Harun has managed the national team at many international assignments in the last 14 years, starting with the Asian Games 2006
Bangladesh Hockey Federation relied on Mahbub Harun once again by appointing him national team head coach for the Asian Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in Dhaka from March 11-19, 2021.
Harun has managed the national team at many international assignments in the last 14 years, starting with the Asian Games 2006.
His role changed only when the federation brought foreign coaches like Oliver Kurtz and Naveed Alam, among others.
Last time Harun guided Russel Mahmud Jimmy and Co was during the Asian Games 2018 qualifiers.
Bangladesh progressed through the qualifiers but he was left out of the job at the final event as the team toured Indonesia under Malaysian coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy.
Six top-ranked teams from the continent will take part in the Asian Champions Trophy, established in 2011.
Bangladesh are set to make their debut as host of the prestigious meet, originally scheduled to be held this November before it got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Harun, also a former national team midfielder with his playing career spanning from 1988-99, admitted that ninth-ranked Bangladesh have no chance in the competition but the superior opponents are not unfamiliar.
He said premier league would make their preparation better but doubted over holding it this year due to lack of response from the clubs.
“I can understand the players better if the league takes place before the Champions Trophy. It would be good for the players as well because they will be more involved in games. We may get two-three new faces for the national team as well,” Harun told Dhaka Tribune Wednesday.
With a target to start the league in October, BHF asked the 13 clubs to send the names of their representatives but only five clubs responded before the executive committee meeting Tuesday when Harun’s appointment was announced.
BHF acting general secretary Mohammad Yusuf informed that two more clubs – Police and Wari – responded by Wednesday, along with Abahani Limited, Bangladesh Sporting, Azad Sporting Club, Sadharan Bima and Sonali Bank.
Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited and Mariners replied that they would play if the suspensions of their officials are withdrawn, Yusuf added.
“It could be delayed for 10-15 days but we want to begin the transfer window in October-November. We are instructed by the BHF president to hold the league at any cost even if other clubs don’t come,” said the acting GS.
He hoped to start the national camp preparation ahead of the Champions Trophy after initiating the youth camp in October.