Traditional football giants Ba will be on a mission to restore lost glory at the 2023 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva next week.
The Men-In-Black have won the tournament 24 times, registering as the team that has won it the most.
The side is drawn in a strong Group A pool with Tailevu Naitasiri, BOG winners Labasa and Fiji FACT/DFPL champions Lautoka.
Ba hasn’t won any major tournaments in the country for the last five years although the team managed to win the Pacific Community Cup last year.
Head coach Mohammed Ashif Khan says they want to end their winless major tournament drought.
Khan said the team has doubled their training schedules to better their fitness level.
“What we did is we have called our entire 22 member squad to camp so that we train collectively as a team since we have got all our national reps available.” he said.
“We did not do well in the Fiji FACT, BOG and Premier League because most of the time, our Fiji under 23 players were out on national duties. Now all our boys are in Fiji, the business has become serious for Ba,” he said
“This time, we have tightened our training so that we achieve maximum fitness and address the loopholes and missing pieces in training. The boys are really responding well.”
The Kamil Muslim College teacher, who took charge of the team in July said they are working on all aspects of the game and not leaving any stones unturned.
“Our aim is to touch every player’s position and see what each position lacks and how we can overcome those challenges. We have been working on our speed which we felt was really shattering the momentum of our game in BOG.”
“Everyone is well versed with what our aim is in this tournament and that is to bring back the glory of our previous achievements.
We want to make a mark in this tournament that Ba is still the giant of Fijian football because our fans also have high hopes from us every time we take the field no matter where we play.”
“Nothing comes easy and that’s the message we are giving to the players in the camp. We have told them that although we have been drawn in a very tough Pool, we have to change our mindset and we have to battle and no team is easy.”
Khan added that niggling injuries is one of the major concerns for the side as they are just four days away from the tournament kick off.
Ba will kick start their campaign against Tailevu Naitasiri in the opening match at 10.30am on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Ba will face neighbours Lautoka at 3pm and round off their pool match against arch-rivals Labasa at 7pm on Thursday.