Bangladesh national team coach Andrew Ord expressed his wonder on Monday after watching the poor fitness level of the country’s top-flight footballers.
‘I got surprised in the trial seeing lack of fitness of the players,’ said Ord while announcing a 36-member preliminary squad for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers, at a press conference at the BFF House on Monday.
‘Whatever the reasons and explanations are there, the players are not fit. They need to train hard with lot of intense,’ said the coach.
Of the 36 players, 27 are from five big-spending clubs – Dhaka Abahani, Chittagong Abahani, Sheikh Jamal DC, Sheikh Russell KC and Saif Sporting Club, who have been training for the last two to three months for the qualifiers.
The other nine players are from three clubs – Mohammedan SC, Muktijoddha Sangsad and Arambagh KS.
The AFC Under-23 qualifiers are scheduled from July 19-23 in Palestine.
‘We have got to be organised. We need to make sure that we are solid at the base. They [opponents] are strong. We just have to get fit, organised and be spirited,’ Ord said.
Despite the lack of fitness, Ord hoped he would find some good players from this young group.
‘Young players are good here. I am sure I will find them as long I am here,’ said Ord.
Ord had a five-day trial at Kamalapur stadium earlier this month but the coach said he would prefer to see the players another five days in BKSP before selecting his final squad.
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