• Sunday, Nov 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

No rest for U-15 boys after Saff triumph

  • Published at 06:04 pm November 4th, 2018
BFF
Bangladesh U-15 football team pose for photographs with the Saff Championship trophy after arriving in Dhaka Sunday Dhaka Tribune/Mahmud Hossain Opu

Paul Thomas Smalley, the technical and strategic director of the Bangladesh Football Federation, stated that there is “lot of work to do” to develop the young booters in order to bridge the gap between south and central Asia, and beyond

The new youth south Asian champion, Bangladesh U-15 boys will only have a couple of days to rest as the whole squad, along with the coaching staff, is set to resume their residential training camp at Sylhet BKSP from Monday.

Paul Thomas Smalley, the technical and strategic director of the Bangladesh Football Federation, also stated that there is “lot of work to do” to develop the young booters in order to bridge the gap between south and central Asia, and beyond.

The young troop led by head coach Mostafa Anwar Parvez Babu returned to Dhaka Sunday afternoon following an unbeaten title-winning campaign in the Saff U-15 Championship in Nepal which concluded just the previous day.

Smalley congratulated the U-15 boys at the beginning of his speech during a press conference of the national women’s team. 

Later after the presser, the Englishman elaborated more on the BFF’s plan with Dhaka Tribune with regards to the champion booters.

“They will stay a couple of days in Dhaka before moving to Sylhet to start the next stage of the development. We are going to commit for long term. We have to continue what we have been doing. We also have to identify and recruit from the other age groups, a part of our plan for next year,” said Smalley.

The plan is to prepare the boys for the different age-group AFC competitions next year with continuous training camp. 

Smalley also reminded the importance of forming other age-group teams like U-14 and U-19, the plans of which are on the cards.

The U-15 boys held a two and half month camp in Nilphamari before flying to Nepal. 

The new location at Sylhet BKSP is the same place where BFF’s initiative failed three years ago. 

Many of the Saff U-16 Championship 2015 members hail from that academy, which was taken back by BKSP as a regional training centre last year. 

The swimming pool and the gym of Sylhet BKSP however, have not been renovated for use until now.

“Bangladesh is a very difficult place to develop the players, in terms of facilities. We are trying to get the best available facilities for the players. So whether it’s in Nilphamari or Sylhet, it’s really down to the facilities available,” added Smalley.

When asked about his evaluation of the performance of the U-15 boys, Smalley warned, “There is a huge difference between the southern part of Asia and central [Asia]. Then you go to Europe. So there’s lots of work to do in terms of development of the players.”

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