Final squad of Bangladesh National Football Team for the upcoming SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Suzuki Cup have been unofficially revealed on Sunday.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Day sent ten players from the 30-man preliminary squad back to home from camp on Saturday. This move essentially lifted the veil from the final squad which will represent Bangladesh in South Asia’s biggest football event.No official announcements made till Sunday but the reports were confirmed by team sources. In a surprise move by Jamie, youngster Zafar Iqbal has been left out of the final squad. The playing eleven of Bangladesh historic Asiad 2018 campaign were retained predictably. Former skipper Mamunul Islam also made a shock come-back in the squad and his inclusion in the top twenty hints at the back-up plan of Day.
Ashraful Islam Rana will remain the first choice for the position of Goalkeeper due to his sensational performance during Asian Games 2018 especially in the match against Qatar where he made scores of crucial saves. Shahidul Alam Sohel is kept as the back-up goalie and he might not see much action unless Rana is injured. Sohel also lowered his own chances with his lack of situational awareness which cost Bangladesh the friendly match against Sri Lanka.
Young defenders Sushanta Tripura, Topu Barman and Tutul Hossain Badshah who were instrumental in the Asian Games and South Korea practice matches are sure to make SAFF debut this September. Trusty and experienced Nasiruddin Chowdhury and Wali Faisal earned their place in the squad with a passionate performance during Bangladesh’s friendly against Sri Lanka.
Atiqul Islam Fahad, Masuk Mia Jony, Jamal Bhuiyan of the young team retained their spots in SAFF squad.
Jamal Bhuyian will look to deliver on his promise and bring in SAFF glory for the nation. He would be toiling hard to live up to his reputation as one of the finest defensive midfielders of South Asia.
Aforementioned back-up plan of coach Jamie Day consist Mamunul Islam and Sohel Rana as major actors. Day might the start SAFF with the young eleven of Asian Games. If the pressure of big-stage turns out to be too much for youngsters, Jamie will call upon the experience of Mamunul and Sohel.All the while, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Saad Uddin, Biplu Ahmed, Shakhawat Hossain Rony will be form Bangladesh attack in SAFF.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh booters went through a one and a half hour-practice session at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Sunday.
During the latter part of the session, Jamie organised an informal practice match where he fielded the starting eleven of Asian Games against the rest. This move reinforced the suspicion of his preference to start with the young eleven in SAFF as well. Regarding the exclusion of Zafar Iqbal, Day felt that it was just a simple opportunity cost.
“We have better players for that same position,” said Jamie.
Jamie also felt that Bangladesh’s chances are much higher now as the team features bunch youngsters in the ranks.
“This young team is hungry to win and capable of winning as well,” concluded Jamie.
Bangladesh Final Squad (unofficial)
Goalkeepers: Ashraful Islam Rana, Shahidul Alam
Defenders: Sushanta Tripura, Topu Barman, Tutul Hossain Badshah, Bishwanath Ghosh, Nasiruddin Chowdhury, Wali Faisal,
Midfielders: Atiqul Islam Fahad, Masuk Mia Jony, Jamal Bhuiyan, Faisal Mahmud, Mamunul Islam, Emon Mahmud Babu, Rabiul Hasan, Sohel Rana,
Forwards: Mahbubur Rahman Sufil, Saad Uddin, Biplu Ahmed, Shakhawat Hossain Rony.