Vol. 5 Num 591 Thu. January 26, 2006  

Cruciani talks of fitness
Nat'l camp now starts from Jan 31

After enjoying holidays for more than three weeks, Bangladesh's Argentine football coach Andres Cruciani returned to Dhaka on Tuesday night to prepare his charges for busy international assignments.

Bangladesh football team will feature in the Asian Cup qualifying matches against Uzbekistan, Qatar and Hong Kong and in the AFC Challenge Cup Trophy at home from March to November.

Cruciani, who took a flight back home straight from the Zia International Airport after the SAFF Championship in Karachi last month, was scheduled to a announce the squad today. But he was not in a mood to talk with the reporters after embarking on a gruelling 36-hour trip.

Cruciani however had an extensive meeting with the National Team Management Committee at the BFF Bhaban and said that 'fitness' was his priority number one before his charges start kicking the ball.

But the bad news for him that Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) was still struggling to find a place to start the residential camp, which was scheduled to start on January 27.

"The main problem for us at the moment is to find a place for the residential camp after BKSP was unavailable till February 12 for two tournaments and renovation works," said Syed Hasan Kanan, secretary of NTMC.

"Cruciani is desperately looking for a place equipped with gym so that he could work on regaining his charges' fitness level after a long break. That's why we are planing to start the camp at the Army Stadium," Kanan said, adding that the national camp will now start on January 30.

He also informed that Cruciani wanted to announce a 22-member team instead of BFF's desired for 28-member probable.

"He was not interested to make a long list as he has only 17 days to prepare his side for Bangladesh's opening Asian Cup qualifying match against Uzbekistan on February 18," Kanan added.