Singapore under-23s lined up for practice
Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday informed that they are planning to send the under-23 national team to Singapore for two practice matches ahead of the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers, which will be held in Dhaka from March 27 to 31. The BFF boss said if the plan goes through, the team would leave for Singapore as early as tomorrow.
“We have requested them (Singapore Football Association) for arranging two practice matches between the under-23 teams. The first match, if everything goes according to plan, will be held on March 18,” said Salahuddin after emerging from a meeting with head coach Lodewijk de Kruif and newly-appointed goalkeeping coach Christian Schweichler at his office.
De Kruif, who arrived last Thursday along with Schweichler, was worried over the fitness and match-experience of his charges as Bangladesh will be up against some high-ranked teams in the championship. The hosts will start the campaign with the game against Syria on March 27, followed by the match against top-seeded Uzbekistan on March 29 before taking on neighbours India on March 31.
“The main problem with this squad is most of the players did not get enough opportunity to play in league and cup matches last season. I am also worried about the injuries to some of my key players. However, anything is possible in football and my job would be to try and organise these players,” said the Dutchman.
Schweichler, who have only had four sessions with the five goalkeepers of the squad so far, has identified a few aspects to work on already.
“I only have a very short time to work. I think I will need to improve on the tactical issues and positional sense of these 'keepers as their fitness and skill level is satisfactory,” said the German, who had a stint with Lebanon national team as their goalkeeping coach in 2012.
The squad is expected to be trimmed as the camp moves to BKSP in Savar today.