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Dordoi pull off Bernhardt coup


Bishkek: Edgar Bernhardt will play club football in the Kyrgyz Republic for the first time in his career, after being confirmed as an FC Dordoi player early on Saturday morning.

The 34-year-old Kyrgyz Republic national team star joins the defending league champions until the end of the season after departing Bangladeshi outfit Abahani Limited Dhaka.

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Bernhardt is far from the first national team player to sign for Dordoi – and he will link with a numerous Akshumkar teammates as well as coach Alexander Krestinin at the Bishkek club - but he is arguably one of the highest profile players to join the Kyrgyz Premier League in recent years.

Born in Novopavlovka in the Kyrgyz SSR in 1986, Bernhardt’s family moved to Germany during his childhood, and the early years of his professional career were spent with clubs in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Poland.

He was called up the Kyrgyz Republic national team in 2015 and has since played club football in Thailand and Oman, as well as additional stints in Germany and Poland, before his more recent adventures in Malaysia, where he won the FA Cup in 2019, and finally Bangladesh.

Bernhardt has become one of the first players picked for Kyrgyz Republic, accruing 34 caps, helping the Central Asian nation qualify for the first ever AFC Asian Cup in 2019, and turning in strong performances during the side’s run to the Round of 16 in the tournament proper.

He also scored three goals in the side’s 7-0 Asian Qualifiers win over Myanmar in October 2019, making him only the second player in the national team’s history to score an international hat-trick.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered FC Dordoi’s season inactive since March, but it is hoped games will resume in some form, while the club will also feature in the 2020 AFC Cup, with the Central Zone to resume on October.

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