Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

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The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Bhutan's women football team. (Source: Facebook/bhutanfootball)

 

By Nima | Kuensel

Football is increasingly becoming popular among young Bhutanese girls. This is a positive sign and the development of women’s football in the country should be bolstered.

However, the football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches. Moreover, the number of women’s clubs should be increased and strengthened.

Sung Jea Lee, 53, has been training the national women’s teams of U-13, U-15, and U-18 along with four local coaches at the Gelephu football academy for the past two years. The academy has about 60 national women footballers.

“There are some players with good talents. The younger ones have more potential than their seniors. There is not much difference in the national women’s football team at the youth level in South Asia,” said the coach.

Sung Jea Lee’s hope for the future of Bhutan’s Women Football

He added that the senior national women’s football could take about six years to reach South Asia’s level.

Source: Kuensel Online

“However, it would take only about two years for the national U-15 team to reach the South Asian level.”

Sung Jea Lee said that women in Bhutan normally play football until high school. Apart from that, the highest amount of time spent by young Bhutanese women playing football is when they are in the football academy.

“They don’t have any teams to play with after that. I am worried about the women’s team,” the coach said.  

“There should be more women’s club to encourage them to play regularly. Develop stronger women’s league and provide better benefits to women footballers.”

Focus on training Bhutanese football coaches

He added that there should be more local coaches for the long-term development of women’s coaches in the country.

“Foreign coaches like us would be in the country for about two years. It is more important to develop better local coaches for the future and focus more on their development,” said Sung Jea Lee.

There are today 14 lady coaches in the country with the Asian Football Club (AFC) with the A, B and C licence, engaged in district and academy.

Optimism for the upcoming U-15 SAFF Women’s championship

The coach expects the national U-15 team to play the in the finals of the U-15 SAFF Women’s championship next month when the country hosts the championship in Changlingmithang, Thimphu.

“The girls performed well in the last edition. We have home advantage. The weather and game situation would favour us. We hope to take on India first with positive results to get ourselves into the finals,” said the coach.

However, the coach is worried about the limited number of players on the squad representing the country at the SAFF U-15 Women’s championship.

The U-16 Gelephu Academy Girls and the BFF Academy FC led by Sung Jea Lee recorded massive win against the two local clubs of Druk United and Tensung FC.

The U-16 Gelephu Academy Girls defeated Druk United FC 16-0 and BFF Academy FC defeated Tensung Bum’s FC 23-0 on 2 July. 

Meanwhile, the national women’s football team are playing the Ugyen Trading House women’s super league as they prepare for the upcoming SAFF Women’s championship.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


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