Training: In a move that would equip football clubs in the country with certified and trained coaches, the Bhutan Football Federation is currently training coaches of various clubs in Tsirang.

A total of 20 participants, both players and trainers, are attending the training.

One of the participants, Deo Kumar Mongar said that he has been coaching students of three schools for the past six years as a games instructor but without receiving any formal training.  His team, Gedu high school (football club) will participate as a club in the next league season.

He added that whatever he taught so far was solely based on what he knew about football as a player. “This was one of the most important and needed trainings for us,” he said. “At least we can look at football differently, from a coach’s view point hereon.”

He added that the training enabled them with technical tactics of training players, which is crucial for a coach to be aware of. Besides uplifting the already known tricks of playing professionally, attending the training was important to know about managing a team of players.

Besides training students, Deo Kumar Mongar engages in playing football at the community level comprising of players from 17 villages of Chukha. At the community level he plays as well as trains other players, who are mostly farmers and school dropouts.  “While we’ve the opportunity to take the game into the community level, being professionally trained is necessary,” he added.

Another participant Yenten Thinley, 22, has always been a football enthusiast to the extent that he dropped out of class XI to play for Thimphu Football Club. It’s been almost seven years since he began playing for various clubs. He was also one of the players for the under-18 national team.

Yenten said that that since he has played for a while now he felt the need to be trained to train other players in his club. Moreover he said that it’s necessary that football clubs in the country have certified coaches. “I’m here to enhance my knowledge on football from a different perspective,” he said. “I’m trying to make life out of football,” he said.

However for participants like Sonam Tenzin who is a member as well as an administrator of Bhutan CFC, this training introduced him to the basics of football. He has neither been a regular player nor has coached players in his club.

“For a novice like us this was a compressed course,” he said.

Meanwhile Asian Football Confederation instructor Chokey Nima said that besides equipping clubs in the country with certified coaches, it is also to fulfil the BFF’s club criteria of introducing a club licensing system in the near future.

“To have good performance within clubs it’s a must to have qualified coaches, besides the good management,” he said. “A better club system will ultimately help bring growth and higher performance level in football in Bhutan.”

Following the 13-day training session that ends today, the participants will sit through a series of practical and theory tests, results of which will be sent to the Asian Football Confederation for assessment.  Then only will the participants be awarded certificates or licences to begin coaching players in the club.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang