The Afghans might be physically stronger than most of the Bangladesh players but captain Jamal Bhuiyan said he’s not reading too much into it
Bangladesh’s preparation for the upcoming World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 joint qualifier against Afghanistan, scheduled for September 10, began Friday as the 26 footballers reported at a city hotel.
The men in red and green will depart for neutral venue Dushanbe in Tajikistan on September 1 for the Afghan clash in order to get acclimatized to the conditions.
The Afghans might be physically stronger than most of the Bangladesh players but captain Jamal Bhuiyan said he’s not reading too much into it.
“Size doesn’t matter in football. Before maybe, but now size doesn’t matter. If you have the right mentality, if you remain fit, anything can happen,” said Jamal to the media in Dhaka.
Bangladesh men’s national football team will begin their preparation for the next month’s 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers’ opening group match against Afghanistan from Friday.https://t.co/1kTgilcea8— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) August 19, 2019
“I don’t about the strategy. We met [yesterday], this is our first day in the camp. Coach (Jamie Day) is now in here so he has responsibility to set the plan and strategy for the team.
“Actually I don’t know so much about Afghanistan. Jamie has videos and he will tell about the opponent team. We just know that they are strong side,” he added.
The Saif Sporting Club midfielder said the current Bangladesh footballers have developed a great camaraderie over the past 15 months and that the other teams in the group – Qatar, India and Oman – pose no fear for them.
“As a captain, we all know that Qatar are the best in this group. For the second position, we have chance. There are also Oman and India. If we are fit, and prepare well then we have a chance because we are all human beings. They have no super humans. Some people considered the ranking and said we are not ready to face such opponents, but we know we are in good shape. Last 15 months we did well so I believe we have a great chance,” said Jamal.
In the last few days, Bangladesh football has been riding a wave of euphoria with six-time professional league winner Abahani Limited beating North Korean outfit April 25 4-3 in the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final at Bangabandhu National Stadium Wednesday night.
The Bangladesh boys then blanked Bhutan 5-2 in the Saff U-15 Championship in West Bengal, India Friday.
Jamal said Abahani’s triumph would inspire their compatriots to strive for success in the international stage.
“First of all, I want to say congratulations to Abahani. It was a big win for the club and for the country. Of course this would inspire the other players to work harder to do more because Abahani really did very well in the AFC Cup. Hopefully in future more Bangladeshi teams would represent their country there,” said Jamal.