• Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:36 am

Kings camp continues despite AFC Cup cancellation

  • Published at 08:47 pm September 16th, 2020
L-R Robinho, Fernandez and Hernan Barcos

The local troop were enthused by the arrival of the foreign recruits - former Argentine striker Barcos and Brazilian attacking pair Robinho and Fernandez - who began practice with the team Sunday

Bashundhara Kings carried on their residential practice camp in spite of the AFC Cup 2020 cancellation last week, with more focus on technical and individual skills of the players ahead of the next season.

The local troop were enthused by the arrival of the foreign recruits - former Argentine striker Hernan Barcos and Brazilian attacking pair Robinho and Fernandez - who began practice with the team Sunday.

The Bangladesh Premier League champion resumed the camp after five months of pandemic at the end of last month ahead of the AFC Cup group fixtures, previously scheduled for October-November. 

The Latin trio arrived in Dhaka after the AFC Cup got cancelled on the same day.

“It was tough to digest that news,” said Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon, but pointed out the positive side immediately. 

“On the positive side, we are already working with the team for next season. And camp is running really well. So we will be ready when competition returns, hopefully by November.”

When the other BPL clubs are waiting for the Bangladesh Football Federation to announce the schedule of the 2020-21 season, Bashundhara squad comprising some 25 players are training twice a day on average at the club’s home ground.

“It’s a good time for working on technical skills and improve some areas of the game. The biggest change is that we can modify now the progression of the physical work as we were expecting to reach a peak in form from mid-October,” commented Bruzon during his conversation with Dhaka Tribune.

“Now we can incorporate some other work to the plan and focus more on individual skills for example,” said Bruzon before adding, “After two weeks I can state all our players are training already on high tempo. But we have more flexibility and time to work for example on strength work. Endurance can be integrated on exercises and speed work can be postponed till dates are more close to the competition.”

Kings missed the service of defensive midfielders Masuk Mia Jony and Atiqur Rahman Fahad due to injury last season. 

The national duo have returned to full training. 

Bruzon hoped for a more balanced team in the upcoming season.

“Our defence last season suffered from midfield areas where we suffered the injuries on key players. We have already taken action on this matter and our team for the next season will have the balance that we missed last year,” said Bruzon.

Barcos had a short spell with the team during their first and only AFC Cup match in March where the Argentine struck a magnificent quadruple against TC Sports of Maldives. 

In contrast, this is the first time in Bangladesh for the new Brazilian signings.

“Barcos is okay but Robinho and Fernandez need some time to adjust because of new environment. It may take two-three weeks for them to get fully fit. No doubt, they are quality additions to the team,” said Bayazid Alam Zubair Nipu, head of the club’s strategy and planning.

Bruzon also expressed hope saying, “The new players have now a reference and we expect they also deliver wonderful and successful days of football for us.”

Left winger Robinho and midfielder Fernandes were signed from Brazilian top-tier outfits Fluminense and Botafogo respectively last month to replace Costa Rican forward Daniel Colindres and Kyrgyzstan midfielder Baktyiar Duishobekov.

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