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Former Scorpions forward reiterates desire for national team return

Sep 7, 2011, 3:32 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Former Scorpions hit man Assan Jatta has repeatedly spelled out his desire to return to competitive football for the national team for the first time in three years.

The lanky forward, once regarded as one of the hottest properties in Gambian football, has been a key figure with the national team scoring many vital goals in crucial matches during his stint with the Scorpions.

His eye-catching performance with the senior team was considered the driving force behind his goal-scoring success, which eventually paved the way for the former Steve Biko captain to an immediate switch to Belgium.

He put pen to paper on a two-year professional contract with the Belgian top-flight side K. Lierse S.K alongside his compatriot Mustapha Toubabo Jarju in 2006 following an impressive short trial there.

But he was deemed surplus to requirement when the Belgium club failed to renew his contract at the end of the previous deal and he instead returned home to help Steve Biko escape relegation to the second tier of Gambian football in style that year.

Jatta, also known as Bierhoff, remained in the wilderness for almost three years without a professional contract after being released by Lierse in 2008 and eventually decided to switched attention to Naweetan football playing for a host of Naweetan teams in Bakau.

But he has finally ended his long wait in search of a club when the Belgian third tier club Mariekerke announced that they have completed the signing of a Gambian tall forward for a reported one-year deal two weeks ago.

Jatta could not wait long before registering his first goal for Mariekerke in their 1-1 draw in the opening day of the Belgian third division league at the weekend.

Shortly after netting his side’s only goal of the encounter on Saturday, the 25-year-old former Lierse forward desperately contacted The Pointsport desk to spell out his desire to be invited for the Scorpions’ qualifier match with Burkina Faso in Banjul next month.

He said: “My desire is to return to national team football with the Scorpions in their match against Burkina Faso because I still believe I can score many goals for The Gambia as I used to when I was with the team some years ago.”

Bierhoff, who has won many national caps under his belt, started his active football career with Vietnam Border, then a famous Naweetan team in Bakau, in the 90s.

He proceeded to play for Steve Biko FC, the Gambia national U-17, U-23 and the senior national team and has since developed into becoming a household name and a goal poacher in Gambian football.