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Over hundred players compete for U-17 spot

May 21, 2010, 11:46 AM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Over hundred players are currently trying their luck with the newly selected Gambia National Under-17 team, as the intensive screening exercise took centrestage, at the Serrekunda East Mini-stadium on Tuesday.

The team as Pointsport understands is training under the instruction of Paul Put, the Head Coach of the Gambia Senior national team, the former U-17 team Coach Pa Suwareh Faye, Badou Jassey, the Assistant Coach of the team, Lamin Sambou, as well as the Italian goalkeeper trainer Franco Crescentini, who are expected to scout the selected players at the end of a four-day screening exercise.

Alagie Nyassi, who is among the Gambian local coaches assigned by the Gambia Football Association to co-ordinate and manage the selected U-17 players shared his impression with our reporter on the positive manner the players are responding to the national call.

Nyassi is taking charge of team white along with Foday Bah, who is yet to turn up for the national duty. He is, however, confident that the coaches would come up with a formidable Under-17 team that will represent the country in the continental championship, as they looked set to announce the final list of 40 players, at the end of the screening exercise on Monday.

"We started intensive screening exercise with over 100 players, who were selected during the nation wide selection which is a clear indication to the fact that talents across the length and breadth of the country has been captured," the former Tallinding United hitman told Pointsport. This is shortly after leading the team to another intensive screening exercise at the Serrekunda East Mini-stadium yesterday morning.

"We were told by the Gambia Football Association yesterday that the number of players would be reduced to 40 at the end of the programme, but so far I am personally impressed with the performances of a good number of players, including some players selected from the regions, as well as those from the First and Second Divisions," added the former Medina coach, who was so influential in helping Serrekunda East zonal team win the zonal championship title at the expense of Brikama in 2006.

Nyassi, who was appointed to take charge of Tallinding United in the country's top flight football in 2006, was also very instrumental in guiding Tallinding to the First Division in 2002\03 season, the club he spent two brilliant seasons as a player.