BAHRAIN’S senior men’s national team head coach Miroslav Soukup has named a 26-member squad that will be training for its upcoming international friendly matches later this month.
The Bahrainis are set to take on Kuwait on November 15 and then Oman on November 19, both in away games. The tune-ups are a part of their ongoing preparations for future competitions, with a specific focus on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup taking place in January of next year in the UAE.
The Bahrain Football Association last night announced Soukup’s selection.
They players include two overseas professionals in Sayed Dhiya Saeed and Sayed Mahdi Baqer, who play for Al Nasr in Kuwait.
The rest are players who suit up for local clubs. They are Sayed Shubbar Alawi, Abdulkareem Fardan, Ashraf Waheed, Sayed Redha Isa, Ahmad Merza, Hamad Shamsan, Ahmed Bu Ghammar, Waleed Al Hayyam, Ahmed Juma’a, Ahmed Abdulla, Abdulwahab Ali, Jassim Al Shaikh, Kumail Al Aswad, Mohammed Al Hardan, Ali Madan, Ahmed Moosa, Jamal Rashid, Mohammed Marhoon, Abdulla Abdo, Sami Al Hussaini, Ahmed Al Sheroogi, Abdulla Yousif, Mohammed Al Romaihi and Mahdi Hemaidan.
The Bahrainis had already played four international friendlies over the past couple of months. In September, they faced off with the visiting Philippines and China, and then last month took on Syria and Myanmar.
The AFC Asian Cup 2019 will be Bahrain’s sixth participation in the continental showcase.
They have been drawn in Group ‘A’ for the competition alongside tournament hosts the UAE, India and Thailand. Group ‘B’ comprises Australia, Jordan, Palestine and Syria. Group ‘C’ features China, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines. Group ‘D’ includes Iran, Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen. Group ‘E’ is composed of North Korea, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Group ‘F’ includes Japan, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Bahrainis’ best finish was in 2004, when they claimed fourth place overall out of 16 participating teams. In the previous edition in 2015 held in Australia, the Bahrainis failed to make it past the group stage after losing two of their three games.
Bahrain will be featuring in the inaugural match of the Asian Cup in the 43,000-capacity Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. It will on January 5 against hosts UAE.