Kings’ national booters confident ahead of upcoming packed schedule
Bashundhara Kings’ defender Bishwanath Ghosh, who is also the member Bangladesh national football team, believed that they will be fit enough when action resumes in October-November.
“All Kings’ players have been doing something to keep fit during the long layoffs. I have also been working on my fitness. But if we had a league, we would have good fitness now. Our fitness level reduced to 50 percent now. I think if we get more than one month ahead of the matches, we can increase the level at 90 percent,” Bishwanath told daily Sun on Sunday.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) proposed to resume their AFC Cup’2020 under the new ‘Centralized Format’ that featured the rest of group matches will be held from October 23 to November 4 at a neutral venue. Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) champions Bashundhara, which has been playing for the first time in this club competition, agreed to play under this new format.
AFC, in consultation with FIFA, also proposed a schedule for the remaining matches of joint qualifiers round 2. According to the proposed schedule, Bangladesh, which were put in a double-leg basis five-team Group E, will play their rest of the four matches against Afghanistan on Oct 8, Qatar on Oct 13, India on Nov 12 and Oman on Nov 17.
National booters of Kings will have a packed schedule as they have to play four national team matches and five club matches within 40 days. But the 21-year-old defender got a positive side and said it will help to recover them more than others.
“National footballers of Kings will have a packed schedule at the end of this year but I think it will also benefit us more than others. We have been off-field for a long time. If Kings start their club camp before the national camp, we will get more time to recover. We will go to the national camp with better fitness than others,” he added.
Kings, which have been placed in four-team Group E (South Zone) of AFC Cup’2020 along with Chennai City Football Club of India and two Maldivian clubs TC Sports Club, Maziya Sports & Recreation Club, made a memorable debut beating TC Sports by 5-1 goals in the group opener on March. The Bangladeshi giant, which emerged champions in the country’s top tier professional soccer league BPL last year and in Federation Cup 2019-20 on last January, played their last match in March before the government banned country’s all sporting events to curb the speared of pandemic coronavirus countrywide.
On the other hand, Bangladesh played their international matches in the six-nation Bangabandhu Gold Cup’2020 last January. National booters were scheduled to hold a residential camp from March 16 ahead of their home match of joint qualifiers against Afghanistan on March 31.
Another national defender of Kings Topu Barman also believed that they have a good preparation for their upcoming packed schedule.
“I have been working hard on fitness for a long time. We don’t have any matches at this moment, but we have a busy calendar this year. We will also have a pre-season. I am getting ready for all of these things. I think if we do hard work to keep fit now, we will be able to perform well every match in the future,” Topu Barman said.
“We may have some fatigue as we will have nine matches within 40 days. In this case, the recovery sessions will be more helpful for us. Jamie (Head coach of Bangladesh), Stuart (BFF Technical director) arranged a recovery session for us after the very next day of a match. I think these sessions will help us,” the 25-year-old defender ended.