His dedication and passion for the game knew no boundaries. Under the guidance of his father Hishey Tshering, Orgyen Wangchuk Tshering’s training in football began at an early age of seven.

His talents got him a membership in the under-14 national camp followed by the under-19 team. However, like many aspiring footballers, Orgyen’s goal was to don the senior national team’s jersey.

The wait wasn’t long. The young midfielder got his break recently when he made into the first-eleven on the senior national team during the game against the Maldives. This was his opportunity.

The 17-year-old is the youngest player to have been featured in the senior national team. Given his age, the teenager delivered in his maiden national duty. The skilful midfielder was behind some of the few opportunities that were generated during the game against the Maldivians on June 13.

With a few fancy moments, Orgyen who played alongside his idol, Karma Shedrup Tshering, made his debut match a moment that he would cherish for life. “It was one of the best games I have played so far. I was excited and mentally prepared for the game.”

Orgyen’s contribution to his club, Thimphu City, has also been noticeable. Three years after joining the club, he and young players like Nima Wangdi contributed to City’s first national and Thimphu league titles last season.

He credits his father for the athlete he has become. A football enthusiast and a prevalent name in Bhutanese football, Orgyen’s father Hishey Tshering, made sure his son was groomed in the best way possible. “Whatever I’m today, it’s all because of my father,” he said, adding that his mother and sisters made sure that they attended every game of his during the leagues and that they have always been a strong motivation for him.

However, despite the immense passion for the game he and his family share, Orgyen do not see pursuing football as a career. “Football has come a long way in Bhutan but still I cannot see myself pursuing it as a career. As a footballer, I do not see a career in Bhutan but I’ll continue it as my prized passion and hobby.”

Orgyen, who recently completed class XII, plans to pursue computer studies for his tertiary education. “As much as my father would like to see me carry this passion forward, education comes first, even to him.”

But, before the youngster travels for his education, it is likely that he might make it to the game against Palestine later this year.

Younten Tshedup