Kings are aiming for AFC: Imrul
For Bashundhara Kings, the last couple of years have been nothing short of a fairytale. After becoming the champions of Pioneer Football League 2016, Kings then went on to clinch the title of Bangladesh Champions League (BCL) 2017 which secured a spot in Bangladesh Premiere League (BPL) 2018 for them.
It was the leadership of Bashundhara Group Senior Executive Director and Head of Accounts and Finance and Bashundhara Kings President Imrul Hassan, which was instrumental for the success Kings attained in this short period of time.
With a new season comes a new goal. It is no different for Imrul Hassan as well. This time the goal is international which is Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
Keeping this in mind the Kings will stay true to a balanced mix of youth and experience for the upcoming BPL campaign.
”We are aiming for the AFC Cup. Apart from licensing we need to end the league with a good result to qualify for AFC Cup. That is why we have formed a champion team. The team have a nice balance of youth and experience. As youngsters are not accustomed to handling pressure, experienced players will come in handy at that moment,” said Kings president.
But while selecting players, Bashundhara is focusing more on the attacking playmakers and centering the team on a national striker who will lead Kings in the field. According to verified sources, the player is likely to be Towhidul Alam Sabuj.
“We are focusing more on the attacking midfield than the defence when it comes to signing local players. This time we built our team around a national striker who has been the highest local goal scorer in last two edition of BPL,” told Imrul Hassan.
Finally, after repeated appeals from football fans from all-over Bangladesh, BPL might see venues outside Dhaka. For Bashundhara Kings it represents the fruit of a long toil and they will be opting Nilphamari for their home venue.
“What happens every year is that despite the will of BFF, the clubs do not show any interest to adopt home venues away from Dhaka. But now due to mandatory regulations from AFC, I don’t think that the clubs will any longer be able to shy away from their duty. I believe, BPL 2018 will be played in at least around 5-6 venues all over the nation. We will be playing in Nilphamari,” voiced Hassan.
Bashundhara Kings have a larger than life goal of revitalising the football of Bangladesh. In their journey, Imrul Hassan discovered that the culture of going to stadium to watch football is dwindling. He feels that the solution of this problem is to regularly organise the tournaments.
“Even the recent Bashundhara Kings Cup Tournament we organised in Rangpur didn’t fulfill our expectations in terms of the number of spectators in the gallery. People in general seemed to have forgotten the culture of going into the stadium with the intention to watch football matches,” said Imrul.
Earlier, Kings president announced that they will establish a football academy. The staggering initiative to build an academy represents Kings president’s commitment to football. He suggested that the academy might take two and a half to years to complete.
“To establish an academy is a monumental task. Our work to set up a football academy is ongoing. We have already received the land required for the academy. We have also finalised the design of the academy. The construction will begin in the coming days. It might take two and a half years to inaugurate the academy,” opined Imrul.
In order to counter the lengthy process of establishing an academy, Kings President disclosed the plans to open a sports coaching complex by early 2019.
“In the near term we are establishing a sports complex which will be situated inside Bashundhara Residential Area. We hope to open the sports complex within 6-7 months. This apparatus is set to be a non residential sports coaching infrastructure,” concluded Hassan.