Bangladesh Premier League champion Abahani Limited brought in a couple of Asian players, along with a veteran Brazilian, for trials ahead of the AFC Cup 2018, where the club's first group stage match is scheduled to be held on March 7.
This trio, who set foot in Bangladesh for the very first time, watched Abahani's Independence Cup defeat against Arambagh Krira Sangha at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Friday. Only the Brazilian has the experience of playing in the AFC Cup.
Japanese midfielder Seiya Kojima, who has been playing in the Thailand top division for six years now before featuring for Royal Navy club last season, was the first to arrive in the Bangladesh capital four days ago while 28-year-old Iranian striker Milad Behgardom and 35-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder Rodrigo Mota landed in Dhaka Thursday.
Mota, who can also play as a striker, played in the Vietnam top division for the last 10 years except in 2017 when he visited his hometown in Recife, Brazil for vacation. His previous club is Nam Dinh. He played in one edition of the AFC Cup in 2014 for Vietnam outfit Vissai Nimhbinh Football Club.
Milad looked more confident among the three as the central forward informed that he scored 12 goals for his previous club named Al Ton, a second division side from Iran, last season. He previously played in Philippines for two years where he finished as the top-scorer in 2015.
Meanwhile, Abahani have to submit their final AFC Cup squad by Wednesday, a month before their opening Group E match against Maldives champion New Radiant Sporting Club. They have the option of including four foreign players in the squad, including one in the Asian quota. The Sky Blues are also looking for a foreign coach ahead of Asia's second-tier club tournament.