Liverpool have announced today that they will visit Thailand in July. How excited are you that this news is now official?
It's fantastic news! There are many quality players in our current squad, including many young prospects from the Academy, and a lot of them have never been to Thailand with the Liverpool squad before. This will be a great opportunity for Liverpool supporters in Thailand to see all of them in action without having to make a long journey to Anfield.
When Liverpool announced last summer that they would come to Asia in 2013, did you always think Thailand would be one of the countries we would visit?
Honestly, I had doubts that Thailand would be one of the club's destinations for the summer tour in 2013. The fact that the club has such a huge fan base in numerous countries across Asia as well as the fact that the club had visited Thailand three times in the past decade made me have doubts that the club would be visiting this summer.
I believe that the club's decision to involve Thailand in the summer tour certainly signifies the importance and value of the club's fan base in this country. The club's decision has been overwhelmingly well received by the supporters here and is certainly a great tribute to the loyal support for Liverpool Football Club throughout the years.
This will be Liverpool's fourth visit to Thailand since 2001 - is the fact that LFC keep returning to Thailand appreciated by the fans because Manchester United haven't visited for 12 years?
Definitely. I think there's a special bond between Thailand and Liverpool Football Club. You can definitely feel it as a supporter. It might be difficult to explain but the connection is there. I believe the club had a great reception from local supporters in each of their visits to Thailand before and I'm certain that every supporter has enjoyed welcoming and following their beloved Mighty Reds during their time in Thailand.
What can you remember about Liverpool's first visit to Thailand in 2001?
A lot, actually. The team visited Thailand just a couple of months after they had won the treble. It was incredible to have won the treble itself but to have the team visit our country after achieving three cups in one single season was truly the best icing on the cake. There was a great buzz amongst supporters as everyone was anticipating all the details of their arrival. When will they arrive? What will the team be doing? Where will the team reside? And, most importantly, 'How can I get tickets?' You could just feel the vibe!
I remember tickets sold out very quickly and a lot of people I knew who were caught up in work actually hired freelancers to get in line and purchase tickets for them. It was quite mad but truly brilliant.
My own personal best memory was that I had the opportunity to meet with Phil Thompson, Patrik Berger, Danny Murphy, John Arne Riise and Michael Owen at a sponsor's event. The sponsor had invited me to join in the activity with the team as well as assist them to make the event a great success and I believe we did it. We had Michael Owen with Thai boxing as well as John Arne Riise doing keepy uppys with a local lad. We also showcased the treble trophies and I had a chance to hold up the UEFA Cup! The cup was very heavy but I was in dreamland!
What are your favourite memories of the tours in 2003 and 2009?
My favourite memory for the tour in 2003 was actually watching the game between Liverpool and Thailand with fellow members of official Supporters' Clubs from Malaysia and Singapore. Our seats were allocated together and it was the very first time that we had actually watched a Liverpool game together which made it a great experience.
I had an opportunity to meet Ian Ayre, the players, Rafa and King Kenny during the 2009 tour in Thailand, so that had to be my favourite memory from that visit. The team was well received since it was the first time that the supporters in Thailand had the opportunity to welcome to Thailand their heroes that were part of the Istanbul miracle in 2005 as well as FA Cup winners from 2006.
As head of the Supporters' Club, what activities will you be planning for Liverpool's visit?
Well, we're still planning them and I'm hoping that our official Supporters' Club will be granted similar access as we had received back in 2009. Once we have been informed by the club of what the schedule looks like, then we can begin the preparation and coordination process with the supporters as well as the partners and sponsors of the club.
For the Liverpool players who've never visited Thailand with the club before, what sort of reaction do you think they can expect for the game?
They can expect a full house and almost everyone will be cheering for Liverpool! It will be like playing in Anfield even though they're thousands of miles away. If they score a goal, it will be electrifying and the noise level can elevate to the same level as Anfield and the Thai National team unfortunately will be feeling like they're the away side! That's how strong the support for Liverpool Football Club is in Thailand.
Finally, does Thailand have a favourite Liverpool player in your opinion?
One favourite player? I think there is more than one but if I have to single one out, in my opinion that one player would be Steven Gerrard. I think he has done it all in the past decade. He has won so many games for us. He can score goals, create goals, defend well, tackle hard and best of all, he's Liverpool through and through. Then there's Istanbul, the first goal of a miraculous comeback, the wonder goal in the FA Cup Final and snubbing Chelsea not once but twice!
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