Defending Champions Bangladesh Under-15 national football team are confident of retaining the title of SAFF Under-15 Championship, scheduled to be held on August 21-31 at the Kalyani Stadium in West Bengal of India.
This year, five South Asian countries- Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and hosts India will participate in the group stage on round robin league basis.
Bangladesh will start their campaign by facing Bhutan in the opening match on August 23 while they play against Sri Lanka on August 25, Nepal on August 27 and hosts India on August 29.
Top two teams will reach the final which is scheduled to be held on August 31 at the same venue.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) announced a 30-member squad including 23 booters and 7 officials for the competition on Sunday at BFF house in Motijheel here.
BFF General Secretary Md Abu Nayeem Shohag, Head Coach of U-15 boys’ team Robert Martin Ryles, Team Manager Md Mohsin, Deputy Team Leader Amit Khan Shuvra, Goal Keeper Coach Jahan E Alam Nury and Key player Md Rakibul Islam were present on the occasion.
Head Coach of U-15 boys’ team Robert Martin Ryles said, “We worked hard in the last ten weeks while the players have given everything in three sessions a day.”
BFF selected 23 players of 34 for the competition after a four-month-long residential training camp held at Fortis BFF Academy at Beraid here.
While asking about their preparation Ryles replied, “We focused on developing the physical aspects. The boys are extremely fit and strong. We played a number of practice matches in Fortis against different age groups.”
Key Player of the U-15 football team Md Rakibul Islam said that they are confident of retaining the title.
“We are the defending champions of SAFF U-15 competition. We will be the champions again as like as our seniors. We will retain our title,” said Rakibul.
The team will leave Dhaka for India on Monday at 7 am.
Bangladesh clinched their first title of SAFF Under-15 Championship beating India in penalty shootout (4-2) in the final at the Sylhet District Stadium on August 18, 2015 while they clinched the title for the second time beating Pakistan in penalty shootout (3-2) in the final at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu on November 3, 2018.
The 23-member squad: Md Rakibul Islam, Al Mirad, Md Alamin Rahman, Sayed Nayeem Ahmed, Md Pias Ahmmed Nova, Shahin Molla, Mehdi Hasan Srabon, Apurbo Mali, Shuvo Sarkar, Munna Ahmed, Md Emon Islam Babu, Md Arifur Rahman Raju, Sirajul Islam Rana, Md Rabby Hosen, Sajed Hasan Jummon Nijum, Mohammad Azizul Hoque Ananto, Kazirul Islam Hridoy, Jayanto Lal, Md Sabbir Gazi, Md Golam Rabby, Md Badsha Mia, Md Rahib Hossain, Jony Sikder.