Jun 27, 2008, 4:40 AM
The senior national team coach Luciano Mancini has told members of the Scorpions to focus on the task ahead as they prepare to meet the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Saturday in Abidjan.
The team, which arrived in Niger on Sunday, is on four-day training camp in Niamey.
The Gambian team was scheduled to play the Nigerien Senior National team yesterday at the Niamey National Stadium at 18:00hrs.
Ahead of that friendly against the Nigerien Senior National team, Gambia’s Head Coach Luciano Mancini, backed by his technical staff, converged with his Scorpions at the Hotel Universe Hall in Niamey to look forward to the first friendly.
The Italian, who is steadily but surely learning the fluency of English language, told the players to take the friendly seriously, which according to him, ‘is to prepare for the Ivory Coast game in Abidjan’.
He emphasised the need to play aggressively and take the match as very serious and “real competition because you have to concentrate in all situations and don’t say it is not important”.
He also recognised that all the positions in the field of play are important and that players should materialize what, in the period of preparation, they have been trained to do.
Mancini revealed that Abdou Jammeh is going to captain the side with Momodou Ceesay as vice captain.
For his part, assistant Coach Peter Bornu Johnson told the players to be more cautious of injuries in order to stay focused ahead of the Ivory Coast game.
He also stressed the importance of the test game, saying “it will allow us to gauge the standard of the team so that we can know which of the areas to address and forge ahead”.
He told the players about the Niger National side: “We have all seen them at the Africa Cup of Nations in tactics and technique and so we have to take them seriously but with caution.”
The coaches announced the starting line-up for the friendly with Alhagie Jobe at goal to be sealed at the back by Lamin Samateh, Momodou Futi Danso, Captain Abdou Jammeh and Pa Modou Jagne, while Yankuba Mal Ceesay will be piled up with combative Ebrima Sohna and Abdoulie Mansally and upfront will be occupied by Saihou Gassama, Sanna Nyassi and Momodou Ceesay.
The Scorpions are said to be unified in their quest for the 2014 World Cup berth ahead of one of Africa’s most important World Cup Qualifiers across the continent at the coming weekend in Abidjan.