A total of 28 players were practicing at the club ground in cheerful mood
Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Limited are determined to carry on from where they had left off in the bygone season with four consecutive victories in the last four matches of the Bangladesh Premier League, which was called off after only six rounds due to Covid-19.
The squad remained unchanged except a couple of new foreign recruits.
They started preparation around a month ago after a long pandemic break with majority of the members, while the rest would join the camp a week later.
The former champion are not in the same situation they used to be before in terms of star signings and depth of the squad, but even with an average one, they surprised the giants before Covid-19 hit the country’s sports arena.
Head coach Shafiqul Islam Manik’s key focus is how to get his disciples prepared to play for 90 minutes in the season-opening Federation Cup, kicking off on December 22.
“It is not enough to get the team fit in only four weeks after six-month break. The current condition is not that bad. We are trying so that the players will be able to play for at least 90 minutes. Players are also very aware of the fitness,” Manik told Dhaka Tribune after Thursday’s afternoon training session.
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A total of 28 players were practicing at the club ground in cheerful mood.
Manik was conducting a practice match in between them on two-third part of the pitch, while goalkeeping coach and former national footballer Biplob Bhattacharya was busy with the custodians in the remaining portion.
Foreign players also seemed to be quite enjoying it.
The club kept Gambian forwards Solomon King and Omar Jobe from last season and released Monday Osagie, Ballo Famoussa and Yusuke Kato.
Another Gambian forward Soleman Sillah who was brought in last year but not registered also joined the team.
Last season’s Brothers Union’s attacking midfielder Otabek Valizhonov was signed to bolster the squad.
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“It’s almost the same standard. If the foreign collections click well, it would be something eye-catching to watch,” said Manik, the former national footballer.
Manik also hoped, “The players were told to start from where they concluded the season. They are mentally prepared but physically they need a little bit more time. Every team are in similar situation except Bashundhara [Kings] who are a little bit ahead. In that sense, I hope we will be off to a good start.”
Sheikh Jamal are scheduled to play their first pre-season practice match against the reigning champion and favorite Bashundhara Tuesday.
The three-time BPL champion have not won any silverware since 2015.
The head coach said their goal would be to give fight for every title on offer.