Football is increasingly becoming popular among young Bhutanese girls which portends development of women’s football in the country.
However, national women football coach Sung Jea Lee said that there was a need to train local coaches, increase number of women’s clubs and establish strong women’s league.
Sung Jea Lee, 53, has been training national women teams of U-13, U-15, and U-18 along with four local coaches at Gelephu football academy for last two years. The academy has about 60 national women footballers.
“There are some players with good talents. The younger ones have more potential than seniors. There is not much difference in national women’s football at the youth level in South Asia,” said the coach.
He added that the senior national women football would take about six years to reach the South Asia’s level. “However, it would take only about two years for the national U-15 team to reach the South Asian level.”
Sung Jea Lee said women in Bhutan play football until high school. The highest amount of time spent by young Bhutanese women playing football is when they are in football academy.
“They don’t have team to play after that. I am worried about the women’s team. They do very well at the moment,” coach said. “There should be more women’s club and enhance them to play regularly. Develop stronger women’s league, and provide better benefits to women footballers.”
He added that there should be more local coaches for the long-term development of women’s coach in the country. “Foreign coach like us would be in the country for about two years. It is more important to develop better local coach for future and I focus more on local coaches development,” said Sung Jea Lee.
There are today 14 lady coach in the country with AFC A, B, and C licence engaged in district and academy.
The coach expects the national U-15 team to play the final of come U-15 SAFF Women’s championship next month when the country hosts the championship in Changlingmithang, Thimphu.
“The girls performed well in the last edition. We have home advantage. Weather and game situation would favour us. We hope to take on India first with positive result to find ourselves in the final,” said the coach.
However, the coach is worried about the limited number of players on the squad representing the country at SAFF U-15 Women’s championship.
Meanwhile, national women’s football team are playing Ugyen Trading House women’s super league as they prepare for the come SAFF Women’s championship.
The U-16 Gelephu Academy Girls and BFF Academy FC led by Sung Jea Lee recorded massive win against two local clubs of Druk United and Tensung FC.
U-16 Gelephu Academy Girls defeated Druk United FC 16-0 and BFF Academy FC defeated Tensung Bum’s FC 23-0 yesterday.