• Friday, Dec 13, 2019
  • Last Update : 08:38 am

Saad, a versatile prodigy at the Asian Games

  • Published at 03:40 pm August 15th, 2018
Saad

Sitting relaxed at the balcony of the hotel room after enjoying a morning swimming session, Saad shared the story of his journey. He went from the defunct BFF football academy in Sylhet to the most successful top-flight club in Bangladesh, Abahani along with being in different national  youth teams

Saad Uddin is unquestionably the most versatile young talent in the current national team who has been - so far - deployed in different playing positions such as center forward, both the wings, in the midfield and sometimes as a right-back for both club and country.

After that Uzbekistan defeat in their opening Asian Games encounter - where Saad played on the right wing for most of the time before switching as a striker – just like the players and the coach, Saad also seemed to be content with the performance against the strongest group opponents.

“There are still many things to learn in Indonesia and lots more to prove in the two remaining group matches against Thailand and Qatar”, believed Saad who is eagerly waiting to make his senior national team debut at next month’s Saff Championship in Dhaka.

Sitting relaxed at the balcony of the hotel room after enjoying a morning swimming session, Saad shared the story of his journey. He went from the defunct BFF football academy in Sylhet to the most successful top-flight club in Bangladesh, Abahani along with being in different national  youth teams.

Growing up in Kuchai of South Surma upazilla in the suburbs of Sylhet town, Saad began his playing career in the first division league for Friends Social club in 2015. Soon after he would get spotted by then BFF academy coach Syed Golam Jilani and be brought into the U-16 team at the academy.

“I spent four months in the academy before it shut down. It was a memorable experience for me as I got into the youth national team for Saff U-15 Championship where we became champions.” said Saad, who was sick prior to the tournament, and made a last-ditch recovery to get into the final squad and was adjudged one of the best players of the match. Along with his role on the wings, he also played as an attacking midfielder and scored a couple of goals. In the same year he represented the U-19 national team in the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers, playing only as winger.

Saad joined the Victoria Sporting Club in the second-tier Bangladesh Championship League in 2016 where he started playing as striker as well.

Abahani football manager Satyajit Das Rupu, who is also the manager of the current Olympic team, signed the young talent from Victoria toBangladesh player Saad Uddin in action during an international friendly match on March  Abahani where he has been staying for two years now. He spent most of the time on the bench in his first year but started getting first team chances more regularly in the second season.

Abahani became champions on both seasons and Saad played as full-back when required.

Former national team head coach Andrew Ord utilized the versatile forward in different positions during the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Palestine last year. Ahead of the Thailand game, Saad could recall his experience of playing in two practice matches in Thailand on March this year, before the friendly against Laos.

“Asian Games is very tough competition for us but there’s no end to learning and it is always possible to improve playing against strong teams. Whatever the result, the Thailand game is important to learn more about where we stand ahead of the Saff,”

“I played in right wing, left wing, as striker and also in right-back position. I think it is good for every player to have versatility in their game. The days of playing in a single position are gone.” said Saad, before adding that winning the Saff Championship is his ultimate goal.