Bangladesh men's and women's U-21 hockey teams left for Singapore last night to take part in the Junior AHF Cups starting from June 14 with an aim to secure berths in next month's Junior Asia Cups in their respective events. 

Bangladesh, reigning champions in men's Junior AHF Cup, have been placed in Pool A along with Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Singapore while Pool B features Oman, Chinese Taipei, China, Hong Kong, Iran and Kazakhstan, with four semifinalists advancing to the next edition of Junior Asia Cup.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh women's U-21 team, who are going to participate in this tournament for the second time, will have to battle against Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Sri Lanka as top four finishers will qualify for Women's Junior Asia Cup.

Both teams have taken more than one month's preparation for the tournaments but could not play any warm-up matches.

"Our target is to defend the title as we have prepared well for more than one month. It could have been better with a couple of practice matches but we are optimistic as the players came into the camp just after the Dhaka Premier League," said men's team's assistant coach Hedayetul Islam Razib on the eve of the teams' departure.
Women's team manager Tariquzzaman Nannu informed that they would try to arrange a couple of practice matches in Singapore.

"Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka and played well against Hong Kong in 2019 while the girls also performed well against Chinese Taipei and Indonesia in another five-a-side tournament. So we are hoping to finish among the top four," Nannu told The Daily Star.


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