Nine foreign coaches in nine years
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday approved the appointment of a ninth foreign coach within nine years with English-born Australian Andrew Ord all set to take charge of the national team in June.
Ord last worked as the assistant coach for Australian Premier League side Perth Glory FC after having worked with youth academies and club sides in Thailand and Myanmar. He is also said to have been involved with the Australian national team as a scout. Those experiences were considered before the BFF offered him the position of head coach of the Bangladesh team, who are placed 193rd according to the latest FIFA rankings.
The approval of Ord means that the Bangladesh team will get a head coach after a six-month gap since Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet's reign ended with a 3-1 defeat against Bhutan in an Asian Cup qualifier in October last year.
Even though the appointment of the 37-year-old coach with no prior experience as a head coach raised eyebrows, the local game's governing body believes the right man has been chosen for the job.
“He (Ord) has experience of working in Asian countries as a scout, assistant coach and coach of a few under-age groups. Considering such experience, we are going to bring him under a one-year contract,” BFF vice president and National Teams' Committee member Tabith Awal told reporters after an emergency meeting of BFF Executive Committee yesterday.
“We took our time on deciding about him [Ord] and considering our resources and our next opponents, he is the best coach for us. Everyone has to start as the assistant coach. But we have yet to come to the point to pre-judge him until our national team plays under him. We did not get success with experienced coaches; then again we got success with unknown coaches at national and club levels. Let him work and we will get an idea after seeing his training and matches,” Tabith said about Ord, who is expected to arrive in the first week of June to put pen on paper for the one year contract.
Ord's first assignment will be to guide the national U-23 team in the AFC Championship in Palestine in July before working as the advisor of the U-19 national team in the AFC Championship Qualifiers. Then he will take charge of the senior team to guide them in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in December before next year's SAFF Championship in Dhaka.
Ord's appointment brings the number of foreign staff at BFF to five including technical and strategic director Paul Smalley. The total salary of those five foreigners is thought to be nearly US$35,000 monthly.