Saturday, March 2, 2024

Schweichler out to improve keepers

Bangladesh national team goalkeepers are short of tactical skills, observed team’s German goalkeeping coach Christian Schweichler. Schweichler is currently in charge of Bangladesh team in the absence of head coach Lodewijk de Kruif and assistant coach Saiful Bari Titu, who are both abroad. ‘Problem is that Bangladesh keepers lack tactical skills,’ Schweichler said earlier this week.
Bangladesh called up as many as five goalkeepers in their 32-member preliminary squad for next month’s World Cup Qualifiers as well as two warm-up matches against Singapore and Afghanistan.
Uncapped Ashraful Islam Rana and Mohammed Nayeem joined Russell Mahmud Liton, Mazharul Islam Hemel and Shahidul Alam Sohel in an oversized battalion with no clear contenders for the final squad.
De Kruif tried Liton, Hemel and Sohel in recent matches but no one could make a lasting impression leaving the team’s coaching staff still undecided about the vital position.
This has become an Achilles Heel for the national team that left Bangladesh Football Federation heavily concerned.
As a result, the BFF had requested de Kruif to bring a goalkeeping coach with him facilitating the appointment of Schweichler.
The German coach is currently working in helping the goalkeepers improve their positioning sense during the set pieces, something which proved to be the weakest point of the team.
Bangladesh conceded many decisive goals from the dead ball situation in recent matches and goalkeepers were held responsible for those quite often.
‘You have to go out on the right time by set piece and free-kick. We have to work on it though the time is short,’ he said.
‘Even in the short time we have to try to teach the goalkeepers what is his right position, what he has to do.’
Schweichler asked the keepers to train regularly to overcome the shortcomings.
‘You can tell a lot of things but finally you have to translate that into a performance in the match,’ said the coach.
The right timing and right position you have to repeat, repeat and repeat in the training to learn them.’
Mohammedan keeper Rana is one who has impressed the German coach with his brilliant performance against Feni Soccer Club.
‘Coach called me after the Soccer match and told me to join to the national team,’ said the 26-year old man from Manikganj.
‘This is for the first time I’m playing in the top league and got a huge break to show my worth.’
Rana, who played for the Bangladesh Army in the last season, before being picked by Mohammedan, once a giant who have now turned into a breeding ground for budding talents.
‘I have to compete with some experienced players to get the final spot and I’ll try my best to impress the coaches,’ he said.
Bangladesh team will play two warm-up matches against Singapore and Afghanistan on May 30 and June 2 respectively before starting their World Cup qualifiers campaign with two back-to-back home matches against Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on June 11 and 16 respectively.

-With New Age input

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