The preparation camp of national hockey team for the forthcoming 10th Men’s Asia Cup resumed under new coach Mahbub Harun at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday.
Harun returned to the helm for the sixth time in his 11-year long coaching career for the October 12-22 tournament, replacing German coach Oliver Kurtz.
The camp for the team began on June 4 under Kurtz before it was suspended on June 21 due to Eid-ul-Fitr.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation suspended Kurtz on June 10, leaving assistant coach Alamgir Alam to conduct the training until the Eid break.
New coach Harun immediately summoned five players, who didn’t join the camp earlier for various reasons.
Among them experienced defender Mamunur Rahman Chayan didn’t join the camp due to fever while Ashraful Islam and Emon are scheduled to arrive from Germany today.
Milon and Sabbir Rana have some other involvement with their services teams.
New coach Harun, however, refused to give any high hopes considering the current state of the team, which could finish only sixth among eight teams in March’s World Hockey League Round 2.
‘We will take part in the eight-nation tournament as the bottom ranked side,’ Harun said.
‘Our first target is to improve our position.
‘As the top six teams of the tournament will qualify for the next edition directly. So we will try hard to finish in top six.’
The coach will get three months to prepare the team and he split the period into three different phases.
‘We have to utilise the time properly and it’s not possible to get a good result if we train only at home,’ he said.
‘My plan is to spend the first one month here [in Dhaka]. After that I want to play five or six practice matches in India, where I can get some idea over the players.
‘After the India tour, I would train the team here for another one month before flying for Malaysia for few other warm-up matches against the strongest teams in the last part of September.’
Harun said he has already discussed the whole plan to the high-ups of the federation who verbally agreed with the plan.
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