Thailand's Teerasil Dangda: 'My time at Manchester City made me a better footballer'

The War Elephants striker has played a key role in his nation's positive start to third round 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying and he's hoping to build on that
Thailand striker Teerasil Dangda insists his experiences at Manchester City have made him a better footballer despite never playing for the club's first team.

Dangda, 23, endured a frustrating time at City where he never gained a work permit and spent time on loan with Swiss club Grasshoppers.

The forward is now with Thai champions Muang Thong United and is also playing a key role for Thailand who have started their third round 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign in fine style to sit second in Group D after three games.

Dandga told Fifa.com his experiences with City and Grasshoppers, despite never making a first-team appearance for either club, had helped him take his game to a new level with the results being seen now.

"The time at City was helpful for me as I gained valuable experiences,” Dangda said. “It helped me step up from the amateur level to the professional level.

"It broadened my vision and I learned the importance of having the right attitude to further improve myself. Most importantly, it helped me make up my mind to continue my football career.

"I also had to adapt to the European way on discipline and mentality. I learned I had to have self confidence in my techniques and skills and with that I could break through some of Asia’s traditional social values such as seniority.

"When I came back to Thailand, I knew I just had to play my best football and no longer think about how young I was."

Since returning home, the Bangkok-born striker played his part as Muang Thong won the 2009 and 2010 Thai Premier League titles.

Dangda's next ambition is to help his nation continue into the fourth round of World Cup qualifying with matches against Saudi Arabia and Australia fast approaching after their bright start.

"We have worked very hard and the team are on the right track in the qualifying campaign," he said.

"Indeed we have a decent chance to qualify from our group with four points from three matches and we can further strengthen second behind Australia with at least a draw in Saudi Arabia.

He added: "I am hoping I can play every match to help Thailand reach the next qualifying round for Brazil 2014. As for Muang Thong, I would like to win every title possible."

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.

Goal_asia now has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Asian football follow us by clicking on the above links.