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Injury hits Scorpions friendly

Aug 10, 2011, 12:15 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia senior national team’s hope of putting up a good show against the Democratic Republic of Congo in today’s friendly match has been hit by the news that the Scorpions will be without the services of several key members of the team that are fundamental pillars of coach Paul Put’s plan ahead of The Gambia’s trip to Namibia for the African Nations Cup qualifiers in three weeks’ time.

Among the injured players is talismanic forward Ousman Jallow, who has recently put pen to paper on a professional contract with a Turkish second tier club and he is definitely out of Congo clash through injury.

However doubts remain over the fitness of Jallow’s potential striker-partner Njogu Demba who might also be missing the game as the lanky forward is understood to have been on a trial in Sweden at the moment while Omar Jawo, Pa Saikou Kujabi and Abdourahman Dampha are all nursing a last-minute injury ahead of the Banjul clash, Paul Put, head coach of the Scorpions confirmed this news to Pointsport in an interview yesterday afternoon.

The Belgian tactician, who is left with no other choice than to select the squad available, described the news as a huge blow in his preparatory programme as he faces a mammoth task of putting in place a formidable team that can beat Namibia to be guaranteed a place in their first Nations Cup finals should they also beat Burkina Faso in their last game in Banjul later in October.

However, confirmed reports suggested Dynamo Zagreb rocky centre back Lamin Bassment Samateh, as well as New England Revolution’s hitman Sainey Nyassi, would also not be available for selection when coach Paul announces his final squad for the friendly.

“As you can see there are lots of key players missing and it is difficult for a coach when you don’t have a complete team to prepare for a crucial match with Namibia, which is just three weeks away, but the most important thing is to see the players that are available for selection, said the Belgian tactician, who still remains optimistic of a Nations Cup qualification should Scorpions beat Namibia next month.

“We have a good chance if we can beat Namibia because with that victory, our fate will be in our own hands when Burkina Faso travel to Banjul for the final game in October but we cannot achieve the desired result without good organization, willingness, commitment, determination and hard work,” he said.

“Despite the absence of some key members, I can assure the Gambian people that the boys will give their utmost best to achieve the positive result with the home support, especially with the support of President Jammeh,” Paul, who has set his sight firmly on guiding The Gambia’s Scorpions to their first-ever African Nations Cup appearance in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, told this reporter at the team’s training camp at the Seaview Hotel in Kololi.

A total of eleven foreign-based players arrived in Banjul on Tuesday afternoon to join their comrade, Tijan Jaiteh, who was the first overseas footballer to arrive for the crucial tie with DR Congo, this evening at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

The players are Pa Dembo Touray, Mustapha Jarju, Dawda Bah, Demba Savage, Sanna Nyassi, Ebrima Sohna, Pa Modou Jagne, Abdoulie Ken Mansally, Kebba Ceesay, Momodou Futy Danso and Momodou Ceesay (Zico).

However the gap left by the absence of several foreign-based players will be filled by five home-based players who have been called in to join the team at the eleventh hour. They are Emanuel Gomez, Foday Trawally, Lamin Sarjo Samateh, Ali Sowe and Babucarr Savage.

Today’s friendly match is scheduled to kick off at 4:30pm.

Ticket prizes for the match stand at D300 for the VIP while covered and uncovered pavilions are pegged at D50 and D100 respectively