Bangladesh football team's coach Jamie Day yesterday picked a 27-member preliminary squad for next month's FIFA friendly against Cambodia with the inclusion of two new faces – midfielder Sohel Rana and winger Arifur Rahman.
Sohel, who lost his wife and son in a road accident in November last year, has been called for the national duty for the first time following his solid performance for Sheikh Russsel KC.
The midfielder was sad and happy at the same time at hearing the news of his call up to the national team. “My wife wanted to see me in the national team and representing the team at the international stage. Today I have got the call, but she [his wife] is no more. So, the good news is also painful for me,” Sohel said in his reaction.
Arambagh KS winger Ariful has also been called for the first time on the back of his brilliant performance for his club.
“I think they [Sohel and Arifur] have both done well in the matches I have seen this season. So they deserve a chance in the squad,” Day told The Daily Star.
Day has seemingly pinned hopes on almost the same squad that played in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in October as he dropped veteran defender Wali Faisal along with goalkeeper Rasel Mahmud Liton, forwards Jafar Iqbal and Javed Khan from the 23-member squad of that tournament.
“I know what Wali can do, so I want to give the younger lads a try against Cambodia to see if they can cope at the senior level,” Day explained.
The British coach, however, recalled goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel, who made a horrible mistake against Nepal during the SAFF Championship. The coach also called back goalkeeper Mazharul Islam Himel, midfielder Sohel Rana (Sr), winger Rubel Mia, defenders Monjurur Rahman and Sushanta Tripura.
The 39-year-old coach will select his final 23-member squad, which will travel to Cambodia for the match on March 9.
Meanwhile, the national coach also announced another 29-member preliminary squad for AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers by keeping 12 national players in the squad.
SQUAD: Shahidul Alam Sohel, Tapu Barman, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Atiqur Rahman Fahad, Mamunul Islam, Sohel Rana (Sr), Rubel Mia, Nabib Newaj Jibon, Sushanta Tripura, Ansiur Rahman Zico, Masuk Mia, Emon Mahmud, Mahbubur Rahman, Towhidul Alam Sabuj, Matin Mia, Mohammad Ibrahiim, Ashraful Islam Rana, Sohel Rana (Jr), Biplo Ahmed, Bishwanath Ghosh, Yeasin Khan, Jamal Bhuiyan, Rahmat Mia, Mazharul Islam, Rabiul Hasan, Arifur Rahman and Mojurur Rahman.