Bumthang and Gelephu women teams contest national league qualifier

Thinley Namgay  

Bumthang Women’s FC (BWFC) and Gelephu Women’s FC (GWFC) are the two newcomers among eight teams participating in the ongoing Women’s National League Qualifier 2023 at six different venues across the country.

Of the eight teams in the qualifier, six top teams will qualify for the 2023 Women’s National League which is expected to start in September.

Despite limited training and exposure, BWFC and GWFC decided to feature in the qualifier this season.

GWFC’s head coach, Gangaram Ghalley, said, “My players are mostly school dropouts. We are a new team and I want to provide opportunities for women football enthusiasts.”

He said the team couldn’t undergo the required training, but they are always optimistic. “If we don’t participate, there is no alternative to improve.  We still have six matches in hand and I expect to win at least a few games.”

The team started the tournament with a heavy loss. RTC Women’s FC defeated them 19-0 on May 14. The next match for Gelephu Women’s FC is against Gelephu Academy Girls on May 27.

“Gelephu Academy Girls are a well-trained team and it will be challenging for us,” Gangaram Ghalley said, adding that few players in his team have the potential to feature in the national team provided they undergo good training.

BWFC also suffered a crushing defeat on May 13 against the Gelephu Academy Girls. They lost 25-0.

Bumthang’s head coach Dechen Choki was happy that the girls participated in the tournament despite the heavy loss.  “We decided to take part to gain exposure and also to provide a platform for those underprivileged players.”

“Preparation for the qualifier was limited as the players could practise only in the evening due to personal work,” she said, adding that the team will train well to face RTC FC on May 28.

Club officials said that it is challenging to take players to other places because of financial constraints. However, officials said that a fund of Nu 30,000 per match from the BFF is helping them a lot.

As of yesterday, RTC Women’s FC is leading the qualifier with six points from two games.  The single-league format tournament will end in August.