POST TIME: 20 January, 2020 11:27:58 PM
Debutant Matin aims to secure place in nat’l team
He tries to follow Messi’s style

Debutant Matin aims to 
secure place in nat’l team

Matin Meah in action after Sunday’s Bangabandhu Gold cup match against Sri Lanka in Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital on Sunday. BFF photo

Matin Meah, the striker prodigy who scored two goals in their crucial last group match against Sri Lanka in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football tournament, played with confidence.

The boy from Sylhet once took in different tournament of his area part as a hired player. But former national footballer Emon Mahmud helped him play for Saif Sporting Club in the Premier Football League.

The first time Matin got a chance to play in Dhaka was in the Champions League for Saif. He scored seven to eight goals to make his team the champions and was adjudged the best player of the league.

Matin Meah did not look back after that, having proved his mettle and drawing the attention of national selectors. He was called for the national Under-23 team in BKSP and his national team debut was in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup last season (2018–19).

In the early stage in national side, he had the opportunity to play as a substitute, when the team’s main striker, Nabib Newaz Jibon, was ruled out because of an injury problem. Matin got the chance to play against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

In his first chance in the national squad’s starting line-up, Matin used the opportunity to score two goals in a 3-0 win for Bangladesh.

Speaking to The Independent at the team’s hotel in Dhaka yesterday, Matin dwelt on his career in Dhaka. “I started my career in Dhaka as a striker in the Champions League for Saif, scoring seven to eight goals. But in the Premier League, I got the rare chance to play in the striking position. The club fielded me sometimes as a winger, sometimes as a striker.

“In the national team also I have to play as a winger. In the previous match (against Palestine), I played as a winger. Only yesterday (Sunday), against Sri Lanka, I got the chance to play in the striking position.

“But in club football, I play as a winger and a striker. So, I am habituated to playing in both positions,” Matin said.

Matin had no coach to train him. “I had no coach and had never any opportunity to take coaching. I just picked the skills myself and then started playing on hire.”  

He said he played many matches before coming to Dhaka. “It might be 400 matches I played and scored 500 goals. Now, after coming to Dhaka, I have no way to play on hire. I realize this is the real life, real career. I did not know that before.”

Matin is now looking forward to seal his place in the national side as a regular. “I did not get the chance to play in the first XI. Now, I will have to score goals to confirm my place. I will have to play better and will have to do something for the country by scoring goals. I will have to secure my position myself.”

He spoke about the team’s finishing issues. “There is a lot of talk about our poor finishing. It’s something quite difficult. But you have to utilize a chance when it comes your way. If I get five chances and score one, it is not fair. Sometimes it looks easy but may not be so. So, we have to work on finishing skills. I think we will have to overcome the weaknesses with hard work,” Matin said.

Matin keenly follow European football on TV. “I follow the European League and try to shape myself according to the way they play. They are really magical and unbelievable. I also want to finish like them. I like Messi. I try to follow him.