A total of 14 players out of 36 were called up for the preliminary squad that underwent light training at Bangabandhu National Stadium
Fitness was a massive concern due to the unexpected Covid-19 break for the last seven months but the national booters are delighted to come back with a successful cooper test on the opening day of team practice in Dhaka Saturday.
A total of 14 players out of 36 were called up for the preliminary squad that underwent light training at Bangabandhu National Stadium, ahead of the Fifa friendlies against Nepal on November 13 and 17.
The rest of the team members including 12 players of Bashundhara Kings are scheduled to join by Tuesday.
There had been no team practice since the pandemic suspended the premier league and all sports activities in the middle of March.
The players were given individual training programs since then.
The 12-minute cooper test was done to check the fitness level during the hour-long light training session.
“It came up in the cooper test whether they followed the individual program according to our schedules. We can see heartbeat, stamina and speed. This was our first step. There are more to follow after which we can get a better idea of their fitness level,” said team physio Fuad Hasan Hawlader, who marked the first assessment as “upto the mark”.
Players hope to be match fit soon
“It’s very tough. We returned to the field after many months. We did individual training at that time. Now it’s team practice. It takes some time to get back to the previous shape. With the training schedules we have, I hope we would be match fit soon,” said Abahani Limited’s versatile forward Saad Uddin.
Saad, who netted the lone goal against India (1-1) in Kolkata during the World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers, added, “We lost to them (Nepal) in the last two matches. We want to take revenge and will try to win the games. The players are committed to performing well together.”
Saif Sporting Club defender Rahmat Mia said, “It’s good news that we came back after a long time. We couldn’t go out of home during corona time. All players were in individual training. When everything got normal I started going to the gym.
“Everyone is fascinated to come back to the pitch. We don’t have much time. What is most important for us is to stay well and fit. We will be trying our best to work hard in the next few days and stay in the game. It’s a big challenge to stay fit.”
Meanwhile, local coaches Masud Parvez Kaiser and Syed Golam Jilani conducted the practice session in the absence of the head coach Jamie Day, who is due to arrive Thursday along with his assistant Stuart Watkiss, goalkeeping coach Les Cleevely and fitness coach Ivan Razlog.
Captain Jamal Bhuiyan is scheduled to join a day later.