Meet Sitthichok Kunnoo ‘Ice’: The striker who signed a professional contract at 16
He earned a professional contract at the age of 16 and trained with Leicester City for six months. Currently, he is one of the Thai League's up-and-coming striker, and possibly in the region.
He is none other than Sitthichok Kunnoo, a striker from Buriram United, who is currently on loan to Thai Honda. Introduced to the league in 2017, Sitthichok has impressed everyone so far!
The 60-Second Story
The 20-year-old rising star was born in Bangkok. He loves football and was idolised by his brother Attaphon Kunnoo (who currently plays professionally for Army United).
He has been playing with his brother since the age of eight and both were educated by their father.
At the age of 12, Sitthichoke whose nickname is “Ice”, started taking football seriously and joined Wat Suthiwararam School team. Due to his outstanding performance and skills, he was eventually brought to Rose Garden College, one of the most famous football school in Thailand.
Just one year after he established himself as a key player for the under-14 team, he was called up to the under-18 squad at the age of 15. That same year, he also earned a call-up to the national under-16 side.
Why do you need to know him?
His great and impressive performances for Rose Garden has definitely caught the eye. Many are touting him to be a future star and he was scouted by both Thai league giants Buriram and Muangthong.
After his 12th grade at the school, he was sent to Leicester City for a six-month training stint.
He learnt how to act professionally on and off the pitch but unfortunately, an anterior cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for a whole year.
Ice, eventually recovered in 2014 and started his first professional career with Buriram.
First, he was sent on loan to Surin City, a team in the third tier of Thai football and was brought back to Buriram United again in the second half of the season.
In the 2015 season, Ice had already featured 13 times for Buriram. For an 18-year-old, starting three times and scoring a goal was pretty decent. Unfortunately, he broke his right foot and had to be sidelined for six months.
This year, Thai Honda asked if he was interested on going on loan and the 20-year-old accepted the offer as he knew he needed game time to remind everyone of his potential.
The move proved to be a masterstroke. Ice scored four goals in his first three months with Thai Honda and they came against tough sides such as Chonburi FC and Bangkok United.
He has since remained a starter, unless injury forced him to be bench or sidelined.
He is diligent and a hard worker who will chase every lost cause. Although he isn’t the tallest striker around, Ice is pretty aggressive and will use his sheer pace to press defenders or try beating them.
At 20, he still has a long way to go but his all-round capabilities suggest he has it in him to become Thailand’s next striking star.
Due to the lack of games and experiences. Ice-Sittichok still needs more time to improve his decision making.
“He is someone who can adapt easily,” Nopparat Sakulord former Thai Honda captain said.
“In terms of his intelligent...there is no doubt at all how he reached this level so quickly and he is the right person for Thai Honda.”
Did you know?
Sittichok is a person who believes in luck and really superstitious.
He’d touch his shoes on both sides and then touch the ground before the kick-off of every single matches.
He believes he’d perform well by doing this before the game. He has been doing this for two years already.