The Men in Red and Green will play their crucial opening Group E match at a neutral venue in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on September 10
Bangladesh men’s national football team will begin their preparation for the next month’s 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers’ opening group match against Afghanistan from Friday. The team will commence with a week-long training camp in Dhaka before playing a couple of practice matches in Tajikistan in the first week of September.
The Men in Red and Green will play their crucial opening Group E match at a neutral venue in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on September 10. The new plans regarding the preparation for the Afghanistan game were discussed during a national team management committee meeting on Monday.
“The squad was already announced last Friday. The national team camp will begin on August 23. The coaches have also returned and they were also present in the meeting. They talked about their plans and we also shared our thoughts too. We will have 18 days for the preparation which we think would be enough.” national team committee’s chairman Kazi Nabil Ahmed told the reporters after the meeting.
“The team will fly for Dushanbe early on September 1 in order to adjust with the weather, condition and altitude. We are trying to play two practice matches against the local clubs of Tajikistan on September 3 and 5. We also discussed how to ensure the highest facilities and how to get used with the astro-tarf,” continued Nabil adding that the national players at Abahani will join the camp after the end of the club’s vital AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinal matches (August 21 and 28).
A 25-man squad instead of 23 was revealed earlier due to the two players having knocks. Nabil informed that the coaches are observing the national players at Abahani and will finalise the 23-man squad on August 31 depending on the situation of the players by that time.
Abahani trio Shahidul Alam Sohel, Saad Uddin and Sohel Rana returned to the national side as Bangladesh announced the 25-man preliminary squad for their opening match against Afghanistan in the Joint Qualifiers of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cuphttps://t.co/33uAZI4VYL#BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) August 16, 2019
Initial focus on fitness
The national players except the ones at Abahani have been enjoying vacation as well as given rest after long time. Head coach Jamie Day along with the assistant coach Stuart Watkiss returned to Dhaka Monday and joined the meeting immediately.
Day said, “The players didn’t have enough breaks in the last 14 months. They will be back after 20 days since the league ended on August 3. We gave them some programmes during the vacation but what they needed most is rest both physically and mentally.”
“(During the initial camp in Dhaka) I want to double check the fitness where we want them to be, if not, they will get enough time to get to the level. I have high hopes that they will be fit enough before flying to Tajikistan.” added the English coach.
Bangladesh will face a higher-ranked Afghanistan side with a young defensive line due to the absence of top national center-back Topu Barman. Day said it would be an opportunity to take for the youngsters.
“I would love to take Topu, the best defender in the national team, but he is not fit. Now we have the younger players to give them the opportunity to take Topu’s place. So when Topu is fit he is gonna fight for his place. Again, these players can make mistake as they are going to play against more experienced players of around 30 years of old who play in Europe. The experience can make the young players get better and move forward.”