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World Cup: Veteran Passang Tshering of Thimphu City FC, FC Tertons’ captain Kinley Wangchuk, Drukstars’ Dawa Tshering, under-19 national player, Yeshi Dorji and Thimphu FC’s goalie Kinzang Gyelrhen are the five new players to join the Dragon Boys.

23-man squad announced for Hong Kong match

World Cup: Veteran Passang Tshering of Thimphu City FC, FC Tertons’ captain Kinley Wangchuk, Drukstars’ Dawa Tshering, under-19 national player, Yeshi Dorji and Thimphu FC’s goalie Kinzang Gyelrhen are the five new players to join the Dragon Boys.

The final 23-man final squad that will play against Hong Kong on June 11in the first game of the second round of World Cup qualification was announced yesterday.

Head coach of the national team, Tsukitate Norio, said that out of the 30 shortlisted players the top 23 were selected. He added that considering the injuries some of the players the squad had to be changed.

Coach Tsukitate Norio said that he has taken in two players for each position and the players are one of the best he had seen during his scouting from the ongoing Yanmar Thimphu Premier League.

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“Now that the team is finalised we can focus more on the training and work hard for the coming games,” he said. “I’ll give my best to train these players and I’m confident that they will do the same.”

Passang Tshering said he was not expecting to be a part of the group. “The coach said that he might use me for the game against China, but I’m really happy that I got selected for this game against Hong Kong,” he said.

Teammate Kuenga Gyeltshen from Mongar said that the new coach has selected the best of the players and the squad looks strong this time. He said for those who did not make it in the team, they need not worry since the current squad was not permanent. “The pressure on us is more now. The responsibility of all of them and the country falls on our shoulder. We cannot lose now,” he said.

Defender Man Bahadur Gurung, goalie Ngawang Jamphel, Mid-fielder Sonam Phuntsho, Ugyen Dorji and Chimi Dorji who played in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers against Sri Lanka won’t be joining the team this time because of the injuries.

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