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Oct 4, 2012, 2:18 PM
Embattled coach of the Gambia national Under-20 team Lamin Sarr is optimistic that his team has all it takes to fight for a silverware when the Caf youth tournament takes centre stage in South Africa despite lack of adequate preparation.
The ambitious coach, who is far from happy about the way and manner the team is preparing ahead of the tournament remains confident that his team that is blessed with a lot of talents can cause the biggest upset at the eight-team youth tournament.
“It is true that we have not got the same fair treatment with other national teams like the Under-17 and the senior team which have been provided with all the necessary support to fully prepare ahead of their respective tournaments at the Darling Scorpions’ expense but nonetheless we are up for the challenge,” Sarr said.
Sarr however sent a strong warning to Gambia’s group mates that include Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana, saying: “If any country tries to underrate the Darling Scorpions, you are playing with fire given the fact that we have a crop of talented players who can achieve the desired results for the nation.”
Sarr, who guided the team to the Caf Under-20 championship at the expense of Ivory Coast few months ago, added: “Actually I have been advocating for the fact that we are not being fairly treated like other teams but we will still give our best to have a respectable campaign in South Africa.”
He was however full of praises for the 1st and 2nd divisions as well as the regional coaches for what he referred to as their assistance towards his preparations by accepting to take part in a series of local test matches over the period.
Meanwhile, Sarr has disclosed to this reporter that playmaker Saikou Gassama, who plies his trade with Real Zaragoza in Spain, was expected to arrive in Banjul yesterday evening to join the rest of his teammates at their training camp at the Seaview Hotel with four other foreign-based stars, namely Lamin Samateh of Croatia, Major League Soccer duo Omar Jasseh and Omar Coley and Ousman Jarju of Athletico Madrid in Spain.
It is not known when the team will leave the shores of the country for Johannesburg but source close to the team’s training camp has mentioned that the Darling Scorpions are expected to depart Banjul this weekend.
Sarr will select his final 21-man squad for the championship before leaving the country any moment from now.