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Former Gillingham and Welling United coach Jamie Day is set to extend his time as manager of the Bangladesh national team

Jamie Day’s globe-trotting adventures don’t appear to be ending any time soon.

The former Welling United title-winning manager and Gillingham no.2 is discussing terms over a new deal with the Bangladesh Football Federation. He’s keen to stay on as their national manager.

Jamie Day was no.2 to Ady Pennock at Gillingham and Barrow before heading to Bangladesh Picture: Barry Goodwin
Jamie Day was no.2 to Ady Pennock at Gillingham and Barrow before heading to Bangladesh Picture: Barry Goodwin

He was appointed as the Asian country’s head coach two years ago, shortly after a leaving National League Barrow.

It’s been quite a change of scenery for the 40-year-old former Bournemouth player.

“You have to pinch yourself sometimes,” he said. “I remember playing against India in Calcutta and the year before I was in Barrow on a Tuesday night infront of 300 people.

“I am in a stadium with a capacity of 90.000 and I think there were over 50,000 inside, it was an unbelievable experience. Before kick-off I was thinking I can’t believe this is happening.

“I have really enjoyed working abroad, it is always something I have wanted to do.

“We are always going around the world and we are going to Qatar for our next match, next year I would guess, playing in a World Cup stadium. The experiences have been fantastic and every game is an international. I really look forward to them.”

Day is back home in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

He splits his time here and in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka when he’s working.

Bangladesh are currently ranked 187 in the FIFA world rankings, out of 210 nations. They are bottom of their World Cup qualifying group but picked up a point from that match in India.

Day knows he’s up against it but feels they are making progress.

Beating Laos over two legs to qualify for the group stages of the Asian World Cup qualifiers was a highlight, as was qualifying for the Asian Olympics and winning through the group stage for the first time in their history.

Day hasn’t ruled out a return to the UK, although he admits the clamour for any job doesn’t make it appealing.

He said: “My family is obviously based in the UK so if the right job came available then I would be interested but the problem with English football is that there are so many coaches who go for the jobs and unless you know someone there to get you an edge, it is really tough.

“In Asia there are a lot of leagues, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong, there are other leagues I would like to look at as well we will see.

“For now, I want to complete the World Cup with Bangladesh and we have the SAFF Championships next year too, which is like the European Championships for Asia, so we have a half decent chance of doing well in that.”

Bangladesh are hosting the 2020 SAFF Championships, a competition involving seven countries.

It could see Day up against the likes of India, managed by former Croatian international Igor Štimac, who has previously taken charge of several other national teams. Day relishes pitting his wits against such high profile managers.

Former Dutch international Erwin Koeman had been with Oman until recently while former Barcelona youth coach Felix Sánchez Bas is in charge of Qatar.

He said: “I enjoy competing against other higher profile managers and teams. During conferences you sit around these people and hear what they have to say and I can learn off them and compete against them. It is something I have really enjoyed.”

Coming soon: Hear more from Jamie in our 'Decade of Champions' feature that will look back at Welling United's title winning season of 2012/13

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