Sheikh Russel KC began their preparation camp for the AFC President's Cup at the BUET ground yesterday, but the start was not a very pleasant one for interim coach Jakaria Babu as only eight players turned up for training, out of which two refrained from training due to sickness and injury.
The coach worked with former Mohammedan goalkeeper Mamun Khan, winger Zahid Hossain and Sheikh Russel's old guns Shakil Ahmed, Rezaul Karim, Jewel Rana and Fazle Rabbi while Mithun Chowdhury, suffering from jaundice and former Mohammedan striker Zahid Hasan Emily, nursing a knee injury, watched the training from the bench.
Meanwhile, Wali Faisal, Jamal Hossain, Shahedul Alam from Abahani and left-back Ashraf Mahmud Linkon of Sheikh Jamal – all of whom were supposed to join the training, were allegedly asked by their current club not to join the camp as the season is not over yet.
Hemanta Vincent Bishwas and Tapu Barman of Mohammedan and Atiqur Rahman Meshu of Abahani have also been in Sheikh Russel squad but are currently in the training camp of the national U-23 team for Asian Games.
“Our target is to do something good like we did in the qualifying round and I believe if I can get all the players together in the training, we will produce good results,” said coach Babu.
The former Team BJMC coach, however, could not give a clear idea about the members of his squad.
“We have sent letters to five clubs to release their players in the greater interest of football as we (Sheikh Russel) will be representing Bangladesh in AFC President's Cup. We hope the remaining players will join soon,” said Sale Jamal Selim, sports director of Sheikh Russel KC.
The final round of AFC President's Cup will be held in Sri Lanka from September 20.