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Ousman Jarju explains life in Spain

Apr 13, 2011, 4:15 PM

Ousman Jarju is one of the most gifted and skillful Gambian youngsters the country has produced.

His magnificent performance during a fitness tournament organised by scouts from Spain paved the way for the former Steve Biko playmaker Ousman Jarju to move to the Spanish Capital where he signed a professional contract with Athletico Madrid in the Spanish top tier league last season.

Speaking to reporters in an interview at the Seaview Hotel, Jarju, who became the second Gambian player to make a sensational move to Spain after his compatriot Saihou Gassama, says he is finding life in Spain very much interesting and is extremely delighted to put pen to paper on a professional contract with Athletico Madrid.

The 19-year-old became the first Gambian player to sign for the Spanish giants on a two-year professional contract.

“I am happy to sign a contract with Athletico Madrid because the aim of every local footballer is to play at the professional level and I consider myself lucky to be part of this success,” said Jarju, also known as Raul.

Moving to one of the biggest and well established teams like Athletico Madrid is the dream of every football player but the former Gambian national U-17 star says he could be tempted by a move away from the Spanish outfit if the right offers are on the table.

The 19-year-old added: “I love life in Athletico Madrid and they are a massive club with a lot of amazing players but I may consider moving to take up a new challenge away from the club so that I can play a regular first team football, which is not happening at the moment.”

Jarju’s move to the Spanish giants on a two-year professional contract was greeted with joy among the Gambian football fraternity as he has become one of the only two Gambian youngsters to sign for such a high profile football club, something he is definitely proud of.

After some eye-catching performance during the fitness tournament in Banjul, Jarju caught the attention of a Spanish agent who took him to Athletico Madrid to sign a contract.

But he has since his highly excited switch to Madrid outfit struggled to hold down a regular first team place and eventually had to be relegated to a league called Seconda Bay second to the Spanish second division to find form and shape for the bigger challenge.

“I would love to play in a more advance league than Seconda Bay but you never know what the future holds for you,” he said.

Jarju, who expressed discomfort with life in Seconda Bay, started his career with Dahaba FC, a naweetan team in his hometown of Sukuta at a very tender age.

Shortly afterwards, the Bakau division two outfit Latdior came knocking and Jarju wasted no time in jumping at a prospect of joining the Bakau club, where he had a successful two-year stint with them.

He ended his two-year spell with Latdior and joined Steve Biko, where he managed to make a mark with the Bakau giant killers during his sojourn with them in the country’s top-flight football league.

The 19-year-old midfielder continues to make a big impact since his move to Steve Biko, which eventually saw him earn a call-up to the Gambia national U-17 team.

He said he had chosen to play football at the expense of continuing his education due to his passion and admiration for the game.

Jarju arrived in The Gambia last week to join the rest of his teammates at the Seaview Hotel as the Gambia national Under-20 team prepare ahead of the Caf African U-20 Youth Tournament in South Africa, which runs from 17 April to 1 May 2011 in Johannesburg.