KATHMANDU, August 29: Nepal’s national volleyball team is taking on Bangladesh in its first of two friendly matches on Tuesday at Army Physical Fitness and Training Center, Lagankhel, Lalitpur.
Nepal’s Head Coach Jagdish Bhatta said the matches against Bangladesh will be a chance for his team to check its level. “We have been working hard to improve our weak part since last three weeks. So this friendly series is going to be helpful to find how effective our efforts have become in correcting our past mistakes,” said Bhatta speaking at the pre-match conference in Kathmandu on Monday.
Bhatta also said that his players are now highly motivated and their confidence has been on top due to the first ever international they won three months earlier. Nepal had won bronze medal in AVC Central Zone Volleyball Tournament, held in Maldivian capital Male in March.
Training under Danish coach Matt van Wezel for three weeks also has been crucial for Nepali players, said Bhatta. Nepal and Bangladesh have met in three occasions in last seven years with the Nepal team winning two of them.
However in the last meeting between two teams which came in AVC Central Zone Volleyball Tournament in Dhaka last year, Bangladesh emerged victorious.
Nepali skipper Im Rana Magar vowed to take revenge against Bangladesh at home court. Magar who has experience of playing in all last three matches against the visiting team claimed that Nepal team has improved a lot in the recent months. “Poor defense side was the main reason behind our defeat to Bangladesh last time. This time, we have improved in all positions including defense. So we will play for win,” said Magar.
He also said that the friendly matches against Bangladesh are going to be great exposure for the players. “We won our maiden international medal this year and we want to continue such positive momentum registering victories against Bangladesh,” added Magar.
Magar also said that the weaknesses Nepali players showed in the friendly matches against Denmark’s Hvidovre Volleyball Club would be avoided when they meet Bangladesh. Nepal which had faced defeat to Hvidovre in the match played in Denmark last month registered victory against same team on Saturday. “Although we faced defeat in Denmark, training under Danish coach in Kathmandu for couple of weeks helped us improve. We won the second friendly against Hvidovre, but we still made mistakes which will be improved when we meet Bangladesh,” further added Magar.
Meanwhile Bangladeshi Head Coach Ali Pour Aroji said his team was happy to receive an invitation from Nepal to play the friendly matches. “We are delighted to be here to play against Nepal which has recently made volleyball, a national sport,” said Iranian citizen Aroji who has been coaching Bangladeshi team from last eight months. “We defeated Nepal last time but the home team has been playing impressive lately. It will be tough match but we will try to win.”
Bangladeshi Skipper Sayed Al Zabir said that his team has fitness issues which could affect the performance. “Some of our players had fever and they are just recovering from it. So it could affect our performance but we will give our best to register victories against the home team,” said Zabir.