In the first match of the 2020 season, away at BG Pathum United, fans would have noticed a new face in the back line, #36 Phetcharat Chotipala.

Phetcharat Chotipal in action against BG Pathum United

Nicknamed "Aum" Phetcharat studied at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, but his journey to where he is today is an unusual story.

At the age of 12 he was sent to study at England's prestigious Brentwood School, and playing with the school team he was hopeful of a pathway to professional football overseas.

Brentwood is the same school that helped produce football great Frank Lampard, known for his exceptional IQ, and who is now Head Coach for Chelsea FC.

Similar to Lampard, Phetcharat had been scouted by West Ham United as a youth player.

Brentwood School also includes amongst its alumni Thai footballer Theerathep Winothai, who in his youth career had spells with Crystal Palace and Everton.

Aum competed in the English FA Youth Cup along with well known premier league players Wayne Routledge and Ben Watson.

With the challenges of living overseas, and also the difficulties with the costs, and obtaining work permits and professional accreditation for Asian players, Phetcharat eventually made the switch back to Thailand, as well as to be closer to family.

He was pleased to find that football in Thailand had made remarkable progress and developed into a fully professional league.

Enrolled at Chulalongkorn, he played for Jamjuree United, and Muangthong United soon became aware of his talents, bringing him into the academy just last season where he played with MTUTD-B.

Phetcharat is an adaptable player, able to take up position in the midfield, or as right back, as happened in the BG match last week.

"Aum", at 22 years of age, understands that his career in football is just getting started, and he is ready to persevere and continue to put in the hard work, and to earn his spot on the starting line up.

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