Druk Star F.C.
|Full name||Druk Star Football Club|
|League||Bhutan National League|
Druk Star FC is a football club from Thimphu, Bhutan and have twice been champions of Bhutan. The team, formed in 1997, plays in the Changlimithang Stadium. The club competed in the A-Division from 2002, when they won their first title, through to 2010, having won a second title in 2009. they were absent from the A-Division in 2011 and played in and won the 2012 B-Division. Returning to the top flight, they qualified for the National League for the first time in 2014. In addition to their two A-Division and one B-Division title, they have also won the Club Cup Championship in 2009 and represented Bhutan in the AFC President's Cup in 2010.
Druk Star were formed by Thinlay Dorji, a teacher at Changangkha Junior High School, as a means to give the students at the school something to do. The beginnings of the club were difficult as they had no money and lacked even a formal coach. However, sponsorship from local companies Pe Khang Enterprises and Lhazeen Printers provided the club with sufficient money to begin to progress. In 1999, the club reached the finals of the B-Division and earned promotion to the 2000 A-Division for the first time. Unfortunately, details do not exist to show how they performed during this season, however, they clearly did enough to remain in the top flight as they were present the following season. In addition to players from the local school, the club strengthened their squad by attracting players from Sherubtse College.
The first detailed record of Druk Star participating in the top flight of Bhutanese football is during the 2001 season. They took part in the Thimphu League, which acted as a qualifying tournament for the main competition. Details are scant, although it is known that Druk Pol, Druk Star, Paro and Thimpu were also involved. Few results are known, the club drew with Thimphu and Druk Pol, but lost in the final match of the competition to Paro, but it is known that Druk Star were not particularly successful in the competition and did not qualify for that season's A-Division tournament. However, following the withdrawal of Phuentsholing and Chukka F.C., Druk Star entered as replacements. they were drawn in Group B for the first stage alongside Samtse and Gomtu, beating Gomtu 5–0 in the first game and Samtse 2–1 to progress to the semi finals. There they faced Druk Pol on August 14, beating them 1–0 to progress to the final with Dorji scoring in the 21st minute. In the final at Changlimithang they once again faced Samtse, who had beaten Thimphu 3–1 in the other semi final. Again they were victorious, winning 3–0 with a goal after ten minutes from Karma Jambayang and two more in the second half from Jigme Tobgay in the 68th minute and Sonam Gyeltshen in the 81st to record their first national championship.
Details for the following season are incomplete as well. Although it is known that Druk Star competed in the A-Division and that they beat RSTA and RBP 5–0 and Paro 2–0, their final position is not known. All that is known is that since the title was won by Druk Pol they could not have finished first.
In 2003, Druk Star had a mediocre season, winning three and drawing two of their eight games to finish in fifth place out of nine competing teams, a point ahead of Yeedzin, two points behind Royal Bhutan Army but nine points behind winners Druk Pol, who finished the season unbeaten.
Their performance the next year is unknown. At roughly the halfway stage of the season, they were in fourth place on ten points, behind Transport United on goal difference, one point behind second place Druk Pol and three points behind then leaders Yeedzin. All that is known about their final position is that they cannot have finished higher than second, as Transport United won the league and were Bhutan's representatives in the 2005 AFC President's Cup.
2005 was another mediocre season for Druk Star as far as league competition is concerned, as they finished in fourth place out of seven entrants in that season's A-Division, winning four and drawing two of their twelve games. They finished three points ahead of Royal Bhutan Army, but achieved only half the number of points gained by second and third-place finishers Druk pol and Yeedzin. They were more successful in the A-Division Knock-out Tournament. They beat Royal Bhutan Army 4–1 on penalties following a 1–1 draw in normal time to progress to the final held on September 8. There they faced Druk Pol, where, despite two goals from Navin Gurung and an own goal, they lost 5–3 to finish runners up.
The following season is also lacking in detail. Druk Star definitely competed, as it is known that they beat Choden 4–1 and drew 1–1 with Druk Pol. their final position however, is not known, although they could not have finished first as Transport United won their third consecutive title that season, with Royal Bhutan Army and Druk Pol finishing third and fourth respectively.
