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Scorpions hold first training session ahead of Saturday clash

Sep 2, 2010, 1:27 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia senior national team held their first training session yesterday morning at the country's biggest football arena, as they intensify preparations for Saturday's much-anticipated clash against Namibia in the African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Sweden-based Gambian goalkeeper, Pa Dembo Touray, and two other goalkeepers who both ply their trade in the country’s top flight football, Christopher Allen and Musa Camara, formerly of the history-making Gambia national U-17 squad, formed part of the 23 players invited for the weekend clash at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

Also in yesterday's training session was Pa Saikou Kujabi and Abdou Jammeh, who were among the first batch of the foreign-based stars to arrive in Banjul for the Namibia tie. They have joined other professional footballers namely, in-form Njogu Demba, impressive Dawda Bah, mid-field maestro Mustapha Jarju Toubabo, prolific forward Ousman Jallow, as well as man of the moment Momodou Ceesay, who last week guided Slovakian giants Zilina to their first-ever Champions League appearance with an acrobatic strike.

Other foreign-based players in town are newcomers Kebba Ceesay and Modou Futty Danso, Omar Jawo, Alagie Sosseh, Ebrima Sohna, Tijan Jaiteh, Muhammed Mbye, the Nyassi brothers Sainey and Sanna, Abdoulie Mansally, Cherno Samba, Aziz Corr Nyang and Abdou Njie of the Gambia Ports Authority.

The Belgian tactician Paul Put, and national team coach, faces a huge task in selecting the final squad for the match, especially in the striking department which comprises three top forwards in Momodou Ceesay, Ousman Jallow and Njogu Demba, who are all enjoying a perfect start to the season in their respective clubs in Europe.

Paul who failed in his attempt to lead the team to their first Nations Cup appearance last year, after going close to a qualification berth, is however aware of the task and the importance of the Namibia encounter, which could decide the country's fate in a rather complicated group.

Meanwhile, the Namibian team, whose hope of achieving a positive result in Banjul was dealt a blow due to an injury to one of their key defenders, was expected to arrive in Banjul yesterday.