Gangtok: Striker Nima Lhamu Bhutia has become the third woman footballer from Sikkim to represent the country in the senior level.

Bhutia followed in the footsteps of Pushpa Chhetri and Anuradha Chhetri to be in the senior India women's team, a release by the Sikkim Football Association said on Friday.

She was selected for the senior team after attending a training camp, held at Lucknow under chief coach Mohammad Shahid Jabbar last month.

The team, captained by Shasmita Malik, left for Bahrain on Wednesday on an exposure trip where it will play three matches on September 17, 20 and 23 against its national team at the Al Ahli Club Stadium.

Bhutia had been a part of the India U-19 national team, which participated in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) championship, held at Dhaka in September last year.

Before her departure to Bahrain, Bhutia thanked her coach at Mangalbaria Football Academy, Palden Bhutia for nurturing her, the release added.

Stating that the association was very happy with her performance in the international arena, SFA general secretary Menla Ethenpa called upon other Sikkimese women soccer players to follow in the footsteps of Nima.

(Agencies)