Bangladesh Under-15 national football team will be hoping to reach at least the last four of the SAFF U-15 Championship as they leave for Nepal today to take part in the six-nation competition that starts on October 25.
The Bangladesh Under-15 boys, who emerged champions in the 2015 edition in Sylhet, were pitted against Nepal and Maldives in Group A while the Group B was comprised of two-time champions India and Sri Lanka.
The players were selected from an open trial and the boys in red and green trained only for 10 weeks for this competition.
‘Having selected the players from an open trial, we have started the training in Nilphamari with 35 players from August 10,’ said head coach Mostafa Anwar Parvez during a press conference on Monday.
‘The boys have played a few practice matches among them. We want to beat Maldives in our first match to ensure the semi-finals and then think of further.’
On each of the previous four occasions of the tournament, Bangladesh reached the semi-finals and in the last edition in 2017 in Nepal they beat Sri Lanka and Bhutan 4-0 and 3-0 respectively in the group stage before they losing to the hosts 2-4 in the semi-final.
Teams like India, Nepal and Bhutan feature their academy players in the age-group tournaments but Bangladesh had to bank on open trial to form the squad.
‘We have done everything what needed to do for this team. Our technical director Paul Smalley went to observe the training four times’, said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.
‘The BFF is thinking to keep this group of boys together even after the completion of this SAFF championship,’ he added.
Oct 27: Bangladesh v Maldives
Oct 29: Bangladesh v Nepal
Nov 11: Semi-finals
Nov 3: Final
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