Chances to make our maiden qualification to African Nations Cup in South Africa in 2013 and the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 have yet again suffered another setback. What is next for Gambian football?
Although if we can put up a miracle against Ivory Coast in March 2013, against Morocco in June 2013 and likewise against Tanzania in September 2013 hopes to make it to World Cup is still bright. For the Nations Cup we are totally out after the 4-1 defeat by Algeria in Algiers and the one-all draw in Banjul, which automatically gave the Desert Foxes the qualification to the next rounds of CAN 2013 qualifiers.
Group D: Standings for the World Cup now is Ivory Coast leading with four points, Tanzania three points, Morocco two points and The Gambia one point. Can we put up a miracle to win all the four remaining matches to secure a clear twelve points? Yes, why not, we can. Let us start the campaign now as we are eight months to the first match against Ivory Coast in Abidjan in March 2013. What can we do to achieve this dream?
Preparations should start now and forget about our usual ideology that we cannot beat Ivory Coast. Although they have more experienced players than us but with serious hard work and good preparation we can pull a respectable result against them.
We have done it against Senegal despite there big names in the world football; so why not Ivory Coast. We never thought we can beat Brazil and Mexico in the U-17 tournament in Peru in 2005.
When the draw was done in Peru everybody was describing The Gambia as the underdogs, but at the end of the day we proved all the doubters wrong. All that success was because of the preparations done and exposure given of the players before the tourney.
Operation against Ivory Coast for World Cup qualification should start now by selecting players, prepare them and motivate them well before the match.
I am sure with all hands on deck we would make it to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014.
Our recent bilateral relations signed with Italy should be utilised to its maximum by using the country as training venue for our tournament preparations.
We should not leave the team to rest till next year and start rushing to prepare ourselves for the matches. We should now learn from our mistakes and invent new strategies for our football.
Why can’t we learn from the Gabbie Sosseh’s U-17 five-year plans, which really paid a great dividend in the development of Gambian football? Gabbie’s plans immediately from Mbabane, Swaziland, in 2003 really worked and contributed greatly to the current position of Gambian football. Thank you very much Uncle Gabbie; Gambia would never forget you.
It is good for Coach Luciana Mancini to know that there is no time to rest but to continue the training schedule; there are still chances to make yourself a name by qualifying The Gambia to Brazil 2014 Fifa World championship.
For you to succeed you have to work hand in glove with your coaching staff and quickly come up with plans for training camps and organize series of test matches within and outside the country.
If you come up with plans you would be surely supported, and remember the entire Gambian population is behind you with all their prayers. Go, go coach Mancini you can do it. You can really make history by qualifying The Gambia to it maiden World Cup appearance at the senior level.
We have done it in 2005 with an African coach Osam Doudu, who qualified the U-17 to the World Cup in Peru and also put up a very respectable performance during the tourney.
Dai Coach puoi farcela, tu puoi davvero fare la storia facendo qualificare il Gambia per la prima volta nella coppa del mondo.