KATHMANDU, Dec 25: Nepali international Rohit Chand has been officially recruited by Indonesian premier division football club PSPS Pekanbaru on Monday. The 20-year-old product of ANFA Academy will get a monthly salary of $ 3,500. Chand confirmed this during a telephonic conversation with Republica.
Defender Chand, the left back of Nepali national team, became the first Nepali player to play professional football outside South Asia. Earlier, some Nepali players had featured in premier division football in India, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
Besides the monthly salary, Chand will also get $ 100 as match fee for every match he plays. Chand´s contract is valid for a period of 10 months. "The club has said that it could increase the match fee later based on the performance," said Chand, who has also become the highest earning Nepali athlete. The Pekanbaru-based club founded in 1955 plays in the Indonesian Super League and Premier League.
Chand, who played for Indian Premier Division side HAL last season, had left Kathmandu in the last week of September for a trial in Indonesia. He appeared in trial at Arema FC in October. However, he picked injury after the second match of the trial session.
"The club did not show much interest in him after he picked injury and recruited a Malaysian player in his place," Chand´s elder brother Rabindra told Republica.
Chand had gone for trial on the initiative of Nabin Chitrakar, a Nepali football lover currently residing in Indonesia. He later appeared in a trial for PSPS Pekanbaru and was able to win the hearts of PSPS Pekanbaru fans and officials.
Chand played in the Island Cup in his first match of the trial helping the team defeat the defending champion 1-0. "My individual performance was good and I think the fans also liked me. The fans also play a role in player selection as pressure group."
Rohit, who made his debut for the Nepali national team during the group stage of 2009 AFC Challenge Cup against Palestine, has been a key player of the national squad since.
This is the third year of professional football career for Rohit after his debut season in top-tier football with Machhindra FC in 2010. In the very first year, Rohit was declared the best defender of the Martyrs Memorial League. A year later, he was recruited by the I-League side HAL and was declared one of the best foreign players of the league.
Rohit, a regular left back, has been assigned the duty of defensive midfield in the Indonesian club. "I am very happy for getting this opportunity at PSPS and will give my hundred percent. I take it as an opportunity as well as a challenge. With better performance I could extend my deal in the coming years as well."
"If I put on an impressive performance for the club, I hope it will also open the door for other Nepali players in Indonesia. There are good players in Nepal and they could get opportunities abroad if they maintain themselves properly," said Chand, adding that he is adjusting in his new club.
Sharing his training experiences in Indonesia and Nepal, Rohit said Indonesian clubs have adopted a modern training pattern. "The training here is different from that in Nepal. We have different trainings for fitness, tactical and technical parts. A premier division club here has at least four trainers."
According to Chand´s brother Rabindra, the club will release him for national duty prior to any tournament recognized by FIFA and AFC.