Bangladesh women's team will leave here for Thailand Monday to take part in their first ever futsal event, at the AFC Futsal Championship 2018, scheduled to kick off with the participation of 15 countries in Bangkok Wednesday.
Bangladesh, placed in Group B, will begin their campaign against Malaysia on the inaugural day before taking on Vietnam and Chinese Taipei following a day’s interval.
Sabina Khatun, who will lead the side, is the only senior player in the 14-member squad while the rest of the girls are aged below 18 years old. Only Sabina has the experience of playing in a futsal tournament before while playing in Maldives.
"Playing for club and national team is different," said Sabina during a press conference at BFF House Sunday. "You need more concentration in futsal. It's a matter of breathing, there is no time to rest. Not much idea about the opponents. It will be tough but we will give our best."
Head coach Golam Rabbani Choton informed that they began their preparation on April 7 this year, specifically for futsal which is played five-a-side with unlimited substitutions. The 42 girls from the BFF camp were cut short to a 14-member contingent. Choton said the 14 players are "dynamic and skillful individuals" and perfect for the intense game of futsal.
Six players from the U-15 side's Hong Kong tour were selected for the latest squad including reliable defender Akhi Khatun and midfielders Maria Manda and Monika Chakma. Srimoti Krishna Rani Sarkar, Sirat Jahan Shopna and Sanjida Akhter will also get the chance to test their skills in the futsal tournament.
Choton and Sabina said the tournament will be an useful experience for the team while BFF technical and strategic director Paul Smalley termed the event as a "fantastic opportunity" for the girls.
Rupna Chakma, Ruksana Begum, Sabina Khatun, Srimoti Krishna Rani Sarkar, Sirat Jahan Shopna, Masura Parvin, Akhi Khatun, Sanjida Akhter, Sheuli Azim, Anai Mogini, Maria Manda, Monika Chakma, Shamsunnahar and Marzia