• Friday, Sep 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:56 am

Saif aim to champion youth

  • Published at 08:33 pm December 17th, 2020
Riyadul Hasan Rafi has been named the captain of Saif Sporting in Jamal Bhuiyan's absence by Belgian head coach Paul Put Courtesy

Saif are going to miss Jamal until the first half of the BPL after the national team captain left the club temporarily to play for Kolkata Mohammedan in the I league

Saif Sporting Club still have the youngest local squad with the average age less than 22. 

This time they are going to miss the experienced Jamal Bhuiyan until the first half of the Bangladesh Premier League after the national team captain left the club temporarily to play for Kolkata Mohammedan in the Indian league.

In their third year at the top-flight, the youngsters got veteran Belgian coach Paul Put as new mentor.

The Belgian has vast experience guiding several national teams and clubs in Africa, Europe and Asia.

The players have been working hard from dawn to dusk under new head coach since last month to regain fitness after long pandemic break. 

The club recently introduced Functional Movement Screen technology to reduce injury proneness as well as to facilitate the development.

The team have been training at the playground of United International University for last couple of years.

For the forthcoming season, the former treble winners are seeking better fortune from their whole new foreign collection

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The players were found in cheerful mood during Wednesday’s practice celebrating the birthday of team member Abid Ahmed after the training session and looked determined to prove their potential in the upcoming season.

“Patience is needed while working with young players. They have been making progress in last three-four weeks,” Put told Dhaka Tribune after training. 

He added, “The philosophy of Saif is clear, which is to work with young players, to create a team for the future. I’m trying to reach that vision.”

After managing half-a-dozen clubs in Belgium, Put managed Gambia, Burkina Faso, Jordan, Kenya and Guinea national teams in last 13 years. 

Last time he coached a club, it was Algerian outfit USM Alger in 2017. 

The difference between those teams and Saif in terms of physical appearance and playing style is poles apart.

“I know it’s different when I took the task. I know the consequences. I have to be patient. Sometime I have to repeat things that normally I shouldn’t do with other teams. I told players they have to work hard if they want progress. Hopefully they can keep that up.”

The six-time BPL champion Abahani Limited outplayed Uttar Baridhara Club 3-0 while holder Bashundhara Kings defeated Lt....

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 17 December 2020

“We have been trying to make progress in the team in all sides – physical, technical, tactical and to put good organization and discipline everywhere,” said the 64-year old tactician.

When asked why he chose a Bangladesh club after guiding many national teams, the Belgian replied that it was a little bit of his ambition to prove himself in Asia. 

He also said, “If we can progress with Saif, we progress football in Bangladesh. May be one day I become useful for the national team as well.”

Put got the club’s national team members only last week. 

The 21-year old national center-back Riyadul Hasan Rafi has been given the captain’s armband in Jamal’s absence. 

They released seven local players from the previous 35-member squad, including Jafar Iqbal, and replaced them with one in the new 28-man list.

“They are good and young players. They have to learn a lot. There is a lot of working points on those talents. It will take time and we are working on this,” said the Belgian coach.

Only Chattogram Abahani Limited have kept their foreign collection unchanged from last season among the 13 clubs as the transfer window of Bangladesh Premier League 2020-21 closed Tuesday.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 17 December 2020

All four foreign recruits are new additions. 

Three of them are from Nigeria - midfielder John Okoli, defender Emmanuel Ariwachukwu and forward Kenneth Ngwoke. 

Uzbek defender Sirojiuddin Rakhmatullaev is the Asian quota signing.  

Put has some notable achievements in his long career, like guiding Gambia to the Africa Cup of Nations finals and leading Burkina Faso to the final of the same competition. 

But the target in new tent is focused more on team progress as he said, “We are trying to do better than last season.”

Saif have played three pre-season friendly matches with the latest being the 3-0 win over Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra. 

They got a comparatively easier group comprising Arambagh Krira Sangha, Brothers Union and Uttar Baridhara in the Federation Cup, which is kicking Tuesday to raise the curtains of the 2020-21 season.

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