Bangladesh have shown some spirited performances in recent times but lack of striking ability seemed the biggest problem for elevating the game, and the domestic structure is often blamed for this
BFF president Kazi Salahuddin advised the local players to choose the clubs in domestic circuit smartly so that they can thrive on their international career and serve the nation. Bangladesh have shown some spirited performances in recent times but lack of striking ability seemed the biggest problem for elevating the game, and the domestic structure is often blamed for this.
Most of the clubs tend to rely upon the foreign strikers in the league and most of the times the local strikers warm the bench or act as the second fiddle, if lucky.
The effect was imminent in the international matches as Bangladesh strikers looked bamboozled in the final third despite controlling the game most of the times in the matches, even against higher ranked Palestine and Philippines, among others.
Salahuddin, himself one of the finest strikers the country have ever produced, thought the short sightedness of the players is the chief reason of this debacle and he gave some advice and even mentioned his own playing time experience to guide the budding talents.
“We saw now the players don’t think about their future as they become satisfied with what they earn in present by signing for big teams,” Salahuddin told reporters during a reception programme for the Saff U-18 Women’s Championship winning team Sunday.
Salahuddin uttered the words just a day after cash-rich Bashundhara Kings, a new team in the premier league, dazzled the transfer window by enriching the side with some foreign and local stars.
The biggest star of the Kings’ squad is World Cup 2018 member Daniel Colindres , who played for Costa Rica.
The Kings also roped in three other foreign players and a foreign coach.
However, the ambitious outfit also recruited three national forwards - Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Towhidul Alam Sabuj and Matin Mia - but surely the trio will face a daunting task to break in the playing XI, let alone showcase their prowess.
Sufil made his debut in the league for Arambagh Krira Sangha, a mediocre side, but that assured he got regular opportunities to improve and show his skills.
Sabuj, who was the highest scorer among the local players with eight goals last season, also must thank his club Chittagong Abahani Limited as they allowed him to beef up his confidence.
Matin’s story is even more attractive as he used to work as a mason but his amazing skill in Sylhet League lured Saif Sporting Club, and the young player made his name by utilising the opportunity.
On the other hand, the story of Rubel Mia, who stunned Dhaka crowd with many good finishes, is a sad one as he lost his sharpness while warming the bench regularly.
However, it is difficult for the young players to deny the lucrative offers despite having the risk of being benched on most occasions that may become the fate of aforementioned strikers signed by the Kings this season.
BFF has also increased the foreign players’ quota up to four for the forthcoming season that may aggravate the problem for local strikers but the BFF boss insisted they must take their decision with long-term future in mind.
“The players became content with what they get from the clubs rather thinking about playing opportunity. If they would sacrifice their present offer only to get more playing option then they must be benefitted in future,” said Salahuddin.
“I personally did not support the decision but we have to also look after the interest of the clubs so for that we had to increase the foreign quota.
“But what we have decided that, we will be strict on one decision, that of the four foreign players rule of the AFC. And I asked the local players to be prepared to battle with the foreigners to get regular chance in the playing XI,” he added.
Salahuddin even cited his own experience as a player to inspire his successors.
“In 1970, when I signed for Mohammedan (Sporting Club Limited), that time many friends told me not to go there because of little playing option,” he said.
“I didn’t get playing chances in the first four matches but in the fifth match I got the chance and scored a brace.
“What I want to say is, you have to be prepare yourself because nobody will give you automatic place. You have to battle hard to find your place and also give your best to keep your place otherwise other players will push you to get your place.
“You have to be more selective before choosing your club and think where you would get more playing opportunity,” said one of the most popular players of yesteryears.