Keneba FC on Saturday held Garawol United to a goalless draw in the opening game of the annual Soninkara Youth football tournament played at the Serrekunda East Mini Stadium.
Sise Sawaneh, media officer of Soninkara Youth Development Organisation (SYDO), said this is the first tournament organised by SYDO following the decision of Dynamic Sarahuleh Association for Change and Development and Sumpru Hati to come together under one umbrella to form SYDO.
She added that since they are all Sarahulehs they thought it wise to come under one umbrella and stage a single tournament.
Ms Sawaneh said they expected more teams to register for this year’s competition which is due to late commencement of the tourney but added that they could not wait for all the teams to come onboard for registration hence they had to kick-start the tournament.
He noted that registration per team was pegged at D1,500 but said the committee is yet to decide on the cash prizes to give out at the end of the tournament. “But it will be huge,” she said.
The tournament is aimed at uniting, bringing all Sarahulehs under one umbrella to interact, better know each other, learn and share among themselves, she remarked.
A grassroots affair, the tournament is also aimed at producing more Sarahuleh players for divisional and national teams, she went on, giving examples of Saibou ‘Police’ Jagana - who plays for first division side Gambia Ports Authority and Gambian International Momodou Ceesay.
She concluded by urging all fans to keep calm, show respect, avoid violence and turn out in their large numbers to support their teams during the games.
Habib Badjie, head coach of Garawol United, said the time played in the game was very small, leading to the game ending in draw.
He added that his side arrived at the venue as early as 3:30pm waiting for their opponents who turned up late for the encounter, resulting in the referee allowing the match to play for only 25minutes in each half of the game.
He expressed dissatisfaction with collecting a point, saying they could have gone home with the maximum points after dominating the game as well as creating more goal-scoring opportunities.
They will go for a win in their next encounter, he concluded.
Foday Drammeh, Keneba FC head coach, said his boys did not play well during the game due to lack of collective training and match fitness.
He added that their main target was to go home with a point if they could not secure all three points, saying the point would boost their morale going into their next encounter.