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Rally behind U-20

Apr 7, 2011, 2:25 PM

The forthcoming CAF Under-20 Youth Champion in South Africa in a fortnight’s time should be an opportunity for the Gambian team to make the country proud.

Gambia U-20 coach Lamin Sarr has gone through a difficult road in trying to get a good preparation ahead of the tournament.

It is a fact that the team did not get to play the required friendly matches they so much desired and, most disappointing of all, was when their proposed friendlies with Senegal and Ethiopia were cancelled due to what the officials say were lack of funds to facilitate the team’s journey.

However, coach Sarr, who used the local first and second division clubs as an alternative to test his boys, in a series of friendly matches, is hopeful that his team can put up a good performance in South Africa.

The challenge is whether Sarr will be able to pull at least a bronze medal in the championship.

Readers would recall when The Gambia made their first appearance, in the 2007, in the competition in Congo, and the Darling Scorpions did not only finish in 3rd position, but they also booked a ticket to the World Cup in Canada the same year.  

That was an excellent performance by the then Gambia U-20, and we hope this team will also make history.

As we have always said, in our columns, it is high time for people to know what football can really bring to a country.

The team, therefore, needs our collective and individual support and encouragement for them to excel.

We insist that more preparation is essential for the team’s matches, especially international friendlies.

The Gambia Football Association and the Gambia for Gold should all endeavour to live up to expectations, since their task is daunting and challenging.

The game of football requires a lot of funds, and we do hope that the funds raised through initiatives meant for sports development, like Gambia for Gold, are utilized prudently.

We are fully aware that, recently, both the Under-17 and the senior national teams have not been doing well, something we are very much concerned about.