Last season's Bangladesh League Champions Sheikh Russel KC were drawn in an all South Asia Group A of the AFC President's Cup as the draw of the tenth edition AFC's third-tier club competition was held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Group A however included last edition runners-up Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) of Pakistan, Sri Lanka Air Force SC and Ugyen Academy of Bhutan. Except KRL, all teams of Group A are three among six debutants in the tournament where no former champions could qualify.
Top two teams from the group will advance to the five-team final round. The first-phase of the 11-team tournament will be held from May 1 to 11 in three spate venues -- Sri Lanka, Philippines and Mongolia.
Last season's treble-winner Sheikh Russel are dreaming of breaking the curse by moving onto the second round of the President's Cup since Abahani could not advance to the second round in their previous five attempts.
“If we can perform what we have been putting in the ongoing tournament and league in the group-stage of the AFC President's Cup, we are hopeful to make it to the final round,” said Sheikh Russel coach Maruful Haque adding that he would have no concerned had they retained the services of the last season's squad.
Sheikh Russel are currently at the sixth position of the 10-team professional football league table with and are set to face Feni Soccer Club in the quarterfinal of the Independence Cup football tournament.