Maharjan first Nepali to handle foreign club

Kathmandu, June 1

Former national football team skipper Bal Gopal Maharjan became the first Nepali coach to handle international Premier League club. Maharjan is on Thursday leaving for Bangladesh to coach Brothers Union for three months in the first phase.

Maharjan said he was appointed as the coach of the Bangladeshi club after they were impressed by his handling of the Nepal national team during Bangabandhu Gold Cup. “I am invited to handle the club for three months in the initial

Phase although the contract is for a season,” said Maharjan at a press meet. “The club officials and media was impressed by my tactics during Nepal national team’s title triumph in Dhaka last year,” added Maharjan, who played for the club for three seasons from 2001.

“I had played for the club in the past and that also made the officials easier to trust me as a coach,” he added.

Maharjan said it was a proud moment for the football fraternity. “This is the first time a football coach is going abroad as a head coach and it would help Nepali football in the long run,” said Maharjan.

Brothers Union are currently in the mid-table in Bangladesh Premier League and the team was a mid-table team. “I will see the performance of the players in the Federation Cup starting on June 10 and hire players for the league if needed,” he said.

Maharjan said the Bangladesh league was more professional compared to Nepal. “The level of players in Bangladesh was similar to Nepal but the league is handled there in more professional way. I have handled national teams, youth sides and clubs in Nepal

And I think that experience will help me in my new job.”

Maharjan will receive $1,500 per month along with other facilities from the club. Maharjan said the AFC ‘A’ Certificate Coaching Certificate Course was also the reason behind the club’s approach.

The 41-year old Maharjan, who made his national team debut in first SAARC Gold Cup in 1993 against Pakistan, scored five international goals. Maharjan retired in 2005 after completing 50 caps.

He played his last match in 2003 during the Asian Cup Qualifying round in Inchon, Korea. He was drafted in the youth team for the U-16 Youth Cup in 1990 and was the member of the U-17 fourth Asian Coke Cup in Thailand in 1992.

As a player Maharjan won gold medal in sixth South Asian Federation Games in 1993, Bangladesh and also won Sikkim Gold Cup in 1998. Maharjan was the member of national squad from the sixth to eighth SAF Games.

Maharjan has received the Gorkha Dakshin Bahu (2000), Rupak Memorial Award (2004), Trishakti Patta Fourth (2005), the Best Player in Wai Wai Cup (1993) and the Highest Scorer Award in the Birthday Cup (1997).

After the retirement, Maharjan coached Three Star club from 2006-2010 and Manang Marshyangdi Club for a year. Apart from that he served as an assistant coach in national team. He is also the coach of ANFA Academy youth team.