New Bangladesh national football team coach Fabio Lopez got into business on Thursday as he conducted his first training session since taking over the charge this month.
The Italian has got three weeks time to pick up a 23-member side and prepare them for his first assignment against Kyrgyzstan in the World Cup qualifying match away in Bishkek on October 13.
Lopez had 37 players available among 41-member preliminary squad in his first training session at the Bangladesh Football Federation’s artificial turf.
Midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan did not join the camp as he is currently in Denmark while midfielders Hemantha Vincent Biswas and Shahedul Alam Shahed are recovering from injuries.
Newly-included midfielder Mashuk Miah Jony also could not join the camp as he is busy training with the national Under-19 team, which will participate in AFC qualifiers later this month.
Lopez said he will observe the technical and individual skills of the players in practice games during the camp before selecting his final squad.
‘We have now above 40 players so that we didn’t do the full programme of training,’ Lopez said after his first training session.
‘We just made it like a scouting session today. We will watch them for the next three to four days and then we will try to choose the best 23.
‘Just observing four days, it’s difficult to choose the right players as I am also a new man and as a human being I can make mistakes. But we will try our best to choose the best players.
‘We will choose those players for the final 23 who play in the first XI in their respective clubs,’ said the coach.
‘I don’t want to let those players in my XI who seat most of the time in bench for their clubs. Second thing is, the players must be fit and healthy.
‘I don’t want to talk about them who are yet to join the camp. Of course, who are training everyday and make sacrifices will have better chance than the other players.’
Lopez said he was not scared to see Bangladesh in a difficult group in the upcoming SAFF Football Championship where they have to compete with defending champions Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan in Group-B.
‘The group is very strong and every match is difficult. I know some team [Maldives] have good players but I think we are good too. I respect every team but I am not afraid of them,’ said the coach.
Right-back Nasirul Islam Nasir said they are eager to show their best to impress the new coach.
‘As a professional footballer I have to adapt to the new thinking and it’s natural that one exits and another replaces. Now we will follow the instruction of our present coach,’ said the defender.
‘At this level, we have to fight all the time, so we will have to battle each other in the field to impress the coach.
‘Nobody in the preliminary squad came here prepared to give any concession and every single player wants to make the final spot.’
-With New Age input