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Our boys in South Africa

Apr 18, 2011, 12:59 PM

Expectations are high. Gambians and friends of The Gambia are looking forward with eagerness to the crucial match against Cameroon in the CAF U-20 championship, which opened yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This, no doubt, is a match that The Gambia must win in order to raise hopes of making it to the second round and then to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia later this year, considering our group, which includes Ghana and Nigeria.

With a mixture of players from the Gambia Football Association (GFA) league and a host of foreign-based players, The Gambia will take on Cameroon, who are no strangers to this tournament.

We need not remind the U-20 that Gambians have for some time now been so accustomed to winning at the youth level that even a draw would be a huge disappointment.

In other words, they must go all out to win. Cameroon are no pushover. They have some of the biggest, most fascinating footballers on the continent. So nothing should be taken for granted.

The Gambia U-20 team should not take today's match and the championship in general lightly.

In contemporary football, there are no underdogs. Each team is made up of eleven talented footballers who are capable of causing irreparable damage with the slightest opportunity.

They should have at the back of their mind that it is the hunger to win at all costs that usually swings football fortunes on the pitch.
Our boys must not underrate their opponents nor be overawed by them. They must see them as competitors who are out for the same prize they are after.

As the clock ticks towards the showdown with the Cameroonians, we urge all Gambians and friends of The Gambia to wish the U-20 team victory in today's epic battle and other games to come as well.

We also implore the boys to give their all to this championship. If they are able to get us what we want, then they will forever remain our heroes.

"I don’t know any other way to lead but by example."

Don Shula