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An interview with Deki Lhazom

Deki Lhazom is a national women U20 Football captain. She made her international debut in the U15 SAFF championship in 2017. She scored her first international goal while playing against Nepal. Deki Lhazom is the first Bhutanese woman footballer to sign with the foreign football club. She plays as a forward for Saudi Women’s Premier League club Al-Ittihad. Deki Lhazom is a sportswoman, a true athlete and a valuable game changer in every match. She represented country in several international tournaments.

Q. How did it come to their attention of your amazing skill that they had to get you signed for their club?

A. After the SAFF Championship, the team had traveled to Saudi Arabia for an International Friendly Game. There, I made it extremely challenging for the Saudi Defenders to uphold my honor. I made sure to play the same manner I usually do. As I am physically small, I don’t believe anyone anticipated me to play the way I did.

Q. It is not very common women taking up this sporting, but we can definitely see the changing trend. How did you get into this field?

A. I started playing football when I was 8 years old. I live in Wangkha, Chukha where all the kids around my age are boys, and so, I used to play with those lads. I was chosen for the district squad by my district couch so that I could participate in the selection. I was chosen and given the opportunity to continue studying and playing football in the girl’s academy, Gelephu.

Q. To develop your kind of skills, it would have demanded a lot of hard-work and sacrifices. If you could share your hard work and sacrifices.

A. My decision to leave home at an early age was the greatest sacrifice I had to make. I had to go to the training institute to continue playing. Therefore, I could not spend much time with my family since then.

Q. When was your first international debut, what it meant to you?

A. My first international debut was in 2017. I was overjoyed to play in my first international game because I never imagined that football would take me to that level. I was very happy to score my first international goal in my debut.

Q. How many such matches have you played? Any particular match you still recall and why?

A. I participated in a number of games after joining the academy. Every game has been equally enjoyable and memorable since I always gain new knowledge from each and every match. The most recent game against Mongolia, in which I was able to lead the team, score a goal, and help my team win, would be my choice for the most memorable game.

Q. Do you think that Bhutan would make into the women FIFA World Cup and how long would it take?

A. I always think that nothing is impossible, so if everyone is consistent and work hard. I think we would be able to reach the FIFA World Cup. Many others may believe it to be unattainable, but consistency and hard-word is what counts in the end therefore, maybe it may not be now but one day we will be able to reach there at the Women FIFA World Cup.

Q. What do you think sets you apart from other football players?

A. I believe what makes me different from other football players is my commitment and diligence. No matter how hard my training gets, I try to continue with consistency and never give up.

Q. Since you play for international club and have better exposure too, what fundamental difference did you see there and with our national team?

A. The similarities between our team and their national team are minimal. They practice just like we do. The main difference is that their players are more mature and seasoned than ours, who are still young and lack significant experience compared to them.

Q. If you were given one wish to make our national team the best in the world, what would that be?

A. I will desire for Bhutan to win the SAFF tournament since it is the first step toward achieving higher objectives, as our squad has never been able to win any international competitions.

Q. What advice would you give to upcoming and aspiring players?

A. To encourage the young, aspiring players, as I often say, “I want to encourage them to keep doing what they love to do despite what others may think of them”.

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