chaowat aims for further heights in Japan again
The impetus was partnerships between clubs
I never thought I'd hear myself
The growth of football in the Southeast Asian region is remarkable. Not only the level of the players, but also the fans and supporters are fierce and enthusiastic. In the J-League, Thai players such as MF Chanathip (Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo ￫ Kawasaki Frontale), Theerathon (Vissel Kobe ￫ Yokohama F. Marinos ￫ Buriram United), Teerasil (Sanfrecce Hiroshima ￫ Shimizu S-Pulse ￫ BG Pathum United) has left a definite mark.
A Thai player who is trying to follow them joined Cerezo Osaka this June. Thai national team midfielder Chaowat. "Cerezo Osaka, the Power of the Academy". The third installment will focus on training activities in Southeast Asia. We interviewed Chau Wat, who is struggling in Japan for the second time in four years.
Chaowat Cerezo Osaka
Born June 23, 1996. Originally from Chiang Mai, Thailand. His position is central midfielder. Height 171cm Weight 63kg. Promoted to top after working for Buriram United FC Youth. Joined Cerezo Osaka U-23 in 2018 in partnership with Bangkok Grass FC, currently BG Pathum United FC and Cerezo Osaka. In U-23, he participated 14 official games inJ3. After returning to Japan, he played constantly in the Thai league. Played in 5 matches for the Thai national team and scored 1 goal.
- First of all, please tell us why you started playing football.
- To begin with, my father like football, and since I was little, I thought it would be interesting to watch football with him on TV. After I started going to school, I kicked a ball with my friends after school, and it was really fun. My father and mother said to me, "If you like football so much, why don't you go to an academy?" I said, "I want to go."
- Which league did you watch on TV when you were little?
- Only the Premier League was broadcast, so it was only the Premier League at the time. Arsenal was my favourite team. I liked his style of play and was rooting for them.
- You joined Bangkok Grass FC (currently BG Pathum United FC) in 2017, and in 2018 you were transferred to Cerezo Osaka U-23 on loan as a result of your tie-up with Cerezo Osaka. Please reflect on your thoughts at this time.
- At that time, I wasn't involved in the game that much at the time, so I was very surprised that I was called. At the same time, I was happy. I've known about Cerezo Osaka for a long time. I was in the academy in Buriram, so I watched the ACL match against Cerezo at that time.
- So I was very happy. In terms of football in Thailand at that time, I think the Cerezo Osaka U-23 team had a higher level. I wanted to learn Japanese football, and I also had the ambition to become better, so I was very happy to be invited.
- In a foreign land, the language is different. Did you have any concerns?
- I wasn't that worried. Usually, the feeling of "I just want to go" was stronger.
- Do you remember the first time you participated in Cerezo Osaka's practice? Was it different from what you imagined, such as the technical level and the atmosphere of the team?
- I clearly remember the first day when I participated in the U-23 practice for the first time. It was quite different from what I had imagined. I thought I could do it to some extent, but I couldn't keep up at all. In that sense, it was the complete opposite of what I had imagined.
- I think that the coach at the time, Yuji Okuma, had a tough training session.
- Yes (bitter smile), it was really tough. There was no one on the team who could speak English, so that was also tough. It was a tougher environment than I had imagined (bitter smile).
- I remember seeing Toshiki Onzawa (FC Tiamo Hirakata) communicating in English.
- He couldn't speak English that well either, but I was really happy that he tried his best to talk to me, and I'm grateful for that. From there, little by little, I feel like I was able to communicate with other teammates.
- I think that you played an important role in the team while teaming up with Hinata Kida at the end of the season. Looking back, what kind of year was 2018 for you?
- There were good times and bad times. The most memorable moment was when I got a hamstring injury and was out of the team for about 10 weeks. As for the reason, I couldn't explain my injury (due to language problems) and I was stressed that I couldn't play football, so I was depressed for days. In the midst of all this, I was able to return to Thailand once, and the words of encouragement I received from my father, family, and friends were significant. I still remember that period.
- After going through that process, did you feel that you had grown compared to when you left Cerezo?
- Yes it was great. I'm glad I came. I think I improved a lot.
- Is it technical? Physical such as strength of the body?
- I felt better overall. I think my mentality on the pitch has become stronger.
