Gautam Shrestha departed for Australia / Gautam's unexpected journey from street football to National team

One of the uprising talents in Nepalese football, Defender Gautam Shrestha departed Nepal for his better future.21 years-old Nepalese International Gautam originally from Sindhupalchowk, who was a part of Sankata Club for the upcoming A Division league left Nepal on 15th January 2023, Sunday.

Gautam made his senior team debut on May 29, 2021, in an international friendly against Iraq. After that Gautam has been a regular member of Nepal National football team.

Journey from street football to the Nepal National team

Gautam started his early football from playing in the streets since his childhood. Later he joined Jawalakhel Youth Academy where he got chance to feature from the age level competitions. As a finest product of JYC, Gautam started playing from the Jawalakhel Youth Club in the Martyr's Memorial A Division League.

Gautam's Rise from NSL:

Gautam was picked up by Pokhara Thunders as a category C player in the first season of Nepal Super League. He played 4 out of 6 matches starting on 3. Tribhuvan Army Football Club then included him in their squad for the AFC Cup Qualifiers on free loan. TAFC then signed Gautam on free transfer for the last season Martyr's Memorial A Division League 2021/22. TAFC finished second in the league.

Entry to National Team:

Gautam's excellent performance in the first season of Nepal Super League landed him directly to the Nepal National Football Team. He was only dribble past two times for Pokhara Thunders where he caught the eye of Nationals team's head coach Abdullah Almutairi. Soon after he was called up by the head coach to the national team.

Leaving Mark from SAFF Championship 2021:

Gautam was a part of Nepal National Football team squad for 2021 SAFF Championship held in Maldives. He started in all the 5 matches including the maiden final Nepal played in the competition. He proved himself as a true asset to the team with his excellent piece of inceptions & clearance as a right back.

First Choice RB in National Team:

Gautam has been a regular member of the national team since then with almost 16 international caps for Nepal. Gautam was a part of Nepal squad in several international competitions including the major 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup & AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. Gautam has also represented Nepal from U-23 age level once.

  • Debuted on 2021/5/29 Vs Iraq, World Cup Qualifiers Warm Up Friendlies
  • World Cup Asian Qualifiers: played 2 matches against Chinese Taipei & Australia on June
  • Nepal vs India: 2 matches at Dashrath Stadium on September 2021
  • SAFF Championship 2021: played all 5 matches
  • Vs Mauritius: Played both 2 matches on Jan
  • Vs Thailand: started the game on March
  • Asian Cup Qualifications: All 3 matches on June 2022
  • Vs Bangladesh: out from closed camp, on September 2022
  • Vs Pakistan: was on the bench, on November 2022

It was against Indonesia Gautam lastly played in the blues of Nepal National Football team on June 15 2022 during the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.

An unexpected move to abroad:

Gautam has even been picked up by the new entrant Sporting Ilam De Mechi FC on auction through golden buzzer for the second season of Nepal Super League. It was on October Gautam announced his departure from Tribhuvan Army saying " New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings." It was the very sign Gautam has leaved a mark that we was too flying abroad.

But last but not the least Gautam was signed by Sankata Club for the upcoming A Division league. His new team even won the 22nd Aaha Rara Pokhara Gold Cup 2023. Last time he was on bench in the semi final match of 5th Bagmati Gold Cup 2079 against Makawanpur XI. After almost 3 months of VISA processing one of the uprising right backs of Nepali football Gautam Shrestha unfortunately went Australia for his better future.

Nepalese players first choice: Australia

One of the top 13th ranked nation with highest GDP, Australia has been the first choice for not only the Nepalese internationals but also for the students. A high wages & better living many Nepalese talents have departed to AUS. We have a long lists of players. It's all because Nepal lacks a working government, corruptions has been the major issue here. Even it's been an year there is no football in Nepal. It's hard to survive for the players whose income comes only from football but that's not happening here. Most of the players are from the lower middle class whose family solely depends upon the income of the players. We are fed off with these frustrating situations. Even we tried to reach out the concerned authority but they are unseeing it. This must be addressed for the sake of Nepalese football.

We wish every players compelled to move outside the country all the very best in their upcoming days.

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