The long wait for Lodewijk de Kruif is set to be over as the 43-year-old coach is scheduled to arrive here early morning today to take charge of the national football team, four days before the start of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament.
His arrival will bring an end to the 'hide-and-seek' games that the Bangladesh Football Federation has played over the temporary appointment of the Dutch coach in the last few weeks. The arrival of De Kruif is expected to boost the team after their disappointing defeat against Abahani in the first practice match last week.
Except for the SAFF Championship, De Kruif has had a good time with the national teams during his assignments.
“To be honest, De Kruif will get a prepared team and he will have to work only on the tactical aspects as I have already prepared them in all the other aspects,” said assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu yesterday.
It is widely believed that the national players always show their seriousness under foreign coaches and their approach, attitude and mentality change drastically under them.
“Though De Kruif will have a very short time, I believe he will have a good impact on the players in terms of their mental preparation,” said Titu. “I have worked with De Kruif for one year and noticed that he is a good motivator and he can bring the best out of the players,” he added.
Veteran striker Zahid Hasan Emily also thinks De Kruif's presence would work as a tonic for the players.
“I think training will gather extra pace once De Kruif takes charge because the players have a good understanding with him and we know each other very well,” said Emily adding that they are determined to produce good results on home soil.
The national team are likely to play their second practice match against Sheikh Russel KC at Bangaladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan today.
However, De Kruif will take the final decision regarding the practice match as he has desired to play a closed-door match before the tournament.