New transfer fee record set at Nu 250,000

Thinley Namgay

With the signing of foreign players restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic, local names are finding their value increase in the transfer market as the Bhutan Premier League (BPL) nears.

Thimphu City FC recently signed midfielder, Dawa Tshering, from Transport United FC with a transfer fee of Nu 250, 000. This is the highest transfer fee paid so far, according to Thimphu City FC President, Hishey Tshering.

Hishey Tshering said that Dawa Tshering, 21, had been selected as the most valuable player twice in the past BPL seasons. “He is a proven player and would make a difference for the club.”

Dawa Tshering is a national player and featured in the South Asian Games last year in Nepal.

The club also signed Paro FC’s striker, Kencho Tobgay with the transfer fee of Nu 120,000 to boost its strike options. Hishey Tshering said that his club had a good team, but there has been a lack of a genuine striker, and it has been the club’s achilles heel in the past.

Kencho Tobgay is not in the national squad.

A former national team striker, Yeshi Dorji, popularly known as Bumlay was also signed for Thimphu City FC. “We have decided to sign Bumlay so that he can share his experience and guide other players in the team,” said Hishey Tshering.

Thimphu City FC also signed Transport United FC’s coach, Ngawang Dhendup. “All these transfers were done early this year before the pandemic, and the club is really happy that the tournament is going to take place. Otherwise, this money would have been a complete waste,” said Hishey Tshering.

Other national players in Thimphu City FC are Tshering Dorji, Orgyen Wangchuk, Karma Shedrup, Lungtok Dawa, and Choklay Wangchuk. However, Nima Wangdi who had an operation on his foot for an injury sustained during Bhutan’s World Cup Qualifier against Guam last year will not feature this season.

Paro FC’s head coach and technical director Puspalal Sharma said that his club had signed seven players including five players from the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) Academy and other two from Ugyen Academy FC and Druk United FC. The club paid more than Nu 200,000 in transfer fee.

“We need to build our team based on the formations and strategies we intend to execute in the BPL,” said Puspalal Sharma.

Paro FC has eight national players. Chencho Gyeltshen will also play for the Paro FC this season.

High Quality United FC and Druk Stars FC have not signed any players from other clubs for the BPL. Currently, High Quality United FC has two national players- mid-fielder Lhendup Dorji and Tenzin Thinley. Druk Stars FC has no national players.

Druk Stars FC’s coach and proprietor Kota said that all his players are young and new. “I am allowing the youth who couldn’t get in other major clubs due to lack of skills despite their interest in football.”

Kota also said that his intention is not just to win the BPL. “It is easy to win the BPL title if the club has some national and foreign players, but we must think about the youth interested in football.”

Transport United FC has signed 10 players in total including five mid-fielders, three strikers and two defenders mostly from BFF Academy’s Under (U)-19 squad. All the players are between the ages of 20 and 26.

Transport United FC’s Yeshey Samdrup said that clubs need not pay transfer fees while signing BFF academy players. For the other four new players, the club paid almost Nu 200,000.

Yeshey Samdrup said that his club has the maximum young players signed from BFF U-19 and would add more advantage to his team in the BPL. “Transport United FC also signed eight BFF U-16 players who were not selected for the 2020 national squad.”

Ugyen Academy FC is purely represented by their students. It is also the same with Tensung FC. Tensung players are all army personnel. It is the maiden journey for Tensung FC in the BPL this season. Ugyen Academy has five senior national players to represent the club in the BPL.

Paro United FC has signed Rinpung FC’s striker Tandin Wangchuk and defenders Sonam Dorji and Tshering Ngedup.

Paro United FC’s captain Tshering Dendup said that the Paro United didn’t pay for these players as they are signed based on the release letter by their club.

Eight teams will compete in the upcoming BPL which begins on August 1.