Bangladesh National Hockey Team, who are going to take part in the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy for the first time, have no big expectation except to show a good performance against their upper ranked opponents.
“All our opponents are stronger; they are in higher rankings than us. Besides, we are taking part for the first time. Though we are the hosts of the tournament, we are not dreaming of playing in the final or championship. But we are confident that we can show a ‘good performance on the field,” Bangladesh assistant coach Zahid Hossain Razu told The Daily Sun on Monday.
“The team last played in 2018 (Asian Games), there are no activities for the last three years. Also, we got just two-week for preparations ahead of the meet; players are a little bit tired due to a long domestic season. We have some injuries and we are working on it. But I think we are preparing well, players are motivated and just concentrating on their plays,” he said.
Bangladesh have not played any international matches in the last three years, though some national players participated in the different domestic events. But most of the clubs have played foreign players in the last Premier League and Club Cup which have decreased the chances for the local players.
All participating teams will appear with at least one month of preparation, whereas Bangladesh will have only a two-week camp targeting such an international tournament. However, the national players are only eyeing their performances.
“We know where we are now, but truly speaking no player is thinking about the rankings or fatigue or injuries or other issues. We are motivated and determined to give our best in the main event. If we would have some more time for the camp, it would be helpful,” said Sohanur Rahman Sabuj, who was the top scorer of the last Premier League.
Meanwhile, the 28-member preliminary squads are currently taking preparations under interim Malaysian head coach Iman Gobinathan Krishnamurthy at BKSP. The 18-member final squad will be announced after two practice matches against Japan and Pakistan on December 10 and 12. Among the participating teams, Japan and Korea will arrive in Dhaka on December 8 whereas India and Pakistan on December 10, Malaysia on December 12