Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Sikkim Women’s Football Tourney – a much needed platform for women footballers

Lako Phuti Bhutia [extreme left] with her coach Palden Bhutia and Nim Lhamu Bhutia, captain of Norbugang XI

GANGTOK, 31 Oct: “If it wasn’t for football, I would not have got the opportunity to represent the country at the international level”, said international footballer from Sikkim, Lako Phuti Bhutia on her debut at Malaysia recently.
Lako Phuti hails from Sreebadam in West Sikkim and has been training under coach Palden Bhutia at Women’s Football Academy, Mangalbaria since 2006. She is a member of the U-19 Indian Women’s football team and played for India in the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] championship in Malaysia earlier this month against Bangladesh and Uzbekistan at her stopper position.  
Sharing her recent international football experience, Lako Phuti mentioned that it was her dream and aim to play for the country. She added that she was very happy and excited on this achievement.
“The India camp was beneficial as I could further hone my skills and it also gave me confidence. I want to continue to play for my country and am thankful to my coach and family for their support”, said Lako.
She is will be joining the India camp again on 10 November.
Playing as Norbugang XI’s defender in the All Sikkim Women’s Football Tournament, Lako expressed her happiness on the starting of a women’s football tournament in the state. Such a tournament, she said would help in the development of women’s football in the state and at the same time it will also provide more platforms for women footballers to showcase their talent, skills and game.
Likewise, Norbugang XI coach, Palden Bhutia, who is also the chief coach of Women’s Football Academy, Mangalbaria, mentioned that this women’s tournament was a great initiative of the SFA to encourage and promote women’s football in the state.
“Such tournaments will generate more national and international women footballers from Sikkim in the near future” said Mr Bhutia and added that such tournaments should continue to be held for the development of women’s football in the state.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Sikkim Football Association and to Mangalbaria Senior Secondary School for their continuous support for the success of the academy.

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