Thai national team to train with Man City

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{image-man city_05012008.jpg}Bangkok, Jan 5: Manchester City's billionaire Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra has invited his country's national team to train with the club to boost their chances of reaching their first World Cup finals.

Thaksin will pay for the 25-man national squad to stay in Manchester for two weeks, where they will train with City's first team to prepare for next month's third round of World Cup qualifiers, Thai coach Charnwit Polcheewin said on Saturday. They will also play warm-up matches with two clubs from the English second and third divisions. "It will be a tough for us, and very cold too, but if we want to qualify, we need to put ourselves under more pressure," Charnwit told Reuters.

The Thai coaches will be given lessons from their City counterparts and the injured players will be treated by the club's doctors and physiotherapists, Charnwit added.

Thailand have been drawn with Japan, Bahrain and Oman, with the top two teams advancing to the final round of qualifiers for the 2010 finals in South Africa.

Thaksin bought Manchester City 10 months after he was ousted in a bloodless coup and has turned his attention to soccer during his 15 months in exile in London.

A pro-Thaksin party won Thailand's first post-coup election last month, almost by an outright majority, although Thaksin maintains he has quit politics and will not return to office.

One India News

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