Abahani play catch-up
The much-awaited inter-club hockey players' transfers started yesterday after a nearly two-and-a-half year gap with joint champions Abahani all but completing their registration formalities on the opening day at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium.
Apart from Abahani, Usha Kira Chakra, Sonali Bank, Mariner Youngs Club and Wari Club signed up a few players. Mohammedan, who heated up the transfer market by spending a lot of money on acquiring players much before the transfers began, are expected to turn up today.
The Sky Blues had formed their squad last season roping in young players from Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan, but this time Abahani abandoned the practice and confirmed the services of four players -- Asaduzzaman Chandan, Mansur, Hasan Jubair Niloy and Puskor Khisa Mimo -- to form a better squad than the previous season's.
Other than the aforementioned four, Abahani have signed up seven new player -- goalkeeper Jahid Hossain, Jahidul Islam Rajon, Musa Mia, Khandokar Hasan Ahmed from archrivals Mohammedan, Iqbal Nader Prince, Moshiur Rahman Firoz from Sonali Bank and Abdus Sabur from Mariner Youngs Club.
“This squad is better than last season's but obviously will not be better than what Mohammedan are going to rope in,” said Abahani coach Mahbub Haroon, adding that the standard of local players this time is almost similar across the board.
“I think the foreign recruits will make the difference in the season,” said Haroon but he admitted that he could not get his desired players due to Mohammedan's early impact on the transfer market.
Usha signed up four players, Sonali Bank roped in five players while Mariners and Wari Club singed up two players each.