Nov 24, 2014, 9:38 AM
The President of the Gambia Football Association, Seedy M.B. Kinteh has outlined plans by the country's biggest football body GFA for all the categories of the Gambia national football teams, ranging from the U-17, U-20, U-23, home-based players and the senior national team ahead of the forthcoming qualifiers of the continental showdown.
Kinteh who was speaking to Pointsport in an interview in his office at the GFA secretariat yesterday informed this reporter that the preparation of the U-17 team in the upcoming African U-17 qualifiers is in high gear, given the fact that a selected committee which has been put in place has already submitted the list of recommended players, who will be called up by Tarik Siagy for the qualifiers.
The selected players Kinteh, he went on, will undergo an intensive screening exercise with the coaching staff before setting the stage for the U-17 qualifying round in preparation for the big event in Rwanda in 2011.
The two time African champion has been pitted against Morocco in the first game of the qualifiers. The baby scorpions will travel to Morocco on August for the first leg of the qualifiers and the return-leg in Banjul, a fortnight later.
"We are in preparation to win the title in Rwanda to take the ownership of the trophy we won in 2005 and 2009 in Banjul and Algiers respectively," the confident GFA supremo maintained.
The country's football at the U-20 level has suffered a major setback as a result of their failure to make it to the last year's U-20 championship in Rwanda.
But the GFA number one made it categorically clear that the U-20 would be the main focus, adding that the GFA has already written to the Ministry of Youth and Sports in order to hire a professional coach to take charge of the team for the African U-20 Youth Championship in Libya later this year.
The Gambia will kick-off the campaign with two crucial games against Sierra Leone and Algeria in the U-20 qualifiers in July of this year in preparation for the big event.
"We are paying more attention to the U-20 team so that they can also qualify for the World Cup in Mexico," Pointsport quoted Kinteh as saying.
U-23 Olympic team
Regarding the participation of The Gambia's Olympic team, Kinteh who was re-elected to serve another term in office as the GFA boss, said The Gambia are looking set to take part in the qualifiers of the U-23 team that will represent the country in the fortcoming Olympic game in the UK in 2012.
"We have already identified U-23 players for the competition and most of them are playing in foreign leagues, who will be under the guidance of the Belgian Tactician Paul Putt," Kinteh told our reporter.
Kinteh further went to tell Pointsport that a total of 30 home-based players have been selected by Paul Putt, who will serve as a feeder team to the senior team in all the qualifying rounds.
This feeder team, Kinteh added, will represent the country in all the future continental competitions, such as WAFU, Zone 11, as well as the 2013 CHAN qualifiers.
Senior National team
The country's hope of qualifying to the forthcoming African nations and the World Cup entirely depends on the senior national team, but we have failed in several attempts to progress.
The GFA leader is however hopeful that the senior national team would be able to qualify this time around.
The Belgian tactician, according to Kinteh, is currently in Belgium doing everything possible to scout some players in foreign leagues, to blend them with the players at his disposal in a bid to put in place a formidable national team for the qualifiers.
On Putt's plan, Kinteh said, is to organise a series of friendly international matches for the senior national team.