BFF stringent on age-checks
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) followed stringent regulations to define the age before picking 31 players for the AFC Under-19 Football Championship qualifiers to be held in Thailand from November 1 to 11.
“It is very important to define the age of the players and we are very much careful about it from the beginning. As many as 56 players underwent medical check-up by recommendation of the medical committee and of them, 26 booters were dropped due to being overage," said BFF vice chairman and national team management committee chairman Badal Roy at a press conference at the BFF House yesterday.
"We hope there will be no question about the players' age in future though we faced some uncomfortable situation [in the past],” he added.
Bangladesh have been drawn in Group E along with Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Macau and hosts Thailand.
Roy informed that they had arranged a trial with some 100 players from different age-groups and the players were picked by a four-member selection committee headed by Shafiqul Islam Manik, who was finally given charge of the U-19 side.
The former national footballer said that the football governing body has been working tirelessly to form a strong national side and nursing the different age-group teams in a bid to reach the target.
Four players, who were in the national team training squad, were also picked for the U-19 side and Roy thinks it would boost the side. They are defender Al Amin, midfielders Emon Mahmud Babu, Naimul Islam and Shahedul Islam Shahed, who was also picked by two-time B. League champions Abahani for the upcoming season.
The players will report to BFF on Thursday and travel to the Bangladesh Krira Shikhha Protisthan (BKSP) for a long-term training before heading for Thailand.
Coach Shafiqul Islam Manik was however cautious to set his target this early.
“It is too early to say anything as I am yet to start the camp and I can only give you an idea about the team after the training goes on for one-and-a-half months,” said Manik.
Goalkeepers- Nurul Karim, Shakil, Sohel, Bidyut. Defenders- Md. Mofa, Saddam, Rubrl, Nahidul, Shumon, Shaikat, Saidul, Al-Amin, Milon, Javed, Rasel. Midfielders-Saddam, Shahed, Emon Babu, Sohel Rana, Shohag, Krishna, Shohag, Bipul, Asif, Naimul, Shahed, Forwards- Sui Khai Marma, Saifuddin, Kanon, Sohel, Nadim.