Having completed a two-week fitness camp, the national football team will fly out this afternoon to Qatar for a two-week tactical training camp with an eye on finding the right combination for the March 27 FIFA Friendly against Laos.
The charges of Andrew Ord had rigorous fitness sessions at BKSP under the supervision of Portuguese fitness trainer Mario Lemos. Initially 24 footballers participated in the camp on February 13 before the remaining 11 players join for a one-week training from February 21.
Players like Yeasin Khan, Jewel Rana, Zahid Hossain, Pashban Mollah, Toklish Ahmed, Matin Mia and Hemanta Vincent Biswas withdrew from the camp either due to injury or sickness while Javed Khan, Fazle Rabbi, Mohammad Zahid, Mitul Hasan and Mohammad Arif were dropped for having failed to impress.
Ord designed the ongoing training in three phases -- fitness training in BKSP, tactical training in Qatar and the final preparation in Thailand with the full national team-- before the squad heads to Laos for the FIFA Friendly.
As there are no players from league champions Abahani for the club's AFC Cup campaign next month, Ord's obvious intention is to pick the best from the 24 players, including experienced footballers such as Mamunul Islam, Asharful Islam Rana, Uttam Kumar Banik, Faisal Mahmud, Tapu Barman and Jamal Bhuiyan.
“The first phase focusing on fitness ended in BKSP and the second phase focusing on tactical training will be held in Qatar. We will do everything to give the team a shape; such as how we can defend, how we should attack, how we should take set-pieces, as these weren't completed in BKSP where the focus was on physical, gym and technical things,” Ord said at a press conference at the BFF House yesterday.
“There is no chance for Abahani players to join the camp in the second phase because they have been in training [for the club competition], so I will integrate them with the best players from the Qatar training in the third phase and then it will be the national team,” Ord added.
The Australian-born Brit was a bit frustrated about injuries to players who carried their afflictions from the recently-ended season to this one, and none of the players were seemingly serious to stay with the national team. He, however, believes this will not have any impact on the future team he is trying to build for the Laos match.
“We have not lost one player in two weeks, and we trained twice a day. We trained in a very smart way, trained hard and trained smart with the young players who were mixed with a few senior players. Those young players that will do well will earn the right to be a national team player and also the youth national team players,” Ord said. “Of course when experienced players from Abahani join the camp, some young players will depart and the best players will be picked to go to Thailand.”
After conceding four goals against Abahani in a warm-up match, Ord believes there are many areas to improve for the national team.
“Abahani are a team which has played together for a long time. They are already a team while we [the national team] are still not a team. We are just a bunch of young players with a few older players who are trying to get experience. At the moment, this is a long-term training group with an eye on the future team,” said Ord.
Goalkeeping coach Jason Brown, who joined the camp on February 21, emphasised on the positional sense of goalkeepers as well as their control of emotions so that they make fewer mistakes under the bar.