The next year saw their best recorded league performance since their title-winning season in 2002, as they finished third in the A-Division, behind Transport United, who won their fourth consecutive title and Druk Pol. They were unable to replicate this performance the following season. At the halfway stage, they were in fourth place, on goal difference ahead of Druk Pol with three wins and a draw from their seven games. Their final position is again not known, but with Yeedzin winning the title, Transport United coming second and Royal Bhutan Army finishing third, the highest they could have finished was fourth.
2009 was to be Druk Star's most successful season to date, which saw the club win both the A-Division title for the second time in their history as well as the 2009 Club Cup Championship. Druk Star dominated the league competition completely, going the whole season unbeaten, including sizeable victories over Rigzung Club 13–0 and 11–0, Druk Athletic 13–1. The only time they dropped points throughout the whole season was in draws with Choden, Druk Pol and Transport United, scoring a total of 72 goals and conceding only 12 in their 13 matches. In The Club cup Championship, Druk Star beat B-Division club Motithang United 9–1 in the quarter finals, before defeating Druk Pol 5–4 on penalties following a 1–1 draw in normal time in the semi-finals. The final took place on September 26 and Druk Star beat Yeedzin 1–0 to claim their first Cup victory and their first league and cup double. In winning the A-Division, they were awarded Bhutan's berth in the 2010 AFC President's Cup.
Unfortunately, Druk Star were unable to replicate their success of the previous season in 2010, again having a mediocre season and finishing in fourth place with seven wins and a draw from their twelve matches, thirteen points ahead of Choden, but twelve points behind champions Yeedzin. This was however, the first, and to date only, season where Druk Star competed in continental football, as they were drawn in Group C of the 2010 AFC President's Cup along with Yadanabon of Myanmar and HTTU Aşgabat of Turkmenistan. they travelled to Yangon, Myanmar, where all the group games were to be played but ultimately had a disappointing competition losing both of their matches by heavy margins, finishing last in the group and not progressing to the knock-out rounds.
|Druk Star FC||2||0||0||2||0||19||−19||0|
9 May 2010
|HTTU Aşgabat||8–0||Druk Star FC|
Amanow 40', 83'
Şamyradow 56' (pen.), 86', 89' (pen.), 90+1'
11 May 2010
|Druk Star FC||0–11||Yadanabon|
|Report||Aung Kyaw Moe 4'
Paing Soe 18', 26', 28', 34'
Yan Paing 20', 33', 43'
Ye Zaw Htet Aung 24'
Aye Moe 60'
Htet Naing Win 69'
2011 to present day
It is not known why, but Druk Star did not participate in the 2011 A-Division and although they were not relegated in 2010, they took part in the B-Division in 2012. This season's B-Division consisted of two parts, a group stage followed by a series of knock-out rounds. Druk Star won their group, with two wins and a draw from their three matches including a 4–1 victory over Motithang. They were victorious over Thimphu United in the semi-finals and progressed to the final. The final was held on June 3 at Changjiji Football Field, Thimphu and Druk Star ran out 5–1 victors over Druk United, with both teams being promoted to the A-Division for the following season's competition. Druk Star's reserve team were runner's up in the 2012 C-Division, losing 2–0 to Losseling.
The 2013 season was particularly difficult for Druk Star. They finished fifth and last in the A-Division, with only one win against Druk United and a draw against Dzongree to their name. Along with Druk United, they entered the relegation playoffs with the top two teams from the B-Division, Motithang and BMW. Although Druk Star lost the first game 4–3 to Druk United, and with the remaining results unknown, it would appear that they were ultimately not relegated as they competed in the 2014 A-Division.
This time they were more successful. With four wins and five draws from their twelve games, they finished in fourth place and qualified for the first time for the National League competition. The club struggled in its first season in the national league, finishing fifth out of the six competing teams ahead only of Bhutan Clearing. they won a solitary game against eventual runners-up Ugyen Academy, with their only other positive result coming in the form of a 2–2 draw with bottom club Bhutan Clearing.
As of 2013:
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- B-Division: 1-time winner:
- Club Cup Championship: 1-time winner:
Performance in AFC competitions
- AFC President's Cup: 1 appearance
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