Mar 8, 2017, 11:19 AM
Lamin King Colley, 2nd Vice President of the Gambia Football Association, has added his voice to the Gambia national U-20 team’s dismal showing in the 17th Edition of CAf U-20 Youth Championship, which came to a spectacular end at the South African capital of Johannesburg on Sunday.
The GFA number three, who accompanied the Gambian delegation to the eight-team Caf youth tournament, spoke frankly to Pointsport at the end of The Gambia’s 2-nil loss to flying Eagles of Nigeria, which ended the country’s hope of achieving a silverware in South Africa.
He said: “The general preparation is not good because if you look at all the participating teams in South Africa, they arrived much more prepared and earlier than the Gambian team and the manner of our arrival did not tell well on a team that is supposed to enter into such an important competition.”
“The preparation giving to the Gambia U-20 team, King added, was not satisfactory considering the fact that there was neither an international test match nor an international training camp in the build-up to the tournament and this, he believed, absolutely hampered the team’s prospect of challenging for the Caf top youth accolade.
King, who has made no secret of his dissatisfaction for the unfair treatment the U-20 players underwent prior to the Johannesburg campaign, said: “Poor preparation has always and continues to take its toll on the performances of The Gambia’s national teams,” he said, and vowed to work closely with his colleagues at the helm of football affairs to avoid the occurrence of such a disastrous campaign by The Gambia’s national team in the future.
The King of Western Region has also joined a host of previous speakers to send strong warning to the country’s football authorities for not giving more priority to the senior scorpions at the expense of other teams.
“Poor preparation contributed a lot to the performance of the boys as well as the hectic journey on a difficult transit, but we must also put into consideration that we cannot go any forward without luck,” he said. “This is where our luck ends, for now, but it is not the end of the journey; we need to learn from it,” he said. “We have to accept the results in South Africa and look forward to a positive way out of this miserable moment that is hindering our prospect in recent times.”
“There is an English proverb which says ‘If you put all your eggs in one basket, you might tempt to lose all’ and that is exactly what happened to us,” King lamented.
He was however referring to the fact that mostly facilities are provided to the senior national team at the expense of The Gambia’s U-20 team, which led to the team’s woeful showing in Johannesburg where they could only manage a single point out of three possible matches conceding two defeats in the process owing to inadequate preparation.
“We must expect such a bad result with the poor preparation we had in Banjul,” he said. “It was not a surprise for us to bow out of the competition considering the bad preparation we had.”
He added that the truthful and straightforward GFA number three, who refused to be drawn into the question as to who should be blamed for the team’s poor campaign, says: “I cannot point fingers at an individual or institution for being responsible for the team’s poor showing but what is important now is to go back and discuss the future and the way forward of the national teams to avoid such a dismal performance in the future.”