Aug 10, 2009, 6:31 AM
HJK Helsinki inspirational midfielder Dawda Bah, who has failed in several attempts to hold down a regular first-team place with the Gambia senior national team, has been recalled to the Scorpions set-up ahead of a trip to Gabon for next week's friendly match on June 7 in Libreville.
The former Banjul Hawks midfield maestro, who has established himself as a household name since moving to HJK Helsinki in Finland, from local side Hawks, is widely rated as one of the most skilful players in the country.
But he has since failed to impress Scorpions head coach Paul Put while facing stiff competition from fellow midfield compatriot Mustapha Jarju and others.
His hope of ending his lack of enough playing opportunities never came through and was again a second-half substitute after being introduced to replace Momodou Ceesay 15 minutes from time as he played a minor role in Gambia’s impressive 3-1 win over hapless Namibia during the African Nations Cup qualifiers in September.
Bah opened his 2011 account by firing the Finnish champions to a 1-0 winner against Inter Tarku recently and during last Sunday’s HJK famous 6-2 win over JJK.
Having got a total of 15 goals in 56 appearances to his name since joining the club in 2008, Dawda is rated one of the most successful Gambian professional players in recent times after emerging two-time double champions, consecutively in Finland.
Bah’s outstanding contribution with his Finnish side was enough to convince the Sports Journalists Association of The Gambia who nominated him for the 2010 most outstanding foreign-based player award due to take place next month.
He was also among the three candidates short-listed in the race to claim the most outstanding foreign-based player of the year 2009 award but eventually lost to fellow midfielder and comrade Tijan Jaiteh.
Bah, who initially refused to blame Scorpions’ team coach Paul Put for his lack of playing action, later became increasingly frustrated with lack of enough playing opportunity and instead opted to sideline himself during the last qualifiers prompting suggestion that he might not consider a return to the team.
Bah, whose HJK Helsinki side narrowly missed out a place in the Europa and Champions league qualifiers last season, has once again been invited, as the Scorpions step up preparations at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Wednesday for the friendly encounter in Gabon on June 5.
He is at the centre of public attention with several Scorpions followers and supporters calling on the Belgian tactician to consider giving the former Hawks skilful midfielder enough playing opportunity in order to replicate his impressive scoring record for The Gambia as he use to do in Finland with current club HJK Helsinki.