Nigeria-born Bangladeshi forward Eleta Kingsley received maiden national call as the Bangladesh Football Federation on Wednesday announced a 26-member preliminary squad for the upcoming SAFF Championship, scheduled in Maldives next month.
The BFF later included defender Mohammad Hridoy into the squad which meant Bangladesh will start their preparation with a 27-member squad from today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Earlier, the BFF introduced Bashundhara Kings’ Oscar Bruzon as their new head coach for the upcoming competition during the same press conference.
Bruzon named the highest 10 players from Kings in the national team’s preliminary squad while six players from Dhaka Abahani Limited and four players from Saif Sporting Club made it to the list. The Spaniard also brought changes into the national team’s 10-member coaching staff. Five staff from Kings including two assistant coaches, a goalkeeper coach, a fitness trainer and a physio have been added to the list.
Bruzon informed that his first task within a short time will be boosting players’ confidence in winning big matches.
“Bangladesh have a half chance in SAFF. My job as a head coach is to try to change something in the team. I have earlier said I’m a winner. I play to win, not to avoid the number of goals or to play defensive.” The 44-year Spaniard told the reporters.
“When we see the national team’s game we find they usually try not to concede goals. The opponents (in SAFF) are higher in the ranks except for Sri Lanka but I’m not going to play to minimize the risks or to speculate or to hold,” added the head coach.
Bangladesh national team is expected to fly on September 28 for Male, Maldives as they will play against Sri Lanka, India, Maldives and Nepal on Oct 1, 4, 7 and 13 respectively at the National Stadium in Male.
Bangladesh preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Anisur Rahman, Sahidul Alam and Ashraful Islam Rana; Defenders: Bishwanath Ghosh, Topu Barman, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Tutul Hossain, Rahmat Mia, Riyadul Hasan, Yeasin Arafat, Razaul Karim, Mohammad Atikuzzaman, Mehedi Hasan and Mohammad Hridoy; Midfielders: Atiqur Rahman, Sohel Rana, Saad Uddin, Jamal Bhuyan, Rakib Hossain and Manik Hossain Molla; Forwards: Biplo Ahamed, Mahbuibur Rahman, Mohammad Ibrahim, Eleta Kingsley, Matin Miah, Jewel Rana and Suman Reza.