Abahani Limited, who clinched their sixth top-flight title Friday at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka following their 2-0 win against Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, dedicated their title win to the late Amalesh Sen.
Amalesh was a lifelong Abahani player and coach before breathing his last in October, 2017.
Since Abahani’s establishment in 1972, Amalesh played for the Sky Blues and also coached the club in different capacities.
Amalesh was also one of the key midfielders of the Shadhin Bangla team which toured throughout India and played 16 friendly matches to raise international awareness and economic support for the 1971 liberation war.
When Abahani were formed a year after independence, he joined the club and spent the rest of his playing career in Dhanmondi.
He couldn’t feature for the national team due to injury in 1973. Before the liberation war he played for different clubs, including Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited in 1970.
Amalesh continued his playing career with the club till the early 1980s before he began a new career as coach from 1986. He stayed at Abahani till the late 1990s before joining Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra for only two years.
He returned to Abahani in 1999 and remained as the club’s most experienced local coach till his death. His influence helped the Sky Blues to five professional league titles. Amalesh also served as the vice-president of the Bangladesh football coaches’ association.
Following their victory over Sheikh Jamal, Abahani manager Satyajit Das Rupu said, “We badly miss the presence of Amalesh da. If he were alive he would have been the happiest man. The trophy is dedicated to him.”
Earlier last year, Rupu had said, “I don’t recall anyone among the coaches of Bangladesh who is more experienced than Amalesh. He was even my coach when I was an Abahani player. Even before his passing away, we watched the team’s practice session together. After the session he said he was not feeling well and we took him to the nearest hospital. Sadly, he passed away then.”
This is Abahani’s second straight top-flight title win as they registered their ninth consecutive victory in the league.
After finishing the first phase at third place, the Dhanmondi giant conceded a narrow defeat against Saif Sporting Club and since then, they won every single match to ride to the top of the points table, that too without Serbia-born Croatian head coach Drago Mamic.