#Article (Archive)

Gambian Starlet Earns Pompey Deal

Jul 29, 2008, 12:17 PM | Article By: By Sainabou Kujabi

Omar Krumah has impressed Harry Redknapp sufficiently to earn a permanent contract with Portsmouth.

The Gambian teenager, known as 'OJ', has spent the last fortnight training with the Premier League side.

A number of eye-catching performances in recent pre-season friendlies persuaded Pompey to take a gamble on the youngster, and he is now set to be offered a deal on the South Coast.

However, he is unlikely to be blooded in the top-flight next season, with Redknapp preferring to nurture the 18-year-old into a star of the future.

"OJ has done well, he's only 18 and I think he's a real prospect," the Pompey boss told The News.

"We're hoping to now get something done and keep him here permanently because I like him.

"He was at Southampton last year, they wanted him but could not get a work permit but he's married now so that's no longer a problem.

"The lad was recommended to me so we had him over for the last couple of weeks and he's been tremendous.

"He's quick and has got a lot of everything.

"The kid wants to do well, he's willing to learn and hopefully he can do well here.

"I have already had half a dozen clubs wanting to play him this season, most of them are from the Championship.

"He's not ready for the Premier League but he's still young so his time can come."

After a long spell with English club Southampton which never went through due to the rules of the English football regarding a working permit.

Having married to a British citizen recently, has given him the opportunity to work in Britain without obtaining a work permit.

Omar Krumah was part of Coach Lorenzo Rubinacci's plans for the Gambia national U20 team and was training with the team before leaving forEngland for trials. He was supposed to return home to take part in the Gambia U-20's outing against Mauritania, in the 2009 African Youth Championship qualifiers, a game he was too eager to play and had told one of his childhood friends in a telephone conversation after he signed with the premiership giants.

OJ played his football in the Gambia with Black Pool FC , GPA and of recent,Hawks FC in the GFA first division league this season before making it to England where he signed with the FA cup winners Portsmouth.