The former Welsh Premier League defender who will be playing in the Asia Cup this month
His senior football career began with Bryntirion Athletic, but on Sunday afternoon, Mika Chunuonsee will be in footballing surroundings a world apart from Llangewydd Road.
Chunuonsee is hoping to be involved this Sunday at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi when Thailand begin their first game of the AFC Asian Cup.
Having been born to a Thai father and Welsh mother, Chunuonsee is eligible to play for the Thailand national football team.
Chunuonsee who made a handful of appearances for Afan Lido, Bryntirion Athletic and Neath Athletic has seen his stock in football grow massively.
A decade ago, he earnt a man of the match performance, playing in centre-midfield as he scored his first goal for the club against Ton Pentre.
But now he will be representing Thailand as one of the countries most well-known players. They’ll be testing themselves against Bahrain, India and the hosts the United Arab Emirates.
The 29-year-old defender who was born in Bridgend is a Cardiff City academy product and was in the same Wales under-17 team as superstars Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
Chunuonsee currently plays his club football in Thailand for Bangkok United. They finished second in the Thai League One last season. He’s been with the Angels for over five years, after moving from Suphanburi.
Having made over 156 appearances in the Thai League, playing in the top flight has earnt him recognition which allowed him to enter the international stage.
As he watched his homeland Wales succeed in the European Championships, reaching an unexpected semi-final in their first-ever appearance in the competition, the Thai international can now play on the international stage in a major tournament.
The War Elephants haven’t played in what is the Asian continent’s equivalent of the European Championship’s since 2007.
Thailand go into the competition having won the 2017 King’s Cup. The competition which was held in Thailand consisted of four teams. Chunuonsee played that day as they won on penalties following a goalless draw with Belarus.
In an interview with ESPN two years ago, the Cardiff City supporter described his pride in representing Thailand.
“Playing for Thailand is the biggest and proudest achievement in my football career.
“It is the biggest honour to play for your country. Every player dreams of donning the national team jersey and I’m no different.
“My main aim is to keep my focus at club level, and grab every opportunity with the Thai national team when it comes my way.”
And so he has, as he was called up to the Thailand international team last week, to take part in the tournament.
(Featured Image: El_Loko)