Mar 2, 2009, 5:17 AM
The twice a week goalkeepers-training session organized by the Serrekunda West Sports Organisation, SWESO, for teams participating in its Nawetaan started on Tuesday 23rd August 2011 at the Serrekunda West Mini Stadium.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the first session of the training, Bai Ndongo Drammeh, public relations officer for SWESO said they recently organized a coaching clinic for the nawetaan, and also deemed it necessary to organize training sessions for goalkeepers, “because in the Gambia we don’t have goalkeeper drillers”.
He added that even in first division teams, they do not see goalkeeper drillers, but they we fortunate at Serrekunda West to have among them some people who were very good goalkeepers in their careers, and are willing to help.
He noted that they want to capacitise their goalkeepers so that they can also give back to their communities and Serrekunda West at large, and that this was why they came up with the idea, adding that the turnout was good, and that most of them were eager for the training to continue.
“We have seen common errors in goalkeeping in important games, and we think those will be things of the past after this training sessions”, he said while assuring the participants that the training will continue.
“We will see a more competitive nawetaan, and more competitive goal-keeping from our goalkeepers after this training”, he futher noted, adding that this training initiative has to do with Mustapha Jammeh, coach of Latrikunda United (a second division team in the Gambia Football Association), who is also coaching a team in the Serrekunda West nawetaan (German Boys FC), and other stakeholders within the zone.
Drammeh concluded by urging other zones to emulate them by capacitising their goalkeepers, adding that goal scoring is a problem in our football but they will invite more senior coaches to conduct training for the strikers, before the end of the nawetaan.
Badou Ceesay, former Seaview FC goalkeeper, now coaching Pipeline FC a nawetaan team at Serrekunda West, and a member of the trainers, said, “most of our goalkeepers in the nawetaan are young, and are just starting goalkeeping and don’t have the necessary training. This was why we came up with this idea to train them on the basics of goalkeeping, so that they have the knowhow of goalkeeping”.
He stated that to have a good goalkeeper is very important, “because with a good goalkeeper that can take your team to another level, but with a bad goalkeeper even if you have a good team, you cannot make it at the end”.
“This training is not a one-day thing, and I hope they will achieve something out of it at the end”, he said, adding that they just need to concentrate during the training sessions.
“If you look at the senior national team, as of now, taking Musa Camara as a very good goalkeeper from the U-17, U-20 going to the senior national team you will know that there is a big problem in our goalkeeping field”, he stated.
When asked why Gambian goalkeepers find it difficult to secure contracts, he said, “I don’t know why they find it difficult to secure contracts, but I think we have good goalkeepers in The Gambia”.
Mustapha Jammeh, head coach of German Boys FC, said the training course was his initiative, noting that going over his records of last year’s nawetaan, he spotted a lot of mistakes and made recommendations. That was why he spoke to Badou Ceesay, former Seaview FC goalkeeper, who welcomed the idea and they later sold it to the Serrekunda West Committee through Bai Ndongo Drammeh, the PRO and Peter Bonu Johnson who also supported the idea.
He said that defenders, midfielders and strikers are drilled in their training grounds, but that goalkeepers are not drilled because most teams in the Gambia don’t have goalkeeper drillers.
He added that the competition is high among zones and that is why they came up with the idea to empower their goalkeepers, adding that, the training will help minimize the number of goals goalkeepers concede and will also make strikers to work extra harder to find the back of the net.
He noted that the training course will make their nawetaan more competitive, adding that they expect two or three goalkeepers from this training to be part of their zonal team, and to lead them to the finals and get the trophy for them at the end of the competition.
The three goalkeepers identified to conduct the training are former national goalkeepers Christopher Allen, Joseph Gomez and Badou Ceesay.