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Youngster from West Bengal makes his way to Bhutanese club Transport United, set to feature in AFC Cup

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The midfielder used to train at East Bengal's academy in Jalpaiguri Raiganj.

Jalpaiguri-born footballer Suraj Rasaili is creating history, as the youngster from West Bengal has made his way to Bhutanese club Transport United.

The 19-year-old midfielder was snapped by after his performances in an exhibition match in Siliguri. The club officials were delighted with the young star and wanted him to join their fold in Bhutan.

But life has not been easy for the midfielder, coming from a very poverty-stricken family, he was deprived of basic needs during his growing years as a footballer. But Suraj's struggles have finally borne fruit, as the youngster is set to travel to Sri Lanka for their match in the AFC Cup.

Suraj started football at an early stage and he used to train at East Bengal's academy in Jalpaiguri Raiganj. He has also represented the U-19 Red and Gold Brigade in the IFA Shield. But, the youngster failed to get any call-up from teams around West Bengal.

He is delighted with the fact that he has been picked by a Bhutanese club and will be featuring in the AFC Cup. However, the 19-year-old is still worried by the fact that not a single Indian club came forward and recognised his talent.

Suraj will be travelling with his team to Colombo, Sri Lanka as Transport United are gearing up to face Colombo FC in the AFC Cup on February 19th. Sanatan Karmakar is another player making his way from West Bengal to Bhutan, Karmakar was a former player at the North Bengal Armed Police. He represented them for the 13th Sukarna Gold Cup. He along with Suraj is set to travel to Sri Lanka with the side for their AFC Cup clash.

Transport United made their way out of the regional Thimpu League as toppers qualifying for the Bhutan National League in the process. They continued their blazing form even in the national league as they were once again crowned champions of Bhutan.


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However, it will be a task cut out for coach Nawang Dengdup as his team will face the Sri Lankan champions Colombo FC in the AFC Cup pre-qualifiers. Whoever wins the two-legged tie will face Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC in the next round.

This is nothing new for the Bhutanese side as they have previously snapped up out of favour I-League striker, Nagen Tamang. Currently plying his trade for Real Kashmir, Sikkim-born Tamang was neglected by most of the clubs in India. Although, he took the Bhutan National League by storm and became a sensation in his short stint.

It will be a new journey for the 19-year-old midfielder, but this could be his first step towards his dream of playing for the Indian national team.

Published: Tue Dec 18, 2018 09:28 PM IST

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