Southeast Asia Indonesia

Sriwijaya Sign Bhutan Captain for Upcoming Liga 2 Season

Sriwijaya FC have possibly pulled off one of the signings of the season by bringing in Bhutan national team captain Chencho Gyeltshen for the upcoming 2023/24 Liga 2 Indonesia season.

With Liga 2 clubs now being allowed to sign up to two foreign players for the upcoming 2023/24 campaign – one from Asian nations and one from anywhere in the world – clubs within the Indonesian second tier began to scramble in search for the best foreign talents for their squads.

Japan remains as the go-to destination for Indonesian clubs to source talent from, with the likes of Haru Nakagaki (Persijap Jepara), Takuto Miki (Persipa Pati) and Akihiro Suzuki (FC Bekasi City) joining Liga 2 clubs.

Some Liga 2 clubs also brought in players with prior experience in the Liga 1 Indonesia – with Persiba Balikpapan bringing in former Persija Jakarta forward Luiz Junior and former Persib Bandung and Bhayangkara FC danger man Ezechiel N’Douassel joining Bekasi City.

Former Indonesian champions Sriwijaya’s signings were quite eye-catching, however, featuring two players who have some experience within Asian football albeit with none within Indonesian soil. The Laskar Wong Kito have signed former Haiti international Kervens Belfort as their non-Asian signing, with the striker having scored goals for the likes of Le Mans, Abahani Limited Dhaka, and Kelantan FC.

The aforementioned Chencho will act as Sriwijaya’s Asian signing for the upcoming season. Known in his homeland as CG7 due to his similar playing style with Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Chencho has made his name throughout South Asia, playing for, among others, Bhutanese giants Druk United and Thimpu FC, Indian titans Punjab FC, Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters, Nepali outfit Machhindra FC, and Bangladeshi side Chittagong Abahani.

Chencho’s upcoming stint at the Laskar Wong Kito won’t be his first stint in Southeast Asian football. A trailblazer for Bhutanese football due to his talents and his willingness to challenge himself overseas, Chencho had spent around two years in Thailand, bouncing around Buriram United, Surin City, Nonthaburi FC, and Satun United between 2015 and 2016.

Despite not coming from exactly the most well-known footballing nation in the world, Chencho’s glittering CV and vast experience meant that he would become a star signing for the upcoming Liga 2 season – the challenge is can CG7 live up to the expectations give nto him?