Young Thais could reign for years, says Kiatisuk
Thailand might have just been crowned Suzuki Cup champions - the first time since 2002 - but Kiatisuk Senamuang believes that South-east Asia hasn't seen his team's full potential.
The former Thai striker known popularly as Zico chose a young but immensely talented squad for their successful Suzuki Cup campaign, including just one player over the age of 30 in defender Chayaphat Kitpongsrithada.
In fact, the majority of the players in Thailand's starting XI for the second leg of the final against Malaysia - including star men Adisak Kraisorn, Chanathip Songkrasin and Charyl Chappuis - are under the age of 25.
Even though they're not the finished product, the youthful make-up of Kiatisuk's War Elephants could enable the Thais to dominate the regional football scene for years to come.
The Thailand boss said: "I want to get more experience for my players as next year we have three events, the SEA Games, Olympic and World Cup qualifiers."
While Kiatisuk is proud of his side's achievement to equal Singapore's record of four Asean triumphs, the former striker has his sights on bigger things for not just his team, but for the entire region.
He said: "I want to improve together (with other teams) in this region - we must play an open game. I want to see South-East Asian teams go to the AFC Asian Cup. I talked to (Malaysia coach) Dollah Salleh about this. This is my target. AFF Suzuki Cup is great but we need to go further.”
Source: AFF Suzuki Cup official website