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Cabrera optimistic about Bangladesh’s performance in SAFF U-20

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 23 July, 2022 12:00 AM
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Cabrera optimistic about Bangladesh’s performance in SAFF U-20
Players and officials of Bangladesh U-20 national football team pose for a photo at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday before leaving for India to take part in the SAFF U-20 Championship. – BFF PHOTO

Bangladesh national football team head coach Javier Cabrera said on Friday that the U-20 team have several young talents, so the team would be able to show their best performances in the competitive group of the upcoming SAFF U-20 championship in India.  

A 23-member team of Bangladesh U-20s left Dhaka on Friday for India to play in SAFF U-20 Championship, scheduled to be held from July 25 to August 5 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

“I will be excited to see the team (U-20s) to play in the SAFF which Paul has chosen along with the other technical experts. We have a competitive group there but I’m sure that we are able to compete in every single game as we have several very good talents,” Cabrera told the reporters on Friday.

Bangladesh, who became runners-up twice in 2017 and 2019, will start their campaign this year against Sri Lanka on July 25 and then play against India on July 27, the Maldives on July 29 and Nepal on August 2 respectively. The top two teams will play in the final on August 5.

“We have seen the practice of U-20s at the Sheikh Jamal ground. I have been closely working with Paul Smalley (BFF technical director and U-20 coach). We are always working together to develop the whole structure of the national team,” he said.

Cabrera also congratulated the country’s top outfit Bashundhara Kings as they wrote a new history securing the Bangladesh Premier League for three times in a row with two matches to spare in the ongoing league.

“I congratulate Kings as they finally got their title (BPL). They have been a very strong team but I also have seen other teams and players who performed at a very good level. We have seen some very competitive games in the last part of the season,” the head coach added.

The national team are expected to play one or two FIFA friendly matches in the next FIFA window in September. The Spaniard then talked about the upcoming schedule of the national football team.

“We are in touch with some federations; trying to get some friendly games in September FIFA window. When we confirm the rivals, we will start the camp. We will have enough time to prepare for those games,” he said.

“I think we have made important developments in the last two windows. In the first FIFA window, I tried to understand the players and in the second FIFA window and Asian Cup qualifiers, we have made a good step in the development. Now, I'm looking forward to the next FIFA window,” he concluded.