Danny Ratanapintha

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Football biography

Daniel 'Danny' James Ratanapintha (Template:Lang-th, born 29 November 1994) is a Thai Australian association footballer who plays as a Full Back and is currently unattached, he has played for Ringwood City, Buriram PEA and Muangthong United. Danny is also a television producer, director, editor & camera operator. He has produced Thai Ties, Gridiron Victoria TV, and Law Legends Lately; as well as working for the Nine Network, Foxtel Aurora and Channel Seven Two. [1] Danny is most known for his documentary produced in Thailand 'Thai Ties' in which he was the host.

Early life

Daniel was raised by an Australian mother & Thai father in Melbourne, Australia - he is bilingual in both Thai and English. He played for Ringwood City Football Club throughout his developing years, he also played table tennis at an AWD level, he had dreamt of playing for Australia at the 2012 London Games. He represented Victoria in Table Tennis in 2011 & 2013, however he was disqualified both times for undisclosed reasons[2] thus crushing his dreams and aspirations. He later pursued an interest in the media towards the end of his education.

Club career

Buriram United

Danny was first scouted in 2012 in Bangkok playing a friendly against a collection of ex Thai Premier League players, and was given a trial with Buriram PEA. Danny is best known as being "an engine" according to Attaphol Buspakom, then Buriram coach. He never played a first team game though, and instead played for the Futsal team before signing for his boyhood club Muangthong United on a free transfer.

Muangthong United

Danny quickly became very well known in the Thai media, being well known for both his work on television and on the football field. He later stated his main inspiration to play for United was to be alongside Robbie Fowler. He played several trials for Muangthong before realising Robbie actually retired the year prior. He then became a free agent and is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

Retirement

Danny was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth X-Linked Disease, a rare muscular atrophy which would prevent him from playing professional football in the future. He announced his retirement on 7 January 2014 via Facebook and Twitter to his 34,000 followers stating "I can treasure the time gone by, but regret the memories I never got to have with my loyal fans - ขอบคุณมากครับผมรักคุณ".[3]

Daniel Ratanapintha speaking with Thai media ahead of his debut for the U/20 Thai National team alongside his father in 2012.

International career

Danny was first called up to the Thailand national under-20 football team when playing for Buriram PEA, through a thorough relationship with then FAT President candidate Pinit Ngarmpring & a strong recommendation from Attaphol Buspakom on his commitment and endurance. After several friendlies Danny was given his first international cap [4]at any level against Vietnam coming on in the 63rd minute at the Rajamangala national stadium & on his competitive debut scored a goal running up on a counter attack. According to Winfried Schäfer Danny was one of the fittest players on the field, who stated after his debut "Danny is a real gem, he can endure almost any weather conditions here in Bangkok & still perform. We have some work to do as he is a bit out of touch, but I can see his experience from futsal is paying off". He made 13 caps before retiring in 2014. He is still eligible for the Australian National team under FIFA Sanctions.

Television career

Once finishing his studies early in 2010 at Aquinas College at year 10, Danny pursued a career in the media. By age 17, he had already Directed American Football show Gridiron Victoria TV[5], where he worked alongside former CNN journalist Eric Williams; Danny & Eric both interviewed many Gridiron and even AFL stars, including Nick & Jack Riewoldt. Danny worked for Essendon Football club during the supplements scandle from 2012 to 2013 in their media department. Danny later said, "When the Camera Crew had nothing else to do, I'd help pour drinks for the boys - one day a co-worker dropped powder everywhere, I assumed it was just powerade; evidently it had more than just electrolytes in it." Danny produced Thai Ties from 2012 to 2013, where he travelled across Thailand learning Thai culture, language & food; thus gaining popularity in the Thai Australian community. He then worked for Abode Television as an Editor, and the Nine Network as a Camera Assistant. Whilst producing Thai Ties, he adopted a Siberian Tiger cub named Popo, he later stated "I named my pet tiger Popo, so if there was danger; I could yell out - Oh lord somebody call the popo!"

Dannys pet tiger Popo as a cub

Personal life

Danny has claimed to be an open minded Buddhist, and is a devout supporter of the Melbourne Victory Football Club, he attends games in their active area, the North Terrace Collective. Shortly after his retirement from professional football, it was revealed to the public Danny is openly gay. He later stated athletes such as Robbie Rogers, Tom Daley and Matthew Mitcham inspired him to be open about his sexuality. Danny is a lifelong supporter of the Essendon Football Club, and has not ruled out a career as an AFL Footballer. [6]

References

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