Thinley Namgay

The upcoming Bhutan Women’s National League Qualifiers 2024 could witness three new teams out of eight participating teams.

Phuentsholing Heroes FC, Daga United FC, and the Royal Academy are newcomers. These teams will play alongside Ugyen Academy Women’s FC, Transport United Ladies, BFF Academy, RTC Women’s FC, and Panchali Women’s FC.

Ugyen Academy Women’s FC, Transport United Ladies, BFF Academy,  and RTC Women’s FC are view as strong teams.

Out of the eight teams, six will be selected for the Bhutan Women’s National League 2024.

Each team in the qualifiers will play seven games.

For Panchali FC, it will be the team’s second appearance in the tournament after the 2021 edition.

The tournament is set to commence on May 12.

Daga United FC’s coach, Tshering Dema, is optimistic about grabbing a spot in the national league. “Training is going well. We have been training for more than two months now. Players are optimistic.”

Daga United is the dzongkhag league winner.

Tshering Dema expects to land in the top three. The recent Saturday holiday declared for teachers and students made the work easier for Tshering Dema.

Tshering Dema said she could train her players all together. She said some students used to miss training as they had to go to school on Saturdays. As a new coach in the team, she finds it challenging for students to adapt to her tactics.

Phuentsholing Heroes FC’s coach Bikash Pradhan said the team couldn’t do much training as the team was formed ad-hoc. All players are from Phuentsholing. Students were not included in the squad, realising that it could disturb their studies.

According to Bikash, the team doesn’t have sponsors, and it will be challenging for them financially. He said the club is trying to find sponsors.

Bhutan Football Federation  (BFF) provides Nu 100,000 for each team as seed money and Nu 50,000 each for an away game. “As of now, our sole supporter is BFF,” said Bikash.

Royal Academy’s coach Tshering Pelden is hoping for an engaging tournament for her players. She said the team’s intention is not to win this season but to engage and let the players explore and learn.

She said the training is on track, but the tournament will be challenging. “However, we will try our best.”