Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and Federation Cup champions Bashundhara Kings completed players registration formalities for the upcoming domestic football season 2020-21 at Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) House in the capital a day before the last day of registration window on Monday.
Kings Head of Strategy and Planning Bayazid Alam Zubair Nipu told The Daily Sun that they registered a total of 28 players including 13 national booters and 4 foreigners. “Players are all fit and ready to play. There are no other serious injuries except Sushanto Tripura and Tariq Raihan Kazi. They may not be able to play in Federation Cup. Topu Barman got injured during Bangladesh-Qatar match, but he is recovering,” he added.Kings’ 134 national team players are: Anisur Rahman, Topu Barman, Tariq Kazi, Md Yeasin Khan, Bishwanath Ghosh, Sushanto Tripura, Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Rabiul Hasan, Biplo Ahamed, Mohammad Ibrahim, Tawhidul Alam Sabuz, Masuk Miah Zoni and Matin Miah.
Four foreigners: Argentine-born Chilean forward Raul Becerra, Brazilian midfielders Jonathan da Silveira Fernandes Reis and forward Robson Azevedo da Silva Robinho, Iranian defender Khaled Shafiei. According to a website named ‘Transfermarkt’, Becerra joined Kings for euro 1.10 million while Fernandes, Robson for euro 725 thousand each and Khaled for euro 500 thousand.
Besides, the big-budgeted club recruited goalkeeper Mehedi Hasan from Jr division and defender Tareq Miah from Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) outfit Dhaka Wanderers Club. Also, Kings extended their contract with their Spanish coach Oscar Bruzon in November.
The 43-year-old Spanish coach believes that his players were far better than other team players in terms of fitness and preparation.
“I’m very happy that we had the chance to practice from August. So, from our side there is no complaint, no excuse. We are a balanced team with good recruitments. We are a fresh team and I feel that we are far better than last year. Many clubs are facing the problems in terms of fitness. I feel our players are much better off than other players because we have continuity in training. We not only train to keep fitness, but we have trained on technical side, by position, by line,” said Oscar.
“In our group, we are going to face the runners-up of last season and Chattogram Abahani to whom we lost in the last game of the season. We want to start afresh. This is our ‘do or die’ competition. We are fully determined and confident and we are happy with our recruits. The combination between local and foreign players is our strongest point. I think we brought foreign players according to the strengths of our local players. We are covering key positions. So, our prediction is that we are going to do very good in the Federation Cup,” Oscar added.About the opponents, the Kings coach further stated, “When you face competition, you need to be clear about your opponents, your rivals. So, of course, we are doing daily reports, analysis on them and finding who they are recruiting. I have not seen other teams' preparation So, I can’t make comments on that. But what I can see is that these squads are full of good players both, local and foreigners. So, the competition is not going to be easy.”
The domestic season 2020-21 will kick-off with the Walton Federation Cup 2020 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital from December 22. A total of 13 teams, split into four groups, are expected to take part in the season’s curtain-raiser meet.
Bashundhara Kings are put in Group C along with runners-up Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society and Chattogram Abahani Limited. Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra and Lt Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club Ltd were put in Group A along with Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) champions Bangladesh Police Football Club while Dhaka Abahani Limited and Mohammedan Sporting Club had been placed in Group D along with Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra. The four-team Group C comprises Saif Sporting Club, Brother Union Limited, Arambagh Krira Sangha and BCL runners-up Uttar Baridhara Sporting Club. The fixture is yet to be announced.
Ahead of the new season, BFF opened the player registration window on November 1. Among other participating teams, Sheikh Jamal completed the registration on Sunday while Police FC and Uttar Baridhara on Monday. Sheikh Jamal recruited 28 players including four foreigners, Uttar Baridhara 33 players including five foreigners and Police FC 33 players with three foreigners.