The club lost 13 games in the ongoing league

Thinley Namgay 

Previously known as Tali Boys FC, the Gelephu FC is the only club in the ongoing 2021 BoB Bhutan Premier League (BPL) without a single point.

The club lost all the 13 games played so far and has five remaining games to play in the league.

In the 13 playoffs, the club recorded only seven goals and conceived 66 goals, resulting in a goal difference of negative 59.  

Football fans are asking what went wrong with the club this season as the club is the oldest and one of the top contenders in the local tournaments in Gelephu. 

Defeating 12 teams, Gelephu FC won the district league early this year and secured a place in this season’s premier league. 

However, it is the club’s maiden journey in the BPL. The club does not have any national and club players this season.

Gelephu FC’s coach Mindu said that how his players feature themselves in the tournament matters more than winning. “Despite our effort, we lost all the matches. It is difficult to predict the result in games. Sometimes we lose despite the probability of winning.” 

He said the club’s fans have been very supportive, which kept them morally strong. “We will give our best in the remaining games.”

Mindu said that the primary objective of Gelephu FC was to give opportunities for football enthusiasts and engage youth.

He said people only see the goals the club concedes and conclude they are a weak team but does not take into consideration where they have come from or their background. “That won’t hamper our spirit.  What matters to us is to look back where we have come from and how we display ourselves.” 

Gelephu players comprises of college students, class XII graduates and some office goers. 

Mindu said that his players were improving in terms of ball possession and fitness level. “This is important. For instance, Gelephu conceded 10 goals against Thimphu City FC in the first round. In the second round, we conceded only five, which is a sign of improvement.”  

Gelephu lost to former champions Transport United FC 6-0 on August 24 at the Changlimithang stadium.  The first half was a goalless draw.

According to Mindu, his two defenders got injured in the next round, which hampered the game.  

He also said the club has some challenges. “We don’t have home ground at Gelephu to train our players. We have limited sponsorship. BFF is helping us but it is still challenging to run the club if we don’t have sponsors.”  

He said the Covid-19 pandemic has  hampered the sponsorship as many are facing financial constraints due to pandemic.

The club plans to start a grassroots team, hire coaches and retain good players.

Edited by Tashi Dema