Following a successful bilateral technical arrangement between The Gambia Football Association (GFA) and its Italian counterparts, which gave birth to the acquisition of assistant coach Luciano Mancini, the Gambia U-19 team is currently participating in the international football tournament held in Umbria, Italy.
After their take-off in Banjul on Friday night of May 4, The Gambia U-19 team arrived safely in Italy on Saturday evening at about 4pm local time via Casablanca but could only settle down in the city of Gubbio till at 8pm after almost three hours of bus drive from Rome.
The team and delegation, who were received by an executive member of the Italian Amateur Football Federation, are temporarily being hosted at the Hotel Benjamino Ubaldi, from where they will be relocated to the Sporting Hotel tomorrow afternoon.
On arrival late in the evening, the team had no training session but its members were held to a close-door meeting by officials accompanying them.
Head Coach Peter Bornu Johnson reminded his charges about the objective of the tournament saying: “You are the ambassadors of The Gambia in this tournament and the population back home is hopeful of your respectful performance.”
He advised the lads to demonstrate true spirit of discipline and dedication and challenged them to capture the award of Most Discipline Trophy.
Head of delegation Cherno Barra Touray, who is a member of the GFA Normalisation Committee, challenged the cadet team to maintain respect among themselves and uphold the true spirit of sportsmanship.
The nucleus of any national team stems from its youthful talents, Mr Touray emphasised, while encouraging the lads to keep up the momentum and assuring them of the GFA’s concern for their welfare as well as of the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) in making the invitational tournament a reality.
Mamut Saine, according to announcement by coach Peter Bornu Johnson, has been appointed captain of the team in the tournament and Saloum Faal his vice.
The team supposed to have its first training session yesterday at 4pm local time.
On Tuesday The Gambia will open their account in Group A against Slovenia before taking on Italy in their last group game. San Marino, England and Romania complete the other teams in the Group.
This development came after the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the GFA, formalised the participation of the U-19 team in the invitational tournament in Umbria, Italy, following a request by the Amateur Football Association of Italy.
The 27-man team headed by Mambanyick Njie, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, left Banjul on Friday May 4, 2012 to take part in the Umbria tournament where they will join five other countries, namely Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, English FA and Italy.
Cherno Touray, chairman of the GFA Technical Committee and member of the Normalization Committee, will be at hand to support and give technical advice to coaches Peter Bonu Johnson and Luciano Mancini.
The six-nation international invitational tournament will take place in Umbria, Italy, from 6 to 12 May 2012.
The six teams are divided into two groups with three teams in each. The draw of the summer international football jamboree was conducted on Saturday 5 May 2012 by the Umbria Amateur League.
The main thrusts among the goals of the tournament are to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the GFA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, on one hand, and their Italian counterparts on the other, as well as to expose and market the Gambian players to the international market.
GFA Media Officer Bakary B. Baldeh will be at hand to give regular update on the performance of the team in Italy.
THE GAMBIAN DELEGATION
1. Bubacarr Sanyang Brikama Utd
2. Baka Ceesay Gamtel
3. Saikou Jawneh Bakau Utd
4. Antou Badjan GPA
5. Musa Yaffa Bakau Utd
6. Lamin Gibba Wallidan
7. Musa Manneh Hawks
8. Alieu Jatta Brikama Utd
9. Hamsa Barry GPA
10. Modou Jallow Brikama Utd
11. Sulayman Marr Samger
12. Alhagie Bah Real De Bjl
13. Bubacarr Jammeh S/Biko
14. Mamut Saine SeaView
15. Ebou Kanteh Brikama Utd
16. Lamin S Samateh Samger
17. Saloum Faal GPA
18. Ali Sowe Gamtel
19. Musa Bojang Brikama Utd
20. Dawda Sisoho GPA
21. Cherno Barra Touray Head of delegation
22. Peter Bornu Johnson Head Coach
23. Lamin Sambou Asst Coach
24. Pa Matarr Ndow Physio
25. Adama Loum Kits Manager
26. Bakary B. Baldeh Media Officer