Open skies lift booters’ mood | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:45 AM, November 23, 2020

Open skies lift booters’ mood

After completing their three-day quarantine in the team hotel, the Bangladesh national team were finally allowed to breathe in the open skies as they had their first training session at the Al Aziziyah Boutique ground in Doha yesterday.

The footballers had a 90-minute training session in the serene environment after completing the mandatory quarantine ahead of Bangladesh's World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifier against Qatar on December 4.

The players were barred from using the hotel's gymnasium and pool after manager Amer Khan and physio Fuad Hasan tested positive for Covid-19. The duo test positive again in the second tests carried out on Saturday while the rest of the contingent tested negative again. They then split into small groups and used the gymnasium on Saturday.

The players looked cheerful in the footage of the first training session sent by the BFF and were in a good mood as they touched the ball for the first time since a friendly against Nepal on November 17.

"We are good and sound. We are delighted to have a first training session in Qatar and using the facilities here. If we can avail the facilities and stay well, then I believe we can get a good result as we are committed," goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana said in a video message.

Assistant coach Stuart Watkiss appeared happy to have conducted a first training session under open skies.

"Today we did our first real session since coming to Qatar. It is very nice to get back on the grass. We did a lot of work on the ball, lots of passing, lots of movements and everyone practiced in the last 30 minutes," said Watkiss, who is standing in for Covid-infected head coach Jamie Day, who tested positive for the third time on Saturday.

Watkiss is looking forward to preparing his charges for the main event as well as two practice matches, the first against an amateur Qatar Army side on Wednesday and the second, on November 28, against Lusail SC -- a second division side.  "We are looking forward to the next few days of training at the fabulous training center with absolutely first-class facilities," added the 54-year-old.

 

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