• Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019
  • Last Update : 05:25 am

Newly formed U15 girls eye Saff title

  • Published at 10:59 pm October 6th, 2019
U-15 girls
Bangladesh U-15 Women's team captain Samsunnahar (R) and her deputy Rupna Chakma (L) attend a press conference on Sunday.

Head coach Golam Rabbani Choton informed that only nine players out of total 23 have the international experience while the rest 14 are new faces

A newly shaped Bangladesh U-15 girls’ team will leave here for Bhutan on Monday to take part in the Saff U-15 Women’s Championship 2019 in a bid to reach the final of the tournament for the third consecutive time and win the title for the second time.

Like the opening edition two years ago, this time only four teams will participate in the third edition which is set to kick off with the match between India and Nepal at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu on Wednesday.

Bangladesh girls face Bhutan in the other match of the inaugural day at the same venue. After the end of round robin league, the top two finishers will play the final on October 15. Bangladesh target final berth like the previous two editions.

Head coach Golam Rabbani Choton informed that only nine players out of total 23 have the international experience while the rest 14 are new faces. As many as eight of them were included in the AFC U-16 Championship squad but most of them were not among the regular playing eleven yet they will be the key strength of the side.

Reliable midfielder Maria Manda’s absence will be filled up by Shamsunnahar Junior, who was made the captain of the team, while U-16 side’s first-choice goalkeeper Rupna Chakma is made the vice-captain. Shohagi Kisku will take the role of Monika Chakma in the other spot in the midfield.

Shaheda Akter Ripa and Rojina Akter will take Tohura Khatun and Anuching Marma’s role in striker position while Afrida Khandakar, Surma Jannat, Nasrin Akter and Unnoti Khatun will have the opportunity to prove them as successors of Akhi Khatun, Anai Mogini and Co in the defence.

“After the end of the previous edition we realised that as many as 15 players will not be eligible to play the following edition. Then we started scouting players and picked most players from JFA (U-14) Cup and seven from BKSP who recently won Subrata Cup in India.” said Choton at a press conference on Sunday.

Choton added, “We began preparation from September 24. There are many talented footballers in the team. If we can keep them under close supervision in long-term camp then they will one day become players like Maria and Monika whose successors will definitely want to prove them worthy. All the four teams are strong. It will be challenging.”

New skipper Shamsunnahar pledged to reach the final. “We became champions in the opening edition of this tournament in Dhaka (2017). We also played well in the last edition to reach the final. This time also we want to make it to the final. Like every participants, we also want to become champions.”

 Bangladesh won all their three matches to become champions in the inaugural edition but lost to India with a solitary goal in the final of the last edition held at the same venue of Bhutan.

Squad: Rupna Chakma, Yasmin Akter, Unnoti Khatun, Nasrin Akter, Shamsunnahar Jnr, Sohagi Kisku, Rojina Akter, Kohati Kisku, Shaheda Akter, Rehena Akter, Nouson Jahan, Abeda Akter, Afrida Khandakar, Mahfuza Khatun, Mehenur Akter, Nusrat Jahan, Eity Khatun, Joynob Bibi, Sumi Khatun, Surma Jannat, Purnima Ranee, Rumi Akter, Sapna Rani.