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Good luck U-17

Nov 4, 2010, 12:33 PM

The Gambia U-17 squad has travelled to Tunisia to play for the crucial first leg of the final rounds of the Ninth Edition of the African U-17 Youth Qualifiers to be held in Rwanda in 2011.

Prior to the departure of the team from Banjul, a series of friendly test matches were held at home and the last among them was their match against Senegal last Sunday.

The country’s youthful teams have been doing extremely well. As a result of their performance, both the U-17 and U-20 teams have made a name for themselves and the country at the international level.

It would be recalled that the Gambia U-17 team’s first qualification to the U-17 qualifiers was in 2003, which took them to Swaziland under the guidance of coach Pa Suwareh Faye. In that tournament, the team stopped at the group stage.

In 2005, when the country hosted the U-17 tournament, and won the title under Ghanaian-born coach Sam Osam Doudo in the same year, the team also took part in the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Peru, but only stopped at the group stage.

The most disappointing moment in Gambian football was in 2007, when the country failed to make it to the second round of the qualifiers of the 7th edition.

The team in 2009 qualified for Algeria, and made another significant achievement by winning the title for the second time, despite being the defending champions in Algeria.

Despite winning the title for the second time, the team put up a poor performance in the U17 World Cup final in Nigeria.

This time around, we would like to wish them all the best of luck to qualify for Rwanda 2011, and would like to advise them to be mindful of the tactics of the North Africans.

We would like the country to pray for the team to achieve the task that lies ahead of them.

We should also remember that, in a fortnight’s time, the second leg will be played in Banjul for the final qualification of either the Gambia or Tunisia.

We, therefore, should pray that the Gambia for Goal project becomes a reality, so that all the categories of the national teams qualify in their respective competitions.

Our advice to the players is that they should always play as a team, wherever they find themselves.

While wishing you good luck, we would also like to say we have full confidence in the team. The Almighty Allah and the nation are behind you; so go ahead the Baby Scorpions!