National booters back to business

The national booters started their training camp today ahead of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament at Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in the city’s Kamalapur, reports BSS. The booters emphasized on stretching and physical fitness on the first day of the training in absence of head coach Jamie Day who is expected to join the camp tomorrow (Thursday).

Talking to the reporters today (Wednesday) during the practice session goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana said: “I think Palestine and Burundi are the two strong sides of the tournament … I also know about Sri Lanka but I have a little idea about the remaining teams … as far as I know they are contemporary ranking compared to us.”

Midfielder Sohel Rana said they trained hard on the first day as the full fledge training would begin when the all members would join the camp in a day or tomorrow. He said they would mainly work on technical points of the strong teams during the training camp.

“Basically we are looking to go match by match in the tournament … our first match will be against Palestine and we want to focus on it,” said Rana. Hosts Bangladesh will take on defending champions Palestine in the opening match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup on January 15, according to the fixtures.

Bangladesh will play their second and final group match on January 19 against Sri Lanka, who will play their first match against Palestine on January 17. In Group B matches, Mauritius will take on Burundi on January 16 before playing their last group match on January 20 against Seychelles, who will face Burundi in their first match on January 18.

The first semifinal between Group A champions and Group B runners-up will take place on January 22 while Group B champions and Group A runners-up will play the second semifinal on the following day. The final of the tournament will be held on January 25. All matches will kick off at 5:00pm at the country’s premier venue Bangabandhu National Stadium.