Feb 8, 2013, 10:31 AM
We would first of all like to congratulate and thank the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) and the Gambia government for recruiting a foreign coach to uplift the standard of football in The Gambia.
It is not an easy task to build a team, so we should all put hands on deck, encourage and help one another to build a formidable and quality squad that would stand the test of time.
Gambian football fans should bear in mind that the country has gone without a consolidated national team for almost three years, as we could not participate in international competitions. The last time The Gambia senior team played international competition was in 2013.
Presently our country counts on about 21 overseas players, whom we should be able to make use of in our international football campaign.
We should, therefore, prepare these talents and the home-based ones well to rise up to the challenges of especially the impending African qualifiers matches, in which we will partake in less than three weeks, against South Africa.
Thus more friendly matches should be played by the squad for both the international and home-based players to get used to one another and fused well for upcoming international matches.
Fans in the country should not be in haste for the expected results, as the coach has just been signed on; hence he should be allowed to put up a strong team that can compete well.
It is essential to note that Rome was not built in a day.
The government is also expected to pump in more money for the team to prepare well, both logistically and with more incentives to the players.
Football is no longer leisure, but business; hence the more you invest, the better the results you get.
We would also like to advise that we avoid excessive interference in the selection of the team, as those charged with the responsibility are competent and trusted enough to handle such matters professionally.
The other vice we need to avoid this time round is late preparation for international matches.
The call is also on the whole nation to be turning up to watch our squad play at the stadium, and give them full 90-minute support and more where necessary.
It is expected that when a new national team is set up, even the mosques and churches could also show patriotism by continually praying for good health, protection and success for our boys in their Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup campaigns.
Members of the media fraternity should also give support to the coach and the players, as coach Savoy needs time to settle; he is not a magician.
Once again, welcome Coach Raoul Savoy to the Smiling Coast of Africa!
“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.”