A 29-member Bangladesh Under-19 national football team will leave for Nepal today to take part in the inaugural edition of SAFF Under-19 Championship, scheduled from August 20-29.
Bangladesh have been drawn with hosts Nepal and Bhutan in the Group-A while Group-B features India, Maldives and Afghanistan. The other two teams of the region – Pakistan and Sri Lanka— did not send their entries for the tournament.
The tournament will get underway from August 20 with the match between Nepal and Bhutan while Bangladesh will start their campaign against Bhutan on August 22.
They will face hosts Nepal two days later.
Hosts Nepal, however, have not finalised the venues yet and said it could be either ANFA Complex or Army Ground.
Bangladesh squad includes 23 players, nine of whom were picked from the different clubs of ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
Coach Saiful Bari Titu said he did not get all of his charges together during the training period due to their club duties.
‘This is one problem we faced during the training session,’ Titu said at a press conference at BFF House on Monday.
‘We also didn’t have enough practice matches due to bad weather.’
Bangladesh played only two practice matches before the tournament, one against Bangladesh Army and other against a reserve team of Abahani.
They won the first game by solitary margin and played a goalless draw in the other.
The youth side took some extra inspirations from their fellow Under-16 team who reached the final of Under-16 SAFF Championship at home.
‘The performance of Under-16 team is a big motivation for us,’ said the coach.
‘Although we have to play in a different condition, I told my players to keep the U-16 team’s success in their mind in Nepal.
-With New Age input