The History Of GPA Football Club

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Following a string of poor performances in the GFA first division league this season, the 2007/8 Gambia Football Association Super Cup Champions, GPA, will be playing its football in the GFA second division domestic league next season.The results came as a result of bad performances in the first division league this season.

The Gambia Ports Authority was established in 1973 and the core of their players were snatched from Real De Banjul. It became one of the best clubs in the country with players like Goalkeeper Saho, Alhaji Sarr, Head Coach of Seaview, Kabba Ceesay, FIFA Player Agent to name a few. In around 1988/9, the club ceased to exist and in its place came Waterside FC which was the club feeder team.

In 1996, Falcons FC, which won the Banjul Nawetaan, was transformed to GPA FC. The team gained promotion from the 3rd division while coached by Ebou Faye, who also doubled up as player. He scored a brace of goals that secure the clubs promotion to the 2nd division. He coached the team until it was on the threshold of gaining promotion but then left for further studies and Kabba Ceesay took over as the coach. After two seasons, Modou Lamin Fofana (Faraba), the current Caretaker Coach, took over as the coach.  He won the championship in 1998/9 season and FTI trophy.

In 2001, Demba Ramata took over for a season before Ebou Faye took over again for three seasons. Alhaji Sarr, took over in the 2005/6 season and this period could be described as the golden period of the club as they won the league in his first year. They followed this with the Super Cup and FA Cup in his second season. His abrupt departure to Seaview created a vacuum that was difficult to fill.

Analysis of the season:

GPA F C

This is the saddest chapter for someone who has the team in his heart. The club had everything but did nothing. two wins, 14 draws and six losses tell the story of a team too inconsistent to be in the premier league. Ultimately, GPA were not good enough. The players did not have the heart for the fight. They looked like the 11th best team in the league. Hardworking, but without the quality needed to survive. The league table doesn't lie. The points total shows that they were not good enough. Over 22 matches they didn't do enough to stay in the 1st division. End of story.

It feels like the end of the world but it isn't. They have to regroup and get on with life and they should. Football is about character and resilience. It's how you bounce back. In all honesty, GPA FC cannot have too many complaints. Any team with a record of just 2 wins in 22 games and more defeats cannot hope for too much in a league where competition is now honed to cut-throat proportions.

It's just difficult to identify a single major reason for the team's poor performance as I believe there were a comedy of errors and misjudgment analyzing it from the outside. The club Management's failure to monitor and intervene at the right time was a factor. Sacking the Head Coach, Ebou Joof was a big mistake as the intended objective was not achieved. The club management should always analyze when to sack a coach as it is bound to have a ripple effect on the players. Another problem, I think, is management paying higher allowance to squad players than the so-called ordinary players. This was a destabilizing factor. As squad players normally play less matches than the ordinary players who are always much more committed to the team. This affected the team spirit and created the lack of courage, motivation and character to grind out results when it mattered.

The GPA board must look into this question and find a solution to make sure that the team is back into first division football next season. Some pertinent questions are:

The GPA board must look into this question and find a solution to make sure that the team is back into first division football next season. Some pertinent questions are:

The GPA board must look into this question and find a solution to make sure that the team is back into first division football next season. Some pertinent questions are:

1 Why is the team not winning games?

2. Has the departure of Coach Alhagie Sarr adversely affected the team in its performance and morale?

3.         Are the players totally committed?

4.         Is the sacking of Coach Lukeh the solution?

5.         Is there any difference in the dressing room?

These are all questions that the board of the team need to ask themselves to make sure that the team can make it back to first division football.

Analysis made by Ebou Faye

Analysis made by Ebou Faye

Author: By Ebou Manneh
Source: Picture: GPA FC