Bangladesh will be looking forward to the young bloods to fill the vacuum of the big names missing from their line up in the Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers scheduled to start at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium from March 15.
With the experienced forward Russell Mahmud Jimmy, goalkeeper Zahid Hossain, defender Imran Hasan Pintu and midfielder Quamruzzman Rana suspended, the coach Naveed Alam will rely on his young brigade to provide the required firepower against the opponents who were regarded weaker in strength against the hosts in the recent past. In the group phase Bangladesh will play against Hong Kong, Singapore and Iran. The other group consists of Oman, Sri Lanka, Taipei and Qatar.
Former national skipper and current selector Mamunur Rashid watched the team play a practice match at BKSP on Saturday and he said, “I will say that the team will not miss the skills of the players who are suspended, however the experience will be missed, the fitness level of the team is good and I am hopeful of winning the title.”
Mamun said it is a golden opportunity for the youngsters to establish themselves in the national fold. “We have asked them to be on their best, the target is winning the title, they will enjoy the home advantage and will be playing in front of home crowd and most importantly they will be playing against the opponents who are ranked under Bangladesh.
“The young players I feel will be motivated enough to show their best and establish themselves in the national fold,” said Mamun.
Meanwhile Bangladesh is likely to miss any international warm-up match as all of the teams will arrive on March 13 and it would be difficult to arrange a game just one day before the scheduled start of the meet.
Six of the eight teams will qualify for the Asian Games and join the six elites – South Korea, India, Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia and China.
- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/hockey/2014/mar/10/bangladesh-rely-young-shoulders#sthash.ZexFHBOP.dpuf