Two national football players, Jigme Tshering Dorji and Nima Wangdi left for Chandigarh, India yesterday after Minerva Punjab FC, one of the leading I-League clubs called the players for trial.

Both Jigme Tshering Dorji and Nima Wangdi play for Thimphu City.

I-League came up with the new rules of including six foreign players, of which at least two should be from AFC member nations.

“Minerva is planning to release Japanese player and could have a slot for one of them,” Hishey Tshering, Thimphu City’s Club manager said.

Minerva Punjab FC is the first Indian club to sign Bhutanese footballer after it used one of its AFC member slots to sign Chencho Gyeltshen last year.

Hishey Tshering said that the opportunity granted to the two players is because of Chencho Gyeltshen’s good performance at the club.

Chencho Gyeltshen said that he recommended the club’s owner to give Bhutanese players a platform to prove their potential.

He said that the club called three players for trial. However, Tshering Dorji could not turn up for the trial because of injury.  “Bhutanese players lag professional platform.”

Jigme Tshering Dorji made his first appearance for the national squad at South Asian Football Federation Cup against Sri Lanka in 2011. The 22-year-old defender has made more than 17 international appearances. He scored his first international goal against Bangladesh in the second playoff round in Asian Cup 2019 in 2016.

Nima Wangdi is known in the domestic leagues for his skills and ability to displace the opponent with his pace from the flanks. He made his first international appearance against India in a friendly match and played against Bangladesh in both legs of Asian cup 2019 playoff round in 2016. The 19-year-old made more than seven international appearances.

Indian media has reported that the duo would undergo trial at the Minerva Punjab football club from today.