The newly appointed head coach of defending women’s football league champions Bashundhara Kings and former national player Abu Faysal Ahmed vowed to retain the title in the upcoming edition, scheduled to start from March 27.
“We’re optimistic about the newcomers. From now on we don’t need to be worried about our reserve bench and replacements,” Faysal told The Daily Sun.
“It doesn't mean these newcomers will only play the role of bench players, they will get equal chances to perform on the field during the league,” Faysal added.
The holders formed a strong 23-member team recruiting seven newcomers for the upcoming league as they on Saturday completed their players’ registration formalities along with four other participating teams at Bangladesh Football Federation house in Motijheel on the last day of the registration.
Kings retained 15 players and released nine players from their previous squad. National team captain and top scorer of the previous league Sabina Khatun, U-19 captain Mishrat Jahan Mousumi, Krishna Rani Sarkar, Tohura Khatun, Monika Chakma, Shamsunnahar and Maria Manda will continue with the team.
Kings also retained Sheuli Azim, Nilufa Yesmin Nila, Mossammat Nargis Khatun, Masura Parvin, Sanjida Akhter, Akhi Khatun, Rupna Chakma, Mst Sirat Jahan Shopna. The country’s first freestyle women footballer Matsushima Sumaiya will also represent Kings in the upcoming event.
The seven newcomers are - Anai Mogini, Mst Sultana, Ritu Porna, Shamsunnahar (Jr), Surudhani Kisku, Yeasmin Akter Kisku and Mim Akter.
Faysal expressed his satisfaction with the overall team set-up and tagged Nasrin SA and Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan College Sporting Club as the close rivals in the competition.
“Last year, we played extraordinarily well. No team could touch us although Nasrin SA were close to us. But the league will be more competitive this year. Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan College Sporting Club formed a strong team with national U-17 players. They will give us a tough fight. But we will play the best and will give the best effort to defend the title,” he said.
Kings’ Technical Director BA Jobayer Nipu, Goalkeeping Coach Salim Miah, Manager Pinky Sarwar and other supporting staff were also present during the players’ registration event.
Kings became unbeaten champions in their maiden appearance in the women’s league last season with winning all their matches. They started a camp for the upcoming season at the club premises on March 16. All the members of the women’s team underwent COVID-19 tests before joining the camp.
Apart from kings, last year’s runners-up Nasrin Sporting Academy, third-placed Jamalpur Kacharipara Akadas, FC Brahmanbaria and Kanchijhuli Sporting Club completed their registration on Saturday while Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan College Sporting Club, Cumilla United Club and Soddo Pushkarini Jubo Sporting Club completed their registration on Friday.