The club started out life in the third tier Regional Leagues with little success, before they won promotion from the Central-East Division in 2011. The success continued as Ratchaburi won the Division One title at the first attempt. To add to the triumph Ratchaburi also reached the final of the League Cup, but ended up losing 4-1 to Buriram United in farcical circumstances.
In their debut season in the Thai Premier League, The Dragons struggled as they finished the season in fifteenth place under Spanish manager Ivan Palanco. However, once again they reached the League Cup Final at Tammasat Stadium against Buriram United yet again. This time United came from a goal down to break The Dragons hearts with a 2-1 victory.
In 2016 the club moved from Ratchaburi Stadium a few miles west outside the city to the village of Huai Phai to the brand new purpose built Mitr Pohl Stadium, which was owned by the club.
The 2016 campaign saw the team finish in sixth place and were announced as joint winners of the FA Cup along with three other semi-finalists as the season was truncated owing to the sad death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Brazilian striker Heberty finished as top scorer for a third successive season.
Marcel Essombé topped the scoring charts in 2017 as Ratchaburi finished in sixth place once again, under head coach Pacheta. The Spaniard was replaced by former German international Christian Ziege for the 2018 season. However, he lasted just one month before being replaced by René Desaeyere.
The team finished in twelfth position with Kang Soo-il top scoring with Tunisian coach Lassaad Chabbi in charge before his departure.
Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC will play in the Thai League 1 in the 2019 season.
My chance came about after staying in Samut Songkhram and wanting to return to Hua Hin as I’d enjoyed my three days there the previous week so much. My research told me that it was possible to catch a train to the resort if I somehow got to Ratchaburi. This was solved by way of a bus ride from Sam Song.
The fare was 25BHT and for that we were treated to a Thai drama on the TV over the drivers seat. I hadn’t a clue what was happening on the screen, but it followed the usual pattern. Girl finds boy and falls in love, before they fall out and eventually make up with some storyline around it.
What impressed me most was that it ended at exactly the same time as we entered Ratchaburi. Was this perfect timing from our driver, or had he delayed our journey so the few passengers remotely interested saw the end? I will never know.
Anyway, I had sketched out a rough route to the stadium from where I thought the bus station was. It’s strange how the simplest of walks on Google Earth turn into a logistical nightmare once in real life. In short, I got lost.
Ratchaburi Stadium was like many other football venues in Thailand in that it had a running track surrounding the pitch. The vast majority was open large steps, which fans usually sat on and one covered stand down the side with a few proper seats in the VIP area. All the steps were painted in the teams colour of orange, which gave it a nice look.
The journey was another joy despite the train being packed as locals walked up and down the carriages selling their wares. It was certainly cheaper than back home and it made a refreshing change. I’d had another brilliant day and my luck was well and truly in!