Federation should sit with coach, manager before taking decision with team
Hockey's coach Mamunur Rashid, who was given the charge of the U-21 youth hockey team for the upcoming Bangabandhu U-21 Junior Asia Cup Hockey, said the federation should sit with the coach and manager before taking decision with the team because if otherwise with the team, they will have to be held accountable.
Mamun said the federation should take immediate step to start training camp for the youth hockey team so that the players can take enough preparation before the tournament.
Talking to BSS, the experience coach shared his thoughts and plans with the youth team ahead of the Junior Asia Cup Hockey tournament.
Mamun said Bangladesh have good chance to qualify in the next edition of Men's Junior Hockey World Cup as the host side will get home advantage in the upcoming tournament.
The BHF will host the Bangabandhu Men's Junior Asia Cup Hockey scheduled to be held on 21-30 January next at Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium with 10 countries- Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, India, Oman, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Pakistan and host Bangladesh- participation. Among them, top three countries will qualify for the next edition of Men's Junior Hockey World Cup.
Ahead of the tournament, Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) will call 36 players for the camp whom they initially picked up earlier under the supervision of coach Mamunur Rashid. The youth team's camp will start likely from mid-October at Moulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium.
Here are some highlights of the interview:
Question: What is your expectation in the Youth Asia Cup Hockey?
Ans: Definitely the expectation is good because the tournament is going to be held in the home soil and most importantly that it will be held in the name of Father of the Nation. It's a matter of prestige for the team because it will be an extra expectation from the boys because Bangladesh will get the home ground advantage.
Question: The players are out of action for a long time. Do you think it would hamper their performance in the tournament?
Ans: Look as far as I know India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan teams already started their camp from the last two months. Our team is out of action since February last and there is huge six months gap. We have only around 80 days in hand for preparation for the tournament and it's still possible to make the players ready. if the federation does not spoil more time and start the camp immediately. The federation, however, arranged a month-long physical fitness camp for the players under the Air Force. After ending the camp, the players were given leave for 22 days. If the players were given long vacation at this time by the federation, then what will be the benefit of organising the fitness camp because they will soon lose their fitness level in the meantime which they gained from the fitness camp. So, I think the federation should sit with the coach and manager before making any decision with the players.
Question: Which teams do you think are the toughest opponents for Bangladesh in the Junior Asia Cup Hockey?
Ans: I think India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea and Japan all may be the toughest opponents for us, if we able to beat among the three teams, we hope we can expect a good result in the tournament. We'll have to fix our game plan after watching their game video. I have already collected their videos which I'll discuss with the players later.
Question: Whether practice matches with the foreign teams will be helpful for the team?
Ans: Yes, in this case practice matches can helpful for the team as we'll play the tournament to raise the players' moral confidence level high because in the last year, we seen our team played a test series against Oman and after winning the matches against Oman players' confidence level was up. As we'll play the tournament in our home soil, so the practice matches should be arranged in the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium, the venue of the tournament, so that the players can get used to play in this field. I think if we play seven or eight matches after inviting a foreign team here, it'll be very helpful for the team ahead of the tournament. I hope that if I able to bring back their strength like the previous they had, we have a good chance to qualify in the World Cup.
Question: The players are out of action for a long time. Their fitness level is not the same right now as they had before. Now how do you prepare them?
Ans: Yes, it's natural as the players lose their fitness level in the long six months gap. I'll focus three things on them during the camp. In the first phase, I'll focus fitness and skill and in the second phase I'll focus technique and tactics while I'll focus game plan in the third phase.
Question: Which players in the team you think have possibility to perform good in the tournament?
Ans: Actually, it a team game. I'll not comment regarding performance of any individual. That's' all I can say there are some promising players' in the squad and they have possibility to do well in the tournament.
Question: The International Hockey Federation has recently withdrawn the players' over age barrier following the request of participating countries. As a result, players with over 21years old will able to play the tournament. Do you think Bangladesh is benefited for the decision as Bangladesh has five main players in the best eleven?
Ans: I don't think that not only Bangladesh but all the participating teams will be benefited with the decision because it was the not only problem for Bangladesh team but also the problem of other countries as well. -BSS