Senior women’s national team set for FIFA Friendlies against Hong Kong


Excitement reverberates throughout Bhutan as the Senior Women’s National Team eagerly prepares to face Hong Kong, China in a series of FIFA Friendlies.

Set to take place at the Changlimithang Stadium, these matches mark a historic moment for women’s football in Bhutan, as it hosts FIFA Friendlies on home soil for the first time since the pandemic.

The significance of hosting and participating in these friendlies underscores the steadfast commitment of the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) towards the advancement and recognition of women’s football in the country.

Despite the considerable gap in rankings, with Hong Kong positioned a notable 100 ranks above Bhutan in the FIFA Women’s Football Rankings, the upcoming matches present an invaluable opportunity for the Senior Women’s National Team to demonstrate their prowess and determination.

Head of the Women’s Department and Captain of the National Team, Pema Choden Tshering, underscored the importance of such friendlies in promoting women’s football in Bhutan.

With several new faces in the squad, the primary objective remains to cultivate a solid foundation of expertise and exposure, with optimism for a commendable performance on home turf.

The team was guided by a new head coach from England, and the team is undergoing rigorous training in the capital to ensure optimal performance and tactical execution during the matches.

Head coach Nicola Demaine said that these games are pivotal opportunities to gauge the team’s readiness for future tournaments, including the SAFF tournament. She underscores the significance of trying out new tactics and providing exposure to players with less international experience.

Among heightened anticipation from players and fans alike, the upcoming FIFA Friendlies will not only showcase the skills and passion of the senior women’s national team but also catalyze the growth of women’s football in Bhutan.

Beyond the sporting spectacle, this event signifies a broader commitment to gender equality in sports and serves as inspiration for aspiring young athletes across the nation.

In anticipation of the upcoming FIFA friendlies against Hong Kong, the team has been diligently preparing with a focused dedication towards the larger objective of excelling in the forthcoming SAFF Championship later this year.

Each training session has been meticulously designed to foster continuous improvement and address areas of refinement essential for our collective growth.

“Hosting Hong Kong presents an exhilarating prospect, marking Bhutan’s return to home ground since 2019. Collaborating with the newly appointed Head Coach has been immensely rewarding, characterized by a wealth of invaluable insights and rapid developmental strides within a condensed timeframe,” Pema Choden said.

She said that in terms of their aspirations for these imminent fixtures, while victory would undoubtedly be a thrilling outcome, their primary emphasis rests on embodying the cohesive style of play instilled by our progress to our ardent supporters.

“Acknowledging Hong Kong’s formidable ranking, considerably higher than our own, we approach these encounters with a realistic understanding of the challenges ahead, viewing them as a pivotal learning opportunity integral to our preparation for the SAFF Championship,” she added.

Central to their strategy, she said, remains the cultivation of a unified team ethos, driven by a singular vision for success.

As the team navigates through these fixtures, the essence of their approach lies in collective unity and strategic cohesion. “Every player is an integral cog in the team machinery, contributing towards their shared objectives with unwavering commitment and resolve.”

Pema said that the recent transition under the stewardship of a new Head Coach signifies a pivotal juncture in our journey, characterized by the establishment of a positive team culture underpinned by a growth-oriented mindset.

“This transformative ethos permeates both our off-field endeavors and on-field performances, fostering an environment conducive to sustained excellence,” Pema added.

With the impending challenges posed by formidable opponents, the team views these friendlies as indispensable milestones in their developmental trajectory.

She also said that the prospect of facing higher-ranked adversaries serves as a litmus test of our progress and affords us invaluable insights into areas warranting further refinement.

Embracing the pressure of playing on home soil, she said “We channel this excitement into a source of motivation, fueling our collective determination to deliver performances reflective of our unwavering commitment to the sport.”

As Team Captain Pema said, “I extend our heartfelt gratitude to the unwavering support extended towards women’s football, a testament to the burgeoning enthusiasm surrounding our endeavors.

“We implore our fans to rally behind us as we embark on this exhilarating journey, fervently cheering on the Dragon Girls in a spirit of unwavering positivity and collective solidarity.

“Together, let us forge ahead resolute in our pursuit of sporting excellence and national pride.”

The FIFA Friendlies match between host Bhutan and Hongkong will be played on the 31st of March at 6.00 PM at the Changlimithang Stadium.

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