Bangladesh national hockey team returned home on Tuesday after their 20-day long tour of Europe where they played eight warm-up matches under the new German coach Oliver Kurtz.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation arranged the tour for the national team as part of their preparation for the forthcoming 5th men’s AHF Cup, scheduled to be held in Hong Kong from November 19 to 27.
Even though the national team failed to win any matches in the tour, local coach Mahbub Harun claimed that the players learned how to adapt to the fast style of European hockey.
‘We had a target before the tour which I think we fulfilled,’ Harun said hours after arriving in Dhaka.
‘Coach [Kurtz] tried to change the style of our play and he wanted the players to learn the European style. I was happy to see the players coped with the new style quickly.’
Bangladesh played five matches in Poland against their national and Under-21 teams while in
their Austria tour they played three matches against Austria Under-21 team.
In the first two matches
against Poland national team, who are ranked 19th in the world, the visitors suffered two defeats by identical 0-1 margins before playing out a 2-2 draw in the third game.
Bangladesh played out two draws against Poland Under-21 team before travelling to Austria where they managed a 3-3 draw against Austria Under-21 team before suffering two big defeats in their last two matches against the same opponents.
Harun, however, said that Kurtz provided a packed schedule for the players with various programmes including warm-up matches, physical and technical training sessions, theoretical sessions and video sessions during the tour.
‘Every day they [players] had a video session where the coach taught the players about their position in the field,’ he said.
‘Coach gave importance to the players’ position and what they should do during attacking
and defending and he also showed them the videos of the oppositions’ players.’
Veteran striker Russell Mahmud Jimmy, who has been in Germany
since September 7 to play his club hockey, said they have gathered a huge experience with this unique tour.
‘We played some tough matches against some tough opponents like Poland and Austria which must boost up our confidence,’ said Jimmy.
‘Coach [Kurtz] provided us a tight schedule and we played eight matches within a span of short time but still we were not fatigued because of getting all kind of facilities throughout the tour.’
National team will be given a five-day rest and they will resume their final preparation camp for the AHF Cup at the BKSP from November 7 under Kurtz, who is scheduled to arrive on November 6.
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