This interview was published in the August issue of Sports Tribune magazine
Two years ago, Oscar Bruzon was the assistant coach of La Liga club Real Mallorca for four months before moving back to the Indian League once again. He was the youth coach of another Spanish top-flight outfit Celta de Vigo immediately before his first job in India in 2011. Since then, the Spanish coach spent most of his last eight years in south Asia, winning the treble in Maldives last year. The former Celta youth player made his debut in Bangladesh this year and guided newcomer Bashundhara Kings to the Independence Cup and Bangladesh Premier League titles. The 42-year old gave an exclusive interview to Dhaka Tribune where he elucidated how a newly-formed squad won double silverware in debut season, and about the Bangladesh team, which he believes have the potential to be among Asia’s top 100. Here are the excerpts:
This year Abahani made history by becoming the first Bangladesh club to qualify for the AFC Cup knockout stages. Isn’t it challenging for the Kings, the new champion, to achieve the same feat next year?
Best wishes to Abahani because if Abahani move forward it’s going to be very good for Bangladesh football. We may get one more slot for AFC Cup. One day one team from Bangladesh can win the AFC Cup, may be in future, we can challenge in some positions in the AFC Champions League. We sincerely feel like that. Regarding our plan next year, there is no pressure as it is only our first year in the league. It’s going to be a learning experience. But every competition we are going to play, we will be challenging for the title.
You have been in south Asia for eight years now…
Not continuously because I also took some projects away in different countries in this time, but mostly in Asia from 2011.
So what’s your view on Asian football?
It’s a big question. If I need to think one fact to make it easy, if I think of Asian football, I think of development, grass root, organization, competition lacking. The moment you have the proper coaches, pitches, you have the proper competition, you have the proper set-up from club football. I’m not happy with Bangladesh 182nd in the Fifa ranking, I think a country like Bangladesh, they deserve at least to be challenging for 100th spot. Remember, India were at that ranking position seven years ago and they had lots of investments running the ISL (Indian Super League) with the clubs having the criteria and zonal academies. All the developments they had took place in last seven years. They were climbing and climbing in the Fifa standing. What I wish for Bangladesh is that the clubs, federation and all the parties set up a model for the developments. The moment you do it, football will shine.
Can you say more elaborately why you think Bangladesh deserve to be among top 100?
I think many Bangladesh players have the talents. They are very good players but they have been playing on the streets. A good engine for playing football is street but you need proper education at the proper group age. So in the moment when they categorized the boys in U-12, 13, 14, 15, they are part of a plan where they would understand football. For example, you can’t put an eight-year old to play in association but you can put him in individual skill and develop the player gradually before they compete on the pitch at U-12, U-14 level. At the same moment, if you have the right coaches and pitches, the nation will get the benefits.