Talented young striker Foysal Ahmed Fahim has been rewarded for his inspiring performance in the Saff U-15 Championship and in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers as he became the only member among his U-16 teammates to get called up to the latest U-19 Bangladesh squad.
Fahim was included in the 23-member Bangladesh U-19 team who are all set to leave here for Tajikistan Friday ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2018 Qualifiers which will be held in Hisor from Tuesday to November 8.
Fahim, who has only ever played for Bangladesh in the U-16 side, is one of four changes from the previous U-18 squad which put up a bright display in the Saff U-18 Championship in Bhutan last month. Forward Mohammad Arifur Rahman, defender Mohammad Monir Hossain and midfielder Mohammad Abu Shaeid were also included for the first time.
Among three other changes, Al Amin has been ruled out due to injury while Nipu, Sabbir and Kiron failed to make it into the squad due to below-par form, informed head coach Mahbubur Rahman Roksy during a press conference at BFF House Thursday.
The U-19 residential training camp ahead of the tournament was held in Savar's BKSP. They also played a practice match against Saif Sporting Club U-19 team. The team enjoyed their last training session Thursday morning and afternoon under the guidance of national side’s England-born Australian head coach Andrew Ord, who will also be flying with the team as the technical adviser.
Roksy came to Dhaka to take part in the presser, along with goalkeeper Pappu Hossain. Roksy was full praise of his youngest member Fahim.
"He is a very promising player with a bright future in front of him. He needs more match experience and the tournament will be a big platform for him. He already proved that he is a better striker than the others," said Roksy.
Fahim caught the limelight during the Saff U-15 Championship in Nepal in August where he scored seven goals and assisted one. He also played a key role in Bangladesh's 2-0 win over host Qatar in the AFC U-16 Championship Qualifiers last month, scoring one and assisting as many.
"I never played in such a senior side before. The teammates are also new to me. It's an honour for me. I will try to improve my performance and repay the faith," said Fahim.
Meanwhile, apart from 23 players, the contingent of 31 members also includes goalkeeper coach John David Whittle, team manager Amirul Islam Babu, physio Shazib Shams Bakshi, media officer Mozammal Hossain and interpreter Oishik Rahman Siddiqi.