National football league 2017 has seen the highest number of foreign players hired by the clubs.
Except Thimphu FC and Ugyen Academy FC, all the clubs football clubs have foreign players in the team.
Paro United has four foreign players. Phuentsholing City FC has three and Transport United two. Thimphu City FC has Vincent Deacon as coach and club player.
Nagen Tamang, 27, from West Bengal, India is a professional footballer who is currently playing for Rangdajied United F.C. The 27-year-old striker was hired by Transport United for the ongoing national league.
Nagen Tamang made his debut appearance in the national championship in 2015. He said that the football in Bhutan has developed in a short span of time.
“The ability and skills of players, infrastructure and facilities of the sport, and the coaching standard have improved. The championship has potential teams and players,” he said.
Ong Tshering Lepcha from Sikkim, India who also plays for Transport United, said that the championship is tough. He is looking forward to feed the club with important goals. The two players hired by Transport United for the ongoing league is worth Nu 150,000 and Nu 250,000 respectively.
Paro United had hired four international players for the league. The club had been signing foreign players since it participated in the league for the first time in 2015. The club has a player from Thailand and three from India. Karan Rai, Pratik lama, and Indrajit Chhetri play in the same club called Vivekananda Club based at Siliguri, India. However, the players could play only two games with the squad and left the club as they faced difficulty in adapting to place and weather. They were paid Nu 5,000 per match. The only international player with the club, Phakhawat Seekhieo is paid Nu 115,518.
Subba, general secretary of Paro United, said that signing of foreign players in team help the domestic players learn and exchange the exposure at home. The initiative is aimed at promoting professionalism and improving the game level of players.
“This would help the players improve and avail of chances to play in foreign countries,” he said.
Phuentsholing City FC had three players from India – Ramesh, Deepen, and Padam from West Bengal.