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Lack of support for U-20 worries Coach Sarr and co

Mar 16, 2011, 2:13 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Lamin Sarr, head coach of the Gambia national U-20 team and his coaching staff are becoming increasingly frustrated and worried by what they call “lack of enough support” to the U-20 team by “the country’s football authorities and the Gambian people in general”.

The Gambia national U-20 team, also known as the Darling Scorpions, is currently enduring what could be described as a terrible moment regarding their preparatory conditions, with only little support given to the team by the Gambian football fraternity.

Sources however close to the team told this reporter that since the commencement of the team’s preparatory programme in the build-up to the 17th edition of Caf U-20 Youth tournament several months ago, one could hardly see an official from the football authorities or other concerned parties visit the boys at their training centre.

This has, no doubt, become a worrying sign for Coach Sarr and company who have made no secret of the fact that the team lack the required support to enhance their preparatory efforts compared to the other national teams despite their heroic performances that saw them make remarkable strides to book their place in the Caf continental youth tournament at the expense of the much fancied Ivory Coast youth side in the final day of an intensive qualifying campaign en route to the big event.

“Gambians are joking with football because the type of preparation I am witnessing compared to those of our opponents is not convincing at all and if this is the way we will continue to prepare for the tournament, I wonder whether we can compete with the much prepared teams like Nigeria, Cameroon and the defending world champions Ghana, who have since left the shores of their respective nations to take part in a series of high-profile test matches in preparation for the tournament,” Sarr, who is really concerned and disturbed by this unfortunate development, said.

He used the platform to stress the need for the Gambians to consider giving as much support as needed to the country’s only representative in the continental youth tournament as the Darling Scorpions continue to set their sight on winning their first ever U-20 youth championship.

Financial incapability of the GFA is definitely hampering the national team’s prospect of having the needed preparation for their respective international championships.

This has also led to the cancellation of a series of international friendly test matches for the national teams amid complaints of lack of finance.

Sources also revealed to Pointsport that the U-20 team might even be forced to withdraw from their latest proposed international friendly match with Senegal due to financial constraints that continue to affect the GFA.

Coach Sarr and some key members of the U-20 team have found it very difficult to hide their frustration and disappointment under such a critical condition for the simple fact that they “are not being fairly treated” compared to the other national teams “who have both benefited from international training camps” among other gains.

Financial problem is hampering the progress of Gambian sport, football in particular, which was the main source of inspiration for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to initiate a fundraising committee whose role is to raise the required or needed funds to help finance all the categories of the national teams for their respective international tournaments.

But even the setting up of Gambia for Gold does not seem to be putting an end to the seemingly unending financial constraints in the country’s football.

One might be tempted to ask: what is the Gambia for Gold doing to ensure the Darling Scorpions get the necessary support to fully equip themselves in time for the  Caf African U-20 youth tournament, which is getting closer and closer by the day.

Poor preparations have however reflected on the performance of the team during their friendly game against last year’s relegated outfit Seaview in which they lost 2-1 to the hotel club at the Brikama box Bar Mini-stadium yesterday.