Football: FC Terton dominated in football last year, winning both the Thimphu and  national league. The reign of the undisputed champions, however, was short lived.

This year Terton struggled to perform at the Thimphu league. Not only did the team fail to qualify for the national league, they had to play a relegation match to remain in the A-division.

Terton could not handle the pressure as the defending champions and the team finally ended in the fifth position on the table. Officials from the club acknowledged their failure to perform during the league and said that the “luck” wasn’t on their side this season.

Many of the key players from the club also missed the league this year, which added to the disastrous performance of the team. The need for the club’s skipper Kinley Wangchuk was desperately felt especially at the defence line.

Considered to be one of the leading defenders in the country today, Kinley Wangchuk managed to play only a single game against Thimphu City this year. The defender has been plagued with ligament injuries since his last international appearance against Qatar in September last year.

However, the team as the national champion of 2015 will play in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) playoff qualifiers in Thimphu next month.

This is the second edition of the AFC playoffs to be hosted by Bhutan. A total of nine countries will participate in the week-long tournament at  Changlimithang Stadium.

FC Terton will take on Tatung FC of Chinese Taipei in the opening game on August 21. The second game will be against Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra of Bangladesh on August 25.

The vice president of FC Terton said that in preparation for the tournament, the club has signed some of the leading players from other local clubs.

“Like any team, our expectations are also to win both the matches and qualify for the next round,” she said. “However, we do not want to undermine the opponent. We will be going out there to give all that we have and to keep the fighting spirit till the end.”

The club is benefiting from the ongoing national league since most of the players are kept engaged with the game. “This is an added advantage for us because it is very difficult to get training grounds because of the ongoing leagues,” said the vice president.

The team will be headed by the national coach Pema.

Druk United FC represented the country at the first AFC playoffs conducted in Thimphu last year.

Younten Tshedup