Bangladesh is seemingly taking this month's 5th Men's AHF Cup in Hong Kong as preparation for the World Hockey League Round-2, which will be held in Dhaka in March next year.
Bangladesh hockey team, which recently underwent a two-week conditioning camp in Poland and Austria playing eight warm-up matches, started their training camp yesterday after a four-day break since returning to Dhaka on November 1. The team will fly out for Hong Kong on November 17 to take part in the nine-nation tournament beginning from November 19.
Local coach Mahbub Harun and senior player Rasel Mahmud Jimmy identified a lot of improvements during their Euro tour even though they could not win a single match they played against Poland's senior side, Poland under-21 side and Austria under-21 side.
“Hopefully we will do well. Considering the training of the foreign coaching staff, practice matches and video analysis after each of the match, I don't think there will be any problem unless any disastrous result happens,” said Harun, who believes the AHF Cup would be a preparatory tournament for World Hockey League.
“The area of focus in training was not to concede penalty corners and building attacks together as well as defend collectively. There was a clear impact of the training from the third match against the senior national team of Poland. Though we failed to beat any age-level team, we dominated the games and surrendered leads at last moments,” said Harun.
Jimmy, however, said they are keeping their sights on the AHF Cup to qualify for the Asian Cup even though their ultimate target is to perform well in the World Hockey League.
“The training camp in Europe was a really good one as we enjoyed better training facilities and rectified our mistakes, which was shown by video footages, in the practice sessions instead of seeing those on the board. The fitness of the players has also improved,” said Jimmy adding that they are keen to do well in the World Hockey League.
AHF CUP GROUPS
Pool A: Bangladesh, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau and Indonesia.
Pool B: Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan.