Interview: Lee Tuck Nakhon Ratchasima Striker

I was lucky enough to send a few questions to the Swatcat’s No.9 striker Lee Tuck. The English striker joined Nakhon Ratchasima permanently for this season after a successful loan spell from Air Force Central saw the Korat based team win Division One and promoting to the Thai Premier League. This season he has scored five goals so far helping the team to it’s current eighth place and nine games unbeaten with six games to go in their first TPL season.

Tuck who started at Halifax town made a name for himself between 2011 and 2013 when he scored 51 goals in 77 league games for Bangkok FC who narrowly missed out on a promotion sport in fourth in Tuck’s last season with the club.

How did a move to Thailand come about?

The move came around when i was 21 years old. I was semi-pro playing in the conference premier league in England and i felt like my CV and options to get into League football back home was slim so I found out that a friend who I played against in England was out here in Thailand. I got in touch with him and asked him all about the football and lifestyle. Thailand football was full time which meant I would be training everyday. That was the mean reason for me I just wanted to be full time training with a club even if it was the over side of the world. I didn’t know much about anything else before I came just that I’ve heard good things about the country from people who have been on holiday.

You’ve been in Thailand for a while now, how was the transition on and off the pitch when you first arrived and did you expect to be here still five years ago? 

Football is a worldwide language so on the pitch I feel at home and its easy to play along side the local players here. Off the pitch Thai people are friendly and helpful. Lifestyle is great with fresh food and good weather all year round and they is plenty of things to do and see in Thailand. The style of football is different to England so I had to change a few things about the way I play which I feel as made me a better player over the years. Time as gone so quick while playing overseas. I guess I didn’t plan to play out here for 5 years or more i was just taking every day as it comes because anything can happen in football.

You’re currently at Nakhon Ratchasima, we know the club have brought a great fan base to the TPL, what do you think Korat can bring to the TPL in the future on the pitch? 
Nakhon Ratchasima fans are one of the biggest following in Asia and we’re a club that as just been promoted to the TPL but we keep growing and improving on and off the pitch. The players and staff understand the long term goal is not just to stay in the league but to fight for trophy’s and a place in Asia Champions League. We are currently 8th in the league with 9 games unbeaten so we know we will be in the TPL next season to build on this season.
What would you say to young players that could possibly have a career in Thailand? 

If there is a chance for you to play football here then take that chance and try your best. if your successful you will have a good career here and enjoy life.

Have you seen changes in Thai football good and bad since you have been here and where do you think the TPL can go in the future?

I came at the right time with a small number of foreign players here. That made it easy for me to sign with a club. every year the level of football as got better and better. The reason for this is more money and sponsors have got bigger each year and with that better foreign players come over every year. when i first came here nobody knew about football in Thailand but now players all over the world want to get there foot in the door but its much harder now because of the higher level of football and competition.

An off topic question to finish, I saw that you have started a fashion brand, how has that been?

the brand TUCK SHOP TEES as been going 3 years now. it started in the uk and we have expanded to thailand and shipping worldwide. its going really well and the football fans over here have taken to it.

We sell our products online as shown the info below which makes it easy for me to control the business overseas. www.tuckshoptees.com
facebook – tuckshop tees
instagram @tuckshoptees
twitter – tuckshoptees
Thanks for the interview Lee!
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