A total of 18 players from last year's inaugural edition have been retained in the current squad, along with the inclusion of five new faces
Bangladesh U-15 women's football team are confident of retaining the Saff U-15 Championship title as the 23-member squad will leave Dhaka for Bhutan Monday. A total of 18 players from last year's inaugural edition have been retained in the current squad, along with the inclusion of five new faces.
Forwards Shaheda Akter Ripa, Rojina Akter, Nouson Jahan, Mosammat Ilamoni and midfielder Rehana Akter will have their first international experience in Bhutan after proving their worth in the Bangladesh Youth Games, Japan Football Association Cup and finally, in the trials.
Reliable midfielder Maria Manda will continue to lead the women's side while last edition's best player, defender Akhi Khatun was named vice-captain. Akhi pledged to keep the defence solid with an eye on scoring goals from set-pieces, like she did in Dhaka last year.
The duo were present at a press conference at BFF House Saturday where a confident Maria said, “We have lots of games and tournaments in the upcoming days and we have been in continuous training to make sure we continue playing good. The target in Bhutan is no different, but to deliver positive football.”
Head coach Golam Rabbani Choton said, “Since last December, we have worked on developing the standard of the team in four aspects – tactical, technical, social and psychological. The confidence grew from the last Saff, after which we overcame the scoring problem and proved it during the title-winning campaign in Hong Kong. We are fully prepared.”
BFF's technical and strategical director Paul Smalley is eagerly looking forward to “entertaining” the crowd in Bhutan. He said, “The objective is to win the tournament.”
Bangladesh will begin their Group B campaign against Pakistan Thursday before concluding the group stage mission against Nepal next Monday. Walton Group continued their support for women's football by sponsoring the tour.