Thailand has long firmly established itself as a powerhouse in Southeast Asia when it comes to women’s volleyball. But for all its regional success, the country has yet to make a mark on the world stage.
2018 FIVB VNL record & stats
Points: 2 / 13
Sets win/loss/ratio: 7
Points win/loss/ratio: 17 / 41 / 0.415
Final position: 1218 / 1355 / 0.899
What’s new for Thailand in FIVB VNL 2019?
Thailand’s women’s national team is still largely led by its veterans, so expect to see more of them returning for FIVB VNL 2019. But the team does have some fresh faces worth looking out for to see how much they’ve improved this year. Whilst now an experienced player keep an eye on the development of 19 year old Chatchu-on Moksri who has spent the season in Japan with the PFU BlueCats.
Coach Danai Sriwatcharamethakul is on his third year of coaching as well, so this squad has a fairly settled look to it.
Thailand world ranking: 14 (October 2018)
Thailand provisional roster
Full provisional squad listed with those subsequently cut in red.
Head coach: Danai Sriwatcharamethakul
Wing Spikers (Outside & Opposite Hitters): Wipawee Srithong, Onuma Sittirak, Wanitchaya Luangtonglang, Wilavan Apinyapong, Malika Kanthong, Pimpichaya Kokram, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Chatchu-on Moksri, Jutarat Montripila, Thanacha Sooksod
Average age: 27.2 (2nd oldest)
Average height: 175.5cm (16th tallest)
Thailand players to watch in FIVB VNL 2019: Pleumjit Thinkaow, Wipawee Srithong, Nootsara Tomkom
Veteran middle blocker Pleumjit Thinkaow is still the driving force of this squad, despite already being 35 years old. She’s been on the national team since 2001 and has had a wealth of experience and success over the years. It appears skipper Thinkaow is still going strong as she was named Best Middle Blocker in the Thailand League for three consecutive years since the 2016-17 season.
Setter Nootsara Tomkom, 33, may no longer be plying her club trade for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce SK but she still has the potential to be world class and provides further veteran experience.
Thailand FIVB VNL 2019 match schedule
All times are listed in GMT.
Thailand games to watch out for in FIVB VNL 2019
The bottom line: Is Thailand’s speed enough to keep up with the world’s best?
Thailand has won the gold for women’s volleyball in the last 11 consecutive Southeast Asian Games dating back to 1995. Veteran players Thinkaow and Tomkom have been a part of that winning tradition since 2001. It also won bronze and silver, respectively, during the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games.
All that success is a testament to Thailand’s undisputed regional dominance as well as its capability to keep up with stronger continental rivals. But despite all of that – and even with the sport’s huge popularity in the country – Thailand remains largely unknown in global volleyball.
Thailand’s women’s volleyball team has never qualified for the Olympics and the country has competed in only six World Championships since 1998, with a best result of 13th place during the 2010 and 2018 editions. At last year’s FIVB VNL, Thailand wound up 15th.
It’s clearly a slow climb towards being up to par with world-class teams. The Thais bank on their quickness to make up for a lack of size, which is a staple for the world’s best squads. So once the game slows down and it gets physical, Thailand struggles. It also relies heavily on defense and near-perfect execution to compete against the world’s bigger teams. But will speed be enough to do well at FIVB VNL?
This team is still finding its feet on the global stage and working to raise its level of play to meet world standards, so playing at tournaments like FIVB VNL will be invaluable for them. There’s still a long way to go but the goal should always be to qualify for these kinds of tournaments in order to keep on improving.
What is a realistic FIVB VNL projection for the Thailand women’s team?
A good result for Thailand would be to stay on for next year’s tournament. It was in serious danger of being relegated last year so know that it must do better this time around.
How to watch Thailand in FIVB VNL 2019
FIVB haven’t as yet released the broadcast details for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. Once it is updated we will update this section.