Thanks to the people involved in Cerezo Osaka U-23
I got better like this
He chose to go to Japan because I want to improve my level. The 2018 experience may not have been 100% satisfying due to language issues and injuries. However, the experience in Japan has clearly grown Chaowat.
After returning to Japan, he grabbed a regular position at BG Pathum United FC and was selected for the Thai national team.
- After returning to Thailand, you won the league title with BG Pathum United, and played an active role in the ACL. How were the years after you returned to Thailand?
- I had a great time. I was involved in every game, and I was able to be in the starting line-up. I was able to experience the league championship once, so I think it was really good.
- You were selected for the Thai national team and scored a goal. Was it one of your dreams to be selected for the national team?
- If you are a football player, I think the national team is a dream place for everyone. Of course, it was my dream to be selected for the Thai national team. Although it was a warm-up match, we were able to score a goal in the first match, so I am very happy.
- Was the Thai national team your goal since you came to Cerezo Osaka U-23?
- yes. It has been my goal since then.
- I think that the manager, coaches and supporters of the U-23 at the time were very happy that you were selected for the Thai national team after gaining experience in Japan.
- (laughs) I would like to thank the director and all the staff who were involved at the time, and I know very well that I have become so good thanks to them. I am really grateful to them. To all the fans, I can only thank you for always supporting me.
- You've gotten bigger and bigger, and now you're back in the top team. Do you feel different from last time?
- It was one of my dreams to return to the Cerezo top team, so I was very happy when it was decided that I would be playing in Japan again. I think I was able to realize that dream very quickly.
- I was thinking that it would be great if I could gain experience with the national team and Thailand for a few more years, and then have the opportunity to play in Japan again. In that sense, I am very happy to have this opportunity. I want to get better and better, and I will spare no effort to do so. I would like to do my best.
- This time it's the J1 stage. What kind of play do you want to show?
- I still don't know what kind of play I can or want to show, but I want to adapt to the team as soon as possible and do my best to contribute to the team. When I go to the game, I will do my best to help my team win.
- Volante is a highly competitive position with Okuno (Hiroaki Okuno), Harakawa (Riki Harakawa) , and Suzuki (Tokuma Suzuki). If you continue to play in this environment, do you feel that you can grow even more?
- Of course, just by looking at them, I can tell that they are good players, so I think I can improve myself by practicing together, and I already feel that. They are very high-level players, so there are things you can see and steal. Even in such a place, I think that being able to practice together will lead to my level up.
- Were you happy to see players like Funaki (Fho Funaki) and Yamada (Hiroto YAMADA) who played with you in the U-23 team?
- I was very happy (laughs). I'm on good terms with them, and I'm really happy that we can all play together in the top team.
One of the dreams of Thai children is
playing in japan
The Thai midfielder chose to work hard in Japan again. There are many competitors for the same position. However, it is precisely because of his unchanging feelings that he continues to work hard in a foreign land, aiming for even greater heights.
Finally, we asked him what is diriving force and what he sees in the future.
- What is driving force in your engine to play football?
- “I simply love football,”. I think that's what drives me to continue playing football. After all, if it's something you like, you can pour your passion into it. If you ask me what my driving force is, it comes down to saying, "I love soccer so I can do my best."
- You still have the same feeling as when you first played football when you were little.
- Yes, same.
- I would also like to ask about the future. Do you have a goal or vision of what kind of football player you want to be, or what kind of player you want to be, in the near future or in the distant future?
- My ultimate goal is simply to raise my level as a player as much as possible and finish my football career while maintaining a high level as much as possible. After all, I'm human, so I'm sure there will be times when things don't go well and there will be waves, but I hope I can finish football while maintaining a high level for the rest of my life.
- I think the Thai people are also looking forward to seeing Chaowat-san play in the J-League.
- I want to do my best for the people who support me in Thailand. Thanks to the players who have made achievements in Japan, including Chanathip, Tharathon, and Teerasil, it is now one of the dreams of Thai children to play in Japan. I would like to contribute to the children who have such dreams by playing without shame.
Cerezo Osaka, the power of the academy
for the future
Cerezo Osaka Academy aims to develop world-class player. From Cerezo Osaka to the world.
"We want many beautiful flowers to bloom in the future."
We approach the driving force for such a future.
Why do top athletes keep challenging?
We approach the driving force of top athletes who continue to challenge.