Shillong, Jan 18: The Meghalaya Football Association announced today that Shillong will host the Bhutan national U-17 girls’ football team, who will play two FIFA friendlies against Meghalaya on 21st and 23rd January.

The Bhutan Football Federation had requested FIFA to organise friendly matches for the U-17 girls’ team and the dates fit in nicely with the state’s celebrations of Meghalaya Day on 21st January.

The JN Stadium, Polo, will be the venue for both games, which are being organised by the MFA in collaboration with the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs. Kick-off will by at 6PM and entry is free for all.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference in the MFA today Bhutan team manager Kunzing said, “We are very happy to be in Shillong. It is very beautiful and it has been nice interacting with people here.”

Captain Sonam Choden said that the players are also looking forward to the game tomorrow, while head coach Yeshi Wangchuk said that it will be a good experience for his charges.

“Women’s football in Bhutan is not so developed and that is why we requested FIFA for these friendly matches. It will be a good experience for them,” he added.

Meghalaya manager Darihun Sari, meanwhile, stated that the players in the squad have been Subroto Cup and Sub-Junior National Championship and these friendlies will be helpful in their development as footballers.

“The Bhutan girls are bigger and stronger because ours are mostly 14-15 years old but I know they will give their best,” she said.

Two of the players present were Sanfida Nongrum and Kerdalin Wanshong, who both said that they have been practising for a few days for this contest and are looking forward to going head to head with the girls from Bhutan.

Also at the press conference was All India Football Federation Development Officer Andrew Suting, who urged the football-loving public of Meghalaya to come out and support the girls at the ground to provide impetus to girls’ football in the state.

Meghalaya squad:
Ayushika Thapa, Ibaaihun Kurbah, Eusibia Kharkongor, Darisha Kharlyngdoh, Kerdalin Wanshong, Badarisha Kharumnuid, Napale Lytan, Sanfida Nongrum, Cathrine Kharkongor, Fragrancy Riwan, Sunalinda Iawren, Wandashisha Marwein, Riteihun Thangkhiew, Da-aijingmut Basawiamoit, Joyceeful Rymbai, Naphishisha Kharkongor, Fedelia Lamare, Nazareen Nondhar

Bhutan squad:
Sonam Choden, Deki Lhazam, Deki Yangden, Karma Zangmo, Karma Wangmo, Icarma Wangmo, Yeshi Bidha, Sonam Tshomo, Pema Choki, Kelden Lhamo, Sonam Lhamo, Kinzang Dema, Tshering Lhadon, Tshering Yangdon, Sherab Pelmo, Pema Yangzom, Choney Zangmo, Neelu Maya Rai, Karma Yuden, Ngwang Tshomo

(Meghalaya Football Association photo. From left: Bhutan manager Kunzing, Bhutan coach Yeshi Wangchuk, Bhutan captain Sonam Choden, Meghalaya player Sanfida Nongrum, Meghalaya manager Darihun Sari, All India Football Federation Development Officer Andrew Suting and Meghalaya player Kerdalin Wanshong)
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