Ahead of the Asian Games Qualifying hockey and Asia Cup hockey tournaments, the camp of Bangladesh national hockey team began at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Pratisthan (BKSP) from Tuesday.
The Asian Games Qualifying competition will take place from May 6 to 15 in Bangkok and just after a one week interval Asia Cup Hockey championship will be held in Jakarta from May 23 to June 1.
A total of 35 players were called in the camp where from 18-20 players will be selected for the Bangkok bound squad, expecting to leave Dhaka by May 3.
Russell Mahmud Jimy, currently the number one star of Bangladesh hockey is very much optimistic to qualify in the Asian Games as the champions of the qualifying stage.
Jimy, when talking to the Bangladesh Post on Tuesday before to start for BKSP to join the camp put across his belief of becoming champions in the qualification round to qualify in Asian Games and it would better if the tournament would be held some one week later.
About calling 35 players in the camp, Jimy said, “It’s good, calling 35 players in the training camp meant they are quality players, so they would be motivated having high performance training opportunity with the national players.”
“Some of the players may get chance in the main squad but who will not be considered for this tournament, they may make their room in the next tournament. We will have a good back up from them,” said Jimy, the son of former hockey legend Sona Meah. Jimy doesn’t think that it’s too late to start the camp when they will have only 15 days to get prepare for two competitions, will take place in a very short interval.
“Actually, players need 10 to 12 days for recovery after playing a tournament, as we played a tournament last month, have enough time for recovery. But it would be better if the tournament would schedule for from May 15, instead of May 6, then we would have 10 days more for the preparation,” Jimy explained.
Jimy also thinks that the short period training will not a big problem, as the players were on play and the coach Krishnamurthy Gobinathan has been working with them for a long and he knows all the players very well.
“I don’t think the short period training camp will be any problem, as coach is not new, he is very much known to us and he also knows almost every player and he can handle us all smoothly.”
About the opponents and their hopes in the Asian Games qualifying, Jimy said, “May be the teams we met in the AHF Cup in Jarka last month will be in our group, but who would else, will fight to qualify in the games. We retained the title of the AHF Cup but all the teams were strong. But our target would be to qualify as the champions of the qualifying round.”
“Winning the AHF Cup is a huge boost up for us, we beat all the teams and did very good. But we would have to make it a fresh forgetting past, there is no scope to relax, all are very strong side, specially Oman is very tough opponents but our target is to be champions,” Jimy revealed