FROM East Lancashire to the foothills of the Himalayas, it has been some football journey for Jay Hart.

The 28-year-old is well travelled on the non league circuit but it is 5,000 miles away in the kingdom of Bhutan that he feels most at home - so much so that he fully intends to play out his career on foreign soil.

The Blackburn-born striker has racked up his fair share of clubs in a colourful and goal-laden career.

From the now defunct Rossendale United to Longridge Town - who he helped win the Hallmark Security League Division One North title last season - he has also enjoyed spells at Clitheroe, Colne, Ramsbottom United, Padiham and Nelson.

However it is at Thimphu City, one of the biggest clubs in the Bank of Bhutan National League, that he now feels settled.

And his first six weeks could not have gone any better culminating in scoring on his debut in a 1-0 win over title rivals Druk Star FC.

“After being here for over a month, I would love to stay abroad and play,” Hart told the Lancashire Telegraph. “Whether that is here after my contract ends, if they want me to play for them again I would. Or if not, I will be looking at other countries to go and play in.

“It’s a totally different world but I love it and that’s my aim for now and until I finish playing.”

While Hart admits it was a gamble taking a leap in to the unknown, it was something he always wanted to do.

“It was a shock at first but I settled in quickly so it’s been easy,” he added. “The food is amazing here so that hasn’t been a problem. The majority of people speak very good English so that also isn’t an issue.

“To be honest, I never really settled at a lot of clubs and that’s what has seen me move around a bit. I’ve always wanted to play abroad so when Bhutan became an option it was a no brainer for me.”

He added: “It couldn’t have gone any better. I get on with everybody I meet. From the local people to anyone involved with Thimphu City.

“I’ve even knocked up some good friendships with players from rival clubs.”

As a striker, it is all about scoring goals for Hart - whether it was for his work team Senator in the Orphanage Cup or Longridge Town were he finished as top scoring with 30 goals - finding the back of the net is what counts.

So his first goal in Bhutan was extra special.

“Scoring goals is what I live for, no matter what level I play at, I absolutely love hitting the back of the net,” he said. “It was an amazing feeling to score after three and a half minutes into the game.

“That first game couldn’t have gone any better; a goal and a win.

“It was tough but scoring so early on allowed me to settle very quickly. I took a few heavy challenges but that’s to be expected coming into their backyard and scoring against them.”

Hart opened his Thimphu City goal-scoring account weeks after scoring his last goal on home soil - he bagged a brace as Senator beat Totally Wicked at Ewood Park to retain the Orphanage Cup.

“No matter what level I play at I always love scoring,” added the former Hollins High School pupil.

“I was leading scorer twice while I was at Colne and I scored 30 goals for Longridge last season.

“And any chance I get to play, I will play. I loved playing for Senator, we were very successful in my four years there winning the Orphanage Cup three times.

“I scored eight goals in three finals which is a good achievement from a personal point of view but I couldn’t have done it without the quality throughout the team.”

While Hart is the only English player in the league, there is a familiar face in the Thimphu City ranks as Josh Shepherd, who was born in Walsall but brought up in Accrington, is the head coach.

And he had no doubts that he wanted to take Hart with him.

“Myself and Jay have known the owner of Thimphu City for around five years and were due to come over previously but due to reasons out of our control we were unable to.” said Shepherd.

“I was then contacted by the club to become head coach and wanted Jay to come and play here as one of my foreign players.

“Thimphu City is one of the biggest clubs in the country, crowds are on the up as is the football, the recent Pepsi League final had a couple of thousand so we’re hoping we can get around the same.

“There are no big named players here, it’s a country that is improving rapidly but financially the clubs aren’t able to spend the money the clubs do in say India.

“There are no other British players out here but there are other foreigners. Our club has recruited two Brazilians with Indians, Portuguese and Africans also playing in the league.”

Having won league titles with Colne and Longridge, Hart wants to do likewise in Bhutan.

“The club’s priority is to win the league and I hope I can be a part of helping to do that,” said Hart who trains six times a week. “It would be huge for the club and if you win the league you play in the AFC Cup which is massive - it’s Asia’s equivalent of the Champions League.”

Hart, who was once on the books at Blackburn Rovers, knows all to well how fickle football can be so he will not take anything for granted.

“When I first left Rovers, I didn’t play football for around two years but then I got contacted to go and join Rossendale United and that is where it all started for me,” he said.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’d love to see out my playing days abroad but let’s see how things work out.

“If I do come home, I’d like to look at playing higher but I just have to see what is best for me when the time comes.”

But until then, he will continue to enjoy the latest adventure of his football journey.